Adele’s ’25’ on Pandora
Pandora confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that every track from Adele’e new album is available through its radio service. That’s not going to be a particularly great way of listening to 25 — because Pandora is a radio service, it means you can’t choose what to listen to and will have to wait for a station to play the new songs — but it does mean that Adele’s album is streaming in some form. You just have to be really, really patient to hear it all.
Pandora’s strange licensing niche usually works against it but here, despite the inability to listen through the songs in order, Pandora has something like an exclusive.
I wonder if Adele’s lawyers told her that keeping it off the on-demand streaming services means the track order she chose will not be the one many people hear the first time they hear the songs.
I don’t know how much that matters to modern musicians, or to someone like Adele, who doesn’t really have a customer acquisition problem.
For the, er, record, I prefer to listen to an album in order if possible.
“Happy birthday” lawsuit takes a(n unexpectedly interesting) turn
Did you know copyright lawyers have waged a legal battle over ‘Happy Birthday’ for a long time? They have, and, somehow, it recently got interesting.
If this proposition is accepted by the judge, Warner/Chappell may lose out on a cash cow that is reported to reap $2 million a year in revenue. Filmmakers like the named plaintiffs — and others who have forked over as much as six figures to license — would no longer have to pay a penny to feature “Happy Birthday” in motion pictures and television shows.
If the copyright the company has been using for years to charge people licensing fees is invalidated, we may see a whole lot of lawsuits aimed at the would-be copyright holders to recoup those licensing fees.
“Birthday candles,” Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
My goal was simple: I wanted to export all of the tracks I’ve listened and stored in my Last.fm account. I don’t have any real experience working with APIs, but thanks to Jeroen Baert’s post, which I found via this StackExchange thread, I found a handy Python script that even a newb can run.
The script was originally written for use in moving your Last.fm data to Libre.fm, but it works just as well as a standalone backup.
I saved lastexport.py to my home folder (the one with your Mac username) and opened up a Terminal window. Then, I just pasted the following command into the Terminal prompt and pressed Enter:
python lastexport.py -u last.fm_user_name
Make sure you replace
last.fm_user_name with your own Last.fm user name. The script will store the results in a text file called exported_tracks.txt, located in your Home folder or whatever other folder you saved the script in. The data in the text file is a little messy, but it’s all there.
If you know how to make the data prettier, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
Streaming music: good for fans, bad for musicians
The numbers are pretty stark, and while it doesn’t hurt to be available on streaming services, if for nothing else than the opportunity to be found by new listeners, unknown artists are better off leveraging social media and sites like Bandcamp to manage their own digital distribution.
At least one Ars Technica reader agrees: Rdio > Spotify
Ars Technica reader jamieskella, contributing to Chris Foresman’s reader recommendation round-up for all those newly-gifted iPads out there:
How and why is Spotify still being recommended when Rdio (free) boasts 18 million songs and is available in so many regions globally? The supremely intuitive app experience leaves Spotify in the dust, the social features add to the already first-rate discovery options, while the method of cataloguing your favourite music is far superior.
Yup, it still pains me that so many people got hooked on Spotify via Facebook and never learned of Rdio’s obvious superiority.
Streaming music to listeners, but not money to artists
Galaxie 500 drummer Damon Krukowski1, writing at Pitchfork:
Since we own our own recordings, by my calculation it would take songwriting royalties for roughly 312,000 plays on Pandora to earn us the profit of one— one— LP sale. (On Spotify, one LP is equivalent to 47,680 plays.)
I’m a happy user of Rdio, which is Spotify’s primary competitor. My fiancée and I pay $17.99 per month for Rdio’s unlimited streaming and downloading to our phones. At first glance, Mr. Krukowski’s article calls the morality of that set-up into question, particularly for someone who wishes he could make a living on his own music.
Some streaming subscribers probably buy more records than non-streamers as a result of discovering new musicians or getting so attached to a record that streaming it just isn’t enough. But Mr. Krukowski casts serious doubt on the idea that streaming can, in any way meaningful to artists, replace the CD/vinyl/iTunes mode of music distribution.
Pandora suing ASCAP for lower licensing fees
Don Jeffrey of Bloomberg:
Pandora also claims that it’s entitled to lower rates because some large music publishers have announced they are withdrawing new media rights from Ascap and negotiating licensing fees directly with Web radio services.
The times, they are a-changin’.