Tech / tunes links 8.14.07 – Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

by Josh Kimball

*MediaPost comments on recent DRM-free moves by the labels, pondering whether they feed into plans for free, ad-supported models in the future (in addition to subscription and download models). We’ve talked about this crap at the day job for a couple years. A quote: “For now, music labels are just trying to stimulate competition by giving other companies a way to compete against Apple, which will sell about 20% of all music sold, not just digital, in the United States this year.”
*TechCrunch covers Strayform, a startup that enables musicians to upload their music, then beg for things. Bands make proposals – asking for donations and offering, among other things, to mention contributors in future songs. Fans, of course, get to download the music and maybe catch a tech-savvy band on the rise.
*gBox – not owned by Google – will be selling Universal’s DRM-free tracks. Google will just serve up ads (there was confusion about this, including by me, when the announcement of UMG’s partners came out). Is this “California-based startup” they’re talking about the gBox that doesn’t support Firefox? (IE only?!?) [via]
*Pitchfork interviews Manu Chao. The Dude’s favorite song, hands down, is “Bongo Bong.” A quote: “Tradition is something that is in permanent evolution, you know? It’s difficult to think about what’s going to be traditional in 500 years. Maybe traditional will be Motörhead. They will find a CD of Motörhead and say, oh, that’s the music they listened to 500 years ago.” On the dude tip: Rock-inspired baby stuff.
*Mashable hauls out 30+ tools for iTunes; Display lyrics! Set up hotkeys! Show your latest played tracks on your blog! Exhausting.
*DJ Envy presents mixtapes for mobile phones, to be distributed through Cellfish, which I wrote about a while back. I have been wondering about ringtone subscription plans that introduce an element of surprise and serendipity into the subscriber’s life (not just the people around him or her) for a while now. I think the fun of a whimsically changing ringtone outweighs the utility of knowing which ring is yours for the majority of people under 40. Okay, maybe 30. [via]
*I had no power all last night, and just got it back this morning. I am tired. [via my airconditioner]
*AT&T admits it’s censored other bands, before Pearl Jam @ Ooza ’07.
*Sampled + Sorted charts the Top 20 music 2.0 sites for July 2007. Oooh. Pretty colors.
*Yanko Design‘s combo MP3 player / CD player has wicked style. The nutcracker of MP3 players! [via]
*Dinner with the Band TV! [via]
*Great YouTube collection of unusual music performances on TV (but inexcusably leaves out Tay Zonday’s Jimmy Kimmel performance!). [via Getty Images]