Sunday, December 6, 2009

Apple’s bought LaLa – What does it mean?

You can read about the acquisition and what it means here, and here, and here, here, here , here and freaking here. Good freakin’ hail, people, get a grip, will ya’? Okay? Look, LaLa is dead or was going to be. This was all about buying the brains

of the outfit, using the tech (or not) within the confines of the Apple universe, give ‘the poindexter some Apple stock and options, a little cash, sign a NDA, and that’s it. And now you can say tra-la-la to lala. Ha, ha. ta-da!

Friday, December 4, 2009

LaLa may be acquired by Apple


CNET is rumormongering that Apple is offering to buy streaming music service lala for a boatload of clams, but only if founder Bill Nguyen stays and works for Cupertino. Why, if true? Google wants it, too, and both parties wants what’s in Nguyen’s head. Apple wants to keep Google from starting it’s own music service, especially one that’ll work within Chrome OS.

UPDATE: Reuters has reported Apple, Inc. has succeeded in purchasing LaLa for an undisclosed sum.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Doug Morris of Universal, you are indeed a "very special guy"

Hilarious story in BusinessWeek about Universal Music trying to lead a battle to unseat Apple in the music business. See here. Their CEO, Doug Morris, is shopping around an idea called Total Music where they’ll get cell phone carriers to pay them $5 per month per subscriber and all the subs will get unlimited “free” music. Best quote from Doug is one where he supposedly told a room full of fellow music industry frigtards that Apple had pulled a fast one on them. “We got rolled like a bunch of puppies.” Nice to see it only took Doug seven years to figure that out. But at long last reality is dawning on him and the other dopes in the music business. Yup, we picked your pockets. We schmoozed you and flattered you and told you all sorts of nice things and meanwhile we robbed you blind. But look at it this way. The only reason we could get away with it was because you guys spent all those years paying lip service to digital music and sitting around with your thumbs up your asses. Oooh, piracy! Oooh, the Internet! We don’t want any part of that!

And now what are you going to do? You really think you can hire the tech talent to make all this stuff work? You have the engineers? The Web designers? These sites don’t build themselves you know. But it’s more than just hiring engineers. Building Web sites, understanding technology — the problem is that this stuff is just not in your DNA. Doug Morris doesn’t even do his own email. He’s got an admin who prints it out for him and types out his responses.

As I told BusinessWeek: “Doug’s a very special guy. He’s the last of the great music executives who came up through A&R. He’s old school. I like him a lot.”

Inside joke: At Apple when we say someone is “special” we mean as in “special education.” As in, “rides the short bus.” When we say “old school” we mean “likely has Alzheimer’s.” When we say “I like him a lot,” it means we can’t wait to rip out his heart and eat it in front of him.

Peace, Doug Morris, you wacky old record label dope. I like you a lot. Truly. And I wish you the best with this Total Music thing. (Photo: Burt Hammer, Tiger Beat.)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Today’s music depresses me

Sorry for not blogging much yesterday but I was hanging out with the guys in our high-resolution digital downloads group. These are the guys who are working on next-generation digital streaming technologies that will let you download music at way better sampling rates than ordinary CDs (at a premium price, of course). The goal now is to match and then outdo vinyl, which these guys insist is still the best sound available. What I love about these guys is that they’re engineers but they’re also total music freaks and they all have backgrounds in recording studios and so forth. They love music. And they love to get high. They’ve got their own building on the campus with a listening room that’s completely sound-treated and loaded up with the finest gear money can buy, plus loads of comfortable couches and chairs, and cool rugs and black lights, and this killer music collection.

Yesterday I went down there, got stoned, and kicked back for a listen. They had this German turntable that costs some ridiculous amount of money and looks like it fell off a spaceship, plus some Spectral Audio amps and a pair of Wilson Audio Alexandrias which to my taste are a bit overdone; I prefer my old WATT Puppies, but whatever. Anyway. They put on an album I hadn’t listened to in years — Robin Trower Live, first released in 1976. Mindblowing. I’d forgotten how good he was. We just sat there, pinned to our chairs, stoned out of our minds, saying stuff like, “Man. Wow. Hmmm.” And trust me these are some jaded dudes who are not easily impressed. Then we listened to the same music on remastered high-rez digital and it was close but still not quite there with the vinyl.

But the real point, the one we all made to each other, was this: Can you imagine if Robin Trower came along today? He couldn’t even get a record deal. It’s hard to believe today that only 30 years ago there was a market for guys who were just flat-out virtuoso musicians, guys who could fill a stadium with people who just came to hear some amazing dude play his instrument. No back-up dancers, no flashing video screens, no lip-synching. Just three guys on a stage. And people would sit there and listen. We all agreed that the music business sucks today. Then we all felt sad. Then we all felt old.

Then we fired up the monster bong again and listened to side one of the Live album on vinyl and everything was cool again.