Get a look at the technology behind Google’s touchscreen AI synth [Watch]

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Ai synth

Google’s position at the forefront of technological innovation finds a new mode in the touchscreen hardware synth recently unveiled by the company. An alternative to synths that traditionally combine waveforms to generate sound, the touchscreen, AI assisted synth uses NSynth machine learning technology to “interpret” a range of inputs and generate new sounds.
The NSynth technology enables Google’s synth to register sounds as numbers in order to mathematically produce a novel series of numbers after the synth’s analysis of the original set of inputs. The synth then coverts its newly conceptualized string of numbers back into sound, thus producing sounds that are both new and nonpareil. Sounds that exemplify the synth’s uncanny ability to create the unique audio include a car’s engine combined with a sitar, and bass sound paired with that of thunder, in addition to various others.

Those interested can experiment with the NSynth technology in order to fully experience the synth’s anomalous kind of machine learning on Google’s web version of the synth.
The synth’s hardware allows its users to transition between four parameters on its X/Y pad, and to play and sequence sounds via MIDI, while “morphing between the sound sources in real time.”
Although Google will not commercially market its AI synth, it will release the technology as an open source Github download. Post download, users will have the ability to add their own features to the technology.

H/T: DJ Mag

YouTube launches new, low data application in 130 countries

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YouTube Connect

YouTube intends to make big moves as 2018 commences, with the launch of their new application YouTube Go. The video streaming giant is introducing it’s newest product in 130 countries after a successful beta test in India last year and an ensuing trial run in 14 additional countries. YouTube Go provides a redesigned version of YouTube’s mobile interface that’s designed for users in areas with poor connectivity as well as those facing expensive or limited access to cellular data.

The new application gives users the ability to download videos for offline viewing, normally a feature included in the company’s $10 monthly YouTube Red subscription package. Through YouTube Go, users can avoid draining additional cell data by sharing videos locally through a direct device-to-device connection. YouTube Go is also getting a number of feature updates from Google, including functions that will allow viewers to stream and download higher quality content, share multiple videos at once to other devices, as well as a user-personalized feed of suggested content.

The app’s roll out is currently confined to Android users. The international debut of YouTube Go will also skip countries with developed digital infrastructures, such as the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though future developments could aim to expand the new platform’s availability.

Songwriters win big as Copyright Royalty Board boosts streaming pay nearly 50 percent

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Washington DC, United States landmark. National Capitol building with US flag.

Since the dawn of streaming nearly 10 years ago, writer royalties have been based on a strict percentage of each streaming service’s revenue, putting songwriters at the mercy of corporate decision-making. In a court ruling issued Jan. 27 in Washington D.C., the Copyright Royalty Board has voted to increase songwriter rates for music streaming by 43.8 percent over the next five years.

President and CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association, David Isrealite, calls the victory “the biggest rate increase granted in CRB history.” The federal decision ruled in favor of the NMPA and the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International, requiring Amazon, Apple, GooglePandora and Spotify to pay more for the use of music.

“Crucially, the decision also allows songwriters to benefit from deals done by record labels in the free market,” Isrealite says. “The ratio of what labels are paid by the services versus what publishers are paid has significantly improved, resulting in the most favorable balance in the history of the industry.”

For every $3.82 to the label, writer/publishers get $1.00.

“The CRB was a long and difficult process but songwriters and music publishers together presented a powerful case for higher streaming royalty rates,” says Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. “Songwriters desperately need and deserve [these] rate increases.”

The change will be insignificant to the bottom lines of tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google. Yet, smaller streaming services like Spotify and Pandora may feel the cost. Arguing in favor of the status quo were Amazon, Google, Pandora and Spotify. Apple broke with the ranks, however, conceding that the current royalty rate was much “too complex” and “economically unsound.” Apple advocated for “a single per-play rate that is the same for all services,” which signals an artistic sympathy that may have interesting market implications moving forward.

Via Variety

See Google’s most frequently searched albums, artists, and songs of 2017 [Full List]

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There is perhaps no end of year list that best bespeaks the nation’s interests in 2017 than Google‘s “Year in Search 2017.” A compilation of the most frequently searched values over the course of the year, the reflective record offers insight on search engine’s top-searched albums, artists, and songs in 2017.

Google’s Top Albums/New Releases list charts Taylor Swift‘s album, Reputation, as the most heavily searched album of the year, trailed by Jay-Z’s 4:44. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn comes in at third place. Shifting over to Google’s Top Music Artist section, Linkin Park arises as the top-searched artist of 2017. Rapper Cardi B takes silver, with Lil Pump registering as the third most Googled artist of the year.

When it comes to Top Songs, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” reigns supreme, omnipotently followed by Lamar’s “Humble,” and Migos’ “Bad and Boujee.” The full list of Google search superlatives appears below.

Top Albums / New Releases
1. Reputation (Taylor Swift)
2. 4:44 (Jay Z)
3. Damn (Kendrick Lamar)
4. Everybody (Logic)
5. More Life (Drake)
6. Harry Styles (Harry Styles)
7. Issa Album (21 Savage)
8. Divide (Ed Sheeran)
9. True to Self (Bryson Tiller)
10. Flower Boy (Tyler, The Creator)

Music Artist
1. Linkin Park
2. Cardi B
3. Lil Pump
4. Joyner Lucas
5. Jason Aldean
6. Danielle Bregoli
7. Post Malone
8. Aaron Carter
9. Remy Ma
10. Montgomery Gentry

1. Luis Fonsi — “Despacito” featuring Daddy Yankee
2. Kendrick — “Humble”
3. Migos — “Bad and Boujee”
4. Taylor Swift — “Look What You Made Me Do”
5. Cardi B — “Bodak Yellow”
6. Lil Pump — “Gucci Gang”
7. Camila Cabello — “Havana” featuring  Young Thug
8. Ed Sheeran — “Shape of You”
9. Future — “Mask Off”
10. Ariana Grande — “Side to Side” featuring Nicki Minaj

Those interested in viewing the top global Google searches by country can see Google’s international top-searched lists here.

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Google Debuts New Addicting DDR Like Game Where You DJ As Christmas Present Wrapping Elves

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As the holiday season is upon a few time honored traditions return as well. Starbucks debuts their holiday season cups, people get really upset over the Starbucks cups, and of course a serious line up of New Year’s Eve events. This year the holiday season has brought us a new surprise from Google. (W)Rapping Elves

The post Google Debuts New Addicting DDR Like Game Where You DJ As Christmas Present Wrapping Elves appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Google Home & Alexa don’t record everything their users say, but assistant owners can easily delete their command history anyway

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Contrary to viral belief, Amazon and Google’s electronic assistants aren’t recording everything that Google Home and Alexa users say. While the Alexa and Google Home’s microphones remain on, the systems don’t register conversation until a user says the given assistant’s “wake word.” Traditionally “Ok Google” for Google Home owners, and “Alexa” for Amazon’s Alexa, once spoken, the wake word engages each assistant, prompting Google Home and Alexa to begin recording. The audio clips are then transferred in the cloud.

Google Home and Alexa users, however, can easily delete the stored requests. Alexa owners need only to open their Alexa app and locate the Settings > History option to view their log of Alexa registered requests. Users can individually delete entries from the app. To clear Alexa’s history, Alexa users can sign into Amazon here, access the Your Devices > Echo Dot > Manage voice recordings function, and delete Alexa’s interactive log.

Google Home owners can alternatively erase their request history by visiting my, and clicking on the “Delete activity by” button, accessible via the three-dot line in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. In much the same way that one can clear Internet browsing history, Google Home users can select the degree of deletion, ranging from today, yesterday, the last seven days, the last 30 days, all time, or custom. Once Google Home owners have chosen their deletion date range, they can click on All products, Voice & Audio, and then Delete. Doing so removes voice requests—Google Home users must also follow the same series of steps for Assistant in order to completely clear assistant associated commands.

Distrusting owners of the personal assistants can also mute the devices either by pressing the mute button on top of Alexa, or by pressing Google Home’s, located on the back.

H/T: Wired

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Industry Round-up: Lil Peep’s Passing, Forbes 30 Under 30 & More

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The music industry saw both good and bad news this week, including Lil Peep’s passing, Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, Google investing $70 million to counter major labels, and more.

Facebook adds ‘trust indicators’ to its news to fight misinformation

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In the wake of “fake news” and the age of online journalism, where the dissemination of falsehood runs rampant, Facebook has made an effort to intervene. By implementing “Trust Indicators” — that go live on the site today — when users click on a news story, they will be provided with additional context regarding the article’s reporter and publisher. The reader will have the option of reviewing the publisher’s ethics policy, reporting standards, and ownership structure, as well as the individual journalist’s reporting history and credentials.

According to a statement from Facebook, these efforts to provide news stories with background are to help people “make more informed [news] decisionsadvance news literacy and education, [by] working to reinforce indicators of publisher integrity on our platform.”

This decision comes in the wake of several other media platforms and news outlets joining The Trust Project, including Twitter, Google, and The Washington Post. The Trust Project is a nonpartisan effort to restore public faith in the media. It was created by award-winning journalist, Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Applied Ethics Department, and is being funded by Craigslist founder, Mark Newmark.

“An increasingly skeptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” said Lehrman.

Google has yet to apply its own version of Trust Indicators, though it has agreed to participate in the cause. On November 16, Google Product Manager Jeff Chang said in a blog post that Google is still sorting out how precisely the indicators will appear next to the article. Chang said Google plans to utilize Trust Indicators within Google News, Google Search, as well as “other Google products where news can be found.”

Photo Credit: Mediaite

H/T: Tech Crunch

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Spotify cancels all current video series, goes back to drawing board

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Spotify has halted the production of its current original video series, duly cancelling its unreleased shows as the music streaming platform’s foray into video proved ineffective.

Spotify has expended much energy developing an array of original video productions after deeming original video a potential source of un-infringed funds. More than 80% of Spotify’s revenue stream is paid out to record labels and other industry entities, rendering Spotify’s streaming business a particularly costly venture with a comparatively slim payout for the platform itself. Spotify has lead streaming rivals like Apple Music and Google through the existence of its free access tier, an offering subsidized by advertising that accounts for a mere 10% of the platform’s annual revenue.

After reporting fiscal losses for the year of 2016 at approximately $637-million on a revenue of $3.4-billion, Spotify identified original video as a solution to the company’s losses. Whereas the majority of Spotify’s content requires royalties and other licensing costs to be paid in association with use of such content, original video would be license-free. Spotify’s efforts to develop original video series, however, have not been particularly fruitful, as users of the streaming service gravitate towards Spotify’s musical offerings, paying little mind to the platform’s original video innovations.

Despite the video productions’ lukewarm reception, Spotify has actively attempted to build its original video platform, striking licensing deals with networks like Comedy Central and ESPN. Spotify has also explored a documentary style approach to original video, producing series like Spotify Landmark and Flash Frame that air interviews with a variety of artists, including Blink-182 and Green Day.

While Spotify will not abandon its original video pursuits altogether, the platform will increasingly focus on developing video formats “unique” to the platform.

H/T: The Verge

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Diplo and Valentino Khan star in Google Home Max promo video

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Google has created a new product called the Google Home Max and has brought Diplo and Valentino Khan on board to promote the launch. The Home Max supports a variety of streaming services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, and Google Play. Unlike the Google Home Mini, which aims to compete against Amazon’s Echo Dot, the Home Max looks to compete against the still unreleased Apple HomePod, or the Sonos Play:1.

“Just like the Pixel reimagined the camera, we’ll do the same with sound, the speaker needs to adjust to your home. So today, we’re announcing smart sound, that allows the speaker to adjust to you: your home, your preferences.” -Rishi Chandra

Google Home Max costs $399 and will come out in the US in December with a free 12 month subscription to YouTube Music. Google enlisted Diplo to tell us how he’s critical of the quality of sound from devices and why having them in every room of his home for listening is essential to his life.

H/T: YourEDM

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