Steve’s Media Blog

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iTunes Store

iTunes Store

According to Lifehacker, this could very well be the case.  Here’s the short version:

In exchange for the DRM-free tracks, Apple will reportedly allow labels to push three tiers of pricing. Older songs from the archives will likely get cheaper than 99 cents, songs that are newer and “midline” (i.e. not big hits) will inhabit the familiar 99 cent mark, and newer, bigger hits will fetch higher, unnamed dollar amounts.

Sounds good to me; I use iTunes every now and then, and while the DRM aspect is not my biggest concern (I own an iPod Touch), it is always nice to be able to convert the files to mp3.  Also, cheaper prices is fantastic news.

No official word on this yet, and I haven’t seen anything about whether the DRM-free iTunes Store will be retro-active to previously-purchased music.

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I remember about a year and a half ago (or longer – I am not positive on this one) I downloaded Paul McCartney’s latest album.  It was nice, it was okay…it wasn’t anything special though.  Not like I was expecting anothe Beatles album – I’m not stupid.  But it wasn’t really my style of music.  A little too light and poppy for me (even though I do like pop music, but usually not the light stuff).  So of course my ears were pleasantly surprised to hear Paul’s latest work in his collaboration with producer Youth: The Firemen‘s third album, Electric Arguments.  You can listen to it the same place I did: on myspace.

The first track, Nothing Too Much Just Out of Sight is a little misleading for the album as a whole – and it actually reminded me of later Beatles music.  But overall the album does have a sort of pop sound but I don’t find it nearly as off-putting as I did Paul’s solo album I’m talking about (I don’t even know the name of it, to be honest).  It sounds though like a mix of U2 and something else that I’m not sure of; but thankfully the U2 elements aren’t prominent, or else I would probably have stopped listening (there’s some U2 news after the review, actually…does that make me slightly hypocritical?).

The album has a good mix – as mentioned it does get a little slow after the first track, but picks up at Highway.  I am very happy that Paul McCartney teamed up with a producer because otherwise I could see some of these tracks as being a lot less interesting.  The production is definitely noticeable on this album, and it adds to the enjoyment of it.  My enjoyment, at least.

I like to rate albums based on what situation I would listen to it.  Unfortunately that rating system depends highly on the type of music.  Most of the time though, I use the car as a good measure.  Could I listen to this in the car?  I think so, but not on a road trip.  This would be something I’d listen to while puttering around the city.  That’s still pretty good, though, because there’s some music that just won’t set foot outside the house – and that’s bad (sometimes).

After listening to the album on myspace, I can say with 100% certainty that I will acquire this album – either purchasing it at a later date or getting it for Christmas, whichever comes first.  Either/or would work for me.

***

I mentioned there is some U2 news.  We know that Via Rail is busy staring at its navel deciding whether they want to launch their own music downloading service, but Bono has announced the launch of a DRM-free music service of his own.  It’s called (RED) WIRE, and will cost $5/month, launching in December.  The proceeds of this service will go toward “the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.”  Quite a list!

And to clarify, it’s not going to be exactly the same as something like itunes or napster or whatever.  The service will offer an exclusive song from a major artist every week, as well as a smaller artist and “other content”.  And according to exclaim.ca, U2 is on track to releasing their album No Line On The Horizon in February.

Now that I’m feeling dirty enough I should mention something that excites me a little bit more than Bono and U2: No Doubt announced touring and a new album in 2009!  I’ve been waiting for this for a while since I heard the rumours a couple years ago.  Great stuff!  There is also word of Guns N Roses laying down a lawsuit on Dr. Pepper, but I’ll have more on that tomorrow after Friday Morning Free Music.


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