Monthly Archives: December 2006

iPod? Zune? Bah! Cell Phone!

I don’t see myself as a gadget guy. People confuse me for one because I work on software but that’s like saying people who grow tomatoes automatically make great chefs. I’m also far beyond needing to be up on the latest thingamabob in order to attract partners for mating or other evolutionary needs. Just because everyone else on the BART car looks like they have dental floss sticking out of each ear does not automatically mean I have to run out and get the latest Apple branded device.


But I am, to my own shock and amazement, totally in love with my new cell phone because for an extra $20 (roughly) it came equipped with about 1G of hard disk space for playing music. The image on the right is actual size of the adapter which is postage stamp size and fits into a slot on my desktop and looks like just like any other disk drive. The small nub at the bottom is where the storage actually is and goes into the phone and is literally smaller than my finger nail. With the adapter loaded into my PC, all I have to do is drop music (er, .wma format only as far as I can tell — I don’t even want to know why) into the MY_MUSIC folder and my phone is a perfectly good music player.

The biggest drag so far is that because it is a cell phone I can’t use during flights — at least I think so. On a flight two days ago the flight attendant said something about putting your phone into ‘flight safe’ mode. Don’t have a clue what that is but I’ll investigate before I fly again just to make sure.

Still the phone seems to work fantastic. I downloaded the entire CDK catalog the other day and listened gleefully during the several hours of delays at airports. Worked flawlessly. (I’m not going to mention the brand name of the phone because I do not want the Google traffic. Follow the link above for the brand.)

I used to be very curmudgeonly when they put cameras into cell phones. But all of a sudden, with a digital camera, video camera, music player, gps (well, sort of), messaging and email (well, kinda) it’s obvious the camera bit was just a first step into a progression to make these “phones” into truly useful all-in-one consumer devices. (Salesman demonstrated how you could display the photos in my phone simply by walking next to a digital picture frame.) I suspect that just like we still use the verb “dial” to punch in phone numbers we will continue to use the noun “cell phone” long after a huge range of features will become ubiquitous in these thingamabobs.

Board Shuffles at Creative Commons

Professor Lawrence (Larry) Lessig a good friend of ccMixter (maybe the best friend we’ve ever had ;)) has announced that he is handing over the reigns of CEO of CC.

The cool side of this is that the new CEO is Joi Ito a very good friend indeed ;)

Having Joi at the helm, along with new board member John Buckman on the board makes it feel like mixter is surrounded by good friends.

I’m told the change will have little to zero affect on mixter and for some unexplained reason I actually kind of buy it.

Spectrum Analysis Podcast

Episode 5 of Ben Shewmaker’s ongoing investigation of digital music in the new open age Spectrum Analysis Podcast is up.

interview with Andrew Malott, a recent graduate from Ball State University, and currently an intern at Echo Park Studios. We discuss being an intern, and audio engineer, and the music industry in general.

A perfect antitode for a ride on Bart on a gloomy, rainy, cold day.

My Guitar Rig

In case you care and haven’t been following closely, in response to the latest request here is my current guitar rig:

  • Custom Shop Strat
  • I use a Digitech 2112 basically as a tube preamp and some of the analog (but rarely digital) effects.
  • Fender Blues Jr. Amp that I don’t crank nearly as loud as I really should because I’m a chicken about drowning out the lovely Hare Krishna temple guys next door. (This is Berkeley.)

The part about the hippie girl quilt was meant to be, you know, JK.

Personally I don’t think I’m getting a good sound, that is, the sound that it’s my head which primarily a cross between Steve Cropper, Leo Nocentelli and Jeff Beck’s quieter moment (few as they are).

myspace.com/fourstones

myspace kills me but I can rationalize finally setting up a real page there because of what I said about the page and it’s relation to “Ridin the Faders 2″, the soon to be released Magnatune Remixed project:

About %5 of the proceeds for RTF2 album will go to me, the rest goes to Magnatune, the artists I sampled and my collaborators. This is how I want it and why I’m involved in the Magnatune Remixed project: to reward the business folks and artists who have acknowledged the new fundamental truth of the music industry that “giving away your music is good for your career.” I’m hoping that by setting up this myspace account I can help promote the project, sell lots more albums and support open musicians and businesses. That’s my agenda and I’m sticking to it.

Of all the screwed up things about the site (and here’s a groovy ASP.NET error I got today) it is ubiquitous and I’ve tried to make to best of it by requesting adds to some far flung personalities. Most folks associated with CC, Magnatune and ccMixter have been quick to acknowledge me as a ‘friend’ and I’m starting to realize the proper space-iquette is to ack-back with a “thank you” message. Sorry didn’t mean to be rude about it, I’ll be getting to that soon enough.

Meanwhile, here’s a short list of some of that folks that have not replied to my requests:

Mick Jagger
Richard Dawkins [UPDATE: It's an add! ;)]
Paul (he’s dead to me now)
Food (Kev)

here’s me: www.myspace.com/fourstones

winLAME

Because I have to rebuild a DAW from scratch I’m finding that I’m a tad behind on some of my utilities. There a new LAME encoder. I don’t install tools that aren’t truly useful just for the heck of it — your WAV to MP3 encoder really does make a difference and if you’re not using LAME then imho you’re not using the best one.

Since the last time I’ve checked winLAME has really come into it’s own. Until now I used a batch file on my desktop as a drop target for WAV files but I’m definitely going to start using winLAME for a while.