With the release of two discs on January 25, Bright Eyes turned this edition of Gear Live Playlist into singer-songwriter central. We also look at recent releases by Minnesota songster Mason Jennings and Martha Vineyard’s Willy Mason. Finally, for the collection essential, Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks” - one of the most soulful and beautiful albums ever recorded. Next time, I promise we’ll get a little more testosterone in the Playlist, but for now sit back and embrace your sensitive side.
Sony, Philips, Matsushita and Samsung have decided to work together to produce a system to manage digital music and video in order to put an end to piracy, or at least make it harder. These companies have finally realized that there are too many companies with their own brand for digital music. This leads to consumers not being able to play songs they purchased legally on their own MP3 player. Hopefully more companies will join in on this venture to fully embrace one digital music standard. After all, who wants to buy a new portable music player just so they can play one album they bought at so and so’s online store?
Read More | BBC News
At Gear Live, we totally love AllofMP3.com - even if they doubled their prices from 1 cent per megabyte to 2 cents. Still, it is exponentially cheaper than something like the iTunes Music Store. Now there seems to be some competition for AllofMP3.com in the land of Russia. MP3Search has a nice catalogue of popular music availble for download at an even 10 cents per song. That is 90% cheaper than purchasing a song through Apple’s music store, or any other store for that matter. Looks like I now have two sources for ultra cheap music downloads.
Read More | MP3Search.ru
We all rent movies instead of buying them. Sure, sometimes we just love a movie so much that we buy it. For the most part though, you just rent movies since you know you will only watch it a couple of times and that’s it. The same thing can be said for music. You buy songs or download them if they are free, listen to them a few times and never listen to them again. So why don’t we just rent music instead of buying the tracks? Napster answers the call. Napster is currently beta testing a music rental service where a user may subscribe for $15 a month and have access to unlimited downloads. The tracks a user downloads can be used on players that support Microsoft Windows Digital Rights Management technology, Janus. Sorry iPod users, for now the service only supports players made by Samsung, Rio and Creative. The Napster service also requires the user to update their license on a monthly basis. If the user does not have a valid subscription anymore, the song cannot be played. This is a nice concept, however if the iPod does not get an update to support this technology, this service will not get the full amount of users that it’s capable of reaching. After all, who wants to pay 99 cents a song when they can get unlimited songs a month for only $15? Of course if you go the free route, you will always be looking out for the R.I.A.A.
Read More | BBC News
You are a hip, young, internet user. This means you like free music, no matter how you get it. If you are a new iPod user, you have been treated to a free album download on iTunes when you first synched your iPod to your PC, titled “Universal Motown New Music Sampler”. While it isn’t a compilation of huge hits, it’s still nice to get 13 tracks of music for free. But what about those of us that have had iPods for a while, or just use iTunes but don’t want Apple’s MP3 player? You too can download the Motown New Music Sampler free of charge. How so? Simple be sure you have iTunes installed on your PC, and click this link.
Looks like Virgin and Tapwave are taking steps to establish a bigger presence in the portable audio market. Today’s announcement from the CES Show floor indicates that the two are working together to pair up the Virgin music download service with the versatile handheld, which through the help of SD cards, could store up to 2GB of music. Details are still unclear as to how the two devices will work seamlessly, but I can imagine an option on the Virgin service that allows transfers directly to the SD card, with minimal mouse-clicks. Virgin’s downloadable songs are going for $.99 each, while the Zodiac sells for $269.
It’s not that I am old by any means, but I remember going into a diner and being able to pop 50 cents into a little machine on my table and listening to some music while I waited for my food. You will notice that these days you don’t see many of these. One company is trying to change that. eCast has developed a Digital Jukebox system that works over existing broadband connections. You can listen to any song that is contained in their database. The neat thing is, if you visit their website, you can see the last song that was download and where it was downloaded from.
Read More | The Boston Globe
A few days ago we presented our 2004 Holiday Gift Guide. 2004 has also been a great year in music, and we at Gear Live have put together this Christmas shopping list for the music fan in your life. From CD’s to DVD’s to books, every aspect of the music world is covered. So go out, and get your hands on this stuff, for a family member, friend, or even yourself.
This week may have marked the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but the Wu-Tang Legend lives on in their latest greatest hits release. We also take a look at the latest release from the late John Lennon. If you are looking for something truly unique, check out our review of DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing”. All this and more in this weeks Playlist.
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