Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Music Category

Conversation at Chicago Metro with Joe Shanahan, Jeff Pazen and Aldona Urbutis »

In the late 80's, I was attending the University of Chicago, trying for the second time to complete my undergraduate degree. I was studying Physics and East Asian Studies. I started hanging out on the North Side of Chicago at the Cabaret Metro and Smart Bar where I discovered an amazing community. As someone exploring online communities at the time, I found myself learning more about what I wanted to learn - communities, culture, compassion, punk rock - than I was learning in school so I dropped out to become a regular DJ at Limelight and a occasional DJ...

Last.fm frees the music »

Last.fm just announced that:As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the Last.fm website. Something we've wanted for years--for people who visit Last.fm to be able to play any track for free--is now possible. With the support of the folks behind EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner--and the artists they work with--plus thousands of independent artists and labels, we've made the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free, the way we believe it should be.That's very cool, but what I'm also very excited about is:Free full-length tracks are obviously great...

Keigo Oyamada aka Cornelius »

According to Wikipedia, "Cornelius (born Keigo Oyamada (小山田圭吾) January 27, 1969 in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese recording artist and producer. Oyamada's first claim to fame was as a member of the pop duo, Flipper's Guitar, one of the key groups of the Tokyo Shibuya-kei scene. Following the disbandment of Flipper's Guitar in 1991, Oyamada donned the "Cornelius" moniker and embarked on a successful solo career." Keigo's mother is my mother's cousin. Keigo's grandmother moved to Tokyo in her youth while my grandmother stayed in Northern Japan to run our household. Keigo and his cousins became our local...

MusicBrainz and BCC announce deal »

MetaBrainz SiteThe BBC selects MusicBrainz as its new music metadata provider and incorporates MusicBrainz data into its music website at bbc.co.uk/music. For all the details on this announcement, please see our press release.I'm a former board member of and supporter of MusicBrainz/MetaBrainz. It's to CDDB as Firefox is to IE. (Although it does a bunch of other stuff too...) This deal with the BBC is a big win and an important step in becoming ubiquitous in the main stream. Congrats guys!...

Last.fm and CBS »

Congrats and "Good job!" to CBS and the Last.fm team! CBS and Last.fm announced that CBS will be acquiring Last.fm for $280 million. I think it's a good fit and the team seems happy with the deal. Last.fm have blogged about it and CBS has an announcement. I was an angel investor and a series A investor in Last.fm. UPDATE: BBC has a good article - Social music site Last.fm has been bought by US media giant CBS Corporation for $280m (£140m), the largest-ever UK Web 2.0 acquisition....

Cornelius in Shibuya »

Mizuka and I went to see my second cousin Keigo and his band (he's aka Cornelius) perform in Shibuya today. These Tokyo shows are sort of a family gathering and we got to see little Milo who had gotten a lot bigger and my aunt who appeared to be doing well. The show was great as always. He played Wataridori which is one of my favorite songs and the song that he released under a Creative Commons license for the Wired CD. He had some really cool videos using lots of low light photography and photo animation. There was a...

SwiMP3 »

I got my SwiMP3 a few days ago and have used it three times so far. I had been using Dolphin mp3 player recently. They are very different devices. Both of them mount as an external drive on my Mac and both only play mp3. (No iTunes music store for you!) The Dolphin has earbuds that double as ear plugs, but the rubber buds tend to fall off and I've almost lost them a few times. The SwiMP3 uses bone conduction. The bone conduction works fairly well, but is weak on the high-end compared to the Dolphin. The SwiMP3 also...

last.fm update »

Last.fm just pushed an update that just made my day. There is a new event system including user event posting where you can see who is going to the event. There is a new flash radio player, a "taste-o-meter" and a new downloads area. I love the "new site smell". Congratulations to the last.fm team for a great update. Disclaimer: I'm an investor in last.fm...

Madonna Concert »

I'm on the board of Pia, which organized the tickets for the Madonna tour in Japan. It was the first time that the official ticketing agent used an auction system to sell the premium seats. Yesterday, I went to see the last show of the world tour in Tokyo Dome. We watched from the box seats or "suites". (I was probably supposed to be taking care of our VIP guests instead of playing with my camera phone but...) It as a bit weird having staff in uniforms pouring wine and bringing food while watching Madonna flipping the audience the finger...

Jonathan Coulton concert in Second Life »

Mark your calenders: On Thursday, September 14 at 5PM (SL/Pacific), PopSci.com (the online home of Popular Science) and Creative Commons will be hosting a special concert in Second Life featuring Jonathan Coulton as well as popular Second Life musicians Melvin Took, Kourosh Eusebio, Etherian Kamaboko, and Slim Warrior. The entire show will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 license, so feel free to record and share it. More information is available on this wiki.People often say that the Internet destroys community be cause you don't have to go to the movie theater or the concert to watch or...

Nano Kabamo »

Last year, I blogged about how one of my favorite DJs from my DJ stint in Chicago back in the 80s, Jeff Pazen, filled up a Nano with music and made a few great playlists for me. They were playlists by club, year and tone. I nearly stopped carrying my iPod around and just carried the Nano picking the playlist that best suited my mood. It was like playing that favorite DJ tape over and over again. The problem was, the iTunes Music Store music was registered under Jeff's name. In other words the Nano was "loaned" to me, so...

A Series of Tubes »

AlterNetSenator Ted Stevens: The Remix Posted by Melissa McEwan at 6:57 AM on July 11, 2006. Last month, Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) gave a rather stunning speech on the issue of net neutrality, in which he made such clueless statements as: "I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday," and "[T]he internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes." Now, the good folks at Boldheaded have turned his "skillful fusion of...

Yuzo Kayama meets Fatboy Slim »

Amazing mashup of Yuzo Kayama (a Japanese singer from the past) and Fatboy Slim. On YouTube link to video Via Utsumi UPDATE: Yuzo Kayama still sings and can pack the house, but this original movie is probably from the 60's. UPDATE: http://www.youtube.com/v/-jVzMGZDz3A appears to be a new working link....

Remix David Byrne and Brian Eno's latest »

David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Remix Site Launches Today Submitted by Eric Steuer on 2006-05-09 04:57 PM. May 9, 2006 For the first time ever, fans are able to legally remix and share their own personal versions of two songs from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The interactive forum bush-of-ghosts.com has been developed to celebrate the reissue of the album 25 years after its original release. By agreeing to the terms of download, users will be able to download the component audio for two...

Invested in last.fm »

I've generally stopped making new investments other than in particularly exceptional situations. However, last.fm is one of those exceptions and I wanted to let you know that I invested together with Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn and Stefan Glänzer, CEO of 20six Weblog Services AG in the UK in October. It is the first time I've invested in this trilateral formation, but with the company in the UK, a lot of potential partners in the US and a big market in Japan, this team seems to make sense. Apologies for the late announcement, but we've been working on some deals...

French Attempt to Legalize File Sharing »

By Thomas Crampton I was down at the sumptuous French National Assembly (A building that looks like a Greek temple from the outside and a livingroom overdosed with red velvet on the inside) yesterday because a group of latenight legislators this week amended a bill to include a global tax for people wishing to share files over the Internet. Once a user (an "internaut" in French) has paid the fee, that internaut is free to share music or movies on the basis that they are for personal use only. Result: Hey presto! Kazaa would suddenly be legal in France. What...

AKMA on Nani, DRM an sharing music »

AKMA just blogged something that triggered the following thoughts... When I visited AKMA in Chicago we talked about music. I met up with my old DJ friend, Jeff Pazen after seeing AKMA. The mission was, how do we talk about music and share our musical tastes. Jeff is a godlike figure in my DJ past and I really wanted to sync up with him on what he was into and remember some of the great tracks we used to listen to together "back in the day." I also wanted AKMA to understand what music was like back when I hung...

iTunes mess »

I had set Mizuka up with iTunes music store on a Mac Mini with an external drive. At some point, she had filled up most of the external drive with stuff and she alleges that iTunes told her it was going to start moving stuff to another drive. Then certain songs stopped playing. I sort of ignored her mumbling until I asked her to run disk doctor on the drive. The utility told us that her disk was irreparably broken. The songs are broken on her iPod too. (The bad songs skip.) Apple says back up, or when you disk...

Chicago Smart Bar »

I'm in Chicago where I had a one night layover on my way from the East Coast to Osaka, Japan. Last night I hooked up with Jeff Pazen, a friend and former DJ in Chicago that I hadn't seen for over 10 years. (He makes MT websites now!) He took me to the Smart Bar, a bar/nightlcub that was one of key influences in my life. We hung around at the bar and talked about the old days and we both had what felt like a catharsis of memories. I remembered the first time I visited as a student and...

2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Had to crank out a story on tight deadline about digital music rights in Europe: 2 states in EU ease sales of songs over Internet Selling music online in Europe could currently require an online music operater to get up to 25 licenses (one from each country) in order to operate, a situation Brussels seems strongly bent on changing: Collecting agencies in other European Union member states could face fines of up to 10 percent of their total revenue if they fail to open up in a similar manner, the official said. Interesting to see the...

Hilary Rosen guest blogging at Lessig's »

Hilary Rosen [WP], the former president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is guest blogging over at Lawrence Lessig's blog. She follows Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, on the slate of excellent guest bloggers during Larry's summer vacation....

last.fm »

Last.fm has done a re-design and has fully integrated with Audioscrobbler. You can tag music now too. Good job guys. Disclaimer: They are friends and I've been "helping them out" a bit... Not that I should get ANY credit for the great stuff they are doing....

Typhoon to welcome me home... »

Joint Typhoon Warning CenterSpain was beautiful. Dry and sunny. Last night Paris was a bit wet, but nice. I landed today in a hot, muggy Tokyo lined up for a direct hit by a Typhoon. (Technically, I think it's a tropical storm.) I am about to head out to go to a Ryuichi Sakamoto concert where my cousin Cornelius will be joining him. I am trying to figure out the route that is least likely to get shut down. Various trains routes have been shut down. I can already imagine the frustrated crowds of Japanese office workers stranded in Tokyo,...

Africans on Live 8 »

Ethan Zuckerman has posted roundups on Africans talking about Live 8 here and here and blogs about it himself. Please do read these. They are an important voice. Ethan is clearly weary and skeptical as are many of the Africans. I can understand this. However, I think Live 8 is a good thing. Although the concert may not have the effect on the G8 meeting that some people hope it will, I think that the concern will reach a broad audience and increase awareness. We should not forget how few people even realize there is a problem in Africa. I...

Masters of Remix - The Humpback Whale »

I sat next to Dr. Roger Payne at lunch. He talked to me about the songs of the Humpback Wales that he has been recording for decades. He is the authority of this field. He explained to me that Humpback Whales sang beautiful songs. They copy from each other, remixing the songs and add to the songs. These songs evolve over time and riffs get passed from whale to whale across the world. The songs have lots of interesting variations and even have rhymes. He made an interesting observation that the whale songs of the 60's were much more beautiful...

Amazon directory of free MP3 downloads »

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing BlogAmazon directory of free MP3 downloads Amazon has put together a single page listing all the free, no-DRM MP3s you can download from their site, as promos for CDs. Link (Thanks, Ben!) Update: Erin sez, "Amazon actually launched Free Music Downloads in February of 2001. The page mentioned is just the top 200 downloads, there are a lot more available here.Excellent!...

MetaBrainz goes 501(c)3 and announces board »

MetaBrainzThe MetaBrainz Foundation is a 501.(c).3 tax-exempt non-profit based in San Luis Obispo, California that operates the MusicBrainz project. MusicBrainz is a user maintained community music metadatabase. Music metadata is information such as the name of an artist, the name of an album and list of tracks that appear on an album. MusicBrainz collects this information about music and makes it available to the public. With the creation of the MetaBrainz Foundation, the MusicBrainz project enters its second phase of life. In the first incarnation, the project was privately maintained and focused primarily on basic music metadata described above. Today...

Remix Nine Inch Nails »

Phillip Torrone @ Make:Make your own Nine Inch Nails MacMinute has a story about Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails making the band's new single, "The Hand That Feeds" available to download for Mac users with GarageBand to mix and mash up (an actual multi-track audio session). "For quite some time I've been interested in the idea of allowing you the ability to tinker around with my tracks -- to create remixes, experiment, embellish or destroy what's there," Reznor says. Here's a screenshot of it on my Mac (View image) and here's where to get it (70MB file). Here...

Prodigem Marketplace »

Stanford graduate student Gary Lerhaupt has created Prodigem Marketplace. It's basically a Bittorrent non-DRM'ed media marketplace.Prodigem MarketplaceThe Prodigem Marketplace allows Prodigem users to sell their independent media (videos, music, etc) while not concerning themselves with traditional bandwidth costs associated with repeated large data transfers. Content providers (YOU!) simply upload their work, set a price, and Prodigem does the rest. Once customers pay for access to the bit torrent peer-to-peer session for your content, Prodigem grants them access so they can begin their download (no DRM). Prodigem collects this revenue, removes 10% + transaction costs (PayPal) and then sends you a...

Nokia announces Ryuichi Sakamoto phone »

Photo by NokiaNokiaArt Meets State-of-the-Art: Exquisite Materials, Distinctive Details Unite to Create a Mobile Icon - the Nokia 8801 April 07, 2005 Exclusive audio accompaniment, including signature ringtone "Dharma", by award-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto Espoo, Finland - Drawing upon modern watchmaking and jewelry techniques, Nokia has unveiled a truly inspired mobile phone for today's connoisseurs of quality and taste. Encased in a slim stainless steel body, the Nokia 8801 subtly glides open to reveal a number of distinctive details, each meticulously considered and researched to complement the prestige and quality of the device. To heighten the experience, the Nokia 8801...

"Happy Birthday" is owned by Time Warner »

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing BlogHelp rat on people who sing Happy Birthday! Mako sez, "Unhappy Birthday is a website/project commenting on the fact that the song "Happy Birthday To You" is under an actively enforced copyright held by Time Warner. The site offers tools and information to report unauthorized public performances of that work. If educating people and upholding the principle of copyright means risking a DoS of ASCAP's licensing enforcement infrastructure, that's a risk I'm willing to take." Link (Thanks, Mako!)I didn't realize I was engaging in copyright infringement when I sang Happy Birthday in public without...

The stifling feeling of tough copyright »

As I get more and more into Ableton Live I am beginning to feel the pain of being a digital musician these days. As a former DJ, I have lots of my favorite music in my head organized by what parts of what songs go well with others. Suddenly, I realize that what I can get away with on a turntable in a nightclub is a no-no when producing music. Record companies in the US have been winning cases against people who sample music. I can buy loops, use Creative Commons content and make my own sounds to use in...

Live 4.1 »

I just bought Live 4.1 from Ableton. I love it. It's the perfect music production software for DJ types like me. You can import sounds, midi files, effects and fine tune the loops and samples. The neat thing is that you then bind loops, tracks, effects and other things to keys or midi events and jam away live to your heart's delight laying down a recording that you can then go back and edit before you render it. It's a bit hard to explain. Take a look at the demo on their site. Here's my first track using samples from...

Web only album wins Grammy »

Reuters via News.ComWeb-only album wins Grammy LOS ANGELES--Jazz composer Maria Schneider took home a Grammy on Sunday for her album "Concert in the Garden," without selling a single copy in a record store.In a recent meeting with some studio execs, to the question of whether they had ever seen any "real" music come out of Internet based alternative production models, they laughed and said no. To the question of whether it was possible in the future, they made a "unlikely" gesture. If getting a Grammy doesn't constitute a recognition of "real music" I don't know what does. I hope they...

Kenji's revenge »

On my Japanese blog, I've been podcasting conversations with Kenji Eno, former game developer and now CEO of fyto. The last post was a silly remix of our conversations put to music. I didn't post it here because it was in Japanese, but he's fired back with podcasting.mp3, his revenge. (Chat 1, Chat 2, Remix - On Archive.org, podcasting - Kenji's revenge 6.7MB mp3)...

What Can't I Do Today? »

CopyfightWhat Can't I Do Today? (Donna Wentworth) A Slashdotter, on Endangered Gizmos and the threat to harmless "me2me" uses: At this point, I've accepted that there are things I do that may someday be considered a crime. ...: Record TV shows from my DirecTV reciever that I pay a monthly subscription fee for into my computer using a Hauppauge PVR250 card for archival purposes (to show friends and family when they come over) Rip all CDs that I buy to the infinitely more convenient Ogg Vorbis format so that I can listen to my music anywhere Stream any audio or...

starting the car »

Eric and I were chatting about how cool Garage Band was and we decided to try collaboration over the Internet. I grabbed some samples off of a talk Lawrence Lessig gave in Helsinki, laid down some beats and "started the car". The I passed it over to Eric. Eric laid down some more tracks, added effects, mixed it and sent it back to me. I added some metadata and posted it to archive.org (being processed now) and "Permission Granted" was born. We just figured this out a few minutes ago, but I think Permission Granted will be a collaboration between...

It's the Wiki Wiki thing »

What happens when you 1) were thinking about stupid songs that you can't get out of your head, 2) are listening to the audio of Jimmy Wales talking about Wikipedia in Boston (audio and text transcripts here), 3) are chatting to wikipedians on IRC and 4) happen to have Garage Band open? This (800K mp3 / 870K ogg). PS I would like to add that many wikipedians contributed links, sounds and feedback in the creation of this piece. It's amazing what you can do as a community. ;-P Just kidding, I can not take credit for the entire work, but...

O-Zone madness »

There is song called Dragostea Din Tei on the Disco-Zone CD by O-Zone. O-Zone was a little known Euro-dance act from Romania... until someone in Japan syched some flash to it. Then someone else. Here is the original music video. Then someone made a video. Suddenly, this CD is a hit and many of my friends are ordering it from Amazon. I bet they don't know what hit them. This reminds me of the badger badger/potter potter meme and the Yatta meme. There is some peculiar element of certain songs that gets people's creative juices going. I think they have...

Off to the Sony Open Forum »

I'm off to Hawaii to the Sony Open Forum. It's a very small gathering of Sony executives, academics and business people who meet during the Sony Open in Hawaii, a PGA tournament. This is the third year I've been invited to go. I really suck a golf. I think I'm the only participant who isn't going to participate in the pro-am tournament. The first year, I promised I would learn to golf by the next year. Last year I made the same promise. I'm returning again, not a single step closer to being good enough to participate. I've been asked...

New Apple Signature iPods »

First the Special Edition U2 iPod. Now this. ;-) via Michael...

Artists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer »

EFF DeeplinksArtists Agree -- P2P Lawsuits Are Not the Answer Cynthia Webb of the Washington Post synthesizes the discussion about the new Pew study [PDF] reporting that while many artists believe file sharing should be illegal, they don't necessarily believe that 1.) it's actually hurting them, 2.) the RIAA lawsuits are doing anything to help the situationInteresting report and another blow to the RIAA's argument that they are doing it for the artists....

Scrobbling the iTunes shuffle »

As some may have noticed, Boris and Ado (he doesn't have a very good sense of humor, but he tries) are fiddling with including my the recent songs I've played on my sidebar taken from my last.fm profile. I've turned scrobbling on so that it picks up the songs I'm playing now. When I'm scrobbling, I realize that I skip stupid songs so they don't end up in my profile. Now I have to take a shower. I'm going to leave iTunes on in shuffle mode. I sure hope it doesn't play anything too stupid or embarrassing while I'm away....

Japanese copyright collectors crack down on clubs »

Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) just won a case against the karaoke bars and is now going after clubs.asahi.comCHANGING ITS TUNE: It's closing time "I thought it was a new kind of fraud," said Naoki Kasugai, who runs Daytrip, a nightclub that offers live music in Nagoya. He received a letter from JASRAC in summer 2003 along with an invoice for a monthly charge of 28,350 yen in copyright fees, covering the entire time his bar has been open since 1997. It totaled a whopping 2.32 million yen. Kasugai was shocked and puzzled. He had...

Looking on the bright side of things »

People should start investing money in independent record labels who have bands that sing about "sticking it to the man". The only upside I see is that people get quite creative when they are oppressed. I predict a rise in counter-culture....

Wired Magazine's Creative Commons CD is on the stands! »

Creative CommonsThe WIRED CD: Yes, We Have Arrived You can now get your copy of the WIRED CD, free with the November issue of WIRED, at your newstand. Get yourself two copies: one for you and your friends, and one to save, in plastic, for your grandchildren. See the full track list.Yay! Thanks to Wired for pulling this off and all of the artists for participating. Has anyone ripped and posted it the music anywhere?...

last.fm and social networking »

I found editorgrrl in my last.fm neighborhood. She and I have extremely similar taste, but she seems to have a bunch of stuff that I don't have in my profile so I listen to her personal radio a lot. I notice my profile becoming more and more similar to hers as her playlist starts to influence my playlist. I just noticed that this feels a bit like online music profile stalking... I also realized that if you had a crush on someone, you could listen to their music all day long. You would show up in their neighborhood. You would...

Embedding CC licenses in files »

One of the difficulties with Creative Commons licenses for music and images is that the images and the music are often copied or forwarded without the licenses. By embedding the license information inside of the mp3 or jpeg data itself, it makes it easier to keep the license attached to the file. Nathan has just released a nice drag and drop embedded license lookup tool. See the page about metadata embedding on the CC site for more information on our thoughts on this issue....

My last.fm radio channel »

You will have to register, but if you click the button below, you can listen to a internet radio station composed from personal playlist. My last.fm user page shows my profile, friends and my neighborhood....

No "Fishing License" for the RIAA »

Electronic Frontier FoundationNo "Fishing License" for the RIAA This just in: the Supreme Court has denied cert in RIAA v. Verizon, the case in which the recording industry initially won the right to unmask an anonymous KaZaA user with a special non-judicial, PATRIOT Act-like subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DC Circuit reversed (PDF) that ruling, but the RIAA appealed. Now the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case. [...] Said EFF's Wendy Seltzer, who worked on the case, "The Supreme Court's refusal to take the case leaves the DC Circuit's well reasoned opinion as law:...

Ciao ciao »

I love Italy so much. Thanks for all the fun. I'll be back soon. I've just arrived in Helsinki and it's warmer than I expected. I am about to head over to Aula to give a talk on the the future of music......

Panel Consensus »

I'm sitting in the Italian Parliament (I think.) The panel I was on was dealing with the impact of digital/Internet on content creation and distribution. It started yesterday and continued today. I think it lasted about seven hours or so in total. I found myself in violent disagreement at the beginning because they kept talking about piracy. The interesting thing about this panel (probably more common in other cultures, but new for me) was that we had to come to a written consensus by the end of the session and present it in the Parliament building. It would then be...

Will the tail wag? »

So the big question for me after reading Chris Anderson's excellent article, The Long Tail is... Will there always be producers and consumers of music and other content, or does the amateur revolution really take off and completely blur the consumer and the producer of content? Will amateur and nearly free Creative Commons style content become the primary content that people consume? Will most consumers create content as well? In other words, will the long tail wag? I've heard many theories about this and it is probably different for text, audio, photos and video, but I think this is an...

The Long Tail »

Fantastic article in Wired by Chris Anderson titled The Long Tail. You MUST read it. Physical distribution limits the number of titles of books, music, DVDs that can be stocked. He explains that online sales show that the market size of stuff below the break even threshold for physical distribution is often larger than the market for the "hits" that make it into stores. He calls this "The Long Tail". We can essentially double the market for most content by figuring out ways to help people find the stuff they are looking for in the long tail and deliver it...

Speaking in Helsinki next Thursday »

I will be speaking at an Aula event in Helsinki next Thursday about the "Future of the Music Business".Joi will speak on Thursday, 14 October 5:30 PM at Korjaamo (details here, for directions see this map).So if you happen to be in Helsinki, drop by....

Cornelius and Joi photo by Kishin Shinoyama »

Click photo for higherresolution on flickr I just got my picture taken with my second cousin Keigo. Keigo is aka Cornelius and is a pretty well known musician. The picture for a magazine called Brutus and the series is about cool people and their relationship with someone else. So I was the "someone else" for this article. The photo was taken by Kishin Shinoyama who is well known for his portraits. His confidence and efficiency were quite amazing. He found this cool spot to take the photo in our offices in 5 minutes. Then he set up his 8X10 camera...

last.fm »

During Ars Electronica in Linz, I got a chance to hang out with Michael from last.fm. I would have blogged about this earlier, but they have been having server problems and they wanted me to wait until they had stabilized the situation. Last.fm has been around for awhile now and they've even been covered in Wired so many of you may already know about them. It is a music site based on collaborative filtering. Using one of the many Audioscrobbler plugins, you can set your music player to upload the titles of the music you are playing to their site....

The Horn Guy »

Sorry about the light blogging. I've been a bit busy in New York. Here's something to to fill the void. Presenting, The Horn Guy (Windows Media Player) from eBaum's World via Scott...

Wired/Creative Commons concert »

The concert tonight was amazing. I hope people got a chance to watch the video feed. Gil/Byrne were amazing and were eventually able to get a house full of somewhat tired old people on their feet and dancing. It was also amazing to realize how much Talking Heads songs were a part of my DNA... anyway. Maybe more when I'm less tired. Need to go to bed. Oh, and David Byrne dedicated "Road to Nowhere" to the Repbulicans....

Wired Creative Commons compilation CD »

Wall Street JournalThis Compilation CD Is Meant To Be Copied and Shared By ETHAN SMITH Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL September 20, 2004 For more than a year, the music industry has held firm on its zero-tolerance position on online file swapping, suing 4,679 alleged digital pirates to drive its point home. But now, 16 high-profile artists, many of them signed to the same global music companies that have brought the lawsuits, are participating in a project that will allow music lovers to freely copy and trade some new songs without risking legal retaliation. Next month, songs by...

Creative Commons benefit concert will be webcast »

Creative CommonsFor those of you who can't make the Creative Commons benefit concert in New York next week, WIRED will present a Webcast of the show by David Byrne and Gilberto Gil, LIVE from the Town Hall, at 8 pm EST on September 21st.For those of you who WILL be there. I'll be there too....

Michael Song on Chinese music industry »

We just had a very interesting meeting with Michael Song, managing director of Taihe Rye Music. He is Chinese, but spent six years at Texas A&M and returned to China in 1996 to work in the budding music scene in China. He is in the agency business and represents the #1 male musician in China. He explained that the legal music CD business in China is about 5%. In other words, 95% of the CDs on the market are pirate copies. He said that it was the teenagers who were passionate about the artists and liked to hang out in...

Britney Spears used gum on eBay - $14,000 »

IHTBritney Spears's fans don't think the pop star's chewed gum is "Toxic" - they're buying wads of it on eBay. There are more than two dozen auctions of used gum on eBay, each claiming their product has been spit out by the 22-year-old singer. Prices go as high as $14,000, but most are for significantly less. Though there is no way to verify the authenticity of the various wads, many postings include photos of a small piece of chewed gum, a copy of a ticket stub from the "place of finding" and a personal story of procurement.eeeww... I wonder what...

audiomashupblogging »

Inspired by Maciej's anti-audioblogging manifesto, I started working on an audioblogger mashup. I'm not very good at this yet, but here's what I've got so far. (1.8 MB mp3). I'm going to keep working on this, but if anyone wants to pitch in and give me a hand... hint hint... UPDATE: I'm taking this down because Maciej says it's freaking him out. ;-)...

kerryrocks.net »

kerryrocks.net, a video of a Kerry kigurumi performance on the guitar. Pretty neat, but not sure if this will really convince people to vote for Kerry. ;-)...

Radio Taiso »

10,000,000 people doing radio taisopicture via KampoOne of the participants of Fat Club uploaded an mp3 of radio taiso (morning radio exercise show) and I just set it to my alarm clock sound. radio taiso was banned by the US Occupation after WWII along with shogi (Japanese chess), all martial arts and a bunch of other things that were considered militaristic. I remember hearing a story on the radio that the original radio taiso came from the US. When life insurance just started as a business in the US, there was an uproar about "betting on people's lives." As part...

Memories of vinyl »

test press of Communicate with notes from MarkI've been thinking about audio files lately. There are lots of interesting audio blogs these days and I realized that putting audio interviews for my sharing economy research online would be a neat thing to do. For the last month or so, I've been diving into audio gear and software. (I'll write about all this in another post when I figure out what I'm doing.) During this journey into gadgets past, I stumbled into my vinyl records from my DJ days. Most are promotional records that Rockpool sent me when I was reporting...

How much the RIAA and the MPAA cost the media industry? »

An interesting survey based project to try to answer the question of whether the cost of what the MPAA and RIAA does exceeds their forgone revenues to piracy....

The Guardian - Suw on the effect on file sharing »

Suw Charman @ The GuardianListen to the flip side New research suggesting that file sharing has no impact upon sales of CDs has, not surprisingly, angered the music industry. [our very own] Suw Charman reportsSuw has a good article in the Guardian about the paper (PDF) by Associate Professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee of Harvard Business School in Boston and Professor Koleman Strumpf of the University of North Carolina where they assert that "Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates." It's an important first paper in the battle against the rampant idea that...

Sensaphonics ear molds »

Last week I got my Sensaphonics ear molds for my E5cs and a set of ProPhonic Soft 2Xs. I just blogged about them on my stuff blog....

If you can't convince 'em, sue 'em »

A paper by Felix Oberholzer of Harvard Business School and Koleman Strumpf of UNC Chapel Hill shows strong evidence that file-sharing has "statistically indistinguishable from zero" effect on CD sales and the RIAA decides to sue 482 more people for sharing copyright music on peer-to-peer networks. This brings the number of people sued by the RIAA for file-sharing to 3,429. I guess that if you can't convince everyone, you can always try to scare people into submission. But it looks like the RIAA will have event MORE reasons to sue people. They're trying to "criminalize the act of inducing another...

Cory's drm rant wikified »

Cory's excellent drm rant which he presented at Microsoft Research has now been wikified to allow people to comment and add to it. Excellent....

Draft Bruce »

Andrew is trying to draft Bruce Springsteen, an outspoken critic of war, to perform at Giants Stadium (which he has reserved) September 1, the day of the Republican National Convention. Andrew wants you to sign his petition. Bush vs Bruce live would be definitely be something worth watching. via ejovi...

GarageBand.com offers Creative Commons licenses to artists »

Wired NewsGarageBand.com Leaves Door Open GarageBand.com -- a site that both hosts independent music and uses a peer-review process to identify hot bands -- is offering the Creative Commons Music Sharing License to artists who want to distribute their tunes for free, the company said Monday.Nice. GarageBand is one of the biggest legal mp3 sites and it's cool that they are offering a CC license to their artists. Alternative distribution of music using CC licenses is clearly a good idea and helps people understand the whole Free Culture concept. I really do believe that the issue will become more and...

Hearing conservation and earphones »

Today I met the founder and president of Sensaphonics, Michael Santucci. He is a hearing conservation expert and audiologist. He is one of the few audiologists who work with the music industry. The relationship is interesting. Hearing conservation is about protecting your ears from continued exposure to loud sounds in order to preserve your hearing. He told us that baby boomers have a higher rate of hearing loss than senior citizens, probably because of devices such as portable music devices. He shows us pictures of a healthy inner ear and a damaged inner ear and had the same effect on...

Developer of Japanese P2P system arrested »

Today, an associate professor at the most prestigious university in Japan, Tokyo University was arrested today for developing a tool that enables piracy. The program is a P2P system cally Winny. Previously two of the users had been arrested. I got a call from Asahi Shimbun (Japanese newspaper) today asking me for a comment for the morning news tomorrow. I hope the print it. I think it's an absolute disgrace to Japan. While the US is fighting in congress, Hollywood pushing to ban P2P and Boucher et al are fighting for DMCRA, Japanese police go and arrest someone developing P2P...

Interview in The Tech with Jack Valenti »

There's a short interview in MIT's The Tech newpaper with Jack Valenti about DMCA. I'm glad that Jack is still willing to have discussions like this. This is what I meant when I said that I think Jack should be respected. Even if you don't agree with him, he's still willing to try to discuss his position with you. via Creative Commons weblog...

Jr. Butterfly »

Yesterday, Mizuka and I went to Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Ueno to see the opera Jr. Butterfly. Jr. Butterfly was composed by our friend Shigeaki Saegusa. The libretto was our friend Masahiko Shimada and the conductor was Naoto Otomo. Tenor Shigehiro Sano performs Jr. Butterfly and soprano Shinobu Sato plays Naomi, his love. Madam Butterfly was an opera by Giacoma Puccini based on a story by John Luther Long. Puccini's opera opened in 1904, 100 years ago. Jr. Butterfly is the story of what happens to the son of Madame Butterfly and Pinkerton. It is set before, during and after...

Milia / MipTV Update »

I just gave a keynote this morning and I initially felt right, but a bit bad. Milia is one of the oldest and leading interactive content conferences and MipTV is a place where content providers meet with people who want to buy content from them. The halls are full of telephone companies, TV networks, Hollywood content providers and DRM technology companies. So here I am asked to give a keynote. What am I going to say? I talked about the shift in value away from packaged content and towards context oriented things like location, presence and transactions. I talked about...

Hitting the iTunes DRM speedbump »

Cory blogged about this, but beware if you are buying music on iTunes and are prone to buying new Macintosh computers. You can only authorize three machines to play your iTunes purchased music. I recently bought a new machine and gave my old one to a friend. I have a desktop and my original PowerBook is being used by my aunt. So I had to track down my friend and have him log in as me and "deauthorize" the machine before I could authorize this machine. Which basically means, you have three lives. Lose/wreck/give away/sell three Macs and your iTunes...

Congress moving to criminalize P2P »

Xeni of Boing Boing writes in Wired News about Congress moving to criminalize P2P.XeniRead the full text of Senator Hatch's remarks describing children as "human shields against copyright owners and law enforcement agencies," and the "piracy machine designed to tempt them to engage in copyright piracy or pornography distribution," here. Human shields my ass. These kids are customers who are being treated like criminals. I know this is dead horse kicking, but I've learned about and subsequently purchased more music online since I started sharing music files. As a DJ, when I made mixed tapes, I was promoting these bands...

Orkutworld »

Orkutworld (1.34MB mp3). Hilarious. (via danah via Cory via FilePile via Kevin via Mighty Mighty Spatchtones)...

Eisbrecher including 2 blank CD-Rs with new album »

EisbrecherTwo blanks against the trend! The band has decided to make a statement for its fans and for music consumers in general and is releasing the album including a bonus DVD with 2 blank CD-Rs which have the same label as the CD itself. Alexx Wesselsky (singer and head of the group): "We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with 'official blanks'. It can't always be that the...

Pepsi / Apple Superbowl Parody »

A great parody of the Pepsi / Apple Superbowl commercial. (Thanks RS!) You can see the original Pepsi / iTunes ad here. (Thanks Shawn!) It's also on the Apple site. I guess, as Boris says, it's not so much a parody as what they really wanted to say, but couldn't. Those kids probably got paid more to do the ad than they paid the RIAA. The RIAA is getting so stupid that it's getting cool to make fun of them. Sounds like the beginning of the end when your business involves being cool. Don't forget to check out whatacrappypresent.com...

RIAA's fake cops harrass based on racial stereotypes »

And even more racism...Kevin MarksRIAA's fake cops harrass based on racial stereotypes LA weekly story:'A large percentage [of the vendors] are of a Hispanic nature,' Langley said. 'Today hes Jose Rodriguez, tomorrow hes Raul something or other, and tomorrow after that hes something else. These people change their identity all the time. A pictures worth a thousand words.'Langley is Western regional coordinator for the RIAA Anti-Piracy Unit.I feel sorry for Sir Howard Stringer. I'm glad I don't have to hang out with people like the RIAA. (tech dirt on how Sir Howard might save Sony Music) I wonder just how...

Off to Sony Open Forum tomorrow »

I'm off again to the Sony Open Forum tomorrow. It's an annual event. The main event is Sony's sponsorship of a golf tournament, but there is also a small forum where Chairman Idei invites executives of Sony and several other people to discuss some of the key topics for the year. Last year I was invited to speak about the future of Japan. This year I'm going to be talking about media consumption and the future of media. My talk will kick off a discussion session. The conference itself is not public, but I'm assuming my comments are. I've put...

Aaron Swartz - Downloading Isn't Stealing »

Aaron SwartzThe New York Times Upfront asked me to contribute a short piece to a point/counterpoint they were having on download. (I would defend downloading, of course.) I thought I managed to write a pretty good piece, especially for its size and audience, in a couple days. But then I found out my piece was cut because the Times had decided not to tell kids to break the law. So, from the graveyard, here it is. Stealing is wrong. But downloading isn’t stealing. If I shoplift an album from my local record store, no one else can buy it. But...

Creative Commons and The Kuleshov Effect »

As we start working on the details involved in the launch the sampling license over at Creative Commons, we find, as always, that God is in the details. The idea behind the sampling license is that many artists don't mind if their music is sampled by other artists as long as there is attribution. The Creative Commons is currently proposing two sampling licenses. The normal sampling license which allows other artists to transform the work even for commercial use, while prohibiting distribution of verbatim copies of the entire work. The Sampling-Plus license offers the same rights but allows verbatim sharing...

Halley's Barlow Christmas song »

Halley just posted a song about Barlow sung to the tune of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Soo good. Now I can go to sleep with Christmas cheer in my head. ;-) And Halley sings it for us....

Pet Rock Star's back and "Your Own Dot Org" is up »

Shannon's just blogged about a song that I asked her to write for Ben and Mena for their birthdays. (In case you've ever wondered, the reason their company is called Six Apart is because they're birthdays are six days apart...) Shannon went above and beyond the call of duty and did a most amazing job. In order to get the humor/wit balance just right, she read everything Ben and Mena had ever blogged and probably knows more about them now than even the most dedicated stalker.She ended up with a song called "Your Own Dot Org." I love it. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0 deed of course.Thanks again for this great work and welcome back, wherever you've been Shannon. Your new site looks great. Now come and hang out with us again on #joiito. ;-)

RIAA sues first, thinks later, no apologies »

Seth GodinLiars, cheats and foolsThe record industry sued a "little old lady" named Sarah Ward. She's not that old, but she's little and she's not a pirate. She's never even downloaded the software you need to download the music. The RIAA has dropped the suit, but Amy Weiss, their spokesman, says, "We have chosen to give her the benefit of the doubt and are continuing to look into the facts... This is the only case of its kind."Now, regardless of how you feel about litigation as a business strategy, refusing to apologize is just a bad idea. This is clearly NOT the only case of its kind. Instead of stonewalling, why doesn't the RIAA say, "This is terrific! She's an honest citizen and we're proud of her. We made a mistake and we apologize. We're sending Ms. Ward a hundred CDs to apologize for bothering her. If there are any other cases like this one, we'll drop them immediately."Totally agreed. Now all of you who supported the RIAA suing the 12 year old girl, do you think it's cool for them to be suing people who haven't done anything?Being sued isn't like, "oh sorry... wrong number.."

Stealth Disco »

So many people have already blogged this so I don't know who to attribute, but if you missed it, check out Stealth Disco. Stealth disco is when you take video tape yourself or someone rocking and grooving near someone who can't see you doing it. It started as a prank between employees at an ad agency in Chicago called Cramer-Krasselt.

Irrational Exuberance a fanimutation based on Yatta! by Happatai »

I received a link from Chris to a fanimutation called Irrational Exuberance by Veloso at verylowsodium.com. It's very funny. It's a flash animation over the Happatai song "Yatta!". Max and James turned me on to "Yatta!" When I saw them in May at FiRe. Happatai are a group of Japanese comedians who released a song back in April 2001 called "Yatta!". It's a very silly song with silly lyrics and a video of them dancing around with no clothes and just a fig leaf. The weird thing about this is that it was slightly funny when it came out in Japan, but the mpeg video of this has been zooming around the Internet in the US and has developed small cult following. this fanimutation by Veloso is just another "derivative work" of "Yatta!" I wonder if this is an example of Japan's Gross National Cool export. Maybe I should contact them and see if they will release the rights for these fanimutations since they are clearly increasing their popularity in the US. ;-)Flash animations over popular or weird songs or "fanimutations" are becoming a funky new art form. People seem to encourage sharing of the flash code. They are another example of a new form of "art" like mashups that aren't really feasible under traditional copyright/licensing. Mixing, sharing and attribution are at the core of this new subculture. If you go to the sites, you'll notice that people go to great lengths to link and attribute.A site with a bunch of Yatta! linksA Japanese site showing how to do the Yatta! dance

Ryuichi Sakamoto »

Ryuichi SakamotoWent to Ryuichi Sakamoto's place yesterday. I don't get to see him very often since he moved from Tokyo back to New York. Ryuichi is one of my favorite musician/activists and is a great inspiration to me. He's very smart and is called kyoju (professor in Japanese) by his friends and is always thinking and studying. He's an outspoken anti-war activist and an environmentalist. I met Ryu Murakami through Ryuichi. Ryuichi was also responsible for getting me involved with the effort to invite the Dalai Lama to Japan. (They are good friends.)The last time I saw him, we were both using Windows machines and this time we both had 15" Powerbooks. I showed off TraktorDJStudio and gave my blogging spiel. Ryuichi has a cool web page and is on a blog called codeblog but I tried to convince him to dive into it himself and get the full blown blogging community experience. I walked him through the tools and my favorite sites. Ryuichi sends out emails to a list several times a week with his thoughts on the environment and war and I think that having a strong voice in the blog space would be really cool for him.I also got to see Sora-san and Neo again. The last time I saw Neo, he was still a little kid. It made me feel old seeing him so big. ;-)

The RIAA busts an evil 12 year old music thief »

Pete Barr-WatsonBrianna - 12I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love.So says a 12 year old girl after she is sued by the RIAA for sharing music on the Internet. Nice job RIAA.

It's not about the files »

Had an interesting breakfast discussion with David Weinberger and a few others about copyright. I seem to be having more and more heated debates about copyright these days and the more I become familiar with the arguments of old-school copyright guys, the more frustrated I become. As Lessig often says, we're not saying that there shouldn't be copyright or that artists should not be paid. The issue is that the current copyright framework and more importantly, the corporations who are currently entrusted with the task of managing these copyrights are dysfunctional. We need to fundamentally restructure the business of creating and being paid for creating artistic works and it's likely that this business doesn't involve record companies.The Internet has the potential to greatly enhance and enrich our culture, but old-school copyright people are trying to make their controls even stronger than the real world. The important point is to talk about the commons and the public, not about protecting the "rights" of the custodians of the "files". At one level, we're all conduits passing inspiration and knowledge from the past to the future by re-mixing, rendering and editing things that inspire us in ways that will inspire others. Talking about copyright is talking about the files. We should be talking about how to increase the commons and enrich culture. THAT's not about the files, it's about the the commons.Inspired by David's blog entry.

The Creative Edge: How Do You Maintain it? »

The second workshop I attended was "The Creative Edge: How Do You Maintain it?" run by Miha Pogacnik, the Cultural Ambassador for The Republic of Slovenia. Miha, violin in hand, deconstructed a Bach Fugue passage by passage. He explained the musical elements and got us to really hear each transition. Then he created a narrative while scribbling on paper the image. It started with a tough command/control image (teenage feelings), pressure, dropping out, networking and communicating, love, chaos (middle age crisis), breaking through, questioning, returning to identity, rising up and finally rebirth and integration. It was really beautiful. I'd never had music deconstructed, much less such a wonderful narrative. I'll never listen to Bach or any other classical music piece in the same way.I found that these images of the various phases were very useful in thinking about the transitions in my life. The idea of chaos, breaking away, questioning and returning back to my identity resonated with me a great deal. This process also reminded me of Chungliang Al Huang's Tai Ji class that I took where he helped us understand how there were a variety of types of energy and learning how to move between and transform the variety of energies helped you build your own energy and identity.Good stuff.

mp3.com rejects Creative Commons »

Don't you hate when the people who should most "get it" TOTALLY DON'T GET IT!Neeru@Creative CommonsWe would love to help you offer Creative Commons license to your users — it’s free, and a great way to make clear the rights and restrictions artists would like to offer their fans.Legal Department@mp3.comNothing replaces the legal protections provided by registering a copyright with the US Copyright Office--most certainly not your “free license.”This email is formal notice for you to cease and desist from further contacting our artists through our web site to solicit for your product/services, which are not sanctioned by us.Legal Department Music & MediaVivendi Universal Net USA, Inc.

Is streamripping illegal? »

Some folks on #joiito turned me onto "streamripping". This is software that stores songs played on Internet radio stations as mp3's with meta data and everything. RadioLover is streamripping software for the Mac that lets you record multiple radio stations in parallel. You can drag and drop the songs into iTunes and sync to the iPod. The quality seems fine. I can listen to my favorite radio stations from all over the world when I'm walking in the park with my iPod. Is this illegal? It is SOOO useful it MUST be illegal. ;-pUPDATE: For the record, I've just bought several albums on Apple's Music Store and Amazon that I didn't know about until I started messing around with RadioLover.

Matt from Shure starts blogging »

I first heard about the Shure earphones from Barak and bought the e2c's. I blogged about it. With the help of Google, people interested in e2c's including Matt, who was the product manager for the e2c's found my blog entry. When the e5c's came out, I blogged about them too. Hundreds of comments later, both of these entries have become discussions including testimonials and lots and lots of answers from Matt replying to questions about the products and distribution. This human voice dialog is why I think blogging is so great for companies with great products.Last week, I talked to Matt and Susan from Shure on the phone about experimenting with blogs. Matt's started a blog. Hopefully we can set up some combination of a wiki and a blog to help Shure reach out to us and for us to give them feedback.

The sucking sound of DRM - iTunes 4 »

I just downloaded iTunes 4, set up my .mac account for the music shop and started browsing around the music shop. Ooo, I don't have that Orb CD, "click", I wonder if they have.... "click"... "downloading..." "hey..." "click".Now maybe I'm not a good sample, but iTunes 4 is to music downloads what iPod was to mp3 players. Of course you have to download iPod patch to play the AAC protected music format and you are not downloading sharable mp3's.

Independent record sales increase, major labels lose markets, RIAA blame P2P, stats show RIAA is lying »

Tim O'Reilly fowards a rant about how the RIAA unfairly blames P2P as the reason for their drop in sales and how their statistics show otherwise.

Robert Kaye from Musicbrainz »

Yesterday, I had dinner with Robert Kaye. He is the founder of Musicbrainz.

Want to hear what happens when you mix Whitney Houston and Kraftwerk? »

dsicoeven more stupid dsico mashups, remixes and pop destruction: even better than the real thing
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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