Articles Tagged with itunes

WindowsAlbumSetWhen textbooks go fully digital what will schools buy? Will they buy individual lessons, units of 2-3 weeks length, or full curriculum that span a year the way they do today? This is the $5 billion question facing our industry.

Mike Shatzkin has an excellent post on this topic over at The Shatzkin Files. His framing is concise and revealing for those of us mapping out strategy for the analog to digital transition in instructional materials.

He was on a working group preparing for a talk about copyright across different publishing markets:

Been fighting the crud since Saturday. The best I can muster so far this week is an overdue iTunes Mix for your listening pleasure.

I found a couple of particularly good new artists (for me) – Richard Shindell (also in Cry, Cry, Cry), and Pink Martini. Thanks to Rich Geist at Winsor Learning for the Pink rec. Shindell was an iTunes rec.

A thread that runs through these songs are strong and unusual story lines – better than your average batch of “love ya/miss ya/can’t wait to kiss ya” that makes up most pop. A marine captain drowns in the Mississippi, hippie band camps by the river and wins the town over, a tempestuous Russian/Italian love affair, Geronimo’s Cadillac, and Guantanamo Bay all grace this list.

Its time again for a mix of my favorite tunes from the past few months. There was an unusually large crop of great music this summer – and whittling it down to just 20 songs was tough.

This mix is pretty rootsy although there is some rock, jazz, and folk tossed in there. I also listened to a lot cello this summer – but somehow it just didn’t fit with the other stuff.

A theme many of these songs share is the banjo – but it is a subtle background texture not the in your face bluegrass style (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I really enjoy seeing the instrument – and in particular the old time style which I play – finding a new niche. Check out Heart of Sawdust, Wind in the Wires, Big Bird in a Small Cage, and Hey Joe (yes Hendrix) in particular.

Wondering how to spend that iTunes gift card you got from Aunt Millie? Here are few suggestions from my latest favorites that you might want to consider.

Here are my suggestions on how to spend an iTunes Gift Card:

1. Look at your own iTunes library for artists that you like but whom you only have one or two songs from.iTunes will show you their whole catalog and which are their most popular tunes. It helps if you rate all the songs in your library – you can do this on your iPod while listening by hitting the center button a couple of times. Then it is easy to search for all top rated songs and scan the list for singletons by an artist.

939604 Band Silhouette 4My prior post on iTunes and Textbooks started with this iMix. As I mulled the educational implications over I realized that this was exactly how teachers should be sharing instructional materials.

As a musician and music aficionado I listen to a lot of new music. My tastes range across genres – what draws my interest is solid musicianship, great lyrics, and a good tune. Over 2-3 months I probably listen to 200-300 new songs inspired by recommendations from friends, recommendations from iTunes and Pandora, and stuff I hear randomly. Oddly, I find some of the best stuff on political blogs (Juan Luis Guerra below). I rank the songs using iTunes and from the short list of 5 star songs I create a mix to share. I also toss in a couple of old favorites that I haven’t listened to in a while (like Cocker on this mix).

My musical adventures are not typical – but I hope that is why playlists like this are valuable to others. I’ve done the leg work of culling through a lot of new stuff to find the best (for my ears).

Caveman in TunnelWhy can’t teachers buy lessons like people buy songs off of iTunes? Are publishers at risk of irrelevance if they don’t proactively solve this problem for their customers?

I have noticed that my music habits have changed dramatically over the past 5-6 years. With the advent of iTunes I was no longer bound to buying albums – I could sample and just buy the songs that sounded good to my ears. Most albums have 2-3 good songs, several so-so songs, and a couple of clunkers. I only want the good stuff thank you very much.

Musicians put a huge amount of energy into creating albums that presented a sweep of music in just the right thematic sequence. Decades of practice dictated that this was something that customers wanted. Only – once they had a real choice – they didn’t. It was vanity not reality.