LAT in 90 Seconds

A Downward Spiral(Frog): In yet another bone-headed move by the music recording industry, Universal Music Group has signed a deal with SpiralFrog, which hopes to provide a program that plays 90-second ads as users download music for free. The idea sounds OK. It’s the model that television uses, after all. Except the songs won’t be burnable, and they won’t be formatted to play on iPods.

Oh, and “The company has yet to complete the design of its service or commit to a definitive launch date, said SpiralFrog General Manager Roger Munford.”

So, it’s like a “free” iTunes, except it takes longer to download, has more restrictions and kinda sucks. We can’t wait.

Burglared Babs Baffler: If you sold your first born to get tickets to Streisand, you’re gonna be pissed. Apparently Bab’s people are invalidating 1,000 tickets that were bought with a stolen credit card and then resold online. So far, none of the tickets to the Nov. 20 L.A. show seem to be dirty. People — people who buy tickets in L.A., are the luckiest people … in the world.

Weinsteins Get Artsy:
The family that helped launch DirecTV is teaming up with Harvey and Bob Weinstein to buy Ovation, “a tiny cable channel devoted to the arts.”

As part of the deal Ovation will be moved from Virginia to Los Angeles. Currently, the channel airs “documentary-style programming on theater, dance, opera, jazz and literature.”

Bravo and A&E once aired hoity-toity stuff, too. Now they’ve got Project Runway and Dog the Bounty Hunter. But there’s simply no way the Weinsteins will mess with the integrity of Ovation to pursue a quick buck, right?

Tune in to the Three Tenors Smackdown! and find out.