1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Technology

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September 9, 2014 Who doesn't like a free gift? Apparently, about 500 million iTunes users who create an uproar when U2's latest album, Songs of Innocence, shows up sans charge and sans permission in their personal libraries.More

July 10, 2008 By simply tapping an app button on an iPhone, music fans can finally get an answer to the timeless question, "What's that song?" Shazam's free smartphone app is the first music recognition service of its kind - using a phone's microphone to listen to any song being played publicly - like in a restaurant, at a friend's house, or on TV - and identify it. And it actually works.More

June 29, 2007 Apple's new device, the iPhone, is released, integrating music into a phone for the first time.More

January 9, 2007 John Mayer joins Steve Jobs onstage at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco to introduce Apple's latest invention: the iPhone.More

September 27, 2005 The White Stripes are the first to webcast a concert when their show at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland is streamed on NPR.org.

October 6, 2004 On his radio show, Howard Stern announces his move to satellite radio, where he will broadcast on Sirius, which gets a huge bump in subscribers. The move to satellite frees Stern from the shackles of the FCC, which doesn't regulate satellite. He and his crew are free to swear like sailors and talk dirty, which they often do. It also means fewer commercials.

October 16, 2003 Apple launches a Windows version of the iTunes store, previously available only on Macs.

October 10, 2001 Embracing the Internet at a time when broadband is rare, U2 webcasts a concert from their Elevation tour in South Bend, Indiana, for free on U2.com.

January 3, 2001 The Dave Matthews Band becomes the first major artist to release a song on Napster when "I Did It" debuts on the controversial file-sharing platform.
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August 15, 2000 The estate of Jimi Hendrix acquires jimihendrix.com, which was registered in 1996 by a domainer who is using it to sell email addresses (yourname@jimihendrix.com). This is one of many cases that rules against registrants who are squatting names of famous people.

October 30, 1999 It's an early attempt at video over the web, as Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert is "cybercast" to a few brave souls trying to get their modems to work. The Who, Pearl Jam, and Brian Wilson perform at the show.

November 25, 1996 J-Bird Records, the first Internet record label, opens for business, offering previews using Real Audio and Shockwave. Clients include Mitch Ryder and Billy Squier, but the label folds a few years later.

August 24, 1995 Microsoft launches the Windows 95 operating system. The start-up music is composed by Brian Eno, a pioneer in ambient music who in 1978 released an album designed to soothe travelers at airports (Ambient 1: Music for Airports).More

November 18, 1994 The Rolling Stones become the first rock act to stream a live concert on the Internet, webcasting a portion of a show from Dallas, Texas.

October 11, 1991 Apple Computers reaches an agreement with The Beatles' Apple Corps, paying $26.5 million for the rights to run music software - an update to their 1981 deal that prohibited the computer maker from selling anything music-related. The deal is revised from time to time as Apple Computer makes music a major part of their business.

September 3, 1982 Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak throws the US Festival "for a few thousand friends" in hopes of uniting people through music and technology. A crowd of at least 200,000 shows up in the blistering heat of San Bernardino, California, for three days of music, tech-geekery, and dust... a whole lot of dust. Fleetwood Mac, performing for the first time in two years, headlines a bill that also includes The Police and the Grateful Dead.More

July 1, 1979 The Sony Walkman debuts in Japan, making music portable.More

April 4, 1973 A taped Elvis Presley concert entitled Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii is telecast on NBC and proves to be a huge success. The total worldwide audience for the show, the first commercial worldwide satellite broadcast, amounts to over a billion people.

September 15, 1965 Ford offers factory-installed 8-track tape players in its Mustang, Thunderbird and Lincoln models. This marks the first time 8-track players are widely available, so you can only get the tapes in auto parts stores or Ford dealers. The players have a tendency to chew up the tapes, leading to 8-track roadkill as drivers throw the tangled tapes out their windows.More

December 3, 1947 Patti Page records her first hit single, "Confess." Unable to find background singers due to a strike, Mercury Records sound engineer Bill Putnam overdubs Page's own vocals. It's the first-ever recording with overdubbed vocals.

October 1, 1947 Bing Crosby broadcasts the first ever pre-recorded radio show when he airs his Philco Radio Time show on the ABC network using a magnetophon, a Nazi recording technology discovered and brought to America by US Army Corps Officer John Thomas "Jack" Mullin. The magnetophon leads to the evolution of multi-track recording technology, which revolutionizes the music industry. Crosby becomes an investor in the technology, which he uses so he doesn't have to always do his shows live.

March 24, 2009 Prince launches Lotusflow3r.com, which for $77 subscriptions, offers access to his videos and music. It shuts down after a year.

November 26, 2008 Atlantic Records becomes the first major label whose digital sales have surpassed its CD sales. Downloads of music and ringtones now account for more than half of Atlantic's US sales.

November 1, 2006 Apple Computer launches a new mini-store within the US version of the iTunes Music Store dedicated to Latin music and entertainment. iTunes Latino features top Latin music, music videos, television shows, audiobooks and podcasts.

September 25, 2001 The voice of Bob Marley ushers satellite radio onto the air, promising listeners greater variety on the dial - for a price - with the launch of XM Satellite Radio. It is the first worldwide broadcast of a satellite radio station.

February 15, 2001 George Harrison enters the cyber age with an online chat on MSN Live.

November 16, 2000 Jewel becomes one of the first artists to stream a concert online, doing so to benefit an organization working to bring clean water to those who need it.

November 8, 2000 The Secure Digital Music Initiative announces that two of its proposed technologies did not survive being attacked as part of the "Hack SDMI" challenge. The competition invited all comers to attempt removal of copyright protection from particular files, based on a specific set of criteria.

November 1, 1999 With getting music over the internet still a novel concept and technical challenge, Third Eye Blind offer their single "Anything" exclusively online. It's free, but can only be played for three weeks.

October 2, 1999 David Bowie offers a virtual guided tour of the controversial art show "Sensation: Young British Artists From The Saatchi Collection" at davidbowie.com. The show includes Damien Hirst's shark suspended in formaldehyde (titled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living") and Tracey Emin's tent (titled "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995").

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