Friday, September 11, 2015

Could This App Be The Instagram Of Music?

Cymbal app image
Three undergrads from Tufts University have launched a new app that's catching on like wildfire. It's called Cymbal, and many have called it the "Instagram of Music" because of its less-is-more user interface.

Cymbal describes itself as "music powered by friends, not algorithms." That's because users are allowed to share just one song at a time along with album art.

The whole idea is that the user gets to post that one song that's most important in their life at that moment.

Like Instagram, Cymbal uses a home feed, personal profile, followers, likes, comments, hashtags and tags.

You can share tracks from Soundcloud or Spotify, and since it was created from the ground up as an iOS app (an Android version is coming), it's perfectly at home where more and more do their listening - via the phone.

There's less than a million users at the moment, but the app seems to be coming on strong, so look out for more about Cymbal in the future.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Artists Not Buying In To Apple Connect

Apple Music Connect image
3 Artists on Apple Music Connect
Connect is a social feature of Apple Music that gives artists another place to engage with their fans. The problem is that few are doing so.

Music Alley took a close look at Connect and came up with a number of interesting facts. For instance:
  • Artists that do post only post weekly, if that.
  • Many posts are just recycled Twitter, Instagram or Facebook posts.
  • Social maven Taylor Swift (who's seemingly everywhere) doesn't even have a Connect presence yet.
Here's a list of the top 20 Facebook music artists and their presence on Connect. The number of times they've posted is in parenthesis.
Shakira (2)
Eminem (6)
Rihanna (not on Connect)
Michael Jackson (not on Connect)
Bob Marley (1)
Justin Bieber (6)
Taylor Swift (not on Connect)
Katy Perry (not on Connect)
Beyoncé (not on Connect)
Linkin Park (10)
Lady Gaga (11)
Adele (not on Connect)
Pitbull (22)
Bruno Mars (not on Connect)
Selena Gomez (6)
David Guetta (12)
Avril Lavigne (3)
Akon (not on Connect)
Lil Wayne (not on Connect)
Enrique Iglesias (9)
Apple doesn't do social well and it looks like Connect is headed the way of Ping (if you remember that). One problem is that artists and their social media managers have their hands full with too many options already. They don't need another one.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Record Label In A Box

Want to build a label like this? image
I don't know if it's a good idea or not to start your own label, but if do and you're in the UK, then Record Label In A Box from the music aggregator Ditto Music could be for you.

The Basic edition goes for  £99 ($152), the Premium edition is £249 ($383), and the Enterprise version costs a whopping £3499 ($5,378). The latter features a 12 month mentoring, one-on-one career building, and a full PR and marketing campaign and a branded website.

You can check it out on the Ditto website, but just remember that most of what they show you applies to the UK.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mastering Engineer Colin Leonard On My Latest Inner Circle Podcast

Colin Leonard of Sing Mastering image
This week's guest on my Inner Circle Podcast is mastering engineer Colin Leonard of Sing Mastering, who's become the go-to mastering guy for uber-mixers like Dave Pensado and Phil Tan. Colin describes how he got into mastering, his unusual and proprietary signal path, and his overall mastering philosophy.

On the intro we'll look at what's becoming known as "Playola," or the practice of paying to be included on an influential playlist, as well as maybe getting an answer to the perennial question "What is the best driving music?".

Also, I'm happy to announce that the podcast has been selected as one of the Top 10 music industry podcasts by Indie Connect.

Pinning Your Tweets For More Attention

Pinning Your Tweet image
There are times when you post a tweet that's so important that you want as many of your followers to see it as possible for as long as possible. There's a way to take that tweet and push it to the top of your profile where it will stay even after subsequent tweets. This is known as "pinning" a tweet.

Here's how to do it.

   1. Select the tweet that you would like to pin.

   2. Click the three dots (...) next to "View Tweet Activity" beneath your tweet.

   3. Click "Pin to your profile post" in the dialog box.

Refresh your screen to make sure that the pin appears at the top of your profile.

Pinned tweets are not reposted; they're just pushed to the top and will stay there until you unpin them.

What should you pin? How about:
  • a tweet about a new release or video
  • a tweet about an upcoming gig
  • a question that you've asked your followers
  • a great photo
  • an old tweet that you'd like to revive without tweeting again
There are tons of other ideas for pinning as well, but no matter what you pin, you'll find it a very effective way to increase a point you're trying to make.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Google Trying To Finally Kill Flash

Goodbye Flash image
It hasn't been a good idea to use Flash animation on your website for a long time, and it looks like Google is finally trying to put the final nail in the coffin.

Goggle's Chrome browser now automatically pauses any web ads that use Flash. Ads that use the newer HTML5 will continue to work as always, as that's the favored format.

It's been recommended here for quite some time that Flash wasn't something that you wanted to use. First of all, anything iOS doesn't recognize it, so all those iPhone and iPad users never were able to access it.

From a website design perspective, Flash animation died a long time ago. Opening splash pages with lots of animation used to be all the rage but now look very last century.

Worse of all, Flash is a battery hog that compromises the security of your operating system. It's just not cut out for our new mobile world.

That said, advertisers still continue to favor Flash because most of the creative people at ad agencies everywhere grew with Adobe Creative Suite, of which Flash is a part of. HTML5 is more flexible, but it's not as designer friendly.

It looks like this move by Google will now force agency designers to make the switch.

So rejoice that there's one less vestige of the online past as Flash slowly passes into the night.


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