Back in the dark ages before Internet access, staying on top of the coolest new music required some work. You could read about new bands in magazines and newsletters--the more obscure the better--but most music fans had a few people they trusted to be their personal music experts. Record store clerks, friends in bands, and people in the local art scene all competed to be up on the latest new sounds coming out of Austin or Detroit or Seattle, and the rest of us reaped the benefits of this competition.
Yesterday, I blogged about how the forthcoming Droid won't be an iPhone killer because it lacks the simple sync interface provided by the iTunes desktop application. I neglected to mention an excellent application called DoubleTwist, which offers the easy sync experience of iTunes for a much wider variety of devices, including all the Android phones currently on the market, most BlackBerrys, Sony's PlayStation Portable, and a huge range of other non-Apple products--as well as the iPod and iPhone, if you're so inclined.
Most of the audio engineers I've met--both home and professional--are Mac people, and Avid's ProTools running on a Mac is often cited as the industry standard. But there are Windows loyalists out there.
In late 2007 I took an introductory audio production class taught by David Huber (who wrote one of the bibles on the subject, "Modern Recording Techniques") and Scott Colburn (who has produced albums by The Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, and Sun City Girls, among many others). Both of them used Nuendo from Steinberg (which is basically the upmarket version of Cubase) as their … Read more
Microsoft is banking on multitouch support as one selling point for Windows 7, and HP--traditionally a loyal supporter of Microsoft's consumer strategy--is helping the push by releasing an update to its TouchScreen PCs.
HP has worked with several partners to create touch-enabled versions of various consumer entertainment apps, including Hulu, Netflix, and Pandora Internet Radio, but hard-core music fans will probably be most interested in the touch-enabled version of Rhapsody.
Among the cool features: you'll be able to write the name of an artist directly on the screen, and Rhapsody will take you to that artist's page … Read more
Online music provider 7digital is bringing over-the-air music downloads to recent BlackBerry phones, such as the Storm, Bold, and Tour. The rumors have been circulating for several months now. On Tuesday the company is set to launch its application--developed by DevelopIQ--on the BlackBerry App World store, as well as on the 7digital Web site.
After installing the free app, BlackBerry users will be able to buy and download more than 6 million songs from all four major labels and all the big independents, all in unprotected MP3 format. The app adapts automatically to the speed of the user'… Read more
Teenage developer David Nelson has been busy since launching Muziic, which lets users access the millions of songs on YouTube from a convenient Windows desktop application that recalls iTunes. The fledgling company managed to gain approval from YouTube by changing the size of the video display and making other user interface changes. Since then, Nelson has been working on version 2.0 of the application, which became available Thursday.
The most notable features are the addition of some Internet radio stations organized by category, and the ability to play MP3 and Windows Media Audio files stored on your hard drive. (… Read more
As I noted in my previous post on subjective sound quality, I primarily listen to my portable music players in my car. It's a 2010 Prius, and Toyota cleverly designed it to support portable music--under the armrest between the front seats, there's a small plastic container that's the perfect size to hold an iPod or cell phone, and below that platform there's an auxiliary input and DC outlet (cigarette lighters are so 1973) to plug it into. (You can see the set-up in the third photo in the "interior" gallery here.)
There's only … Read more
So you finally got tired of faking it and bought a guitar. Congratulations! Now what do you do? Most beginners start with some basic lessons to learn how to hold the thing and finger some very simple chords. So far so good. Then they buy a tablature book, which shows you how to finger chords and scales. This is where a lot of would-be guitarists give up and decide they'll become lead singers instead.
If you're a musician looking for a cheap way to create wacked-out rhythm samples--or just an audio nut who wants a new toy on your iPhone--check out the new JR Hexatone Pro app for iPhone. Created by Amidio, the company behind the wicked-fun and surprisingly powerful StarGuitar app I tried earlier this year, Hexatone was coproduced with Jordan Rudess, who plays keyboards for prog-metal giants Dream Theater.
Like StarGuitar, it comes with a bunch of built-in samples, but it also lets you import your own. The trippy honeycomb pattern is basically a six-dimensional controller, letting you manipulate up to … Read more
It may be operating in a legal grey area, but Grooveshark is still my favorite on-demand music app--type in any song, artist, or album, and there's a pretty good chance that it's in Grooveshark's database, allowing you to begin playing it immediately. It's great not only for impulse listens, but also for creating playlists of songs you don't own and would never buy, like my favorite heavy metal hits from junior high school. So far, the lawsuit filed by EMI in May hasn't shut the site down or significantly decreased the number of songs … Read more