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Music


— Music

238 labels down: Is Spotify fair to artists?

It's been a week of intense speculation as to the role and future of Spotify within the music industry. On Wednesday of last week the UK-based distributor STHoldings put out a strongly-worded statement (apparently since withdrawn) announcing its decision to pull the catalogues of 238 record labels from the service, as well as from Napster, Rdio and Simfy. The statement reignited the debate as to the role of Spotify and similar subscription-based services within the music industry, and it's a debate that hinges on what Spotify is, or, more crucially, what it replaces. Read More
— Music

Colorfly portable music player takes Hi-Fi on the road

The modern smartphone has quickly become an essential part of modern living. It's a powerful portable computer, a high resolution camera, and a mobile communications center. However, if you're of the school who thinks that just because such a device can also play music, there's no need to spend good money on a separate audio player - the Colorfly Pocket Hi-Fi C4 pro may well be the dedicated music player to change your mind. Hidden within a gorgeous walnut outer shell with hand-carved motif and controlled by deliciously old-school physical buttons and sliding volume pot, the black circuit board heart of this music player is home to some top notch tech with one purpose - to deliver audiophile-pleasing, Hi-Fi-quality audio. Read More
— Music

SLUG device allows for copying of any streamed audio

Perhaps you’ve experienced this frustration before. There’s a piece of audio on a website that you want to use in a project of your own, and it’s playing right there on your computer, yet you have no way of copying it – short of holding a microphone up to your speakers, that is. Well, Kenneth Gibbs and Seena Zandipour want to change that. They’ve invented a little gizmo called the SLUG, that can reportedly obtain lossless recordings of any streamed audio being played back by a computer or other electronic device. The music labels will no doubt be about as happy to see the emergence of this thing as they were when blank audio cassettes first hit the stores. Read More
— Music Feature

Review: The Kitara digital guitar synthesizer

Way back in January 2010, a short demo video of a new digital instrument prototype was posted on YouTube by its creator Michael Zarimis, and went viral. From the millions of views, a list of prospective buyers was drawn up and the Misa Digital Guitar soon began its journey towards commercial availability. By the time the next CES show arrived, the instrument had ditched its gleaming white ABS plastic casing and gone over to the dark side, received a few design modifications, and been officially named Kitara for its public debut. The Kitara has now been made available for purchase, and I've spent the last few weeks getting to grips with this innovative new instrument - being rewarded for inventive experimentation and punished for bad playing technique. Read More
— Music

TonePrint app allows users to change stompbox tones using an iPhone

Playing electric guitar doesn't just require hours of daily practice necessary for smooth scales, clean rhythm and fluid solos, for many players it also involves a seemingly never ending search for that tone, the special something that makes them unique and instantly recognizable. This generally means procuring lots of effects pedals to help shape the signal from the instrument, or looking to existing artists for inspiration. For its TonePrint system, TC Electronic invited a number of today's top players to customize the sonic parameters of a new series of pedals so that users can get instant access to the dream sounds of the pros. Up until now, a TonePrint could only be uploaded to a pedal using a computer and USB cable but the new TonePrint app for iPhone allows players to wirelessly load a tone directly into the pedal via the guitar's pickup. Read More
— Music

App uses games and note recognition to help kids with music practice

A new teaching app has been released for iDevices where Mozart, Scott Joplin and Clara Schumann - and a friendly onboard instrument tuner called Toonr - join forces to make music practice less of a chore. The My Note Games system is said to be the first children's app to make use of note recognition technology and uses a suite of simple games to help kids develop sight reading, timing and tuneful playing skills. Read More
— Music

Laser "sound visualizer" may lead to better loudspeakers

We've been following the quest for the world's best speakers for some time but remarkably, there's still room for improvement. A key issue that plagues proper sound reproduction (and thus its perceived quality) is a phenomenon known as deconstructive interference. This occurs when audio signals overlap and cancel one another out, creating dead spots which, until recently, have been very difficult to track. Now, a team from Britain's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has figured out a clever way to make speaker sound "visible" - and they do it with laser light. Read More
— Music

Stunning Di Donato guitar has beautifully classic lines, modern feel

Whether it's cars, clothing or - in this case - guitars, there's something instantly appealing about Italian design. Combining the well-known tonal properties of aluminum and hardwoods like mahogany and rosewood, the hand-crafted Di Donato guitar is the brainchild of Edoardo DiDonato, who has applied traditional luthier skills used to craft violins, violas and cellos to create an instrument that is both modern and classic at the same time. Read More
— Music

Yamaha PDX-11 iPhone dock is designed to take (and play) the hits

If you want to fill a room with the sound of the songs on your iPhone or iPod touch, there are currently a plethora of docking gizmos that will amplify the sound from your device's speakers. While many of these products look like they're designed to be used primarily in the home, however, Yamaha's new portable PDX-11 is ... well, it's sort of like the ghetto blaster of iPhone docks. Read More
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