Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station has created what is being called the first music video made in space. In the video posted on YouTube, the astronaut sings David Bowie's "Space Oddity" as he floats aboard the ISS in zero gravity.
Even though we haven't celebrated Halloween yet, enough Scotty McCreery fans are apparently in the Christmas spirit to push his holiday CD into the Billboard Top 5 in its first week of sales.
"Christmas with Scotty McCreery," released last week, debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The CD, which features the Garner "American Idol" winner singing holiday classics and a couple of new songs, sold 41,000 copies in its first week.
The chart was topped by another country singer, Jason Aldean, whose "Night Train" debuted with 409,000 copies sold. Mumford & Sons' "Babel" ranked second, and Brandy's "Two Eleven" debuted in third.
Apple is looking to build it own Internet radio service to compete with streaming music providers like Pandora and Spotify.
A Wall Street Journal report says Apple is talking with content owners to develop a music service to be streamed via a web browser and dedicated apps with virtual stations and advertising.
Apple who dominates digital music sales would join a number of streaming music services including Pandora, Radio, Rhapsody, Slacker and Spotify.
Apple's significant influence in digital media could give it the leverage to offer something its rivals lack.
It's not quite singing the blues, but the St. Joseph's Historic Foundation needs $50,000 by Sept. 3 to help stage its annual Bull Durham Blues Festival.
Bull's Eye couldn't reach anyone at the Foundation's Hayti Heritage Center for comment, but the Center has announced it started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money. As of noon, five contributors had pledged a total of $175.
According to a statement on the festival's Kickstarter web site (http://kck.st/OyGW4n), "with a strained economy (it) is no easy feat" to pay for a festival costing $250,000 or more.
The Hayti Center is further fiscally challenged by having to pay back almost $190,000 in misappropriated grant money from the Golden Leaf Foundation.
St. Joseph's, which operates the Hayti Center at the former St. Joseph's A.M.E. Church on Fayetteville Street, receives an annual grant from the city, along with the Carolina Theatre, Durham Arts Council and Lyon Park Community Center. For 2012-13, the subsidy is $292,000.
The 2012 Blues Festival is scheduled Sept. 7-8 at Durham Athletic Park. Headliners are Marcia Ball on Friday and the Bobby Blue Bland on Saturday.
The Hayti Center and its St. Joseph's Historic Foundation have staged the Bull Durham Blues Festival each fall since 1988.
In an update to its cloud music player Amazon has taken a direct shot at Apple's iTunes Match subscription. Both are priced at $25 per year, but Amazon's service offers 10 times more online storage than Apple's.
The Beatbox Portable by Beats offers big sound in a stylish, versatile yet compact package. It features Bluetooth streaming, a top-mounted dock connector for iPods & iPhones, and a 3.5mm audio input jack on the back to harness sound from all your devices.
The iWOW-U is a universal audio adapter designed to enhance sound from your portable devices. Sure it may look like just a thumb-drive with 3.5mm jacks on each end, but SRS Labs claims it will pack a fistful of audio oomph.
Here is a list of the best selling songs and albums on iTunes for the week ending April 9, 2012.
1. "We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)," Fun.
2. "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye
3. "What Makes You Beautiful," One Direction
4. "Boyfriend," Justin Bieber
5. "Starships," Nicki Minaj
6. "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen
7. "Glad You Came," The Wanted
8. "Wild Ones (feat. Sia)," Flo Rida
9. "Part of Me," Katy Perry
10. "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," Kelly Clarkson
1. "Pink Friday.Roman Reloaded," Nicki Minaj
2. "My Head Is an Animal," Of Monsters and Men
3. "Changed," Rascal Flatts
4. "Up All Night," One Direction
5. "Tuskegee," Lionel Richie
6. "21," ADELE
7. "Boys & Girls," Alabama Shakes
8. "Making Mirrors," Gotye
9. "The Hunger Games (Songs from District 12 and Beyond)," Various Artists
10."Some Nights," Fun.
One the more fun gadgets I've tested lately is Gear4's PocketLoops. With the portable keyboard and free companion app, users can create and remix loops. Gear4 is known for its variety of idevice accessories including cases, speakers and its UnityRemote universal remote.
Once you slip an iPhone or iPad touch into the dock of the keyboard and launch the free PocketLoops app you have a MIDI device capable of creating and recording music.
Exploring PocketLoops is fairly intuitive. An onscreen tutorial does a good job of guiding you through the features. The PocketLoops app has a 4x4 grid available for creating drum loops or melodies.
The keyboard keys that trigger percussion are marked with corresponding icons.
When you are ready to lay down a track, you can record it as an m4a file and share it via email.
The updated software worked flawlessly with iOS 5 and iOS 4 devices.
PocketLoops should be a fun device for anyone. Serious musicians will want more, but may find it useful. Maybe Gear4 can expand upmarket? For the rest of us though, it is a fun gadget to create music and we're looking at how to bring the fun to you maybe in the form of a meetup or a PocketLoops throwdown so stay tuned.
Apple rather quietly launched its new music cloud service iTunes Match on Monday.
Costing $25 per year, the cloud service is supposed to make every song in a subscriber's iTunes library available online.
Matched songs can then be streamed or downloaded. To sign up for the service, users must update to iTunes 10.5.1.
Some attempting to subscribe were thwarted by messages that said the service was unavailable due to demand and were asked to check back later. There are also a few reports of iTunes Match not recognizing some songs among a few other complaints.
Meanwhile, Google has been preparing for a launch of its own. An announcement is set for Wednesday where Bloomberg reports Google is launching its own music store.