Apple giving away some musical Holiday cheer

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Date: Thursday, December 5th, 2013, 09:48
Category: App Store, Apple, Holiday, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, music

IMG_5114I ran across this little item over at TUAW, who gave me the heads up that Apple is giving away an album of Christmas songs to download from the iTunes Store. You may not have spied this yourself because Apple is only making it available through the Apple Store app on the iPhone and iPad. Simply open the app and scroll down the main page until you see the festive icon and entry for “Holiday Cheer”. Hitting the Download button will take you over to the iTunes Store app to redeem your coupon code, and within a minute, your new music will be on your device. The songs in the album are;

  1. Ave Maria by Il Volo
  2. Children Go Where I Send Thee by Nick Lowe
  3. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire) by Kool & The Gang
  4. Duck the Halls by The Robertsons
  5. The First Noel (feat. The Clark Sisters) by Mary J. Blige
  6. Joy to the World by Celtic Woman
  7. Silent Night (feat. Reba McEntire & Trisha Yearwood) by Kelly Clarkson
  8. What Child Is This? (feat. Commissioned) by Marvin Sapp

The music will be available for download until December 31. Enjoy!

Nine Inch Nails Releases GarageBand Files

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Date: Friday, April 27th, 2007, 10:15
Category: music

“Nine Inch Nails has once again released the sources in Garageband format for three of their tracks from their new album Year Zero. You can also download user-created remixes. Trent Reznor claims that he plans to release the entire album this way.”

Slashdot: NIN Releases Garageband Sources For 3 New Tracks

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Philadelphia Orchestra Online Music Store

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Date: Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 08:00
Category: music

Our very own Philadelphia Orchestra has opened a new online music store, the first of its kind among major symphony orchestras. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect is that the downloads are DRM-free(!), and you can choose between mp3 and FLAC (!!!). Prices are reasonable, but vary by length: an mp3 of most works (e.g., Beethoven’s 7th symphony, about 40 minutes) is $4.99 and the FLAC is $5.99. A short piece (Verdi’s Overture to I vespri siciliani, ~10 minutes) is $0.99 on mp3 ($1.99 for FLAC), and a longer work (Beethoven’s 9th symphony, ~70 minutes) is $9.99 for the mp3 and $11.99 for FLAC. An mp3 of Beethoven’s 5th symphony is (for a limited time) available for free.
The (minor) catch… the downloads are concert recordings, from historical (going back to 1961) up through the most recent season (2006), and not “commercial” CD recordings. They do have commercially released CDs available for sale on the site, but not for download. The distinction, however, between a concert recording and a commercial release for classical music is arguably fairly small. Commercial recordings are sometimes just concert recordings with some post-production. Even “studio” recordings of a symphony are made in a concert hall, though sometimes with significant editing to merge several takes. So while there may still be the occasional cough or rustling of programs in the background, to my mind that’s inconsequential. For the downloads I have listened to thus far, the sound quality is very good. Kudos to the Philadelphia Orchestra for trying a refreshingly novel approach to music distribution.


Digital v Analogue #8: A Browsing Compromise

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Date: Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 07:00
Category: music

My major music source is my iPod, played through my car, home or studio music system. I purchase the majority of my music on CD, rip them into my PowerBook’s iTunes collection, add album artwork and move them on to my ‘preview’ playlist. Songs I like stay, ones I don’t get deleted. I also have a 90 song per month subscription to, and go through a similar process with the songs I download, re-ripping them to 128kbps AAC and adding cover artworks.
Storing CDs is a logistical problem. I have thousands of CDs, the majority of them are stored at my design studio, with another tranch in three main locations at my house. There is also a significant percentage ‘on loan’ to friends. Some of these return.
At some point I am going to rationalise this in to one big ‘alphabetised by artist’ collection in my house, at the moment, discovering where a specific CD is can be problematic… but at least I can ‘see’ the ones I do have. The songs I download are more of a problem. They sit in my iTunes collection, effectively invisible unless I remember what they are called (yeah, right!) or if they appear on one of my playlists. Worse still, if I delete a track, then later hear it somewhere else and decide that I actually DO like it, I have to pay to download it again.
So, I’ve come up with a solution. Before I even listen to them, the files I rip or download are copied to a folder on my hard drive, along with a JPEG of the cover artwork. When there are 12 ‘albums’ in the folder, I make up a CD cover featuring all 12 album artworks with their titles and artists. I then burn the music files (along with the cover artworks and PDFs of the cover artwork) to a CD.
The CD serves two main purposes; as a visual reminder of the albums I have purchased and downloaded, and as a ‘backup’ so that I have copies of every song I have purchased.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


Honey I Shrunk the Cube

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Date: Friday, September 23rd, 2005, 20:51
Category: music

biBlu DAH1500iIf you miss the Apple Cube try this one on for size, the MobiBlu DAH1500i. Literally less than one inch all way round (24mm x 24mm x 24mm). This little MP3 player packs 512MB or 1GB worth of music. Quick Specs: USB Flash Drive, Battery life 8-10 hours, 520 minutes of voice recording (@64kbps), radio and clock. Comes in six flavors.


New iPod Mobile Offerings

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Date: Wednesday, September 21st, 2005, 17:32
Category: iPod shuffle, music

For all you mobile music junkies there seems to be a surging movement to satisfy your money clip’s thirst for innovative and lifestyle enhancing products. Click on the headline for some of the latest…


iDJ Dates Announced for London and Philly

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Date: Friday, May 13th, 2005, 00:55
Category: music

Now you can rip up the dance floors from Big Ben to the Liberty Bell with nothing but your iPod. MacWorld UK reports: Event dates for digital DJs in London and Philadelphia have been announced later this month. “London’s Playlist Club holds its next club night on May 21 at The Progress Bar in Tufnell Park. The club’s US affiliate, Playlist Philadelphia, takes place May 23 at The Khyber. Admission to both events is free.”


iControl: GarageBand Hardware Interface

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Date: Friday, April 8th, 2005, 11:25
Category: Any Laptop Computer, music

M-Audio has announced the new iControl hardware for GarageBand. No audio, but one heck of a control surface for manipulating your GarageBand songs with physical controls: jog wheel, transport, individual track controls and volume knobs, master volume fader, and individual track parameters for GarageBand effects and settings. Plug it in via USB (class-compliant so no drivers), and it’s automatically recognized by GarageBand with zero configuration. Price expected under US$200 (EUR 141 list). No word on when it’s shipping yet. Not much use if you’re a Logic lover, but if GarageBand is your thing, this is a must-have.

Steal Your Face Right off Your iPod

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Date: Tuesday, March 1st, 2005, 23:35
Category: iPod, music

Steal Your Face right off your iPodSteve Jobs has been known to play Grateful Dead music as the audience is seated for his keynote address, so it should come as no surprise that the Dead has let a “deal go down” with Apple’s iTunes Music Store. The Dead, as outlined in the email below, are now offering all their live archival recordings as downloads from the iTunes Music Storeicon. The band also plans to release some unreleased shows via the ITMS “in the near future.”

Hey now.
It’s time for our next step into the digital domain: Beginning March 1st, all the live Grateful Dead archival recordings — the two-track “Dick’s Picks” series and the multi-track “Vault” series — will be available for direct downloading through iTunes Music Store and Studio albums have been available at ITunes for some time.
In the near future, certain new, previously unreleased shows will be digitally available exclusively through the iTunes Music Store and
You can access these downloads either through iTunes or through’s own Apple will be offering complete shows and single songs up to 10 minutes long in their AAC format. At, you can choose among four different file formats (128, 256, Windows Media, Lossless) for complete shows, but single songs won’t be available.
We’ve been on the cutting edge of music distribution for more than 30 years, and the evolution to digital sharing is not surprising. Dead Heads have always honored ethical standards in their sharing, and we think this offering represents a great combination — it’s easy to use and it’s legal.
Your friends at Grateful Dead Productions


Napster = Piracy

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Date: Friday, February 18th, 2005, 08:40
Category: music

The reincarnated Napster has worked hard to shed its old image. Working with MP3 players that use Janus digital rights protection, this model of renting an unlimited number of songs has several drawbacks and one huge flaw. The major drawback for legitimate users is that after the initial benefit of unlimited numbers passes, that monthly fee keeps eating into your bank account. Worse, when you stop paying, you lose access to everything. So what is the big deal-breaker? There are already fairly simple ways to strip the DRM protection from the files. They picked Microsoft to handle the security of these songs. Big mistake, considering how vulnerable Microsoft tends to be on security. Try as they might to change the Napster image, one likely outcome of the distribution scheme is that pirating teens will buy one or two months of service and download like crazy. They will then strip the DRM from thousands of songs and cancel the subscription. The scheme is so back loaded it almost encourages this slash and burn mentality. It reminds me of the record clubs of the 1970?s that would send you a dozen free albums if you agreed to buy many more in the future. The recording industry will not be amused by this almost predictable outcome.