Ownership Matters: What Apple Music users and Jim Dalrymple should know

“This is Apple Music. And it’s just the beginning.”

Apple’s website tells all: a single user can subscribe to their new streaming service, Apple Music, for $9.99/month. Though it is in fact just beginning, the new service has been met with a cascade of criticism.

Users reported some major hiccups with the service, including the iCloud Music Library aspect, which is meant to bring your iTunes library onto all your devices for you to stream anywhere. Users were reporting duplicate songs, songs that were moved to the wrong album, and missing songs.

Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple’s situation was particularly upsetting. When he was having complications with Apple Music, he decided to turn it off on his devices, resulting in what looked like 4,700 songs disappearing from his view. It’s reason to panic indeed, although Apple Music technically does not alter any of the original song files stored on your PC or other locations.

If your music “disappears”, whether permanently or temporarily, it’s important to have a backup just in case. Choosing to buy physical music that you own saves you from losing files, and from being at the mercy of a large music service, which are both terrifying things.

When you buy a CD on Murfie for example, we’ll give you the download to add to your iTunes, and streaming access you can take anywhere. If something happens to your files, whether it’s your fault or Apple’s, you’ll always have a perfect archive of all the music you own, ready to be downloaded again at any time. If you don’t want to hang on to the CD, we’ll hang on to it for you.

If you choose ownership, you will always have access, and there will be no need to worry. This is something that all Apple users, including Jim Dalrymple, should hopefully know—and we’d love to have them try us out!

[Opinion] Save the iPod!

I love my iPod! I have a shiny silver iPod Classic with a whopping 160GB of storage. For the past 4 years or so, it’s travelled all over with me, allowing me to listen to music on busses to Milwaukee (Cue: “Traveling Man”), on planes 30,0000 feet in the sky (Cue: “Leaving on a Jet Plane”), and on beaches in Jamaica (Cue: “Country Roads”).

The reason why I often listen to music on my iPod and not my phone, especially while traveling, is because it doesn’t drain my phone battery and I can access my entire collection offline. At home, I can plug it into my speaker system and I don’t need to worry about turning the music off to make a phone call.

This is why I was extremely saddened, disappointed, and upset to hear that Apple is discontinuing production of the iPod Classic! Now that the news is out, iPod Classics are selling for up to four times their original price online. But it’s no surprise, really, that Apple will be pushing people to buy the “next” thing.

I’m not alone in this sentiment. David Sims of The Atlantic says it’s okay to miss the iPod Classic. He noticed reactions like mine, and the spike in prices says it even more simply. “The surge of demand for old iPods suggests what I’ve long been thinking: There’s a hole in the market here. Something has to rush in and fill it eventually,” he says.

The hole he’s talking about is that even though streaming services exist, people still want permanence in their digital music collections. The tunes on your iPod occupy a sort of middle-ground between music rental (i.e. subscription streaming services) and ownership. With an iPod, you can collect digital music files, whether you ripped them from a CD or bought them from Apple (you technically don’t own the Apple files—you own a license to play the files according to Apple’s terms). But either way, you still can feel like you own them, because you’re in full control of where the files live.

Don’t get me wrong, streaming is great to have available! Streaming playback of my music is a great modern invention, whether it’s streaming what I own from Murfie or from a subscription service. But there’s still something convenient, and comforting, about having guaranteed access to all the music I care about in a package that follows me wherever I want to be. The iPod Classic is a great solution for the portable, offline listening and management of digital files, and I’m sad to see it go.

Sims says, “The question is whether Apple will realize its mistake or some other company will do it for them.” If another company wants to step up and make a comparable portable player, I applaud them. But hope my iPod Classic will still able to be supported in some way.


Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.


“Who is U2?” and other funny reactions to Apple’s auto-download.

On September 9th, 500 million Apple users were given U2‘s newest album, Songs of Innocence, without prior knowledge. Apple described the surprise as “A big moment in music history”—and it certainly was, for many unpredicted reasons.

The big thing they’re pointing out is that 500 million people now have a copy of an album in their library, making Songs of Innocence the “most-owned album in history.” To them, this is ground-breaking, but to me (writing this article)—not so much. No offense to Apple, but these aren’t people who willingly went out thinking “Hey, I would love to get a copy of this album!” Some of them might have bought it anyway on its official release date, October 13th. But as the days go by, more and more people are not just wondering how to purge the album from their library, but they’re literally wondering, “Who is U2?”

Who is U2?

To me, that’s hilarious. Kind of like the musically oblivious 8th grader meme. Of course I know who U2 is, even though I’ve never sought out their music myself. How could you not know? But again, like the musically oblivious 8th grader, there are Apple users as young as 13 years old who honestly have no clue why this album is now in their library.

Some of the most entertaining reactions to the free album have been listed here, on the very funny, whoisu2.com. Case and point: “Okayyyy so who is U2 and how did they hack the iTunes system ????” – @EgyptianArabic_ 

(Fyi, U2 did not hack iTunes, even though that would have been epic. Apple paid the band an unspecified amount and paired the release with a marketing campaign worth up to $100 million.)

SOI removal

Almost immediately, people complained about difficulties deleting the album from their different devices. To best handle this, Apple eventually created a “one-click removal” button for the U2 album, found at itunes.com/soi-remove. “Once the album has been removed from your account,” Apple warns, “it will no longer be available for you to redownload as a previous purchase.” Darn, you guys.

Hey, I like U2!

Yeah, they’re not bad. U2 is actually our most popular artist on Murfie, based on the number of albums owned by members. So for those of you who like U2, congrats on the free music—I bet the wave of reactions is still equally entertaining to you as it is to me. I wonder if Apple genuinely thought everyone would like this album.

U2 actually has a bunch of albums that soared in popularity, without any free gifting involved. Examples:

U2 WarU2 The Joshua TreeU2 Achtung BabyU2 Rattle and Hum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 13 studio albums and a multitude of compilations, you really can’t go wrong.

True ownership

Not to beat a dead horse, but true Murfie fans should have noticed another flaw in Apple’s “big moment in music history” statement. Having access to U2’s album in your library does not mean you own the album. Having a physical CD or LP is what technically translates as truly owning it. Owning the physical CD or LP legally gives you rights to sell, trade, and even pass on the album to the next generation when you’re gone. So if you dig U2 and want the perks and peace of mind of owning their stuff, plus lossless quality downloads and streaming, you know where to get Songs of Innocence on October 13th. ;)

For fun!

Check out Clickhole’s 8 Most Innovative Ways Artists Have Released Albums.


Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.



Pete’s Picks

Ok, raise your hand if you can tell me the most-watched annual sporting event in the world? Anyone?

It’s the Super Bowl, of course! But why do 80 to 90 million people from the United States tune into this annual sporting extravaganza?

Thats right, to see the new TV commercials!

So what has any of this got to do with music!?“, I hear you cry. Well, it is highly likely that we all have a track or two in our collections that have at some point been used in a TV commercial. Before the 1980s, the music found in television commercials was usually a jingle or a piece of incidental music. In 1971, a jingle titled “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” was written for a Coca-Cola advertisement and was later re-recorded as a pop single by The New Seekers and The Hillside Singers. Dropping all references to Coca-Cola, the new version was given the title “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing“, and it became a hit record in the US and the UK.

With the recent shift in direction taken by music channels like MTV and VH1, who preferred to jump on the reality TV show bandwagon as opposed to providing a platform to showcase new music, the once-forbidden topic of a band or artist “selling out” and licensing one of their tracks to be used in a TV commercial are long gone. In fact, it’s probably the best source of income and promotion that a band could wish for these days.  I hope this insight to a few of my favourite tracks used in TV commercials will help prevent you from scrambling across the living room and hurdling over the cat in an attempt to open Shazam on your mobile phone and get as close as you can to the TV to find out where that 30 seconds of music originates.

Jamie Lidell – Multiply

56019-largeJamie Lidell started out as one half of the techno-funk duo Super Collider before embarking on a solo career where he expresses his surprisingly rich and powerful voice over a blend of soul music with electronica, producing music which has been described as Motown meets the future. “A Little Bit More” from the album Multiply was used in a series of  TV commercials for Target.

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg

MI0003453887Jake Bugg is an English singer-songwriter whose self titled debut album mixes Dylan-styled retro folk with contemporary rock riffs. Bugg’s track “Lightning Bolt” is currently being used to advertise Gatorade sports drinks across the US during the NBA championship games, and is likely to be viewed by an audience in the region of tens of millions across the US. It is understood that marketing executives chose Bugg’s track from thousands of “unknown” songs.

The Heavy – The House That Dirt Built

30255-largeThe Heavy are a UK Band from Bath, England, who play a mix of heavy-guitar, soul and rock backed with Kelvin Swaby’s vocals that have a certain Curtis Mayfield feel about them. Their song “How You Like Me Now?” features a sample from “Let a Woman Be a Woman” by Dyke & the Blazers and was featured in the Kia Sorento TV ad campaign where Muno (a character from the popular children’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba)  and a bunch of unruly, hard playing soft toys take a Kia Sorento out for a spin resulting in an almost Hangover-style night on the town in Vegas. The ad was introduced during Super Bowl XLVI, and when the band was invited to play the song on The Late Show with David Letterman back in January 2010, it was the first time that Letterman had ever asked a musical artist to perform an encore on his show.  The band returned again to the show two years later to perform “What Makes A Good Man?”,  and they were encouraged to play their second encore.

Jet – Get Born

1458-large“Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Australian rock band Jet was one of many tracks used for Apple’s infamous iPod dancing-silhouette commercials, resulting in the band selling 3.5 million copies of their album Get Born, which is an incredible achievement for a band that was relatively unknown before the track appeared in the ad, proving why so many music publishers and labels are thrashing it out trying to get a slice of the revenue and attention that music in advertising delivers.

Mr. Oizo – Analogue Worms Attack

64366-largeFrench house musician Mr. Oizo introduced the world to “Flat Beat” with a little help from his head banging puppet buddy Flat Eric, whose appearance in a commercial for Levi’s Sta Prest brand led to the track maintaining the #1 position in the UK for three weeks in April 1999. The track is featured as a bonus track on his debut album Analog Worms Attack. The music video also features Flat Eric, as a high-flying record company executive calling industry taste makers and blasting the track down the phone while head banging away to the music in the most amusing fashion. “Flat Beat” is considered to be one of the earliest instances of Electro house music.

Announcing our new Murfie iOS App!

iPod—ever heard of it?
iPhone? No?
iPad—what’s that?

Just kidding! We know there are many Murfie members out there who are Apple peeps.

Well, the day has arrived, the day—has—arrived

our Murfie iOS App is here!

That’s right, now you can stream your Murfie collection from your iPhone, iPad, or any iOS device, using our new, super specially-designed streaming application!

The app is brand spankin’ new and not fully indexed in Apple’s search bar. But ssssh, we like you…so you can follow this secret link to start using the app:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/murfie/id623272703

Soon you’ll be streaming like a pro! Yes, we are encouraging you to go nuts here. This is our first app, specifically for streaming your Murfie collection, and we have big plans for more features.

Give us a good rating, won’t ya? ;-)

[UPDATE: Tell us what ya like! Tell us what ya don’t like! E-mail us at info@murfie.com.]