Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
So Apple's newly released iLife '08 looks pretty nifty, but we here at Digital Vigor are more concerned with the musical aspect of iLife that is GarageBand. I'll be giving it a thorough test-drive as soon as my copy arrives, but for now, let's take a peek at the new stuff that Apple has mentioned.
- Magic GarageBand
- Multi-Take Recording
- Visual EQ
One of the most surprising new features in my mind is the Magic GarageBand feature. Similar in idea to iMovie's Magic iMovie feature, it asks you to choose a style & specific sound for each instrument, then generates a basic song for you. We'll have to see just how powerful this feature is.
Definitely a more weighty feature than Magic GarageBand, arrangements allows one to label sections of the project as "Verse" "Chorus", or whatever you like. Very handy for keeping track of what's where.
Now here's a feature seen in true pro recording software. You can define a region in GB and it repeats, each time creating a new take for you to lay down another go. It saves them all & will let you audition each one. A definite time-saver, methinks.
This looks like a killer plugin. Brings to mind some of Elemental Audio's EQ plugins, although much simpler, which is definitely a good thing when it comes to adding features to GB.
Another pro-level feature; really juices up GB. There was already very basic panning & volume automation available previously, but now tempo and effects can also be automated throughout the song, which can definitely lend a project more polish.
That's it for features that Apple has highlighted on the iLife '08 website, you can check out more about it there as well as see screenshots of these features. Apple did introduce a new Jam Pack, the Vocal Jam Pack, alongside iLife '08. All of their Jam Packs have definitely brought, in my mind, an excellent new palette of loops and sampled instruments to work with for whatever your projects might require, but vocals, to me, usually need to be recorded live. We'll see what this new Jam Pack offers to GB users.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Universal Music Group is set to notify Apple that it will not be renewing their long term contract to sell digital music through Apple's iTunes Store. Instead they will continue with a "short-term" sales agreement, which would mean Universal's catalog would remain on iTunes for the time being.
"Though it is unlikely to have sweeping effects immediately, the change could give Universal more flexibility in its dealings with competitors to iTunes -- for instance enabling the company to offer other digital download stores parts of its catalog exclusively to other services."
The exact impact of shift is not entirely clear, but record labels have been reportedly concerned with Apple's increasing dominance in digital music sales.
The reason appears to be its availability in a new audio format... yes, again.
Thanks to several generations of music fans wearing out LPs, 8-track tapes and cassette tapes, the album has sold more 35 million copies worldwide since it was released in 1973 and has spent more than 1,550 weeks in Billboard's Top 200 albums--that's about 30 years.
When CDs were the hot, new thing some 20 years ago, the album returned to top of the charts when we all ran out and replaced the album yet again, confident that we would never again have to buy another copy (except, of course, after "lending" it to a friend). Then, in 2003, the band's label released the album in the Hybrid SACD (Sony's Super Audio CD) format, promising a "mind-blowing" 5.1 surround sound mix. Despite the format's lack of success, the band's SACD album sold more than 800,000 copies.
Now the album is climbing the charts again, thanks to the unprotected 256kbps AAC version available through Apple's iTunes Plus. Since Apple's DRM-free music experiment with EMI was launched in May, sales of the album have gone up more than 270 percent.
Of course, since those numbers were released, the album has slipped a bit on the iTunes charts, but it has also been joined by the band's Wish You Were Here and The Wall, which have both spent time in the top 20.
All this may lead one to wonder when The Beatles will finally come together with Apple and let their music be sold through iTunes. Perhaps one day soon, the band will start singing a different tune (apologies to Roger Waters).
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Federal Communications Commission issued a notice (PDF) asking for members of the public to voice their opinions on the merits of combining the nation's two satellite radio broadcasters.
The notice marks the FCC's acceptance of the two companies’ applications to merge. The combined assets of the two media players were valued at approximately $4.7 million when the deal was first announced last February.
The FCC now has less than 180 days to decide whether to approve the proposed merger, placing the deadline sometime in December of this year. The Department of Justice must also add its approval for the deal to proceed. The DOJ is charged with assessing whether the combination of the only two companies broadcasting audio programming via satellite within the United States would constitute an illegal monopoly.
The two original satellite broadcast licenses granted to XM and Sirius by the FCC 10 years ago expressly stipulated that no single licensee would be "permitted to acquire control" of both licenses. However, proponents of the merger have argued that the preponderance of alternative audio devices -- from iPods to music-playing mobile phones -- has substantially altered the marketplace, ensuring that consumers will continue to enjoy a wide variety of competitive offerings.
The deadline for interested parties to file comments, or petitions to deny the merger, is July 9, 2007. Comments can be filed electronically using the FCC's online form.
<DailyTech: June 12>