• 2:21 am, 18th September 2006
  • misc
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Links and things

  • 7:48 am, 15th September 2006
  • music
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On the playlist

Following Scheer and Hinterland, I have found another female-fronted-rock-band to sit on top of my playlist. The band in question are Howling Bells and their debut CD shares their name.

Howling Bells

The record was produced by the man at the controls for Coldplay, Ken Nelson. I’m not the biggest Coldplay fan but he has certainly done a good job. There are a couple of songs which share noises with Thom Yorke‘s The Eraser and Radiohead‘s Kid A. The end of Howling Bell’s opening track The Bell Hit fades in much the same way Atoms For Peace fades into And It Rained All Night on Thom Yorke’s record while Setting Sun shares a guitar riff with Kid A’s How To Disappear Completely. This is as much as the artists have in common but its not a bad place from which to be taking influence.

Overall Howling Bells is a punchy record with catchy songs which I for one have found very difficult to take off my playlist.

  • 2:47 am, 13th September 2006
  • misc, music
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Its Showtime

At least to a point. Apple’s September 12th announcements did not include the highly anticipated widescreen-touchscreen video iPod but as an owner of a now antique 3rd generation iPod, I was happy with some of the updates to iTunes.

iTunes

First of all, Apple must have paid the rights holders (likely to be everyone’s friends: the record companies) a large sum of money to allow users to download album art for ripped CDs. This accounts for the majority of the music in my library so I’m pretty happy. The album view is something I thought iTunes should have included a long time ago and its better late than never.

Another long-time-coming feature is gapless-playback on the iPod, again somthing many people have been crying out for. Sadly as my iPod is oooooh, 3 years old, Apple have stopped supporting it with software updates so I don’t get this luxury. I listen to a lot of DJ mixes from Global Underground and gapless playback (without having to copy a single AAC of the mix to my iPod) is the feature which will probably make me upgrade – more so than a nice colour screen.

May be I’m behind the times but my iPod came with a remote control (back in the day when Apple were more generous) which I use daily (to the point that I had to get a replacement – thanks Duncan!) We are constantly reminded that the personal video player revolution is about to take place but I haven’t seen it yet. The technology is almost there (I’m sure Steve Jobs is playing with it right now) but perhaps watching movies and tv shows is something we enjoy doing with others and not on the train with fellow commuters peering over your shoulder? I don’t enjoy making phone calls on the train so perhaps its just me.

  • 5:56 am, 7th September 2006
  • links
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Links and things

Numbers. numbers

I seem to have acquired an unhealthy infatuation with numbers. More specifically, numbers representing my experience in Xbox 360 gaming and the number of songs I’ve listened to and posted to Last.fm.

Sure, these numbers are simply a very quick representation of more significant information – which games I have played, to what level, how many people I’ve killed in multiplayer, my favourite albums, my favourite artist – but I find myself skewing the data they are attempting to represent by attempting to increase them.

Last FMLast.fm has a number of plug-ins and a more or less functional API which allows me to record my listening habits. Unfortunately these just don’t seem to work that well – especially recording my iPod listening – and I have felt it necessary to let iTunes sit playing to itself so my listening doesn’t go to waste. The aim of Last.fm is to provide a social network around listening habits and to suggest related artists. May be my infatuation is a good thing because the more information they have, the better my recommendations will be. I can keep telling myself that at least.

So this led me to think, do I want to listen to music if I’m not credited? I need a widget which posts songs to your Last.fm account as I listen to the radio….

GamercardMy desire to improve my Xbox Live Gamerscore has resulted in my joining SwapGame, a video game rental service. My intention is to rent games I can blast through and accrue some lovely Achievements. Most of the 10 day free trial ran out before I finally received my first rental but if I can get through a couple of games a month I think its easier and cheaper than buying games new and sticking them on eBay once I’m done with them. Perhaps I could work out how much my Achievements have cost me, that might put an end to my bad habit.

Last.fm

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