I use Google Play occasionally - it syncs well from no matter where I get my music (Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Bandcamp, etc.), and I can stream it from my work computer without effort. That said, I'm not sure I'll pay the 9.99/month they're asking for their new streaming/radio service (h/t to Lifehacker). It sounds like it has a decent radio and discovery service, but honestly - I've got a TON of music uploaded to Google Play already, and I still find myself happening across albums I bought and promptly forgot or haven't spent enough time with. Music just isn't water to me yet, I guess. The redesign itself looks good, and the service stopped randomly creating playlists off of random tracks, which is a bonus. So thanks for that - but I'm not subscribing.
Currently missing the boat on Audiobus 'cause my iOS devices are too old (time for new stuff, I know - gimme a minute), but here comes news that popular open source audio/MIDI linker JACK is on iOS now.
And it handles MIDI and audio and more here, too.
And it's free.
And it works on my old devices.
Oh, this is good news. Can't wait to see what apps become compliant so very, very soon. The SDK implementation process looks super easy. And that's a good thing. Thanks for saving my old devices!
Oh, hi New Year. How ya doin'? More on bass later - I've assembled a decent looping rig and am working on stuff now. Like I said, more later
TechCrunch announced Amazon's AutoRip service today, basically giving you a central storage area for all the songs you ever purchased in any form from Amazon. That means you can now store your music collection in one of three central areas - Apple servers (for a fee with Match), Google (free for their purchases, to a limit for everything else), and Amazon (basically stuff you bought from them).
Meaning that media matters little anymore. Doesn't matter how you bought it, these three will make it convenient for you to get.
Why? Because they want you to buy from them in the future. They want their place to be instinctual for you to visit and to purchase from.
Seems nice, but we've seen people pull right back for this kind of media before (right, Amazon?). So I still plan on syncing my server to Google Play for mobile use that still leaves copies for my own personal satisfaction at home.
I'm more intrigued by seeing exactly what I've purchased from Amazon. And a little creeped that they remember better than I do.
The news that Sibelius software was in trouble following some moves by Avid was troubling enough. The fact that the founders weren't allowed to buy it back even after shuttering the offices and apparently stopping focused development is even worse. This software represents the pinnacle of notation software right now, and to see it treated like this appalls me. Hopefully something can be worked out soon, but I'm afraid we won't be able to access updates to this resource for very long.
You can't open a browser window anymore without hearing of new music-making applications on iOS (at least I can't, thanks to my Google home page), so it's a little puzzling to see Microsoft take a sharp turn away from supporting that kind of innovation on their own mobile operating system. My friend Matt Fecher first alerted me to this knowledge, and this article only confirms the stark future:
- No low latency
- No plug-ins
- No external hardware support
To be fair, Windows 8 on a standard PC works just dandy for music, so have it, you developer-type folks. The benchmarks seem better than Windows 7, so that's great news. But given the options and possibilities available using mobile devices (and the opportunity for those who hate iOS to try something different), why cut off a segment of your audience?
Many months ago, I sold my Digitech Bass Whammy pedal to some lucky soul in Detroit. It was a cool effect, but I just didn't use it that much. I didn't really expect the effect to come back into my life (and that particular pedal hasn't - just the overall effect), but Reason's Polar has done just that. Check out the video to see exactly what's going on there. And that's why Rack Extensions make Reason so much more fantastic. It finally allows 3rd-party developers into Reason's walled garden, and I'm having loads of fun playing with what's now available. The best part is that, combined with my SoftStep, I have the Whammy effects back (without messing with a finicky pedal). So very cool.
Truth be told, I was a little ready to dismiss this streaming radio station as a great idea, just not my kind of thing. Acclaimed bassist Brian Bromberg started the channel as a showcase for bass-oriented music, and it does address that, to be sure. It's just that the first couple times I tuned in, the music was rather . . . smooth. The songs all featured famous bassists quite prominently, but there wasn't anything I felt particularly attached to. The third time I tuned in, though, I joined right in the middle of Willie Weeks' solo in Donny Hathaway's "Voices Inside (Everything is Everything). And it went from there into a great Esperanza Spalding track. So the station redeemed itself there, and I've been tuning in every so often since then with (for the most part) good results.
The franchise names are there, to be sure:
- Marcus Miller
- Ron Carter
- Victor Wooten
- Stanley Clarke
- Bootsy Collins
But there's been plenty of stalwarts you wouldn't hear on a . . . smooth station as well.
- Damien Erskine
- Adam Nitti
- Yves Carbonne
And they've got a Bryan Beller track playing right now, in fact. No real shows to speak of, just wall-to-wall music with a Sunday feature on classical bassists (just like terrestrial radio putting their "public service" programming on Sunday?). So I'm happy to call this a decent resource (especially in the jazz and fusion genres, where bassists liked by bassists tend to live, I suppose). I'm not sure how much exposure this will give the artists on the channel to non-bassists, but for those of us who tend to be a little obsessive, it's great. Just remember that this is a stream, so there's no rewinding or downloads or anything like that. That said, no commercials, either.
EDIT: Just realized that I'd like to hear more stuff from artists like Matthew Garrison, Thundercat, as well as folks like Steve Lawson. I'm guessing the music is on the way, though, since this just started up.
If you saw me roaming around downtown Indianapolis or leaning over the railings near the White River with a portable audio recorder late last year, there was a very good reason for me to be doing so. I was recording background and foley sounds for Catherine Crouch's new short film A Pirate in Alphabet City. She was also gracious enough to use some incidental music I composed. Cast and crew got to see the final product last Sunday, and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. What surprised me was how much easier it is to put music in video than when I first started researching the subject years ago. No more messing with SMPTE code - just play along to the video (I did all of my work in Reason) and nudge the clips as necessary.
The movie should be hitting the festival circuit soon, and hopefully I'll get to do more work like this in the future.
The stuttering audio problems returned late last night, even despite the UC-33 being off and unplugged. Heck, they continued even after I removed ALL of the MIDI gear. So that's a problem. - until I noticed some nasty red flags on my user folders when I tried to save a track within Reason. Out of curiosity, I rebooted from the Lion Recovery disk and reset the user permissions of my recording account. The results? Not only did the audio NOT continue stuttering, but I was able to get my devices working. Via USB. Even the "officially" legacy Roland GI-20. Just a quick device creation in the Audio MIDI Setup utility, and it's performing as expected. The problem traces back to when I was messing about and moving my user profile as part of an attempt to Boot Camp Windows 8 on my new dual-drive Mac Mini (again, don't try it - doesn't work all that well in theory and not at all for me). So I'm up and running at full strength again and . . . recording a track my wife says sounds like Katy Perry. Perhaps I should not have been so effective in my troubleshooting efforts.
Another fun part of upgrading is seeing what devices still work with your new system. So far, my GI-20's USB capabilities are gone (it's officially not supported in Lion), and my UC-33 is stalling audio on my machine right now for some reason (tonight's troubleshooting includes testing USB cords, USB hubs, and working with the Mac's audio and MIDI settings to try and correct the situation). The device itself is class-compliant (i.e., the Mac should just accept it and move on), and I'm hoping to run the MIDI out on the GI-20 to the UC-33 MIDI in for usage that way. Did I think I'd have to ever daisy-chain MIDI devices together again? Nothing like new technology taking me back to the 90s! The M-Audio Duo seems to be working splendidly, though, so no need to work there. Thank goodness for small favors.