Tag Archives: Music

Creators of Rocksmith Respond to Facebook Trolls



Rocksmith logoIt’s pretty much a given that if you do anything online that attracts an audience, you’ll run into internet trolls whose sole purpose is to harass you. This problem is as old as the internet itself, and it’s only gotten worse in the age of social media.

There are a lot of different ways to handle ‘net trolls. The old adage, “Don’t feed the trolls,” advises that simply ignoring troll commentary is the best way to go. Direct engagement rarely works, as trolls will use these interactions as an excuse to keep the harassment loop going. The truly brave (and patient) may try another route when it comes to trolls; An appeal to reason.

That third option was recently implemented by the makers of Rocksmith, a guitar-instruction program available on many platforms. Rocksmith offers up many songs by popular recording artists that can be downloaded and used within the program. And every time Rocksmith would announce new downloadable songs, the trolls would come out in force to complain about Rocksmith’s latest song selections.

Rocksmith recently responded to these naysayers on its Facebook page:

Folks, we’re going to say this as nicely as we can: Nobody cares what you don’t like.

Okay, now that we read it, that doesn’t seem all that nice. But it’s something worth considering before you post on our page and tell the world that whatever artist, song, or genre currently being discussed is “garbage,” “fake,” “worthless,” or any other negative adjective you can dream up. “Real,” “good,” “fake,” “bad” – none of that holds any power here. That’s simply not how we see music.

As the moderators of this page, our philosophy is simple: There’s music that inspires you to play guitar and bass, and there’s music that does not. We don’t make DLC based on what you *dislike* — we only make DLC based on what people actually tell us they want. That’s why we have a request app, embedded on this page – so you can offer specific song suggestions directly to the team. But once something’s released, it’s there for the people who want it. If that’s not you…honestly, we don’t need to know. Knowing what you’d rather see in the future is far more valuable. Something good could come from that. Nothing good comes from you suggesting that your entirely subjective taste in music is superior to everyone else’s.

What’s more, in all the time we’ve moderated this page, we have never seen someone respond to a “your band sucks” post with “Now that you mention it, I don’t like my favorite band anymore.” You cannot stop people from connecting with music; it’s a personal, emotional relationship, and it’s a fight you cannot win. It’s not a fight we want to host on our page, either. Don’t pick that fight here.

If it helps, think of Rocksmith like a restaurant. Check the menu, then choose only the items that seem appetizing. You’re not expected to order everything on the menu, and if you were to say “take this off the menu because I don’t personally want to eat it,” you’d get funny looks. If it’s not to your taste, just look for something else that is. Our menu has nearly 1,000 options for millions of customers, each hungry for something different, and we add to the menu every week. If you find something that doesn’t appeal to your tastes…keep looking. There’s gotta be something on that menu for you. There’s something for everybody else, too.

So, please: Before you waste any time or energy insulting music that does not inspire you to play — for the good of your own community — stop, and shift gears. Nobody cares what you don’t like, but there’s plenty of other things we can talk about.

Thanks.

Rocksmith’s response to troll comments is succinct and on point. Instead of lashing out, the message explains why positivity (telling Rocksmith what songs you’d like to see in the future) is so much better than negativity (telling Rocksmith why you hate the new songs they’ve added).

I hope this message helps to keep the trolls at bay, at least for a little while, on the Rocksmith page. This message also serves as a good example to other companies who are dealing with similar problems on social media.


Jameasy Helps You Practice the Violin at CES



Jameasy LogoIt’s only natural that musical performance and technology would collide in some interesting ways at this year’s CES. Musicians, music teachers, and students are always looking for new ways to hone their skills. And eager hardware/software developers are stepping up to provide some innovative tools to help.

One such company is called Jameasy. Todd met with Dawon from Jameasy. Dawon is a violinist (and a capable one at that). She showed off the Jameasy system which uses a Bluetooth-enabled sensor on her violin that measures all kinds of information from the instrument and transmits it to the Jameasy app on her iPad. The app then tracks her performance and shows her where her playing might be off from the original composition. Correct notes show as green, wrong notes as red, and notes that were just a bit off show up as yellow.

The Jameasy system is expected to retail for between $59 and $99. Jameasy is planning on expanding its product to all stringed instruments, but the product will be available for violin first.

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Noted Adds Support For SongSync, Spotify, Apple Music



Noted SongSyncNoted, the music-centric social sharing service that lets users receive a “news feed” style stream of songs selected by friends, has added support for SongSync, Spotify, and Apple Music. From a recent Noted e-mail announcement:

 

SongSync lets you integrate with your Spotify/Apple Music account to share songs and build playlists across services.

Here’s an example: Now friends can share a music video from YouTube and you’ll be able to add it to your Spotify playlists through Noted.

In order to use SongSync with Noted, users should follow these steps:

  1. If using Noted on a mobile device, update to the latest version.
  2. Sync with your favorite library (if you aren’t a paid subscriber, choose YouTube for full tracks).
  3. Noted automatically converts every available post to your synced services and your posts to your friends’ services.

Once the process is completed, Noted users will have automatically synced playlists on connected services based on their own Noted activity, as well as the activity of friends. This is a pretty handy feature, as it can be difficult to follow everything happening on Noted, especially if a user has a lot of friends.

Noted has stated that this is only the beginning of its SongSync integration and that it will be sending more information and tips about how to best utilize the service.


Spotify rival SoundCloud arrives in the UK and Ireland



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Music streaming has become a big deal with many major players like Google, Apple and Amazon in the game. However, the biggest player in the game these days seems to be Spotify, but it’s tough competition in a crowded market.

Now SoundCloud is trying impinge on its territory and it announces availability in both the UK and Ireland. The name may not be as familiar, but the streaming service is becoming a major player in this market.

This is a bit different, as it features up and coming unsigned artists as opposed to established acts. However, there are 125 million tracks available.Don’t worry though, there are top 40 songs as well.

“And just like in the US, we are sharing part of that advertising revenue with a growing number of creators. When you hear an ad, artists get paid”, the service claims.

There is also paid plans available, which run £9.99 per month in the UK or €9.99 in Ireland on Android and £12.99 / €12.99 on iOS.


Nervana is Changing the Way You Feel Music



Nervana playerMusic fans have explored many options over the years to heighten their experience while listening to their favorite jams; Hi-Fi stereo sets, finely tuned components and speakers, and mind/mood-altering chemical substances to name just a few. But what if you could truly enhance your music experience using only a handheld media player and a set of earbuds? That’s exactly what Nervana is hoping to do.

Nervana is self-described as, “The World’s First Consumer Product to Stimulate the Body’s Pleasure Center in Synchronicity to Music.” The prototype Nervana player resembles a classic iPod. It uses special internal technology along with a unique set of earbuds to stimulate the user’s Vagus nerve:

NERVANA is a wearable device that sends a gentle electrical wave through the left ear canal to stimulate the body’s Vagus nerve, while syncing with music. This elicits a calm, relaxed feeling for most users in a natural way, which stimulates the brain’s pleasure center, known to release neurotransmitters (the body’s feel-good messengers).

In more technical terms….A central signal-processing circuit receives both music and stimulation signals and routes those signals appropriately to the two ear buds. The right ear bud receives only the right channel of the music signal, which is output to a hand-picked, high-fidelity speaker in the right ear bud. The proprietary left ear bud, in comparison, not only receives the left channel of the music signal at its speaker, it also receives the stimulation signal within the ear bud material itself, to deliver electrical stimulation to the inside surface of the ear canal and, thereby, the Vagus nerve.

Nervana is currently running a fundraising campaign thru Indiegogo. The campaign has been incredibly successful, having raised 445% of its $75,000 goal with a month left to go. A contribution of $279 will guarantee you a complete Nervana player/earbud system which is a slight discount from the device’s anticipated retail price of $299.


Music Sharing App Nuziki becomes Noted



Noted homepageLast Fall, I wrote about a new social music sharing app called Nuziki. Since then, the folks at Nuziki have been busy updating and improving the service. This month, Nuziki announced it would be changing its name to Noted:

You spoke and we listened. We’re making some major changes based on the feedback you’ve given us. The biggest news of all is, we’ll be doing it under a new name… Noted.

Your username / password will be the same and all of your history will transfer. If you have ANY problems, let us know immediately and we will correct it.

Update the app to get Noted and don’t be scared when nusiki.com redirects you to noted.fm.

Noted exists to solve the problems that you’re having… so please continue to tell us what you want and we’ll continue to build it.

Until then, enjoy the new noted.fm and we look forward to what the future holds!

Indeed, my old Nuziki bookmark takes me straight to the new Noted website and my old account carried over without any problems. I have been using Noted a lot lately. I’m finding it to be a good place to go when I’d like to be exposed to new music. Noted creates a “news feed” style playlist of songs that have been posted to the site by other users I’ve followed. I’ll admit, I haven’t been very picky about who I’ve followed on Noted. I’ve pretty much followed every account I’ve come across. But for a service like this, that’s kinda the point. I’m there to experience things that I wouldn’t normally choose for myself. And since most of my connections on Noted are strangers, it offers some great opportunities for real music discovery.

Noted is free and is available on most major platforms. Feel free to look me up if you decide to check it out.


Beats for Baby from Babypod at WTS



Babypod Logo

The article and interview concerns an intimate feminine product for use during pregnancy. If this is likely to offend, please stop reading now.

Most children enjoy music, rhythm and dance so it doesn’t take much of stretch of the imagination to think that even unborn babies would respond to music while in the womb. Unfortunately there’s a great deal of sound-deadening material between the baby and the outside world. Remember those times when you could feel the music inside? How loud was the music then? Going by my experience, it was ear-ringingly loud, and consequently the problem is getting the music through to the baby without deafening mum. Fortunately, Babypod have the answer to this problem; Andrew finds out what it is from Alex.

As you’ll see from the pictures, the Babypod is a small silicone rubber ovoid with a built-in speaker. To use, the Babypod is inserted into the vagina, bringing the music much closer to the unborn child in the amniotic sac. The attached stereo cable is plugged into a smartphone or mp3 player to play music, and there’s a secondary audio jack to share the music with mum. When in use, scans have shown babies to respond to the music by sticking their tongues out or shaking their heads, with 87% of babies responding to music.

The Babypod website has much more to say on the benefits and the safety of the Babypod itself but it does appear to have been trialled scientifically and safely. The Babypod is available now for just under GB£100.

Babypod


Gibson Guitars and G Force Self Tuner at CES



Gibson LogoGibson produced their first electric guitar back in 1936 and since then, the name has been synonymous with the instrument. This doesn’t mean that Gibson trades on its history alone and the company remains at the forefront of instrument innovation. The latest “High Performance” series is the most innovative guitar they’ve ever made. Daniele Mendez gets a demo of the latest axe from Christopher Oliphant of Gibson.

These new SG-standard guitars have a range of new features, from physical changes to the contour of the neck heel through to auto-tuning. The new G Force tuning system self-tunes to both standard and alternate tunings, and the new version is faster and more accurate than before. Extremely easy to use, all the guitarist needs to do is press a button and strum the strings. The guitar will take care of the rest, tuning only one string or all strings. It’s not just for electric guitars either as the G-Force system is now fitted to high-end acoustic guitars too. Amazing to watch in action!

All the guitars are available now with prices from US$1,099 for the “High Performance” models.

Daniele Mendez is a video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Been wanting to try Spotify Premium? You can get a free Chromecast if you do it now



Spotify logoMusic streaming services are becoming ever more prevalent in the market these days. One made news this week by getting an exclusive deal, but those types of deals also have become common. Perhaps the most popular these days is Spotify, which can be used for free, though a premium subscription brings more functionality.

Now Spotify is trying to pull in more customers with a special deal. The streaming service is offering a free Chromecast to anyone who purchases three months of its Premium service.

To sell this deal, the company points out “With Chromecast, listening at home is easy. Simply plug Chromecast into your TV, connect it to WiFi and cast music directly from your phone or tablet. It works with Android, iOS and laptops, too. Play, skip, browse and search using the Spotify app. Oh, and feel free to make calls, watch a video or play games – the music will keep playing”.

There’s only a brief window of time to take advantage of this deal. You’ll need to act quickly because it’s only running through February 28th. You can grab the offer by visiting here. It will set you back $29.97.


YouTube set to carry the Nobel Prize show with Jay Leno, a-ha and more



youtube logoThere are few events that are bigger and more important than the Nobel Prize awards ceremony. This gives credit to those who do the most important work — the research on diseases, figuring out a complicated economy, helping the world’s neediest people, working for peace and much more.

The extravaganza gets under way with a big show and this year that gala will be carried live via YouTube. The show will feature many performers, most notable is former Tonight Show host Jay Leno.

It’s more than just a comedy routine though. Bands like a-ha will perform, as well as Jason DeruloKYGOAURORA, and Emel Mathlouhti.

The Google-owned video giant also promises extras — “Exclusive to the live stream, YouTube star Derek Muller of Veritasium will host a backstage pre-show to give you a unique look at what goes on behind-the-scenes”.

You’ll need to get moving because the show is set to air live today beginning at 1:30pm EST, that’s 19:30 CET.