Or maybe it’s Berkely, CA, or Cambridge, MA, or some other college town. Enough people were confused about Spotify’s latest Wrapped to spur articles in the New York Times and Washington Post, and Spotify is extending 2023’s audio recap season by explaining how they were assigned:
Sound Towns selected for eligible users are made up of two factors: a user’s most-streamed artists of the year, and the way in which those artists are streamed in other cities. It’s objective and driven by a user’s listening history.
If what that has to do with your music listening habits isn’t immediately clear, it also posted the top ten lists for each city. Noah Kahan, Sza, and Lizzy McAlpine took the top three spots in Burlington.
The theme park / immersive art exhibition (yes, you read that right) is a real thing, and the Los Angeles Times has a great story about it with some really cool photos. It will apparently open sometime this winter.
Spotify and Apple Music have both released their end-of-year roundups, and now it’s YouTube Music’s turn. This year, YouTube Music will create a custom album art based on what you’ve listened to in 2023, as well as match your top songs to different moods.
You can also access your Recap from the regular YouTube app for the first time, but it might not have any stats if you aren’t a YouTube Music listener.
Spotify had a bunch of artists record videos to their fans for its year-end Wrapped lists. Weird Al used his to joke about Spotify payouts from right inside Spotify’s platform.
If you’ve ever poked around the world of high-end audio, you’ve come across Roon — it’s basically a very fancy riff on the classic iTunes app that can stream to all sorts of fancy devices. Well, it just got bought out by Harman, the parent company of JBL, Harman Kardon, Infinity, and others. (Harman itself was bought by Samsung in 2016 as part of a bet on connected cars, which, well, sure.)
Along with this forum post, a press release says Roon will not become a proprietary hell app:
Aligned with its ‘work with all’ strategy, HARMAN is committed to growing Roon’s open device ecosystem which includes collaborating with more than 160 other audio brands, delivering audio to more than 1000 high-performance devices.
People who can afford to pay for a high-end music service that works with their high-end music gear love change so we’ll see how this goes!
If you missed the concert film’s box office-shattering debut, you can rent the extended version starting on December 13th (which also happens to be Taylor Swift’s birthday). The extended version includes some extra performances, including “Wildest Dreams,” “The Archer” and “Long Live.” There’s still no word on pricing just yet.
The EP-133 KO II is more than a toy but less than a professional tool — and its creators hope it might get even more people making music.
Software engineer Thomas Barlow has been making TikToks showing off a small musical quartet of step motors that he made possible with an Arduino, MIDI sequences, a little coding, and some other gear. He made a video showing how (and he published code and a tutorial on GitHub).
Anyway, who knew step motors are perfect for Radiohead?
TikTok’s main feed now has an “add song” button that lets you save songs to your Spotify Liked Songs playlist. Spotify says both free and paid US and UK members will get it.
If you don’t see it yet, make sure to update both apps and set Spotify as as your default streaming service in the TikTok app (Settings > Music).
Update November 14th, 2023, 11:45AM ET: TechCrunch notes you can also pick Apple Music or Amazon Music.
Last night, a friend pointed me to Radio Garden. The site (or iOS app) is simple, presenting a swipe-able digital Earth covered in green dots. Some represent collections of local stations, and some, like the lonely, all-shellac-78s Arctic Outpost AM1270, solemnly broadcast into the Earth’s farthest reaches.
James did a good job documenting the unexpectedly simple, nostalgic joy of Radio Garden in his Verge story years ago.
Apple also ported over the iPad’s Sample Alchemy and Beat Breaker features to the Mac version, while the subscription iPad version gets drag-and-drop support from other apps.
Look for Logic Pro 1.1 (iPadOS) and Logic Pro 10.8 (macOS)
Bandcamp United has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Songtradr, the company that purchased Bandcamp from Epic Games, according to a report from 404 Media.
The union alleges that Songtradr refused to hire employees because they “joined or supported a labor organization and in order to discourage union activities or membership,” 404 Media reports. Last month, Songtradr confirmed that only 50 percent of Bandcamp workers were given offers to join Songtradr, with the rest getting laid off.
AI is on a collision course with music — Reservoir’s Golnar Khosrowshahi thinks there’s a way through
The publisher behind the songwriting copyrights to some of the most popular music ever recorded doesn’t think AI spells doom for the industry.
According to Bloomberg’s analysis of Taylor Swift’s public assets, she’s now “one of the few entertainers” to achieve billionaire status based almost entirely on her music, merch, and live performances. Swift’s Eras Tour is projected to become the highest-grossing solo tour in history.
Bloomberg’s article is worth reading if only to appreciate the cute bead-bracelet graphics that are used to illustrate Swift’s staggering wealth.
Swifties and the Swift-curious (and probably some mix of obligated parents) reportedly pushed Taylor Swift’s theatrical release of her concert tour film to between $95 million and $97 million.
Variety reported that AMC says it can’t be more exact with its projections “without clear comparisons.” Rival theaters think the number is closer to $94 million, according to the outlet.
Either way, that’s a lot of money for a concert film and keeps it in the same territory as Joker’s October box office opening weekend record of about $96 million.