Archive for March, 2007

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Wallpaper – Rihanna

March 31, 2007

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Delos classical music label founder dies

March 30, 2007

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Amelia S. Haygood, a former psychologist whose passion for classical music propelled her to found the independent record label Delos in the ’70s and become a leader in digital recording, has died. She was 87.

Haygood died on March 19 at her home in Santa Monica following a decade-long battle with breast cancer, said Harry Pack, her longtime friend and Delos’ creative director.

“She was a very strong-willed and creative woman, to come into the industry and start a record label in her 50s,” Pack said.

The Los Angeles-based label, once called Delos Records and now named Delos International, became the first independent classical label to issue its own CDs in the United States, said Carol Rosenberger, Delos’ vice president for artists and repertory, and also a violinist.

The company has recorded a variety of top artists, from baritone opera singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky to conductor Constantine Orbelian and cellist Janos Starker.

Born Amelia Da Costa Stone on July 15, 1919, in Gainesville, Fla., Haygood took on several professions before becoming a record label executive.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in history and international law, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the state department, where she became editor and director of publications for its Interdepartmental Committee on Cultural and Scientific Cooperation.

It was in 1973, after rethinking her life following a friend’s terminal illness, that Haygood took $150,000 of savings and started Delos in her home, Rosenberger said.

She named the label after the Greek island of Delos, the mythological birthplace of Apollo – the god of music, poetry and healing.

While the company filed for bankruptcy in 1988, it re-emerged and grossed millions in the mid ’90s, Rosenberger said.

Haygood is survived by her stepson Robert Haygood of Scottsdale, Ariz., 13 step-grandchildren and several step-great-grandchildren.

“We thought she was going to live to 100. It’s a shock. We’ve been crushed by this,” her stepson said.

Haygood’s friends and family plan to get together at her Santa Monica home on April 1 for a private tribute.

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iTunes works to boost album sales

March 29, 2007

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Apple Inc. is throwing its weight behind the music industry’s efforts to protect the album format by allowing fans to buy complete digital albums without having to pay again for songs they already own.

The record industry is keen to maintain the profitable album format, which is under threat as users of Web-based music download stores, such as Apple’s iTunes and Napster Inc., prefer to buy individual songs rather than whole albums.

Apple said on Thursday iTunes is introducing a “Complete My Album” service that offers customers who want to turn individual tracks into an album a 99-cent credit for every song they have already purchased from the album.

For example, if a customer had bought three 99-cent singles and decides to download the entire album with a listed price of $9.99, the customer would only have to pay $7.02.

Fans will only be able to take advantage of the discount within 180 days after first buying the songs, Apple said.

The new service comes as the music industry is under pressure to find new ways to boost profits, as sales of digital songs have so far failed to come close to replacing the downturn in revenue from CD sales.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, U.S. album sales in both physical and digital formats fell 10 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared to the same period a year ago.

Even though digital album sales doubled, CD sales fell 20 percent. CDs still account for 90 percent of traditional album sales.

Apple’s iTunes has more than 70 percent of digital music sales in the United States, putting Chief Executive Steve Jobs in a powerful position in negotiations with record majors including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, EMI Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. To date, iTunes has sold more than 2 billion songs.

At eMusic, the No. 2 digital music store, the company said it has been offering a similar service since launch and that over 60 percent of all its downloads were full-length albums.

“The premise that the album is dead is only true among the youth segment, which is really the iTunes customer,” eMusic Chief Executive David Pakman said.

EMusic currently does not carry music from the major labels and said it serves a mainly older customer base than iTunes.

The major record companies will open separate talks with Apple over the summer and will try to improve the terms of their respective relationships.

Jobs has been described both as a savior and thorn in the side of record companies by analysts, since he unveiled his company’s hugely popular iPod digital media player and the accompanying iTunes store four years ago.

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Motorola and Verizon to Offer Car System

March 28, 2007

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Cell phone maker Motorola Inc. said Wednesday that it will partner with voice and data network operator Verizon Wireless to provide a kit that gives customers access to digital music and phone calls through a car’s sound system.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The new Motorola Automotive Music & Hands-free System T605 will be available at Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on April 6 for $149.99.

Motorola, which is based in East Algonquin, Ill., announced the deal at the CTIA Wireless 2007 Conference. CTIA is the association for the wireless telecommunications industry.

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Hyatt hotels and resorts offer digital music

March 27, 2007

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Hyatt Hotels & Resorts announced yesterday its new digital download music pilot program, in partnership with leading digital music agency Audiosuite, at and Spa at Gainey Ranch and Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa located between Austin and Bastrop, Texas. Individual properties will offer unique, destination-specific music collections, making Hyatt’s program truly a first in the industry. Each property’s signature collections will be available online for users to download in a universally compatible MP3 format – the most widely utilized digital music format – so guests can bring their Hyatt experience home. Hyatt plans to roll out the new digital download program to its properties across North America and the Caribbean throughout 2007.

Both Hyatt’s Scottsdale and Lost Pines resorts now feature music on property that celebrates the respective destination as well as showcases international and local artists. The tone, style and pace of the music adjusts throughout each day to capture the essence of the environment and guest experience, such as the tranquility of a relaxing morning massage at Scottsdale’s Spa Avania or the energy and vitality of an evening at Lost Pine’s Shellers Barrelhouse Bar.

“Music evokes different emotions in different people at different times – music can make you feel good, motivate you, help you relax – in short, we want Hyatt’s music to be very purposefully woven into the overall guest experience,” said Mark Barrott, founder of Music Styling and one of Hyatt’s music stylists. “While many hotels feature music in public spaces, Hyatt sought to design collections that truly bring out the indigenous personality of each property and, in conjunction with our partners Audiosuite, make these collections available for guests to enjoy even when their Hyatt stay is over.”

Playlists at both Hyatt properties were cultivated from a vast catalog of the world’s most unique and talented artists, and were assembled by local property representatives and music experts as well as a team of internationally-based stylists from Music Styling headed by Mark Barrott. Originally starting out as a performer and DJ, Barrott has completed five albums, provided music for the MTV Video Music Awards, the VH1 Worldwide Fashion Awards, composed music for many films and leading brand advertisements, as well as remixing famous artists like Tom Jones.

Hyatt music collection gift cards can be purchased on property or at the property Web site www.scottsdale.hyatt.com and www.lostpines.hyatt.com. Additionally, any Web site visitor can listen to the tracks, purchase full collections via credit card, or purchase gift certificates for the collections. Tracks are not sold individually. The MP3 format allows consumers to play the tracks on any device, burn CDs and make as many copies as they like for personal use.

From: Hyatt (Press Release)

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The painter

March 26, 2007

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“Everyone was using tiny brushes and doing watercolors, while Jimi Hendrix was painting galactic scenes in Cinemascope.” Carlos Santana

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XM sued by music publishers

March 26, 2007

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The National Music Publishers’ Association, a group representing music publishers, is suing XM Satellite Radio, saying that XM violates copyright laws by giving users the ability to store and replay songs on certain devices. The lawsuit filed in federal court in New York Thursday claimed that XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. offers an unlawful music download service that isn’t covered by the royalties it pays to music publishers for broadcast rights.

The suit targets an XM service called “XM (plus) MP3,” which allows XM subscribers to store songs on portable players and play them back later. The songs remain on the device as long as the customer subscribes to XM.

Like its rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., XM offers dozens of channels of commercial-free music as well as talk and news channels for a monthly fee of about $13.

Sirius has agreed to buy XM, but the deal faces a tough regulatory review in Washington.

The music publishers’ lawsuit is similar to another filed against XM last year by a group representing major record label companies, the Recording Industry Association of America, a case is still pending.

Like traditional radio broadcasters, satellite radio services must pay the publishers of music and record labels royalties for the right to broadcast music.

XM spokesman Chance Patterson said the lawsuit by the NMPA “simply represents a negotiating tactic to gain advantage in our ongoing business discussions. ” He said the suit was without merit.

XM and Sirius were barred from merging under the licenses they were granted a decade ago, but they argue that much has changed since then, including the growth of other audio entertainment choices such as downloads from iTunes stores.

The music publishers group noted in their lawsuit that XM draws attention to the ability of its XM + MP3 service to store and replay music, describing it as a substitute for using an iPod playback device and iTunes to buy music.