perspective on technology

Every once in a while, I read something that reminds me that much of the world does not always see things as I do.

In a recent Rifftides post on Herb Geller, Doug Ramsey writes the following:

Amazon offers Herb Geller Plays at an inflated import CD price. The album has not been reissued on CD in the United States, but Verve, which controls the EmArcy catalogue, offers it here as an iTunes download. Those who comprehend that technology may want to investigate.

The part that woke me up was “Those who comprehend that technology.” Sometimes I forget that there are people, valuable music fans, that have issues with technology. As we look to technology as a means to make the creation and distribution of music, especially niche styles, easier and more economically efficient, we also run the risk of alienating large portions of our technophobe listening audience.

I am not sure what the answer is. Do we maintain the old ways of the industry, so as not to leave our Luddite friends behind, or do we simply write off the business of the technologically impaired as out of date and too hard to service? Is there a middle ground where we can use technology to its greatest effect and still maintain and develop the members of our audience who tend to be more…old school?

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DRM key to Linux’s consumer success? | CNET News.com

DRM key to Linux’s consumer success? | CNET News.com

“The consequences of Linux not supporting DRM would be that fixed-purpose consumer electronics and Windows PCs would be the sole entertainment platforms available,” Ayars said. “Linux would be further relegated to use in servers and business computers, since it would not be providing the multimedia technologies demanded by consumers.”

How about the DRM using content providers will be relegated to use by teen agers and grandmas because they aren’t providing their content in a usable form demanded by knowledgable and educated consumers?

George Greve’s response:

“Apple iTunes allows people to burn their tracks on regular CDs, which can then be re-encoded and file-shared easily–so is better described as ‘digital inconvenience management’ only. eMusic.com offers clean audio tracks without any restrictions. No DRM platform comes close to either of these in popularity.”

“So fortunately, it is up to the consumer to decide what the consumer market wants. And its answer is clear: It does not want DRM!” he said. “The sooner we bury the foolish notion of putting each and every use of a computer under control of the media industry, the sooner we can start looking for real alternatives.”

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Basement webcasts net major record deal for Scots singer – The Herald

Basement webcasts net major record deal for Scots singer – The Herald

Several record labels approached the aspiring 24-year-old after she used her website to entertain worldwide audiences of more than 100,000 a night.

The good news is this is a story of an artist using the net to start or advance her career. The bad news is the measure of success is still a major label deal.

I’m not saying that labels are all bad. They definitely have their place, but the real web/music/success stories will be when artists are using the web to gain artistic and fiscal freedom outside of the old school label system.

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Simon Lott’s Things @ Snug Harbor

I had the pleasure of hearing Simon Lott’s Things last Friday night at Snug Harbor. These weekend free midnight shows at Snug are turning out to be very cool. Simon and the guys really stretched out…much farther out than one usually hears at Snug Harbor, and there were still people there listening. Tally one for open-eared fans of good music.

The band was Simon Lott on drums, Tony Barba on tenor sax, Will Thompson on piano and Rhodes, and my fellow Lucky 7s member Matthew Golombisky on bass and likeable noise. People had sheet music on stage, so I am sure there were compositions, but most of what I heard sounded improvised. The music was heavy on texture and groove, sometimes simultaneously. This was the first performance by this particular combination of players, but the energy and communication could lead you to believe otherwise.

Keep your ears open for these guys, collectively and individually. They are making good music.

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