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Wave Goodbye

I created another song and got it uploaded to Ourmedia using SpinXpress.

It’s called Wave Goodbye.

I hope you enjoy it.

Or not.

(See Also: A Song at Ourmedia)


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Ted Leo and The Pharmacists

We saw Ted Leo and the Pharmacists last weekend at the Metro in Chicago, and it was awesome. Awesome times ten. (Here’s a terrible shot from my phone. Flickr has some way better photos from others.)

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

If you’ve seen my last.fm profile you should know Ted Leo is at the top of my list. I like Ted Leo for a number of reasons, musically, politically, and personally. We’re about the same age, and got started in the same music scene at about the same time. Of course nowadays I just type commands in the terminal, and Ted rocks out like nobody’s business. I’m glad I made it to this show, as I meant to see him in 2005 but missed it due to unreliable transportation issues.

I sort of consider Ted Leo the modern-day Joe Strummer. He even played “Johnny Appleseed” in the middle of the show, while the drummer was busy moving stuff around. Of course, The Clash is also in my top 5 bands of all time list, so this was equally awesome. Seriously, I think he should just be called Ted “Awesome” Leo. (Am I gushing? I really don’t do that too often.)

For a taste of Ted Leo live, check the Internet Archive, or NPR for a show from 2007.

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A Song at Ourmedia

I’ve been bothered by the fact that Ourmedia has been fubar’d for me for quite some time. I mean, I was an early user, and a good supporter, but when my account no longer allowed me to upload (due to some weird problem on their end in which they seemed to believe my archive.org credentials were incorrect) I pretty much stopped using Ourmedia. My videos (and some audio) were going to blip.tv, and nowhere else.

So I did the only thing I could… created another email address, and registered it at Ourmedia, The Internet Archive, and SpinXpress. (Yup, now you also need to use another service/piece of software. SpinXpress is recommended to actually upload your media files. It’s a pain, but it actually worked!

That’s the long complaining version of saying, I created a song. It’s called 13 Diodes, and you can find it at 13 Diodes at Ourmedia or 13 Diodes at The Internet Archive. (Creative Commons Attribution License.)

Anyway, let me know what you think of the song. Most of the music I’ve been creating lately has been put into the videos I do, but I may start playing around with just doing songs on their own if I feel like it.


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Free Loops

I’ve been playing around with Garageband quite a bit lately, and having a good time. I’ve started to look for other loops I can use, but the problem is, all the “free loops” I’m finding out there always say something like this:

All of our free Garageband loops are free for personal use.

And that’s it. I mean “Personal Use” doesn’t mean a lot to me. (I assume it means non-commercial, but is that just my assumption? Can I freely publish works I create with these “free” loops?) I want things laid out in terms I can easily understand, perhaps using the Creative Commons licenses. Is there a listing of Apple Loops somewhere that are available with CC licenses? So I can easily see what is attribution, or non-commercial, etc?

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iPod Review – One Year Later

I’ve had an iPod for just over a year now, so I thought I would make a few notes on it. I know the iPod is a beloved product, and the music player in some people’s minds, but it, like any other product (by Apple or otherwise) could use some improvements…

I have the 5th generation 30GB iPod with video. It was given to me by the lovely Dana. Before the iPod I was using a Rio 500, and an iRiver IPF-180T.

I had one annoying issue with syncing my iPod, but other than that, it’s been pretty much problem-free.

Now, in comparison, the Rio 500 still beats the iPod for bookmarking. The Rio has a button that will set a bookmark in any MP3 file. No so with the iPod. It does not support bookmarking of any audio file. This is annoying, especially as it was a feature I used daily, and had to give up on when I moved to the iPod.

The iPod does remember what is playing when you turn it off and continues from there (of course my cassette player did this in 1975 as well) but this fails when you plug your iPod into your computer! So if I’m half way through a podcast, and then want to charge or sync my iPod, it forgets where I was after ejecting, and I’m back at the home screen, and damned if I can remember what I was listening to. Sucks…

The iPod interface is simple, but I know at least one other person who has one that occasionally will not turn off, and has said “Couldn’t they just put a damn ON/OFF button on it?” Sometimes mine won’t turn off, so I just put it in my bag and hope it turns off automatically after a few minutes.

The iPod interface also requires you to look, or at least be able to feel around and guess where to push. Other players (with actual buttons) allow you to memorize where the buttons are and what they do. I could operate my Rio while driving and never take my eyes off the road. This seems to be a big concern with the iPhone as well, it will require visual attention to be able to use it.

The Rio kicks the iPod to the curb in regards to bookmarking, but that’s about it. As for the iRiver, the one I have is a cheap, low-end model, and the interface is horrible. The advantages it has is that it can record using a built-in microphone (I wish mine had an audio input though) and has an FM tuner. You can also combine these and record live from the radio. I guess it also plays WMA files, but I don’t have any of those. I mainly use it as a cheap, portable recording device, even though the quality is fairly poor in noisy situations. (I did use it to record myself snoring once.)

In summary, I do love the iPod, but it’s not the ultimate player. It could use some improvements. I’m not sure Apple will ever improve it to my satisfaction, but I thought it was worth critiquing.

(This post just talks about the iPod as an audio player. I plan to follow-up with it’s use as a video player as well.)