Music Tech

WE LOVED YOU, INSTAGRAM
March 21, 2016 12:56 pm

Instagram has announced it will start to change the way you see your feed, using the algorithm that its parent Facebook uses. As we all know and love it, the popular photo sharing app works chronologically, allowing you to see the latest posts by anyone you follow, or anyone that uses a tag you’ve searched. This has proven time and time again to be an incredibly powerful tool for people who have boosted small businesses and grown a significant following because of their higher than average posts. In a way, it feels like Instagram is betraying us, adopting an interest-based feed that succumbs to Facebook’s way of timeline. Something that once allowed Instagram to differentiate itself from the everyday combat on social media to be the highest-rated and “worthy” of being on the top of a news feed has now become standard.

We all know stories of people who have gained national, even global recognition for their posts. Teachers who quit their jobs to become yogis, jobless photographers getting messages from Ralph Lauren, and other huge-named clients. Thank you YOUTUBE for granting a number of our most loved artists the chance to show themselves off on a global platform that ultimately led to stardom. Unfortunately, this modern tool of allowing people to follow their creative dreams through Instagram, a successful feat for many, will soon become lost again in the sea of already-popular accounts. Here’s the official notice by Instagram from days ago:

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.36.24 PMThank you for suggesting posts and profiles “based on posts you’ve liked” or “pages you follow.” Let’s leave it at that, shall we? Personally, I want the option to see what Instagram thought was important for me, and they already provided it. That was good enough. Otherwise, how will you know how much fun my team had at SXSW if Instagram didn’t think it’d be a favorite of yours because you’ve never liked photos from that festival before?

This also seems like just a jump towards more paid promotion. Sure, this is a business, and ‘grams gotta do what ‘grams gotta do. But the backlash has been clear. There’s even a petition circulating to get them to stop. and I just hope Instagram sticks to its promise and listens to what their regular users have to say, and act accordingly.

#RIPInstagram

Written by Annie Paul 

WET IS THE BEST
February 2, 2016 11:30 pm

Kelly Zutrau, Joe Valle and Marty Sulkow make up the electronic, synth-pop R&B trio Wet. Coming off a stellar self-titled EP released in 2013, Wet has just released full length album Don’t You.

Pitchfork roasted the album calling it boring and surmising this to the fact that Wet is taking the worst elements of its varied influences (folk, R&B, 80s synth stuff), however after taking a listen to the album myself I have to completely disagree. It is merely chilled out.

The R&B element is understated. Just because tracks like “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl” don’t remind me of TLC doesn’t mean there isn’t a softer, Destiny’s Child-esque sincerity. “Deadwater” is catchy, classically structured and an all-round jam; the album even picks up and shows some diversity with “All The Ways.”

I’m still attached to their EP’s “You’re The Best.” I caught one the band’s CMJ showcases and she is dynamic live. I especially enjoyed Marty Sulkow’s adorable stage presence.

An album doesn’t have to be exciting or attention grabbing to be good. Don’t You is more a soundscape and less a hit-factory kind of album. You can flow seamlessly from one song to the next, perfect for those moments, looking out the train car imagining yourself on the set of Girls or some other quintessential indie set featuring Adam Driver. Upon my first listen I thought it was unique, hypnotic and relaxing, I played it for days on repeat. Pitchfork should give their content a second listen before jumping to conclusions.

QUELL YOUR LIVE MUSIC THIRST WITH QELLO
January 5, 2016 12:26 am

This morning I saw Radiohead live at The Astoria in London. In 1994. I know what you may be thinking. “Well Xavier, you’re only 22 how were you able to see that, also this morning?” And to that I say, “how do you know how old I am, reader?” To which you’ll respond “no seriously dude, stop being a dick.” Qello is a music platform that allows you to watch live shows from a collection of thousands of concerts and music documentaries, that’s how I did it, reader.

The platform, which started in 2010, is great for music fans that want to view their favorite artists’ live shows from the comfort of their own home, or office, or public tiolet. Qello could be viewed from your computer or from its app for both android and apple devices. The platform’s live performances include high quality concerts which are incredibly impressive for some of the older artists. They also have some great documentaries like Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.

Qello is a great resource for live music. That being said, so is YouTube. Qello does have a very impressive collection but not one that is worth the $7.99 monthly fee. Especially when YouTube has some of this same collection for free. I was able to find Radiohead’s live at The Astoria concert, the same one on Qello, for free on YouTube. Same thing for Amy Winehouse’s Live in London performance.

Amy

The site’s design looks as if it hasn’t been redone since 2010. The video player also looks super outdated. These aren’t completely fatal flaws in a site, but looks are important.

The site doesn’t have every artist because of obvious licensing reasons. You’ll be stuck if you try to look for any Arctic Monkeys, Fiona Apple, Mazzy Star or even The Strokes. These are obviously not the only ones, just the ones I tried to look for.

A lot of contemporary music is missing from their catalogues, which is another one of their big flaws. If you look in their “Spotlight” collection, you’ll see Queen, Elton John and Eric Clapton at the top.

Although I think the site is flawed, it’s still worth a try. It allows for a free week trial, which I signed up for in order to be able to see some of the other content. I’ve fallen in a concert hole; I’ve seen Amy Winehouse, The Doors, The Dresden Dolls, Radiohead and Queen today. This article was supposed to be due hours ago. Hopefully my editor understands, she did assign me this. What did she expect?

So if you’re like me and you’d like to watch some artists that are either dead or haven’t gone on tour in a while, (I’m looking at you Radiohead. Seriously, wtf?!) then check out Qello. Sign up for a free weekly trial. Then try to remember to cancel it. I know I will.

Music Worth Watching; Rormix
September 3, 2015 9:00 pm

Rormix is the Spotify Discover/Tinder of music videos. This app provides a platform for emerging artists to target-market their music videos directly to fans (or future fans) of their music. Users of the app can search for music videos based on their past preferences, watch a short clip and swipe left or right to establish their preferences. When they discover an artist they like, the artist’s bio and social media links are all accessible through the app. The Rormix Discover feature then allows you to find other artists/videos based on videos you’ve liked. As an added bonus, the interface is extremely user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Rormix is letting you see more of the music you love. The app is available on android, iOS and all mobile and desktop devices.

MEET WEAV MUSIC, THE NEW INTERACTIVE GAME-CHANGING APP
June 5, 2015 4:07 pm

Imagine being able to morph any song in your library to play at the speed you’re going; moving together, synced as one. Imagine no more! Weav Music is here for you.

Weav Music is a new interactive music mixing platform developed by Cute Little Apps and created by Elomida Visviki and Lars Rasmussen (previous co-creator of Google Maps, Google Wave, and Facebook’s ex director of engineering).

As the listener, you can adjust the tempo of a song without warping the track through Weav. How is this done? Musicians who use Weav have to record different parts of their songs at different speeds. Like that, anyone can change the BPM of the song while Weav automatically blends the sounds together with a smooth transition, dismissing the possibility of a botched playlist.

Weav will also be able to respond to your heartbeat and adjust your music speed to your activities. The more active or hyped up you seem to be, the more Weave will speed up the BPM of the song to try and match your energy. The company is interested in receiving feedback from the artists and are hoping this new technology “can help fund the production of music”.

Weav is still in beta so there isn’t a set date for its release, but it’s expected to be available in “a few weeks”. A few tracks have already been recorded by several artists to demonstrate how it works. They’re also taking requests from any other musicians who want to participate in the beta after signing up.

WEAV Music

Rasmussen stated, “We believe that as our lives become increasingly digital, and as our increasingly powerful mobile devices play greater and greater roles in our lives, having a song that can change and adapt — in real time — to what you are doing will become increasingly important. And delightful. This is why we built Weav. “We couldn’t agree more with you, Lars, and we’re thrilled to see how this new technology will change the game of interactive apps in this fast-paced, ever-changing digital era we’re living in.

Written by Lupe Ramirez