CES: Tonium’s Pacemaker 2.0 offers pro DJ skill at your fingertips

Tonium PacemakerEveryone knows that CES brings together the best in the world has to offer in terms of all things tech. Yet among all the flat screen TVs, computer accessories, and mobile gadgetry is a small section devoted to music, wherein one of the most innovative, advanced new toys makes its appearance. This is Tonium’s Pacemaker 2.0, a pocket-sized DJ device that pares down two turntables, a mixer, and an entire record collection into a 5-inch product.

The Pacemaker 2.0, the second generation of the pocket-sized device, offers 60 GB of storage (as opposed to the 120 GB first-gen model) for amateurs and pros alike. While the basic purpose of the Pacemaker is to allow two tracks to be played simultaneously, the technology involved allows users to emulate world class DJ’s at the touch of a finger with automatic beat-matching and mixing functions. The touch-based crossfader lights up as users slide a finger back and forth, demonstrating a sleek yet cohesive aesthetic. DJ’s and music aficionados, who have spent years perfecting their skills, would be hard-pressed to scoff at the Pacemaker’s intuitive interface and functionality.

Considering the Pacemaker is primarily geared towards electronic music fans, one of the major testing points for the product will be to see how it works with alternative genres such as rock or vocal-centric music. In either case, the Pacemaker did win the coveted CES Innovation award, and not without merit. The Pacemaker is expected to hit store shelves in Spring 2009 at around $500.

TechCrunch Readers – Receive 3 Free Download Credits

TechCrunch readers are in for a special treat today.  In response to YouTube’s muting of millions of videos containing unauthorized music from the major record labels, AudioMicro will be giving away complimentary download credits to new customer registrations from readers of TechCrunch, including those affected by YouTube’s silencing.

To raise awareness about the benefits of royalty free music licensing, readers of this particular post are in for a treat: the first 100 readers to sign up for an account at AudioMicro will receive to 3 free download credits, a $15 value.  Simply register for an AudioMicro account and send us an email at audiomicro@audiomicro.com titled “TechCrunch” and reference your AudioMicro user name in the body of the email and we’ll place the 3 complimentary downloadcredits into your account.

YouTube videos across the web were spontaneously muted last week in response to take down requests from major record labels, including Warner Music Group. Millions of videos were silenced, as the creators had not secured synch licenses to place the music into their productions. Stock music libraries such as AudioMicro serve to bridge the gap between unauthorized use and traditionally burdensome rights negotiations, allowing video producers to download music for use in any creative project, with prices as little as $1 per track, depending on the size of the credit package you purchase.

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference

Five Dollars Can Make A Huge Difference – Music by Mark Hewer / SOCAN / AudioMicro.com


AudioMicro helps artists both established and unknown place their music in creative projects. For the past 6 months since our launch, the platform has generated numerous music placements including educational videos, websites, and online games. This promotional web video, created by the good folks at the Metro Atlanta Task Force For the Homeless serves as a powerful reminder that a small donation and viral message can really make a difference in the lives of millions. The track, “Revelation” comes from AudioMicro artist Mark Hewer.

YouTube Mutes Thousands of Videos Containing Unauthorized Music

Today was the day.  YouTube finally came around and decided that videos with copyright infringing music need to be taken down.  Instead of removing the videos entirely, they just muted all of the audio.  The story is all over the web, and folks are pretty mad about the “mass muting of millions of videos”.  This issue at hand is that for years now, users have been uploading videos to YouTube that contain major record label music and the video creators have never appropriately secured a synch license to use this music in their productions.  Synch licensing has typically been reserved for feature films and major television production companies and anyone that needed music for a small YouTube production had to choose among the following options:

1.  Make unauthorized use of their music collection,

2.  Pay a hefty synch fees to be used in their unmonetizable productions, or

3.  Turn to royalty free music libraries, like AudioMicro.

As of today, for the millions of YouTubers, there are now only 2 choices – either purchase stock music (easy, painless, and affordable) or try and legally license a track from a label (nearly impossible).  Copyrights are being protected and despite the chants of “boycott YouTube”, it’s likely that the other online video communities will eventually cave under RIAA pressure if they are to allow videos with record label material to be posted.

The future of music copyright online seems to be unfolding in 2009 – you can listen to music online for free, if you are willing to deal with advertisements; however, you can no longer synch music to your videos without secure a proper synch license.

Two People Write a Song Together, Who Owns the Music?

Suppose you and a friend sit down and compose a music masterpeice together?  Who actually owns the music?  Because you composed it together, both parties have some rights to the composition; however, there is way more to it than that.   Copyright Law states that the parties have created a “joint work” and when it comes to control, either party can deal “non-exclusively” with the “entire” work, so long as the other party is compensated.  This means that you can go and give all of the non-exclusive licenses that you want, as long as you don’t forget to give your writing partner his / her share (and they too can give out non-exclusive licenses).

Now let’s make things a little more complicated.  Let’s say your in the studio and you write a groove and your buddy (John) sings over it.  Later on, you decide that his lyrics are really not helping out the track, and you want to take your music and find a better vocalist.  Can you do this without any obligation to John, your original partner?  The intuitive reaction is to think, that since you wrote the music, you should be able to get anyone you like to sing over it; however, because at the time of creation, your partner John sang over the work, you actually created a “joint work“, whereby you own half the music and John owns half the lyrics and vice-versa.

Music copyright issues can become even more complicated of course, this post is just to serve as an example of a few of the issues at hand.