Tech News July 2011

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1. The Cloud that ate your music

An article in the Arts and Leisure Section of the New York Times compares and contrasts the current ways in which listeners can access music via the “cloud” (a system for Internet access to data stored on a centralized server, rather than the user’s computer),  including:

  • Efforts by companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple to offer services that store an individual’s music collection in the “cloud” (which allows online access and syncing to multiple devices of music “owned” by the individual);
  • Internet radio companies such as Pandora (which extrapolates individual playlists from users’ likes and dislikes) and Dar.fm (a free service that records radio stations — like TiVo for radio — and, as a bonus, conveniently indexes any music from those stations that has been electronically tagged); and
  • Streaming services (such as Rdio, MOG, Napster, Rhapsody and Spotify), which offer huge catalogs of music on demand (and transferable to portable devices) for some time as subscription services for a monthly fee. 

2. Ballet points the way for digital presence

Research commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts has identified a gap in supply and demand for meaningful online content and highlights the Australian Ballet as a company that has made innovative use of digital media.  The AB's website includes picture galleries, video and background information. The company also maintains a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Behind Ballet blog, with contributors including senior artist Juliet Burnett, and regularly issues Twitter feeds.  (Source: The Australian)

3. Microsoft offers free analytics for Twitter add-in

Analytics for Twitter allows users to query Twitter directly in Microsoft® Office Excel 2010. Utilizing the free PowerPivot Excel Add-in users can perform their own analysis such as who are the top Tweeters, what #hashtags are they using and do they have a positive or negative tweet tone.   (Source: Microsoft.com)

4. Flurry: time spent on mobile apps has surpassed web browsing

Mobile app analytics firm Flurry says that daily time spent in mobile apps has now surpassed web consumption. The average user now spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet. In June users spent an average of 81 minutes daily on mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes on the web.  (Source: TechCrunch.com)

5. On profits, proliferation, and piracy

It's a reasonable assumption that theft equals loss of income. After all, if somebody has stolen the thing you're selling, why would they turn around a buy it? Recent studies, however, have shown little impact on sales, and sometimes an increase in sales, where piracy occurs. The logic is that when something is accessible, people can find it and sample it more easily. Then they are more likely to want more, or better. This could have a potential big impact on sales of physical products and digital content.   (Source: ArtsJournal/ArtfulManager)

6. Out of Fear,  colleges lock books and images away from scholars

Many university collections are curtailing wide online access to their vast libraries, in part because they contain "orphan works," whose copyright owners can't be found.  There is currently legal uncertainty regarding the sharing of such works.  A university that goes too far could end up facing a copyright-infringement lawsuit.  (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education)

7. Pushing back against legal threats by putting fair use forward

Two scholars at American University have written a new book called Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, which offers advice to educators on how to use clips of music, movies, or other forms of popular culture in their work without the hassle and expense of getting copyright permission for each snippet and without exceeding the “Fair Use” limitations of U.S. Copyright Law.  (Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education)

8. Radio stations go back to the future

In the shadow of the initial public offering of Pandora—the Internet radio service that recommends music based on a listener's tastes—terrestrial radio stations might seem destined for oblivion, especially the listener-supported public stations that specialize in niche markets like classical music and jazz. But in fact, two of the area's top purveyors in these genres—the all-classical WQXR and all-jazz WBGO—are embracing digital tools to position themselves as thriving multi-platform hubs. Even as the jazz and classical music industries face their own troubles with record sales and concert attendance, the stations that distribute the music are poised for a renaissance, fueled by live-streamed performances, HD broadcasting, social media and mobile applications.   (Source: Wall Street Journal)

9. Social Media and the Arts: a groundbreaking new study

Theatre Bay Area has commissioned a new report on the social media habits of 207 arts and cultural organizations from across the country called “The Tangled Web: Social Media in the Arts” .  The report, which was developed in conjunction with a year-long intensive workshop series called Leveraging Social Media designed by noted social media expert Beth Kanter, provides Bay Area nonprofits with in-depth guidance on how to take advantage of social media with a limited amount of time, resources and staff.   (Source: ArtsJournal/NewBeans)

10. What big media can learn from the New York Public Library

Despite looming budget cuts, and dramatic technological changes in the storage and dissemination of knowledge. the library is flourishing and putting out some of the most innovative online projects in the country.  (Source: The Atlantic)