Tag Archives: Music

Tune in: Carsick Cars

Carsick Cars are one of the coolest indie bands I’ve heard since being in China. Their first album I downloaded via Google Music for free (and legally in China). This video below is the new single called Mogu, Mogu. I somehow don’t think they are singing about the Mogu (mushroom) to be bought at the shan dian.

Thanks to http://56minus1.com/ for the tip on the new song.

Embed and share Google Music playlists

The big music news in China last week was the launch of Google Music – a free service allowing users in the mainland to download or stream more than a million licensed songs. Yes, you heard that right – FREE.

Finding FREE MP3s to stream and download isn’t exactly news, right? The difference here is that Google have the authorisation from 140 label partners including the big 4 major labels – Warner Music Group, Universal Music, EMI and Sony Music Entertainment. Google’s revenue model is to sell advertising around the service and split the profits amongst the labels. Presumably, a portion of that amount sees the artists. We hope.

While it’s seemingly a blow to the potential introduction of paid services like iTunes or Amazon in China the move is said to be less about the music and more of a strategic play against search rival Baidu. Google currently trails Baidu as the search engine of choice in China.

The catch? It’s only available to users on a mainland China IP address. For nerds or technically savvy folks this is probably a small hurdle to circumvent.

Get Started

To get started with Google Music you’ll need to get familiar with the interface. The site is in Chinese but its fairly easy to see what’s going on. George Godula from Web2Asia has put together a comprehensive overview of what you’ll need to know to get started:

Embed and share your playlists

Now that you’ve got the basics out of the way there’s a neat trick to allow you to embed and share your playlists to put on a blog, forum, or website. It’s a handy way for others to listen and download (legally!) songs they might like.

1. Find the code

Once you’ve got a handle on Google Music and created a playlist of songs its simply a matter of finding the < embed > tag’s content in the page source. To do this right click on the playlist in your favourite browser and “view source”. Scroll through the code until you find the < embed > tag and copy the whole line as shown below.

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2. Paste the embed tag

Next you’ll need to paste the embed tag on your blog, website, or favourite forum. The code will be rather long but don’t worry. Paste it in and hit preview. If the player is shown with your music then you’ve done it. If the player doesn’t fit quite right you may need to follow step 3.

3. Resize the player

The player is rather big and might take some tweaking to fit properly on your website. They key is to change a few paramaters at the end of the < embed > tag code. At the very end of this tag, past all the gobblygook code is the following bit of code you can change:

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Simply change “noscale” to “scale”, then change the height and width of the player in % or pixels. For the example below I’ve chosen a pixel height of 450 and a width of 550. Change around with those settings until the player looks right on your site.

4. Rock

As God, Bon Scott said “Let there be Rock!”

Update: I have a feeling the content in the player might expire after a week or two.

Neocha – indie music from China

News Corp’s MySpace might be the place for bands to promote themselves in the US and other english-speaking countries but it hasn’t taken off in the middle kingdom. In fact,David Feng posted earlier this year that the MySpace team in China has recently been culled.

Inside the firewall other options exist for bands to upload their content and users to find cool, upcoming bands – my personal favourite being Neocha. The site includes most genres you’d expect from other parts of the world with some surprise mashups of traditional Chinese instruments with modern rock/hip-hop/pop/dance.

Below is a nifty widget that showcases just a portion of the music on the site. Click on a song you like and it will take you through to the artists page.

Warning: Major source of distraction ahead.

Tune in: Beijing’s underground music scene

I’ve recently been tuning into local Chinese sites like NeoCha to listen to bands from Shanghai and China and found some really cool gems. I’ll share some of these later – when 9-5 work isn’t so pressing. But for now, sit back, relax, and watch this video on China’s underground rock scene by CNN. It’s a good primer of what to expect.