eMusic Improves Its Search
Yesterday eMusic trumpeted the release of its new Power Charts, the online music store’s new system to sort and filter its catalog. There was a press release about it, and Digital Music News posted about it yesterday.
What’s the ruckus about? eMusic has given the user a way to filter a long list of albums—which are ranked by sales position—according to such criteria as genre, top albums, editors’ picks and albums that are new to the store. For example, the main page has a list of eMusic’s top albums. (The front page lists the top 15 of the store’s 38,979 albums.) If I click on rock/pop I’m given the first 15 of 6,374 albums categorized under that genre. Clicking on “progressive rock” narrows the albums down to 348. Most of them are Frank Zappa records. Icons denote if an album is an editors’ pick or a new release. A click on “past 30 days” shows the nine progressive rock albums that have been added in the last month. A person could take another route to the same list by taking a route of “past 30 days” to “rock” to “progressive rock.”
The Power Charts are an improvement over previous methods of hunting but far from the browsing euphoria of
AllMusic.com. There a person can use hyperlinks to jump from one similar artist to another. That is an example of a more fluid system of browsing, one that does not require the stopping and starting of eMusic. Another complaint is the fact that the charts are indeed ranked. That gives the most popular titles such uneven billing over less popular titles. Those albums at the bottom of the heap are more likely to stay there. For serious crate diggers, finding music shouldn’t be a popularity contest.
TVT Loses Big Settlement
The huge settlement won by TVT Records over Warner Music Group was
tossed out by a federal appeals court
on Tuesday. TVT, which
won a $132 million award by a jury in 2003
that was later reduced by a judge to $54 million, had only a breach-of-contract upheld and thus was awarded only $126,000.
The 2003 lawsuit claimed Island Def Jam, a division of Universal Music Group, had interfered with the release of an album featuring Ja Rule and producer Irv Gotti. Ja Rule recorded some songs with Cash Money Click when he was signed to TVT in the mid ’90s. TVT claimed IDJ interfered with the completion of a record by the group after TVT began promoting the release of the album in 2002 — under the name Cash Murda Click. TVT’s lawyer at the time said “a bunch of the recordings have been made, but they weren’t mastered.”
The jury found IDJ and its former chairman Lyor Cohen (now of Warner Music Group) guilty of fraud, copyright infringement and interference with a contract.
“This is not over and we look forward to the next round,” said TVT’s lawyer.
Glenn works in the music industry in New York City. He writes about the industry and music in general at his blog,