Filed under Technology

In defense of Twitter

Steve Lawson from Andrew Dubber on Vimeo.

You’re probably aware that I use Twitter. In fact, I’m a bit of an evangelist for it. I think it’s up there with Email and RSS as one of the few absolutely killer online appliances – and pretty much a must for musicians and independent music businesses these days.

And yet, it’s been getting some bad press. There are people who say it’s all narcissists and psychopaths. Others who claim it’s just a hiding ground for celebrity junkies.

Steve Lawson, one of my top must-read music business thinkers, wrote a blog post today that explains Twitter in the face of some terrible journalism. I caught up with him for lunch in London and we had a chat about it.

Quite predictably, I made a video. That’s it up there.

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What does Spotify mean?

Spotify

I’m a few months late to the game, but I’ve finally been trying out Spotify properly and using it to listen to music at home. Many other people have written about this service, most of whom seem to be hugely impressed with the depth of catalogue, the reduced buffering and the overall concept: all music, free and legal.

I have to say, I was initially skeptical. I’m a long term iTunes user, because I think it’s a brilliant music database manager and player. I also like the ease with which it integrates into a wireless playback system in my house, and that it’s also the way in which I subscribe to podcasts and synchronise my iPod.

I don’t buy music from the iTunes store. Only ever did that once for research purposes – and it made me cross. Usual reasons – DRM, cost per track, that sort of thing. I’m a big eMusic fan, actually – and I like the way it integrates with iTunes (though I wish they’d think to embed the album covers within the mp3s).

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Amateur nonsense

This is not an ad. Well, yes – obviously it’s an ad, but Microsoft have not paid me to place this here. I bring you this just to spark a discussion about the endgame of music performance and production in the digital age.

Because although this is absolutely excruciating (I struggled to make it right through the video) – and it might just be the FrontPage of music making (and you have no idea how much I detest FrontPage) – there’s certainly something to be said about the idea of Garageband or Logic in every home. Isn’t there?

This is not a discussion about Apple versus Microsoft (unless that’s what you’d like it to be). It’s a discussion about the place of music professionalism in the face of technologically-enabled amateurism. If it’s cheap and easy for everyone to make music, then what?

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