by Jerry Flattum, CyberAstronomer
The Entertainment Cyberscope guide has been edited for brevity. See The Entertainment Cyberscope, Issues and Support for more in-depth articles. Go to the Portal Menu for new categories, new descriptions and many new links.
Read the short guide or go directly to the Portal Menu
Many of the links found in the Entertainment Cyberscope are audio/graphics intensive. Hi-speed access is recommended. Upgrade your computer, especially audio and graphics cards. Update your browsers since newer versions provide better security, upgrades and plug-ins. Microsoft provides automatic updating capabilities for its Office and Windows products (In IE, go to Tools and select Windows Update). Always backup your files, applications and work. Use a virus scan.
Under the Portal Menu, the Technology - Media Players is a good place to start in choosing the player or players that work best for you. Most sites are user-friendly in letting you know what players or plug-ins you will need to experience the site. For many sites you will also need: Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Most sites are selected because of importance. Appearance and functionality are major criteria, but occassionally a poorly designed site is included because of the information it contains. Corporate sites, established organizations and official sites speak for themselves but not all sites are verifiable. Just because it's written doesn't mean it's true.
Flash sites are great but not always well-designed. Pop-ups--windows that appear without being selected--are sometimes useful but often obnoxious, especially unwanted advertising. Since it's inception in the early 90's, the Internet has become increasingly cluttered. As a work of art, its fate lies in the hands of designers and writers...or, to be more accurate, users themselves will call the shots.
The Entertainment Cyberscope - What's It About?
The Entertainment Cyberscope (EC) is a guide to entertainment on the Internet for the songwriter, musician and entertainment industry professional. It is an exploration in the creative, technical, social/cultural, media and business realms of the entertainment industry as a whole, but with a focus on music.
EC is a time machine for experiencing history, traversing the current online music/entertainment landscape and a journey into the future. The EC is meant to inspire you to see how entertainment is undergoing revolutionary changes and within these changes are the seeds of opportunity. As you journey through the cyberscope think of yourself as an inventor, innovator and explorer.
The EC is decidedly a US dominated resource listing. But, through the Internet, globalization is putting the world at your doorstep. In an ideal state, the EC would be multinational and multi-lingual. A special mention is musicbizbuzz.net. The site's multilingual translation capability and Global Resources listing points the way to the future. Also, See Entertainment Capitals, World Music, and Genres.
Two all-inclusive sites on Music and Film are AllMusicGuide and the Internet Movie Database.
The Internet is a work-in-progress. Website addresses change and website content changes. Some sites disapear altogether, including major sites. The 5 major labels now run MusicNet and Pressplay, which ate up Emusic, Myplay and CDNow. iBeam Broadcasting bellied up and was bought out by Williams Communications. Film.com was devoured by Real.com. The EC is about change. Mergermania will keep you riveted in the media convergence industry and the AOL/Time-Warner merger is but a hint of the future.
Currently there are only 5 major label conglomerates: Vivendi Universal, AOL Time Warner, Sony, Bertelsmann and EMI Group. Now it's all about globalization (Recording Industry Association of America morphs to Recording Industry Association of the World). Sony is from Japan, BMG is from Germany, Universal Group is owned by Canada's Seagrams Corporation (one of it's major components, Polygram, had been based in the Netherlands), and EMI is based in England. Only Time Warner is based in the US.
In film, international film festivals continue to take a byte out of Hollywood, but still, Hollywood rules. Major studios still pump out Hollywood's best but are becoming vast distribution networks with production increasingly handled by indies. There's nothing like the Grammys, although the international community might think differently.
There is much cross-fertilization throughout the categories. For instance, Country buffs will find the Country Music Hall of Fame under Genres-Country, Acuff-Rose under Labels and Publishers, and the website for O Brother Where Art Thou under Film-Film Music, Composers and Soundtracks. Sometimes sites are listed in more than one place or a section of a site falls under another heading.
Millions of artists, bands, actors/actresses, movies, songs, et. al. are equal to the unequalled distribution of the stars and roam cyberspace and terrestrially in search of an audience. EC provides Artist/Band Listings, Content Providers, Music Industry Lists, Genres and Databases-Music and Databases-Film. Almost all universities provide lists and databases for film, music, media, culture. Use Search Engines for keyword searches. Virtually every website provides lists of links--afterall, it's the Internet. Most commercially released artists, bands and movies have "official" sites. Some are marketing ploys others serve as portals. Unnoficial sites and fan sites are often informative but not necessarily reliable.
The EC advocates that no work by any artist should be given away for free and least of all pilfered, but some sites containing mp3, midi,other audio files, videos and other content cannot always be avoided.
Some links in the EC duplicate links found elsewhere in Muse's Muse.
Jerry Flattum is a songwriter (BMI), screenwriter, freelance writer, book writer and singer/keyboardist/arranger. Jerry has written Bridge On Fire: A Holistic Journey in Song Creation. Bridge On Fire is a comprehensive manual on songwriting from the technical, social, cultural and entertainment industry perspectives. The book will be published by Publish America in 2005 and available through major and other retail outlets. In 2002, Jerry wrote a full-length feature comedy, 7/11 Pair-O-Dice Road for Lear Entertainment (Las Vegas). Several screenplays are in-progress: The Acrobat; Watertown, South Dakota; Lars; Out of Context; Amazon Moon and others. He has written the story, music and lyrics for Time Travelers in the Celestial Age, a screen/stage musical loosely based on H.G. Well’s, The Time Machine. As a freelance writer, he has covered live shows for e-Vegas.net, the Las Vegas film scene for Callback, and written several articles for Musesmuse.com, Script Magazine and others. Jerry has worked as a singer/keyboardist in several bands throughout New York, the Twin Cities, and on the road. Prior business experience includes CBS, Harry Fox Agency, Samuel French Play Publishers and other indie ventures. He has a self-designed BS in Songwriting (graduating Phi Kappa Phi) and a Masters in Liberal Studies (U of MN). Jerry is a member of the Songwriters Guild of America, the Nashville Songwriters Association, and the International Songwriters Association. He is soon to become a member of the National Writers Union and plans are to join the Authors Guild and the Writers Guild of America. He is also launching JerryFlattum.com in October 2004, featuring original songs and other works. This site will interface with SongCatalog.com, an online service designed to connect songwriters with song buyers.