Ja Rule wants to stage another Fyre Festival

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Ja Rule wants to stage another Fyre FestivalCulture FyreFestival3

Ja Rule, the onetime New York rapper turned festival promoter and app developer, wants to take another shot at putting on the “most iconic festival that never was.”

The flames that Fyre Festival famously went down in back in 2017 still continue to burn, already churning out two well-received documentaries and a Lonely Island spoof film underway. Sold as the pinnacle of luxury festival experiences—where attendees could rub shoulders with Instagram models on Pablo Escobar’s remote island and eat foie gras on jet skis—Fyre Festival instead turned out to be a monumental disaster. The event nearly spiraled into a crisis situation with thousands of revelers essentially stranded on a concrete rock in the ocean with hoards of unpaid Bahamian locals demanding their rightful wages. Good god, one man even went as far as preparing to fellate a law enforcement official for clean water. Ultimately, the scam resulted in Fyre Festival’s chief architect, Billy McFarland, serving a six year federal prison sentence on multiple fraud charges.

Now, before we get into ripping festival co-founder Ja Rule too hard, remember,

While Billy is away however, Ja is apparently hard at work with his own new venture, ICONN. Similar to the Fyre app, ICONN aims to connect people with high profile talent like Cardi B and Snoop Dogg for private event bookings. When recently questioned in an airport, the rapper recently told TMZ,

“In the midst of chaos is opportunity. I’m working on a lot of new things.”  [Fyre] is most iconic festival that never was. I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn’t hear it from me.”

“Iconic” is an interesting choice of words here. Sounds like some second rate marketing campaign for Ja’s ICONN platform is already in the works.

Massive Attack fans can now remix tracks off ‘Mezzanine,’ thanks to this interactive app

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Massive Attack fans can now remix tracks off ‘Mezzanine,’ thanks to this interactive appMassive Attack

Massive Attack listeners can re-envision the UK group’s celebrated album, Mezzanine, thanks to a new feature on Massive Attack’s Fantom phone application, which enables users to remix tracks from the seminal offering.

Fantom originally made its debut in 2016 as a “sensory music player that remixes and reforms songs unique using a variety of environmental variables including location, movement, time of day, heartbeat, and the integral moving image camera.” Massive Attack member Robert del Naja helped to design the novel application, which allows Fantom downloads to save and share their one-of-a-kind audio-visual creations on social networks and via SMS.

While Fantom is no longer the newbie on Apple’s app store, the application continues to roll out different features, including new “interactive remixes” of Mezzanine inclusions like “Angel” and “Inertia Creeps.” Massive Attack fans can queue up one of the Mezzanine album inclusions and record a video from within the application as the music adapts in “realtime” to what the listener does as the video records. Smiling or singing, for instance, causes the vocals of the chosen song to play, while a Fantom user’s movement of the phone “applies effects on the chords.” The result is an interactive remix of the Mezzanine constituent of the user’s choice. The Fantom application’s remix functionality represents one more eccentric way in which Massive Attack listeners can enjoy the music of the UK group’s iconic album. Massive Attack notably encoded Mezzanine into DNA to commemorate the production’s 20th anniversary and later followed the transcription with special edition cans of spray paint that contained 1 million copies of the album, respectively. Those interested can learn more about Fantom, here.

H/T: Mixmag

Blockparty takes on $57 billion live events industry with blockchain-powered event ticketing, app available now

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Blockparty is a new app in the race to be first mover in a blockchain-based world. The team has chosen to take on live event ticketing with a new ticketing platform/app which is now available in the iOS App Store. Founded by a team of execs from the live events and blockchain industries, Blockparty is trying to eliminate common frustrations with the current ticket purchasing experience such as ticket fraud, lengthy event check-in protocols, and predatory secondary market resellers.

Shiv Madan, CEO of Blockparty, said in a statement:

“We want to rid the world of ticket bots and scalpers. We also want people to be able to easily transfer event tickets and safely purchase secondary tickets. We’re proud to be able to offer a blockchain platform that can do that, and we are incredibly excited for festival goers, music lovers, sports fans, and all live event attendees alike to experience what we’ve built as we roll out marquee event partnerships over the coming months.”

To improve the ticket purchasing process, Blockparty’s smart contracts eliminate bulk buying by bots and unfair re-pricing on secondary markets by restricting the resale to the proprietary platform. Then by using encrypted facial recognition and fingerprinting technology, Blockparty in theory also eliminates the possibility of fraud and counterfeit tickets, ensuring that only the true owner of a ticket can access it (while allowing user identity to remain completely anonymized.) Blockparty also presents benefits for live event organizers, ticketing companies, venues, and performers by allowing event operators to easily deliver tickets directly to customers, set prices, rewards, and discounts, as well as earn a share of secondary ticket sales revenues.

The real question is whether the multi-sided market is ready to embrace something like this, and whether upstarts like Blockparty can take on some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. It’s hard to imagine LiveNation or Ticketmaster giving up their insanely high ticketing fees without a fight. Blockparty’s attempt is a valiant one, but without a slew of events for users to choose from at launch, it’s hard to imagine the app getting much traction in the early days. The key will be for the company to find a big festival that’s willing to take a chance on them and run their entire ticketing sale through Blockparty. Or maybe they should just throw their own festival. With the amount of money pouring into blockchain startups these days, it’s not hard to imagine this being a possibility.

Blockparty’s public launch follows its first use at Elements Lakewood Music Festival, which drew more than five thousand attendees over Memorial Day weekend. Blockparty was used for ticketing of an exclusive event for hundreds of festival goers, which featured DJ sets and other special performances.

Dancing Astronaut sat with with Blockparty CEO Shiv Madan for some follow-up questions:

What is the breakdown of events?

Blockparty has just launched on iOS and we have an exciting lineup of events that we will be announcing over the course of June and July. These events will be progressively added to the platform. During 2018, we’ll mainly be hosting music festivals and concerts as well as technology events and conferences. We’ll initially be in 5-6 major cities across the United States.

Can Blockparty work with established venues that have deals with hard ticket companies, or is this just for independents?

The platform can work in partnership with existing ticketing companies and venues, as well as with independents. The technology is modular and can be partially or wholly integrated, even where there are existing ticketing relationships. For example, we can provide an enclosed secondary ticketing market for a venue, event promoter or primary ticketing company, where they can earn a share of secondary ticket revenue.

When I signed up, I didn’t have to create a password, and the blockchain tech isn’t readily apparent. Am I missing the tech integration?

Our blockchain tech operates seamlessly in the background. This is deliberate so that ticket buyers can comfortably jump onto the platform and use it in the way that they would with other ticketing apps.

The only thing you will notice is you wont need to create a password. We anonymize and encrypt your “digital identity” (your Touch ID, facial recognition data or pin code) which is stored on the blockchain. This acts as your password to access your ticket. This technology enables fraud proof ticket transfers in the secondary market, that is, by attaching digital identity to the ticket, we ensure that the ticket owner is the user of the ticket at the gate.

What payments processing is used? Is there a fee?

We use Stripe for first payment processing, and they have their own processing fee. Events to date on the Blockparty platform have not had a fee.

Pioneer DJ’s new app allows iOS device users to record their mixes directly onto their phones

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Pioneer DJ

iPhone owning DJs will now be able to record their mixes onto iOS supported devices via DJM-REC, a new app from Pioneer DJ.

DJM-REC allows users to transfer mixes directly from controller to an iOS gadget via the board’s USB send and return port. The app is able to “remote control” the peak limiter on the DJM controller collection, thus eliminating the potential for recording clips. The app additionally automatically records fader movements and time stamps, simplifying the tracklisting process.

Given that DJM-REC records via USB, DJs that download the app will not need to convert the audio file from analogue to digital — the mix will be ready for upload to a variety of social media platforms like YouTube and Snapchat from within the DJM-REC app.

The app is currently available for download from the Apple Store for £9.99. Intended downloaders will need to verify that their mixers are compatible with the app, as DJM-REC will only work with the DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2, and the DJM-450 models.

Pioneer DJ have not indicated that an Android edition of the app is forthcoming, but if the iOS version proves to be successful, it’s safe to assume that Pioneer developers will look to expand operating system access.


New app allows users to mix vinyl records in virtual reality

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German virtual reality gaming imprint EntroPi Games is blending old school technique with new school technology with the reveal of the world’s first vinyl mixing DJ application. The app, dubbed Vinyl Reality, simulates the look and feel of a vinyl DJ setup in virtual reality, equipping the user with two VR controllers and a VR headset, designed with the help of professional DJs. Once inside the app, users are presented with two digitally modeled turntables and a two-channel mixer with volume controls, EQs, and PLF.

Vinyl Reality even provides a realistic digital record crate next to the booth so users can sift through selects between their mixes. The application allows users to record their mixes and export mixes, and it also supports separate audio inputs, which means we’re likely not too far away from live streamed virtual DJ sets in the near future. What a time to be alive.

Vinyl Reality is available now.

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Major Chinese media startup acquires Musical.ly for $800-million

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An $800-million-dollar acquisition has allowed Chinese media giant Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. to obtain Musical.ly. A popular Chinese social networking app designed for video creation, Musical.ly represented an attractive opportunity for companies beyond Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., with the Chinese viral video streaming service, Kuaishou, also bidding on the app.

Musical.ly boasts a robust network of 100-million users, a gargantuan populace that will couple with the expansive user count possessed by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s own media startup, Jinri Toutiao. Toutiao registers a respective 120-million readers and viewers.

Founded by Alex Zhu and Louis Yang in 2014, Musical.ly has expanded its reach to American teenagers since its establishment, rising as a favorite app among this age group in 2016. Musical.ly has only continued to broaden its media influence, introducing a live-streaming app, Live.ly, in 2016 that led to deals with media firms such as Viacom Inc. and NBCUniversal for original shows. Finding a foothold within the teenage populace, Musical.ly will notably seek to cater to this younger audience via the creation of interactive content geared towards this specific age group. Heart’s “Seventeen” magazine has already expressed interest in inventing a series of fashion and beauty oriented shows for Musical.ly broadcast.

Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s newfound acquisition of Musical.ly represents an ideal alignment of Musical.ly’s content with that of Toutiao’s. Toutiao sources news and video from a diverse set of media outlets. Projected to garner approximately $2.5-billion in revenue this year, it is no surprise that Toutiao exists as one of the world’s “largest news services,” a distinction harnessed in a short five-year time span.

The Chinese startup’s possession of Musical.ly is expected to have an explosive effect on Beijing ByteDance Technology Co.’s already considerable international influence.

H/T: Bloomberg Technology

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Producers can now use Ableton Live to make music in virtual reality

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The music production landscape may be at a major crossroads, with production DAW capabilities now stepping into the emerging realm of virtual reality. Soon we may be able to discern answers to questions like, “would some songs be bigger hits in virtual reality?” as Ableton Live’s production software can now be experienced in VR.

The app allows musicians to explore Ableton Live in a VR atmosphere—visualize a fully 3D interface complete with a giant Push and Launchpad—AliveinVR, places the conventions of modern music production in a different dimension. AliveinVR is somewhat of an update to 2014’s Pensato, an app that previously made Ableton Live available in VR. Steam, the entertainment platform that conceived the application, utilizes the HTC Vive platform, an immersive headset that meshes real world elements with virtual components.

To produce music in 3D, those interested need only to purchase AliveinVR at $10.63 from Steam. AliveinVR allows producers to trigger clips, mix tracks, and play instruments in scale mode, all in virtual reality. What a time to be alive.

Via: Fact

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