Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Archive for the ‘music industry’ Category

Ninja Consumers

Posted by Ad on March 27, 2012

Finland’s allegedly trailing way behind our neighbor Sweden in consumption of streamed and downloaded music. I don’t believe that, I think it’s just a difference in behavior that accounts for the over 30% difference.

I may have mentioned having attempted to buy Logic 9 on the App Store, but was unable to actually pay. The store only accepts a bunch of credit cards, which I know better than to get. After some correspondence with Apple’s customer service (who politely/robotically suggested, repeatedly, that I should just get a credit card), I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. So far, Logic Express 8 serves me fine, and when that fails, I can move to a different DAW. I’ve heard good things about Digital Performer, I’ve been looking at Ableton Live for live performance reasons, there’s always the very affordable Reaper, and beyond those a myriad of other options.

What bothered me the most is the lack of a PayPal option in Apple’s stores, as it’s an option in the US but not here. That’s what I use to buy stuff on Steam and Bandcamp, it’s a very convenient payment options that Apple seems to allow in other countries. Having to get a credit card is a hoop I might jump through if there was no other option. But that’s not the case. There’s other software… and other means.

My theory on piracy is that there’s three types of pirates: pirates of convenience, pirates of economy, and pirates of ideals. Pirates of ideals are the free-culture hippies that think information shouldn’t be locked up and everything should be available for free. Not sure to what extent I agree with them, there’s freedom of information acts on one side, and indie artists’ earnings stolen by labels and royalty-collecting agencies on the other. Pirates of economy are the ones who can’t afford the stuff they pirate, or who just don’t want to pay. In the developing world, I support this attitude. Get stuff, use stuff, build business and education. In the developed world, there’s certainly a lower class that may not be able to afford to keep up with the music and movies their more affluent neighbors consume, but the majority population can afford the 10 bucks an album costs these days.

Still, the most interesting type are the pirates of convenience. These include brats with a runaway sense of entitlement as well as lazy ppl who just want stuff in the most convenient way possible, and probably further still in… some direction. I use Steam because it’s convenient. It’s the ultimate combination of store, personal library and networking tool. I’ve used other means of getting the stuff I wanted… because it was convenient.

The thing is, pirates of convenience may well pay for their stuff (even to the point where they aren’t pirates anymore) if they get it without jumping through hoops. Bandcamp does this well. With a clean interface and a few clicks, I buy music and support the artist. I typically listen to music by my friends, released on Bandcamp (or ocremix), but if I wanted something else, Apple’s iTunes Store is among the last places I’d buy from. No credit card, no PayPal option, no way of paying short of buying a dozen of those iTunes Store cards from Apple Stores irl. Considering there are music stores out there that attempt to sell stuff released for free (eg free releases from Bandcamp, ocremix albums et al), I feel safer getting music from a place where I know the wrong ppl aren’t profiting from the artists’ work.

Despite speaking from a very limited experience with music stores, I think the main reason Finland’s trailing in music downloading/streaming is in measuring the wrong thing: only purchases and streaming services that are being tracked by the music… tracking… ppl. There’s YouTube (-to-mp3), there’s torrents, there’s a lot of ways to get music besides iTunes, Spotify, and whatever else was tracked.

It’s not like Finns are tech-illiterates. It may actually be the opposite. That’s why I don’t think my ISP blocking The Pirate Bay is gonna stop ppl.

Two more things, mostly unrelated: I’ve got a plan/idea/design for a movie/tv-show site, one that includes a way to make money from the site. There’s just the problems of convincing advertisers, and to consolidate shows and movies into a single service rather than have each studio and network demand special treatment/jack up prices for their catalogues or otherwise make their own services… thus driving ppl to the quasi-legal link sites and torrent searches instead. Tho for a single-network service it might work, too. Maybe I should just patent my idea and sit on it, then sue anyone that came up with it independently if they get big. That’s apparently how the big tech companies do it. If only game devs could do the same with to get CloneVille (as in Zynga) off the map.

The other thing is my new album plan: my old music as a free album… or album series. We’ll see. I think I have four tracks being worked on atm that fits my old methods, so they’re candidates for this album. Any proper album would be a later concern, now I’ll just focus on finishing random tracks and giving some extra attention to my few thousands of old tracks.

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Apple are Morons, RIAA worse

Posted by Ad on January 24, 2012

Lately, iTunes has been asking me to sign in a few seconds after starting the app. I get it, it’s a music store that I persist in using as the music library it used to be. But you’d expect the program to let me opt out of logging in every time. What’s more annoying is that it asks twice, with some delay in between. This even happens when the iTunes Store is disabled in the Parental options.

I had a similar problem with an old version of Photoshop Elements, where every so often after I’ve started it, it “couldn’t get info” from… somewhere. Didn’t matter if I was in the middle of tweaking an adjustment layer or effect, it just dropped everything to let me know that it couldn’t get info from wherever. I’m tolerating that because once it’s tried a few times, it stops. Besides, I don’t use PS for much anyway, and that old version will be retired along with my old laptoip once I get a new one.

But when Apple does this to me, it’s worse. It’s not a glitch, it’s something that someone decided was a good idea. I don’t like the idea of logging in to do stuff on my own computer. I don’t use the iTunes store, and I’ve only bought a handful or Apps via the App Store. While it never actually requires me to log in, asking – twice – is annoying.

Speaking of which, I’m not likely to purchase much of anything from either store anyway. I don’t have a credit card, and I can’t get either store to accept PayPal, which I use for my online purchases. I’ve heard there was an issue with the App Store charging as much as 4000USD for Lion through some glitch, but that’s no reason to pull support for it… especially as so many other parts of the internet use PayPal without any apparent problems. I mean, every game I’ve bought on Steam I’ve bought via PayPal. IIRC, all the music software I’ve bought over the net I’ve bought with PayPal.

And segueing from iTunes, the fallout from the rightfully rejected SOPA/PIPA has shown the true colors of the MPAA and the RIAA. The way I see it, we could do without those two. The less power they have, the more they’ll have to focus on good music, not just metrics and a bland copy of the next hot thing. Maybe they’ll support real artist instead of manufacturing their own?

The way I understand it, Spotify has to deal with whatever they demand for their music, and if Spotify doesn’t make enough dough to keep up, they lose their contracts with the big music companies. That might actually be a good thing. If I knew my money was going to the ppl that make the music I listen to, I’d happily pay for a subscription to Spotify. Currently, I wouldn’t.

If the big labels pull their stuff, Spotify could survive as a transparent, independent music platform, delivering great music, supporting the artists that make the music, promoting new and interesting indie artists. Last I used Spotify, it was a search engine for names of songs and artists, with a “featured” page with the “hottest” music. I don’t care. I’m apparently too hipster to like most modern pop music. What if I wanna find some new, cool, underappreciated artist, or discover the unknowns hits of some niche genre, or catch up on jazz history or video game releases?

The movie industry could do better too. While stuff like Attack the Block and other gold does appear from time to time, we’re still getting huge budgets on mediocre films. Sure, Inception was cool, but Avatar was predictable and gimmicky, like the entire, color-ruining, still not focus-altering 3d thing. Granted, you need money to make movies, so why not spend more money on movies and less on bribes?

While big, spectacular films, good or not, will always draw ppl in for the things that money can buy on screen, the record industry is in a terrible position where music is all over the place and the value of any given album or song has dropped dramatically.

While Apple tries to remedy this with a convenient means of buying music, and Spotify paying big money to use the big names on its service, I’m hoping someone’s gonna come up with a, big new music service that’s better than both of those. Something that doesn’t ask you repeatedly to log in to your own music, and that actually pays the artists.

In the mean time, I’ll use PayPal to buy my music from artists’ bandcamp pages or from cdbaby or something. As for my own music, I’m still on Logic Express 8, and while I’ve been meaning to upgrade, Apple doesn’t make it easy for me to hand them my money…

PS. I’m still displeased with wordpress’ new interface. I can see one or two paragraphs of text in the New Post text box, and the resize thing doesn’t work. Navigating through the site to get to the Add New Post page thatactually works is troublesome because the whole thing defaults to the wrong blog. I have two. This belongs on the music one. Dear webmasters, stop “fixing” things by b0rking them!

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These terms only appear in links pointing to this page

Posted by Ad on May 7, 2011

Post title is from almost any page with me in it, supposedly. When I check out the page google has cached, it says… well, the above message. Apparently, I’m on some pages linking to random artists I have no relation to, have never heard of, and that hardly have  music I enjoy. And when I click on a link, I’m not even on there.

Cindy Gomez…? Apparently, Someone’s using my name to link to her. Either someone who likes her also likes me, which isn’t all that weird since she sang on the Prince of Persia Sands of Time soundtrack… the video game, thatis. It’s either that, which I somehow doubt is all there is to it, or this is another side to the whole SEO linkfarm spamdexing shit that’s all over the net.

Google, please make a search algorithm that recognizes link farms and stuff like that for what they are. Optionally, someone point me to a better search engine. Not Bing. I said better. You know, when I use multiple search terms, I might actually wanna find a page with all search terms. Not this. (if you’re not seeing what I’m seeing, ask Google about THIS)

On that note, some of the results I get that actually do contain both me and her seem to think we’re similar artists.

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Entitlement

Posted by Ad on November 4, 2010

From time to time, I google myself. It’s interesting to see what crops up then: a mention on a blog, listed in “listening to” references, youtube video clones, free download sites…

As I don’t have anything commersial out there, I don’t have a problem with any of this, but it has me worried. When I release an album, one I wanna earn some dough with, who’s to say it won’t end up uploaded everywhere so everyone can grab everything for free?

The internet is changing. Content creators have to come up with new ideas all the time to get money. Donations, merchandize, concerts, licensing… While some pirates may be pirates of convenience who would pay if it was easy enough – take Steam as a great example of how to deal with pirates of convenience: make buying _more_ convenient – others are pirates of economy or entitlement – they wouldn’t buy at all. Why should they get for free what I worked hard to produce? Spotify kind’a does the same with music as Steam does with games, it makes it convenient. Which reminds me, I should get Spotify. I need new music.

From time to time I deal with ppl with an inflated sense of entitlement on ocremix’ forums; people who expect to be good at music because they have good software, and expect to get their remix posted on ocremix because they made it. Why should they be any different from the ppl who spent years learning to make music? It’s unfair! Well it would be: it took me about a year of learning on ocremix before I got a remix posted, and that was after 5-6 years of making music. Was I annoyed at my first NO? Yes I was. Did that put my sense of entitlement in check? Yes it did. Would it be fair if any n00b with an audio file could get their stuff posted there? No it wouldn’t.

Because a lot of ppl grow up in a world where mom and dad get them whatever they want, and mom and dad have vague jobs somewhere out there, ppl might not make the connection between work and earnings. So ppl grow up with the idea of money as this thing that ppl just have. Not good.

I’ve been thinking about money a lot. With the world economy (and especially the US economy) dropping into the toilet, I looked up all these economy things I never cared for before. I realized there is no money. Money is just a promise of labor, or a proof of labor, depending on how you wanna look at it. Everyone has to work for something to get something. Back in the day, you’d farm your land, you’d get food. Or someone else would farm their land, you’d make them shovels and plows, and you’d get food. Money is the middle man. They give you money for the tools, you give them money for the food.

If I make music for you, don’t I sort of work for you? Shouldn’t I then get paid? Who’s supposed to pay me?

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Should get a job in the industry

Posted by Ad on July 19, 2010

It’s 3 PM. Just woke up and had breakfast/lunch. I went to bed 7 AM. Technically, I went to bed around 1 AM, couldn’t sleep, did stuff, tried again, couldn’t sleep, did more stuff etc…

So what kept me up? Sirlin Games’ characters, Caesar II, and the idea of a survival game I wanna make. As if I could. I dug up Caesar II the other day, having fun with it. I suck at these kinds of management games, but I still like seeing the city and stuff grow. The survival game idea/sketch is something I’d like to make some day, so I’m keeping quiet about how it works.

Sirlin’s characters tho… I’ve been reading his blog and articles from time to time, and came across his Fantasy Strike characters. I wrote music for them. I know he’s got someone already, and it’s probably ocremix, but I don’t care. I had fun. 😀

Anyway, with stuff revolving a lot around games and stuff, I’m thinking I should just learn programming and start making crappy looking games with decent gameplay and awesome music. I got nothing better to do anyway.

Just gotta learn to program. *sigh*

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Having a pro moment

Posted by Ad on January 28, 2010

No, nothing big and profitable. Unfortunately. 😀 Just a short student animation that I now saw a clip from with my music. I had scored it to an earlier rendered version with low resolution, so to see it big and shiny was cool.

On one hand, I’m starting to feel I don’t have what it takes for the music industry, at least as a composer. On the other hand… this was easy. Had a short deadline, but made an ok score in time. And it didn’t feel difficult (despite that it was tricky to get the ideas out and to try to time things to the cuts).

If it ends up on youtube I’ll link it. Later. If I remember. Maybe.

Working on one of my secret projects has taught me how important context is. With that project I’m having a hard time making the music really sound right for the setting. Despite Omnisphere’s gazillion sounds I can’t get it right. Must be the arrangement that’s causing trouble. just don’t know how to fix it. Oh well…

Too many projects, not enough profit. Can’t take on a new practice project until I’ve cleared some others, either. Been meaning to rip scenes from various shows and movies and try scoring those, see how it ends up being. Well, once I clear some of the projects out of the way, maybe.

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Mass Media Constant

Posted by Ad on April 13, 2009

My half-acquaintance from ocremix zircon has been in ocremix news lately, making ocremix headlines (well, a thread title) by having a track used prominently in Heroes on TV. Licencing ftw.

Been listening a lot to Mass Media Constant, his latest album a bit lately. Not very expensive, and all cool tracks, definitely something I’ll try to learn from.

This post isn’t all about zircon, Steffan Andrews was interviewed by ocremix staff and I realized we’re about the same age. He’s done music for video games, films, and TV. zircon is younger and has also got some impressive credits, and skills.

And then there’s me, with little or no professional credits, little or no pro-level skill, little or no music education… Makes me feel like I’m a bit too late to try to get into the industry.

With music having never been cheaper to produce, there is an abundance of music, and everything is more or less available everywhere anyway thanks to the net. I should be smart and pick a profession that won’t run out of jobs any time soon. But I want to work in music.

“Those who can’t do, teach” some say. Hm…

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