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Info about songs and musicians that I like. This may include other audio related information (iPods, books on tape, radio shows, interviews, etc.).

Written By: Gary on November 14, 2012 No Comment

I notice when they start this song Amanda Palmer heads to the side of the stage and I can see her putting on a dress. This dress has and extremely super long train. She then gets the security guys to pass her over to the crowd. As they carry her out above the crowd she gets passed around and the crowd supports her and the extremely long train of the dress. The lights are very cool as they play upon the dress.

Direct link to the Amanda Palmer video.

I’m really glad I went to this concert, it was excellent!!! I only know her stuff a bit, I think I recognize more from when she was with The Dresden Dolls. I see her pop up on Pandora a lot with songs that I like. She’s also married to Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors, that’s not why I like her music but it helps with the name recognition.

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So when I saw she was coming to Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit, which is a nice semi-small venue that I like and it’s probably less than 15 minutes from my house so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to see her. I’m really glad that I went!!

Written By: Gary on November 6, 2012 No Comment

Here’s an interesting musical. The Doctor regenerates and needs a new companion. A “must see” if you are a Doctor Who fan.

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Here’s a direct link to the video.

This is starring Travis Slavin as Doctor Who and Elizabeth Oldak as his companion. I don’t know who they are but they deserve to be mentioned by name!

Written By: Gary on March 14, 2012 No Comment

So this amplifier for the iPhone by Bone is very cool. It’s requires no power and it’s made of silicone (rubber?) and your iPhone just sits in it and it’s significantly louder. It surprised me a lot when I got mine.

bone-amp.pngDid I tell you it’s less than $4 shipped?!? It says that the “horn” increases the sound up to 13dB.

The amplifier is available in Black, Red, White and Blue too. The red one says it’s good for the iPhone 3, 3G, 4, and 4S (although the package for mine only mentions the iPhone 4). I assume it would work on an iPod Touch if the speakers are also at the bottom (a reviewer says this works on the recent touches also). It’s got room to plug in the power cable at the bottom too.

Written By: Gary on August 3, 2011 No Comment

I was interested in seeing Ellie Goulding (thanks to Pandora), so when I saw she was coming to town I wrote it down* and then I even happened to win tickets to the concert (from the Detroit Free Press). But I was absolutely exhausted yesterday so I was going to skip it, then (in a process too complicated to explain) I sort of got talked into it last minute. We got good parking (which was great since it was now raining), and we got there just a few minutes before she started.

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She was excellent! Very energetic and I liked the way that she engaged the crowd during and in-between the songs. I don’t think she ever introduced the band or mentioned the opening act (which I didn’t see, so NBD).

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She was bugging me with her hair,get this girl son hair ties! Sometimes it gets way in her eyes (so you can barely even see her nose), sometimes she brushes it out of the way but other times she puts it in the way on purpose (you can see a little in the video but it’s not as obvious). Strangeā€¦

She did a bunch of her music and a few covers. Some of her songs make me think of Kate Bush, but the rest of her music is a little more rock/pop than Kate’s sound, but I’d like to hear her cover a Kate Bush song.Lights Ellie Goulding

And I’ll be using one of these as my 31 photos in 31 days photo for day 3. (Later) In hindsight, I guess these are from yesterday, but I’d already posted one for yesterday when I took them.

You can listen to her (and others) on my Ellie Goulding Station on Pandora or at iTunes. And here’s a direct link to the YouTube video in case it doesn’t embed properly.

* Most times when I see an event (especially with general admission) that interests me, I’ll put it in my calendar to consider later. Even if it’s got seats, I’ve gotten great ones by calling last minute.

Written By: Gary on February 23, 2011 No Comment

We had a nice ride on the ferry as the sun set and we had some impromptu music from some of the passengers.

And you can watch it in 720p in HD.

It was such a nice ride with lots of room, it was SO packed when I was there at Christmas time…

Written By: Gary on October 9, 2010 No Comment

So I saw Aimee Mann in concert last week in Ann Arbor at The Ark. If you don’t know who she is, you might remember her from the 1980s when she was part of ‘Til Tuesday and did the popular song Voices Carry; that video is a little bit old, here’s the current Aimee Mann site. I’ve seen Aimee Mann twice before, once on the pre-Lilith Fair tour (when they were trying to prove that people would go to a all women concert festival) and a few years ago in Ann Arbor.

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The show was general admission so I had picked up a ticket while I was there for some other show. I didn’t get anyone else to come* it turned out there was a empty seat right in the middle of the front row! It was awesome! She’s great and does one of my favorite things, she talks

The Forgotten Arm Aimee MannShe’s actually writing a musical based on The Forgotten Arm that was a concept album she did a few years ago, she actually did some of the narration and played some of the songs for us, it was pretty fun. It’s kind of a dark story with drugs, debt and relationships (and boxing).

If you haven’t been to The Ark, it’s a great little theater, about 700 seats, and I’ve seen a lot of shows there. It’s general admission so if you get there earlier you get a better seat, tickets are generally pretty cheap generally (although I think Aimee was $40, much more than I usually pay there) but those on-line fees get the prices up there fast.

*Most of the time it doesn’t bother me to go to concerts alone (it’s that ride and the wait that I don’t like). So if concerts are general admission and I know I want to go, I’ll pick up a ticket and mention it to a few friends; some times there’s a few of us and sometime it’s just me.

Written By: Gary on July 13, 2010 One Comment

Jewel dresses up as a regular person and sings her own songs! It’s a little long, but pretty funny, especially if you’re a fan…

Click for a larger version.

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Written By: Gary on December 3, 2009 No Comment

Here’s a free download to the soundtrack of Disney’s and Pixar’s Up Up Walt Disney Recordsbe sure to use the code latimesdisney when it asks for it.

This promotion has expired.

The soundtrack was nominated for “Best Original Score” but I’m not sure which award (Oscar, Grammy, Academy?). It was done by Michael Giacchino who did Ratatouille, Lost, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Alias, Fringe and more.

This offer is only supposed to be good until the end of Thursday.

Please let me know in the comments if this works for you (or more importantly, when it stops working)…

Written By: Gary on December 1, 2009 One Comment

Amazon is offering one free Christmas song download each day for twenty-five days.
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Of course for offering the free music to you, they’d like you to check out their other Christmas album sales, considering buying an Amazon Gift card or some of the best music of 2009.

These are all affiliate links, so if you do buy anything from Amazon, please consider following these links before any kind of purchase at Amazon.com and I’ll get credit. Thank you!

Written By: Gary on October 12, 2009 One Comment

One of the best parts of How I Met Your Mother is when they mention a web site in the show, such as
It was the best night ever dot com“, they’ve actually gone and got the site ItWasTheBestNightEver.com

How I Met Your Mother: Season Four Michael Shea, Pamela Fryman, Rob GreenbergAnd the site actually has some photos and a video of Marshall singing the song with Nuno Bettencourt.

It’s just one of those silly things that I enjoy when TV shows go the extra mile.

(Although, I thought the episode was a little slow otherwise)

Written By: Gary on September 9, 2009 One Comment

Speaking of A Fine Frenzy, here’s an 18 minute video/concert with four songs. Also, it’s available in 480p!

A Fine Frenzy performs songs from their new album in the renowned John Drew Theater at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York.

The few times I’ve seen her has been in a really small venue, so it really evokes memories of the few times of when I’ve seen her in concert. I think the one place I saw her might have been only a little bigger than the stage.

The video has a few (very) small bits of her talking too…


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Here’s the Hulu direct link to A Fine Frenzy – Live from the Artists Den.

UPDATE: Speaking of video. There is a video podcast calledBomb in a Birdcage – Track by Track that’s got a little behind the scenes video for all 11 tracks (30-90 seconds each) and it’s free.

Written By: Gary on September 8, 2009 No Comment

The new A Fine Frenzy album Bomb In A Birdcage has been released today. I’ve mentioned A Fine Frenzy many times and seen Alison in concert several times.

Here’s the great thing the MP3 album from Amazon is only $3.99, that might only be a today only offer (but sometimes these deals last for days). That’s 12 tracks if you get it from Amazon (I think one is a bonus track but it’s a different bonus track than the $9.99 iTunes version). I actually don’t know how long this offer will last, but I picked it up a copy. FYI, the Amazon songs are 256 kbps and will play on your iPod/iPhone and the Amazon downloader will put them right into your iTunes for you!

UPDATE: You can can purchase just the iTunes bonus track of Coming Around for 99 cents. That gets you a deluxe (nonexistent) version of the album!

Personally, I like buying the actual CD verses the digital media, but I figure there’s a good chance I’ll see here in concert and get the CD autographed so I’ll pick it up from her then. Here’s a link to the actual 11-track Bomb in a Birdcage CD at Amazon.

FYI – These are affiliate links above. I get a small kickback if you follow these links and buy anything.

Written By: Gary on August 11, 2009 One Comment

Tori always has interesting lighting at her concerts. Lots of changes during the show with more to do with the set and lighting (no actual physical changes). I always enjoy it.

The concert was awesome (as Tori always is), had a great seat, row G (on the right side) so it was perfect. As people cleared out I was able to move up front for the last few songs).

Below I’ve got a few low quality photos (my iPhone is great, but in the dark it’s not so great) and a video to illustrate the lighting.

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The video is just a few quick clips so you can see the lighting (I think it’s four clips about seven seconds each).

I’ve never seen this before but if you follow the direct link to YouTube and click on the HQ button at the bottom it makes the movie bigger (like the HD button does). Give it a try.

But I haven’t figured out a way to directly link it to make it the bigger HQ automatically (you can append &fmt22 to force into large HD or &fmt=18 to force into normal HQ but I’m looking for the large HQ answer, anyone?).

Written By: Gary on July 16, 2009 No Comment

Abnormally Attracted To Sin is only $2.99 (it’s now up to $949 [7/22]) right now at Amazon for the 17 track album. Abnormally Attracted To Sin Tori Amos/Republic RecordsI can’t say how long this offer is going to last but I just picked up my copy!

iTunes wants $11.99 for Abnormally Attracted To Sin with one (1) bonus track (Oscar’s Theme), probably not worth $9.00 for that much more.

What iTunes does offer is an Abnormally Attracted To Sin deluxe edition with with fifteen (15) videos for $13.99 (which also includes the 18 songs!), that might be worth it for the big fan. Personally, I don’t watch the videos enough to make it worth it.

Obviously these prices will change eventually, but I’m sure the the $2.99 price probably wont last long.

Written By: Gary on July 16, 2009 One Comment

Forty-four minutes of video of Tori Amos playing at KCRW this morning.

Below is just the audio of the show.

Here’s a direct link for video and audio.

She plays new and old music (lots of old!). I found it really enjoyable! There is some interviews in the middle of there too (starts about 15 minutes in and last for 12-14 minutes).

PS – You can get CitiBank $5 lawn tickets for Tori Amos in Indianapolis, IN on 8/7/09 and Miami Beach, FL on 7/29/09 (sort by event and look on pages 3 and 4). There might be some other fees, but it’s still got to be a deal. I’m sure this offer won’t last long, if you check and they’re gone, please leave a comment and I’ll cross it off. If you get the deal leave a comment too!

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Written By: Gary on June 28, 2009 2 Comments

It’s a shame to become so popular after someone dies. I guess in Michael’s case so extra popular (since he was so much more famous in the past and not so much lately).

And it’s always shame for someone to die so young.

michael-jackson-itunes
This is from just a few minutes ago at the iTunes store.

Rest in Peace Michael!

Written By: Gary on June 26, 2009 One Comment

Last Saturday night I went downtown to see the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Project Bandaloop. Here’s the description (from the web site):

A late-night outdoor concert held on the lawn adjacent to The Ellington parking structure, across from Orchestra Hall. San Francisco’s extraordinary aerial dance troupe, Project Bandaloop, will add their beautiful, gravity-defying vertical choreography, performing to the dulcet sounds of the celebrated hometown orchestra.

Here’s a photo of them with the garage (the lighting wasn’t the best for photos).

Project Bandaloop

So here’s several clips I shot with my pocket digital camera, my Canon 1100, it worked way better than I thought it would have.

A really short clip of showing the grace of Project Bandaloop as they “dance” on the side of a building accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Direct link to the HQ version of the clip.

Forgive the quality of the middle of this clip, I zoom in on one of the Project Bandaloop performers as she dances on the side of a building accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

It’s noisy as the baby plays with it’s rattle (not my baby, but he was adorable).

Direct link to the HQ version of the clip.

A 23 second clip of showing six of the Project Bandaloop crew “dance” on the side of a building accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. There were probably 12 people going at the same time.

Direct link to the HQ version of the clip.

This is a long clip, almost 2 minutes, but I wanted you to see a chunk of the act instead of the little snippits I posted separately. You can really hear the baby play along with the music, I’d pretty much tuned it out by then.

Direct link to the HQ version of the clip.

After a while you sort of turn everything 90-degrees in your head and can see what they’re doing as if on a dance floor (in low gravity).

Here’s a blurry zoomed in shot of a group of four Project Bandaloop members.

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This was great, I wish I could have been on top of the parking garage to have shot straight down at them so it would have looked like they were on a flat surface.

Written By: Gary on June 13, 2009 One Comment

At WordCamp Chicago last weekend Darryl Markette kicked off the day playing a song called BlogStar, it was based on a song called RockStar. He finally recorded it as a video, so here I am sharing it with you!

Here’s the direct link to the HD video of BlogStar.

Written By: Gary on May 22, 2009 No Comment

Why doesn’t anyone have a bike rack to park your bike at any more? It’s a pain in the ass when I need to park it somewhere. I’m being healthy and ecological and have to climb in the bushes to find a place to lock it up. The only thing around with one is the library. Although I guess since I’m writing this from McDonald’s, healthy isn’t the first thought in my head…

glee-tv.pngI’ve got these stupid songs from Glee (that link goes to a free HD download of the pilot), running through my head. The two songs in particular are You’re the one that I want from Grease and Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. Kind of a cute show, most of the adult characters are pretty lame though (the women especially). I just noticed they’ve got the cast doing Don’t Stop Believin’ at iTunes.

I think I need to go see Night at the Museum II and/or Terminator Salvation some time this weekend.

It’s another awesomely sunny day out too!

Written By: Gary on December 19, 2008 No Comment

THIS OFFER IS OVER.

20081118 Tows Holiday2 284X218Here’s a free Christmas Album sponsored by Oprah. This is the same album from a few weeks ago.

Don’t miss the cover art links too!

Once again – It says it’s only available for 48 hours, but I don’t know when the clock started ticking…

  • Faith Hill, “Joy to the World” from the album Joy to the World
  • Tony Bennett, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” from the album A Swingin’ Christmas
  • Il Divo, “O Holy Night” from the album The Christmas Collection
  • Josh Groban, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” from the album Noel
  • Brian McKnight, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” from the album I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Amy Grant, “O Come All Ye Faithful” from the album The Christms Collection
  • Harry Connick Jr., “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” from the album What a Night! A Christmas Album
  • Aretha Franklin, “Silent Night” from the album This Christmas
Written By: Gary on November 28, 2008 No Comment

20081118 Tows Holiday2 284X218Here’s a free Christmas Album sponsored by Oprah.

  • Faith Hill, “Joy to the World” from the album Joy to the World
  • Tony Bennett, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” from the album A Swingin’ Christmas
  • Il Divo, “O Holy Night” from the album The Christmas Collection
  • Josh Groban, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” from the album Noel
  • Brian McKnight, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” from the album I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • Amy Grant, “O Come All Ye Faithful” from the album The Christms Collection
  • Harry Connick Jr., “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” from the album What a Night! A Christmas Album
  • Aretha Franklin, “Silent Night” from the album This Christmas

    Don’t miss the cover art links too!

    It says it’s only available for 48 hours, but I don’t know when the clock started ticking…

    THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED!

  • Written By: Gary on September 4, 2008 No Comment

    I’ve really been liking Ingrid Michaelson (although I don’t think I’ve mentioned her here before) but this home video is so cute I felt the need to share! If you don’t know the song it might not be as cute but I think so…

    Actually, Ingrid thinks it’s pretty cute too, she sent it out to her fans (that’s how I found it). Here’s a direct link to YouTube if the in-line video doesn’t work.

    Written By: Gary on August 8, 2008 No Comment

    11250188 155 155Every day RCA has a free song download. Today it’s Blame is a Killer by Amy Ray (one-half of Indigo Girls fame). Just thought you should know…

    Written By: Gary on August 2, 2008 2 Comments

    61Qqzivjx9L. Sl500 Aa280 Okay, so I’m not a big fan of “I Kissed a Boy” but I’ve seen it so often at the thetop of the iTunes store charts I thought I would mention this sale: Katy Perry’s MP3 album One Of The Boys is only $2 for today only at Amazon in 256kbps MP3 format and it has the “I Kissed a Boy” song on it. So it’s a deal if you like her or this song…

    I’m not even sure what else she plays but this seemed like a great deal so I thought I’d mention it. Usually their $2 or $3 deals are much older albums.

    THIS DEAL IS NOW OVER AND IS BACK TO IT’S REGULAR PRICE.As of Sunday at noon (EST) it’s still listed as on-sale.

    Written By: Gary on June 5, 2008 No Comment

    Marguerite MusicalSo the first show we saw in London was a musical called Marguerite, it took place in German occupied France. Marguerite was married to a German general for convenience and falls in love with a jazz piano player. It was a beautiful old theatre with at least two balconies (there might have been a higher one but I couldn’t see it from the main floor).

    We had tenth row great seats (halfway between center and the edge); we picked them up from the TKTS booth at Leicester Square which has different discount (almost all are half-off) tickets every day (I usually look there first when looking for tickets). I think they just have tickets for “west end” theatre but I’m not sure where the “east end” is (or north or south for that matter).

    The writer/producer of Marguerite also did

  • Les Miserables
  • Miss Saigon
  • Martin Guerre
    It was fun, a little bit slow at times so we’ll see if it goes global. But, I thought Les Miserables was very slow and that one became “kind of” popular.

    Amazing scene changes on the stage! The way they transform one setting to another was excellent. Although it’s so good it really doesn’t leave much to the imagination which I think used to be a big part of the “theatre experience”.

    I’d definitely recommend this if this sounds like your type of musical. Heres a video clip.

  • Written By: Gary on May 30, 2008 No Comment

    As music goes, I’ve talked about A Fine Frenzy as much as any musician, probably more and that’s a lot since I hadn’t heard of them 6 months ago. I started liking as soon as I heard of them (they were opening for a Brandi Carlile concert I had tickets for) and I wanted everyone to know know about them!

    Aff-Autograph-Pict2351.CropSo Alison Sudol is a super sweet person and seems very sincere. She’s got these great songs and wonderful voice. Alison talks between the songs but I think she’d rather just play, because when she plays it’s like she forgets were there (this is a compliment, not a complaint). When I saw Liz Story, a pianist, play a few years back she talked between the songs because “her agent/manager made her” since if not, she’d just play for an hour non-stop; so she’d stop and tell us stories about the song and the song titles. I think of that sometimes when she’s talking, either that or she’s shy when not singing/playing.

    So I keep thinking of two things she talked about. One was her mother and how much they got along and she really liked her (her Mom was there too, right up front). And the other is that she likes the word “shucks” and she’s thinks people should use it more. “Shucks” And she said something like, ‘I know I’m a nerd’ (but I can’t remember if ‘nerd’ was the actual word).

    She’s uses Twitter occasionally and the few MySpace e-mails that I’ve gotten from her seem like they were really written by her, that’s got to take a lot of time.

    And she’s super nice when I’ve talked to her. And gotten her autograph both times. The promo poster from when I saw her at The Shelter (above) is signed by her you can see a bigger version

    Written By: Gary on May 18, 2008 4 Comments

    So they’re releasing Comic Book Tattoo – Tales Inspired by Tori Amos which is, according to Tori’s blog:

    a 480-page, full color anthology adapting the themes and ideas behind her songs into a lush volume of sequential art

    it’s a 12 inch x 12 inch book ($20-ish on-line). While this seems slightly odd, I will need one for myself!

    All sorts of people are doing the fifty stories for the book with an intro by (who else) Neil Gaiman…

    They also have a Comic Book Tattoo Limited Edition Hard Cover for $149 $95! I’m not sure if that’s anything extra, like a larger format, nicer paper or autographed, if anyone hears anything, please let me know.

    Both editions have “coffee table format book” in their descriptions, but is 12×12 large enough for that format? Or is the hardcover edition larger? larger would be better….

    Written By: Gary on March 15, 2008 One Comment

    Alison Sudol was excellent last night. A very small venue at The Shelter, the cancert was sold out but I’d guess there were only about 300 people there, lots of room. No one was back farther than about the equivalent of about 10 rows (no seats, general admission standing only with just a few tables). I’ve seen A Fine Frenzy before and it was a smaller venue so it was great having the small crowd and as a bonus it was a non-smoking show. A Fine Frenzy Alison Sudol March 2008 Detroit

    She’s has such a lovely voice and writes her own songs. She’s got this voice that’s kind of a Sarah McLachlan / Tori Amos voice and she’s just incredible. She so beautiful and has this sunning red head, and while it might not be naturally that red, she’s got that anemic porcelain look that so many red heads do, I’m assuming she’s actually a redhead. My camera in my phone takes pretty crappy pictures, but I tried to take a few.

    She’s so into when she plays, and every so often she looks at the audience, I feel likes she’s forgotten us and that her manager told her she has to make eye contact every so often and that’s why she looks up. I always think of ‘gracious’ when thinking about her personality, that’s just how I feel when she’s talking to us and that’s how I feel when she talks to you personally. I did get to get to say ‘hi” and get her autograph on a promo poster after the concert. She’s just so nice, even with just a 30-second conversation…

    It was a busy night as we had a fund raiser at work at six and the concert doors opened at 6 too (they’re about 25 minutes apart). So we planned to skip the opening act and just see her and depending on the time possibly go back to the auction. When I finally called the concert hall. They said she was going on in 15 minutes!!!!! So I had to find Kelly and Mark get out of there. We made good time, even with having to go a longer route, found free parking right around the corner and when we walked in the music was playing but she hadn’t uttered a word yet!! So it was a great night.

    One Cell in the Sea A Fine FrenzyWe never got back to the auction, even though it was only 9:30 when we left, it was just a little too late to head back. So I have no idea what or if I won anything. I probably had my name on about $400 worth of things, but I’m assuming I got over bid on more than a few of them (there was still 30 minutes left of bidding when we took off). I had some train tickets to Chicago, baskets of games, chocolate, theatre tickets, plus I bid on one of my donated items and a few more things. One of the items I donated was for my Cat in the Hat basket which had books/stuff and included a visit from me as the Cat in the Hat (for birthday parties, classroom visits and bachelorette parties), I drove the bidding up to $75 before I left, but if no one bought it I’ve purchased myself. While I love doing it, it’s not worth it to spend a hot summer day outside in the outfit if it’s only giving the school that much money so we’ll see how that went. I also donated a basket of coffee and chocolate covered coffee beans that I picked up the stuff the last time I was in Costa Rica; I’m wondering what that sold for, it’s was only at $17 the last time I looked…

    Written By: Gary on March 10, 2008 No Comment

    One Cell in the Sea A Fine FrenzyA Fine Frenzy is playing in Detroit at the Shelter this weekend. It’s a really small venue so it should be a great show! I saw A Fine Frenzy in the fall (upstairs at St. Andrews)and it was an incredible show (they/she opened for Brandi Carlile). Ferras is opening for them, but I have no idea who that is, maybe someone American Idol-ish?

    If anyone is going please leave me a comment or send an e-mail and we can say “hi” while were there…. My mission for the evening is Happy Hour for dinner in Dearborn, a fund raiser auction for school in Redford (this is while we’re missing Ferras) and then get over to the theatre to see Alison sing and sign autgraphs…

    Speaking of the auction, once again as an auction prize you can buy bags of coffee, straight from costa rica with some chocolate covered coffee beans. Brought to you from central Amaerica by Moi! Also you can by a basket of Cat in the Hat stickers and books which includes a visit to your house from the Cat in the Hat himself!

    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2008 No Comment

    So I just downloaded the AppleTV update called Take 2 (or is it Take2?). I wasn’t thrilled with the changes that I saw in the preview because I thought the interface was pretty great. But I’ll agree that some changes for the new interface was necessary.

    Since you now can shop the whole iTunes store via the AppleTV something to surf around a larger library was necessary. They new sections fill up the cover art at a more than acceptable speed (my cable modem is 6000 down and 384 up) and it flowed pretty nicely. But a lot of the old interface is still around for the sub menus and it they really clash with each other. But I like the shopping on-line option, I’ll try it later just so I can see how well it works. I would have purchased last night’s Kyle XY episode but it wasn’t ready for download yet for some reason…

    The amount of movies and music and TV is just a little overwhelming. There’s just so many options and you can scroll in so many directions! And all the album art just looks fantastic in large high quality images!!! They need a all you can watch or listen to with the music videos, pay a flat rate and go cRaZy for a few hours.

    The podcasts are interesting, You can browse very nicely and you can view/stream but if the site is slow, you’re gonna wait a while for that hi-def video. You can select download and it’ll be there later for you. It’s strange that you can favorite a podcast, not to be confused with subscribing, but you can’t actually subscribe; this would be inconvenient if you don’t actually have a computer.

    The new Flickr photo viewing works great, but I wish there was a way to view the descriptions or titles of the photos. And I wish there was a way to look at thumbnails; for example a person has 500 photos in a folder and there isn’t a way to jump around it just goes to slideshow mode. This never bothered me with my photos, but when looking at someone else’s it jumped right out at me….

    Overall, it’s a great update in that it adds some great functionality. The new interface will grow on me (it’s not like I wouldn’t recommend it to someone). I just feel it’s missing some normal Apple consistency in the Human Interface Guidelines area…

    I’m still missing a way to build a video playlist (or a video shuffle). I’ve got hours of video podcasts and I don’t have a way to string them together as my own private TV channel. I hadn’t heard about it or this release but it just seems like a natural outgrowth of the music playlist and/or shuffle.

    The update took a while and had to reboot more than a few times installing all the features but seems like it worked just fine. I expect they’ll be a update soon to fix a few minor things, like the TV Genre of “Cops and Robberts”.

    Written By: Gary on January 27, 2008 No Comment

    RCA gives away one song a day. Sometimes it’s new, old, from a soundtrack, rock, alternative, or instrumental. It’s different every day.

    Here’s the thing: At some point in the future when some (hypothetical) legal authority searches my hard drive or MP3 player, how do I prove these songs are mine? In the past, with sampler CDs you had the CD to show ownership. With iTunes, they send you a receipt that shows you own the song even when it’s a free download. But with legitimately free MP3s on-line, how can you show that ownership someday if you need to…?

    Written By: Gary on January 26, 2008 One Comment

    My Apple TV has been one of my favorite technology purchases and I never expected that I’d like it that much. Actually, I’d been interested in it but it took a visit to Best Buy, after happy hour, for me to finally commit to the 40 GB version. I took it back a few days later but only because I knew I needed the 160 GB version, bigger is better after all…

    Apple TV is pretty much an ‘iPod for your television’ and iPods are pretty much the standard to beat for portable media players (at least the standard for handheld audio players) so these should be selling much better. I’ve always been impressed with my Apple TV and had been surprised they hadn’t really caught on more than they have. The Apple TV interface is excellent, it’s as good as the TiVo (except it doesn’t record), you can buy videos (and music) on your computer to load it up, but that is a little inconvenient for some people. You can convert videos for it, but that’s not for the average user. I knew it was close to what people want but it wasn’t exactly there yet.

    A few weeks ago at MacWorld they announced movie rentals for the Apple TV. $2.99 for old movies, $3.99 for new ones and $1 more for HD quality. Plus, you can buy music (and music videos) on-line and view/subscribe to podcasts (for free). They changed the interface, I personally think it’s a little more complicated, but since you need to be able to browse an infinite number of music and movies I can understand it (and maybe I’ll like it too). This new interface is free to original Apple TV owners and should show up in a few weeks (I keep checking).

    I heard all this when they announced it and I’ve been mulling it around in my head, but I finally just watched that part of the keynote from MacWorld (on my Apple TV, of course) and now I really think this is getting even closer to being the media box for your TV.

  • If I can start watching a movie in about 30 seconds, why am I going to rent something from the store? (there is a 30 day wait after a DVD release)
  • Why am I going to subscribe to Netflix? (all the movie extras and plus for TV shows you I get multiple episodes on one DVD)
  • If I can purchase a song the instant I need it, why am I going to run out and buy the album? (at least I think I can purchase a song, I saw Steve purchase a music video).One of the biggest shortcomings of this (and all digital video rental systems out there) is that you only have 24 hours from start to finish. It’s just not long enough, if I start it at 8 tonight, I need the ability to finish it tomorrow at 8 or 9 in the evening. Because of that, I think 30 hours is the minimum I need to seriously consider this as a way to watch movies (at least for me). As you increase the time to 36, 48 or even 72 hours it makes this a much better option, especially for the impulse buy. I know “they” don’t want bunches of other people to borrow it and view it so they longer the time, the higher the chance of this. Maybe they can do something to cripple it, maybe after 24 hours any viewed portion is not viewable any more, that’s slightly complicated but it makes it a little more fair and might make the movie companies a little happier, IMHO…

    But TiVo has had these features for a while now: music and photo streaming from your computer for years now, podcasts (very limited menu selection) for a few years too and recently they’ve added movie / TV rentals from Amazon Unbox (but you wait hours for it to download). I wonder if there are more TiVos than Apple TVs out there??

    I’m confused about a few things:

  • Can you buy a movie from the Apple TV interface?
  • Can you push HD movie rentals down to your computer or iPod? (I don’t think they said that specifically for HD).

    Things I’m not confused about, but I’m wondering:

  • How long until I can access media from my Time Capsule?
  • How long until I can rent TV shows?
  • How long until I subscribe to TV shows at a reasonable rate?
  • How long until I can dump my cable package?
  • How long until the cable internet and DSL providers complain about the bandwidth that is being used up? FYI, where the Apple TV requirements list a “broadband connection” it also says “(fees may apply)”.
  • Is the hardware in the new Apple TV exactly the same? I know the software is going to be the same, but I don’t think they said it was exactly the same either.
  • How long until the 30 day wait before renting (after new releases) is removed and I can rent as soon as it’s out? (they don’t have a delay before music purchases).

    Complaints about the Apple TV:

  • I need a video playlist option. I want to have a way to link these video podcasts and music videos into my own personal non-stop “channel”.
  • I need a way to find this tiny remote when I misplace it. It’s so small and light.
  • It needs a regular video-out and S-video out for people who don’t yet have TVs with component video or HDMI.
  • They still don’t have a use for the included USB port.
  • I think I’m gonna need a bigger hard drive!

    Also, they announced a price drop of $70 for the Apple TV.

  • Written By: Gary on January 19, 2008 3 Comments

    I found this little project over at Hilly’s (SnackiePoo).

    Let’s make a band:
    Asbestosstrike1. The first article title HERE is the name of your band.
    2. The last four words of the very last quote HERE Is the title of your album.
    3. The third picture HERE, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
    4. Now take the pic, add the band name and title to it, then post it.
    5. Be sure to leave a comment so that I can check out your album…

    The title, “Asbestos Strike”, was not the first article I got, the first one was an actual music label but I decided not to use it in case that might upset them. The title of my album, “they had courage enough”, was from a quote by Thomas Fuller. And my photo came from here, I did square it up a little to make it fit.

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