A few music-related articles

Ran across a few music-related pieces on the web the past few days I thought were worth passing along.

First, an article from NPR about iTunes new “mastered for iTunes” concept. It gives a quick overview of the mastering process (basically removing information from the recording for a given delivery mechanism, like a cd or a mp3.) and a good description of what the differences are between lossless and lossy audio formats. It also delves into whether Apple is responding to the current drive of music delivery (streaming services) by continuing to push development in lossy formats rather than working on lossless formats.

One artist quoted in the article who doesn’t appear to be a fan of iTunes’ approach is John Vanderslice. And speaking of him, he has a fascinating blog series going where he is basically giving you a very detailed blow-by-blow of the recording process of his new album. Here’s a link to his site, the latest entry is December 7th. I don’t know a lot of what he’s talking about but it makes me want to learn more and it is interesting to hear how he makes decisions on what instruments, filters, etc to use. I will also be interested to compare the final versions to these sketches.

Last, a quick piece from Consumerist about how music sales rose by 4% last year. These numbers include both CDs and digital sales. Given the economy, this is a good thing for the music industry. As I’ve posited before, I’d like to think that the continued proliferation of streaming music services I mentioned above are playing some role in his recovery. In my mind, these services are more and more replacing radio as the medium to discover a song that you want to go out and buy. iTunes’ 30 second previews never were going to cut it and especially don’t now when you can go to Spotify or Rdio and hear a whole song and the rest of the album that go with that song.

And I’ll leave you with some nice relaxing bmore indie pop:


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