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?


How can I put my gigs online?

When I get asked this question, it’s usually by young bands who have developed something of a following through touring, by being really active with their online promotion (typically via MySpace) and by keeping and maintaining a healthy and regular online mailing list.

Their idea is that they would like to perform concerts that fans in other geographic locations could ‘attend’ by going to their website and watching a live webcast of the event. Their second choice is usually to record the concert and post it on YouTube (or similar) and embed it on their site.

Now, it has to be said that live streaming is generally expensive, resource intensive and a bit of a pain – especially if you want more than a few people to watch at once. There are solutions to that, which I’ll discuss – but it’s worth mentioning that there are all sorts of other variations on the theme.


Technical difficulties

Wow – that was frustrating.

A week or more of the site being offline, and more than a week before that of some teething issues as we tried (with varying degrees of success) to carry off The Great Hosting Migration of 2008.

As far as we can tell, everything is pretty much as it should be now. Links should lead to places they are meant to go, pictures should display where pictures should display, and by and large, we can return you to your irregularly scheduled programme.

Please let me know if you spot any problems. Thanks very much.

Good news / bad news

Well, the good news is, I have wrested ownership of back from my old webhosts. They were not nearly as evil as they could have been about it, and my only problems with them are:

1) the ruthless efficiency with which they turn off the switch and seize control of your assets if you hit the end of the contract, regardless of what the circumstances are; and

2) their shockingly poor communication and dire customer service unless you make a huge fuss.

They didn’t do anything really wrong by the letter of the law, but they were pretty unpleasant to deal with for the most part.

So anyway. That’s the good news – and the site should be operational again in all its glory in no time at all. Thanks so much for all your advice, help, support and good wishes.

And on the flip side…
The bad news is I left my phone and wallet in a taxi last night, and so I’ve spent today cancelling stuff and trying to get some sort of response out of the taxi company other than just ‘nobody’s handed it in’. Other than that, it was an excellent night out.

The Hijacking of New Music Strategies

poached site

If you’re reading this anywhere near the time I’m writing this, you’re either getting it in an email, or it’s popping up in your RSS feeds. How do I know you’re not looking at the website? Because it’s not there.

If you were to visit the website New Music Strategies right now, you would not see what you would ordinarily expect. It has been replaced by one of those holding pages with ads on it of the kind that unscrupulous domain poachers tend to use.

What unscrupulous domain poachers could possibly have done such a heinous thing? My own webhosts, actually: UKHost4U. Let me explain.