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Opinion: My Problem With Taylor Swift

swift3 Opinion: My Problem With Taylor SwiftI admit: I am not a staunch Taylor Swift fan. To be frank, I have very little respect for her music in general. Numbers, however, are numbers and Taylor Swift swept 2010 like a tornado. An article I read today stated that her album ‘Speak Now’ sold more than 4.4 million albums and her songs were spotted by SoundScan a record 1.128 million times. As if this wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift also holds the distinction of being the most sold artist ever in the digital music world. Although I personally cannot see the reason her music is so popular, the fact that there are so many people out there that are willing to spend money to listen to her music says something about her work and about the industry in general.

swift2 Opinion: My Problem With Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift is an integral part of what I like to call the marketplace music movement. I am sure she puts a lot of work into her music and I respect the fact that she writes her own songs; but the fact remains that from the inception of the song to its production to its deployment as albums and digital downloads, the underlying motivation for everything is profit-making. That does not go to say that her music is not well-written or well-produced. It does, however, stay within the boundaries of what music corporate executives feel will sell the most. Going by the numbers alone, I’d say that they’re spot on.

swift Opinion: My Problem With Taylor SwiftI think music, however, has the potential to do more. It is a canvas on which artists can experiment, push the envelope and excite us. And I think that part of the reason that music like Taylor Swift’s sells so much is because we as consumers demand it. It’s basic economics. My only hope is that some of the break out artists from the world of Indie music and alternative rock whet the public’s appetite for more progressive music. I wish Taylor Swift success, but deeply hope for a day where the best selling hits are of deeper substance.

Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 Downloaders

riaa Catch me If You Can—The RIAA on MP3 DownloadersListening to music is a hobby for most people. Unlike before when you could only get music from record stores—which, unfortunately, many people would not afford— these days, it is quite easy and convenient to just download your favorites to enjoy at your leisure without the hassle of going out and buying the album. From a consumer perspective this is cool, right? But from the music industry perspective, this creates a never ending dilemma as sales continue to decline.

However, there is a legal alternative to getting free music by logging on to the Internet and finding websites that let you download your favorite hits. That alternative is streaming Internet radio. The Internet is always on and always available (well, almost always)….you will rarely find a person who does not use it, which makes Internet radio incredibly convenient. Since music files are all copyrighted materials, Internet radio providers often display ads to pay royalties to the recording companies, which in turn grant permission to play their copyrighted works. But, you say, I want the files on my computer…so what are the consequences of illegally downloading music?

Lawsuits Overview

Who hasn’t heard about the lawsuits filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? These case charges were filed against thousands of Internet users from all walks of life. Its goal is not only to preserve the integrity of the copyright materials but, most importantly, to augment declining music industry sales. After realizing that sales continue to drop and that the efforts made did not create significant impact Internet users whom they sued one by one, the RIAA has tweaked their complaints a bit.

A New Route

While these lawsuits are still on-going, it is geared towards a new direction. Instead of going after each Internet user that has downloaded a music file, a letter of complaint will be sent to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This made it more sensible and efficient for the RIAA. First, your ability to download music files is dependent on your Internet connection, hence once you are dropped by your ISP, you will no longer be able to download files. Second, collaborating with handful of ISPs is much easier than going to court to sue individuals. This initiative has allowed the RIAA to differentiate regular users from the list of illegal downloaders.

The Supreme Verdict

The RIAA has gone so far as to take their case to the Supreme Court, but because of the fact that the RIAA initiatives to stop music piracy and copyright infringement did not seem to work at all, the Supreme Court was compelled not to review the case. This decision has triggered another action from the RIAA. Instead of going after small-time downloaders, they will only go after those users who are uploading more than a thousand files. This means that even if you download copyright materials, you are safe from charges as long as you will not upload these files for someone else’s benefits…at least for the time being.

Illegal music downloading is no doubt hurting the music industry—many Internet users are attracted to the widespread availability of free music downloads online. The consequences, while currently being applied mainly to those that make music available for download, can be devastating. The RIAA has switched tactics before though, so we recommend sticking to streaming Internet radio in case they start targeting individuals again—it’s free, convenient and legal.

Themed Musical Jewelry

diamond Themed Musical JewelryMusic has had a huge impact on jewelry design, with musical artists influencing the styles that become popular overnight. Hip hop music, for instance, made bling jewelry studded with diamonds a must-have accessory for any up-and-coming rap artist. However, not every musician can afford to load down on gold chains and diamond jewelry, and there are still other ways to express their musical talent choosing themed musical jewelry. page go Themed Musical Jewelry Continue reading Themed Musical Jewelry »

3 Things We Love about Comedy Radio

laughing 3 Things We Love about Comedy RadioWho doesn’t like to laugh? Other than the Scrooges of the world, pretty much everyone just likes to laugh and have fun; it’s a much better alternative than crying as a way to exercise those facial muscles. This basic human need to let go of the day-to-day humdrum and have good belly laugh is the number one reason why comedy has been a booming business worldwide.

You experience comedy anywhere you go and every day of your life—when you’re riding the bus, you might overhear two young teenage boys cracking jokes to each; when you get home, you turn on the television and you see that a sitcom is on; you flip the radio on and hear the DJ wisecrack about something and you suddenly burst out laughing. Comedy is an intrinsic part of our lives; comedy radio is just one side of the comedy spectrum, but it’s a direct infusion of comic relief that you can access instantly thanks to the advent of Internet Radio and readily available Internet connections.

Comedy has been buzzing over the airwaves since the invention of the radio and had its heyday in the pre-television years with shows like “Amos and Andy” and “The Jack Benny Program”, but is still alive and well today, albeit in a different format. Stand-up comedy is the norm now, rather than the serial-type comedies of yesterday. Think about it: when someone cracks a joke and you ask them where they heard it, you almost always get the same answer—they heard it on the radio. So what is it about comedy radio that everyone loves so much?

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Cover Songs That Beat the Originals

happy mondays Cover Songs That Beat the OriginalsMusic is an incredible art form…can you imagine how monotonous life would be without it? What would a graduation be without “Pomp and Circumstance”? What about a wedding without the “Wedding March”? Songs have impact; this impact often inspires other artists to make their own version of popular songs from the past. Sometimes, the audience gives a negative review of the revision—inspired, no doubt by some fond memory they have of the original. At other times, the cover version makes much bigger waves than the original; sometimes  to the point that everyone forgets who initially sang it.  With all of that in mind, we have compiled a short list of covers that ended up better than the originals. page go Cover Songs That Beat the Originals Continue reading Cover Songs That Beat the Originals »

Music and Technology

recording Music and TechnologyMusic colors every part of our lives. Its nature is simple: rhythm, melody, and harmony; and with the rise of technology, these elements are capable of great musical depth.

“Today’s recorded music  is done with computers, which really has fine-tuned recording and can make multiple manipulations to perfect the sound and balance,” said Pat Pearson, a  guitar teacher and performer out of Atascadero, California. page go Music and Technology Continue reading Music and Technology »

10 Advantages of Streaming Radio

online radio 10 Advantages of Streaming Radio Streaming technology is a means of allowing certain media such as video, audio and other multimedia to be transmitted via the Internet. Among all the music delivery technology around us—satellite radio, CDs, cassettes…8-tracks (maybe we’ve gone a little too far with that one)—streaming Internet Radio has become the choice of many music consumers. 977music.com was created to embrace streaming technology because of the benefits that streaming radio offers to users.

What Are The Benefits?

1.  It can be viewed in real time- Media streaming allows the user to listen to music on the Internet in real time. As opposed to the conventional method of obtaining music online—downloading files from the Internet to your desktop, the music can be actually listened to instantly without using up your hard drive storing all the mp3’s.

2. You can listen to the music of your choice- Among its biggest advantages over conventional radio is the wide array of choices to select from. Internet radio offers all kinds of music genres; there’s something for every generation.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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