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TuneGenie launches embedded media player for radio stations

TuneGenie logo canvasTuneGenie announced the launch of a new tool for how music websites can choose to stream their audio. The Media Player Bar is embedded so that listeners can navigate around the site without interrupting the music or resorting to a pop-out player. This tool can accommodate all media types, including video, broadcast streams, and on-demand audio. It can also display other TuneGenie content, such as concert listings or lyrics. The press release also noted that this technology could be especially beneficial for web players looking to reach mobile listeners.

“The bar is logical, why force people off your site?” TuneGenie Founder/CEO Jeffrey Specter said. “Pandora, iTunes, Spotify don’t, now stations won’t have to either.”

Anna Washenko

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  1. This month the Copyright Royalty Board, a panel of three appointed judges who decide the liability rates American radio stations must pay to broadcast music, handed down a pricing schedule that effectively eliminates Internet radio in the United States.

    As the CRB’s Wikipedia entry reports, this panel defines itself solely as an advocate of big business; though a governmental body, it refuses to consider artists’ needs, economic or cultural development, or national interest in its decisions. Instead it adjudicates on the basis of something it calls “market value”. In this worldview, the rate the CRB judges fair for the largest commercial media corporation in the nation is the benchmark for all radio, regardless of revenue, service area, or listenership. Only registered non-profit organisations receive due consideration.

    The CRB’s existing license structure was already below international standards; at bare minimum, American radio producers needed more pricing levels with shorter rate jumps between them to effect technical and commercial growth in their industry.

    But after New Year’s Eve 2015 (a bit more than a week from this writing), all accommodation of aspiring start-ups and hobby stations – in other words, of Net radio itself – vanishes completely.

    Let’s be perfectly clear: if this decision goes into effect as written, all individual American initiative in this rapidly developing medium is banned.

    The keyword here is “American”. As delighted as I’m sure the record companies are to have “killed the Internet”, we’ve seen this before. That time, the empowering new technology was a seminal, hobby-generated music sharing platform called Napster. This brand-new paradigm, invented by a college kid in his dorm room, so undercut Big Music’s marginally-earned profits that they ordered it gone. In response, American judges could have monetised the new technology, as they did when the same interests called for a similar assault on radio in the 1920s. But the role of the judicial in the US has changed; now it jumps on command.

    And that’s why no American today can download free music. Right?

    Yeah. No. Americans can still get any almost song they want, scot-free, from any of a hundred sites, on any computer connected to the Web.

    How is this possible? Well, look at that word “Web” again. It’s short for something: World Wide Web. Other nations, other laws, other standards of enforcement. Napster-like free music servers flourish in virtually every nation of Eastern Europe and the Third World. Russia alone counts at least a dozen. And Americans can (and do) patronise them all.

    My point is that the CRB hasn’t killed Net radio. It has only killed American Net radio.

    This new rate system, replacing not-enough with not-any, will have precisely one effect: to exclude the United States – its artists, entrepreneurs, technologists, and public – from advances and business opportunities developing in the rest of the world. We’ve already seen America go from leader to straggler in Net radio, thanks to abusive copyright legislation; as of 1 January, it forfeits its cut entirely.

    As an enthusiastic consumer of worldwide Net radio, I’d like to plant my flag firmly on the side of American producers, now staring down the barrel at oblivion. I want to hear American music, American voices, American perspectives, and American communities. I want to have American stations in my scan list, right alongside those in Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, Russia, the UK, and fifteen other nations.

    But sadly, if the CRB’s ruling is allowed to stand, even American listeners will very soon have nothing to listen to but foreign Net radio. May I suggest that American readers express their considered dismay to their elected officials.

    • Reminder of a basic fact that is overlooked here: the CRB is not responsible for making side deals with special business categories like small webcasters. In fact, it is not empowered to. The small webcaster crisis is because an existing law (Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009) expired, as it was always meant to. That law was created by SoundExchange, sanctioned by the U.S. government to negotiate special deals with record labels. A new law might still be created at any time, protecting small webcasters. The best course of action might be for small webcasters to organize an appeal to SoundExchange, to begin conversations with labels. But the CRB cannot do anything.

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