audiomicroApparently the stock sound effects and music business is booming if the latest news from AudioMicro is anything to judge by.

AudioMicro is a leading source for royalty free music that you can download to include in videos, podcasts and so on that we have written about several times before.  Today the company is announcing that it has added nearly 20,000 production audio tracks from the vaults of Hollywood in a new collection called “The Platinum Collection.”

This new collection are all tracks that were previously available to Hollywood productions, and this is the first time they are being offered in such a way that even people producing video from their basements can afford to use them in a production.  “When we launched our first high end collection in October, we received overwhelming positive feedback from the community about its unprecedented quality, size, and scope”, said AudioMicro CEO Ryan Born.  “We are excited to enhance our archive of premium content with 20,000 new tracks in the Platinum Collection.”

With the addition of these new tracks, AudioMicro is now offering over 200,000 music tracks and sound effects for use royalty free in productions.  If you’re producing a podcast of videocast, this site is a must visit.

Categories: music, News   

pandora logoInternet favorite music service Pandora is exploring the possibility of being built into cars.

If you aren’t familiar with Pandora yet, you need to be.  It is a free streaming music service that allows you to create “stations” by telling it a song or singer/group you like, and then it plays a song to see if it has the correct song for you.  Once you have confirmed the song, it will begin streaming similar compositions it thinks you will like in a similar vein.  It is a great way of discovering music you’ve never heard of and keeping you entertained for hours on end.

Pandora has long been a favorite around the StarterTech offices, and while I personally use the BlackBerry application to listen on the go, playing it in the car hasn’t always been an easy proposition due to hooking it into my stereo via a cassette tape adapter.  Well, things may be on their way to getting considerably easier to listen to your favorite stations in the car.

According to GigaOm, Tom Conrad, chief technology officer of Pandora, was speaking at a panel at the SF Music Tech Summit and brought up that the company is exploring the possibilities of forging deals with auto makers to integrate the service into dashboard displays.  The service is already available in some models of Ford cars, but now it is looking to expand beyond that.

There was some mention of the cost of the service either being included in the car’s sticker price, or possibly bundled with other services.  While we said above that the service is free, Pandora has been exploring subscriptions for accounts that use the service for more than 40 hours a month, and if this was included in your car, you could easily exceed that amount depending on the length of your commute.

No timeline was mentioned as to when this may start appearing, but some hints were dropped that there may be some form of announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas.

Categories: music   

apple lalaReports indicate that Apple has purchased streaming music service Lala.

Apple isn’t usually known for purchasing other companies, preferring to build everything for itself, but news has come out in the past 24 hours that it has purchased Lala.  The company does sometimes buy smaller companies, most of which go unnoticed, but the possible implications of this purchase are staggering.

If you haven’t heard of Lala before, it is a streaming music service that some people have referred to as the iTunes of the Web.  It started off as a service where you could trade CDs with other users via the mail, and you could also “backup” up to 5,000 songs from your personal collection to its servers and then listen to the music from any computer with Internet access.

Late last year they added streaming capabilities that allowed you to stream any of the 8 million songs it had acquired a license to for one time, and then if you wanted to hear it again you could pay a minimal fee for unlimited streaming.

The news broke earlier today that the two companies were supposedly in talks, but by this evening it was being reported by The New York Times that the deal was actually completed.  Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman, told the newspaper that the company “buys smaller technology companies all the time, and we generally do not comment on our purpose or plans.”

And that is where the excitement is coming from; what exactly are Apple’s plans for a streaming music company?

The reports say that Lala executives actually contacted Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president in charge of iTunes, about the possible purchase over concerns that the small company was not going to be able to turn a profit in the short term.  Unconfirmed reports — which, really, all of this information is at this point — say that Apple got the company at a bargain basement price of $.50 on the dollar.

Now begins the speculation of what Apple with do with Lala’s technology.  Many people have said for some time now that Apple should get into some sort of cloud computing based version of iTunes that would allow a user to play their music across all of their computers and mobile devices without needing to sync data constantly.  Will they strip Lala down to its assets and do such a thing?  Who knows, it is anyone’s guess at this point, but it would make sense.

Hopefully there will be some sort of official announcement soon, but this is Apple we are talking about here, a company famous for its secrecy.

Categories: Apple, music   
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