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Elio and the Store Tese: iTunes, here we come!

Elio and Tese Storie believe in the digital music revolution, in the network as media for the distribution of songs and if until now there are still no songs of theirs on Apple's store just for the particular conditions dictated by the fact of being independent. This is what Hukapan tells us, the company of the popular Milanese group, in response to one of our articles that noted the 'strange' absence of EELST music on the Apple store, especially in relation to the fact that Elio and the Store Tese were invited ( with Gigi d'Alessio) at the press conference to present the iTunes Music Store in Italy last November.

"I believe that to understand and explain the whole affair," says Marco Conforti, Hukapan's managing director, "we must start from the very beginning of that press conference held last fall. Elio and Tese Storie are Mac users and invited to participate they willingly accepted, very pleased to have been identified by Apple Italia among the artists who, in fact, can best represent the 'digital revolution' of music in our country. Their presence next to that of Gigi D'Alessio was exactly to represent two different worlds of reference, one of independent music, the other that of the major record companies. A logical choice, I can say from the outside, given that iTMS proposed itself as a commercial interlocutor not only for the music mass market but also for independent productions. The two different 'worlds', however, also involve two different landing channels to the iTunes Music Store. The one followed by Gigi d'Alessio, provided that it was the record company (BMG Italia) to take care of his 'debut' on the store on which he arrived without any activity on his part along with the entire BMG Italia catalog package (for which he did not difficult to imagine there was – along with the other majors – a 'clear lane' that was very clear in the relationship with Apple, given the commercial importance of its catalog), we had to follow the path of the independents'

This path, much more tortuous and slow, foresees, explains Conforti, a series of procedures that start from the compilation of an application form and pass through obligatory steps that require time.

"On 8 November 2004," Conforti says, "we signed up for the iTunes web-form, which is the only way for independents to apply, and then we followed all the contractual, technical and administrative procedures necessary to start and conclude a license agreement for distribution via the iTunes Music Store, a contract that was finally concluded a few days ago. We are now proceeding to upload files to the iTunes Music Store servers, an operation that consists of encoding song by song and inserting a considerable amount of metadata into each file and therefore requires several hours of work for those of us who have upload over 200 pieces of each of which must be acquired the relevant information (we are talking about fifteen years of productions). Once the upload is complete, the publication does not take place automatically, but at the discretion of Apple, which acts according to its own schedule of weekly launches and can be postponed even a few weeks'

If everything should go the right way Elio's music and the Storie Tese should be published in the Apple store, ready to be purchased, by the end of the total. "Even if at the moment" Conforti still says "we cannot be more precise. Unfortunately, if it took nine months or maybe more, we are not covered by our responsibilities (however Apple Italia, which, indeed, we thank you for putting pressure on iTMS to accelerate the time) but to be attributed probably to the great amount of artists, labels and recordings that iTunes is contracting and uploading, having a centralized management of us at a European level, in England. Despite the past nine months, Elio and the Storie Tese will still be among the first Italian artists not distributed by a recording multinational to be present in the iTMS Italia catalog

But in reality, even before the release of songs on the iTunes Music store, users, even Macs, can buy Elio's music and Internet Store Tese, just go to the official website or go to the merchandising stand at concerts.

"Since June 2004," Conforti further specifies – it is possible to download the entire discography of the last 15 years and all the concerts from March 2004 onwards by subscription. The files are in mp3 format with 192kbps encoding and are obviously compatible with Mac, as well as without any form of DRM or copy protection. Equally mac-compatible and unprotected the digital contents sold at concerts and loaded on a USB key or on the user's mp3 player. As for Rosso Alice, what happened was the live web of the concert as well as the creation and sale of the "instant DVD". On Rosso Alice, this dDVD for sale in digital format, as well as on Rosso Alice will be made available, we hope not in nine months, the same catalog of songs that will be made available on iTunes. "

The fact that the contents conveyed through Rosso Alice are not available for the Mac platform certainly does not make Elio and Tese Storie n their entourage happy: 'we all use the Mac and the thing is certainly not the best even for us, but the passion for computers of the Apple certainly cannot push us to the boycott of the competitors of iTunes. We are hoping for the promised release of a version of WMA for Mac with DRM updated to the standards required by major record companies. But in any case all (but all) the contents that pass through third-party platforms are still available to subscribers, including Mac users, on the website for the price of 10 euros per quarter or 30 euros per year "

And as for the 3 phones, even here it is not a 'boycott' of the platform. "In truth it is not even a question of 'sales'," Conforti continues – What is now available on mobile phones 3 is Elio's 'videoblog' and the Stories Tese: EELST post their video contributions and users, in response, do the same. No song available through 3's cell phones, although I don't see any particular reasons why this should not happen in the future, if the opportunity presents itself