solarbird: (korra-grar)

The old record label system isn’t stupid. It’s surviving only on artificial scarcity at this point, but it isn’t stupid. Never forget that.

They’ve been working with Google/YouTube over their new music streaming service. It’s a big change, and there’s a lot going on – and it was negotiated with the Big Four labels on their terms. That’s never good. Zoë Keating‘s post is going around, and is well worth reading. SJ Tucker – in our release show on Sunday – is looking for ideas. Hell, so am I.

But for now, what you need to know is that Google is telling indie musicians that they have one of two options:

  1. Take their new deal, which includes things like “ads always on every video,” “YouTube is a required point of first release” (not exclusive first release, but no more crowdfunding rewards going out first), “complete catalogue required,” “five year contract,” and so on, or
  2. Have your channel blocked and all your music deleted from the service.

Now, there is a caveat here: this refers to artists who participate in the ContentID programme, which gets them a share of royalties for uses of their music, as is more or less required by law. If you want to forfeit that money, then you can continue to be Some Random Youtuber, but at that point you’re just handing YouTube all that money that’s owed to you, and none of the infrastructure that’s built up around YouTube music will work for you. That’s not really a bonus.

For the record, even with all those downsides, that’s how I’m currently set up. I have been thinking of changing that, however. But to do that, I have to deal with this new ring of hell, and it’s a pretty good strike against crowdfunding and indie/self-funded artists. And against anyone who wants control over their how their work is released and to whom.

One thing I’m seeing is a lot of people commenting with variations on, “Fuck ‘em! They aren’t worth your time!” Except that the last numbers I saw had YouTube at about 70% of online music plays. That data is a few years old now, but Pandora was already huge, and even with that, it was still All About YouTube.

I’m sure that number has moved around a bit. Soundcloud wasn’t as big then, for example. But I don’t imagine it’s an overwhelming shift – and there are all these newer music streaming and DJ systems which use YouTube as their infrastructure, to balance it. It’s why Google are pushing this new system: to make money off of all of that.

So yes, you absolutely can ignore 70% of the online market or whatever it is. But that’s a serious decision, and not even a little bit the “no-brainer” that people seem to think. It’s just not.

Honestly, I don’t have a good answer. There’s a suggested hack floating around in comment sections – starting a little company that is separate to but controlled by the artist, having that company sign up for the service, and only leasing some of your work to that company, and then that company leases all of its music to YouTube. It’s clever. It might be legally viable. It’s certainly an extra layer of expense, trouble, and time, and having to do that kind of hack is certainly yet another barrier to entry to new musicians.

Which is, of course, exactly what the labels want.

This is Part Ten of Music in the Post-Scarcity Environment, a series of essays about, well, what it says on the tin. In the digital era, duplication is essentially free and there are no natural supply constraints which support scarcity, and therefore, prices. What the hell does a recording musician do then?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (molly-kill-everyone-with-sticks)

I haven’t, for a long while, given much of a rat’s ass about the Olympic Games. But now that the IOC has ordered GBLT athletes to stay silent about Russia’s anti-gay pogrom that extends even to them, and the Americans are telling their team to comply(!) with the Russian anti-LBGT laws, I now do care.

I am now actively against the entire project. Don’t move the Olympics; cancel them.

It won’t happen, of course. The very idea is ludicrous. Despite its redeeming elements, it’s always been deeply corrupt and frankly kind of horrible as soon as you scratch the surface. And god damn, if this is how they’re gonna roll? To hell with the whole project. Burn it down and start over.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (molly-angry)

James Nicoll reports on his blog that Orson Scott Card has declared marriage equality ‘moot’ and asks for ‘tolerance’ from ‘victors’ – oh, and please don’t boycott his movie. Bleeding Cool asks whether it’s enough.

No. It’s not. Honestly, I’m shaking a little with rage. That stinking S.O.B., whose legions and allies both active and advantageous have worked throughout my entire life to make me a non-person, who has advocated that I should be illegal and in jail and worked towards that goal, whose nationally-organised well-funded partners have actively persecuted me my entire life… who’ve harassed me, who’ve sent anonymous rape and death threats, who’ve assaulted me, sent me to hospital… I’ve sidetracked career, I’ve sidelined huge chunks of my life, I’ve spent – as they used to say – blood and treasure in fighting off these bastards… and knowing full well that they’d make me a nonperson again in a heartbeat if they could…

…the most we get out of this duplicitous steaming bile is “moot”ness and a request for “tolerance” (and don’t boycott my movie)?


Fuck you, Orson. Fuck. You.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (Default)
Facebook will charge to 'promote' user posts

Facebook Now Lets US Users Pay $7 To Promote Posts To The News Feeds Of More Friends

Facebook wants you to pay $7 to promote your posts


Actually, it's not as bad. Page owners, if they don't pay, have 80% of their posts hidden from subscriber/"Like"er news feeds. They're just never propagated. Individual users - for the moment - will still see posts appear in their friends' news feeds, but! they'll be scaled up and down the page depending upon whether you paid or not.

I'd like to think that this would make people go, "y'know what? Fuck this noise." But I don't think it will.
solarbird: (assassin)
So I was looking at some of my own posts on LJ, like the one with the Coyote video embed (which, like, nobody played from LJ?) and it turns out that the embed was only loading in my browser, because it was cached, and LJ seems to have broken YouTube video embeds again.

Insert picture of headdesk here -->


I guess. Fuck, idk. This shit used to work, goddammit. Now I have to keep coming up with New Hax to keep LJ from breaking my shit. I'm having to make Bandcamp hand me MYSPACE code to make players work. SERIOUSLY, MYSPACE?! Goddamn.

There's a way to make YouTube spit out its old-version HTML, does it work? Let's find out!


eta: Who knows? LJ isn't accepting posts, at least not from me, at least not right now, not even on its own site. I wonder why? NOBODY KNOWS!

misc links

Sep. 24th, 2011 12:19 am
solarbird: (Default)
I haven't known what to do with these, so here they are!

US court allows lawsuit by American victims of Mr. Bush's torture programme advance. Two undercover FBI agents, both known to be FBI undercover agents investigating corruption by US contractors, were held and tortured for months. A third American was also held and tortured for months. Frankly, I'm surprised they've been allowed to proceed this far; Mr. Obama has managed to stop all the other cases. Perhaps there's enough FBI pressure on this one to counterbalance some of the political weight of the American torture establishment.

GM OnStar spies on you after you cancel your subscription. You can opt out, but you have to know to do that.

TLS is fucked. V1, anyway. V1.1 and 1.2 aren't vulnerable, but there's been very little support for them so far. Everybody watch this change fast!

This is just kind of pathetic, really. Creationist "science" textbook tries to explain electricity, gives up. It's a MYSTERY! Also, go check their sample chapter on the formation of the moon. It's ... sad.

What Facebook's new OpenGraph means for you. Which is to say, how it gets as much information about you together as possible.
solarbird: (assassin)

HI, MIRA GRANT FANS! Welcome to the home of rage-driven acoustic elfmetal! That was quite the turnout you guys provided to the WHO IS YOUR THE MASTER NOW? poll; well done!

Let’s talk losers and winners, shall we? First, our loser, with a frankly astonishing ZERO (0) votes: SAD FOX MASTER!

Not even one?!

Out-polled by “MANOS”: The Hands of Fate. That’s gotta hurt.

Now for our winner! I give you the animated GIF presentation of your new THE MASTER – hit refresh if you want to make sure you start at the beginning…

Mira Grant! Congratulations, voters! Mira Grant is your THE MASTER now! Beware her zombie viruses and many other forms of doom. Everyone show your allegiance by singing the doom song – or else!

In other news, I’ve done a rather substantial refresh of the official band website. When I designed and built it last summer, I didn’t have much material beyond the Sketchy Characters EP. So I designed the site around that.

Since then, I’ve been busy. There’s the studio album, Dick Tracy Must Die, a live four-song EP, Espionage, a traditional-music-of-sorts EP, Cracksman Betty (both EPs being free/pay-what-you-want downloads), videos, photos, mailing list, ask-the-band, show posters, and and and.

So I’ve rebooted everything! I’ve ditched the hard black-on-white look and gone with something more colourful. I’ve elevated the music so you can find it – you might note the album cover graphics have play buttons! There’s a link off to YouTube video, there are shiny candy social network buttons – all sorts of stuff. There’s still no real merch page, and I’ll have to fix that soon, but the rest is pretty much where I want it. Tester feedback has been really good; give it a going-over and let me know what you think!

I already have the new poll designed for Wednesday. I like this one, it’ll be fun. Look for it, because it’ll be looking for you. Muah ha ha ha ha!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (assassin)

I keep hearing modern anime sucks, that there’s a crisis in anime, that there’s a crisis amongst the otaku, all that. I have a geeky audience, here: let’s see what you think.

How long has modern anime sucked?


Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.
Dick Tracy Must Die is out! Buy at CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, or through Bandcamp!

solarbird: (assassin)

I hate it when I have shit goin’ on and gettin’ lined up and I can’t talk about it because it’s not final. I hate it so much!

So much.

Secrets are hard. I hate having to keep my big mouth shut.

But I can say this: Seattleites! Sonic Boom Records in Ballard has Dick Tracy Must Die in stock now. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (ORLY)

This is on the way back down.
solarbird: (music)

I’ve uploaded the second-to-last remixed song – “Let Me Help,” the second song I recorded, got remixing and a new vocal performance, joining “Thought You Knew” in the “desperately improved” clubhouse. The difference isn’t quite as large because by “Let Me Help,” I’d started to understand timing a lot better, but people who’ve heard both (particularly side by side) say “oh yeah, that’s much better.” Enjoy:

I’m on schedule to deliver to the mastering engineer on Monday, which is, you know, awesome.

But mostly today is about cake:

Because I’m making cake for my neighbourhood association’s wine tasting party tonight. It’s Portal Cake. I call these two layers “delicious” and “moist,” but they’re really named “lies” and “deceit.”

(I can’t wait for Portal|2 to come out. I hope it’s as good as the demos looked. XD )

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

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