The chaps behind Music Tech Fest have just announced Music Tech Fest London in conjunction with LSO. The event will take place on 5-7 September this year. Music Tech Fest is an interesting one, as it’s not a traditional conference, but a hands-on celebration of interesting, cutting-edge music tech, complete with a big hackathon portion at the event. Looking forward to heading down.
Record Store Day was last weekend, and by most accounts it seemed to be a success, with vinyl sales being at the highest point in decades. However, the day was marred by a large portion of the exclusive releases being snapped up by touts and then being sold at inflated prices on eBay, which led to Paul Weller saying he won’t be involved in it anymore. The organisers of RSD have come out and said that they’re actively stopping people from re-selling records, but this is going to be an ongoing issue now that they’ve hit the mainstream.
Beats Music have turned on in-app purchasing, succumbing to Apple’s revenue sharing model. It’s pretty clear from the move that their carrier billing option wasn’t working for them with their iOS offering, as it’s a large chunk of their revenue that they’re now going to have to hand over to Apple for anyone who subscribes via in-app purchase. However, if it unlocks the millions on the platform, it could make business sense. It’ll be interesting to see if folks like Spotify and Rdio follow suit.
The Great Escape are bringing back their convention portion of the festival, with an interesting lineup of speakers and topics, including Arts Council’s CEO Alan Davey and Kiss’ founder Gordon Mac. Not much on the technical side of things, but should be interesting nonetheless.
Andrew Kelley got disillusioned when his favourite music player became a shambles of what it once was, so he set out to build his own Ultimate Music Player, with some pretty specific requirements in place. Groove Basin is the result, and from an audiophile perspective, it’s a really good music player. However, from a UI perspective, it’s still got a long way to go. He’s still working on the functionality as well, so I’m hoping that someone gets involved from a design perspective as well, as it could be an amazing player.
The Latest Awesome
In the geekiest album release of all time category, netcat are gunning for top spot, with the release of Cycles Per Instruction via a Linux kernel module on Github. While the music isn’t really to my tastes, it’s an amazingly geeky release, with the band commenting that it’s “the most unnecessarily complicated netcat album release format yet.”
To celebrate the release of their new album, British electronica duo Plaid collaborated with Jono Brandel of Patatap to create a neat little sound toy. I’m loving the amount of these little explorations of sound and web that are coming out, purely as art. To be honest, this isn’t my favourite, but it’s still damn impressive.
George and Jonathan are two developers/designers who also make incredibly catchy 8-bit pop. George also created one of my favourite toys with Staggering Beauty. So it’s no surprise that their latest album release, III, comes with a rather amazing website, which generates beautiful html/css/js videos from the music of the album, allowing you to manipulate it as the song plays. Obviously the music is quite niche, but I can really see this approach working for a mainstream alternative artist.
A couple of science-y types in Denmark have created what’s called a 2D Ruben’s Tube. A Ruben’s Tube is a pipe with holes in it that gas passes through, creating something like a row of Bunsen Burners. When you send sound down it at certain frequencies, it alters the flames, creating a version of the sound wave in flames. These guys have done this with an entire board, basically creating a huge visualiser with flames. It’s ridiculously epic.