“World of Hi-Fi”: discussing the tax on the image, vendor locks, the atmosphere of paranoia and musical cybersecurity easter eggs

We’ve previously discussed smart TV and upscaling, streaming, music hardware, and even humming. Today we will continue to share selected materials from our Hi-Fi World.

Photo: Max Bender.  Source: Unsplash.com
Photo: Max Bender. Source: Unsplash.com

Struggle for rights or an atmosphere of paranoia – the world of music is still undecided… Artists, studios and copyright holders are also suing during the epidemiological crisis. They argue about everything that can be called music: from the degree of similarity of two-second samples to attempts to protect not so much specific compositions as the author’s style [!]… We are talking about these “precedents” and about a business that skillfully uses the situation [это страховщики]… Plus, we recall the opposite example – the author and performer of political satire and science-pop compositions, who made his work public domain.

How an IT company fought for the right to sell music… We share the story of the struggle between the two Apple, the broken promise not to touch the music market, lawsuits for themed “features” in Mac OS and lawsuits for the right to sell and distribute music. As you can imagine, in the end the technological Apple bought out the opponent’s trademarks and leased them to him, opening the way for direct interaction with the audience.

Streaming has become the main source of income for musicians, but they are not happy… iTunes introduced exactly twenty, the iTunes Store nearly eighteen, and Apple Music more than five years ago. However, the “apple” did not manage to become the leader of the streaming market. Moreover, in a crisis, when everyone adheres to a home lifestyle and work, many authors and performers are forced to remove their creativity from this platform with the help of court decisions. The point is that they are trying to regain control over how their songs “get into the ears” of listeners, and to increase the share of money coming from the sale of tracks and albums.

Photo: Claudia Ramírez. Source: Unsplash.com

Why the podcast industry is becoming more like streaming TV shows and movies… The point is that publishers form semi-closed ecosystems with exclusive audio shows. What is it like “streaming wars“, Only in miniature. They analyze both individual programs and their producers – they buy podcast studios [одна из сделок обошлась в 230 млн долларов]… It seems that the inherently open format is gradually disappearing from the scene, and its place is being replaced by commercial content, commissioned by large streaming companies.

Image tax: where TV fees are required and who “stretches” them even further… We are discussing TV fees in Swedish, a significant part of which, interestingly, went to the “management company” that was in charge of managing such fees. We also recall the initiatives of the authorities of Hungary and other European countries, plus – we talk about how the TV tax is turning into a telecom, and then into an Internet tax in a number of developed countries.

“Anything you read will be used against you”: rap music in the courtroom… The image of gangsters is one thing, but the responsibility for the lyrics of the tracks is quite another. Moreover, the latter often becomes an aggravating factor for the performers who have gone on trial. We explain how this happens, talk about civil disobedience in rap lyrics and discuss whether it should be considered cruel if there are even more terrible plots in conventional country music.

Photo: Sebastiaan Stam. Source: Unsplash.com

“Big Brother’s Music”: How Surveillance Found Its Reflection in Rap Culture… Here’s a look at rap artists’ attitudes towards surveillance and conspiracy theories. As it turns out, the representatives of this genre were not in vain constantly talking about the fact that they were being looked after. For many years, many of them were really “under the hood” of the special services and law enforcement agencies. A couple of documentaries were filmed about this based on official police reports. One can only guess what caused this attention: track texts, image, circle of acquaintances, lifestyle, “gray” business projects or something else. We consider these moments and dwell on the legendary tracks of rap artists about surveillance.

“Watch That Thought Doesn’t Run Away”: More Surveillance Easter Eggs in Pop Music… It is not just the “rap game” that is rich in references to this topic – there are many less straightforward examples in pop culture. Take at least “Every breath you take“By The Police or a song by Tom Paxton”Mr. Blue“. We are discussing these and other examples of tracks that were supposedly recorded in an attempt to “wake up” the minds of the listeners – there are no exact answers to this question, which makes the compositions mysterious and draws attention to them.


Our other selection of audio reviews and reading materials:

  • Affordable “monitors” for home studio and general music listening

  • To stream and record music or podcasts: choosing headphones for your home

  • We discuss smart TV and upscaling, streaming, music hardware and humming effect


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