Category - celestial jukebox

Whatever you want to hear, whenever you want to hear, wherever you are. If the bastards ever let us…

As I’ve Been Saying All Along…

…The music industry is a $100-billion 21st Century business trapped in a $7-billion 20th Century business model:

That’s according to Marc Geiger, head of William Morris / Endeavor (aka Ari Gold‘s super-agency):

“The recorded music industry can grow to a $100 billion-plus business within the next 15 years – but only if it abandons pushing music ownership and fully embraces the streaming subscription model, said Marc Geiger, WME’s global head of music, during a powerful, deliberately provocative keynote speech on day two of Midem.

“If you still think [the future] is about owning files I will talk to you again in 24 months and you will deny that you ever said it to me,” Geiger stated during a slick 25-minute presentation, which was entitled “20 Years of Pain. No More Fooling Around: The Definitive Future of the Music Business.”

I heard several years ago that the average music “consumer” purchases roughly $40/year of recorded music.  So they’re spending $40 year – less than $3.50/mo – to “purchase” 3 to 4 CDs, maybe 30 to 50 tracks to horde in their own personal private music “library.”

So tell them instead that for a measly $10/mo (your mileage may vary) they can have the entire history of recorded music on a gizmo in their pocket and see what happens.

You know the old expression: “do the math.”

 

 

@PatMetheny, WTF?

Did you really just release HALF a record?

Pat Metheny, 20th Century Man

Pat Metheny, 20th Century Man

I think I have to confess something that a lot of my Vast Legion of readers will take issue with: I get really irritated when fairly major recording artists use manipulative techniques to get me to buy their records.

And I will confess further, likely much to the dismay of anybody who is still trying to make any kind of a living from “selling music,” that I consider the whole concept very “20th century.”

It’s an idea that originated with Edison and Berliner and Johnson in the early 20th Century.

And has been essentially obsolete since the advent of the Internet, MP3s, and Napster.  I live in the era of the Celestial Jukebox now.  I expect it all to be delivered for a single monthly fee.  Kinda like my cable teevee.

But people keep trying to sell me records, and they keep trying to do it with what I regard as onerous promotional methods.

Like releasing only parts of a new CD on Spotify. As Pat Metheny has done with his new album, called Kin.

First of all,  I have been a Pat Metheny fan since early 1980s.  As Falls Witchita, So Falls Witchita Falls (released in 1981 – no Spotify link) is one of my all time album titles, and some of the tracks on Off Ramp (released 1982, also no Spotify link) are repeat-play classics.

And I have been listening to a LOT of Pat Metheny lately, in particular his solo acoustic release from 2003, One Quiet Night (Spotify link)  and 1992’s multi-sonic-dimensional Secret Story (Spotify link). His music offers that rare blend of soothing and soaring, stimulation without distraction, that is ideal for doing other kinds of work like processing photos or, especially, writing (for the most part; some of his music can also be wild and frenetic and “outside” – and that’s OK, too.  That’s what the “skip” buttons are for…)

In fact, I just shelled out something like $150 for two tickets to see Pat Metheny when he plays the Ryman auditorium later this month.  That’s a hell of a lot more money than I’ve paid to almost any artist I can think of in the past year or so (I tend to frequent small, less expensive clubs than the bigger concert halls).

So imagine my perplexion when I went to Spotify and discovered that, yes, like the email said, Kin by Pat Metheny is now available on Spotify… but ONLY 5 OF THE 9 TRACKS ON THE ALBUM.

What the fuck?  C’mon Pat, what’s the fucking point? Do you seriously think that I am going to set aside my 21st Century, stream-it-all model just to hear the other four tracks?  Are you and your management (more likely) so out of touch with how new technology works in the marketplace that you really think that’s going to work on me?

Is the $150 I just put directly into your pocket (apart from whatever onerous “convenience fees” that were part of that sum), not enough to sustain your creative energy? Do you really need the $9 that the full record would cost to download, or, worse, just the $4 to “purchase” the original tracks?

I cannot begin to tell you how antiquated the whole concept sounds to me.  Or how disappointing it is that you’ve attempted to “tease” me with a partial release.

I know that the royalties that streaming services pay are a subject of raging controversy all over the Interwebs.  I know that artists and labels get paid only a fraction of a penny each time a track is streamed over the internet, and that those streams cannibalize the market for potential unit sales.  Or as  friend of mine just put it, “Spotify is great for me and devastating for creators.”

To which I have to respond: if it is great for the user, then the creators will have to adjust, because what works for the customer is always what will prevail in the marketplace (that’s an old law of economics that I just made up).

The advantage of streaming for a creator is, potentially, in the multitude of plays.  When I buy a record, the artist and his label get paid once.  But when I stream a recording over and over again – precisely as I have been doing lately with Pat Metheny – the creators get paid every time.  Yes, the actual numbers may bear some adjusting, but over the long term, and as more people become accustomed to this mode of delivery, the numbers are going to add up.

Because, like Lefsetz keeps saying, the future is streaming.

So please, don’t insult my good intentions and fan-boyhood by withholding half of your new release from the format that I am most inclined to listen to.

Now, all that said, let me hasten to add: there are circumstances when I will purchase CDs, but that is typically when I have gotten excited about some new, emerging artist – somebody who can genuinely benefit from an individual expression of support, both personal and financial. And, as often as not, I will be happy to contribute considerably more than the cost of a single CD to that artist’s crowd-funding campaign if they ask for it.  In the past few years I’ve made a lot more $35 to $50 contributions to such campaigns than I have purchased individual $15 CDs.

Because this is the 21st Century.  Because I want to a “patron,” not a “consumer.”

This new record sounds terrific, what I’ve heard of it, and I will probably listen a lot to those FIVE of the NINE tracks.  And Pat will get a few pennies for the privilege.  And those pennies will add up across the breadth of the considerable following he has amassed over the several decades of his career.

I like Kin so much that I’m going to embed the Spotify player for it right here in this blog post, so you can listen to the tracks that are available now:

But I will NOT go to iTunes and drop even the $4 it would cost me to get the other tracks.  Because iTunes is just not how I listen to (god, how I hate the word “consume”) music any more.

“Selling” discrete units of music – (vinyl, CDs, downloads, whatever the format) is an industrial model, and we don’t live in an industrial economy any more.

If you don’t believe me, then just climb into my time machine, fly about 20 years into the future, and look back on today.

See what I mean?

From ‘The Joy of Making Music’ Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie Bishop

Bonnie Bishop

I had the pleasure and privilege of photographing Bonnie Bishop when she performed a showcase at The Rutledge in Nashville back in the winter of 2009.

I’d only learned of Bonnie a few months earlier at the Americana Music Fest. Well, no, not actually at the Americana event, but a week or so later.

I’d sat down to go through some of the printed material from the conference, and then went online to LaLa.com – the site I had been using as my “celestial jukebox” before it was acquired by Apple and shut down in the spring of 2010 – to listen to the recordings of performers whose actual Americana showcases I’d missed. Read More

We Can Gather, and We Can Sing

The "6 Chair Pickin' Party"

The “6 Chair Pickin’ Party”

Three things happened yesterday which, if I can adequately weave the path through them, attest to the current state of music, address the current debate on the subject and,  ultimately, gently, point a way into the future…

FIRST:  I had a moment on that antiquated old medium called “radio.”

As I was getting out of the shower yesterday morning and making the bed, I turned on WPLN (Nashville’s NPR affiliate) and heard a promo bumper for “On Point,” the program out of Boston that follows “Morning Edition.” I heard the show’s host, Tom Ashbrook, announce that he would be discussing the streaming music royalties debate that has taken on new strength in the past week since some guy in a band called “Radiohead” (irony abounds) announced  that he was pulling his music from Spotify and other streaming services, on the pretext that “it doesn’t pay new artists enough…”  or some such nonsense.

As soon as the show came on the air and they announced the call-in number, I dialed in.  Wonder of wonders, I was quick enough to get a ring instead of a busy signal (this might have been the second or third time I tried to call that program, parts of which I hear almost every morning).  A producer picked up the line a few moments later.  I told him what I had in mind to say and he said, “OK, if Tom takes the call, say ‘Hi Tom…’. Don’t say “good morning” because the show is rebroadcast at different times during the day…”

Commence heart pounding.

Then I went about making breakfast, and sat down to eat it, while listening to the discussion on my telephone headset.  And then in between a bite of eggs and grapes I hear, “Paul from Nashville, you’re on the air…”

Gulp.

I then proceeded to verbally fall off my breakfast barstool.  You can hear the whole embarrassing episode here, but since this is digital retrospect, I will repeat it more precisely as I would have said it if my heart had been pumping at something closer to a normal rate:

1) When this guy Tom Yorke says that he’s pulling his stuff off of Spotify because it doesn’t pay new artists enough, that is an “altruistic red herring.”  He’s really not concerned about new artists so much as he is about the apparent decline of revenue inherent in the shift from unit sales (i.e. 99c per download regardless of how many times you listen to a track) to fractions-of-a-penny payments per stream per listener (where you only get paid by how much a song is listened to – and then, not very much).

This professed concern for “new artists” strikes me as  a smokescreen, and actually contrary to what new artists need.  As I did manage to point out on the air, I’m much more likely to become interested in a new artist if I can actually hear their music, which is a lot harder to do if their music is not on a service like Spotify.

Actually, I really don’t know Radiohead all that well… maybe I should go listen to some of their music on Spoti….oh, wait…

2) Behind the smokescreen of his concern for “new artists,” I think that what Mr. Yorke and his ilk are really professing is that the industrial-age model of selling music in discrete units – that bear a high price because of their relative scarcity – should some how be preserved in the digital era – when the quantity of ‘content’ that is now available approaches infinity.  Well, get a clue buddy.  Buy a vowel.  You cannot drag the old model into the new reality.  Let go of the nuts, silly monkey, and you can at least keep your hand…

Anyway, that’s what I meant to say; Instead I made some clunky allusion to buggy whips.  I’m pretty sure the cliche police will be knocking on my door any minute now…

3) If these jokers really want to make an issue of something that is unfair in the music biz, they should join the crusade to get terrestrial radio (i.e. “broadcast” radio – which is actually radio; “internet radio” is just an oxymoron, and destructive one at that, because its use compels us to think that the medium is something that clearly it is not…) to pay royalties for the recordings that they broadcast.

As it stands, broadcast radio pays royalties only for the compositions – the songs – that are broadcast on the public air.  The United States is one of the very few countries in the world that pays nothing to the artists or labels who produce the actual recordings.

if you want parity between analog and digital, if you want more money from the use of your music… start there. Of course that’s assuming you can actually get your music on radio.  Good luck with that…

Anyway, that’s more precisely what I was trying to say in my 15 seconds of fame on the radio yesterday.  Thanks to whoever heard that and is now reading this for the opportunity to indulge in perfect 20/20 verbal hindsight.

SECOND: I direct your attention to a blog post by the erudite and pithy Kidd Redd, a partner at Nashville’s Flo Thinkery – which figures because he is clearly something of an original thinker in his own right.   In his “Stylerant” post yesterday, Mr. Redd addressed the same issue that “On Point” addressed that morning.  Follow the link to read the whole thing; In the meantime here’s the paragraph I thought was pertinent (scroll down to Starving Musicians):

So listeners download, and they stream. It is only natural for artists like Thom Yorke to suddenly stop dancing weirdly and say, wait a minute, I need to do something to make people understand that this making of music really is hard work, it has enormous value, and you can’t have my album for free. Slow clap, Thom. I’ve always thought that artists who don’t like the deal should simply pull their music. Good for you. Only thing is, no one will care. NO ONE, except music biz peeps and your Mama. People have lives in which music is only a part. Maybe a big part, and a part we would all be sad to live without, but then again, we won’t have to. We can gather, and we can sing.

“We can gather and we can sing.”  As anybody who has followed my musings on these subjects over the years will recall, that premise is central to my thesis, my as-yet unwritten “Grand Nebulous Theory of the Future of Everything, Music in Particular.” Which goes something like this:

At some point in the not-too-distant future, we will look back on the era of industrialized music – wherein music became a product, packaged and shipped and sold like soap – as a brief, anomalous period in the annals of human history.

The ultimate, end result of the disinter-mediation of the digital era is going to be a return to something more akin to music as it was before there were recordings:  less as an expression of popular, mass culture, and more a manifestation of community spirit.  We are going to stop expecting that music is something that somebody else – the Tom Yorkes of the word – does for us, and something that we do for ourselves.   Music not as something that you buy, but something that you make.

THIRD: That point was graphically – and aurally – driven home last night at a home in the hilly and leafy West Meade neighborhood of Nashville where a small congregation of hand-made music and song lovers gathered… and sang.

The event was the the revival of a tradition that was very much at the heart of my Nashville experience for the first 8 years that I lived here – Mike Williams “6 Chair Pickin’ Party” – where Mike and his wife Kathy would invite a half-dozen songwriters into their home – along with typically 40-50 guests – to swap songs and stories around a faux electric camp fire.

kateo6chairs

Another view of last night’s “Pickin’ Party” – photo purloined from Kate O’Neill’s Facebook page…

In the late 90s and early aughts, Mike’s Pickin’ Party was a Nashville institution.  Three Wednesdays of almost every month (the exception being when Mike and Kathy spent a month in Kerrville, TX, doing pretty much the same thing in the open late night/early morning air), some of the best singer/songwriters in the world would climb the steep hill to Mike and Kathy’s house, past the sign that said “Park on street… Sing on key…” to play their hits and their personal favorites for an enthusiastic audience tightly huddled in the living room.

The parties were discontinued in 2003 when  Kathy was chosen to serve as CEO of the whole international Girl Scouts organization, and she and Mike took up residence in a loft in lower Manhattan.  They tried to host similar parties there, but that effort was discontinued when the other residents objected to all the traffic in the one small elevator that served their entire building.

On a personal note (as if this whole blog post is not personal notes?) and as I explained to one of the performers last night, the best thing I’ve done since I’ve been in Nashville started at Mike Williams’ pickin’ parties, when I asked a few people I’d met there, “what would you think if I tried to sell some of your CDs on the Internet…?”  That was in the spring of 1995 (yikes!), so of course I had to explain to most of the people I was talking to just what the Internet was (and once they figured it out I sold the business to them…).

Mike and Kathy are back in Nashville now – they had the foresight to hang on their house here for the decade that they were in NYC – and they’re cranking up the Pickin’ Parties again with a series of events every other week in July and August.  They travel a lot in a big ol’ motorhome that was their retirement gift to themselves, but when they’re in town, Mike says, there will be parties.

And if you could have been there last night – as you are welcome to be at the next three parties, on July 31, August 14 and 28 (contact me for info) – then, I believe, you would have seen the real future of music.

If you had been there, you would have been part of room filled with talent and heart and whimsy and laughter, great playin’ pickin’ and singin’, an audience that did not hesitate to sing along and oh…did I mention heart? I heard some of the best songs I’ve ever heard last night.  Songs like Whit Hill’s “Stethoscope”, a song that you would likely never hear on the radio but nevertheless fires a harpoon right into your heart.  Or Laurie McClain’s “My Heaven.”  Here, listen for yourself:

 

So yesterday was an intriguing, unpredictable confluence of events and musings that, taken together, somehow demonstrate the trajectory that we’re somewhere in the still-early or maybe middle stages of: The real future of music is not about downloads, streaming, radio or “American Idol,” or who gets paid how much for what.  The real future of music is like its distant past: people… gathered and singing.

 

 

 

Sally Barris in Our Backyard

DSC_6264-EditAnn and I did a photo shoot last Saturday evening with the lovely and talented Sally Barris, aka “Sister Waymore” (when she travels with Pops and Willy).  The light was perfect, and all we needed to get great portraits was one strategically placed reflector.

Here are some of the shots that we all think are among the best:

Not familiar with Sally Barris? Then please, avail yourself to her latest album via Spotify:

Meet “Powerglove”

Well, this is fun.  File it under “62-year-old acoustic folkie, goes heavy metal.”

Powerglove, the heavy-metal band whose show I caught the last few minutes of at MTAC last Friday, is using one of the photos I shot for their Facebook cover photo: Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 8.40.07 AMNear as I can tell, Powerglove’s metier is heavy metal versions of your favorite TeeVee and cinema theme songs.  Get a gander on their version of “The Fllintstones”:

There’s more where that came from – an album called “Saturday Morning Apocalypse.”

Yeah, I think the kids are having more fun than we did.  I just hope their hearing holds up…

 

 

 

I Want My #Streaming #iTunes

So this story has beenAmazonMP3 making the rounds for the past coupla/few days:

Amazon Aims To Compete With iTunes :

I think it’s just nifty that Amazon wants to poach some of iTunes MP3 / download sales, but I think they’re both on the wrong track.  Downloading is so… 1999!

I’m more intrigued to see what’s behind the reports that Apple is planning to launch a service akin to Pandora sometime maybe this year.   I just hope that whatever they’re building – if anything? – that it’s as much like Spotify or MOG as it is Pandora.

For starters, I’m pretty fucking bored with Pandora.  I have a lot of stations in my Pandora account (which I pay for, btw), and it’s frustrating how often I hear the same tunes – even when I’ve “thumbs-downed” them.  It seems their playlists are very shallow – it’s the same one or two tracks from each album that comes up in my rotations.

It’s entirely reasonable to think that if Apple is going after streaming licenses, that the resulting service might be more like Spotify or MOG (the two other services I subscribe to) than Pandora – since both Spotify and MOG have a “radio” feature that I sometimes find superior to Pandora.  If the licenses that Spotify and MOG have with the labels permit both on demand AND programmed streaming, then it seems reasonable to assume that’s what Apple is building, too. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

But before such a beast can be unleashed, Apple is going to have to finally give up the pay-per-download ghost and start driving iTunes customers toward a streaming subscription service.  They have to let go completely of the old paradigm before the new one can have a chance – and that letting go will finally force the shift.

At first, it may seem like that’s going to have a detrimental impact on the music industry.  After all, it was the iTunes store that got much of the music-buying word to switch to downloading instead of buying CDs in the first place.  It’s reasonable to assume that once Apple offers streaming, users will eventually stop purchasing altogether.  That’s gonna make some people very nervous.

But keep this statistic in mind, which was reported a couple of years ago by the NPD Group: the average music consumer spends about $40 on recorded music, which gets them ownership of a whole three or four CDs a year; if a great number of those consumers can be persuaded instead to spend $10/mo to have access to the entire history of recorded music, then they’ll be spending $120/year instead of $40 – and you’ve just tripled the size of your industry.  Somebody ring a bell.

But not too loudly, because there’s still gonna be a lot of adjusting to do.  Because once streaming becomes the norm — as downloading has replaced a lot of physical sales — then the business model on the creators side of the equation will be contingent on how much people area actually listening to the content – not how many units they can sell. That is spelled d-i-s-r-u-p-t-i-o-n.

Personally, the reason I hope that Tim Cook and the gang will come up with something is because, for me personally at least, I think it has a hidden potential to be a much more valuable service than either Spotify, MOG, Pandora, or any of the existing services. Why? Because in addition to the vast selection that such a service would offer, it will also contain the much narrower universe of music that I have in fact personally purchased over the years – a digital collection that now includes a lot of the stuff I purchased on vinyl going all the way back to the 1960s.

Thanks to Apple’s iTunes Match, which grew out of Cupertino’s acquisition of Lala.com almost three years ago, Apple now has my entire music collection living in its iCloud.  That means that Apple – and really only Apple –  has the ability to blend the music I have purchased over the years with new music that might be compatible.  I have no idea how they’re going to do that, but when they do, that will be the most awesome streaming music service of all.

So, c’mon Tim Cook, whathefuck are you waiting for??

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click here for previous musings about Apple’s prospects for a streaming music  subscription service and the Celestial Jukebox in general.

Origins of the Troubadour Logo

I was (again) going through the photo archives over the long holiday weekend, and came across the set of photos from when/where I found the Troubadour that graces the top of these pages.

It was during our annual “Fall Tour” in 2010, which in October of that year took us to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  That summer had been pretty dry, and so I mostly remember that fall tour as being warm and brown, rather than cool and colorful — which is what we expect for a “fall tour.”

The Ozark Medieval Fortress near Lead Hill, AR

The Ozark Medieval Fortress near Lead Hill, AR

The hostess at the b&b where we stayed told us something we didn’t expect to hear:  that there is medieval castle being built in the forest about an hour east of Eureka Springs.  Sure enough, later that morning we found ourselves traipsing around the grounds of something called the Ozarks Medieval Fortress, where a contractor with some experience restoring old chateaus in France had commenced to building a small stone castle, using techniques much like those used in the 12th and 13th centuries.

While wandering the grounds, I happened upon this display, which described some aspects of life around such a dwelling and fortress during their heyday:

The Original Troubadour

I spent about 15 minutes photographing the sign from numerous angles, and when we got home extracted just the Troubadour element to use as the logo for this website, etc.

In its first incarnation, the Troubadour illustrated what I thought was going to be the gist of “Cohesion Arts” – “Fostering A New Troubadour in the Era of the Celestial Jukebox.” I’m still enamored of the seeming paradox in that juxtaposition.  And while the original conception of “Cohesion Arts” (some kind of artists-management-collective) was set aside last summer, I still believe there is some merit in the notion that all this technology is actually restoring aspects of culture that were paved over in the era of mass production and broadcasting.

The "future" never did look like that, but the 1930s sure did.

The “future” never did look like that, but the 1930s sure did.

It may be hard to see it that way, because for most people, the perception of the future is colored by a hangover from the immediate past.  We expect the future to be like the present – only more so.  Like when you look at illustrations from, say, the 1920s or 30s, what you typically see is not so much a prediction of the future as a reflection of the ethos of that present era.

By same token, every time I hear a prediction that something happening today is “the future of… (insert subject here), I can’t help but hear extensions of an old paradigm that some are still trying to drag into the future.

And, as long as we are talking about troubadours, I can say that I find this tendency particularly true in the realm of music, where we continue to live in a hangover from the previous era, where we think we have been successful every time we somehow manage to adapt old forms to new technologies.The actual future remains elusive, and, particularly in the realm of music, I don’t think we have seen the full impact of digital technology.  The download model is an extension of the product model – we’re still buying and selling discrete units.  But once the streaming model settles in, the ultimate shift will be dramatic in ways that we have yet to foresee.  Just the fact that there is so much objection to the business model makes me fairly certain that we haven’t got a clear grasp on what’s coming at us. So I’ll stick with the Troubadour, who at the very least is a reflection of a very different time, not just the time immediately before the one we are entering now. Besides, it came from a castle, and as you all should have figured out by now, I’m a sucker for castles.

Lefsetz Nails “The Model,” Pareles Nails “The Cloud”

Hard to imagine, I know, but every now and then I read something that sums up the State Of The Arts far more succinctly than I have ever done with my rambling missives.  Today I wish to share two such somethings with you, my vast and loyal readership.

There are two sides to this “music business” equation (a proxy for all business, really) that are effected by evolving technologies.  There’s the creator/producer side, and then there’s the user/audience side.

Again, the easiest nomenclature for the user/audience side would be “consumer;” Then we could just call  the two sides of the transaction producers and consumers.  But the distinction is important: particularly where “digital” music is concerned, there is no “consumption.” Consumption applies, to, say, grapes: when you eat a grape, that grape is gone.  It has been consumed.  But when you listen to a digital recording, or even purchase a track from a server somewhere, nothing is “consumed.”  The original is still there.

I keep stressing this bit of pedantics because I firmly believe that thought processes are formed by language. Vocabulary determines perspective and maybe even attitude.  That’s why I keep reminding readers that “Internet radio” is an oxymoron, and you can’t paste a “label” on a stream of electrons and digits.  But I digress…

From the user side of the equation, it was encouraging to read this assessment of the burgeoning new market for “cloud” services from Jon Pareles, a senior music critic at the New York Times:

I can’t wait. Ever since music began migrating online in the 1990s I have longed to make my record collection evaporate — simply to have available the one song I need at any moment, without having to store the rest.

That’s the promise of “The Celestial Jukebox” that I have also been anticipating since the mid 90s – “whatever you want to hear, whenever you want to hear it, wherever you are.”  As Pareles points out, we still wait for “the bastards to let us.” Read More

iCloud: Yes, You Can Have Your Horseless Carriage…

And pretty new icons, too.

…but you still have to pull it with a horse.

Other than that, there really is a lot to like about all the announcements that Apple made yesterday, and they announced a lot.

First there is the new operating system,  OSX Lion, which brings some of the touch screen features of the iPhone and the iPad to the desktop.  Then there is iOS 5, the new operating system for all the iGizmos, which at the very least will finally allow you to sync them altogether without a cord.

And then there was the Big New Thing: iCloud, the remote storage service that unifies everything into a whole new, self-organizing, digital ecosystem.

It will take even the most dedicated observers some time to assess all the features in all this new software – much of which will not actually be released until next fall.   So there is plenty of time to sort it all out and start saving sheckels for our nifty new laptops, phones, and tablets.

But in one critical aspect, the new iCloud service is woefully lacking – and missing a grand opportunity to deliver music distribution to its inevitable destination. Read More