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MP3 Players & Digital Audio

HD Radio Increasingly Goin' Mobile

October 24, 2008

Audi of America joined a growing list of car makers that will offer HD Radio as standard equipment in new cars.

Audi will include HD Radio on many of its vehicles starting in calendar 2010 for the 2011 model year, it said. Other companies offering HD Radio as a standard feature in at least one model include Hyundai, Ford and Volvo.

Other luxury car makers who offer HD Radio as an option include Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

Currently approximately 1,800 AM/FM stations broadcast in HD Radio and there are now 900 multicast (extra) HD Radio channels on the FM dial.

Now let's make sure we fill all that air time with some really good music or slice the many different genres so thin that we have individual channels for individual groups -- why not?

Why not indeed!

More at TWICE.

Get Your Lala Out for 10 Cent Music

October 21, 2008

The major record labels plan to start selling digital songs for a dime apiece. The catch: You can't carry them with you on an iPod.

Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG's president of digital business and U.S. sales, came up with the new pricing approach for the "Web song" while in discussions with Lala Media, a digital music retail store and service. The Web song is stored online and can be listened to only through a computer's Web browser.

Sony, the three other major record labels and thousands of independent labels plan to sell Web songs via the revamped website Lala has unveiled.

They hope customers will also buy, for an extra 79 or 89 cents, a version of the song they can download and transfer to portable devices or burn to CDs. But the 10-cent Web song demonstrates the willingness of the music industry to seek new revenue models in an era of declining CD sales.

Hesse said he wanted to give consumers a way to discover new artists and buy music in an inexpensive way.

Now he's on to something ... 

Check out what a dime will get you these days at

Get more at the Los Angeles Times.

Wii Takes It to the Music

October 21, 2008

Nintendo has launched Wii Music, letting up to four players mimic the real-life motions of playing instruments with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers.

Players will be able to mimic the motions of more than 60 real-life instruments using the motion-sensitive Wii Remote and Nunchuck controllers to learn to play along with more than 50 songs -- and the game encourages players to improvise, making their own music, mixes and arrangements.

Unlike games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which are very competitive, the goal of Wii Music apparently is simply to be creative and have fun experimenting with instruments, styles and musical elements.

Songs available in Wii Music include familiar melodies like "Ode to Joy" and pop tunes like "Every Breath You Take" -- along with tunes Nintendo fans know and love. 

Time for more singalongs with Mario! 

More at Digital Trends.

TRU Going iPod Crazy!!!

October 15, 2008

Take Care of Those Ears! Watch the Volume ...

October 13, 2008

Millions of youngsters across Europe could suffer permanent hearing loss after five years if they listen to MP3 players at too high a volume for more than five hours a week, EU scientists warned Monday.

(Am sure that would track nicely with the North American market would look -- and sound --like ...)

The scientists' study, requested by the European Commission, attacked the concept of "leisure noise," saying children and teenagers should be protected from increasingly high sound levels -- with loud mobile phones also coming in for criticism.

There has been increasing concern about exposure from the new generation of personal music players which can reproduce sounds at very high volumes without loss of quality, noted the study.

Risk for hearing damage depends on sound level and exposure time. More and more young people were exposed to the significant threat that leisure noise posed to hearing.

Commission experts estimate that between 50 and 100 million people listen to portable music players on a daily basis.

If they listened for only five hours a week at more than 89 decibels, they would already exceed EU limits for noise allowed in the workplace, they said. But if they listened for longer periods, they risked permanent hearing loss after five years. 

More at the New York Times.

And thanks to Kid's Health for the ear shot.

Do We Need a Digital Bill of Rights?

October 6, 2008

TechCrunch, much like the Digital Freedom Campaign, believes we need a Digital Bill of Rights to serve as "a consistent policy governing everything from Internet Protocol regulations to intellectual property on the Web."

The Digital Freedom Campaign focuses on the first three issues laid out in the TechCrunch piece -- "The Right to Use and Reuse Content," "The Right to Control Digital Property On Your Own Device" and "The Right to the Free Flow of Information."

The presidential election gives us a chance to turn the page and move forward, with support and guidance from policymakers, into a bright digital future.

Now let's see if anyone in Washington is listening.

Read more about it at TechCrunch.

And then cast your vote!

Muxtape Back with Indie Focus

September 26, 2008 has changed its tune.

A month after the NYC-based music site was shut down by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for copyright infringement, founder Justin Ouellette announced that it will re-launch with a new focus.

The six-month-old site had allowed users to create playlists or mixtapes of up to 12 songs and share the lists with friends. According to a message on the Muxtape home page, the site will now become a service for bands to promote their music on the Web.

The revamped Muxtape will join a long list of Web firms like Nabbr, TuneCore and Music Nation, which are trying to cash in on helping aspiring artists disseminate their music online without signing up with a label.

Do We Need Another Format? Try slotMusic -- Soon

September 22, 2008

In the latest attempt to shore up sales of music on physical media, SanDisk and the four major music companies have announced a new format called slotMusic.

SlotMusic will be introduced in mid-October at such retail outlets as Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Each of these little babies will contain an album, plus extras, on a compact memory card that can be played on mobile phones, PCs and some portable MP3 players. The cards are inserted into vacant slots on phones and other devices. The slots are increasingly common on newer phones, but the placement of the slot depends on the phone model.

SanDisk is a maker of flash data storage card products.

People close to the record companies and retailers said they view the effort as an experiment.

Mickey D Says 'You Deserve a Zune Today'

September 17, 2008

Radio Radio

September 16, 2008

Radio beats CD and MP3s when it comes to music listening, according to a recent survey.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they listen to music nearly every day, according to the report.

The radio hasn't lost its luster with music listening fans despite the popularity of CD and MP3 players and other sources to tune into sound, a recent poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports has found.

A plurality of adults (42%) said they still prefer to turn on their radios to listen to music. That beat the 25% of respondents that said they most often use a CD player when listening to tunes and 14% that use an MP3 player.

Just under 10% turned to satellite radio, while only 5% listened over their computer and a scant 1% used a tape deck.

Not surprisingly, young adults (45%) were more likely to use an MP3 player than their elders (22%), the survey said.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they listen to music everyday or nearly everyday.

While more popular with younger listeners, 69% of respondents said they rarely or never download music, while 18% said they do that occasionally. Of those that download, 71% said they do it legally, while 3% admitted that they pirated tunes.

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