There is a guy at Skullcandy named Joe, and he is in charge of their warranty fulfillment program. He is overworked. Why, just on this one warranty replacement story, he’s had to deal with the same customer over and over and over, and the customer still hasn’t gotten a replacement earbud set for the one that broke last November. Wentao writes, “I am also moving out of the country in 10 days, so I will probably never see the headphones I paid for ever again.”
Coldplay, the band everyone’s little sister and mom loves, has been offering its album LeftRightLeftRightLeft for free since May.
It’s all well and good to let your father help out around the family funeral home, but if he doesn’t have an embalming license—and is maybe too handy with an electric saw—keep him away from the important duties. A South Carolina funeral home just had its license revoked because four years ago the owner’s father sawed the legs off a 6′ 7″ body to make it fit in the casket. The owner didn’t tell the family at the time, and they only found out about it recently when an ex-employee told them. (See below for links to cool funk music—yes, it’s related to this post!)
Not content to let the RIAA get all the recent publicity for stupid lawsuits, ASCAP has sued AT&T over sales of ringtones, saying each time a ringtone plays it’s a public performance and royalties should be paid. Luckily (?) for consumers, ASCAP wants AT&T, not individuals, to pay—although we wonder what they’ll say when you take a track from your own library and make a ringtone out of it.
A Consumerist reader (actually, several of you) e-mailed us the shipping confirmation message that is sent out by CDBaby, the ‘utopian’ online music site that promotes independent musicians (yet is partnered with Best Buy).
Although eMusic is a great service—for a flat monthly fee, you get a set number of downloads per month of DRM-free music tracks—it’s about to get better. Or maybe worse, depending on the breadth of your musical tastes. Today eMusic will announce that Sony is adding its back catalog of songs to eMusic’s library. The bad news is that eMusic also plans to slightly raise prices and/or drop the number of downloads per month. Even if it works out to between 50-60 cents per track, though, that’s still far less than iTunes Music Store or Amazon, and probably the cheapest way to grab music from Sony artists without resorting to piracy.
NIN front man Trent Reznor is angry at Apple for rejecting the new Nine Inch Nails iPhone app update because it contains “objectionable content.” The objectionable content referenced is the song ‘The Downward Spiral,’ which you can buy on iTunes. Reznor posted the rejection letter on NIN’s forums, and then launched into a rant about censorship — comparing Apple to Walmart. (NSFW language inside)
If there’s any blog more anti-Monster Cable than us, it’s Engadget—they refuse to review any Monster Cable products because of the company’s dishonest sales tactics and legal bullying. Monster either doesn’t realize that (doubtful) or doesn’t care, because they pulled a quote from Engadget out of context and slapped it on the home page of the Beats By Dre site in a way that implies Engadget has reviewed and approved of Monster headphones.
MP3newswire.net browsed through not-quite-hits from past decades on the iTunes Music Store to see where these fabled 69 cent music tracks are hiding. He tried the Katydids, Camper Van Beethoven, the Lyres, Rock and Roll Trio, but found nothing below 99 cents. Then he went back to be-bop and blues recordings of the ’40s—nope. Finally, he looked at songs from Ada Jones, a recording artist from 1893 to 1922. Everything was still 99 cents.
Say what you will about Apple’s dominion over the music industry, but for a while now they’ve maintained an artificially low market for music tracks by forcing labels to sell songs for 99 cents each. That era is over: in exchange for moving to a higher bitrate and going 100% DRM free (hooray) iTunes has officially introduced “variable pricing” (boo), which means each track may cost 69 cents, 99 cents, or $1.29—it all depends on the song and the label. It looks like Amazon has introduced variable pricing as well, although it’s mostly holding to the 99 cents threshold for now. Amazon’s tracks, by the way, have always been free of DRM.
Trent Reznor and Radiohead have been dealt a serious blow in the tiered pricing war for album releases. Josh Freese, a member of Devo and A Perfect Circle who’s also played for NIN, Sting, The Offspring, and more!, has just released his solo album today. Aside from the free single or vanilla $7 album download option, you can pay anywhere from $15 to $75,000 for increasingly more bizarre package deals.
We received this tip from an alleged Borders employee today. According to this person, if you saw some yellow discount tags of 30% off DVDs and CDs in your local Borders store this weekend, it’s a sign that they’re closing out those sections except for top sellers. Expect to see much steeper discounts in the coming weeks. The full tip is copied below.
If you’re a BMG Music Service member you won’t be for much longer — the service is being discontinued as of June 30th, 2009.
I posted recently about how I like HypeMachine, a reader/player/finder of free mp3s on music blogs and some readers chimed in with their favorite ways to find free mp3s on blogs:
Update: Mike writes back to say that after reading the comments below, he checked his purchase history and the album is indeed listed there. What’s confusing is Mike didn’t buy it through iTunes, but through Amazon, but he says that other people did have access to his account and may have purchased it without his knowledge.
TechCrunch has published a damning rumor accusing the social music site Last.fm of helping the RIAA find users who downloaded leaked copies of U2′s new album. Relying on a tip, TechCrunch claims that the Last.fm, a subsidiary of CBS, handed over a “giant dump of user data to track down people who are scrobbling unreleased tracks.”
Hypemachine, an aggregator of the latest free songs posted on music blogs, has been around for years but I started using it with gusto this week and it’s tight. It scans all those blogs and then streams them for you in a popup radio player, which you can narrow by popular, new, or from the top 25 music blogs. If you like a track you can click through to the source blog and download the mp3. (Most of the time the mp3s have been released onto the internet by the artists themselves. If there’s ever a question, most have an option to buy the song on Amazon or iTunes). A great way to freshen up your music mix without having to think too hard or shell out. [Hypemachine]