Beginning next year, New York City residents may no longer have to search for a hotspot. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week plans to replace the city’s phone booths with new Wi-Fi-enabled kiosks complete with keypads to make calls on, charging stations and tablets.
You know, I’m old enough to remember using rotary phones. Having said that, I am in awe of today’s telecommunication technologies. Despite whatever challenges you may be going through, it’s a great time to live in NY (at least technologically wise). I actually read this story in a local paper. This is indeed a huge story! In essence, all the 5 boroughs in NYC will soon have hotspots all over! Our Mayor de Blasio of NYC made it possible that all old phone booths would be converted to hotspots. I am so thrilled to read this, because not only is this a serious upgrade for NYC, but it also has created more jobs. To my understanding, each booth would be replaced with a Wi-Fi KIOSK that will allow you to make free calls anywhere in the U.S. Now, I’m not sure if this mean we will be able to connect our phones to its Wi-Fi, but if it does, I hope my readers understand how significant this is. If so, please don’t take this the wrong way, because my readers should know that I love everyone regardless of where you come from, but I need to be blunt. All of blog fans needs to share this with non-English speaking family and friends (Spanish speaking in particular); they better not procrastinate and learn technology, ’cause now is the time to do so!
I knew so many friends, especially friends from the Dominican Republic that would spend tons, and tons, and tons of money on those bullshit phone cards. This cards cheated a lot of people out of their money; if you bought a $5 dollar card, the company would charge you $2 dollar fee just for using the card. So, if your calling your loved one overseas, and it costs 10 cents a minute (just to round it off), they’ve taken 20 minutes away on the first minute. Honestly, I don’t understand why people from other countries living in the states don’t use Skype? It’s incredibly cheaper, and they don’t charge you outrageous fees. In fact, if we could connect to the Wi-Fi via KIOSK, you can install Skype on your phone and call it a day! It’s so exciting to see technology like this emerging in our life time! I am very curious, I can’t wait! Read article here.
It’s almost a rite of passage every artist goes through in the modern music industry. The moment he accepts that he will not be able to rely on music sales to sustain his career. That people are not buying music like they used to. And never will again.
This particular article I found is almost a year old; but the subject matter has started since the internet was made available to the public; which is the music industry’s claims that they are loosing substantial money due to the digital age. I have ALWAYS disagreed with this, and I will forever call bullshit. As I’ve said before, the reality is that the music industry is simply shitting a brick because they don’t have the same control and monopoly as they’ve once did before. The days of walking in to a live radio station, and paying the DJ 6 figures to push a new artist’s album are over. The days of charging $18.99 for a 25¢ CD is over. The industry comes down on the very fans that has made their artists popular; yet they still refuse to address the fact that music is too expensive in our current economy. Organizations such as the RIAA, DMCA, and so on, thought that they were teaching fans a lesson, by taking children to court and making their parents responsible for music downloads they most likely didn’t even know existed on their child’s computer. For what? To make examples out of the fans? But guess what? It didn’t slow down piracy back then! Why? It wasn’t because fans are bad people, it’s because they couldn’t afford $80 in CDs every week on a minimum wage salary. Even families considered middle class would have difficulties affording that! What reduced piracy was in fact the streaming. Why? Because it is affordable. Most people can afford the very reasonable $10 bucks a month; for unlimited, high quality legal downloads. Not only were you gaining revenue, you also got free advertizing be allowing streaming services to allow tools for sharing music to subscribers.
Now the music industry is still bitching! Bitching that they are not making enough money. When will the industry realize that the game has changed, and you can’t work as though the old structure still exists. First off, even before streaming…. Wait, before even cassette tapes, artists has NEVER relied solely on record sales. Truth be told, their money came from things like, commercial endorsements, performances, TV appearances, collaborations, etc. None of these things have changed. Why does the music industry still think they’re entitled more (other than pure greed)? Kind of makes you understand torrent users doesn’t it? The music labels better figure out a way to give the fans more, then and only then will they make money. If they are smart, they would see to it that they do not stop the production of vinyl entirely. What I love about the new streaming technology, is that now big names are now forced to share the same platform as lesser artists, which means they now have to work harder. I think as fans of a particular artist, we have the right to expect that they would work harder for our money; as well as give us more than just “here’s my album, now buy me.” You can read the article I’m referring to here.
You know, I don’t like speaking for other people; however, I think it’s safe to say that if you’re a Donna Summer fan, this album was the best album of all times! I can be sure of this not just because she is one of my favorite disco queens; but because when this album was released it hit triple platinum, and sold over 8 million copies! How’s THAT for your nerves! LOL. But you know, I’ve noticed something that I’ve never heard or read anyone talk about. Donna reminds me a lot of Barbra Steisand in a way; in that she was one of the very FEW artists who could drop about 6-8 albums, and within all those albums have repeat songs, and still make money! How crazy is that! Pay attention to the songs in this album; you’ll notice that several of these songs are in several other albums! That’s OK though, because I love both Donna and Barbra equally. I’m not going to begin to attempt to list all of my favorite Donna songs, cause the list is just too damn many. But I think the “Bad Girls”consists the heart of many of my favorites, as with most Donna Summer fans. They include “Walk Away,” “Dim All The Lights,” “One Night In A Lifetime,” “All Through The Night,” and “Sunset People.”
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The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are looking closely into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming music streaming service, according to multiple sources. The Verge has learned that Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers, which will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming offering. DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits, but it appears the FTC has taken the lead in recent weeks.
I’ve read quite a bit of articles concerning Apple’s secret plans to literally shut down Spotify’s popular free services. This is in efforts to try and cut the competition. However, in my research I’ve found that other companies are trying to offer free services as well, in response to Apple’s new streaming services. Quite frankly, I don’t understand this, simply because Apple is the leading online music and movie retailer! What the hell does Apple have anything to Worry about? Then it dawned on me! There isn’t much more these streaming services can offer for the same price! Everybody pretty much has the same shit! That’s when I realized that, that’s what Apple is afraid of! No one is going to just jump up and leave their current service; after saving years worth of playlists, if the next service is basically doing the same thing! Having realized this, what the streaming services are doing now is offering exclusive content; striking exclusive contract deals with various artists, hoping that would help bring more business.
I’ve been following music steaming for quite a number of years; and what I’ve realized is that, it is not easy starting a music streaming business. One of the main reasons is that, there isn’t a lot of money to be made in music streaming “as a business.” The reason being is that most of the revenue made, is used to pay royalty fees, pay the labels themselves, Pay organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SoundExchange that police the copyright holders music. After you finished paying everybody, there is very little pocket profit that is made for the business itself.
In all honesty, I really do think that Spotify went too extreme with the free accounts. Because in the long run it created a shit war amongst the major labels; and none of these company can offer us anything more than what their doing now? A significant portion of those free leachers on Spotify don’t even appreciate what goes on in the back ground to make that “free account” a reality. Let’s just hope that Apple is not successful in getting rid of the “free” portion of Spotify’s service; because right now, the music you’re listening to is a privilege not a right. Just remember, no artist will work for free, just as you would not work for free! Always keep that in your head the next time you’re listening to music. If you’d like to read more on the article click here.
Hi guys, Spotify sent out an offer I could not refuse! Via Android/mobile application, they offered members a special deal, 3 months for $0.99! Hmmm, could this be in direct response to Apple’s new streaming service, which will offer 3 months free at the end of this month? Well I got to tell you, after playing with Spotify for the first 15 minutes, I still don’t like it (I’m sorry to say). Not enough to be willing to drop Rhapsody. I know a lot of users love Spotify because of it offers free accounts; but “free” should not be your only criteria for declaring a company to be “the best streaming service.” Second, you should know that you’re not getting it free because the Spotify guys are nice people; you’re getting free service because the subscribers and ad revenue is offsetting your leeching/freeloading!!!! So everything has a cost, be it seen or unseen! By the way, If Apple has anything to do with it, the free accounts could possibly go away inevitably (tonight’s article).
Spotify’s mobile application still needs a lot of work. I figured, what the hell, I’ll try Spotify for the last time and see if I can come up with more good things to say about it (other than it’s free accounts). Unfortunately, I could not find many. It is unfortunate that Spotify has 15 million PAID subscribers (and about 40 million active users) to Rhapsody’s only 4 million (not sure if this is only U.S. numbers). Free users of Spotify should be thanking paid subscribers, cause they carry most of the royalty costs. However, Spotify’s application is still shit in my opinion. Goes to show you what good marketing team, and a good contract between labels can do. But I also think that Rhapsody is focusing their marketing efforts overseas (at least for a while); in countries where mobile technology is booming.
I’ll be honest, the only reason I’ve used Spotify, is because I couldn’t ignore that a significant more people use the service over Rhapsody. However, I also know that’s due to the fact that more than half are free account freeloaders/users. At the time, it didn’t make much sense to tweet/blog with Rhapsody, if Spotify is way more popular . Before I ever consider changing over from Rhapsody to Spotify, some significant changes need to happen. The biggest change that needs to take place is that, I need an option to save to SD. You can’t give users the option to download 320k files and only save on a phone with limited storage capacity (even a 32GB tablet is too small). Second, they must bump up the “save” limit to no greater than 10,000 songs, and 3,333 downloads! Believe it or not, this limit includes paying customers! With my Rhapsody account I have unlimited saves, playlists and downloads. Anybody who can’t see that as an issue, is not a real die hard music lover. I’m sorry, but real music lovers are always looking for space and download ability to satisfy their constant hunger for more music and diversity! Period. My musical tastes are way to eclectic and diverse to be limited to only 10,000; my iTunes alone is over 25,000 (and mind you, I deleted a lot of albums too). Unfortunately, I am 99% sure that this has to do with licensing; because as far as I can see, thousands of members had complained about it for quite a while. This does make sense, as it’s free users are triple it’s actual paid subscribers.
They also need to clean up their queue feature, it’s very sloppy, and it automatically deletes after a song is played. If I want to hear it again, I have to go back and add it (especially with a large queue. You’re better off creating a play list instead. I don’t like the fact that it automatically saves a radio station once you create one; assuming I’d like every station I create? When I subscribed and switched to pay, Spotify kept that stupid annoying “Shuffle Play” button in the middle of my search results. It felt like I was still in the free version. And the worst problem of all, when songs had expired from my old saved list, there was nothing to tell me that the license expired for that song. I had to keep trying to play the song before I figured it out, before I was just forced to delete it. I don’t have that issue with Rhapsody. Rhapsody removes expired songs from the mobile/web application. For the desk top, Rhapsody grays the song out, so that I know that the license expired. Lastly you have no idea whether a song is downloaded or not, there is no real indication, unless you have no signal and your off-line. Rhapsody changes the file’s color to easily let me know when a song is downloaded or not. So, sorry guys, Spotify still sucks ass in my opinion. In the end, I didn’t feel that Spotify was particularly intuitive either. Sorry.
I’m not saying that I would stick with Rhapsody forever, but for right now, it is the best for me, and far exceeds my expectations, and ease of use. To be honest, my only reason I wanted to try Spotify again, was because it made blogging incredibly easier for me. I was able to save some steps when Tweeting and Facebooking. However, after my second (paid) time around with Spotify, the extra steps doesn’t seem so bad after all. I’ll be cancelling it after my three months is up. I’ll continue to blog using the free version, just for you guys…. For my tweeted Rhapsody and Shazam links, it will not kill you to manually type the name of the artist in your Spotify to search for my tweeted songs. Sorry, but I get so much more the same price with Rhapsody.
Eighty-four percent of all online content consumed in Spain is pirated, according to a study of 2013 Internet trends commissioned by a coalition of music, movie, publishing and videogame companies. The April 9 report, which concluded that more than half of all Internet users in Spain download content illegally, is the latest fuel in the fiery debate over intellectual property legislation in the piracy-plagued country.
This article was kind of shocking to me, because Spaniards are very big on connecting with their culture; especially in regards to their music and dance. However, I am sure that the economic issues has a lot to do with the high numbers of illegal downloads; particularly speaking of their high tax rates. At the same time, I still kind of find this extremely baffling, and I have quite a few unanswered questions. There are soooo many free sites you can go to get free music legally; why would anybody still want to illegally download? Is it that they have become accustomed to old habits of illegally downloading music? How are poor Spaniards able to get this music if they cannot afford internet access? Are they sharing internet access, and if so how do these percentages reflect that? More and more American streaming services now have music of many cultures in their libraries, is the U.S. blocking other countries form accessing this music? I know that Rhapsody has invested a lot of money to bring streaming music to other countries like Spain. So in other words, this may be a greater problem than just the people of Spain desiring to stealing music just for the hell of it. I still truly think that for the most part, if people can afford it, they much prefer to purchase music legally (most of us desire the highest possible digital quality). Although I think movies are of a different matter though. Read more of the article here.
This is an extremely rare album, and I’m sure not too many people know of this group (unless you were a fan). Cymande is actually a British band, with a jazz and funk sound to their music. They actually make very good music in my opinion. However, this album was my first album (I believe this was their first release as well), and remains to be my most favorite from them. There are two songs from this album that I remember became really big hits. The first is a song called “Zion I,” which has heavy drum rhythms deeply connected to traditional African culture. The second song is called “Bra,” I remember hearing this song a lot over the radio, you can’t get any closer to jazz funk than this song. They have reunited some time in 2011 to produce a new album that was released in 2014. They have made a 360 degree turn; this album is nothing like the work they’ve did in their early career. It is almost all hip hop.
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What’s surprising is that the trend that boomed in the UK has now become a global phenomenon. The vinyl resurgence has already reached various parts of Europe (Sweden, Italy, France, the Netherlands), as well as the Asia-Pacific region (Japan, South Korea) and Australia. In fact, global vinyl sales increased by 51 percent in 2014, a year when the US vinyl sales surpassed those of the UK by almost $151 million.
This is a really interesting article, more news about the increase in sales for vinyl. Well, I guess what it really boils down to is the fact that people realize it IS inevitable that one day record labels will seize all vinyl manufacturing permanently; therefore vinyl is quickly becoming treasured collector items before our eyes. I’m also wondering the possibility if this can create new business sector? I must admit, I am very well informed of music technology, and even I was pretty taken back with this new “rebirth” of vinyl interest. My only question now is, could collecting albums become so expensive, that collecting albums will become exclusively for the “elite” group of people who can afford it? Will collecting albums be like Barbie doll collectors; just by the album without opening it only to resell it again at a higher cost? The number of sales shown in the charts I’ve seen are outrageous! To read more of this article click here. By the way, the above picture shows the best way to permanently damage your mint albums.
I think this was the first album I ever saw from Gladys Knight & The Pips. I was about 6 years old then. This continues to be my favorite album from them. However, this particular album Gladys Knight & The Pips: Imagination, is a special expanded edition on Rhapsody & on Spotify here. That I can think of, absolutely no one has Gladys Knights distinctive voice. During the peaks of her career, the power in her voice was definitely a force that could not be reckoned with. My favorites are “Every Beat Of My Heart”, “Midnight Train To Georgia”, and “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong”. Also, her rendition of Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” was jaw dropping (if you can get a hold of her 1977 live performance, it will knock you off your feet). Below is a link to one of their greatest hits albums.
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Will music from the likes of Adele, Arctic Monkeys and The Prodigy be available on Apple Music when it launches on June 30?
Wow! I didn’t ever expect to find this article about apple! Well, in essence the article states that Apple is not going to pay artists during 3 month free trials of iTune’s new streaming service. Say word? I would have never expected Apple to pull a bullshit stunt like this. Apple is not a fly by night company that no one knows about; this is an online vendor that is literally the driving force of the music industry. I can’t see any smart music artist wanting to sign up for a contract like this. Could you? Could you imagine how much revenue would be lost if Beyoncé were to come out with a new album right now, and NOT be paid for those first 3 months? iTunes would kiss Beyoncé goodbye, along with every other major artist! This is some bullshit right here, Apple has lost their fucking mind! Read more of the article right here.
Jefferson Airplane was one of the many huge rock bands of the 60’s-70’s. They sang a lot of psychedelic type music; psychedelic music was the kind of music that you could stomach unless you were drunk or high. Literally. LOL. When I think of Jefferson Airplane, I think of Woodstock and such. I wasn’t ever a true fan of this group; however, there were two songs from this 1967 album called “Surrealistic Pillow,” that has been my all-time favorites from them. The first is called is called “White Rabbit.” Grace Slick (lead singer) sang her ass of on this song. I absolutely love the beat in this song, it was so hot for a song produced in the 60’s era! When you first listen to it, it almost sounds like troops getting ready for the battle of their lives! But, when you actually listen to the lyrics, you realize they’re actually singing about drugs, which was not uncommon especially during the sex revolution. The second song which happens to also be on the same album is called “Somebody To Love.” I love “Somebody To Love” because it reminded me of the kinds of music that was written during the “Flower Power Era.” Although, in my opinion, this particular album isn’t psychedelic, but it has more of a “Mama’s and The Papa’s” sound to it. You just may like it.
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Going back to an old school reggae album called “Right Time (1976)” with The Mighty Diamonds.” This is one of my many favorite albums from The Mighty Diamonds. The song I really love from this album is called “Why Me Black Brother Why?” I don’t even hear anybody speak of The Mighty Diamonds these days. I do recommend that old school reggae lovers seek them out. There is one other ultimate favorite album of mine; however, it is extremely hard to get. It is not available on streaming; and I only recommend the original vinyl. The reason why I recommend the vinyl, is because the CD version has a lot of re-edits, and in my opinion, it is not as good as the original album released in 1979 (unless you can find a CD with both original and “Dub.” I guarantee you, once you start playing this album, you will play it over and over, I think it’s that good. It is not often that I hear an artist, and I like their entire album! This album is called “Deeper Roots (Back to the Channel) (1979)” and you can find the vinyl version on Amazon. It was on Rhapsody and Spotify (the dub version), but the license expired. Do you see the importance of “liking” your music, and sharing them, and playing them? Don’t let our culture die. Anyway, I feel it should be a must have in your reggae collection. My favorites are “Dreadlocks Time,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” and “Bodyguard.” Below are links to the album called “Right Time (1976).”
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I’m not sure if any of my Caribbean visitors would remember this album. Soca Earthquake by Machel Montano was one of the biggest soca album of 1987. Not sure how old he was when he did this album (I estimate probably about 13 years old); but when I heard this album, it was clear that music was in his blood then (and still is). I can’t believe it has already been 28 years since this album was released! There wasn’t one West Indian household that wasn’t either playing this record, or begging someone to make a copy of it for them. The biggest hit off this album was a song called “I.” “I” was the hottest song on the entire 4 song album. Everybody got up to dance when “I” was spinning on the turntable. In fact, people used to almost always request re-plays in my house. There was another song that was nice to, which was “Earthquake.” The other two last songs “School Days Soca,” and “Mother’s Child,” were ok, but they didn’t make me feel I wanted to dance. I think with 2 hits out of 4 songs, the last two tempo should have been a little faster in order to keep that momentum. Today, Machel Montano looks so different here. I know he’s had quite a bit of hits since then; but for me, I will always remember him for this album “Soca Earthquake.” You’d proably pay a pretty penny for this album now, cause it will most likely be an import (I think). However, here is the album on streaming.
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I was skimming through my collections and stumbled upon a very old song that used to be my favorite (still is). It’s a song called “Los Chucos Suaves,” by a guy named “Lalo Guerrero.” This song is so cool! I think this artist was way a head of his time, because as far as I’m concerned, this song is timeless. Twenty years from now you can play this song and still dance to his beat. It is the perfect song to introduce to your children early Chicano (or Xicano) music. You know, it kind of almost reminds me of the song called “Jump In The Line (1961),” song by Harry Belafonte. You know, that song that was in the movie “Beetle Juice (1988)?”
By the way, this was also composed by Lalo – Correction: it was Lord Kitchener that composed “Jump In The Line” (my bad). It was said that Lalo was the first Chicano Composer, and he wasn’t scared to show his heritage. He became one of the biggest musicians of his time, singing all kinds of sub-genres within Mexican music; which included children’s album. One of these children’s album was called “Lalo Guerrero Y Sus Ardillitas.” I am tempted to say that “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was a “bite off/spin off” of the album. It’s nice to do research, I would have never known. I also think that it is interesting to note that, Lalo was an important part of Chicano/Chicana history, yet there was no mention of him on Wikipedia’s page Alvin and the Chipmunks. I only mention this because I am pretty sure Lalo played a significant role in making that show/franchise popular. But I digress. To be honest my favorites are his danceable music. To my understanding his music became the voice of Mexican Americans. I didn’t see a large selection of Lalo’s music on streaming, but I did find one album that would give you a general idea for his music. However, I do recommend you do further research on him.
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According to Nielsen, sales of vinyl have grown an astonishing 260% since 2009. In 2010, only 2.8 million records were sold in the US—just a tiny fraction of total physical product moved. Last year, that figure had more than tripled, and 9.2 million units were moved.
I never could imagine that vinyl sales would skyrocket like that! You know, personally I haven’t met anyone who are die hard fans of vinyl (other than online); it was difficult for me to fathom that that many records were sold. Now this could only be that music subscriptions could possibly make CD’s and albums obsolete one day. It’s had to think about that but it is really possible that that could happen. Do you now see why we have to share our memories on social media and blogs? I think the mere fact that albums are being sold exponentially is a HUGE sign that albums are going bye bye. Then again, I’ve also thought of the possibility that this can grow in to a nitch business; to capitalize on the people that still value vinyls. In fact, I still see new music being produced in vinyl. I’ve always thought that was because of DJ’s still buying them. Maybe this can turn in to “limited time offers” or something. This will be interesting to see what happens in the future. If you would like to read the article click here.
You know, when I look at Aaron Neville, I would have never guessed that he would have the kind of voice he has. Aaron is a huge success story, and has managed to put out 4 platinum albums during his career to prove it. I think Neville is a great singer, but a lot of his music wasn’t my taste to be honest. However I should worn you, he is what I call “the remake king.” He has done a LOT of redoes of music from other artists. I’ve read one article that they’ve compared him to Sam Cooke. Well, I think that person need to get their ears checked; because not only do I think their music is different, but their voices are different. Neville is more of a “falsetto,” type of singer, were as Cooke projected his voice a lot more. Just my humble opinion. Now, as always, there is always a ying and yang to my reviews. Just because I don’t particularly care for most of his music, don’t mean he is not worthy of being written about. What makes him worthy is the duets he has done with Linda Ronstadt. I love me some Ronstadt! There is one song that I really loved from them called “Don’t Know Much.” There is also another song that was a huge hit that I like, it’s called “Tell It Like It is.” Maybe my visitors would like his kind of music?
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“If Apple wants to make a dent, it can by its sheer heft. It can simply throw gazillions of dollars at the problem/opportunity. There is nothing else like it,” he says.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the leading digital retailer would try their hand on music subscriptions. According to USA Today, apple will be competing with a similar business scheme/marketing to Spotify. They better come up with something that blows our mind! Then again, if they do have something awesome waiting for us, chances are it is for apple specific devices I would guess. This will be interesting, because in my opinion (at least in terms of new music), everybody is selling the same thing; so what more can they offer? I don’t know. I guess I should have realized this earlier when they stopped offering DRM free upgrades. I got to tell you, apple REALLY pissed me off with that. they were on my shit list for quite a while. Some of you die hard apple users may not understand where I am coming from. Apple makes outstanding products, I’m not saying they’re bad; however, I refuse to allow a company take me hostage against my will with their product. I lost a LOT of money when they took that DRM free option away, and I was forced to circumvent the issue by extracting my music through other means; otherwise, I would have been shit out of luck. iTunes has been on my shit list for a long time for that reason. Apple is said to announce this big news sometime next week at a conference. If you’d like to read the rest of this article, and watch a short video, click here.