Apple’s new music mastermind has been named: Trent Reznor

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple to Relaunch Beats Music Service With Trent Reznor.

Last September, an Apple shutdown of Beats Music seemed all but certain, putting a swift end to the streaming service that the computer giant acquired along with their $3 billion purchase of Beats by Dre headphones.

Apple is working with headphone maker Beats to launch a new subscription-based music service to rival the highly popular Spotify, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing people briefed on the company’s plans.Here’s one hard fact about Apple’s plans to relaunch its Beats Music streaming service later this year: there will be an endless stream of rumours about those plans until it happens. Reznor is reportedly in the process of rebuilding the app from scratch alongside a team of Apple and Beats employees that includes Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine. (It’s unclear if Zane Lowe, the influential BBC DJ that left his prized post for a gig at Apple, is also involved.) At its core, the new Beats Music (which likely won’t be called Beats Music) will be similar to the current service, albeit with a different design and more curated playlists, but not a lower price tag. Heavily involved in the project are Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman and former Beats exec, in addition to Beats’ cofounders, hip hop producer Dr.

Because if there’s one thing leakier than the hype cycle leading up to new Apple products, it’s the music industry when digital licences are being hammered out. According to the Times, Apple attempted to use their music industry clout to push the major labels into a licensing deal that would allow users to pay only $8 a month, or $2 less than Spotify and the current Beats Music subscription. Second, the report claims that Apple has failed to persuade record labels to agree to a lower monthly subscription price than the $9.99charged by streaming music services such as Spotify. One thing is certain, though: The service will not offer a free tier, a trend echoed by many major labels who told Rolling Stone that they are beginning to question the entire “freemium” music-streaming model of offering every song for free and hoping consumers will upgrade to its paid service.

The decision may also appeal to artists who have voiced their opposition to free streaming, including Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks and The Black Keys, all of whom are not on Spotify. This fits into a timeline of previous leaks on Apple’s pricing plans: a desire to go as low as $5 a month floated through Recode in October 2014, then $7.99 a month as uncovered by 9 to 5 Mac in February.

It’s a subject that has sparked an industry-wide war as artists like Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke flee from Spotify over what they deem as exceedingly low per-stream payouts, even as stream revenues have overtaken CD sales and are closing in on digital downloads. No release date for the new streaming service has been announced, but it’s expected by the time Apple rolls out their next major operating system update. Apple has kept its plans for Beats secret since the acquisition, though music industry experts have long speculated that CEO Tim Cook planned to use Beats’ talent to revamp Apple’s music platform offerings. Though TechCrunch reported in September that Beats would be discontinued and folded into Apple, Apple soon denied the claims, but provided no further information.

Fourth, Apple’s plans do still include iTunes Radio, its free streaming music service that launched in June 2013 but has been relatively low-key ever since. The high-quality audio streaming service appears to be much more artist-friendly than its rivals as Taylor Swift has already allowed her music on the service. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings. He’s the former recording engineer (John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen) and record producer (Patty Smith, Tom Petty, U2, Dire Straits) who co-founded Interscope records (Eminem, Lady Gaga) and Beats with Dr. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

If undercutting Spotify’s price is not an option, Apple still has some big advantages: a pile of cash to secure exclusives from big artist – and the ability to preload its streaming service on every iOS device with a free trial. After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth. Iovine, who reports to Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of software and Internet services, has been leading aggressive talks to secure prominent album releases that will be exclusive to Apple, akin to what Beyoncé did when she released her self-titled album on iTunes in December 2013. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor.

Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters. There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war.

Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails.

Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place. In Mexico, where one of the world’s most corrupt police forces only has credibility as a criminal syndicate, there have been armed groups of Policia Comunitaria and Autodefensas organized by local residents for self-defense from narcotraffickers, femicide and police. Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact. In New York, Rikers Island jails as many people with mental illnesses “as all 24 psychiatric hospitals in New York State combined,” which is reportedly 40% of the people jailed at Rikers. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds.

Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street.

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