Tech News April 2010
With big media companies grappling with ways to increase online revenues, a new survey showed 85 percent of Internet users believed that online content that is currently free should remain free.
2. Berlin Philharmonic Adjusts Digital Concert Hall Prices
The Berlin Philharmonic has adjusted the pricing structure for its Digital Concert Hall. Their Season Pass is being replaced by a new 12-Month Pass, which – for 149 Euros – now allows access to all live concerts and archive recordings as often as you want for a whole year. They are also reducing the price of their 30-Day Pass from 39 Euros to 29 Euros.
3. How Pandora Slipped Past the Junkyard
Pandora, a 10 year old company that offers free audio streaming of music, randomly chosen by Pandora based on user preferences, is starting to show signs of being a viable business. With the addition of an iPhone App and a deal to include a voice-activated Pandora application in Ford cars, the number of users – and advertising revenue – are growing rapidly.
4. Dispute Heats Up Over Proposed New Fees for Playing Songs on the Radio
The fight is heating up between the National Association of Broadcasters and the MusicFirst Coalition over proposed legislation to change U.S. copyright laws to add a performance right for the analog broadcast of recorded music on terrestrial radio stations. Broadcasters say the added fees would harm their businesses. Musicians and record companies claim it is a matter of fairness, since the performance right for sound recordings exist for digital transmissions, as well as for analog broadcasts internationally.
5. Ben Cameron: Why the Arts Still Matter
Ben Cameron, Program Director for Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, gives an inspiring presentation at a TEDxYYC conference on the dramatic impact that technology and other social trends are having on professional performing arts organizations
6. A Dream for Music, but Labels’ Nightmare
The vision that everyone anticipates, but which has not yet caught on, is an Internet music service “in the cloud.” Such a service would let people store their music collections on the Web and then stream them to any computer, phone, tablet or the coming wave of Internet-connected radios. Some of the barriers to making this a reality include the lack of interoperability of many hardware devices (Apple is likely to balk at letting people stream music to, say, Google’s Android phones) and the difficulty of negotiating acceptable licensing terms between the music labels and tech companies that want to develop cloud music services.
7. Online music royalties 'grow more than fall from CDs'
The royalties that UK songwriters, composers and music publishers get from online sales are growing faster than the decline from CDs and DVDs.
8. Digital comes to Florida Grand Opera's rescue
Lava Studio has applied the animation techniques used in advertising, television and feature films to a full-length, live stage production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville. They have devised a 22-by-40-foot screen at the rear of the stage and projected onto it accent images, whether dramatic storms, portraits that come to life or showers of musical notes to accompany Count Almaviva's Serenade to Rosina.
9. Effort to Widen U.S. Internet Access Sets Up Battle
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing an ambitious 10-year plan that will reimagine the nation’s media and technology priorities by establishing high-speed Internet as the country’s dominant communication network. According to F.C.C. officials briefed on the plan, the commission’s recommendations will include a subsidy for Internet providers to wire rural parts of the country now without access, a controversial auction of some broadcast spectrum to free up space for wireless devices, and the development of a new universal set-top box that connects to the Internet and cable service.
10. Texts Without Context
Several new books examine some of the consequences of new technology on the process of creating original writing and its impact on the intellectual property rights of authors and others.
11. Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold
Google and Intel have teamed with Sony to develop a platform called Google TV, to bring the Web into the living room through a new generation of televisions and set-top boxes. The partners envision technology that will make it as easy for TV users to navigate Web applications, like the Twitter social network and the Picasa photo site, as it is to change the channel.
12. Bringing Art Back to PBS
An article in the Wall Street Journal discusses how PBS should go about fulfilling the promise of Paula Kerger, the network's president and CEO, “to significantly expand the presence of the arts in our prime-time lineup."
13. Seattle's only all-classical music station to become listener-supported
Classical KING-FM (98.1) announced that, starting next year, it will do what other major classical music stations across the country have done in recent years — switch to a listener-supported model. Leaders of Seattle's only all-classical music station said declining ad revenue, changes in the industry and the economy led to their decision to switch from the commercial-advertising model that has supported the station for decades.
14. A new stage age: why theatres should embrace digital technology
A new national program in the U.K. delivered by iShed is offering six companies (or artists) who wish to use media technologies in their work a chance to win one of six £10,000 commissions to create work in a supported environment and with the help of mentors. The project is not set up to turn artists into geeks, or create shows full of expensive kit, but rather to explore whether technology can help people to take creative risks, collaborate, develop audiences and enhance and extend the reach of the live theatre experience.
15. It’s do-it-yourself time for orchestras
Many orchestras now offer an array of often direct channels to your eardrums: selling their own CDs and DVDs; providing live streams to your computer; making those streams available for some time after the fact; and offering downloads to be owned permanently.
16. Live Video Streaming of Master Class
A master class at the Manhattan School of Music by baritone Thomas Hampson on Mahler songs was offered for live video streaming, the first classical music event to be made available in this format via an iPhone/iTouch app.