YouTube’s new mobile app tracks your time watching videos

We’ve all got stuck on YouTube watching videos for hours and ending up on a completely different video to where you started. Now you can see how long your video journeys take you.

Google have rolled out a new feature on their Android and iOS apps that keeps track of how much time you’ve been watching videos. All YouTube accounts will now have a ‘Time Watched’ profile showing exactly how much time each user has spent binging videos as well as some more new features to help viewers manage their time.

The feature, unveiled at Google I/O in May, will appear in the YouTube app’s account menu and show how long you’ve watched yesterday and over the past 7 days. If the amount of time you’ve spent watching videos in the past week seems a bit excessive and worries you, you can now also set a reminder to take a break from watching YouTube. Set a timer from your settings for the amount of time you want to be watching for at most and YouTube will ask you when your time’s up if you want to continue.

YouTube are also trying to become less invasive with their new mobile dashboard. We all know how annoying apps that push notifications on your screen all day are. Well YouTube want to keep you up to date without cluttering your notifications so now you can choose from your Settings to bundle all of your notifications for YouTube into one. You can even select at what time you want that notification every day.

If you are still opting to get all notifications then don’t worry about being disturbed at night as YouTube have disabled sounds and vibrations for notifications between 10pm and 8am. You can also customise this to your liking, whether you want silent notifications set between a different period of time or if you want them to be noisy 24/7.

Take even more control over how you watch YouTube now on Android and iOS.

Nab Noiiz, a simple great filter fx plugin that’s free

Get your perfect filter effects with this excellent sounding, varied filter effect plugin that will take your mix to the next level at no cost.

The Noiiz Filter is a free plugin with loads of functionality for crafting the sounds of your mix and is incredibly simple to use. It uses expertly designed analogue modelling DSP, a truly unique noise generator and a super fat overdrive circuit, this will become your go to sound sculpting filter.

The plugin comes with 9 filter types that you can choose from all modelled closely from the analogue filter circuit in a classic synth. Noiiz’s creator’s say: “The result is smooth, musical, warm, and fat. The resonance is sweet and when combined with the overdriven circuit, it distorts beautifully.”

The plugin will seamlessly blend it’s shaping abilities into your tracks with you guiding the sound behind it. You can choose from a bunch of different effects like vinyl crackle on drums, automating bicycle clicks over pads, and even change the pitch for riser effects.

The free Noiiz Filter’s key features include:

  • 9 analogue modelled filter circuits
  • Super analogue drive and resonance
  • Adaptive noise control
  • Large bank of noise samples
  • Noise pitch control
You can download Noiiz for free on Windows and Mac here.

Warner Music just sold all their Spotify stock to give to artists

Can big record labels still have a conscience and do good? Warner Music Group may have just proved that with a big move for artists and labels.

Warner Music Group have just sold all of their holdings in Spotify stock for a significant $504 million. The big news however is that Warner are passing these funds off to artists and labels in a significant move which gives something back from the monumental success of music streaming. Over $100 million of the money from their Spotify shares will be distributed to their roster.

Warner Music Group’s CEO, Steve Cooper said on an earnings call: “In February 2016, we were the first major to announce a policy to share proceeds from equity in streaming services with artists. I’m pleased to say that, in connection with the sale of our Spotify equity, an estimated $126 million will be credited to artist accounts on their June 30th royalty statements which are issued around the world in August and September. As such, we took the P&L expense in the quarter.”

Cooper re-assured that the sale of stocks didn’t represent their thoughts on Spotify’s future or music streaming’s prospects, as you’d expect considering how streaming is booming. Cooper continues: “Just so there won’t be any misinterpretation about the rationale for our decision to sell, let me be clear: we’re a music company, and not, by our nature, long-term holders of publicly traded equity.”

Cooper went on to speak on the increasing competition in music streaming as services like Apple Music and Spotify continue to grow rapidly and other services like Amazon and YouTube expand. He says that competition in the new ‘streaming’ arena of music is “good news for our business” as their digital revenues continue to soar.

Cooper says: “Amazing new music from our artists and songwriters and great execution from our global operators have driven our year-to-date revenue up 12%, or 7% in constant currency. While streaming continues to fuel our growth, we are exploring a wide array of creative and commercial opportunities in order to position ourselves for long-term success.”

Warner Music Group’s executive vice-president and CFO, Eric Levin added: “We are pleased with our revenue growth in the context of a very difficult prior-year comparison. The health of our business is evidenced by our very strong cash generation.”

Berklee College of Music now accept a laptop with controller as instruments

You can create entire flowing compositions and amazingly detailed pieces with just a controller and computer, so it’s rightfully being recognised as an instrument.

Electronic music making and production is becoming more advanced and prominent every single day. The prestigious Berklee College of Music have just announced that they recognise a laptop with music software and a controller as an instrument for students wishing to sign up with that as their primary music-making tool.

Berklee have called the setup an EDI which stands for Electronic Digital Instrument and say that they have changed their position on how they view the role computer technology has in modern music making. As it becomes more powerful and flexible computers are being used for the majority of a lot of modern music, even making up the entire non-vocal side of many contemporary hits.

Berklee’s chair of Electronic Production and Design, Michael Bierylo says: “This new initiative is going to have a huge effect on the field of music education. We’ll now have the opportunity to study and teach an important way that artists are currently exploring music.”

Berklee’s site now includes a section for electronic music production, including the basis of their EDI student program. It reads:

EDI principals will develop proficiency in specific areas, depending on their choice and configuration of a performance system. Although students coming into the program may be highly developed in one or more ways of performing, the goal of the EDI program will be to expand their capabilities in other areas, adding to their skill level as innovative, versatile electronic musicians who are able to perform in a range of musical settings.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of the performance core program with an electronic digital instrument, you will be able to:

  • design and configure a versatile, responsive, and musically expressive electronic performance system; 
  • synthesise and integrate knowledge of musical styles to develop effective electronic performance strategies; 
  • play in a variety of electronic performance modes using a variety of controllers;
  • use common types of synthesizers;
  • produce audio assets from a variety of sources, and use them in a live performance;
  • demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
  • perform in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as arranging, mixing, remixing, and real-time compositional musical roles using all parts of one’s performance system.

Find out more at: www.berklee.edu/electronic-production-design/electronic-digital-instrument-principal

Can you make a living off of Spotify? This independent artist does

This instrumental guitarist is one of many independent musicians who are now making a living entirely off of music streaming on Spotify.

The internet has opened up opportunities for people all around the world to get their work out there to millions of people. The autonomy of online services is even allowing independent musicians to live off of their work just from streams online, as is the case with Tennessee-based guitarist Lance Allen.

Spotify spoke to Lance about his success and being able to make a living off of his music without having to rely on anyone else. As a truly independent musician Lance doesn’t use a label, doesn’t have managers of agents, records and releases all of his own music, he doesn’t even tour his music. The music industry is changing, and the artists are taking back control.

Lance had been playing for years with no concern of making it his career as he looked after his family and taught guitar as a profession. He would play the odd wedding and release CDs at his small gigs to anyone who wanted them. In 2013 Lance’s track ‘Kansas Town’ was selected by Spotify to be included in the Acoustic Concentration playlist with over half a million subscribers.

Allen says: “I don’t know how it got on there; I had no experience with Spotify. One of my students came up to me one day and said, ‘Hey, you’re on a Spotify playlist!’ I didn’t think I’d get paid much, but that song started getting hundreds of thousands of streams, and a couple months later I got a  really nice payment from [my distributor].”

All those efforts eventually paid off in June 2017, when he was added to Peaceful Guitar. Allen has since become a recurring presence on Spotify’s official playlists, to the tune of some 20,000,000 streams. “If you’re putting out good content, often, the playlisters are going to see that,” Allen says. “But the first step is getting on a lot of individual playlists, so you that have a better chance of showing up in the Spotify curator’s list of possibilities.”

Taylor are redefining acoustic guitars with a brand new design

Taylor have been a leading brand in guitars for years now. Their new design for acoustic guitars brings new life to the ageless instrument.

This year, Taylor shook up the acoustic world with the introduction of a new internal-bracing system for its pricier acoustics. Called “V-Class” bracing, it was devised by Andy Powers, a master guitar maker who joined Taylor in 2011 and has been talked about as an heir to Bob Taylor’s leadership.

In his hand’s on review with the new design for Business Insider UK, Matthew DeBord says:

There’s a reason why musicians who play in churches and a lot of electric-centric folks adore Taylors: the amplified characteristics are stunning, replicating the natural sound of an acoustic even at higher volumes.

At this level, acoustics don’t have flaws — they simply have varying degrees of magnificent virtues. But the V-Class bracing lives up to its billing and then some. By nature of their legacy design, acoustic guitars are never really perfect, and almost everybody fights a bit to achieve what they want, no matter how skilled they are.

My time with the 914ce reminded me that if you’re a casual guitarist and deeply amateur musician, you can certainly enjoy a fine instrument. But it also highlighted how much a good guitar can help a great player better express him or herself. In my experience, even some famous guitars, such as the Gibson J-45, don’t much like to be played all over the neck.

Not so with the new Taylors — where the V-Class bracing, combined with the company’s neck-to-body joining for which its already renowned, means that you can hit every single available note and savor the sustain and volume that Powers focused on while remaining deliciously in tune. And even if you don’t like single-note playing and prefer strumming chords, the difference between a three- and four-finger G chord on the 914ce is a revelation.

Read the full review to find out just how Taylor’s new innovations work and exactly how much of an impact they have on your sound.

Widely loved Swedish DJ Avicii has been buried in Stockholm

Following the shock death of one of the world’s biggest DJs and music producers, Avicii has been laid to rest at a private ceremony.

Last month the world was shocked and saddened by the death of renowned DJ and dance music producer Avicii. The producer, real name Tim Bergling, was found dead on the 20th April in Muscat, Oman the cause of which has not been announced however local authorities said that foul play was not suspected to have been a cause.

Avicii’s publicist, Ebba Lindqvist said yesterday that he “was buried Friday at the Skogskyrkogården cemetery in Stockholm. Only his family and closest friends were present.” The family wrote after his death that Bergling “could not go on any longer” and “wanted to find peace”.

In an open letter they said: “Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress. When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life, to be happy and be able to do what he loved most: music.

“Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight. Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed. The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive.”

We will remember Avicii with the incredible legacy he has left behind in his music now that he has been laid to rest.

Outertone: Indie Record Label Looking to Sign Artists

Outertone is an electronic record label from RouteNote. Outertone has been signing a huge number of tracks in a variety of electronic genres and we are looking to sign more!

Where to find Outertone:
Website: http://outertone.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/outertonemusic
Facebook: http://facebook.com/outertonemusic
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/outertone

Submissions: submissions@outertone.com

Find your new favourite songs with Pandora’s personalised playlists

Your listening experience on Pandora just got a lot more personal with loads of new playlists tailored just for you and your tastes.

Pandora have just launched personalised playlists that use machine learning and your own tastes to offer up curated selections of amazing music they think you’ll love. Premium subscribers will now be presented with a whole range of playlists made just for them based on moods, activities, and favourite genres.

The playlists are powered through a combination of Pandora’s Music Genome, their in-house team of curators, as well as “state-of-the-art machine learning models”. The playlists will offer up an amalgamated selection of tracks they know you will love alongside new recommendations that Pandora think could become your new favourite track.

The playlists are only available to ad-free, on demand premium subscribers. However if your friends are listening to Pandora on free streaming and you want to share one of the brilliant playlists that has been created for you you can send them a link and they can listen to to all the tracks you’ve been offered in that playlist.

Pandora personalised playlists mobile app custom recommendations

The playlists will refresh every week with a whole new batch of music based on you and your listening habits. Whenever you discover tracks you like you can easily add them into your collection or send them off to join your own playlists.

Pandora say: “This is the beginning of a whole suite of themed playlists that we will automatically build and tailor to each Premium user. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out even more themes for you to unlock. So sit back, put on a playlist, and enjoy the soundtrack to your every mood.”

You can find your personalised playlists from the Featured Playlists section of Browse.