New Apple Products

Just a quick post for those of you who missed yesterday’s Apple news because you live in a cave on the moon or somewhere beneath the ocean – here are the most exciting bits from the keynote;

1) iPod Shuffle – not much new to say here. They have returned to the clip design which I approve of. The voice over feature might be useful; this will say the name of the song, album or playlist to you so you know roughly where in your playlist you are. This has been a genuine problem with previous shuffles. £39 for 2gb is excellent value for money.

2) iPod Touch – consistently the most underwhelming of the iPod range. This new version has made a move inline with the iPhone 4, as was probably to be expected. HD video recording, front facing camera allowing for ‘FaceTime’ blah blah blah. It’s not that I don’t think this is a great product, I do, it’s just that the entry level 8gb model is £189. For that price you could just get an iPhone 4 and have the same product as your mobile phone.

3) Apple TV – you’ve got to give it to Steve Jobs, the guy is persistent. After years of trying to make Apple TV work they are still grinding away. Here is the latest redesign/revamp of the service. I really want this to work and think that the Movie rental feature will be key to its success. Call me a capitalist if you will, but a way to monetize the online video market is something the media has been in desperate need of for years. I will be buying it, I suggest you do the same.

4) iPod Nano – this 6th generation of the iPod Nano has taken my first place award as the best announcement of last night. A brilliant multi-touch screen on a device that clips to your jacket is inspired. If I didn’t already own an iPhone 4 this would be the iPod for me. At £129 for the basic 8gb I think that these will sell quicker than any of the other new announcements. Watch the video below for full details.

Soundrop iPhone App

If any of you own or have at any point owned a Nintendo DS, you might have come across a game called Electroplankton. In my idiotic and useless opinion, it was the first ‘music game’ that really worked on both levels as a game that you could really spend hour playing and as a genuine musical compositional tool.

The reason for its success was the simple interface and its ‘open’ music format. Too many music games tried to replicate a sequencer, which inevitably led to lots of people making very shi*t house music out of an extremely limited bank of samples.

Soundrop iPhone is an even more simplistic version of the Electroplankton model, that you can download for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
The interface really is as straight forward as; draw a line, let a ball bounce on it, when the ball hits the line a marimba sample will sound, draw another line, create rhythms and patterns. Before you know it you’ll think you’re a regular Philip Glass.

The free version of the app is fun enough, but if you can stretch to £1.19 you’ll get the pro version which allows you a broader range of sounds.

Very fun and addictive app that I urge you to try. You can find out everything you need to know by clicking here.

Sony and Amazon Both Looking to Launch Music and Video Subscription Services

There is a lot of talk this morning about Sony planning to launch a new music and video subscription service based around its Playstation 3 console. However, the Financial Times reports that the service will also have a presence on Walkman music players, Sony Ericsson mobile handsets, Vaio computers, Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players. Additionally, it claims that the service will launch next year.

In separate news, the Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is working on its own subscription service, albeit focused initially on TV shows and movies rather than music. The WSJ reports that Amazon is pitching the web-based service to NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corporation and Viacom among other media owners. Its webby nature would mean Amazon’s service would also be accessible through connected TVs, Blu-ray players and games consoles.

Midweek Music Suggestions – 01/09/2010

Hello RouteNote readers. Once more we find ourselves together on a Wednesday. Would you like some new music to entertain your ear drums? Today I’ve got two new artists for you to listen to and enjoy, or ignore and hear of again. It’s entirely up to you.

Cutthroat Convention are a band I’ve become slightly obsessed with over the past few days. I don’t know if I particularly like them or not, but they’re not that much like anything else I’ve heard before. Normally if something is sold to me as ‘Experimental’ I expect it to be very boring and very much not experimental. Cutthroat Convention are an exception to this. They seem to have a good sense of humor too, if this quote from their website is anything to go by “You’re experimental, we’re boring c*unts”
Please listen to the song below and if you’re in anyway tickled, then please download their album for free here and visit their MySpace page.

27 – Cutthroat Convention by monkeyhotel

My other little suggestion for you is a BIG M.C by the name of Status Reign. He’s already quite well established in his home town Minneapolis (yes, my contacts reach that far, what of it?) and I can’t particularly see any reason that he shouldn’t become a stinking success elsewhere. He reminds me a little bit of Brother Ali, which can only be a good thing. Listen to the track below and visit his MySpace and Bandcamp pages.

More Music Purchased in iTunes than Applications

The app phenomenon has really helped Apple stay ahead of their competitors, but in iTunes users still buy music more than anything else, according to a Tuesday study from the NPD Group.

NPD found that while nearly every iPhone and iPod Touch user has downloaded a free app, users were more likely to pay for music than an application.

Of the 3,862 people surveyed by NPD, about 82 percent of iPhone and iPod Touch users have purchased music, while 56 percent of iTunes users bought music from the service exclusively.

NPD found that 9 out of 10 iPhone and iPod touch users said they had downloaded a freebie app. Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior entertainment analyst at NPD, said this behavior could lead to a “major up-selling opportunity to paid versions of the same app.”

“Apps and video certainly do compete for consumer dollars, but they can also be used to promote music and re-energize digital music and video download sales,” Crupnick said.

Guns N’ Roses The Worst Headline Act To Ever Play Reading Festival

Guns N’ Roses made a very big impressions on Friday night at Reading Festival. Guns N’ Roses were booed and jeered — only to have have the plug pulled on them at the end of their crushingly disappointing set.

We have received a lot of emails saying that Axl Rose just look out of condition and was struggling to even sing! 80,000 disgruntled festivalgoers didnt hang around as the major headed over to the NME/Radio 1 Stage, where LCD Soundsystem were giving a lesson in how to headline a festival.

Free Music: Audiodax – Uh Oh

Audiodax has a very strange mix of electronic hip hop, but somehow it works. Audiodax is the teaming of Thomas Balcom (aka Temble) and Matt Rivera (aka Krypton Flo) who met at DePauw University. The guys are both fans of Vampire Weekend, Crystal Castles, Kid Cudi and Ratatat.

Their ultimate goal is to make people’s life a little sweeter with their music, “[We want to create]  music that will inspire good feelings and even better times,” they write on their web site.

Here is a free mp3 to stream titled “Uh Oh”. Make sure you share it around!

Uh Oh (ft Constant L. Burts) by audiodax