Jack White to play the first vinyl in space with custom spacecraft

Musician Jack White is launching a spacecraft that will break a world record in being the first to play a vinyl record in space.

Jack White, famous for playing in bands The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather, is launching a vinyl into space to be the first ever played out of earth’s atmosphere.

White’s label, Third Man Records, is launching the campaign to celebrate their 7th anniversary and the vinyl in question is a gold plated, 12″ master of ‘A Glorious Dawn’ by Carl Sagan. This will also be Third Man Record’s 3 millionth record that they’ve pressed.

The space-proof turntable is part of a vessel named ‘The Icarus Craft’ that is attached to a high-altitude balloon. It was designed by Kevin Carrico who has previously designed tech projects for Third Man Records like The Third Man Record Booth.

Jack White vinyl players space Craft Icarus Project

Third Man will be hosting launching parties in it’s locations at Cass Corridor and Nashville where they will be showing a stream of the mission alongside live bands and offering exclusive merchandise and limited edition copies of the 12″ golden vinyl of ‘A Glorious Dawn’.

The Icarus Craft will be on display in Detroit where it’s creator Kevin Carrico will be answering questions. The Gold Plated Record will be displayed itself in Nashville where visitors can view it.

The launch of the craft will be streamed online but the exclusive merch is only going to available at Third Man Records’ parties. The details of the launch and streaming are to be revealed soon.

This isn’t White’s first attempt to break a world record as he’s before broken a record for recording and releasing a record in the same day with Lazaretto. His album, also named Lazaretto, also broke the record for the most vinyl sales in a week since 1991. He’s also broken a record with The White Stripes for the shortest gig by playing just one note at a concert in Canada, though that was eventually nullified by Guinness World Records.

Create professional Album art in minutes with an iOS app

So you’ve just recorded your new album and it’s full of absolute bangers that you’ve spent months perfecting, but your cover art just isn’t doing your tracks justice. TAD is the app that eliminates this nightmare from your life.

Creating cover art for your music isn’t hard, but creating cover art that looks good and even professional is a lot harder. We don’t all have the skills to design a sick looking piece of art, or the money to hire a professional photographer to make our mugs look artsy enough to plaster on as the visual selling point of our music.

TAD – Music Cover Art Design is a cheap app for your iPhone or iPad that helps you make album art that you can be proud of easily and quickly. TAD presents you with a giant range of templates based on loads of album art styles that you can use to create your artwork. Create your artwork with hundreds of fonts, art styles, borders, colour themes, and more.

To give it a proper personal touch you can add your own custom photos/pictures to design around. For example; get a basic pic of your band standing next to a wall, sex it up a bit with some black and white, maybe a little blur here and there, put it in the template of your choice and BAM – you’ve got the cover for your next hit, made in minutes.

The creator of TAD, Lee Jones says: “As a musician myself, I know their frustrations. We created TAD to solve a problem that millions of musicians suffer. The need for great cover art for their music. They need to create it quickly, cheaply and at high quality. That’s exactly what TAD gives them.”

Sam Pannetta, a producer and artist manager who has worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, says: “TAD allows every musician to have great cover art. Simple and brilliant.” Whilst Sarah Hamilton of Ditto Music said: “TAD makes creating cover art for your band super easy, and design matters when it comes to features and blogs promoting your music. Give it a go!”

TAD – Music Cover Art Design is available for £1.49 from the Apple App Store and works with iPhone and iPad.

Vevo may be closing a deal with the 3rd and last major label, Warner Music

Vevo, the world’s most popular dedicated music video site, are about to sign a deal with Warner Music after 7 years of ownership by Universal and Sony.

Vevo have dominated the music video industry, with ownership of the majority of music videos you’ll see on YouTube being Vevo owned. They’ve managed to lay claim to so many music videos as the company was set up in 2009 by two of three major labels Universal and Sony.

Now 7 years after Warner Music refused to join up with their industry competitors they are ready to sign their music videos up to Vevo. Vevo’s chief executive Erik Huggers has reportedly been trying for a year to sign Warner to Vevo and it seems to have finally paid off.

With Warner the majority of all popular music, past and present, will have their visual counterparts signed to VEVO. The deal will add music like that of Ed Sheeran, Led Zeppelin, Coldplay and many more to Vevo’s platform and, depending on the contract, will be signed to Vevo for 12 to 18 months.

A source close to the talks reportedly said to New York Post: “[Bagging Warner] creates a destination for all the videos from all the majors that doesn’t really exist [outside of YouTube]. In terms of trying it and seeing if it helps, it’s going to be a really interesting experiment.”

This giant move, bringing together all 3 of the world’s major label, comes as Vevo ready a subscription service that they hope will bring people to their own site and app rather than YouTube’s. It also comes as many in the industry are arguing that YouTube doesn’t fairly pay artists for their music streamed on the service.

YouTube are up against a massive wall if the labels decide to strike as the majors are now all united – at least for music videos. Universal, Sony, and Warner all want better deals from YouTube and with their massive influence over the music industry it’s safe to say that if anyone can persuade YouTube to change, it’s them.

Vevo didn’t comment on the deal with Warner.

Niel Young’s PonoMusic site down for the indefinite future

The website companion to Neil Young’s Pono player that offers high quality music downloads has been taken down with no date given for it’s return.

Over the weekend ponomusic.com was taken down without warning. The site offers a digital store specialising in high quality music files, which work with Neil Young’s high quality Pono player. Whilst they have no timeframe for it’s closure right now it’s not the end of PonoMusic just yet.

Pono had to shut down their online store due to the new $10m purchase of Omnifone, the digital content provider that supplied Pono’s music offerings. Part of Omnifone‘s buyout deal resulted in the termination of connections, which seems like a kamikaze move, especially with stores like Pono which exclusively used Omnifone since their inception.

In the wake of their terminated contract PonoMusic began transitioning to 7 Digital, a leading music provider. Unfortunately they weren’t able to complete their transition in time for Omnifone’s abrupt ousting of their business connections. Now Pono and 7 Digital are working together to get the store back up as soon as possible, though currently they don’t know when that could be beyond “several weeks”.

In a full statement Pono said:

One of the key infrastructure partners – Omnifone – has recently been acquired by a large company. An impact of this purchase is that all Omnifone’s supply relationships are being terminated, effectively immediately. Omnifone has been the exclusive content provider for PonoMusic.
In early anticipation of this change, some time ago we began, and subsequently concluded, negotiations to move our content provision to 7 Digital, the leading independent music content/services platform. This process of transition is now well underway, but not yet complete. Please rest assured that our contractual relationships with all the major music labels remain fully intact and will transition to our new platform. 
During this transition, the ponomusic.com store will be under construction and not available. Our music library will be temporarily suspended for purchases effective July 20th. We ask that you please complete any music purchases you were considering or wish to make, by Tuesday, July 19th.
Our PonoCommunity will continue as normal and we will keep everyone up to date with our progress.
With our partners at 7 Digital, we will determine the timeframe of this transition. Right now, we believe this transition process will take several weeks to achieve. In the meantime, please stay connected to the site and the community and keep listening to and enjoying the music you have. This transition is our highest priority and will remain so until we are live again and providing our customers with seamless access to music in the highest quality available. 
On a positive note, this partnership brings fresh opportunities to improve our overall service. We look forward to having new titles to offer you. 
Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support.
The PonoMusic Team.

Chairman at EMI involved in $3.5 billion scandal invested money in Sony’s EMI buyout

American authorities are currently investigating a scandal in which $3.5 billion of Malaysia’s government sovereign wealth was misappropriated, involving an investor involved in Sony’s buyout of EMI.

In 2012 Sony made a deal that put them into a position as possibly the most powerful record label in the world. The “big four” record labels became three when Sony bought EMI Music Publishing for $2.2 billion. As such a monumental deal, with massive influence over the music industry as a whole any scandal involved in it’s purchase could result in major repercussions.

With that said, Malaysian businessman  and EMI chairman Taek Jho Low is currently under suspect as a large player in a scandal involving over $3.5 billion of Malaysia’s state owned investment fund being taken for personal gains. Although not formally involved in the sovereign wealth fund, Jho Low is suspected to have been deeply involved in the scandal which saw money taken for personal business investments and luxury items like jewels and art.

Jho Low’s involvement is particularly interesting because it’s thought, by American authorities trying to seize wrongful gains, that the $106 million Low and his business Jynwel Capital invested in EMI were poached from Malaysia’s sovereign fund. Jho Low admits in his official biography that his involvement in Sony’s massive acquisition led to his position as a chairman of EMI in Asia.

Although EMI remains it’s own entity since their buyout they operate under Sony/ATV, a publishing branch of Sony’s business.  The deal was made after EMI was put up for sale in 2011 when Citigroup repossessed the british major record label and was bought by Sony and their partner the Michael Jackson Estate, in conjunction with various investors like Jho Low.

Sony currently have attention focussed on them for reasons besides the Malaysia scandal, as they seek to buy the rest of the Michael Jackson estate. This would give Sony full power over the estate which controls Jackson’s own discography as well as major musical works by The Beatles and others. There are legal concerns that this would give Sony/ATV too much power in the music industry, though it’s expected Sony will still end up purchasing their stake in the Jackson estate.