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  1. Music. Some Thoughts

    August 31, 2012 by Daniel

    The way we consume Music has changed. Or at least it has for me.
    OK perhaps it hasn’t changed that much, more my personal situation has. I can’t listen to as much music as I used to. I don’t have the time to do so. I try to listen at work, but I’m not comfortable listening through headphones all day and as usually there’s other people around in my office I don’t want to disturb them with it. Mostly it’s in the car, on the bus or the tram commuting. Sometimes at home, in the lounge through the nice hifi. That’s my favourite but life often demands that it’s not possible. I try to get something or other on whilst we eat dinner.
    But I digress. It’s not the situations we/I listen more the delivery method. Growing up I tried out many things, CDs were bad for listening to music walking to school. I went through a few with progressively better skip protection on them before discovering the beauty of MiniDisc’s. They had quite good skip protection compared to CD’s and it was dead simple to make mixtapes, record bits of the radio onto them, even name the tracks so you could remember what it was. I used to shuffle the tracks on and off the little discs paring down and getting rid of songs I didn’t like as much for songs that I just had to have with me.

    I can’t remember what year I first got an iPod. I think I was at Uni to be honest but it did change the world. I already had a lot of music as mp3 that I would make CD-R’s from. The MP3 revolution was finally affordable. It was something I’d written about in a project for my GCSE’s back in 2001 and the iPod symbolised a new era. It made music leap from a permanent thing to something ephemeral. Especially to my generation who didn’t want to pay out for CD-R’s or more blank MiniDisc’s. I could just make a playlist or but everything I had on shuffle.
    But now I miss that permanence. We’ve been going through our CDs at home, we decided that we didn’t want them all out on display anymore as they take up too much room. So we went through each one, ripped them onto the computer and boxed them up. Binning the duplicates and setting aside the most embarassing ones to sell, hopefully. One thing that struck me is all the compilation CDs I’d made for various party’s. I still have them, through the permanence of the CD. You can’t say the same thing about playlists of mp3’s. Or can you? With current services I think they are starting to get the hang of that aspect.

    From moving from computer to computer I’ve lost some of the playlists I spent hours creating. But Spotify stores that data up in the cloud. My problem with Spotify though is it could go away and I’d be left with no music. Or if I were trapped on a desert island, where would the internet connection come from to stream all that music?

    Once we’d finished ripping all the CDs I made the decision we’d try out iTunes Match. I feel like it’s a really good compromise for that problem I have with Spotify, the one that stops me from committing to it. This way I can ‘own’ the music – buy it on CD or download it, and ‘have’ it on a hard drive. One of my own hard drives that I can control and make backups of. The problem normally about having a large collection of mp3’s is portability. Phones these days don’t seem to have kept up with the original promise of the iPod to have everything you own to listen to right there in your pocket. The coming of Flash memory kept the storage capacity down along with fast-enough connectivity for it not to be a problem.
    Except it was a problem as you couldn’t stream from your own collection, until iTunes Match. It’s a clever fudge by assuming that most music that you’d have will be on Apple’s servers anyways in their Store, but being able to upload the one’s they don’t have is great for peace of mind.
    So have I now reached mp3 listening nirvana? Now I can listen to anything in my collection at home, at work, on my phone or my tablet (bandwidth pending, in the first few days of iTunes Match I went through my 500MB 3G monthly data allowance, causing me to struggle for the rest of the month and switch the ‘Use Cellular Data’ iTunes Match option firmly to off).

    Now I should mention I came close to this ‘all my music, everywhere’ nirvana once before. It was pretty technical whereby I used a linux implementation of the iTunes sharing (mt-daapd) and a vpn so that my music got shared over a network. It worked brilliantly until the VPN service went down and I never bothered to find an alternative.

    So, finally I can listen to any of my own music. Anywhere. I can now even add to the library from work without having a complicated copy it to my Dropbox and have an Automator rule pick it up at home and add it to iTunes, ready for when I got home that night for iTunes to do a wifi sync to my phone to update the recently added playlist. Which worked well, most of the time – but now I don’t have to think about whether the home computer is turned on, or has enough space, or has copied the files over right along with iTunes actually running.

  2. Music

    April 27, 2011 by Daniel

    It’s been ages since I’ve been regularly buying music. It used to be at least an album a week and I ended up with hundreds of CDs at home. But for the past few years I just haven’t. I don’t really know why, whether I felt I didn’t have the disposable income for it or whether there just wasn’t anything I liked enough to buy.

    Perhaps it’s because I didn’t really have the time to listen to the music – now with a longer commute there’s time for a whole album.
    But all of a sudden i’ve been buying CD’s and tickets to gigs and generally being excited about music again. But things have changed somewhat.

    The digital revolution is in full flow now. You can legitimately own everything you’d want without having a physical copy of it and I’m starting to feel like one of the few who isn’t comfortable with that. Don’t get me wrong I love having the music digitally, that’s probably the top way I listen to it – it’s very rare for me to play it on the original media I bought it on, I think perhaps my preferred way of doing things would be to buy it originally on vinyl and get a free download copy with it. A couple of years ago a few albums were released this way but it seems not to have taken off. So i’m buying the CDs and probably never actually listening to them having got them ‘elsewhere’. But I still can’t detach myself from having ‘the thing’. If only just to look at it on a shelf.

  3. Why 6Music is Mission Accomplished for the BBC… «

    March 1, 2010 by Daniel

    Why 6Music is Mission Accomplished for the BBC… « Thoughts On A Picture In A Paper.

  4. Frank Turner

    October 16, 2009 by Daniel

    Quite excited, going to see Frank Turner again tonight at Manchester Academy 2.
    Well, amazing of course! Especially loved the bit where Frank brought on a girl from the audience to play a Harmonica solo, apparently though her boyfriend was at the bar at the time and missed the whole thing!
    Being suckers for Merch we also bought some playing cards and thought yeah that’ll do us and outside afterwards were some really nice t-shirts and hoodies, having some money left in my pocket, how could I refuse?

    1. Live Fast Die Old
    2. The Road
    3. Long Live The Queen
    4. Substitute
    5. Try This At Home
    6. Dan’s Song
    7. The Real Damage
    8. Poetry Of The Deed
    9. Imperfect Tense
    10. Smiling At Strangers On Trains
    11. Sons Of Liberty
    12. District Sleeps Alone Tonight (The Postal Service cover)
    13. Love, Ire & Song
    14. Father’s Day
    15. I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous


    1. The Ballad Of Me Of My Friends
    2. Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
    3. Photosynthesis

  5. Radiohead to record NEW ALBUM this winter | Radiohead At Ease

    October 8, 2009 by Daniel

    Radiohead to record NEW ALBUM this winter | Radiohead At Ease.

    We were misquoted,” claimed O’Brien of Yorke’s comments, loudly adding, “WE WILL BE MAKING AN ALBUM!” Although he said the band hadn’t decided how it would be released, he said the album would come out on vinyl and CD whether it first arrived as a download or not.

    “We love the artwork; that’s really important, the physicality,” he explanied. “And we all like vinyl. That’s not going to go away. I still like CDs as well. I got the Speech Debelle CD the other day – I nearly downloaded it from iTunes but I thought, ‘No. I want the physical thing.’”

    Well thank fuck for that.

  6. Social History of the MP3

    August 25, 2009 by Daniel

    Pitchfork: social history of the mp3. Some thoughts on this.

    In 2001 for GCSE coursework we were tasked to do a ‘Personal Research Project’, basically we had to come up with a topic, look into it and draw some conclusions. I can’t remember what grade I got for it in the end but I remember it not being as good as I thought it would be. I thought I’d picked a great subject, one that nobody else in the school was looking at and it’s one that is still talked about in mainstream press to this day. My topic was Will MP3’s kill the Music Industry? To put the timeframe into perspective Apple didn’t release their mac-only firewire iPod until October of that year, the first iPod that supported USB properly was the 4th Generation model in 2004.
    Through my uncle, who’s a conductor, I got an interview with a record executive at Virgin Records and he completely dismissed the idea of MP3’s. He couldn’t understand the appeal whatsoever and having followed the story since he seems to have summed up the entire industry. He was telling me about his expensive hifi and that the experience could never compare with poor quality compressed sources. At yet at school we were getting excited about Napster and AudioGalaxy, a friend had a 256MB Rio mp3 player. We had seen the future, Moore’s law was on our side and hard drives were getting cheaper and more capacious. Nowadays I can store all my music in a tiny box, ironically it sits next to our collection of CD’s which get heaved around the place taking up an entire wall. Not to mention the LP’s and 45’s which feed the Wurlitzer. I just came back from a Week long trip and in one device had at my fingertips pretty much every song I’ve ever loved.

    So how have MP3’s changed the way I enjoy music? Certainly they have, certainly bands like Radiohead’s worries about the enjoyment of proper albums are true. I tend to employ playlisting along with listening to an entire back catalogue of an artist at a time. Other’s will just listen on random which is something I don’t like so much but I can see the appeal. But it’s got me thinking, have I enjoyed more recent albums as much as i’ve enjoyed albums I lovingly transferred to mini disc for my walk to school? Now that I can have 1000’s of tracks with me compared to a mere two maybe three albums do I listen to those songs in so much detail anymore? Is the music having less of an affect on me?
    Time was I’d buy a CD and listen to it endlessly while buying more CD’s and only replacing it on my hallowed essential list if deemed worthy. Now it’s just so easy to have so much with you that there is no need for that one must-have disc to be kept on your person all the time, just bring it all…

    I do think it has helped find new things though., Spotify – I have a bit of an obsession making sure listens are scrobbled so I can track and compile my habits. But finding new things isn’t quite as satisfying as coming across something you love so much you never tire of it.

  7. We Should Have Gone To University

    July 24, 2009 by Daniel

    Yay, Reuben are going to release rare stuff from their back catalogue!

    (from Kerrang)
    01. Alpha Signal Seven
    02. Words From Reuben
    03. Crimson
    04. Death Of A Star
    05. Shambles
    06. Scared Of The Police
    07. Eating Only Apples (Single version)
    08. Wooden Boy
    09. Stux (Tell Me It’s Alright)
    10. Stealing Is Easy
    11. Banner Held High
    12. Lissom Slo
    13. Let’s Stop Hanging Out (Single version)
    14. Alpha Signal Five
    15. Numb At Four In The Morning
    16. Worn To Be Seen
    17. Catch
    18. Stuck In My Throat (Single version)
    19. Doll Fin
    20. Scared Of The Police (Live On XFM)
    21. Once
    22. Glitterskin
    23. Ways Of Staying Pure
    24. Miffy In Auschwitz (Live At The BBC)
    25. Enemy

    01. Scared Of The Police (Sheldon version)
    02. Don’t Die
    03. Seated Near
    04. No Exit Wound
    05. Victim
    06. Approaching By Stealth
    07. Karin
    08. Feel Good Inc. (Live At The BBC)
    09. Two Kicks In The Mouth (Live At XFM)
    10. Blitzkrieg
    11. Girls On Top
    12. What’s Good For Me
    13. Push
    14. The Weight Of The World
    15. Christmas Is Awesome
    16. Suffocation Of The Soul (Live At The BBC)
    17. Agony/Agatha (Live At The BBC)
    18. The Hand That Feeds (Live At The BBC)
    19. Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin (Acoustic version)
    20. Red Machine
    21. Shambles (Long version)
    22. The Last Time

    It comes with a DVD of all of Reuben’s video’s, If you like Xtra Mile are also bundling it with Very Fast Very Dangerous or a 12″ of Racecar Is Racecar Backwards.

    Here’s a couple of pictures I’ve taken of Reuben when I’ve been to see them live through the years. I’ll never forget buying Two Songs For Free after seeing them support Hundred Reasons – instantly hooked.

    On stage with Frank Turner! October 2005
    Reuben @ Academy 3P6150045.JPG

    Set List - Stage View

    Setlist – June 2005

  8. Ian Brown @ Brixton Academy

    December 4, 2005 by Daniel

    Originally uploaded by dnisbet.
    To be honest as much as I like Ian Brown and his music and this is the second time i’ve gone to see him – I don’t think the man can sing live anymore.
    I was entertained by the set, and yet was dissapointed, it wasn””t as good as the last time I saw him in late 2004 at the Apollo Manchester. That time, everybody was into him. They were singing along and his special guests were great – UNKLE and Noel Gallagher.
    Whereas for this gig, the london stint of his greatest hits tour there were no special guests. Good songs? Yes. The man is good.

  9. Fuse FM – Proposals

    September 11, 2005 by Daniel

    Fuse FM has started to accept proposals again for the next broadcast and guess who has to trawl through them all.
    I even get emailed everytime somebody sends one in, now that's progress for you.
    But seriously, good luck to everyone who writes one, i'll try to judge them all fairly.

  10. Pulp Fiction @ Heaton Park

    September 4, 2005 by Daniel

    Pulp Fiction @ Heaton Park
    Originally uploaded by dnisbet.

    Awesome, we found in the end we could do venue pickup on the tickets and so got around the whole posting to billing address fiasco.
    Fun lovin”” crims played a great set of their own stuff and covers of songs from the film.
    Pulp Fiction is one of my favourite films in the whole world. It was so great to see out in the Park with people reacting to it.