-- EMI notified the city of Jacksonville, Ill., that it would lay off about 100 employees from its distribution center in June. The company plans to retain two dozen workers. (State Register-Journal)

-- Reuters took a look at investments in music publishing catalogs. One executive said such pension funds and private equity groups have more money than any music company and will keep prices above market rates. The flip side is some of the acquisitions were overvalued and music companies would be wise to stay with a more rational return on investment. And since no two companies has the same ability to monetize publishing assets, some catalogs are sure to be back on the market. Said Sony/ATV chief executive Marty Bandier, "What any financial investor does with publishing assets is crucial because you need to market and promote those songs on a 24-7 basis. We're still buyers in this market and when these investors decide they want to sell we'll be here to pick those songs up." (Reuters)

-- Someone put YouTube's Audio Content ID system through vigorous testing and put the results online. Eighty-two versions of The Waitresses' "I Know What Boys Like" were uploaded with variations - the song in reverse, pitch variations, time alteration, resampling, added noise, changes in amplification and others. The findings are very interesting and the pass/fail results are laid out for each of the 82 files. The Content ID system located songs within minutes, could detect a song with a good deal of background noise and appears to look only at the first 30 seconds of a file (at least for that particular song). (Fun With YouTube's Audio Content ID System, via EFF Deep Links)

-- Here are some highlights from a panel discussion on online music marketing. Among the top tips were: Get a website ("the central point for all marketing activities should be the artist's website"); direct marketing ("both FanBridge and ReverbNation offer an impressive set of direct marketing tools that can help artists communicate directly with fans"); and services for getting live shows ("there are several companies now providing electronic press kits for artists including OurStage, ReverbNation and Sonicbids"). (Know The Music Biz)

-- Record Union, a Swedish music startup that offers digital distribution to artists, was profiled by The Guardian. "Our goals are based on the number of tracks we will deliver and the revenue generated for our artists. We aim to deliver close to 80,000 tracks in one year and generate around $5-7m to the artists." (The Guardian)

-- Here's the transcript for Apple's recent earnings call. Execs dodged an analyst's question about iTunes customers upgrading to DRM-free tracks but said iTunes saw "very, very strong growth in music, video, and of course applications." (Seeking Alpha)