Google lance officiellement son moteur de recherche de MP3 en Chine


Google lance officiellement son moteur de recherche de MP3 en Chine: ”

Google China a officiellement ouvert les portes de son moteur gratuit de recherche de MP3 uniquement pour la Chine; grâce  à un accord avec (Warner, Universal, EMI et Sony. Le site qui était en beta depuis un an peur etre vu ici ou, si vous ne lisez pas couramment le chinois, en version traduite ici. A noter qu’il n’est pas possible d’écouter ou télécharger des morceaux en dehors de la Chine.

Le site propose plus d’un million de morceaux indexés en partenariat avec Top100.cn. Une majorité de tubes chinois mais aussi  certains morceaux étrangers. Par exemple , le dernier album de Metallica peut être télécharge gratuitement. En plus des 4 grands labels cités plus haut, 140 labels indépendants ont rejoint aussi l’aventure.

Google partagera les revenus de la publicité  dans un marché de la musique en Chine ou 99% des téléchargements sont illégaux.

La stratégie de Google est aussi de reprendre du terrain sur Baidu le moteur de recherche principal en Chine et qui offre déjà des MP3 depuis des années. Ce dernier a par ailleurs officiellemet annonce que l’entrée de Google sur ce terrain est bien tardive.

L’une des particularités de moteur de recherche de Google est l’utilisation de Songscreener, qui vous permet de choisir des morceaux en fonction de votre humeur ou du style, timbre ou genre de musique. Google serait aussi en train d’expérimenter une fonctionnalité de recherche par la voix. Google songerait aussi à lancer ce moteur de recherche ailleurs qu’en Chine. Google Music pour bientôt?

(Hat tip to Web2Asiavia Twitter – and Outdustry)

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(Via TechCrunch France.)

Design Artwork for a Shrinking Album Cover


Design Artwork for a Shrinking Album Cover: “

Music is an aural art form. But the packaging for the recordings—the album cover—has a distinct aesthetic, one that has evolved along with distribution technologies and formats.

In the 1960s, the cardboard record jacket came into its own as a canvas for graphic artists, who used its ample dimensions to spin elaborate visual and conceptual fantasias. Album covers became generational touchstones, with iconic images like the ‘family portrait’ of famous people rendered as cardboard cutouts and waxworks on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Day-Glo colors and trippy starburst ornamentation on Cream’s Disraeli Gears, and the extravagantly Gothic lettering on the Grateful Dead’s Aoxomoxoa.

In the late ’80s and ’90s, when the CD replaced vinyl as the format of choice, the new 5.5- by 5.5-inch Jewel case was a far less luscious canvas. Many images from LP jackets, like the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. and Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, suffered in translation, their intricate details shrunk into obscurity. Others, like Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, with its simple portrait of the artist, did fine in the smaller size. Eventually psychedelia and its complexity waned and was replaced by cleaner, more forthright designs.

.dp_cont {
width:250px;float:right;margin:0px 0px 12px 12px;
border:3px solid #009dea;
}
.dp_cont div {padding:4px;}
.dp_elem {
background-color:#E3E3E3;
}
.dp_elem2 {
background-color:#A3A3A3;
}

The constraint: Develop memorable images for thumbnail canvases.
The solution: Get simple, graphic… and clever.

Vinyl LP cover: 153.1 square inches
CD case: 22.6 square inches
iPod Nano Cover Flow icon: 0.4 square inch

When the MP3 gained popularity in the late ’90s, it seemed that the album—and its cover—would join the moldering 45s, 78s, and 8-tracks in the format graveyard. The first incarnation of Napster made no accommodation for album art at all, and iTunes shrank covers into dispiriting splotches. ‘If the best a designer can hope for is a 240-pixel square image, it’ll be a depressing time for the music-packaging industry,’ says Stephen Doyle, creator of such venerated covers as Pat Metheny Group’s The Way Up and David Byrne’s Look Into the Eyeball.

Since then, some designers have embraced the thumbnail and crafted logolike images that serve as mnemonics for the band. The tiny JPEGs displayed on iPod screens demand simplicity, bold color, stark imagery, and unadorned type. The sneering smiley face on Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day is an aptly minimalist rendering. No Age’s Nouns, on the other hand, is at once simple and complex, readable and abstract; the sculptural letterforms jump off the screen. Happily, technologies like Cover Flow, the visual navigation interface Apple dropped into iTunes in late 2006—not to mention the iPhone and iPod Touch screens—have given album art some renewed prominence. Innovations in packaging digital visuals along with the music are coming, like the special material for the Enemy’s We’ll Live and Die in These Towns proposed by design firm Big Active. Drawing on clackety railway departure boards, the concept was that each time a new track began, the display on the album icon would flip to its title.

The space allotted to album art may be a fraction of what it once was, but that just sets the bar higher. If musicians can continue to innovate in the digital age, then designers must take up the challenge of the minimalist thumbnail.

Steven Heller (sheller@sva.edu) is cochair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His Web site is at hellerbooks.com.

(Via Clippings.)

iTunes Gift Codes Hacked. $200 Cards for $2.


iTunes Gift Codes Hacked. $200 Cards for $2.: ”

itunes-gift-cardThe iTunes Store is a revolution in the way we purchase music, movies and other media, legally. The large catalog, easy browsing, purchasing, and upfront pricing is what makes the iTunes Store tick, making it the largest seller of music, period.

The news for the day is that Chinese hackers have figured out a way to generate iTunes gift codes, and are reportedly selling them at a rock bottom price of $2.60 for a $200 gift card. Previously these gift codes were generated from stolen credit cards, but this time it’s direct generation of new gift codes out of thin air. If this is true, Apple is definitely going to face some huge losses. Having content downloaded, but nothing to show for it is definitely going to piss off some Music companies. Hopefully Apple acts in time (they haven’t said anything yet).

My question, to those who are stupid enough to go buy these illegal gift codes, is why buy them at all? If you’re going to pirate anyway, why spoil a good system that honest customers use? There are dime a dozen torrent sites out there that will get you 10 times more content than the iTunes Store, yet you waste $2.60 to appear to be legitimate.

For now these codes are restricted to a Chinese site (we won’t link to it), and require you to have a chinese bank account for purchase, but it’s only a little time before they make their way into the rest of the world.

[via Ars Technica, img via Gizmodo]


(Via Clippings.)