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Clyde Smith
Asheville, NC
Clyde Smith is a contributing writer at Hypebot.com and maintains a writing hub at Flux Research.
Recent Activity
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Senzari continue the evolution of their MusicGraph platform with the introduction of MusicGraph.ai at the Graphlab Conference 2014. MusicGraph.ai is both a dashboard for the music data and recommendations provided by MusicGraph and also allows for deeper mining and exploration with the addition of analytics and intelligence algorithms. MusicGraph.ai is intended to make algorithmic analysis as accessible as MusicGraph makes music data. Senzari announced MusicGraph back in December followed by the debut of the MusicGraph API at SXSW. At the time Senzari COO Demian Bellumio discussed the longer terms plans for MusicGraph to not only broaden the availability of music... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at hypebot
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Riffstation creates software that gives you the chords for any song and offers a variety of related features to help you learn to play. Now they've launched a web app, Riffstation Plus, focused on the single feature of identifying chords in songs on YouTube. It's not perfect yet, as one can see in blog comments, but they seem to be listening and are soon introducing a feature that allows user edits for more accurate chord display that also opens up some interesting social possibilities. Riffstation's software app does have an impressive range of features with an emphasis on the needs... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at hypebot
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Times are tough for rock cover bands. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at their plight and finds that interest is dwindling for bands playing music that used to be popular. While closer industry watchers may take a different view, I saw indie rock killing cover bands in the 80s when the indie stance of originality entered the Top 40. Rock moved on. Cover bands did not. And to make matters worse, even the core baby boomer audience seems to be losing interest. Neil Shah writes a rather empathetic piece for WSJ. I appreciate that. It's far too easy... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at hypebot
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Neil Patel freely shares his "Complete Guide To Building Your Personal Brand" which mixes notions of business image and personal identity in a manner that's quite relevant to musicians. Though some musicians would prefer to take a haphazardly organic approach to brand building that just leaves it up to others to decide who you are. But building your brand doesn't have to be a superficial process and Patel advocates the perspective that, "your personal brand is what separates you from everyone else in the world." In a tradtional marketing industry sense, a "brand" is the "name, term, design, symbol, or... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at hypebot
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Sparkplug is a new site and service that facilitates musicians renting gear and space from each other. But they go beyond just a Craiglist-like listing to add a system with such features as clear procedures, deposits and id verification. It's potentially a great service but, in what I think is a simple oversight, you can't figure out who the people running the site might be which kind of contradicts their trust-building features. [Update: I've been informed by co-founder and CEO Julia Wilde that Sparkplug is adding an About page with info about the founders today, three out of four of... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at hypebot
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The Value Of Giving Away Your Music For Free YouTube's Pressure Tactics? Good Old Fashioned Corporate Strong-Arming Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at hypebot
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The Importance of Music Video Promotion Indies Unite! 700 Labels Launch Campaign For Fair Digital Music Deals Spoon's Indie Record Store Instant Vinyl Gratification Campaign Is A Big Hit Recruit Your Fave Band's Fanbase With Your Own Afterparty Show WFMU Building Open Source "Audience Engine" Web CMS For Radio Stations MORE: The Artists Declaration of Independence: Johnny's Story Part 3 Get Your Music Metadata Right With These 10 Editors Music Ad Watch: Obscure 2009 Indie Track Powers New Apple iPhone TV Spot Squarespace Adds Bandsintown Support Indie Music From Rumblefish Powers Soundtrack Of 1.4 Billion Monthly YouTube Views Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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Live Nation Announces Lineup For Free Yahoo Streamed Concert Series Jack White's Effect On The World Of Vinyl 3 Years Ago This Week Spotify Launched In U.S. MTV Has A Plan To Help Sell More Albums Facebook Launches "Mentions" App Just For Musicians, Celebrities MORE: Hypebot's Music Industry News and Jobs Full List Of MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Nominees Congressional Hearing Today: "Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty & Copyright Term" Will Paul McCartney's Low-Priced Album Apps Add To Digital Music's Downward Pricing Pressure? Artists Ed Sheeran Voted Most Important Artist In Black & Urban Music (WTF?) New Generation... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at hypebot
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To some degree album apps are being treated as novelty items with marketing appeal even when there's a lot of new art involved from remastered music to photos and video. That means pricing is treated differently than it would for a new album in an established format. With Paul McCartney's release of back catalog album apps for the iPad at $7.99 with remastered tracks and lots of extra content, I'm wondering if we're getting close to the point where an artifically low price range will become the fair price in consumers' minds. The psychological elements of pricing are really interesting... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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LA's Annenberg Space For Photography is throwing a day long photo and music festival called Photosynthesis. The outdoor event features country and blues bands as well as photographers onstage, video wall displays of their photos and a variety of booths, activities and refreshments. The event ties into Country: Portraits of an American Sound, a photo exhibit with portraits of country musicians. Overall it sounds like a creatively themed festival that could provide inspiration for other fresh combinations. Photosynthesis takes place Saturday, August 9 outside the Annenberg Space For Photography in Century City's Century Park. The live stage will combine presentations... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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I often round up music videos using new tech but today's examples from OK Go and Tweedy focus more on the process of making the videos than on anything radically new. OK Go released a behind the scenes video for "The Writing On The Wall" and Shutterstock's Doug Levy chatted with them about the process. Allison House, who's never worked on music videos, shares the process of applying her design skills to directing and animating the first single from Tweedy. Behind-The-Scenes: From the Trenches of The Writing's On the Wall You may have seen OK Go's music video for "The... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at hypebot
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New Jersey's WFMU.FM is a legendary freeform non-commercial radio station that embodies community from its supportive listeners to its wide-ranging programming. WFMU recently embarked on a new community adventure with their decision to develop an open source version of their currently proprietary CMS (content management system). The new CMS is called Audience Engine and its designed not only to manage content and build community, but to support fundraising. WFMU.FM is a unique example of community radio. Their approach is carrying over into the development of an open source CMS, or Content Management System, for radio operations on the web. Dubbed... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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Music messaging is kind of a weird space since people rarely send music as a message. Two mobile startups are taking what I think are the two main routes for music messaging, sharing music while chatting about it in the same feed and picking out snippets of music that can function as messages. Soundwave has added a form of group music messaging to its mobile app that takes the former route while La-La recently debuted an iOS app that sends music snippets as messages. Soundwave: Group Music Sharing and Chatting Soundwave has released their Soundwave 2.0 app for Android and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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UK-based STHoldings launched in 1998 and grew to be an important electronic and related music distributor, both physical and digital, though noted in particular for vinyl distribution. In May they announced the end of services for around 150 labels with the intent to continue working with a group of 30 labels. This is likely good news for those in the 30 but certainly not for those who are losing a unique specialty distribution service at the end of the month. [Update: Supposedly they announced that they closed entirely. Coverage is ambiguous. I don't know where people are getting this information.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at hypebot
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SiriusXM last week debuted a new song countdown radio show based on popular music videos from YouTube hosted by YouTube star Jenna Marbles. The playlist is apparently based on a combination of YouTube data and SirusXM curation. While this effort partly reflects the ever-growing importance of YouTube to music, it also represents the gradual adaptation of new media (YouTube) to old forms of presentation (top hits countdown shows). SiriusXM and YouTube first announced The YouTube 15 in late June stating that the weekly radio show would feature the "top emerging and breakout songs based on YouTube data of the previous... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at hypebot
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The ongoing saga of Kim Dotcom's attempt to launch a new music service continues with a search for funding for Baboom. A "Limited Pre-IPO" is offering shares to "Sophisticated Investors only" in an attempt to raise $4.5 million. That offer closes Friday. The plan is to launch the service and to go public on the Australian stock exchange by the end of the year. Baboom will be dependent on indie music and "friendly major artists" and, though they're claiming strong indie support, one has to wonder at the prospects of such a company that identifies its competitors as Pandora, Spotify... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at hypebot
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Though anyone can register a .FM domain, thanks to the benevelonce of the Federated States of Micronesia, it is quite popular and often associated with music-related sites including but certainly not limited to radio. But I'm still surprised to find the top 40 .FM sites to be so dominated by music. In addition, use is international with a particularly strong Chinese adoption. Take a look for an alternate view of the web-based music industry. The .FM top-level domain (TLD) is the only one I've ever recommended to a music site that didn't have great .com options. That may change as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at hypebot
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Drones are being adopted in all sorts of areas to sometimes literally give a new look at things. Which means they eventually will show up in music videos. One video using a GoPro/drone combo used Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli’s "Time To Say Goodbye" as background music and drove it up the charts. Another takes a fairly simple concept and capitalizes on the odd movement qualities of drones. In another tale of the charts likely to infuriate Om Malik, multiple songs are making the Billboard Streaming Songs chart due to their use as background music in YouTube videos. Fireworks filmed... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at hypebot
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LH Labs, a part of Light Harmonics, successfully completed an Indiegogo campaign to fund their Geek Wave "high-performance portable music player." Their campaign goal of $38,000 was dramatically surpassed closing Saturday with $1,323,073 in pleges. Geek Wave can be viewed as a competitor with the PonoPlayer but seems to be of interest to a different crowd than Pono's drawing. The Geek Wave campaign page describes the player as a "high performance music player you can take with you on the go, made for discerning ears." They state: "We've taken the best ideas from the hundreds of different players on the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at hypebot
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Why Spraying Pigs' Blood Onstage and Shutting Down Great Venues Is Not Cool Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2014 at hypebot
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This Is Why People Aren't Watching Your Videos How Musicians Should NOT Use Social Media Your Album Release Campaign Timeline 8 Tips On How To Get On European Tour The Artists Declaration of Independence: Part 1 ~ Part 2 MORE: Don't Let Your Music Get Blocked By Digital Outlets Due To Formatting Errors Getting Started As A Touring Act Limited Run Joins Indie Services Adding SoundScan Reporting To D2F Music Sales Artwork FM: Single Frame Music Video Creator Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at hypebot
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It would be easy to paint the scenario that SoundCloud has gone so corporate that its primary partners (and co-owners) are now the major labels, its primary users are casual listeners and its primary customers are future advertisers. But there's plenty of time for that. For now, it has to be noted that SoundCloud's communication efforts to date in response to creators' concerns about both the new iOS app and Universal's ability to pull music and flag accounts for closure have been a big FAIL. Here are some high points. June 26 - New iOS App Released When SoundCloud's new... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at hypebot
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Soundsight Headphones are designed to be high quality headphones that record video based on where the wearer's head is turned that can be livestreamed or edited through a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. They won't be available till Christmas though there's a preorder sale currently in progress. But they're an interesting example of a product that one dj describes as "Beats meets Instagram and GoPro." I admit, I got sucked into writing about Soundsight Headphones due to this Engadget post that pitches it as a way for DJs to record their sets. But when I got deeper into... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at hypebot
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It's often hard to know when a feature update is newsworthy but Limited Run's addition of SoundScan reporting to their music and merch ecommerce platform is certainly noteworthy as part of a larger trend for D2F and DIY music ecommerce services to include such reporting. With both DIY acts and indie labels now using such tools proper acknowledgement of one's efforts are important. In fact, we're probably at a stage where SoundScan reporting should be considered a must have feature when evaluating ecommerce tools and services. Limited Run is a music and merch ecommerce platform that's been steadily improving since... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at hypebot
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Web radio service Mixcloud and the International Radio Festival, an on-air music radio festival, are partnering to launch the Onine Radio Awards. Nominations opened yesterday and anybody, anywhere in the world can nominate any online radio show or station. Best Stations and Best Shows will be honored with the majority of show categories focused on genres of music. Mixcloud hosts both dj and talk radio including dj mixes. I spoke with CTO May Clayton when they relaunched the site and he revealed that EDM mixes were their true strength though they were committed to supporting radio across the board. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at hypebot