Monday, December 31, 2012

audio - analog vs digital

every picture tells a story,
and these photographs
are no exception.

it's a story about women
and men, and the difference
between them.

do you see it?

the difference is this:

nine times out of ten,
women don't put records back
in their jackets.
men do.

don't think that's important?


nowadays, albums are rare
and MP3s don't need to be
put back anywhere.

of course, the photo ops
for MP3s aren't much.


iPod uPod wePod yPod

Remember when iPods first came out?

It was like one night you went to sleep and everything
was more or less normal, and when you
woke up
the next day
, every flat surface in the city
was covered with these things....

The Trend iPod Built - The iPod Silhouette

The famous commercial for the iPod began with a person
dancing, in shadow, against a brilliant colored background.
The silhouette boogied to music while holding an iPod and
listening to the tunes through the iconic earbuds, which
appeared in white on the ads, so they stood out from the
dancer and the background. The sight became so common
that it soon had its own name: The Silhouette.

December 1, 2005
How much do all those iPod commercials cost?

It's a bundle. Apple Computer spent $287 million
on advertising in its last fiscal year, up nearly 40
percent from the $206 million it spent a year earlier.
And the company spent $193 million in the year before
that, according to its annual report, filed Thursday
with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

... from Steve Jobs' biography

"I had this crazy idea that we could sell just as many Macs
by advertising the iPod. In addition, the iPod would position
Apple as evoking innovation and youth. So I moved $75
million of advertising money to the iPod, even though
the category didn't justify one hundreth of that.

That meant that we completely dominated the market
for music players. We outspent everybody by a factor
of about a hundred."

Apple's Iconic Ads

From its groundbreaking Super Bowl spot in 1984
to the iconic "silhouette" iPod ads, the company has
developed a knack for keeping its finger on the pulse
of what's interesting, quirky and cool.

"The quality of Apple's advertising is consistently above
average," said Allen Adamson, managing director of the
New York offices of brand consultancy Landor Associates.
"And more often than not, it's world class."

Apple's ads are powerful in part because they all
reinforce the same branding message. Apple prides itself
on appealing to the discerning customer, the person who,
as one slogan famously had it, thought differently. And
that message--of creativity, counterculture and good
taste--is one that Apple has portrayed consistently
in its advertising for the past 30 years.

the iPod is still useful to Apple... it serves as a gateway
to its brand, and more importantly, its ecosystem
of products.

Crupnick and NPD have found that the iPod and iPod
Touch are far more popular among children 14 and younger
than the iPhone, iPad or Android smartphones.

In total, about 28% of U.S. households surveyed by NPD
say their children use iPods and iPod Touches regularly,
compared to 7.4% for iPhone and 7.5% for iPad. The iPod
Touch is particularly popular among those at the upper
end of that age bracket.

Not everyone liked the Ipod or how successful the ad
campaign was, especially in those key demographics.
According to the music industry, every time someone
bought an iPod, somewhere a fairy got its wings
ripped out with a vise-grips.

"Apple's "biggest" iPod holds 40,000 songs. Assuming one
bought them all, that's about $40,000. Teenagers (and
many who once were) all over the world are walking
around with the equivalent of a stolen Lexus in their
pockets** (because really, who has $40 grand to spend
on music?).

Do you think that's right?
Do you think we should ignore that?
Do you think we should blame car dealers
if they or their trade association tried to stop that?"

**Thunderbolt and lightning - very very frightening!

Apple’s New ‘Music’ App Replaces ‘iPod’
… and Deletes Music?

After our arduous iOS 5 upgrade, during which our iPhone
was bricked we noticed that Apple’s deletion of the word
“iPod” from the iPhone was accompanied by another,
more confusing deletion: of our music.

I can’t remember how many songs were stored
on my iPhone, but with this update to iOS 5,
they’re deleted (see screenshot to the right),
even after all of the syncing I’ve done –
which was a lot.

Apple managed to restore my apps even after
my iPhone was unable to boot up for hours
yesterday afternoon… so why not the music?

This will likely remain a mystery, because it’s
notoriously difficult to receive answers from Apple
about this sort of thing. But we noticed it, so there it is:
The iOS 5 update deletes music, or at least it did in
our case, and we don’t know why.

Apple running embedded exploding,
bouncing iPod ads on websites

Apple recently debuted a TV ad for the iPod that is
now hitting websites, according to a report in 9to5 Mac.
The embedded web ad features a bunch of iPods bouncing
and exploding all over your screen with the very catchy
tune "Yeah Yeah" from Willy Moon.

The ad was spotted on indie music review site,
which has run custom Apple ads in the past.

the Scots, of course, always
have to go their own way...

How to Remove or Block iAd advertisements
from iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch Apps

iAd gives brands what they’ve been waiting for:
Access to the global audience of iPhone and iPod
touch users. Enhanced Targeting. Premium creative.
Robust measurement.

Companies love advertising methods to promote
their businesses, but end users sometimes find it
annoying. Since Apple has included iAd in the iOS,
users have been searching for a solution to
block these ads.

iAd Advertisements appearing in iPhone apps are
indeed very annoying. Disabling or removing the iAd
in iPhone or iPod Touch apps is very easy. Yllier the
developer of Firewall IP has created a tweak that
removes the Apple iAd advertisement from the
Jailbroken iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Just follow the instructions to disable iAds from applications.


Whose music is it, anyway?

It's been 20 years since a wise
old poet/printer/street musician named
Tim Lander and I sat one misty night
in the MacDonalds on Granville Street,
and he told me it was his sense that human beings needed music
in a very powerful way...

...and that given how many terrible things seem to be happening
all the time these days, music was the only thing holding
us together. and getting us to the next morning.

I remember his words because every day since that night,
they have rung more and more true.

Music seems to be everywhere these days. Sometimes, it's
the Clash or the Cars as muzak, trying to
fill the emptiness
in the aisles at the supermarket and echoing down the canyons
at the mall. It's throbbing out of cars, so loud it seems surreal.

There's music in all those earbuds running up from Ipods
and cel phones on the bus, on the street, on the plane -
music as a wall, a separator trying to create some semblance
of personal space where none exists,
trying to keep reality
just far enough away to feel safe for a minute or two...

Music is amazing. It may be
the most beautiful thing we
have created as a species.

When we celebrate life, we do it to music. When we bury
our dead, music walks with us. When we think no one can
understand how we feel, music reassures us someone does
(or did). When we want to dance, music says "Yeah!".

It's power to soothe, pleasure, define, inspire, communicate
and motivate us rivals that of food, sex and creation stories,
and like these other fundamentals, it is a commonality
among human communities.

All god's children make music
and listen to music. Music has
been an open source project
for thousands of years.

Generation upon generation of musicians, composers and listeners have listened,
learned, created, taught and otherwise contributed to the creation of a universe of sounds, traditions, styles,
theories and possibilities.

Every day of the way, musicians have been traveling,
playing, listening and copping licks, hooks, melodies
and verses from each other and taking them another
heartbeat further.


We live in a time when it's possible to access music-
both in live performance and recordings - from all over
the world. We can listen back to recordings more than 100
years old. The music we hear today is the source code
for the music of tomorrow.

Music is a heritage we all -
everyone of us - have created
together, had our fun with
and in our turn, welcomed new
generations into that unbroken circle...

They are
the first to have grown up
immersed in a truly global listening experience -
the most sophisticated musicians and listeners in human history. The music their children
will make is beyond our imagining.

So who does music belong to?

I think it belongs to all of us...
but I don't think any of us own it.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

the Bagpipes

the bagpipes...
   are they really
     the duckbill platypus
        of music?

the historical evidence inclines us to the affirmative...

oh yeah? what about the banjo?


Friday, December 28, 2012

Lost Acoustics - an intro

One of the best things about not being in the music business
anymore is the chance to really listen to music again.

I appreciate this might sound a little strange,
but it's true.

As a music professional, it was generally expected that I should be some kind of current in a dozen or so fashionable genres at any given time.
Agents and 'artists' expected me to respond literately
to their questions in regard to whatever product they had
sent, and to lie convincingly about how brilliant it was
and how deeply I had been moved by it.
I had to listen to a lot of music whether I was interested in it or not.

This meant almost all the listening hours in my day - or week or month or year - were first and foremost about "work music", and less and less about music I already liked every year.

Now that I'm not a music professional, I only listen to music for pleasure... and what a pleasure it is!

In all of this orgy of aural duty and pleasure, one of the things I've become very aware of is the devolution of the acoustic landscape.

Listening to contemporary music, I'm struck by what i'm just not hearing anymore.

that's what Lost Acoustics is going to be about...

stay tuned.