Archive for the 'Music' Category

Get Your Guns N’ Roses Greatest Hits Album for 25 Cents

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

MusicDon’t know how long this offer will last, but Amazon is selling the MP3 version of the Guns N’ Roses Greatest Hits album for a mere 25 cents.

Thanks to Pam Cooper for this topic.

Update: Unfortunately the offer is no longer valid—the album is back to its regular price.


Say Hello To The Amazon Cloud Drive and Cloud Player

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

The CloudI went to the other day and noticed a front-page announcement about two new services. The first is the Amazon Cloud Drive, an online storage system with 5GB of free storage and the ability to pay for additional space. There are lots of online storage sites, however, and what makes this one different is how Amazon has integrated it with their MP3 store. In addition to the Cloud Drive, there’s also the Amazon Cloud Player, an online music player that works on any Mac, PC, or Android device. It’s tightly integrated with the Cloud Drive—music files stored in your Cloud Drive are available to the Cloud Player. Music purchases from the Amazon MP3 Store can be automatically uploaded to the Cloud Drive, and they don’t count against the 5GB limit.

I like the Cloud Drive because, unlike other free file storage sites, this one probably won’t go out of business. And Amazon has hit on a good concept, allowing you to store your music in a central location that’s accessible from anywhere on the internet. I make a habit of purchasing music from the Amazon MP3 Store whenever possible, so this is pretty useful. No longer is there the possibility of losing my entire music collection because a hard drive fails.

There are, however, a couple downsides. First, the only mobile devices that are truly supported are Android devices. The Cloud player is not “optimized” for iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, and Windows 7 phones. I guess that means you could play the music via a supported browser on those devices, but that it wouldn’t work very well. Second, only MP3 and non-copy protected AAC (iTunes Store) formats are supported by the music player. For those with an older, extensive library from the iTunes Store, this may not be the best way to go (or at least consider upgrading your library to iTunes Plus).

I’m using the Cloud Player right now, and it’s working quite well. No skips or stutters. One final note, I manually uploaded my music library which was a lengthy process. Turns out there’s an MP3 uploader program that makes the initial upload much easier.

Goodbye Walkman, We Hardly Knew You

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

WalkmanSony is discontinuing sales of the cassette Walkman, 31 years after its initial release. For those of us old enough to remember, it was a revolutionary product that ushered in the era of the personal stereo. iPods and such are now taken for granted, but the Walkman was the precursor of them all.

(via Neatorama)

The Singing Abilities of Heavy-Metal Vocalists

Monday, October 25th, 2010

MusicClaudia Friedlander is a classically-trained voice teacher who’s had almost zero exposure to heavy metal music. With this in mind she was asked to rate the singing abilities of five male heavy-metal vocalists, including Ronnie James Dio and Ozzy Osbourne. Much to my surprise, she gave high marks to most of them. These guys actually have talent.

(via Neatorama)

Make Copies of Your Vinyl Records

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Silicone CastingHave an old record collection that you’re afraid to play because they wear down over time? This article gives step-by-step instructions on how to inexpensively create playable copies of your records. That way you can keep the master copies safe and pristine but still play the music all you want.

(via Lifehacker)

Free Music From Amazon — Act Now

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

MusicAmazon has a free promotional code for MP3 downloads, worth $3.00 (essentially three songs). There are no limitations on which songs you can choose, but the code is only valid through November 30th—so use it or lose it.

(via Lifehacker)

iPod vs. Original Walkman

Friday, July 17th, 2009

MusicA 13-year old boy gave up his iPod for a week and used an old Sony Walkman instead. It took him 3 days to realize there was a flip side to the cassette tape. (I once owned the same Walkman model that he used.) His reactions are quite interesting and show how far we’ve come in the area of portable music. On another note, the Walkman was recently named as the top music invention in the last 50 years.

(via Slashdot)

iTunes Drops Copy Protection, Changes Prices

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

AppleBuying music from the iTunes Store has taken a turn for the better. First, all songs will be DRM-free. Existing libraries can be upgraded for 30¢ per song. The music files will still be in Apple’s AAC format but can be converted to MP3 by right-clicking on the song in iTunes. Second, there’s a new pricing system, with three price points: 69¢, 99¢, and $1.29. I’m assuming that popular new releases will be the highest, while older, library songs will be the lowest. The majority of songs are DRM-free right now, with the remainder switching over by the end of March. The new pricing scheme will take effect in April.

(via Lifehacker)

Atlantic Records: Digital Sales Overtake CD Sales

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

MusicAtlantic Records is the first major music label to have more than half of its revenue come from digital sales (e.g., iTunes, mp3s, ring tones, etc.).

(via Slashdot)

“A Hard Day’s Night” Chord is Unraveled

Monday, November 17th, 2008

MusicFor years, musicians have been trying to duplicate the initial guitar chord of the Beatles’ song, “A Hard Day’s Night” (listen here). Turns out that it’s not possible to do this using only guitars, because the chord includes a note from a piano. I found it funny that the mathematical operation mentioned in the article—a Fourier transform—is something every engineering student learns about in his/her first year or two of college.

(via digg)

Why Music DRM Doesn’t Work, Except For Apple

Monday, September 29th, 2008

MusicThe general consumer probably doesn’t know that sellers of DRM-protected music have to actively maintain DRM management servers for the rest of eternity or else the digital music files will become unplayable. When a seller decides to leave the business, it’s not very long before executives wonder if running expensive DRM servers is really going to enhance shareholder value, especially since the servers no longer have any effect on revenue.

Let me share my own experience. About a decade ago, I purchased a nifty program named MusicMatch Jukebox. I mainly used it to rip or burn CDs. But it also had a music player and, rather than having one program to rip CDs and one to listen to the music, I just used MusicMatch for both. Over the years, MusicMatch started selling music via its player, and I eventually started buying tracks. Sure I was constrained to one music player and a few portable music devices, but I typically listen to songs via my computer. In all I bought about 50 songs. Then in 2007, MusicMatch was purchased by Yahoo!, and I was forced to migrate to the Yahoo! music player in order to listen to my songs. I didn’t like Yahoo’s player, and I finally decided to cut my losses and start over with iTunes (I’d had a hard-drive crash and bought an iPod in the interim). The story ended there for me, but it continued for others. Earlier this year, Yahoo! Music announced its decision to shut down its DRM servers, effective tomorrow. Songs purchased from MusicMatch will still play, but they cannot be transferred to other computers or devices, and they won’t survive a Windows install. So at some point they will become unplayable. [See update at end of article.] The recommended method of keeping protected songs is to burn them to CD and then re-rip them as mp3 files. But if you do this, you’re taking a song that has already lost some of its quality due to compression and then losing even more quality by re-compressing it. This is not a satisfactory solution.

Here is what I do. When I want to purchase a music track, I first go to Amazon sells non-protected songs for about a dollar apiece. If I can’t find it there, I go to the iTunes store. I cannot conceive that Apple will ever shut down its DRM management system, because it’s sold billions of songs. Should Apple attempt to do such a thing, the customer outrage would be of epic proportions. Sure, it restricts me to the iTunes player and iPods/iPhones, but I’m okay with that.


Update: Apparently I missed an update in regards to the Yahoo! shutdown. After an angry customer response, Yahoo! offered coupons for DRM-less mp3 downloads.

Update #2: Walmart has changed its mind. Also, xkcd has published a comic that explains the situation.

Cows With Guns

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

CowThis Flash video is hilarious. The song is for real. It’s “Cows With Guns” by Dana Lyons. It can be purchased from iTunes or via the artist’s website.