The most infamous and infamously annoying prank in web 2.0 history is getting an unwanted new lease of life as the Rickrolling phenomenon hits the iPhone.
It’s funny. Following the YouTube vs PRS spat last week, where the former blocked UK users from watching most music videos, many commenters erupted into anti-major-label vitriol, completely ignoring the fact that the labels aren’t involved in this argument at all.
Instead the debate centres around PRS for Music, which pays something called songwriter royalties, based on ‘public performances’ – YouTube, music in shops, nightclubs, radio, etc. These royalties exist completely seperately from the major label ecosystem, so blaming the ‘big four’ is a little unfair here.
Google’s short-term PR win might be placed in jeopardy, however, after Pete Waterman – who co-write “Never Gonna Give You Up” – revealed that he’s earnt just £11 from the 40 million+ views on the song on YouTube. YouTube wants to halve the fees that it’s paying to the PRS.
UK Music, an umbrella body of umbrella bodies in the British music industry, has labelled YouTube and Google ‘cyncial and exploitative’. It certainly seems to fly in the face of the corportations ‘Do No Evil’ mantra.
What’s your feeling on the matter? Is this a music industry failing to adapt to new technology and consumer behaviour? Or is Google taking advantage of consumer distrust of the music industry to desperately try to make YouTube profitable? Drop us an email, or a tweet, with your opinion and we’ll publish the best.
While YouTube might be taking its time upgrading the resolution of uploaded videos, one enterprising developer has coded up a web page to display a synchronised YouTube video wall, allowing four videos to be played almost seamlessly.
It all feels a bit hit and miss, and relies on someone creating four videos, one for each quarter of a much larger original video.
Given that the highest non-widescreen YouTube videos currently play at 480 x 360 resolution, creating a 2×2 wall offers up a 960 x 720 video. It’s not quite high definition, and there’s definitely some judder, not to mention the YouTube watermark plastered all over the screen, but it’s an interesting experiment…
Firstly, an apology to anyone eagerly awaiting a track composed from the “interesting looking audio boxes sitting next to me”. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet got all the wires and other gear required to do them justice.
This week, I’ve dug out what may well be the earliest example of Rickrolling. Take a few defunct ’80s computers (the BBC Model B, to be precise), a discarded dot matrix printer or two, a few industrial monsters, and a handful of sound effects that never quite made it into any successful game, and you have a late-Eighties Rickroll extraordinaire…
Too scared of being Rickrolled that you need a way to determine the threat a site poses? Enter RickProof, which will gauge the entered URL’s probability of said action, and warn you against it, if so.
I’m not sure how accurate it is, to be honest – I entered Tech Digest’s URL and it claimed we pose just a ‘minimal risk’, even though for the entirety of the morning of April Fool’s Day, every outgoing link on this site was a Rickroll. Perhaps the site’s creator is as much a fan of Rickrolling as I am – I just set up a Facebook group for people who actually enjoy being Rickrolled. Feel free to join here!…
You know an internet meme has well and truly jumped the shark when it becomes literal. Meet the Rick roll. An edible roll advertising the rickrolling meme of pre-April Fool’s….
He promised not to take advantage of his recent ‘fame’, but Rick Astley has certainly ‘let us down’, by capitalising on the Rickrolling phenomenon and gone and created his own YouTube channel. Ok, he joined in October 2007, but has recently jazzed it up, with revenue-making adverts.
Instead of using the couple hundred versions of his 1987 single ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ on the video-sharing site, users are now encouraged by Astley to help him out financially, and use his uploaded video instead. He’s gaining revenue by advertising his latest album (‘Ultimate Collection’, natch) on iTunes, which I’m sure at least 17 people…
Sorry folks, the RadioheadLP7 site ISN’T after all an announcement about Radiohead’s next album. It’s a hoax that now points to a Rick Astley video on YouTube.
Still, I stand by my previous claim that Radiohead should cut out the middleman and sell their album directly to fans as a set of digital downloads. Fingers crossed.