COMPACT-DISCS

Project Piracy


That title would lead you to think something sinister is about to go down but NOPE, Piracy is just an amazing art project conceived by Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco.

Investing over 200 hours and 6500 compact discs the guys created portraits of deceased musicians: Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Freddie Mercury using nothing but each artists CDs…

Check out their handiwork below and head over to this website for the full deal.

10

8-TRACK TAPES

Part One

Ridiculed today as the essence of obsolescence, the clunky, primitive 8-track tape brought about a social change of the same magnitude as the epochal Supreme Court decisions and the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

The 8-track tape, introduced in 1965, consisted of an endless loop of standard ¼-inch magnetic tape, housed in a plastic cartridge. On the tape were eight parallel soundtracks, corresponding to four stereo programs. Although it was developed by Learjet for aviation playback, the technology became an instant success when auto makers began installing tape decks in cars. Prior to the 8-track tape, music playback at home was limited to vinyl records, expensive reel-to-reel decks and the radio,and, in the car, to AM radio only. The easy-to-use, self-activating decks and small, lightweight cartridges for the first time allowed the driver, and not the radio station, to choose the music, thus insuring the format’s success. The popularity of the system encouraged the rapid development of 8-track tape components for home stereos, capable of recording and playback, making it possible for listeners to access their music on a single, portable format, at home and in the car. With its ease of use and flexibility, the 8-track tape quickly overtook the sale of large, heavy, fragile,vinyl records, to become the largest segment of the retail music market in the early 1970s.

To be sure, 8-track tapes had their drawbacks. While the self-playing, endless-loop required no attention while driving, it could not be fast-forwarded, rewound or cued, only played through. To hear a certain song, one had to listen the entire track. Fitting the 10-12 songs of an album into the tape’s four 10-minutes segments meant that the track order of vinyl recordings was not respected (a huge problem for albums without breaks between tracks like Dark Side of the Moon or clear narratives like Tommy). The most egregious offense was the sometimes-unavoidable splitting of longer songs between two tracks, which entailed a fade-out mid-song, a long silence followed by the tape head (loudly) shifting to the next track and then a fade-in to the rest of the song. Serious audiophiles and fans stuck with vinyl.

Inferior in sound quality but capable of rewinding and allowing for a kind of random access, cassette tapes replaced 8-tracks in the early 1980s. While the tapes are now emblems of the past-ness of the 1970s, the 8-track inaugurated the era of portability, multi-platform capability, and, most importantly, personal choice in music–the basic functionalities we expect all devices to provide. Modern consciousness radically differs from that of even 50 years ago because we now have life-long, always available, highly-personalized soundtracks running constantly and shaping our days. We may have different equipment but we still inhabit the 8-track conceptual framework.

apple.com
100 Million Downloads In The Mac App Store

Apple:

Apple® today announced that over 100 million apps have been downloaded from the Mac® App Store™ in less than one year. With thousands of free and paid apps, the Mac App Store brings the App Store experience to the Mac so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes® account, and download and install them in just one step. Apple revolutionized the app industry with the App Store, which now has more than 500,000 apps and where customers have downloaded more than 18 billion apps and continue to download more than 1 billion apps per month.

And, as Jim Dalrymple notes:

Apple confirmed for me today that those 100 million downloads do not include downloads for its newest operating system OS X Lion. The figure also doesn’t include updates to apps delivered to users from the Mac App Store.

Finally, the figure doesn’t include apps that users downloaded to other authorized Macs. Can you imagine what that figure would be if all of those numbers were included?

Optical disc status: deceased

bloomberg.com
Sony To Post $1.3 Billion Loss

Grace Huang and Takashi Amano:

Sony will also take about 25 billion yen of impairment charges for its overseas disc manufacturing operations as demand slumps. Sony has nine production sites outside of Japan producing compact discs, including factories in the U.S., Russia, Australia and India, Kurata said.

I had completely forgotten that Sony created the compact disc — let alone that they were still making them. That this is a bullet point in this story says just about all you need to know about the state of Sony. 

Why I Don't Have Physical CD's

In 2006 I released a physical CD that took me years to compose, and $15,000 to publish. Long story short, it fell on deaf ears, and I have had that financial and emotional memory for years now.

But I’ve matured a lot these past 6 years, though I make very little money arranging these pieces (in fact, I almost gave up on everything last June.)

My digital singles store or donations is all I can afford to do. I can’t even afford to make shirts, sheet music, or physical CD’s yet, though people want them (and I’m working on them). I just have to keep this going, because every month gets better and I know it’s going to work out. I just have to believe.

BTW I already tried Kickstarter long ago, and failed. But things are different this time around.

Together we’re going to change the world. And so this idea, your support, and our awesome community means the world to me, and I’m not giving up on it.

Way of the Buffalo....

Read a news article this morning about CDs becoming extinct by as early as next year.  I’ve already seen great record stores close and Best Buy narrow their shelves a little each day.  I’ve been frequenting used CD stores a lot recently, and can only hope that they can last through this bitter change into the digital world.  Me and my 2000 actual, physical CDs are weeping…is anyone else saddened by this news, or is it just me?