• Apple is Reportedly Buying Shazam

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    Shazam
    Shazam

    UPDATE: Apple has confirmed the acquisition in a statement provided to Billboard. The company did not reveal the specifics of the deal.

    Apple is reportedly buying music recognition app Shazam for $400 million, according to multiple sources. The move would allow Apple to integrate the service into its line of mobile devices in a time when the company faces increased competition from Google and Samsung.

    Recode has reported that the deal is worth $400 million, while Tech Crunch has cited sources that say the deal is expected to be signed this week. The company was last valued at $1 billion, according to various sources.

    The Shazam app enables users to identify music that’s playing nearby. It has been one of the most popular mobile apps since its launch in 2008.

    Founded in 1999, Shazam made $50 million in revenue in 2016, according to Business Insider.

    Related: How Camila Cabello Used Data to Pick ‘Havana’ as the Lead Single for Her Debut Album

    Posted in Music Industry
  • Why DJs Shouldn’t Worry About Apple’s New MacBook Pro

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    Apple MacBook Pro
    Photo credit: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

    The USB 3.1 standard and its accompanying USB-C connector have been around since 2013 and 2014, respectively. They’ve been used in many phones, Windows computers, and Apple’s 12-inch MacBook over the last year. However, DJs have had little reason to pay attention to USB 3.1 and USB-C until recently.

    On October 27, Apple unveiled its new MacBook Pro, which does away with the traditional USB ports and replaces them with four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports (Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C use the same connector). The elimination of the classic USB ports, which is the standard for most DJ equipment, has sparked panic in the DJ community. However, despite the concern, DJs have nothing to worry about.

    USB 3.1 is the latest USB standard

    USB 3.1 is the most recent USB standard. The fundamental difference between each specification comes down to how fast they can transfer data, and how much power they can draw from or send to a device. In the case of USB 3.1, that means up to a 10Gbps transfer rate (double that of USB 3.0). It also means enough power to charge a 15-inch laptop like the MacBook Pro, instead of just smartphones.

    USB specifications are backward compatible

    You can plug a USB 2.0 device into a USB 3.0 socket, and vice-versa (provided the ports match up). You won’t see an increase in data transfer –- the chain always defaults to the slowest link –- but you can still transfer data. The same applies to USB 3.1.

    Apple MacBook ProPhoto credit: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

    USB-C is just a type of connector

    There are many different types of USB connectors, all of which support the same USB protocol. For example, there’s no reason that you can’t connect a Rane SL interface into a USB-C port on a laptop. However, you’ll need a cable with a USB-C on one side (for the laptop) and USB-B on the other (for the SL box). You can also use an adaptor.

    However, the cables are reversible in a “pure” USB-C system. That means that cables must be designed to detect which way they are connected so that power and data flow in the right direction. Cables that aren’t designed with that capability could potentially damage your equipment. Because of this, we recommend only buying USB-C cables and adapters from known brand name vendors like Apple and Belkin.

    Thunderbolt 3 doesn’t affect DJ hardware

    One of the cool things about the new MacBook Pro is that its ports aren’t limited to USB. As mentioned above, they also support Thunderbolt 3. For example, you can plug a Thunderbolt 3 external hard drive into one of the ports and transfer data at speeds up to 40Gbps, depending on the cable used. You can even use a regular (good quality) USB-C cable in that situation. The connectors also support power, internet, and video (HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt). So, if your only concern is connecting an audio interface or controller to your MacBook Pro, you don’t have to worry about the port’s other capabilities.

    Conclusion

    At the end of the day, there’s no reason for DJs to freak out about the Macbook Pro’s new ports or any other computer with similar technology. While it’s unlikely that we’ll see new DJ equipment with USB-C anytime soon, it’s important to know that the MacBook’s new USB ports won’t impact your ability to connect to your existing USB gear. You might need some new cables or adapters, but that should be the worst of it.

    Check out CNET’s recent article to learn more about USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

    Anthony Polis contributed to this article.

    Related: Why DJs Shouldn’t Worry About Apple’s New MacBook

    Posted in Music Tech
  • DJs Shouldn’t Upgrade to OS X El Capitan Yet

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    El Capitan
     
    DJs should think twice before upgrading to Mac OS X 10.11 aka El Capitan.
     
    Within the last couple of days, Serato, Native Instruments, and Pioneer DJ have all released statements advising users to not upgrade, due to compatibility issues.
     
    Serato and Native Instruments have said they are currently working on fixes. In the meantime, it’s best to be safe and check the compatibility of your products and El Capitan.
     
    The following products have been affected:
     
    Serato:
    Serato DJ
     
    Native Instruments:
    Traktor Kontrol S4 (MK1)
    Traktor Kontrol X1 (MK1)
    Traktor Audio 2 (MK1)
    Audio 8 DJ
    Audio 4 DJ
    Audio 2 DJ (MK1)
    Maschine (MK1)
    Rig Kontrol 3
     
    Native Instruments have already provided beta drivers that fix the issue.
     
    Pioneer:
    DJM-S9, DJM-2000NXS, DJM-2000, DJM-900NXS, DJM-900SRT, DJM-850, DJM-750, DJM-T1, DJM-5000
    DDJ-RZ, DDJ-SZ
    XDJ-AERO, XDJ-RX
    MEP-7000
    RMX-500
     
    Related: Serato Issues Statement Regarding OS X Yosemite

  • Why DJs Shouldn’t Worry About Apple’s New MacBook

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    MacBook
     
    Updated 11:44 AM PST, Wed March 11, 2015
     
    Apple unveiled its new MacBook on Monday and DJs freaked out when they discovered that it only has one USB-C port — a new specification that combines power, data, and video output.
     
    Having more than one USB port is a requirement for most DJs so Apple’s unprecedented move sent shockwaves through the community. The lack of a separate power port was also a concern, as DJs must ensure their laptops stay powered throughout sets.
     
    However, as DJWORX and others websites have pointed out, the new 12″ MacBook isn’t intended for audio professionals and Apple’s existing MacBook Pro line is equipped with multiple USB ports and a dedicated power port.
     
    So while DJs are best advised to stick with traditional MacBook models, it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the lack of ports on the new 12″ model. Unlike FireWire and Thunderbolt, USB-C is a universal standard that will soon appear on hardware from myriad manufacturers. The DJ equipment industry will need to adapt quickly.
     
    We asked representatives at Rane and Reloop to weigh in on the new MacBook:
     
    “Unless I’m mistaken, this falls in the new MacBook Air line of Macs, which have always catered to the traveling business person with little need to connect a bunch of stuff other than external displays and maybe a printer. While some of the newer Macbook Airs have decent specifications, the Air line has never been ideal for pro-audio/studio use, and this is just more of the same. A strictly business computer (on steroids) with little functionality in the pro-audio world. Personally, I have never recommended a MacBook Air for use with Serato, Traktor or any other pro-audio applications, and this is just another Mac Air I won’t be pushing. I’m sure Apple knows they dominate in the pro-audio computer market and will eventually announce a new line of MacBook Pros with all the bells and whistles.”
    – Shaun Whitcher, Rane DJ Product Specialist
     
    “The USB-C port on the new MacBook looks very promising, although it will limit you connecting multiple DJ devices hassle-free and without the need of dongles. We did not test this new port yet, but we expect our controllers to support the USB-C protocol fully.”
    – Gerald Barbyer, Reloop Product Manager
     
    This article was written with contributions from Mojaxx.
     
    Related: Music Library Backup Solutions for DJs

    Posted in Music Tech
  • BBC Radio 1 Host Zane Lowe Leaving to Join Apple

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    Zane Lowe
     
    BBC Radio 1 host and DJ Zane Lowe is leaving in March to join Apple in the US.
     
    He joined the station in 2001 and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the music industry including Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, and Rick Rubin.
     
    Although Lowe’s role has yet to be revealed, his move comes as Apple prepares to relaunch the Beats Music streaming service that it acquired last year.
     
    Annie Mac will take over his spot soon after he leaves.
     
    “I want to thank everyone at Radio 1 for their support and friendship,” he said to his listeners. “The station has allowed me to share incredible music with the country’s best music fans.”
     
    Watch his acclaimed interview with Kanye West below:
     

     
    Related: Behind the Scenes at BBC Radio 1

  • Inside the Partnership of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine

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    Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine
     
    Some analysts have speculated that the reason behind Apple’s recent purchase of Beats Electronics wasn’t to acquire the brand itself, but rather its leaders, Dr. Dre and former Interscope boss Jimmy Iovine. The six-time Grammy-winning producer and industry heavyweight have been the driving force behind the company since founding it in 2008, and this summer, they launched an academy at the University of Southern California with the goal of inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
     
    The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an in-depth article about Dre and Iovine’s business relationship and what they’re hoping to achieve with the program, to which they donated $70 million. Here’s what we learned from the piece:
     
    Iovine started from the bottom.

    WJ: “Iovine was the head of Interscope Records for two and a half decades where he helped oversee the careers of U2, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas. At 19 he got a job sweeping the floors at a Manhattan recording studio, and from there worked his way into a gig as a recording engineer for John Lennon. Within a few years, he was engineering albums for Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.”

     
    Dre’s engineering on The Chronic is what initially impressed Iovine.

    JI: “I wasn’t a fan of hip-hop … They were playing me hip-hop because Interscope was going to be in the hip-hop business, but it all sounded muddy to me. I’m a recording engineer—it just offended me sonically. Then Dre brought in his record, and it sounded as cool as Pink Floyd or Sgt. Pepper’s. I said, ‘Who mixed this?’ and he said, ‘Me.’ And I said, ‘No, no, but who engineered it?’ And he said, ‘Me!’ And I said, ‘OK, I’m getting into business with you.’”

     
    Beats by Dre started with a chance run-in on the beach.

    WSJ: “Iovine was in Malibu, at his friend David Geffen’s house, when he decided to go for a stroll. He happened upon Dr. Dre, who was out on the balcony of his own house nearby. Dre told him he’d been approached a few days earlier by an athletic company about doing a shoe line; his lawyer wanted him to do it, but Dre wasn’t sure. (‘I’m not into fashion,’ he says. ‘I wear the same s— every day.’) He asked Iovine for his thoughts. Iovine’s immortal response: ‘F— sneakers—let’s make speakers.’”

     
    Their business relationship is built on mutual trust.

    JI: “We just trust each other … He’s as good a producer and engineer as Michael Jordan is a basketball player. He has an incredible patience that I don’t. And he’s a good touchstone for me. Every time we start going off one way, he’ll say, ‘Nah, man—we’re getting corny.’”

     
    Iovine thinks some tech companies are out of touch with culture.

    JI: “We wanted to build a school that we feel is what the entertainment industry needs right now … There’s a new kid in town, and he’s brought up on an iPad from one and a half years old. But the problem with some of the companies up north [in Silicon Valley] is that they really are culturally inept. I’ve been shocked at the different species in Northern and Southern California—we don’t even speak the same language. The kid who’s going to have an advantage in the entertainment industry today is the kid who speaks both languages: technology and liberal arts. That’s what this school is about.”

     
    Related: Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Explains Beats by Dre Acquisition

  • Native Instruments Compatibility with OS X Yosemite

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    Native Instruments Maschine
     
    Native Instruments sent the following email today about Apple’s new OS X Yosemite operating system:
     

    “Native Instruments has conducted compatibility tests with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite which have shown current NI products to work without any specific issues under standard installations of this operating system.
     
    However, products with a hardware dependency, such as MASCHINE, KOMPLETE KONTROL, TRAKTOR, GUITAR RIG, and Controller Editor will not launch when the AVID CoreAudioManager/Drivers are installed under 10.10 Yosemite. Native Instruments and Avid are working together to resolve this compatibility issue.
     
    Native Instruments is currently conducting further systematic compatibility and performance tests with the release version of Yosemite, and will provide new information as it becomes available.”

     
    Have you experienced any issues with a Native Instruments product and OS X Yosemite? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
     
    Related: Serato Issues Statement Regarding OS X Yosemite

  • Serato Issues Statement Regarding OS X Yosemite

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    OS X Yosemite
     
    Serato has issued an official statement regarding compatibility issues with Apple’s newly released OS X Yosemite operating system:
     

    “We don’t anticipate any issues with Serato software and OS X 10.10, but we won’t be able to officially support it until we can complete full and proper testing. As we haven’t been able to start this testing until the full public version was released, official support will not be immediate.
     
    We are unable to give a timeframe for official support at this time.
     
    We are happy for users to test our software on OS X 10.10 but suggest it not be used in performance situations until we are certain of its reliability. If you do experience issues with Serato software when using OS X 10.10 Yosemite, please open a help request to report all the details.”

     
    Related: Advanced Mac Optimization for Serato DJ

    Posted in Music Tech
  • Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Explains Beats by Dre Acquisition

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    During a recent interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was asked why he acquired Beats by Dre. In addition to wanting to work with the creative minds of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Cook said he saw value in their music subscription service, Beats Music.
     

    “They [Beats by Dre] recognized that human curation was important in the subscription service — that the sequencing of songs that you listen to affect how you feel. It’s hard to describe, but you know when you feel it.”

     
    Related: Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats for $3 Billion

  • Apple Confirms Purchase of Beats for $3 Billion

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    Following weeks of speculation, Apple has officially announced that it’s purchasing Beats Electronics and its music streaming service Beats Music for $3 billion.
     
    Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple as executives, according to Billboard. There specific roles haven’t been been revealed though.
     
    Rumors that Apple was in talks with Beats were first reported nearly three weeks ago. Since then, the industry has been waiting for an official statement from either company despite a celebratory video featuring Dre and Tyrese:
     

     
    Many analysts believe that Apple is acquiring Beats in an effort to compete with music streaming services such as Spotify. While iTunes currently dominates the music-download market, streaming is considered the future by most industry experts and Apple hasn’t had an answer to it — until now.
     
    Beats Music was launched in January and is said to have 200,000 subscribers. While their subscription numbers pale in comparison to Spotify’s 10 million, Apple’s database of more than 800 million credit cards could help make them a formidable competitor.
     
    Written while listening to Doc Jnr’s Dr. Dre Mix

    Posted in Music Industry