Tag Archive for: Technology

News From Swift, iPhone, And Sony

Those awaiting word of Taylor Swift’s upcoming third album will finally get to hear details when she hosts a live webcast July 20 at 4pm CT. “I’ve spent the last two years out on the Fearless tour and working on my new record,” says Swift. “I’ve gotten so many questions from fans — on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, my website, everywhere really, and it’s so incredible to see how excited everybody is about what’s next. I want them to be the first to know about my new music, and I can’t wait to talk to everybody as directly as I can!” Fans can check out the webcast at Taylorswift.com, MySpace.com/TaylorSwift, Facebook.com/TaylorSwift, and Ustream.tv/taylorswift.


Responding to growing controversy around its popular but troubled iPhone 4, Apple has scheduled a press conference at 10am PT tomorrow (7/16) to address problems with the device. The computer manufacturer has been beset by complaints about the phone’s antenna since its launch, with speculation about a hardware design flaw causing the issues. No information has been given about who will speak at the press conference.


The New York Post is reporting that Sony Corp. has begun a search to replace Sony Music CEO Rolf Schmidt-Holtz. There has been speculation lately about his departure, and his current contract runs through March 2011. The Post article also notes that some sources close to the search have not ruled out keeping Schmidt-Holtz in charge for another term.

Movie Digs Up Dirt On Facebook

A movie coming this October delves into the dirty laundry of Facebook founders Mark Zuckerberg and company. The Social Network from director David Fincher (Fight Club) is being described as dark, which seems to fit with the latest announcement that NIN’s Trent Reznor will be scoring the soundtrack.

Jesse Eisenberg stars as Zuckerberg, and Justin Timberlake plays Napster founder Sean Parker.

Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. Kevin Spacey is on board as a producer.

The film is distributed by Columbia Pictures and is set for an October 1, 2010 release.

Google Music To Debut This Year

The Wall Street Journal has the latest scoop on Google’s upcoming music service. The paper reports that Google is set to roll out a download service later this year—though still several months away—and follow that with a subscription offering in 2011. Of course, the service will be linked to the Google’s ubiquitous search engine.

Google Music is expected to integrate with the company’s Android mobile phone operating system. WSJ sources say that the download store would be the first step toward Google’s launch of a cloud-based subscription service which lets users stream music online via the Android system, without having to store it on their phones.

With Apple’s iTunes store accounting for 28% of all U.S. music purchases in the first quarter (NPD Group), some in the entertainment industry are hoping Google will be iTunes’ first viable competitor. After all, the Android is being called the first true competitor to the Apple iPhone.

Meanwhile, rumors abound that Apple has its own cloud-based version of iTunes in the works.

“Avatar” Shatters Records; Rhapsody Plays Offline

When’s the last time an album debuted with sales over 6 million units?

The movie business is booming today with news of the best selling DVD in North American history. Since its release on April 22, James Cameron’s sci-fi opus “Avatar” has moved a total of 6.7 million copies—about 4 million DVDs and 2.7 million Blu-rays. This also makes it the top selling Blu-ray movie in history.

Sales of “Avatar” have grossed about $130 million. The sci-fi smash grossed $2.7 billion at the box office, making it the most successful film in history.


Music streaming service Rhapsody has a new iPhone application which lets users listen to music even when a data connection is not available. The new offline option stores playlists and tracks on the phone’s memory for playback.

This new option is supposed to significantly extend battery life of the device, and is expected to be useful during travel, and when cell signals are weak.

This technology has been available for some time to users of similar service Spotify in Europe, but Rhapsody is the first to offer it in the United States.

The $10/month music subscription allows listeners to carry music on one portable device, or up to three devices for $15/month. Rhapsody currently has nine million songs in its catalog.

Colt Ford Concert Live In HD

When Colt Ford takes the stage April 30 at Murray State University in Kentucky, fans at home will be able to stream the show live via media delivery portal True View Live. The Tampa-based interactive company will film and broadcast the show in a streaming, High-Definition format with no buffering or stream interruption.

Fans can catch the show through Ford’s official website (www.ColtFord.com) and his social media sites, including Facebook, Myspace and iLike.

In order to view the concert online, fans must purchase an advance virtual ticket at TrueViewLive.com for $9.95. The price also includes bonus live backstage footage and a $10 merchandise coupon.

The True View Live/Colt Ford concert event is produced by 350 Ventures’ Paul Whitehead. Nashville-based marketing and consultancy firm, The Consortium, is directing the project’s marketing efforts.

MP3 Players Plug In To More Cars

Listening to an iPod or other MP3 player via connection to a car stereo is growing in popularity. Just released information from an Arbitron/Edison Infinite Dial national survey shows that 24 percent of persons over age 12 have ever listened to an iPod, iPhone or other MP3 player while connected to a car stereo.

The results, which will be revealed in full on April 8, come from a national survey of 1753 Americans age 12 and up. Forty-four percent of respondents said they own an MP3 player, and 54 percent of those said they have connected their players for listening in the car. The study shows that most of those who listen by connecing in the car do so more than once a week.

Larry Rosin, President of Edison Research, says this is a significant development because he calls the car “a crucial battleground for people’s attention.”

The complete study, “The Infinite Dial 2010 – Digital Platforms and the Future of Audio,” will be presented in a webinar on April 8, details here.

Swift Launches iPhone App, Brings Tour Back To US

Taylor Swift’s Fearless 2010 Tour began its run through the US over the weekend, with sold-out shows in Tampa, Orlando, and Ft. Lauderdale/Sunrise, FL. The 39-date tour is visiting arenas and stadiums in 31 cities throughout the US and Canada over the next three months. Last month, she took the Fearless tour overseas, playing eight sold-out shows in Australia and Japan.

In other Swift news, this week Big Machine Records launched the official Taylor Swift iPhone application. The free app features Facebook and Twitter connectivity and is available here. Built using Mobile Roadie’s leading mobile app platform, the app is enabled with push notification so that any time the superstar releases new music, videos or photos, fans will be instantly updated on their iPhones. Fans can also see her most up-to-date tour information, find and connect with other fans in their area, and share photos with each other.

Aldean, Chesney Launch iPhone Apps

Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean are the latest artists to offer iPhone/iTouch apps to droves of tech savvy followers.

Fans can use the applications to get news, updates and purchase concert tickets. Both musicians are giving them away for free.

“It’s a good way to put your songs and tour directly in your fans’ hands,” says Chesney, who bought iPhones for his touring crew when the device first came out.

Chesney’s app debuts as his current single, “Ain’t Back Yet,” is set to hit digital retailers on March 2. Designed by Aloompa, the app includes his No Shoes Radio, a merch and music store, photo galleries, videos and Twitter capability.

Aldean’s app by Moonshadow eCommerce comes as he releases his fourth single from his Platinum album Wide Open this week. He says “Crazy Town” “is all about the love-hate relationship that every new artist has with Nashville when they’re just starting out…I’ve been playing this one to kick off my live show, and the fans go nuts when they hear the first guitar lick.”

Aldean’s tour has been selling out arenas and setting attendance records. In the past nine months, he has scored three consecutive multi-week No. 1’s (“She’s Country,” “Big Green Tractor,” “The Truth”) spending a total of eight weeks at the top spot, more than any other country artist in the last year.

Apple Unveils iPad

ipadTech-geeks and avid fans of Apple technology were delighted after Steve Jobs’ announcement today of Apple’s new iPad tablet computer. Similar to Apple’s popular iPhone device in touch capability, the iPad offers a 9.7 inch LCD screen, a half-inch thick body and weighs only 1.5 pounds. Models will be available with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flash memory capacity.

The base-level wi-fi only models will be available in approximately two months and be available at the following price points: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 ($699). A 3G-enabled version of the iPad will be available a month later and for $130 more. 3G data plan rates will be $14.99/month for 250MB or $29.99/month for unlimited.

The iPad will be able to run many of the existing apps compatible with the iPhone, but will also feature device-specific applications such as a version of Apple Productivity suite iWork. Additionally, Apple’s announced the launch of iBooks, an electronic reading application and store that aims to compete with Amazon’s Kindle reader.

Microsoft Salutes CMA’s Tech Initiatives


Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer honored CMA for its technological leadership in the industry last night. CMA Board members in attendance included (l-r) Ed Hardy, President of GAC; Patrick Collins, SESAC Sr. VP of Licensing; Steve Bogard, One Music Group Partner; Ballmer; Jeff Walker, President, The AristoMedia Group; Kitty Moon Emery, CEO, Kitty Moon Emery Enterprises; Tim Wipperman; Greg Hill, Red Light Management; and Chris Felder, CMA Digital Media Director. Photographer: Donn Jones / CMA

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer was in Nashville last night (1/20), where he saluted the Country Music Association as a leader in technology initiatives. During the event at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, he also reconfirmed his company’s commitment to working with the CMA to bridge technology and country music, and presented CMA Digital Media Director Chris Felder with a guitar signed by artists who participated in the 2009 CMA Music Festival.

Ballmer also said he plans to continue helping the CMA’s music education initiative “Keep the Music Playing.” The guitar will be used in a future fundraiser for “Keep the Music Playing,” CMA’s charity initiative in partnership with the Nashville Alliance for Public Education that donates funds to Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Last year, the CMA worked with Microsoft and Firefly Logic to develop new Web-based applications for CMAfest.com. There were the “Be This Close” and “Hot Shots” applications, as well as the “Where Am I” mobile web app that allowed Festival-goers to pinpoint their location and their next destination at CMA Music Festival venues as well as to access shuttle bus schedules. The CMA has worked with Firefly Logic on additional Silverlight-based rich media experiences, including a well-received Twitter-based feed aggregator r for the 2009 CMA Awards.