Music Diary


If You’re Not Using Amazon Music, You’re Missing Out!

Do you have Amazon Prime? If you do, you probably take advantage of Prime videos and certainly use the free shipping. But it seems like Prime Music tends to be the forgotten child of Amazon’s services, especially in the face of competitors like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music. But Prime Music is free with Prime subscription, and it’s rapidly improving!





Get to Know the Dead, Reckoning: Conversations with the Grateful Dead

What do you do when you have numerous interviews with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead and have only published a small number of them? If you are musician and journalist Alan Paul, you pull the interviews together and publish them as an Amazon Kindle Single. The result? The eBook-only Reckoning: Conversations with the Grateful Dead by Alan Paul.





AmpliTube 4 Launches on iOS with Major New Features!

IK Multimedia ‘s AmpliTube has been the ultimate guitar amp simulator since it was released several years ago, and it just keeps getting better and better! Now they have announced an entirely new version–AmpliTube 4–featuring a computer-grade DSP system, new microphone options, expanded effect sequencing options, an updated look and more! And it’s a free upgrade for owners!



Marco Minnemann Readies Celebration, His New Solo Tour-de-Force!

Last fall I reviewed Marco Minnemann’s excellent solo album Eeps. I called it ‘musician’s music’, “that is technically insane and that you will listen to again and again to absorb the details of what they are playing and how they are putting it together”. Now he is back with Celebration out June 1st, and it sounds awesome so far!


Listen Up!: Car Audio, Part II

In the first part of this series on Car Audio I discussed basic terminology and history of radios in the automobile. This part takes a look at the types of music sources, and the music itself, that we play in our vehicles. Regardless of what type of car stereo equipment you employ in your vehicle, it all begins with music.


IK Multimedia releases UltraTuner for Apple Watch

For anyone who plays a guitar, when AmpliTube arrived with a built-in tuner it was a revelation. Suddenly you didn’t need a tuner – just your phone, which you already had! Then IK Multimedia introduced UltraTuner and things got even better. Now they have introduced UltraTuner for Apple Watch, and the convenience factor is through the roof!


The Basics: Car Audio, Part I

Music in the mobile environment is more than just an accessory or option to drivers, and for many it is a necessity. Every new vehicle I test usually arrives with a premium audio system, and I love putting the stereo systems through their paces almost as much as the vehicles themselves. But car audio can be more, much more.


IK Multimedia Releases AmpliTube UA App for All Android Devices

Even as I shift away from making music on iOS devices and back to my home studio, one thing remains: noodling around on my guitar using iRig and Amplitube. Since their introduction five years ago they have become ubiquitous tools for guitarists and bassists. Now that IK Multimedia has expanded their reach to Android devices even more musicians can benefit!


Mike Osborne – ‘Dawn’ Celebrates a Jazz Great and a Life Cut Short

A year ago when I reviewed the previously unreleased album ‘S.O.S.’, I didn’t single out each player for their amazing contributions because the album was more about bringing together three amazing musicians for an even more amazing outcome. Now with the release of Mike Osborne’s earliest solo works as ‘Dawn’, we can single out his amazing contributions to jazz.


Roland Unveils JD-XA and Other Great Music Tech at Musicmesse 2015!

This week is the Musicmesse Festival in Frankfurt, Germany. This event, along with January’s NAMM, are the biggest events for the music industry and the place for new gear announcements. We won’t cover everything, but Roland has some new gear that simply needs to be discussed. The big announcement is their hotly anticipated JD-Xa Analog + Digital Crossover Synthesizer!



IK Multimedia Unveils UltraTuner for Android

Just over a year ago, IK Multimedia released UltraTuner for iOS devices, and my review summed up “It’s the Best iOS Tuner Available.” Between the accuracy, easy visibility and simple usability, there is no other tuner I have needed since. Now IK Multimedia has released UltraTuner for Android, allowing anyone with Android 4.1 or later to get in tune!


Amazon Prime Music Gets Ad-Free Prime Stations with Unlimited Skips

Over the last couple of weeks my wife has been saying “I am really liking this Amazon Prime Music“, because of added content and features that work with our Echo ‘smart speaker’. Today Amazon unveiled an updated iOS app that opens up streaming of Prime music with unlimited skips to Prime members, making the experience more ‘Pandora like’.