Even in the doldrums of summer, musicians, Steve Jobs and lawyers for the majors are not resting.
—Apple's announcement about Ping — the company's attempt at a social media site built around music — had people talking, though most spent their time listing its failings. Bob Boilen gave the service a try and came back disappointed. He's got a few questions for Apple, mostly because he really does want to find out what music fans are listening to, not just what they bought on iTunes.
—One of our commenters, Ty Garfield (TyGarfield), points out that the Ping announcement could be the first of many from Apple. Back in 2008 the company submitted a patent for technology to enable communication (or a passive information exchange) between groups of people based on their proximity to one another — for example, people at a concert or a conference. It's called iGroups and the launch of Ping might just be an opening gambit in a much broader play by Apple for a bigger piece of the social media pie.
—Digital Music News quoted a source from inside Universal saying the label has "declared legal jihad against Grooveshark." The free music search engine and streaming service allows anyone to upload sound files from their hard drive and then makes them available for anyone to stream. Universal served the service's parent company back in January, and Apple says a takedown notice from UMG UK is the reason it pulled Grooveshark's iPhone app from its store two weeks ago. Grooveshark settled one lawsuit with EMI, but DMN says Universal isn't interested. Actually, it says that lawyer Harvey Gellar is "a ferocious 'bulldog' who is 'committed to burying these guys.'"
—Rock Band is diversifying its roster. The game added its first songs in Spanish last month — six by Colombian superstar Juanes. And next week it'll add its first rap songs with eight of Snoop Dogg's. It's about time for some hip-hop karaoke, though how easy will the guitar part be?
—And then there's Doggystyle 2: The Doggiementary. Snoop Dogg and Swizz Beatz posted this video (Advisory: So much swearing) on Thursday. They both seem excited, which is cool to see, but is it really a sequel if it's produced entirely by Swizz instead of Dre?
—Rapper T.I. and his wife were arrested Wednesday night after cops noticed a "strong odor of marijuana" emanating from the car in which he and his wife were riding in Los Angeles. The police also took a handful of white pills for testing. T.I., who had the number one movie in America at the time of his arrest was charged with possession of a controlled substance. This is sad news for people who followed his VH1 show, TI's Road To Redemption.