Your semi-weekly (OK, basically when we remember!) roundup of the hottest stories in music, technology, policy and law.U.S. Regulators Open Probe Into Music Royalties
U.S. regulators have launched an inquiry into whether certain broadcasters are refusing to air the music of artists who demand to be paid when their songs are played on the radio. The Federal Communications Commission reviewed a June petition by a music coalition that accuses radio stations of skipping songs of artists who support legislation aimed at paying royalties to artists.Billboard
Apple, Record Labels Diverge Over Next-Generation Full-Album Music Format
Apple and the major labels are squaring off for a major battle this fall with competing formats for delivering the latest innovation in digitial music. Full albums will come with a cornucopia of digital extras -- at least that's the way much of the tech press is setting the scene for a clash between Apple's Project Cocktail and the major labels' CMX format.
Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired.com
Music Service Spotify Wins High-Profile Backing
Spotify, pitched as a better alternative to illegal downloading, is looking to raise funds to expand in the US, building on the hype it has generated in Europe where it has attracted more than 2m users less than a year after launching in the UK and Sweden. Tim Bradshaw, FT.com (And don't miss Spotify's Daniel Ek at FMC's Policy Summit 2009!)
HP, Dr. Dre Plan New "Digital Music Ecosystem"
Famed rapper/producer is teaming up with the computer maker in an ambitious effort to overhaul the sound quality of digital music. No, this is not an attempt to fix the record industry's business woes. The goal is to lift the sound quality of the too-often tinny tunes squeaking out of our ear buds, and it's an ambitious plan nonetheless. HP will release premium-priced laptops, headsets, and software featuring the "Beats by Dr. Dre" brand sometime this fall. Greg Sandoval, CNET.com
Torrents and Physical Ownership Score High for Music Fans
Music collections and physical recordings still matter, even to younger "digital natives" who aren't supposed to care about such things, a new British music survey suggests. The research highlights the growing popularity of P2P services, although this may be brittle - if something better and legal comes along. Andrew Orlowski, theRegister.com