|Singles no. 1's
Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera
Moves Like Jagger
Gotye & Kimbra
Somebody That I Used To Know
Amy Winehouse starts
Amy Winehouse is starting her own record label to launch her goddaughterís
career. The singer is expecting 13-year-old Dionne Bromfield to better her own
success when she releases her first album next month on Amyís own Lioness
Records. Amy sings backing vocals on Dionneís album and has a close relationship
with the teenager and thinks she can have a long and fantastic career.
Death Row Records back in
Music publisher EverGreen has signed a deal with WIDEawake, the Canada-based
development company that acquired the assets of Death Row Records earlier this
year, to be the worldwide administration company of the legendary rap label.
With the new joint venture, WIDEawake extends EverGreen's rights to market,
promote and collect royalties on all the copyrights and master recordings in the
Death Row catalog, including more than 10,000 released and unreleased songs by
such artists as Tupac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt, Daz
Dillinger and Nate Dogg. It also includes never-before released albums by
Crooked I, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, RBX, The Lady of Rage, Warren G, K-Solo, Danny
Boy and DJ Quick, among others. In addition, Death Row is expected to generate a
number of new releases in the near future, like a new album of unreleased Tupac
material to commemorate the rapper's June 2010 birthday.
Full Beatles catalog
re-mastered for CD re-release
The Beatles' complete catalog has been digitally re-mastered for a worldwide CD
release on September 9. The 12 Beatles albums and the "Magical Mystery Tour"
soundtrack will be re-issued to coincide with the release of "The Beatles: Rock
Band" video game. Each of the CDs includes expanded booklets containing original
and newly written liner notes and rare photos, and for a limited period each CD
will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. Two new
Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released on the same day. The
collections have been re-mastered at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London over a
four-year period. It will be the first time that the first four Beatles albums
will be available in stereo in their entirety on CD. The "Past Masters Vol. I"
and "Past Masters Vol. II" compilations have also been combined as one CD title.
A second boxed set, titled "The Beatles in Mono," contains all of the Beatles
recordings that were mixed for a mono release.
SanDisk memory cards new
physical music format
A new physical music format to rival CDís are preloaded SanDisk memory cards.
slotMusic has the support of major some record labels, including EMI Music, Sony
BMG, Warner Music and Universal. It is expected that artists like Oasis, Amy
Winehouse and Coldplay will be featured on the new format. The preloaded cards
have a capacity of 1GB and will enable users to play the music on a variety of
different platforms including mobile phones and MP3 and video players. The
MP3-based tracks on the cards are encoded at a high-quality 320kbps bitrate and
are DRM free.
Death Row Records sold
Death Row Records, the hip-hop record label that released albums by artists
including Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg, has been sold to Music Group for $24
million. Global Music Group bought the label and the label's entire back
catalogue as well as the rights to some unreleased material by Tupac Shakur. The
label was previously owned by Suge Knight.
John Mellencamp album to
be released in new high-definition audio format
John Mellencamp's new album "Life, Death, Love And Freedom" that is slated for
July 15 will be released in a new high-definition audio format named CODE. CODE
technology was developed by the albumís producer T-Bone Burnett and a team of
engineers and creates high-definition audio files that are virtually
indistinguishable from the original masters. To prevent any compatibility issues
the album will be packaged as a two-disc set, with the standard edition of the
album on CD and the CODE version of the album on DVD. "Life, Death, Love And
Freedom" will be available at Starbucks locations in the US and Canada as well
as at traditional retail outlets.
Physical CD singles to be
extended with ringtones
In a new effort to revitalize sliding physical CD sales, the music industry is
adding ringtones calling the releases "ringles." Each ringleis expected to
contain 3 tracks to include one hit song, a remix, an older track, and code for
redeeming a ringtone online. Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Universal Music
Group are going to be the first to release ringles starting October.
White Stripes release new
album on memory stick
The White Stripes have now a special memory stock release of new their album "Icky
Thump." The duo are issuing their new album on a special USB Flash Drive in the
US. Following Keane, who released a single on the format, the complete album
will be available on memory sticks. The USB connectors are limited to 3,333
copies of each White Stripe member.
CD sales down again
CD sales are still decreasing. 62% of US downloaders purchased a physical CD of
their favorite artistís last release versus just 28% who paid to download one or
more individual tracks, according to a new study. The number of US consumers
that purchased 1 CD in the last six months has declined by 15% since 2002. In
2002, approximately 63% of Americans bought a CD in the previous six months.
This number is now around 51%. This demonstrates that consumers are still
willing to buy CDís of established acts and artists they are familiar with.
However, when it comes to experimentation, people are less willing to spend
10-15$ on an unfamiliar artist and risk disliking the music. For that purpose,
downloading tracks seems a much more alluring option.
New Fratellis single on
USB stick format
The Fratellis have released their new single ďBaby FratelliĒ on a USB stick.
About 7,000 Fratellis sticks are for sale at HMV stores in the UK. USB stick
singles were piloted last October with Keaneís single ďNothing's In My WayĒ
which sold out in one day.
Starbucks starts record
label Hear Music
Starbucks has started its own record label. The development is part of a
concerted push by the company to expand its entertainment-based operations. The
record label will be called Hear Music, which is the label already affiliated
with the compilation CDís sold at Starbucks stores. Starbucks will be partnering
with Concord Music Group for the new label. One of the artists rumored to be in
negotiations with the new label is Paul McCartney.
Downloaded Bob Dylan album
cannot fully be burned to CD
Downloaded versions of Bob Dylanís latest album from the iTunes Music Store is
said to cause loss of 4 of the tracks when it is burned to CD. Those tracks are
only made available as video files. The CD version of "Modern Times" comes as a
14-track CD that includes the audio of the 4 video files as included with the CD
is a DVD containing the 4 videos.
Fraunhofer develops watermarking technology to fight online music piracy
Fraunhofer claim to have successfully tested a software system, based on their
own digital watermarking technology, for tracking pirated audio files in
peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks. The Fraunhofer approach should be an
alternative to digital rights management systems, which require special players
and are prone to hacking, while watermarking technology does not.
troubles for Sony
Sony BMG's attempts to protect its CDís against piracy continued to be a source
of sorrow for the company in early December: Soon after recalling 5 million
discs that contained intrusive copy-protection software, Sony BMG acknowledged
another 5.7 million more CDís pose a security risk for consumers. Those discs
contain another form of copy protection, which could allow hackers to break into
users' computers. Among the affected titles are Santana's ďAll That I Am,Ē and
Alicia Keys' ďUnplugged.Ē Sony has released a software patch, which is available
to fix this new problem. The company has no plans to recall the CDís or offer
Sony BMG hit by law suits
over controversial anti-piracy software
Sony BMG is sued by the State of Texas over its controversial anti-piracy
software. An advocacy group also filed a separate class-action complaint. After
the Sony BMG company agreed to recall millions of CDís with copyright-protection
software that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers, the company has now
been hit with two lawsuits over the issue. The Texas Attorney General has filed
the suit under a new Texas state law forbidding such hidden tracking tools.
Sony BMG recalls copy
Sony BMG is recalling music CDís containing copy-protection software that acts
like virus software and hides deep inside usersí computers. The XCP
content-protected software used by Sony BMG, which was developed by British
software developers First4Internet, leaves the back door of computers open for
hackers. Sony BMG also announced that it will distribute a program to remove the
software from a PC where it jeopardizes security. The withdrawal is set to
affect millions of CDís from artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan
although Sony has not provided exact figures or the names of the artists
affected. Microsoft's anti-virus team announced that it will add a detection and
removal mechanism to clean personal computers of Sony's DRM copy-protection
software. The software installs itself only on PCs running Microsoft's Windows
operating system. The flaws of the copy-protection software became acute last
week, when the first computer viruses emerged that took advantage of the
security holes left by the program.
bootleg CDís bigger thread than online file-sharing
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has acknowledged that
online file-sharing is less of a threat to music sales than bootleg CDís. Last
week the RIAA revealed that music fans acquire almost twice as many songs from
illegally duplicated CDís as from unauthorized downloads. A total of 29 per cent
of the recorded music obtained by listeners last year came from content copied
onto recordable media against only 16 per cent from illegal downloads. Legal
downloads accounted for four per cent of music acquisitions, while official CDs
accounted for almost 50 per cent of the total.
Sony stops selling
Sony's music is abandoning its CD's that use built-in technology that limits
copying. Such CD's let users copy their music once for free onto a personal
computer, but use the Internet to charge a fee for subsequent copying of the
However, Sony has now announced it will stop publishing them, mainly because its
message against illegally copying CD's for uses such as in file-sharing over the
Internet has sunk in by now.
Microsoft reaching out to recording industry over CD copy protection standard
Microsoft is trying to make a pact with the recording industry on the future of
copy-protected CD's. The proposed deal would see Microsoft support an
industry-wide copy control platform built into its next-generation Longhorn
operating system. Some independent labels are said to be against any such
proposals, as this would grant Microsoft the mandate on CD copy protection.
Boys album causing controversy with copy-protection
The Beastie Boys' new album "To The 5 Boroughs" will become the number one album
in the US this week. The Beastie Boys' first album in five years is expected to
sell around 400,000 units this week and outsell the number two album to two to
one. Meanwhile, the new album has caused some controversy as it includes a
copy-protection to limit the ability to rip the CD in a PC. The CD installs the
copy-protection software without telling users it is doing so.
New CD copy protection in the
The recording industry is working on new technology that must prevent consumers
from making copies of CD, which could put some significant new restrictions on
legally purchased music. Tools under review by the major labels would limit the
number of backups that could be made from ordinary compact discs and prevent
copied, or "burned," versions from being used to create further copies. Both
Macrovision and SunnComm International are developing competing versions of the
digital rights management (DRM) software. In addition to adding a new copy
protection on CDs, SunnComm and Macrovision each say their CD burning
limitations could be applied to digital download businesses such as Napster or
Apple Computer's iTunes, which do not put any restriction on burned CDís.
consumers sue recording companies over anti-copy CD's
A group of consumers wants major recording companies like EMI, Universal, Sony
and BMG to stop releasing copy-protected CD's and ask to reimburse consumers.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI),
the suit is baseless. The copy protection technology was introduced two years
ago by record companies who faced a sales slump and wanted to stop pirated CD's
reaching the black market. The IFPI in a statement claims that "European law is
clear that record companies and other copyright holders have the right to
protect their works through technical means."
Warning labels on copy-protected CDs must stop further decline in music sales
A survey by GartnerG2 has found that much of the customers who expect to be able to rip a CD but cannot due to a copy-protection, will be alienated toward the music industry. This may very well contribute towards a further decline in music sales, if the CD is not labeled as being copy-protected. The survey suggests that the music industry must add mandatory warning labels to the CDs to avoid seriously alienating consumers.
||New digital copying rules to prevent digital file-copying
In Congress, lawmakers are considering a bill that would require all digital devices and the software that runs them to include a copyright protection system. The system would make it impossible for consumers to make unauthorized copies of music, movies or television programs. Currently, individuals can legally record TV shows, make digital audio files of CDís and lend books to friends. Such activity is protected under a federal "fair use" statute, which takes into consideration most consumers' need for flexibility. New regulations being proposed significantly erase fair-use rights in the name of piracy prevention. If certain of the anti-piracy measures are actually converted into law, consumers may have to pay extra to play a CD in more than one player and be no longer able to transfer music from a CD to an MP3 player.
||Settec introduces updated audio copy-protection
Settec from Korea claims it has developed a new and improved audio copy-protection names Alpha Audio M3 Type. When using the protection it is possible to access the audio tracks directly and convert them to MP3 and share with other people having the same musical interest, using a P2P network: Although the used technology is not new, Alpha-Audio M3 Type also adopts some new technology; as it enables playing through direct access of original music tracks and not through compressed encrypted audio data files. Alpha-Audio M3 Type adds digital signature and authentication process in the protected disc which acts as an authentication key to connect to Digital Rights Management service server. With the built-in P2P option, legitimate CD buyers can interact together in a chatting room where one-way streaming service by labels is made possible. The format also enables an artistís video clips to be played from the same music CD.
||Lawsuit accuses recording industry of selling defective CD's
Five major record companies are targeted by a lawsuit charging that their new CD releases are defective and should either be barred from sale or carry appropriate warning labels. The suit was brought by class-action specialists of law firm Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach, on behalf of two Southern California consumers. The lawsuit follows criticism from Dutch consumer electronics maker Philips, co-creator of the compact disc, that the anti-piracy CD's are in fact technically flawed. The suit names Universal Music, BMG Entertainment, EMI, Sony and Warner Music. The recording industry has recently introduced CD's with hidden electronic locks to prevent personal computers from copying the disc and in some cases, even playing it.
||New Celine Dion CD confirmed to be damaging PC/Mac
The Campaign for Digital Rights (CDR) claims that attempting to play the latest Celine Dion CD in a new iMac will result in the machine having to be sent for repair. Celine's latest album ďA New Day Has ComeĒ features copy-protection to prevent it being from played and duplicated in a PC. According to earlier reports, this copy-protection was believed to be capable of damaging the PC's firmware and according an official Apple dealer it is definitely the case. Once the CD is inserted into a new iMac, it cannot be removed and the machine cannot be restarted. CDR reports that a number of CDís from Sony-owned companies such as Epic and Columbia may also contain the new copy-protection. Titles include new Star Wars Episode II soundtrack, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny's Child. The CDís carry a warning stating ďWill not work on PC/Mac.Ē
Marker pens and tape defeat CD copy-protection
CD copyright protection programs such a Cactus Data Shield 100/200 and KeyAudio can be defeated using marker pens and electrical tape. Using a marker pen and covering up the outer ring of a copyright protected audio CD will do the trick. On copy protected CDís this outer track is corrupted, which prevents copying, or even playback by PCs but is ignored by regular CD players. Simply covering up the outer track disables the protection, allowing a disc to be played as normal in a PC or Mac. Another technique was successfully used to defeat the copyright protection on Natalie Imbruglia's lastest album ďWhite Lilies IslandĒ CD. By applying just a half inch of electrical tape to the edge of the shiny side of the CD and aligning it with the very edge, the data track session ring visible on copy protected CDís the copy-protection can be surpassed.
||Midbar's Cactus Datashield conquers Japan
The developers of Cactus Datashield, Midbar, has announced that the CDS processor, the encoder of the Cactus Data Shield copy control system, is now installed at the five largest manufacturing plants in Japan. The smooth entrance of CDS protected CD's in Japan signals that this market is ready to adopt copy control technologies in order to address the problems with home copying. Midbar debuted in Japan two months ago with the release of 1 million CDS protected CD's.
New audio format to replace regular CD's
Britney Spears' music will be available this summer on a new type of disc for small handheld players. The discs look like CD's an inch across and are housed in plastic cartridges. They can store any kind of data, including video and software, and strong on copyright protection. Dataplay is the company behind the new technology. The company's partners include big hardware companies Toshiba and Samsung, which are planning to make players for the discs. BMG, Universal and EMI are going to put out music on the new discs. Dataplay is also with independent music company Zomba Records, who will release discs featuring its stars, including Britney Spears and 'N Sync. Some music companies will release the discs with hidden extra albums, which can be activated by entering codes bought at their websites for $8 to $13. The extra disc space can contain videos and lyrics, accessed by connecting a Dataplay player to a computer. When connected, a user can also store data on the discs, 250 megabytes on
each side. Data can only be written to the discs, not erased. Blank discs costing $5 to $12, and the first music players, for $300 to $370, will hit stores at the end of May.
||Play along with Jimi Hendrix tracks
Line 6, inventors of digital modeling guitar amplifier technology, and Experience Hendrix have worked together to develop exclusive content for GuitarPort, the world's first computer-based guitar peripheral. The content, derived from some of Jimi Hendrix' most classic songs, will provide consumers with the opportunity to play along with some of his greatest hits. GuitarPort is also the portal to a guitar experiences through the Internet. Line 6 has created an optional GuitarPort Online membership that provides a growing library of backing tracks for jamming or practice.
||Cheaper flexible CD to replace its hard counterpart
German scientists have developed a flexible CD that can be folded back and forth. The new CD can be used for both music and computer software and is said to be 30 to 50 percent cheaper than its current hard counterpart. The new CD was presented at the Cebit in Hannover.
||Democratic congressman takes up the glove against copy-protected CDís
CDís equipped with some sort of copy-protection will soon be obsolete if Democratic congressman Rick Boucher gets his way. He plans to introduce legislation banning, or at least regulating, compact discs that include anti-copying technology. Boucher's complaints are twofold: Consumers may not know they are buying crippled discs and that the new discs do not work on all players. In response to Boucher's prediction of legislation, the RIAA promised that the recording industry would fiercely oppose it.
||Avex first Japanese label to release copy-protected CDís
Midbar has announced that Avex will be the first Japanese label to release copy-protected CDís using its technology, called Cactus Data Shield. Avex however said that only some of the tracks on each CD will be protected with Midbar's technology and that the unprotected songs will play on computers. The copy-protected CDís are scheduled for release this month and will carry a label informing consumers of the protection. Meanwhile, Universal Music Group announced that they want to protect a large proportion of their new releases as early as midyear using Midbar's Cactus Data Shield.
||Consumer wins CD copy protection lawsuit
The record companies of singer Charley Pride have agreed to stop tracking listener habits and to warn consumers that the artist's CD is not compatible with MP3 and other players. A california woman sued Music City Records, Fahrenheit Entertainment and digital rights management company Sunncomm in September, alleging that actions they took to exert control over the album "Charley Pride: A Tribute to Jim Reeves" illegally violated consumer expectations.
||US law experts questions CD copy protection recording industry
Record companies' efforts use copy protections on CDís are starting to raise concerns by US lawmakers. A 1992 law allows music listeners to make some personal digital copies of their music. In return, recording companies collect royalties on the blank media used for this purpose. For every digital audio tape, blank audio CD, or minidisc sold, a few cents goes to the recording industry. Rep. Rick Boucher has now publicly expressed his concerns about the fact that some of these technologies may prevent or inhibit consumer home-recording using recorders and media covered by the Audio Home Recording Act. According to Boucher, any deliberate change to a CD by a content owner that makes the allowed personal copies no longer possible would appear to violate the content owner's obligations.
||Phillips takes on music industry over CD copy protection
Phillips, one of the major manufacturers in the CD industry is taking on the music industry. Phllips wants a label on all the media that are protected stating that the product is not a CD and does not give the same quality as a CD, since it does not play on all CD-players.
||Safeaudio foresees overall CD copy protection adoption in 2002
According to TTR Technologies, who developed SafeAudio and recently partnered with Macrovision to promote the system to the music industry, by the middle of this year the whole music industry will use copy-protection technology on their CDís. TTR however acknowledges that the music industry must first resolve the issue of consumer rights with respect to including the copyright-protection on CDís, before adopting any technology. There is also some concern about what copy protection technology does to music quality, as SafeAudio intentionally corrupts the music data stored on an encrypted CD. According to SafeAudio quality is not being influenced by its technology as it changes the music data at the bit level, flipping a fraction of a disc's billions of 1ís and to 0ís. SafeAudio says that this degree of data corruption, while enough to block an attempt to copy a track onto a hard drive, will not affect the quality of the playback or affect the disc's physical playability. Also,
consumers using CloneCD, which copies a track to memory using Raw mode and then converts it to WAV format, are disturbed by SafeAudio as well as tracks still contain the data corruption, which prevents them from being copied again.