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Who Is the Best Band in China? HKGFM.net To Help Choose In Global Battle of the Bands August 28, 2009

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HKGFM.net whose tagline is “YOUR Musical Universe” and has 50,000 listeners a day is teaming up to provide world wide coverage on the China Battle! Mr. Blaze Hackman, Music Director of HKGFM.net said “We are delighted to be involved with the authentic live music scene in China which has been one of our biggest listening markets since 2008. For many people HKGFM.net is the top choice for music lovers in China and with listeners from over 150 countries around the globe we will bring China’s Rock “n” Roll to the world.” said Hackman, “All the bands who sign up for the competition will be able to send their music to HKGFM.net and as part of the competition we will have special shows to help feature their music.”

“This is a live music event in front of a live crowd who get to pick their favorite band at each of the heats as the bands battle through the competition. The audience gets to choose their favorite band on the night and their selection helps decide the winners at each of the heats. We know the bands have fans from all over the country who may not be able to make it to the live shows so we want those fans to be able to join in the fun too. So we have teamed up with HKGFM.net to allow fans to choose who they think is the best.” said Chris B, National Director of GBOB China. “We will announce details of how fans can join in online by the end of August.”

Global Battle of the Bands China this year will take place in five cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Each city will select one winning band based on judges and audience votes. Judges comprising of established musicians, respected music journalists, music editors and people involved in the music industry. Judges confirmed so far include: Jun Kung (drummer, producer), Soler (band), Silvester See Wai Yin (veteran musician, Acehero Films), Vincent Lee (Warner Music Hong Kong) and Christine Samson (Singer & Vocal Coach to top artists in HK such as Joey Yung, G.E.M., Fong Lik Sun).

Top notch live music venues from each city will be used: Yugongyishan (Beijing), Yuyingtang (Shanghai), The Cavern (Hong Kong), Jin Bar (Shenzhen) and Live Music Association (Macau).

Each of the five cities winners will battle out in Hong Kong in November 2009 to see who will represent China in the World Final of Global Battle of the Bands in London, England and the chance to win the grand prize of US$100,000 in band development.

Chris B, National Director of GBOB China, “More and more focus is on China to produce the next big band that is un-manufactured and playing real music, this competition will expose those potential bands to the world.”

Over 36 countries are taking part in 2009. The World Final will be held in La Scala, London, England on 13 December 2009. The 2008 World Final GBOB judges; comprised Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols bassist/songwriter), Jim Lowe (producer: Stereophonics, Charlatans etc) and Ben Adams (ex-member of A1 and now producer) and they all agreed that China would be the country to watch at 2009 finals. “Clearly Killer Soap have put the world on notice that Chinese bands are ready to take the world stage in rock music.” said Matt Walker, organiser of the Global Battle of the bands competition.

To register:

Mufin Launches Mufin Player Pro, Music Player with Interactive 3D Sound Universe for Enriched Music Discovery and Management August 28, 2009

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Mufin has released a unique sound-based music player that brings music discovery and management into the digital age.

The new mufin player pro knows the sound of your music and provides a visual navigation of music collections based on their sounds — to make organizing, enjoying, and discovering music easier than ever.

Traditional music players sort music collections by artist or title name (no different than stacking physical CDs or albums on shelves) — thus filing the Beastie Boys after the Beach Boys, or pairing the Jonas Brothers with Johnny Cash. Instead, mufin’s unique soundsort technology organizes tracks according to each song’s musical qualities (tempo, instruments, sound density, etc.).

Grouping songs based on sound makes it easier for users to find the right songs to match their mood, particularly when dealing with extensive music collections.

The new mufin player pro takes sound-based management a step further with its ‘3D Sound Universe’. This visual navigation tool displays an entire music collection on a single screen. Songs are aligned according to sound metrics into distinct sound galaxies, and the closer songs appear in the universe, the more similar their sound metrics. “Digital music technology has so much more to offer than just MP3. Mufin player pro lets you playfully travel your music collection guided by its sound, something that you simply can’t do with your physical record collection.” says Jürgen Jaron, CEO of mufin.

Mufin player pro is available now for $29.99 at http://www.mufin.com.

Additionally, the company launched the official release of its free mufin player at http://www.mufin.com, which was previously in beta.

Both mufin player pro and the free mufin player incorporate strong social features to let music lovers share newly-discovered tracks and old favorites with friends.

In addition to the soundsort technology and visual navigation, mufin player pro includes:
• Automatic cleaning up of song details — including misspelled artists or titles, a sound-based duplicate song finder, and advanced drag-and-drop ID3 editing.
• Sound-based recommendations — mufin’s sound-based recommendation engine searches a database of over 6 million songs to suggest new songs that sound similar to any track.
• Personal DJ: mufin creates perfect playlists to match any mood in seconds. Users simply select any track (even self-produced songs!) and mufin automatically builds a playlist with tracks that match musically.

The free mufin player includes soundsort technology, social networking features, playlist creation, import/burning CDs, sync with MP3 players and iTunes. In addition to the player releases, mufin has improved its web interface on mufin.com, adding fun music visualization tools that map out song recommendations for intuitive navigation and song discovery.

With mufin’s music recommendation and recognition technology, only the sound of the song matters and not its popularity, origin or subjective grouping. Mufin empowers companies to monitor music usage and help their customers rediscover and manage their music collections in a new way using automated playlist creation, visual music navigation or automatic repair of incomplete or missing meta information in digital music files.

Mufin’s recommendation and recognition technologies work where your music is, whether it’s on the desktop, online or mobile device.

Visit http://www.mufin.com for more information or to download the free mufin player or mufin player pro.

US Digital Music Sales to Bury CDs by 2010 August 27, 2009

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Is it time to bid farewell to the CD?

It is if you listen to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

According to Arts Technica, the IFPI is claiming that “If current trends hold, U.S. digital music downloads will rake in more money than physical formats next year. Worldwide, digital will overtake physical by 2016.”

The United States is ahead of the technological curve, with consumers buying “the most digital music relative to their total music purchases.”

The growth of the U.S. digital market, the story says, “was quite constant from 2004 to 2007, then jumped 12 percentage points during 2008.”

The article continues: “Extrapolating this growth shows that digital music will account for the majority of major label revenue in the US market in mid-to-late 2010.”

You’ve been warned.

For more on this matter:

The Weather Channel Launches New Digital Music Site TheWeatherChannelMusic.com August 27, 2009

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It is now a breeze for consumers to download the popular tunes showcased on The Weather Channel network.

The Weather Channel licensing division has announced the launch of http://www.TheWeatherChannelMusic.com , marking the popular weather company’s first foray onto the digital music scene.

TheWeatherChannelMusic.com features music currently being played on The Weather Channel network from some of today’s most popular artists and independent musicians – as well as additional musical selections listeners may enjoy.

For more: http://www.TheWeatherChannelMusic.com

KCRW Launches New Online Music Channel Eclectic24 Labor Day – September 7 – 9am PST August 27, 2009

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On Labor Day, September 7, 2009, KCRW will launch Eclectic24 — a new, online, all-music channel blending the collected talents and tastes of all the station’s DJs into a single voice streaming 24 hours a day. The stream will encompass the whole scope of the public radio station’s musical footprint over the last 30 years, integrating musical discoveries from across KCRW’s talented team of DJs — favorite new releases, the best of our rich live performance archives — with the voices of numerous musical icons that have appeared on the station over the years.

What’s special about this new channel is that it combines those fresh ideas with the rich history of our station in a non-stop music stream for our fans worldwide,” said KCRW Music Director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic Jason Bentley. Eclectic24’s programming curator is current KCRW DJ and former Music Director Chris Douridas, who is tapping into the station’s vast and ever-growing digital library of over 500,000 songs and its exclusive archive of 2000+ live performances and interviews, as well as exclusive KCRW music features like the Guest DJ Project and Today’s Top Tune (KCRW’s free song a day).

The station’s move online in 1998 and early foray into podcasting exposed a huge international audience to our programming and Eclectic24 cements KCRW’s place as a unique and vital resource for independent music discovery.

Tune in at:
Url: http://www.kcrw.com/eclectic24

Detroit Musician Creates Music Videos for the Hearing Impaired–He’s Deaf Too August 27, 2009

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Sean Forbes was born into a family of musicians. According to Detroit Make it Here, a Web site powered by Crain’s Detroit Business and Detroit Renaissance, Sean’s stepmother is a pianist, his brothers play saxophone and bass and his father and uncle lead the Detroit country rock band The Forbes Brothers. Therefore, the odds were good that Sean would also have some musical genes. He does.

The 27-year-old Farmington Hills resident plays drums and bass. But one thing differentiates him from the rest of his family. He’s been deaf since he was a baby.

Being deaf since he was young and having an interest in music put Sean into a unique position. He understood that others like him probably appreciated music as well. Maybe he couldn’t hear the music, but he could feel the music of instruments vibrating. He wanted to try to translate the power of lyrics in a way that deaf people could understand.

Sean posted his videos on YouTube, where they immediately became popular. Joel Martin, a music publisher in Ferndale, eventually signed on to help Sean start his own music video company, D-PAN (Deaf Performing Artists Network).

Here a news clip from a Detroit television station which introduces Sean, followed by a video based upon a song by John Mayer entitled Waiting For the World to Change.

The people signing in this video are hearing impaired performers from around the country who are signed by Sean’s company to star in the videos. These videos are compiled into DVD volumes and sold in stores and online.

For more on Sean Forbes’ company DPAN:

The Orchard Reports Revenue Increase Of 13% In Second Quarter 2009 As Compared To Second Quarter 2008 August 17, 2009

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The Orchard reported financial results for the second quarter of 2009.

Second Quarter Results

For the second quarter of 2009, revenues were $15.1 million, compared to $13.4 million for the second quarter of 2008, an increase of 13%.

The Orchard’s gross profit margin was 27% in the second quarter of 2009, as compared to 26% in the second quarter of 2008.

As of June 30, 2009, there were approximately 1.5 million music tracks available for sale, an increase of 29% from the same date in 2008. During the second quarter of 2009, there were approximately 15.1 million paid downloads from The Orchard’s catalogue, an increase of 29% as compared to the second quarter of 2008.

Operating expenses totaled $5.1 million for the second quarter of 2009, as compared to $4.4 million for the second quarter of 2008, an increase of 16% or $0.7 million. This increase was primarily due to (1) a $0.4 million increase in personnel-related expenses primarily due to staff added to support The Orchard’s new physical distribution channel (which The Orchard acquired as part of its acquisition of TeeVeeToons) and to enhance The Orchard’s technology infrastructure, (2) a $0.2 million increase in office expenses following the relocation of The Orchard’s New York headquarters and (3) a $0.1 million increase in other expenses.

The net loss for the second quarter of 2009 was $1.1 million as compared with a net loss of $0.8 million for the second quarter of 2008. The Orchard’s net loss for the second quarter of 2009 was $0.18 per share.

EBITDA for the second quarter of 2009 was a loss of $0.6 million compared with a loss of $0.5 million for the second quarter of 2008. A reconciliation of GAAP net income to EBITDA is provided in the financial tables that accompany this release.

As of June 30, 2009, cash and cash equivalents were $4.2 million and The Orchard had no debt. Net cash provided by operations for each of the six months ended June 30, 2009 and June 30, 2008 was $0.8 million.

Management Comment

Commenting on the second quarter results, Greg Scholl, president and chief executive of The Orchard said, “During the second quarter of 2009, we grew revenues as compared to the same period in 2008, despite a marked deceleration in digital media growth, and again saw new client wins as we increased the number of tracks we have available for download and the size of our video catalogue.”

Scholl continued, “Like many other companies, we continue to operate in a tough market environment and are focused on finding ways to reduce operating expenses. We remain confident in the long-term prospects of our company and sector and are optimistic about our continued platform and service innovations and new label and store signings.”

iLike Challenge App Now Available On App Store August 17, 2009

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iLike announced the availability of the iLike Challenge App on the App Store. The iLike Challenge App for iPhone and iPod touch tests how quickly music fans can listen to, and correctly identify, songs from a host of Sony Music superstars including Britney Spears, Sean Kingston and Kenny Chesney.

“We are delighted to be working with iLike to help its enthusiastic community enjoy Sony Music’s artists in an innovative new way on iPhone and iPod touch,” commented Michael Paull, Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business, Sony Music Entertainment.

The iLike Challenge App makes music discovery on the iPhone and the iPod touch a lot of fun,” said Ali Partovi, CEO of iLike. “This app is addictive. We challenge anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch to test their knowledge of their favorite artists.”

EarthEcho International And The Vans Warped Tour Are Inspiring Tomorrow’s Environmental Rock Stars August 17, 2009

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EarthEcho International, an nonprofit environmental education and youth leadership organization working to restore and protect the world’s oceans, today announced a collaboration with the Vans Warped Tour and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to clean up the waterways surrounding Monterey Bay on August 18, 2009.

The third annual clean up will be led by more than 100 band and crew members from the Vans Warped Tour (http://www.warpedtour.com), the music industry’s most successful and longest-running domestic touring festival. It is part of a program that EarthEcho International is piloting with the Vans Warped Tour to engage pop culture heroes as champions for ocean conservation through the pioneering use of custom online technologies that can be used to meaningfully engage people in pro-environmental action in live-event settings and in their communities. Bands participating in this year’s clean-up include Big D and the Kids Table, The A.K.A.s, Therefore I Am, TAT and The Architects.

“Ocean protection, conservation and restoration is the defining environmental crisis of the 21st century,” said EarthEcho International Co-Founder and CEO Philippe Cousteau. “Over the next 50 years, we must embrace the new promise of just, healthy, and abundant Oceans. EarthEcho International’s program with the Vans Warped Tour will inspire a whole new generation to take action to restore and protect our water planet.”

The clean up is one way for bands to be a part of “Warped ecoRoadie” (http://www.warpedecoroadie.com), a digitally-driven series of eco-challenges, in which bands and fans of the Vans Warped Tour will work together on teams to “clean up their acts” and have the biggest environmental impact. Throughout the course of this summer’s tour, EarthEcho has provided bands with online tools to communicate a range of action opportunities to their fans before, during and after the Vans Warped Tour, and to track and report on the collective impact of the direct action responses to these calls-to action. But the eco-challenges aren’t just for rock stars – anyone can participate. The result: events like the Vans Warped Tour are turned into catalysts for greening action nationwide.

CIPPIC Launches DigitalAgenda.ca To Facilitate Grassroots Advocacy August 17, 2009

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The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) of the University of Ottawa, has launched a new website aimed at facilitating digital advocacy.

DigitalAgenda.ca is CIPPIC’s response to the government’s recent commitment to develop and pursue a strategy for Canada to regain its leadership role in the global digital economy.

The focus of DigitalAgenda.ca will shift as different issues arise. Its primary initial focus will be the ongoing copyright consultation.

“DigitalAgenda.ca will provide a venue for Canadians to learn about digital issues as they arise, to discuss them, and let their government know how they feel about these issues,” says David Fewer, CIPPIC’s Acting Director.

“We want to do two things with this site,” states Staff Lawyer Tamir Israel. “First, we want to enable ordinary Canadians to participate in digital policy-making. But second, we want to be able to make that participation valuable and meaningful.”

“We seek to do so in the current copyright consultations through the use of an Idea Torrent,” states Fewer, “a tool that allows Canadians to suggest, analyze and vote on copyright reform ideas with the ultimate goal of producing a unique grassroots submission to the ongoing government consultation process.” The site will also host a letter writing tool that encourages users to customize a submission to the consultation.

DigitalAgenda.ca also initially provides information on the proposed anti-malware bill (the Electronic Commerce Protection Act), the Lawful Access bills, and on net neutrality.