Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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A Sampling of Articles, Reviews, and Essays:

Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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THE DEEP FREEZE:
01/10/2005 / 01/12/2005 / 01/13/2005 / 01/14/2005 / 01/16/2005 / 01/17/2005 / 01/18/2005 / 01/21/2005 / 01/22/2005 / 01/23/2005 / 01/24/2005 / 01/25/2005 / 01/27/2005 / 01/28/2005 / 01/29/2005 / 01/30/2005 / 01/31/2005 / 02/01/2005 / 02/02/2005 / 02/03/2005 / 02/04/2005 / 02/05/2005 / 02/06/2005 / 02/08/2005 / 02/09/2005 / 02/10/2005 / 02/11/2005 / 02/13/2005 / 02/15/2005 / 02/16/2005 / 02/17/2005 / 02/20/2005 / 02/21/2005 / 02/22/2005 / 02/23/2005 / 02/24/2005 / 02/25/2005 / 02/26/2005 / 02/27/2005 / 02/28/2005 / 03/02/2005 / 03/03/2005 / 03/04/2005 / 03/06/2005 / 03/07/2005 / 03/08/2005 / 03/09/2005 / 03/10/2005 / 03/12/2005 / 03/13/2005 / 03/14/2005 / 03/15/2005 / 03/16/2005 / 03/17/2005 / 03/18/2005 / 03/20/2005 / 03/21/2005 / 03/22/2005 / 03/23/2005 / 03/25/2005 / 03/26/2005 / 03/28/2005 / 03/29/2005 / 03/30/2005 / 03/31/2005 / 04/01/2005 / 04/02/2005 / 04/04/2005 / 04/05/2005 / 04/07/2005 / 04/09/2005 / 04/10/2005 / 04/11/2005 / 04/12/2005 / 04/14/2005 / 04/15/2005 / 04/16/2005 / 04/17/2005 / 04/18/2005 / 04/19/2005 / 04/20/2005 / 04/22/2005 / 04/23/2005 / 04/24/2005 / 04/25/2005 / 04/26/2005 / 04/27/2005 / 04/28/2005 / 04/29/2005 / 05/01/2005 / 05/02/2005 / 05/03/2005 / 05/04/2005 / 05/06/2005 / 05/07/2005 / 05/08/2005 / 05/09/2005 / 05/10/2005 / 05/11/2005 / 05/13/2005 / 05/14/2005 / 05/15/2005 / 05/17/2005 / 05/18/2005 / 05/19/2005 / 05/20/2005 / 05/21/2005 / 05/22/2005 / 05/23/2005 / 05/25/2005 / 05/26/2005 / 05/27/2005 / 05/28/2005 / 05/29/2005 / 05/31/2005 / 06/01/2005 / 06/02/2005 / 06/03/2005 / 06/04/2005 / 06/05/2005 / 06/06/2005 / 06/07/2005 / 06/08/2005 / 06/10/2005 / 06/11/2005 / 06/12/2005 / 06/14/2005 / 06/15/2005 / 06/17/2005 / 06/18/2005 / 06/20/2005 / 06/22/2005 / 06/24/2005 / 06/25/2005 / 06/26/2005 / 06/27/2005 / 06/29/2005 / 07/01/2005 / 07/02/2005 / 07/04/2005 / 07/06/2005 / 07/07/2005 / 07/08/2005 / 07/09/2005 / 07/11/2005 / 07/13/2005 / 07/14/2005 / 07/15/2005 / 07/16/2005 / 07/18/2005 / 07/20/2005 / 07/22/2005 / 07/23/2005 / 07/25/2005 / 07/26/2005 / 07/27/2005 / 07/28/2005 / 07/30/2005 / 07/31/2005 / 08/01/2005 / 08/02/2005 / 08/03/2005 / 08/05/2005 / 08/07/2005 / 08/08/2005 / 08/11/2005 / 08/12/2005 / 08/13/2005 / 08/14/2005 / 08/15/2005 / 08/17/2005 / 08/18/2005 / 08/19/2005 / 08/20/2005 / 08/21/2005 / 08/23/2005 / 08/24/2005 / 08/25/2005 / 08/26/2005 / 08/27/2005 / 08/28/2005 / 08/29/2005 / 08/30/2005 / 08/31/2005 / 09/01/2005 / 09/02/2005 / 09/04/2005 / 09/05/2005 / 09/07/2005 / 09/09/2005 / 09/10/2005 / 09/16/2005 / 09/17/2005 / 09/18/2005 / 09/20/2005 / 09/21/2005 / 09/23/2005 / 09/25/2005 / 09/26/2005 / 09/27/2005 / 10/01/2005 / 10/05/2005 / 10/08/2005 / 10/09/2005 / 10/11/2005 / 10/13/2005 / 10/15/2005 / 10/17/2005 / 10/20/2005 / 10/21/2005 / 10/28/2005 / 10/30/2005 / 11/01/2005 / 11/05/2005 / 11/12/2005 / 11/13/2005 / 11/15/2005 / 11/16/2005 / 11/18/2005 / 11/20/2005 / 11/23/2005 / 11/27/2005 / 12/02/2005 / 12/05/2005 / 12/09/2005 / 12/10/2005 / 12/11/2005 / 12/14/2005 / 12/17/2005 / 12/21/2005 / 12/27/2005 / 12/29/2005 / 12/30/2005 / 01/05/2006 / 01/07/2006 / 01/13/2006 / 01/16/2006 / 01/21/2006 / 02/02/2006 / 02/05/2006 / 02/17/2006 / 02/22/2006 / 04/01/2006 / 04/02/2006 / 04/05/2006 / 04/12/2006 / 04/13/2006 / 04/16/2006 / 04/19/2006 / 04/22/2006 / 04/23/2006 / 05/21/2006 / 05/28/2006 / 05/29/2006 /

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
 

Moral Kiosk

Now we need to think about the record companies. The ones who brought us Glenn Miller and Elvis, the ones who introduced the Beatles and the Stones, the ones who presented us with concepts and gatefolds.

Let us think of those record companies who toiled in independant limbo, the ones who were curators of the legacy, the offical word, the providers of highs, the abetters of seductions.

Let us pity them as the register bell slows, as Britney Spears vanishes into the hype, as downloaders leech them of their summer homes.

Sad sacks.

I think of lunch money spent on vinyl, wages spent on CD's, close to $40,000 over the years, not accounting for inflation. I think of my beloved but obsolete vinyls going for pennies on the dollar at the used shop, shortly before it went out of business. I think of the compact discs, pressed for 6 cents apiece and retailing for $20.

I dream of Eric Clapton, sitting in a penthouse somewhere, his son weeping tears in heaven. Richer than God, and not half the player. I worry for Jack Bruce, does he have clean socks, are there holes in his shoes?

Is file sharing mp3's illegal? So far it is, although I'd like to hear it from the highest court in the land, because I don't see how one can claim ownership and domain over a low-fi series of 0's and 1's on a hard drive.

We went through all this with cassette tapes back in the 1980's, when Britney was still an accident waiting to happen.

Is file sharing immoral? Since when was 'moral' part of the record company lexicon? But $40,000 ought to go a long way towards buying a lifetime pass.

What is killing the record companies? Same thing killing sports. Unrealistic amounts of money spent promoting an increasingly bland and not well played product.

It ain't me, babe. It ain't me you're looking for babe.
 
 

Technical Ecstasy

Black Sabbath: Technical Ecstasy (1976)


Here's the technical set-up.

I'm a medium-tech type of guy; I don't need the best, fastest, or most powerful, but I don't like junk either. If I were buying a car, I'd probably look at a Nissan Maxima. Not quite an Infiniti, but better than a Sentra.

I have a cheap emachines running Windows XP. I have a 120G hard-drive, of which 60G are music files. (About 17,000 titles at present). The files are all mp3 or wma.

I was using Windows Media Player 10, but like anything you get from Microsoft, it does the job but without pizzazz. So I switched to J. River Media Center (http://www.musicex.com/mediacenter/index.html). It isn't free; $24.98 after a 30-day trial, but well worth it.

The selling point for me was the ability to view visualizations/light show and album cover art simultaneously in full-screen mode, something Windows Media can't do. Plus, everything that is an add-on in Windows Media: label printers, tempo analysis, smart playlists, playlist exporter, etc. are all built in to Media Center.

If you can't spring for it though, Windows Media Player 10 is good enough.

For downloading, I am partial to Limewire. There's a free and pro version (I got the pro, but it doesn't seem any different from the freebie), it does not come bundled with spyware/adware (anymore-- older versions did), and I've found literally every song I ever wanted except for about two dozen, all out of print.

Others swear by the competitors, like Kazaa, Morpheus, eMule. I've looked over the big ones, and always go back to Limewire.

For speakers, I have a $99 set of Altec Lansing 6-way, from Best Buy.

For music research, finding albums, track listings, etc., All Music Guide cannot be beat. It has everything, in all genres, very complete. You can search artists by genre or subgenre, influences, mood, anything.

When searching for album art for the Media Center display that isn't automatically uploaded by Media Center itself (usually because it is too obscure, out of print, or a bootleg), I use trusty old Amazon. For the really rare stuff, you can usually find pics at ebay. And when all else fails, fansite or artist homepages are good places to look. In the case of live or bootleg tracks with no cover at all, I'll use a tour poster picture from ebay.

The most intense visualization plug-in I've found is G-Force (http://jriver.soundspectrum.com/) from Soundspectrum, which blows away any built-in visualizations on any player.

Those are the basic tools of the hobby. More later.