Category Archives: Music

Good read…

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone. For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem […]

via It’s not what you think — The First Ten Words by Rich Larson


My YouTube Favorites

These are some of the YouTube videos I’ve collected as favorites:

“Liked” items:


Trampled Under Foot:



14 Insanely Great Bruce Springsteen Songs You’ve Never Heard:

Tommy Bolin:

Tagged , , ,

iTunes Store features new Mastered for iTunes section

Mastered for iTunesAlthough Apple only sells music through the iTunes Store in the 256 kbps AAC format known as “iTunes Plus”—throwing away 97% of a recording’s original data in favor of smaller file sizes—the company is attempting to show off its “higher quality” selections with a new Mastered for iTunes section in the iTunes Store. Songs from within this section are processed using tools and guidelines that attempt to maintain as much of the original sound quality as possible, while still cutting off that 97% of data.

This is all done by downsampling the original recording from 24-bit samples at 96 or 192 kHz (depending on a system’s processing power and available storage space) to 44.1 kHz using a 32-bit floating-point intermediary file, which is then converted to the AAC iTunes Plus file. Performing this process apparently uses every bit of resolution available, keeping the dynamic range of the original recording in tact. This highly impacts the overall sound of a compressed track purchased from the iTunes Store, making it sound as though it’s of much higher quality than it actually is.

You can read more about the technology behind mastering at Apples’ new Mastered for iTunes web page, and you can check out tracks that make use of this technology in the new Mastered for iTunes section of the iTunes Store.

Via [TUAW]

from AppleTell


Music For The Masses: Budget Earphone Shootout [Review, Shootout]

There are those faithful who will never surrender their little white Apple earbuds. To them we say: Wear proudly. But for the rest, for those who don’t want to deal with sub-par sound, earbuds flopping around and having to hunt for foam covers, come with us — and we’ll show you a world of possibilities.

Of the five sets in our shootout, four are canalphones that fit in the ear canal — which right off the bat means they’ll do a significantly better job of staying in your ears than ordinary earbuds (like Apple’s); they’ll also seal out some of the ambient noise around you. The fifth set, the Urbanears Medis, is technically an earbud but employs a unique method of staying put. All beat the Apple buds for sound.


1. MEElectronics SP51 ($60)

The SP51 is the chameleon of the group — its sound signature is customizable via three sets of metal caps that screw into the rear of each earpiece; sounds like schtick, but it really worked. Each set is ported to provide a different sound: The smoke-colored set delivers a bassy tone, the black are extra bassy and the silver are the most neutral of the bunch.

Fit was good, and sound quality tied with the UE350s for best-in-show. But those little caps are easy to lose (we lost two during testing) and costly to replace at $25 per complete set. That, a slightly higher price and no mic or controls (the SP51P adds both for an extra $10) knock the SP51s down a notch.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


2. Skullcandy Fix In-Ear ($70)

These obviously weren’t designed for the faint of heart. The in-your-face blood-red housings, omnipresent skull emblem and faux carbon-fiber case scream to be worn by adrenaline junkies (or the fashion-bereft, depending on your point of view).

Skullcandy’s claim that the Fix was designed to stay put through crazy skateboard stunts was accurate; considering how comfortable they were, the set was surprisingly difficult to dislodge. Sound matched everything else about the Fix: It oozed bass and attitude, but was harsh with more delicate music. The swashbuckling set likely to pop for these should find the balance appealing. And yeah, they’re the most expensive of the bunch, but they’re also one of only two here with mic, playback/phone *and* volume controls.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


3. Incase Capsule ($50)

Like the Fix, the Capsule comes with a full control suite: microphone, call/playback and volume. Unlike the Fix, the Caspule is cute, and won’t make others think you regularly chug a case of Mountain Dew for breakfast. It’s also $20 less, and surprisingly, the bassiest of the bunch. Unfortunately, that bass comes at the expense of clarity — this set was slightly more muddy than even the Fix. Still, fantastic controls, comfortable eartips, tangle-free cables and a killer price makes this set a great all-rounder — especially for bass-lovers.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


4. Ultimate Ears 350 ($50)

This is the stop for audiophiles on a budget. The UE350s tied with the SP51s for best sound — in this case, clear and vibrant, with a bias toward bass. No, you’re not going to get the amazing clarity or balance of, say, the armature-powered, $120 UE 600vi — but the 350′s sound is very difficult to beat at this price. The tradeoff: a lack microphone or controls (the 350vi ads them for $10 more).

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


5. Urbanears Medis ($50)

The Medis uses a unique system of interchangeable rubber bumpers that, with the right fit, wedge the earpieces in the ear. The speakers sit prety much where buds would in the ear; but the wedged fit is extremely effective at keeping them from slipping out — They’re not going anywhere.

I’ve read reviews around the web that claim mediocre sound; odd, because the set’s meaty drivers deliver the goods, both in bass and clarity (though they’re sensitive to placement, which could account for the discrepancy). They don’t perform as well as canalphones; on the plus side, they won’t isolate the user from the environment, or unnerve those who don’t like shoving foreign objects into their ear canals.

A microphone, call/playback controls (no volume controls) and a tangle-free cord make the Medis even more user-friendly. Finally, the Medis comes in more vibrant colors than an acid trip — but no case to protect that retina-burning exterior.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


The Urbanears Medis and its complement of rubber bumpers.

Clockwise from top left: Control surfaces for the Fix, Medis and Capsule.

Clockwise from top left: Cases for the SP51, Fix, 350 and Caspule.

Similar Posts:

from Cult of Mac

Tagged , ,

Apple’s ALAC codec is now open source

Apple’s ALAC codec is now open source

Apple Lossless, also known as ALAC, is a lossless audio codec Apple developed some time ago for digital music. The codec compresses music files anywhere from 40-60 percent of their original size with no discernible loss in audio quality or fidelity. “A decoded ALAC stream is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file,” according to its description. iTunes on the Mac and virtually all of Apple’s portable devices support the codec, and it’s been my personal format of choice when ripping songs from a CD source.

The big news today is that ALAC is now open source. “Apple Lossless Audio Codec sources are available under the Apache license,” according to Mac OS Forge, and the project “contains the sources for the ALAC encoder and decoder.”

The project also includes alacconvert, a command line utility that can read and write audio data to and from Core Audio Format (CAF) and WAVE files. “A description of a ‘magic cookie’ for use with files based on the ISO base media file format (e.g. MP4 and M4A) is included as well,” Mac OS forge says.

Open sourcing ALAC may or may not lead to more widespread adoption of the codec, but for purely selfish reasons I hope it does. While FLAC fulfills many of the same functions as Apple’s in-house lossless codec, it has no support on iOS devices, and re-encoding FLAC files into something that iTunes won’t choke on has always been a pet peeve of mine. If more people begin adopting ALAC instead of FLAC, it’ll make life a lot easier for audiophiles.

[via Vincent Gable/twitter]

Apple’s ALAC codec is now open source originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Source | Permalink | Email this | Comments

from TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Tagged , ,

Finally, real air guitar for your iPad

The App Store has no shortage of music-creation apps that let you play virtual instruments, beginning with Apple’s excellent GarageBand for iPad which supports Mac projects and AirPlay technology. But if you really want to impress your friends, here’s a $2 download that taps iPad 2′s built-in FaceTime camera and clever programming to actually track the movement of your hands and reproduce guitar sounds as if you were playing the strings for real.

You can pick among several guitars, use effect pedals and even fret chords with your left hand. It’s the closest thing to the air guitar gimmickry – heck, it’s even better than the real thing. We’ve seen creative uses of iPad 2′s front-facing camera before, but nothing like the GhostGuitar app. Here’s to the hoping that developers will focus more on developing Kinect-like apps for Apple’s tablet.

via Ars Technica

from 9to5Mac


I wish I could write code…

What a brilliant idea!

Tagged , ,