Tech News November 2011

With the accelerating pace of technological change, the League will post a monthly summary of relevant news and information regarding changes, trends and developments that may affect the electronic media activities that orchestras use to achieve their institutional missions. If you have questions about this material or any other electronic media topic, please contact Michael Bronson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Joe Kluger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

1. As DVD sales die, Hollywood puts its faith in the cloud

Hollywood is making a major bet this coming holiday season that consumers will buy movies, instead of renting, and view them on the go. Facing the steady decline of physical disc sales, studios from Warner Bros to Sony will launch their UltraViolet cloud-based movie storage – or “digital locker” – service. The new digital lockers keep purchased copies of films on remote servers for viewing any time via instant streaming or downloading on devices ranging from videogame consoles to tablets and Web-ready televisions. With a “buy once, play anywhere” message, studios hope consumers see more benefits to owning movies. (Source: The Globe and Mail)

2. Playing the New Bjork Album, and Playing Along, With Apps

In her latest project, “Biophilia,” the recording artist Bjork has created an album that can be turned into a sort of audiovisual game, delivering a miniature production studio into the hands of willing participant listeners.
Unlike the traditional recording, which is consumed passively by the listener as a precise sequence of sounds exactly as they have been arranged, Bjork is providing listeners with intuitive, creative tools that let them control the basic components of the music itself. The concept is to allow the performing musician to join with listener participants, acting as programmers and visual artists to turn the songs into encompassing interactive experiences. The traditional, linear version of “Biophilia” can be downloaded from services like iTunes. The far more exciting option is to acquire the “Biophilia” program from the iPad App Store (the only device that currently offers the full experience.) (Source: New York Times)

3. YouTube boosted by music videos to pull behind Facebook Visits to video-sharing websites by UK users have gone up by more than a third in the last year. The biggest driver of traffic to those sites is music videos (33%), followed by TV shows (17%), film (11%), gaming (10%) and news (9%). The figures, from internet research company Experian Hitwise, show YouTube accounts for nearly 70% of all video website hits. It's now the third most popular site in the UK after Google and Facebook. (Source: BBC)

4. Cashing In on Your Hit YouTube Video

Creating a video that attracts millions of viewers and becomes a pop culture phenomenon involves an unpredictable cocktail of luck and timing. A dash of cute babies or people acting like idiots can only help. But once a video goes viral, making some cold cash depends on quick action. A column in the New York Times offers advice on how to make money from selling ads and merchandise out of your 15 minutes of Internet fame from other people who did just that. (Source: New York Times)

5. Copyright Battle: Who You Calling “Big Money”?

On Oct. 5, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Golan v. Holder, the copyright case that tests the right of Congress to extend protection to older works in the public domain. The decision will be handed down at the end of the current Supreme Court term. An article in San Francisco Classical Voice discusses the pros and cons of this case and the impact the decision may have on composers, publishers, orchestras and others in the music industry. (Source: San Francisco Classical Voice)

6. DSO goes high tech on your mobile phone

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has announced new plans to allow you to watch a live concert, browse a full calendar of events, listen to digital albums and connect to DSO social media, all on your smart phone, iPad or other mobile device. (Source: WXYZ)

7. iPod turns 10: Has convenience and portability made music more disposable?

The iTunes store is the single biggest music retailer in America, with more than 20 million tracks available and 160 billion songs downloaded since its launch. And the iPod is by far the most popular digital music player, commanding nearly 80 percent of the market and piling up a staggering 300 million sales since 2001. Undeniably, the iPod and iTunes have brought a previously unimagined portability and convenience to music-hungry consumers, but at what price? An article in the Chicago Tribune questions whether the ease of distributing, listening and replenishing music has made it all feel somewhat disposable. (Source: Chicago Tribune)

8. Naxos goes bold with digital-only classical music titles

With digital download compilations like 'Bleeding Chunks of Wagner' and 'Music for the Zombie Apocalypse,' Naxos is aiming to connect with listeners beyond the classical crowd. The downloads are more than a publicity stunt, said Naxos' gleefully contrarian Chief Operating Officer Andrew Doe. "I could come out with something pretentious about using this to bring classical music to more people, but that's not really the goal here," he said. "[We're making] products that are fun and that people are interested in. Most people like classical music to some degree. The struggle is often finding an entry point, a product that will give people something they can relate to." (Source: Los Angeles Times)

9. Social Networking Among Arts Professionals

With so many museums, exhibits, art galleries and lectures to choose from every day, how does a busy young arts professional keep up? For Francesca Merlino and about two dozen of her colleagues who work for museums and arts groups in New York City, it’s following each other’s 140-character updates on Twitter and the hashtag, #artstech. Unlike some people who never step outside of their online Twitter streams, members of this group use the micro-blogging service to help them follow each other in real life. “We use Twitter to not only to connect with one another, but to share what we feel brings value to a larger online arts community,” said Ms. Merlino, 26, senior marketing manager at the Guggenheim Museum. “It has enabled us to form both professional and personal relationships that has provided countless opportunities for learning and collaboration.” (Source: New York Times)

10. Radio 3 suffers biggest BBC radio audience fall

Radio 3 had an average of 2.05 million weekly listeners across the quarter, down 5.6% on the previous three months and 4.3% year-on-year, according to official Rajar statistics. The Radio 3 controller, Roger Wright, will be hoping it is a blip and not a trend. One critic described the most recent changes to the station as "cultural vandalism" arising out of the popularization of the programming. But Wright said the positive response far outweighed the negative and there was a "balance to be struck doing what it can to appeal to new and lighter listeners and at the same time maintaining its distinctive, some would say unique output." (Source: BBC)

11. The Berliner Philharmoniker Release 3D Symphony Recording on the Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo and the Berliner Philharmoniker are releasing a 3D version of a rehearsal of the “Russian Dance” from Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka, recorded using state-of-the-art 3D video capturing technology. With the video being delivered through StreetPass, once the new video has been downloaded you’ll be able to watch the glorious musical majesty of Igor Stravinsky, in full 3D, all without using glasses. (Source:

12. Social Media “Listening” Tools

Social media “guru” Beth Kanter provides summaries and links on her blog to a list of current tools for implementing and measuring social media strategies. (Source:

13. What the New Facebook Changes Mean for Nonprofits

Whether your organization has had a presence on Facebook for years or just days—or you’re considering starting now—trying to follow along with all the changes to functionality, options, and analytics is incredibly overwhelming. Just when you think you have it all figured out, a new button appears or you can’t find the same options you had before—there’s always something changing! The good news is that the nonprofit technology community is rich in sharing, and there are lots of online tutorials about this latest wave of updates on Facebook, a few of which have been pulled together by Amy Sample Ward in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)

14. Status conscious? Check out this social media flowchart

Clever thoughts bubble up constantly, but what’s the right venue for all of them? Now you can consult this handy graphic to help make those hard choices among Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.