Music

After 9 Months of ‘Variable Pricing’ … Music Sales Are Down

Image Courtesy of HardwareZone I think we all recognized the REAL intent last year when Apple finally caved to the music industry to allow for a new price structure in exchange for getting the same DRM-free music they were already giving everyone else: it was to make more money from every type of consumer. Anyone who didn’t get the message that day saw the truth soon enough – like my…


Mass Effect 2: Video Game Soundtrack Review

I recently reviewed the full soundtrack for Dragon Age: Origins, and a large part of my criticism was that it wasn’t a great value – it released well after the game was out, and suddenly made folks who paid for a ‘deluxe’ version aware that the ‘Soundtrack’ they got was really a sampler. Now the Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack has arrived, how does this one measure up, both musically and…


Pat Metheny – Orchestrion (Jazz CD, 2010) Review

A few weeks ago I posted a video of Pat Metheny announcing his Orchestrion project. The video – and all of the machinery – were quite cool, but what really matters is the final product. Well, Orchestrion was released on January 26th, and I’ve had the chance to give it several listenings and separate the coolness of the technical accomplishment from the actual musical results.


Dragon Age Origins: Video Game Soundtrack Review

Back when I wrote about the various packages available for Dragon Age: Origins, one thing I didn’t worry about was the soundtrack. Why? Because on the graphic that accompanied the article it said ‘Digital Soundtrack’. So I assumed it meant we got the whole soundtrack – since most games with samplers are pretty clear and up-front about the whole ‘selections from the soundtrack’ thing (most recent example is Dissidia Final…


eMusic Gets New Brothers – Warner Bros., That Is

I’ve been a long-time user of eMusic’s subscription service.  One of the early online music services (selling DRM-free MP3 downloads since 1998), eMusic was the first of which I was aware to offer a subscription-based music sales model.  They offer several different monthly packages for which you receive credits that can be used for purchasing individual tracks or whole albums.  The cost per track ranges from $0.54 for an eMusic…


Merecal is a Media Lovers Friend

I got a $100 Amazon gift certificate from Kerry for Christmas (thank you Kerry!!), and for half a second I was tempted to blow it immediately on Kindle titles from authors I already follow. After thinking about it, I instead sent out a tweet asking for suggestions. One of them came from @Merecal … “Weird name” I thought to myself, but I didn’t yet understand. I went to the site…


Agile Partners Updates Star 6 For iPhone: Get To Mixing!

Agile Partners, creators of some wonderful music apps, have just significantly updated their beat mixing application Star6.  I recently reviewed two of their apps for guitarists that have become some of my most use apps.  Check out the reviews for Guitar ToolKit and Tab ToolKit. Star6 is a music mixer that utilizes the accelerometer and touch interface to create a truly unique musical experience.  I am a musician, but have…


Review: Vijay Iyer – Historicity (Jazz CD, 2009)

Because of – or perhaps in spite of – the fact that my musical tastes fall well outside of the mainstream, I have always been suspicious of something that has become the ‘latest critical darling’, even when it is from an artist I love. In recent years I remember buying ‘River: The Joni Letters’ on release because of the artist making the recording (Herbie Hancock), his guests (Wayne Shorter, Michael…


iPlaylist Creator for iPhone/Touch App Review

How amazing would it be to be able to create play-lists from any songs on your iPhone without syncing or using iTunes or a computer?  I have found a way to do just that!  iPlaylist Creator enables iPhone users to create and listen to play lists on the go easily on the iPhone. Features: -Creates Playlists -Easy Drag and Drop songs into any playlist -Sort the songs how you want…


Why Music Subscriptions Make Less Sense Than Ever…

As Larry just posted, Apple actually approved the Rhapsody app for streaming music if you have a RhapsodyTo Go account. So now we have RhapsodyToGo available in the US and Spotify available in much of Europe. That’s awesome, and a bit of a surprise but still… I don’t quite get it. Rhapsody to Go is $15 a month. That comes down to $180 a year or $360 over the contract-life…


Review: HP Mediasmart LX195

The single biggest problem my wife and other family members have is making sure that their data is backed up.  The HP Mediasmart LX195 will help you make sure that data is safe and a while lot more. This server is based on Microsoft’s Windows Home Server.  It’s not my normal operating system of choice, but I think that Microsoft and HP have done a good thing here.  They have…


Local Concerts for iPhone Review

As summer has come to a close and football has begun, I find myself without a day off until December.  For those of you who might have some time off and a spare evening, live music might be your choice of spending an evening.  Local Concerts provides a one stop resource to find who will be playing in your area.  The app is developed by a huge social music engine…


TuneWiki for iPhone Review

After first glance TuneWiki is just an app that subtitles iPod music synced while the song plays.  The app proves to be more than that.  Some good and some kind of meh.  There are actually four parts to the app so I will cover each part. Music: This tab is really the meat of TuneWiki.  Basically, the app acts as your iPod with a twist.  The music library is available…


KindleGate Blows Up In Amazon’s Face

UPDATE: The following update appeared on David Pogue’s Times column. EDITOR’S NOTE | 8:41 p.m. The Times published an article explaining that the Orwell books were unauthorized editions that Amazon removed from its Kindle store. However, Amazon said it would not automatically remove purchased copies of Kindle books if a similar situation arose in the future. My Note- It doesn’t change the core issues here! Just a few weeks ago…


Stanton T.55 Belt-Driven Turntable – Unboxing and Review

Who ever thought I would be using a belt-driven turntable in 2009? And yet, that’s what I did over the weekend. Sure, we all know DJs love vinyl, but me, the typical end-user? What gives? Well, it turns out there are a host of treasures to be found if you “go retro”. LPs stored in the attic are just waiting to be broken out once again. And if you don’t…



An Open Letter To Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

The following email was sent directly to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Dear Mr Bezos, My name is Dan Cohen and I am an editor for the tech website www.geardiary.com. I am also a proud Kindle owner. In fact, many of us on the site’s staff have, and love, our Kindles. I’m writing to you regarding an experience I have had over the past few days that clearly struck a cord with…


KindleGate: Confusion Abounds Regarding Kindle Download Policy

I’ve been on top of KindleGate most of the afternoon. It took speaking with three MORE customer reps today, plus the one yesterday, to finally get accurate, or what I hope is accurate, information. This sordid tale began last night when I was setting up my iPhone 3G S, and a book I went to download to the Amazon Kindle app would not download.  I called customer service to inquire…


Kindle’s DRM Rears Its Ugly Head… And It IS Ugly

I love my Amazon Kindle. I love reading with it, I love how light it is,  and I love the battery life. I also love the fact that it automatically syncs with the Amazon Kindle application on my iPhone and iPod touch. That means any book will open to the last page read regardless of the device last used.  it is an amazing bit of technology   that makes reading books…


How much is that MP3 Download Worth? How about $80,000?!?

I am a staunch anti-piracy fighter: I engage in forum discussions about it on a regular basis, and also being a hardcore PC gamer I see the direct impact of piracy on that hobby. I see how it has impacted where developers target their games, how many top-level PC games are released, and the increasingly draconian DRM schemes used to try to thwart piracy … most of which simply punish…


Review: Clarion Mind – Media, Internet, and Directions All-In-One? Not Quite.

For some time now, there has been a gap between PDA/phones and notebook computers, various form factors have been introduced to fill this void, but until the ASUS eeepc, none have been particularly successful.  Of course, with the Asus, we were given the device which we now know as the netbook, and finally that gap began to close. Some devices, however, started at the other end of the spectrum, trying…