The 110 biggest weekly album sales of all time

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I had a hard time finding consistent first-week album sales information. Even the industry bible, HitsDailyDouble, doesn’t archive old sales data (and uses slightly different numbers than most other sites). Where’s the music version of BoxOfficeMojo when you need it?

But then, at the last second, I came across an amazing treasure trove of data by user oldbloke on the UKMix forums Best I can tell, he’s been posting weekly & cumulative album sales for 10 years! I don’t know if he exports it from SoundScan or compiles it himself, but it’s really fantastic.

I went through as much of the data as I could find, using lots of Regex, Markdown & Excel to clean it up and combine it all. Analysis and inte… Continue reading   ▸

Adele’s crazy-pants sales numbers

When I saw the initial sales projections for Adele’s new album ’25’—selling 2+ million copies in its first week—I thought someone had made a typo. The all-time record, 2.4 million, was set way back in 2000 by NSync, before the music industry cratered. In the last 10 years, nobody has sold more than 1.3 million in their first week.

Instead, Adele actually sold 3.4 million units. IN ONE WEEK.

That number is mind-bogglingly huge in this day and age. It’s nearly the same as Taylor Swift’s last 3 albums combined. Adele is an outlier of an outlier.


The amazing thing about this album is that experts expected it to do big numbers…just not anywhere close to THIS huge. Check out this timeline:

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How the Grammys early cutoff hurt Drake & Adele and comparing it to other award show timelines

The Grammy Awards nominees were announced recently. And, like every year, there was something that bugged me: the award show isn’t until mid-February, but a lot of recent songs aren’t nominated.

The Grammy Awards, more than the other major award shows, seems to have a way-too-early cutoff for submissions. Why? I started looking at the full submission timeline, but quickly found myself knee-deep in the arcane rules and procedures of the Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys (EGOT!).

Into the rabbit hole we go!


  • Timeline
    • Grammy written entry deadline: Aug 26 (but July 1 for releases through July 30)
    • Grammy album release cutoff: Sept 30, 2015
    • Grammy nomination voting: Oct 14-Nov 4
    • Grammy nominations announced: Dec 7, 2015
    • Grammy award voting: Dec 16-
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Links to Sepinwall’s episode-by-episode reviews for every show in his book, The Revolution Was Televised

My favorite TV critic, Alan Sepinwall, is releasing the updated version of his book The Revolution Was Televised today. I love the book, especially because it introduced me to shows I’ve since watched and absolutely loved (Friday Night Lights!).

As I catch up on some of the other shows in the book, as I do with every episode of good TV I watch, I immediately go to find Alan’s episode-by-episode reviews, which add lots of detail and insight. To make it easier for myself, I decide to compile all the links in one place for each episodic review for all the shows covered in his book (and one more!). Hope this helps anyone else that likes to read Alan’s reviews!

NOTE: I tried to build this list programmatically using a combination of and Google ‘Continue reading   ▸

What I want in iOS 9, OS X 10.11, and a new Apple TV

In last year’s iOS wish list, I noted that Android had finally caught up to iOS. This year, for the first time, it really feels like Google has surpassed Apple. Most importantly, Apple’s recent breakneck pace of innovation has led to self-inflicted wounds—you can only keep adding new features at the expense of stability for so long before it all breaks down.

Thankfully, it seems like Apple realizes it’s time for a ‘Snow Leopard’ year. Both iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 are rumored to be focused on stability and optimizing existing features. Understanding that, I’ve tried to focus less on pie-in-the-sky features and more on basic system improvements and refinements.

Here we go!

iOS 9

Big picture stuff:

System-wide ‘Dark modeContinue reading   ▸

Tidal might succeed, but not for the reason artists want

Tidal, a music streaming service Jay-Z recently bought, relaunched today with 2 major differences compared to the competition:

  • It’s owned by artists. A lot of A-listers: Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Usher.

  • It pays more in royalties to artists.

You can watch the star-studded launch event here (it starts at 29:42):

Here’s where the problems start. That bit about paying musicians more? It’s not exactly true:

Before today, that premium tier was the only one TIDAL offered. This morning it introduced a $9.99 service with standard definition audio, which will pay just the standard royalty rates. The double r

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What I want in iOS 8 and OS X 10.10

We’ve hit a tipping point. Long-time Apple evangelist Paul Stamatiou now argues Android is better. Quite convincingly, too—even I’m thinking about switching this year. Apple can no longer coast on its past successes now that developers and consumers have arguably better options now.

The only things we got from last year’s wish list were a pedometer in the iPhone and iBooks on OS X.

Still missing: better inter-app communication, Safari extensions, improved App Store rankings, Wi-Fi phone calls, a Siri that can actually compete with Google Now, and storing iOS apps in the cloud instead of on our computers. (Oh, and Apple TV apps, which I’ve been going on about for 2 years now.)

Given that, here’s what I’d like to see in the next … Continue reading   ▸

What I want in iOS 7 + OS X 10.9

Tomorrow, Apple will kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference by showcasing iOS 7 and OS X 10.9. We already know some of what will be revealed: iOS will feature a design overhaul, native Flickr and Vimeo support, and better vehicle integration; OS X will improve Finder, Spaces, and multitasking for power users.

Last year, I discussed what I wanted in iOS 6. Before starting this year’s list, let’s take a look back. Did anything improve in the last year?

We got a Google-created YouTube app, background app downloads, and apps now have to ask before accessing your contacts and photos. But Safari is little-changed, App Store search and discovery is still fundamentally flawed, apps can’t truly share files, and Wi-Fi phone calls are still a pipe dream… Continue reading   ▸

What I want in iOS 6

The WWDC keynote is tomorrow. As expected, Apple will unveil a litany of new products and software.

Let’s get the leaked things out of the way: a revamped Maps app, Facebook integration, Siri for iPad, OS X Mountain Lion preview, more iCloud apps (notes, reminders), and new Mac hardware (Retina Display laptops, anyone?).

Got it? Good, now forget about them. Instead, let’s prognosticate on some bigger and bolder ideas. Things that haven’t been discussed to death already.

Here’s my wish list of features I’d love to see in iOS 6 or beyond:

1. Apple TV apps

The WWDC schedule has a lot of “To Be Announced” sessions, which has led people to suggest Apple’s introducing something big: possibly apps for the Apple TV set-top bContinue reading   ▸

How to use the Nook Simple Touch without registering

I really, really hate companies that don’t let you use their devices without registering them in some way. Even Apple isn’t that evil.1

But Barnes & Noble is.

I recently purchased a Nook Simple Touch as a gift for someone and wanted to set it up with some books for them. I’ve done this before with a Kindle without any problems.2

However, the Nook Simple Touch forces you to create a Barnes & Noble account and add a credit card on file before you can actually use the device you paid for.

Aside from being a bad out-of-box experience, it also makes things like selling the Nook down the line harder (assuming you like to reset your devices before selling them and the buyer wants to see them actually working before paying.)

Well, for anyone else in the same bo… Continue reading   ▸