Jul 01


Google Acquires Songza

Author: kateni

As of 1pm on Tuesday July 1st, Songza is officially part of the Google Family.



For those who don’t know, Songza is a music playlist streaming service from Long Island that has gathered about 5.5 million users in its 6 years of existence.

Songza’s curation algorithm—or its “concierge” option, is unlike any other service in that it takes into account the activities the listener is participating in at the time of day and creating a playlist to fit that specific, unique environment. The range of activities is extensive—ranging from “Lounging In a Cool Hotel” to “Waking Up On The Right Side Of The Bed”, and my personal favorite, “Shopping At A Vintage Store”.

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Jul 02


In anticipation of Jay-Z’s upcoming album Magna Carta Holy Grail, the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on July 1st that they would be tweaking their rules regarding Gold & Platinum Certification for digital albums. Jay-Z announced earlier this summer that the first 1 million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail will go to Samsung Galaxy phone users, and available 72 hours before the album’s wide release on July 9th. 

These new rules will align with RIAA’s rules for sales of digital singles: “Going forward, sales of albums in digital format will become eligible on the release date, while sales of albums in physical format will still become eligible for certification 30 days after the release date”
says Liz Kennedy, the Director of Communications and Gold & Platinum Program at RIAA. 

Continue reading→

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Nov 07


Sacred Hills EP is a short, sweet snapshot of the long and winding journey of a man named Matt Costa. The E.P. has four tracks; two unpolished (but superior) classics hidden in the middle surrounded on either end by more sing-along, bigger produced songs. In other words the intro/outro tracks are nice, but like a geode, the gems are in the middle.

The single and opener, “Good Times” is a large celebratory sound reminiscent of the The Beatles, with colorful horns and that happy folk-rock feel, but the lyrics are somber, speaking of a return to hard times…a return to truth, to “the man I once was.” Back to reality. Matt is clever here, offering an economically timely piece. Roundabout the second chorus you get this feeling of, “Aha! I see what you’re doing here!”

The second track, “Never Change”, is the stand-alone classic.  It could have come from the past 80 years of music. The soundscape is reminiscent of Donovan or even an old Woody Guthrie ballad. Costa’s tired voice hinges on the feeling of a theme song or the ending credits to an old Western.  It’s almost got a smirk to it though…actually the whole album does. While the album spins, especially during “Never Change,” you feel a satisfactory buzz and when it ends, you wish it hadn’t.


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Oct 30


Right now, as I write this, sitting next to me are two of my acoustic guitars. My new Martin sits by my desk, its warm, rich mahogany gleaming in the low light. I can almost smell it from here. On the neck a rare and beautiful rosewood from East India is laid where my fingers go, along with solid Black Ebony and Sitka Spruce details. And then there’s my Taylor. The top is a crispy crackling Sitka Spruce, making it loud and bright. Indian Rosewood runs across the back and sides of my instrument, and this fingerboard is a solid piece of ebony, a deep, durable but extremely rare wood.

So let’s get this straight…in my room right now, I have mahogany, rosewood, ebony, and Sitka Spruce. Common sense makes it seem wrong. In most countries, these are illegal to harvest. In fact, ebony can now only be found from one country in bulk, the small Eastern African country of Cameroon. But still, when a well-versed guitar player walks into a guitar shop, he or she will insist on therarest woods on the planet. Why?

Back in the 1930’s C.F. Martin & Co. was producing instruments of mahogany, Brazilian Rosewood, and other high-quality tonal woods from all over the world with free reign.


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Oct 11


Pandora and the Internet Radio Fairness Act

Author: calia

When you’re listening to a popular radio station, you are bound to hear many of the same artists continuously—over and over again. It’s like a playlist on repeat. Clearly, these mainstream artists are making quite a bit from these big commercial radio stations, right? Well, they are earning more than your smaller unknown artists who aren’t heard on broadcast radio, but there are other stations who are also giving these big performers another big boost, much bigger than broadcast radio. Internet radio sites like Pandora are currently paying half of all their revenue towards performance fees while stations such as SiriusXM pay only 7.5%.


Pandora being one of the leaders of Internet radio, is forced to pay these high amounts in artist royalties by the RIAA. Pandora is proud to support artists, and wants to continue to do so, however they believe that it should by no means be in this discriminatory fashion. A new act has been introduced by Congress called the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which addresses “this discrimination by extending to internet radio the same standard used to determine virtually all copyright rate-setting processes, including satellite and cable radio, allowing us to compete on a level playing field” (Pandora Radio Blog).

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Sep 27


We at Oniracom have crafted a fully packed playlist with songs that have been personally selected from each staff member. This marks the first ever edition of our “Monthly Staff Playlist.” Be sure to come back at the end of each month for more and more playlists created by our staff here at Oniracom. This month includes loads of tracks from Frank Ocean, as our office just can’t stop listening to his new album Channel Orange. You’ll also see other tracks from new album releases such as Love this Giant from David Byrne and St. Vincent, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind by Ben Folds Five, and many more. While listening, take a look at which staff member chose what and why!

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Jan 12


coachellaIt’s that time of year—the hype for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival 2011 has arrived! Rumors of scheduled artists and headliners have tainted the web. Over 10,000 message threads and 400,000 individual posts occupy the official Coachella Message Board alone. Line-up wish lists from fans take up countless independent blog sites as well.  While the actual 2011 artist lineup will not be released until the end of January or beginning of February, the history of the music festival assures festival fanatics that this year’s will be nothing less than sensational.

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Mar 26



Click Read More to see Videos of some Great Live Performances

In a time when the music industry is constantly worrying about, questioning and adapting to changes in the way that people acquire and listen to music, there is one thing that hasn’t changed. The power and draw of a great live performance.

Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead don’t need to fear declining physical album sales because of two things: 1) these bands are leading the way by adapting to the digital age of music and 2) These bands know that they have a team of fans that will fight snow and storm to get to their live shows.

These bands have established their reputation by writing great music and putting on shows that draw crowds in. Whether they incorporate leaps in live music technology—like on the last Nine Inch Nails Tour where there was a sheet of lights that would switched on and off in reaction to the movements by the members of the band—or if they strip back the flashiness and allow their songs to communicate in a simple and humble manner. The key is create an atmosphere that will connect with the fans and get them excited.

Live music is incredibly powerful—seeing the strain and the emotion that a musician puts into the music can take a song from enjoyable to meaningful. Live music can inspire people, change ones day, change the way one feels and, by doing so, change lives. When one watches a live performance by a great band, there is a feeling like nothing else that overtakes a person. If you haven’t felt the shiver that runs down ones spine or a wave of happiness that makes you want to move then you have been going to the wrong performances. (Also, there are some great videos about the power of music at whymusicmatters.org I suggest the video about Willie Johnson)

So what is my entirely unprofessional and terribly biased advice to the music industry and to musicians in general. It’s the same advice I would give to any business: focus on doing what you do well.  In the case Musicians: focus on writing and playing your music well. Allow your music to connect with your fans during your live performances and your fans will take care of marketing and buying the music, tickets and merchandise.

That said, I wanted to share a few of my favorite live performances as models.

Click Read More to see Videos of these Live Performances

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Feb 04


MusicDNA - MP3 on steroids?

Author: jimmy

For all you peeps who don’t have the attention to read full articles; here’s the low-down on the new digital music file MusicDNA:

  • Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach, who worked on the first MP3 player in 1993, and Karlheinz Brandenburg, the inventor of the MP3, revealed the “Music DNA” files at Cannes’ Midem music conference.

  • The “MusicDNA” file will be able to update with new information whenever the file is activated. “We can deliver a file that is extremely searchable and can carry up to 32GB of extra information in the file itself, and it will be dynamically updatable so that every time the user is connected, his file will be updated ,” Bach said.  Update examples would include - blog posts, tweets, music, lyrics, videos, artwork, tour dates, etc.

  • The information given with the legally downloaded “MusicDNA” files will update automatically, but pirated files will remain static.

  • There will be a beta launch in spring. If all goes well with the beta launch, the full roll out of the “MusicDNA” files is expected summer 2010.

  • Independent labels including UK-based Beggars Group – home of Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead – as well as Tommy Boy Entertainment and Delta records in the US are on board, though no major labels yet.

  • Each “MusicDNA” track will likely cost more than $1.29 - what iTunes is charging for their newer tracks.

“Out of a rusted old VW Beetle we are making a Ferrari,” said Bach Technology’s Stefan Kohlmeyer. “We are taking an existing idea, giving the end user a lot more and making that file much more valuable — like transforming a tiny house into a huge villa.”  Good stuff.

Check out www.musicdna.info for the latest info


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Jan 28


So many artists, record labels, and management companies are struggling to adapt with the industry online.  The ones who have not adapted have collapsed in on themselves, but those adapting are trying to stay afloat in what we can call the new music economy (coined by Greg Rollett of genyrockstars.com).

One of the biggest “issues” that music companies are having in the new music economy is piracy and unauthorized copying.  As Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies bluntly puts it:

The single most effective way to stop people from copying your music is to stop making music. If that’s not an option (and why would it be?) then accepting that this is the world in which we live is a good start towards successfully negotiating the new media environment.

This is the only way selling music works:
Fans will Hear—> Like—> Buy your music

I could explain this in my own words, but instead I’ll paste in this reference from a blog post by Andrew Dubber to explain it.  This explains exactly why you need to quit worrying about piracy to survive in the new music economy:

Music is pretty much unique when it comes to media consumption. You don’t buy a movie ticket because you liked the film so much, and while you might buy a book because you enjoyed reading it so much at the library, typically you’ll purchase first, then consume…

But music is different - and radio proves that. By far the most reliable way to promote music is to have people hear it. Repeatedly, if possible - and for free. After a while, if you’re lucky, people get to know and love the music. Sooner or later, they’re going to want to own it…

But either way - whether it’s a pop tune, a heavily political punk album, or an experimental, avant-garde suite - the key is very simple: people have to hear music, then they will grow to like it, and then finally, if you’re lucky, they will engage in an economic relationship in order to consume (not just buy and listen to) that music…

That’s the order it has to happen in. It can’t happen in any other order. There’s no point in hoping that people will buy the music, then hear it, then like it. They just won’t.

To read the rest of the article, click ‘Read More…’

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