Apple is pulling the plug on iTunes after 18 Years

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs gestures as he announces Apple ‘iTunes’ Music Store in the UK, France and Germany 15 June, 2004 at a press release party in London. The iTunes Music Store will allow music fans in the three countries the same large online2011 AFP

Apple is finally putting to rest the program that started a “music revolution.” iTunes, which helped usher in the mp3 era of music, will shutter after nearly two decades. Bloomberg reports the tech giant will announce the iTunes shutdown at a developer conference that begins Monday.

This development has been rumored for years, as subscription-based streaming services — including the company’s own Apple Music — have overtaken music downloads. According to the RIAA’s 2018 year-end report, streaming amounted to 75% of the U.S. music industry’s revenue.

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AI brought a 60-year old music-making machine to life

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Sound artist Yuri Suzuki used AI to complete Raymond Scott’s Electronium vision.

If you’ve seen Looney Tunes or The Simpsons, you’ve probably heard Raymond Scott’s music — which was adapted for those and other cartoons. But there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Scott himself. A musician and inventor, Scott was ahead of his time. As early as the 1950s, he began working on the Electronium, a kind of music synthesizer that he hoped would perform and compose music simultaneously. While Scott invested $1 million and more than a decade in Electronium, he died before it was complete. Now, Fast Company reports, Pentagram partner and sound artist Yuri Suzuki has picked up where Scott left off.

Suzuki worked in partnership with the design studio Counterpoint and used Google’s Magenta AI to generate music the way Scott envisioned. Like the Electronium, Suzuki’s version has three panels. First, a player taps a melody, or even a few notes, on the center panel. Then, the AI uses that to compose music, which is shown on the right. And finally, the player can use the panel on the left to manipulate the music by adding effects or beats. It’s the kind of human-computer collaboration Scott dreamed of but didn’t have the digital technology to complete.

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Study finds listening to music has negative impact on creativity

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A new study has found that listening to music may have a negative impact on creativity. This is contrary to the popular idea that music and creativity often go hand in hand. According to the researchers, the negative impact was found even in cases where the music had a positive impact on mood and was liked by the person listening to it. However, background noise didn’t have the same effect.

Music is often used for background noise while studying and as a way to help increase someone’s creativity while working on a project. The psychologists behind a new study have found this routine may have the opposite effect, actively impairing — rather than boosting — the individual’s creativity. The findings were based on three experiments.

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A new shirt can help deaf people feel music

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Tech-infused fashion isn’t just about looking good—it can have some groundbreaking uses too, as a company called CuteCircuit is proving.

The London-based tech-fashion firm, which has recently provided Katy Perry with (literally) flashy outfits, has just successfully tested a shirt that can help deaf people feel the music they cannot hear.

The Sound Shirt is an adaptation of a CuteCircuit concept called the Hug Shirt, of which the company has produced around 100 prototypes over the last decade. A German orchestra, the Jungen Symphoniker Hamburg, commissioned then bought this latest version.

The Sound Shirt is connected to a computer system that picks up the audio from microphones placed at various points around the orchestra’s stage. It is filled with actuators, which are little motors that vibrate in relation to the intensity of the music being played, in real time.

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Spotify will now let artists directly upload their music to the platform

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Spotify has announced a new beta feature that will allow independent artists to upload their music directly to the platform instead of through a label or digital aggregator. Normally, artists who aren’t signed to a major label (which can directly upload music to Spotify) have to pay a fee to a third-party service like Tunecore to upload their music to Spotify. The upload feature will be contained within the service’s existing Spotify for Artists platform, which, among other things, allows artists to view data about their listeners and directly submit their songs for editorial playlist consideration.

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Will the next Mozart be a robot?

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Humankind has done a great deal in terms of making exquisite art, whether through its paintings, songs, or performance art. Museums are packed with such work, and ordinary people have libraries full of fantastic literary achievements—both physical and digital. For the longest time, creativity seemed like an exclusively human forte.

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Spotify disrupted the music world, now it’s doing the same to Wall Street

If Spotify’s non-IPO goes forward this spring, it will be unusual in that it will be a “direct listing,” wherein the current shareholders will sell their shares directly to the retail-investing public on the NYSE, vs. to institutional investors. Spotify is the first company of its size to propose such a listing. If the listing yields a lucrative exit for existing shareholders, it will encourage other nascent high-growth firms to follow in Spotify’s footsteps.

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Will A.I. and machine learning make everyone a musician?

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Music and other live performance art has always been at the cutting edge of technology so it’s no surprise that artificial intelligence and machine learning are pushing its boundaries.

As AI’s ability to manage key elements of the creative process continue to evolve, should artists be worried about the machines taking over? Probably not, says Douglas Eck, research scientist at Google’s Magenta.

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The future of listening to music is feeling it

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Recording artist Timbaland has teamed up with SubPac, a Los Angeles-based startup that has created a wearable device set to redefine entertainment through new immersive physical-sound technology. This new wearable will change the way that we hear and feel music forever.

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