The 2017 SXSW music torrent is now available. “For the past several years Ben Stolt has taken the time and effort to put all of the MP3s on BitTorrent. Last week he published the latest 2017 torrent, which consists of 1,201 tracks totaling 7.86 gigabytes of free music. All the tracks released for the previous editions are also still available and most of these torrents remain well-seeded. The 2005 – 2017 archives now total more than 77 gigabytes.”
From A Journal of Musical Things: Explore Canadian Music History Online with New National Music Centre Collection Archive. “The new website, called NMC Collections Online, is a digital exhibit of the [National Music Centre]’s impressive gallery. The physical museum in Calgary houses over 2,000 historic artifacts and spans over 450 years of Canadian culture and technology. 150 of its entries are immediately available online, and about twice as many are planned by the end of 2017!”
Quartz: A West Virginia teen taught himself how to build a rapping AI using Kanye West lyrics. “The rapping AI was his first project, although he learned Python by building simple programs to do things like play Tic-Tac-Toe. [Robbie] Barrat says he ended up writing most of the original code in an afternoon, and spent the next few days optimizing the results. The most current iteration is trained on 6,000 Kanye West lines and can now generate speech that raps the words written by the AI, complete with semi-appropriate pauses.” Self-taught young man growing up on a farm in West Virginia.
NME: New research finds music can be used to hack smartphones, computers and cars. “The research found that accelerometers – the motion-sensing chip that can be found in many electronic devices – could be hacked using sound waves, with one example being the uploading of a “malicious” music file onto a device. The scientists also found that, once hacked, devices such as the FitBit and a toy car could be manipulated to add steps to the former’s counter and even take over the controls of the latter.”
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has launched an online archive. “An online Archives Portal… offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the treasures found in the symphony’s physical archives — from a picture of the 1980s reunion between Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony musicians who performed under his direction as a child prodigy in the 1940 to a searchable database to find the performance history of a particular piece or performer.”
Google Play Music has launched a new podcast called City Soundtracks. “Love discovering new places? Love music? Google Play Music has you covered with our first original podcast series—City Soundtracks. Hear your favorite musicians talk about important people, places, and moments in their lives, and how their hometown roots have influenced them.”
The latest victim of a security breach (and it looks like a real breach and not a leak) is the Coachella music festival. “Coachella, a popular music festival in southern California that features acts like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Radiohead, revealed this week that its website had been breached, potentially compromising 950,000 accounts containing the personal details of concert-goers who had purchased tickets in years past or registered on the website’s user forums.” There are conflicting reports about whether password information was compromised.