Tag Archives: MP3

Cellphones suck!

I confess. I’m a technophile. I like reading about new technologies and gadgets. Even better, I like owning new technologies and gadgets. And yet, I don’t have a cellphone of my own. I bought one for my wife but that was only because she was doing a lot of driving out into the boonies of Iowa as part of her degree program. The phone is a couple of years old now but I’m in no hurry to replace it. I’m in even less of a hurry to get one for myself.

Why? Because every cellphone I see out there sucks. The cellphone manufacturers are rushing to build in all sorts of extraneous functionality. This adds to the phone’s weight, size & complexity without providing any meaningful benefit.

Let’s look at a similar product for a moment, the iPod. In a field of hundreds, if not thousands, of MP3 players the iPod is the industry leader and it has the least functionality of the lot. While the other manufacturers have added FM tuners and recorders and god-only-knows what else; Apple has kept the iPod simple and it’s making them money hand over fist.

But what does the iPod have to do with cellphones? Besides that hideous ROKR thing? That’s simple, literally. By restricting the functionality of the device to the bare minimum, Apple gave consumers exactly what they wanted. While cellphone manufacturers keep throwing function after function into their phones in hopes that more people will plunk down $500 for their latest toy.

All those functions sound great, but really how many people actually use all of them? I cannot speak for everybody, but I would greatly appreciate a cellphone that simply promises:

  • Superior battery life
  • Excellent Reception
  • Easily fits in my pocket

However from all the adverts I see for cellphones; I have a feeling that is just too much to ask for. *sigh*

amaroK & Magnatune

As has been noted on this blog multiple times, I use Linux. Specifically, I use SuSE Linux. For my desktop environment, I use KDE. There are several music players available for KDE but the one that is far & away the best is amaroK. It’s got some great organizational tools, a cover manager and can even copy songs to your iPod. It rocks and if you listen to music under Linux; you’re missing out if you’re still using XMMS.

Another thing I like is Magnatune. This is a website that allows you to listen to MP3s of all the albums they offer for sale as CDs, plus they let you podcast with their music without paying for some ridiculous license. They’ve got a wide selection of music (e.g. blues, ambient, rock, medieval, etc…) and when I’m looking for something new to listen to; they’re the first place I go.

In fact tonight, I started poking around their site for some new music when I ran across this post on their founder’s blog:

A few months ago, the developers of amaroK (the amazingly gorgeous music player for Linux and Unix, that really does give iTunes a run for its money) asked me about Magnatune cooperating on their new release of their version 1.3. Their idea was to make a self-booting linux image, that boots into a linux desktop, with amaroK running and some Magnatune music included.

It’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, they’re getting peanut butter (Magnatunes) mixed in with my chocolate (amaroK)! Nice move people! 😀

Review: Carbon Leaf

Not that long ago, I noticed that Amazon.com has free MP3s for download. These MP3s aren’t from any bands that I’d heard of before but free is free, right? So I started downloading song after song looking for something new to listen to and while browsing around I ran across a band called Carbon Leaf. I found them to have a nice, clean sound. By that I mean, the temp of most their songs seems to be upbeat and the lead singer actually sings vs. yelling along to the music (which I’ve found to be the case with much of the free music on Amazon). As an extra bonus to liking the band, they’ve got the entire contents of 2 of their albums up as free downloads1 and if you visit their website; there’s selected tracks off of all their other albums available as MP3s! I would not hesitate to recommend this band to anybody who likes soft/pop-like rock. 🙂

1 Those 2 albums would be “Ether-Electrified Porch Music” and “Echo Echo“.

iPhpodder

Spiffy! iPeter’s Blog is a new blog by a guy who developed a script for Windows users of iTunes to automagically pull in MP3s from various music blogs via their RSS feeds. Kudos to the Inquirer for the link.

Note to Self: Set this up as soon as you get home!

2004-09-03, 09:18 (GMT: -06:00): I tried this script out last night and it works great! Now, I just need to go back and find more RSS feeds for music/audioblogs worth listening to.

Dratted iTunes (Part 2)

I started trying to backup all my music from my iPod to DVD-Rs last night and K3B said it successfully burned all the files straight from the iPod to disc, but upon looking at the disc; it was obviously a bad burn (only the center of the disc had “grooves”). I was busy with other things and didn’t get a chance to work on this any further than that last night.

Today while I was home for lunch, I tried playing around with iTunes & the iPod under Windows some more; it’s free single Tuesday, after all! Initially I didn’t have much luck but I did some more searching online and found more suggestions. Most of them didn’t look very helpful or promising, but one said to drop the iPod into the dock, disconnect the dock from the computer and reconnect it.

For whatever reason, that worked! Yeah baby! I got the new free single and a bunch of MP3s I downloaded the other day; so now I’m good to go with additional music. *joy* 🙂

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