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Music News & Views @ clik4music

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The Changer and Saver of Music - Steve Jobs

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Apple logo

Steve Jobs changed music. And Steve Jobs saved music. And he did these things at many levels. Both in his own personal love of music and creativity, and in his meticulous moulding of Apple software and hardware, Steve Jobs changed forever the way users interface with music. And that could be his most impressive legacy for generations to come.

There are thousands of companies, bands, solo artists, marketeers, journalists and creatives who gain their income, small or large, due to the impact of Steve Jobs and his Apple products. Yes, there are many other brilliant minds at Apple who have played a part, yet most tributes, memoirs and anecdotes speak of the passion to get things right, inherited from the Jobs culture. Here are key ways Jobs and Apple game-changed music for users.

iPod

Without getting into semantics of chicken-and-egg, let's start with the iPod. The Mac had been a brilliant computer for any music enthusiast, able to capture and playback at full digital quality. And the Sony Walkman was the previous best-of-breed mobile music device. But the first iPod and the subsequent range of iPods delivered full digital quality music for any situation - walking, running, cycling, driving, mountain-climbing! 

iPod range

The range of sizes, features and prices could put, for the first time, exceptional quality music into the ears of anyone, anywhere. The combination of practical and robust products, crafted with a design aesthetic, have been winners for users for years, and great earners for Apple and rightly so.

World Wide Web

NeXT computer

Even when not at Apple, Steve Jobs had a profound effect on computing and software. Jobs' NeXT computer was used by Tim Berbers-Lee to "create" the World Wide web as we know it today. Berbers-Lee explains:

I wrote the program using a NeXT computer. This had the advantage that there were some great tools available - it was a great computing environment in general. In fact, I could do in a couple of months what would take more like a year on other platforms, because on the NeXT, a lot of it was done for me already. There was an application builder to make all the menus as quickly as you could dream them up. There were all the software parts to make a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get - in other words direct manipulation of text on screen as on the printed - or browsed page) word processor.  

Notice, again, the recurring theme: the best available platform, created under the direction of Steve Jobs.

iTunes

iTunes

The combination of exceptional audio devices (Macs and iPods) and enormous improvements in access and speeds to the internet allowed iTunes to become another market-leader for Jobs and Apple. Here, at last, was a digital music service that benefited the users. The users! You can ignore all the bleating and lies from music label bosses and music retailers. Volumes of sales are at an all time high in 2011. The music industry can thank Steve Jobs for that.

Not only does iTunes provide constant, high-quality digital audio, and in an easy to find, access and download way, it has been extended to become a central repository for TV, video and the extraordinary iTunes U (which just achieved 600 million downloads of professional learning materials). No other service comes close for quality content. 

iMac and MacBook

iMac and MacBook series

Here we see form and function, productivity and design, cost and benefit, and any other criteria being fused, again, to the benefit of the user. There might be faster cars than the Ferrari, and there are some models that some people decry, but a Ferrari is known the world over for the combination of horsepower and design excellence. The same is true of the Apple products: they are beautiful to look at and beautiful to 'drive'. And, under the bonnet, they capture, store and output gorgeous music in all its variety.

GarageBand

There are plenty of music-related software programs and utilities available for Apple products, but the inclusion of GarageBand "out of the box" set the scene for an explosion of creatives to express themselves, from hobbyist amateurs right through to full-time professional musicians, arrangers, producers and sound engineers. Steve Jobs and Apple set the standard high and everyone has benefited from that leadership and inspiration.

iPhone

iPhone

The iPod and MacBook were best-of-breed for all to follow in their sectors, and Jobs saw and delivered into another huge gap in user satisfaction with the introduction of the iPhone - a smartphone that dominates hearts and sales charts the world over.

The tech blogs are full of comparisons and stats that say Apple products are not the best. Real people, the users, disagree. They love their Mac products and their loyalty is second to none. The iPhone is purely the most visible example in the world of brand loyalty based on quality of product. Any country, any city, any airport and yes, any music event, and the iPhone will be highly visible, either itself or the trademark white earphones. And there are plenty of us who think of the iPhone as a clever iPod with phone capabilities!

App Store

App Store

The App Store, like iTunes, provides quality products in a user-friendly environment. Not only is the App Store an extension of the iTunes process, it provides, again, a central and easy-access resource for the user. All those involved in music, from listeners to creatives to providers, can integrate so much of their music and personal life with the assistance of Apple devices and software provision. And many apps now provide seamless integration from desktop to laptop to iPod to iPhone, either via Apple servers or other web processes.

iPad mixing desk

iPad

And so the story continues, although the seeds of the iPad were heralded by Apple 25 years ago in a prophetic "imagine if" video, and Steve Jobs has also explained that his original interest for a tablet was sidelined by the development of the iPhone. 

The tech "experts were quick to complain about the iPad but, again, the users ignored them and bought, in the millions, the next Steve Jobs-inspired Apple product the moment it became available worldwide. 

The iPad is a quite revolutionary device for musicians, music-making and music listening. Steve Jobs demanded the size, apparently, even though other sizes were explored and tested. He has been proved right, again, of course. The iPad is a perfect, new, liberating, clever and desirable product, with market-leading applications for DJs and musicians readily available.

iTunes Match

iTunes Match

Just as the App Store extended the content options for the iTunes Store, the newly announced iTunes Match can become your access-anywhere, listen-on-any-device music library. From casual listener to avid audiophile, the new service can quickly, easily and seamlessly integrate all your scattered music libraries from various devices.

For example, I have three iPods (approximately segregated into metal, rock, dance/trance), three Macs (with a wide range of styles, plus many podcasts), two iPhones (more music) and an iPad (more music and podcasts). My digital music library will be an interesting challenge for the features of Match.

iCloud

iCloud

All of the above devices and software are going to be assisted by the new Apple service, iCloud. Let's be clear: all of the above devices and software! I'm sure the tech naysayers will find fault with iCloud, but the rest of us, users and appreciators, will love it. 

Yes, iCloud will be great for music. But like so many Steve Jobs-inspired Apple products, iCloud will be great for people, and families, and staying in touch with those you love and like. And if that happens to occur by using a wonderfully designed and constructed Apple device, which may include sharing music content, more power to us all! 

One more thing ...

Let's not forget the most successful movie studio in the world - Pixar. From its inception to it's market leading stats and profitability, Pixar has created astonishing films/movies/shorts that delight whole generations. The guiding light - Steve Jobs. R.I.P.

Steve Jobs and Pixar 

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Katy Perry and who?

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The release of Katy Perry's new single E.T. should help the Russian economy a lot. Because E.T. is not so much outer space but t.A.T.u space. The song structure, the melody, the voicing, the tone and the overall production would suggest Dave Stewart and Trevor Horn were at least ghosts in mission control.

Katy Perry ET

As we have been fans of t.A.T.u. for years at clik4music, our bionic clone alert system went into overdrive when Katy reached the chorus. E.T. is a catchy pop song - and nothing wrong with that - and so we hope it does well. 

Meanwhile, commercial radio, YouTube and MTV-clones the world over will, no doubt, thrash E.T. and raise the profile of "europop" and/or "eurodance" - the revisionist music style of the past year for most American music labels. And ignore the Kanye West tag on the track - he does nothing, as usual, mumbling boring words with no guts whatsoever.

 

X Factor final 2010 - astonishing

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The semi-final on Saturday of X Factor 2010 revealed the slight differences between two great singers - Matt Cardle and Rebecca Ferguson. Their opening solo songs were hampered by nerves and wayward notes, but both looked and sounded like Top 10 stars in the making.

Rebecca Ferguson X Factor 2010 finalistWhen Matt and Rebecca later sang their duets it was clear Rebecca could be an international sensation. Matt was obviously starstruck singing with Rihanna - and why not. He filled his share of the duet with all the emotion we love about his vocals, yet Rihanna caused him to bite his finger in awe - at Rihanna's fantastic voice and stage presence.

Without doubt the most amazing performance of X Factor 2010 was Rebecca singing Beautiful and being joined by Christina Aguilera. They were both in fantastic form - and when Xtina growled I had to bite my own finger!

Meanwhile Cher and One Direction were able to achieve little more than good karaoke. Being fair, good karaoke is often hard to find, but it definitely doesn't qualify someone to be the X Factor winner. Interesting that Cher's duet with Cheryl's mate will.i.am was also little more than good karaoke - but I've often had that worry about much of the Black Eyed Peas music.

Matt Cardle X Factor 2010 finalistOn Sunday, during the final, it was embarrasing how good Rebecca was compared to all the boys - and that includes Matt and also Take That!! Rebecca is a class above all of them. Boy bands like One Direction and Take That lack any distinctive voices at the level of real singers like Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and now Rebecca Fergusson.

Again, being fair, Matt struggled enormously to capture any real quality in his vocals. The range is there, and the emotion, but perhaps his vocal chords have suffered during the past few weeks. The wonderful and powerful performance by Alexandra Burke the previous week showed how a great singer can become a fabulous singer with a year or two at the top of the profession.

Rebecca singing Eurythmics was stunning, her range and tone were perfect, wrapping Sweet Dreams in a wonderful and modern velvet style. From start to finish, Rebecca's talent and distinctive vocal power absolutely overshadowed anyone else on the final night of X Factor 2010.

Matt and Rebecca will surely both have great recording careers and either would have been a worthy winner. But it is truly astonishing that the nation chose Matt's heartfelt but shaky vocals over Rebecca's awesome natural talent.

 

 

Is American Idol becoming more digital?

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Future 'Idol' Contestants To Make Music Videos

Changes are on the way for the 10th season of American Idol according to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe with some sharing of the details.

In future the Idol Contestants will need to make music videos to promote themselves.

The contestants will be encouraged to make music videos and promote themselves. They will also need to work with a band and dancers for ther performances - similar to what you’d see at an awards show.

In other changes there will not be a Top 24 round this year - rounds will start at the top 12!

There will also be a change of musical direction. Theme weeks will center around decades instead of particular artists. And contestants will be able to seekt the help of Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine as their in-house mentor.

 

Tips On How To Win American Idol and X Factor - maybe

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Every year thousands of folks from all over the nation rush out to audition for American Idol, X Factor and other Got Talent shows. The final results are intended to offer the opportunity for every person within the nation to vote for the contestant that they feel is greatest for the title.

However, in order to actually win the competition it is very crucial to discover how you can genuinely come up with a wonderful impression, not only on the idol judges but additionally on the audiences as well.

For the majority of contestants it is not usually a huge deal to be let down towards the end. Only a solitary contestant can really win the show, therefore coming in 4th place is typically great enough. If you're determined that you would like to go further than ever before, and you genuinely want to win it is critical that you take the time to really study how to win. Once you have a handful of crucial concerns in place you will be well on your way to the number one finish that you need badly, without losing track of what is critical.

Your first and utmost important tip is to often make certain that you are memorable. Perhaps you have watched the show and observed shows only to forget them a few minutes later? You without doubt have observed numerous entertainers like this, and if you are out to win, you usually do not want to be this performer.

Bikini girl Karina DarrellThis does not imply that you ought to rush out and color your hair hot pink, put on massive sunglasses and perform with a peculiar voice. Instead it does mean you ought to connect to the audience, make them interested in you and what you might be singing. If you merely walk out, appear scared and sing for a few minutes you'll end up being rapidly erased.

Secondly, to be taken seriously, you must have fun with it, without having coming across much like the class clown trying to sing. This is particularly crucial since far too many contestants proceed from having fun to looking clownish with their routines.

One last suggestion would be to observe the ballad songs. Sure they're gorgeous and can be very common, but the sluggish tempo of the track likewise causes it to be much easier to be forgotten as soon as you walk off stage. If viewers watch recaps of the show and fail to remember what you sang, then it is undoubtedly time to re-think your tune selections. You will need a tune that will connect the viewers and get them moving.

An audience that is moving while you sing is much more likely to really recall you, rather than the gentle soulful ballad which can be forgotten almost immediately after you finish performing.

 

Be Sexy And Alluring With Vampire Dresses

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Imagine being immortal, preying on handsome men and possessing hypnotic powers to control people as needed. Making them do your bidding, whatever you desire. That's how some like to live in the erotic fantasy of vampire dresses.

Ruslana on stageDark sultry colors like black, maroon or dark crimson red are very sexy. A lace up bodice can emphasise curves, just like in Elizabethan times. Today of course there are long flowing skirts or short form-fitting minis to add to your arsenal of feel-good clothing.

Then there are fabrics, like vinyl which has often been associated with sensual pleasure. Maybe velvet would be more to your tastes, to feel like a noble, rich with immortal powers. We'd all like to be the center of attention as we use our magical abilities.

Complete the look is easy, especially with fishnet stockings or thigh high boots, long gloves, and even vampire fangs. White or very pale makeup, with black eyeliner and mascara create the undead look. Don't forget the bat jewelry, especially if you don't want to bother with the fangs and fake blood!

The alluring vampire is a fantastic and sexy way to spend Valentines of Halloween. But vampire-style dresses without the extra bat accessories and the white makeup can be perfect for other occasions.

You can wear the style to Gothic clubs, even Celtic and medieval festivals. If you were a musician it would make a great sexy look on stage. Another use would be to make a video for online social sites or as a joke for your friends. And we can't forget sexual fantasies. So you see there are many ways you can wear vampire dresses.

by CindySurette
 
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