Crux: Site records religious sounds, such as bells, birds and U2. “The jaunty sound of a puja bell rings during an offering at the Jain Center of Central Ohio in southern Delaware County. Birds chirp in the background of a Druid ritual at ComFest in downtown Columbus. And the rhythmic harmony made by musicians at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church performing a U2 song flows during worship at the Dublin Irish Festival. All of these sounds are part of the American Religious Sounds Project, a website and database of audio files from local religious experiences.”
CPO Magazine: The Cutting Edge of AI Cyber Attacks: Deepfake Audio Used to Impersonate Senior Executives. “There is a great deal of public concern about deepfakes, most of it centered on the ramifications of being able to quickly and easily face-swap videos. That concern is certainly well-founded, but it may be obscuring an even more immediate threat – deepfake audio. Voice-swapping has already been put to use in at least a handful of artificial intelligence (AI) cyber attacks on businesses, enabling attackers to gain access to corporate networks and convince employees to authorize a money transfer.”
New York Times: Have We Hit Peak Podcast?. “It’s no wonder that the phrase ‘everyone has a podcast’ has become a Twitter punch line. Like the blogs of yore, podcasts — with their combination of sleek high tech and cozy, retro low — are today’s de rigueur medium, seemingly adopted by every entrepreneur, freelancer, self-proclaimed marketing guru and even corporation.” I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve been thinking about starting a two-minute podcast, just noting what I think are highlights in the day’s ResearchBuzz, nothing fancy, just for people who have more listen time than read time.
GRAMMY Museum: GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program Awards $200,000 For Music Research And Sound Preservation. “The GRAMMY Museum® Grant Program announced today that $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 15 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs…. Preservation projects include the archiving of uncirculated John Hartford jam tapes, 960 audio reels of Cajun and zydeco artists, and 221 rare interview recordings with African-American actors, performers, composers, musicians, and scholars, among many other preservation projects.”
TechCrunch: China silences podcast and music apps as online crackdown widens. “Audio apps are flying high in China. In 2018, online listeners in the country grew 22.1% to surpass 400 million, at a rate far exceeding that of the mobile video and e-reading populations, according to market researcher iiMedia. But the fledgling sector is taking a hit.”
TechCrunch: Nielsen reports a record half a trillion on-demand music streams in U.S. so far this year. “Music streaming services have already delivered a new high of half a trillion (507.7 billion) on-demand streams in the first half of 2019, according to Nielsen’s mid-year Music Report released this week. This record number — an increase of 31.6% over the first half of last year — was attributed to the success of singles and albums from Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, BTS, Lil Nas X, and Bad Bunny, among other factors.”
Engadget: Spotify’s Soundtrap audio editing tool to offer free unlimited storage. “Soundtrap, the cloud-based editing tool for music and podcasts, has decided to throw in free unlimited storage for its non-paying members. Previously, Soundtrap’s basic plan limited users to only five saved songs or projects. Starting today, those who own the unpaid version of either Soundtrap or Soundtrap for Storytellers (designed especially for podcasts) will have as much storage they need.”