Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Geniuses

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  • Tim McKenzie,

    But will I ever buy an entire album again?

    Thanks to Jamendo, I may never buy an entire album again ...

    the RIANZ folk would HATE me.

    ... and RIANZ can't touch me. The music on Jamendo is all free and perfectly legal. Some of it's quite good, too. If you feel like it, you can still pay the musicians through the website, but I'm sorry to say, RIANZ, Sony, and Apple don't get a cent.

    <><

    Lower Hutt • Since Apr 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I've started... going to the record shop again. I had been getting CD's out from the public library, (and only copying less than 30% of each album) but now I have started buying CD's again. I know thats crazy, and so yesterday, but I'm on a mission. Just one more then I'l quit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2745 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Playlists are the new mixtapes.

    Weird playlist behaviour? Almost all the writers at Bardic Web have 'character' playlists - music that gets us in the right mood to write a particular character. Crazy obsessives? Why yes.

    Genius sounds fabulous though. My daughter has just discovered that she likes the music of Darling Violetta. It's the first time she's ever shown any interest in music and I want to encourage it. My knowledge of goth cello rock bands is somewhat lacking though.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Rachel Prosser,

    I'm experimenting with Genius - I like it!

    Was a bit perturbed that Apple wanted to know what I had in my system (Digital rights enforcement anyone?), although they claimed anonymity (what's the bet the terms and conditions change sometime in the future?)

    Funnily enough, it won't produce Genius recommendations from my most-played track, which happens to be from the Shrek soundtrack (in my defence, it's because it was my nephew's favourite when he was little). Or anything else from the Shrek soundtrack either - like the Rufus Wainwright Hallelujah, although it does one for my Jeff Buckley Hallelujah, no problem.

    Maybe I just don't have enough other music like Shrek?

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2008 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Robin Sheat,

    Weird. I buy most of my music online (from emusic, although I also get stuff from Jamendo), and buy a reasonable number of CDs too (although it's all from independent labels), and I listen to albums start-to-finish much of the time.

    Especially when working and listening to music, I don't want to be surprised by change, as that's distracting. However even that aside, good albums, which I like to think is all I buy :), work well when listened from start to finish.

    A song on its own can be fine, but if the whole album is put together well, 'the whole is more than the sum of the parts'.

    Oh, and I never buy a single track, or pick and choose from an album. I always buy the whole thing.

    All this said, I do quite often listen to a playlist that is something like 'everything added in the past five months that hasn't been played more than three times, nor in the past 24 hours' that I leave on random. This helps stop me missing out on new stuff that I otherwise consistently overlook when choosing an album to listen to.

    @Emma Hart: gothic cello rock? I don't know Darling Violetta, but two places to start are Apocalyptica and Rasputina. They are quite different from each other, the former is more at the heavy end, the latter at the often-mellow-and-usually-weird end. Looking here: http://www.last.fm/music/Darling+Violetta/+similar
    about a third of these bands I know, and those I quite like. So it sounds like she's on to a good thing :)

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Robin Sheat,

    Addendum to the last, I strongly suggest signing up to last.fm. It's a music-oriented social network and will find recommendations based on what you like. For example, my details are at http://www.last.fm/user/eythian

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I don't know Darling Violetta, but two places to start are Apocalyptica and Rasputina

    Ta. Darling Violetta are the people who did the theme tune for Angel. My daughter won't let us fast-forward through the credits, she loves the music so much.

    Looking here: http://www.last.fm/music/Darling+Violetta/+similar
    about a third of these bands I know, and those I quite like.

    Ha, I have a few of those myself. Mission, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim. And look at the fashion she's heading for!

    The cello appears be essential. My girl is hearing-impaired. She has better hearing at the low end of the frequency range, so the deep but clear sound of the cello is particularly easy for her to listen to, and I suspect that's the appeal. But she doesn't like my Carbon Leaf, and they have a cello. So who knows.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Y'know, I was all set to be snobby about Genius (like, how could some software gimmick possibly inform my hard-won taste?) but it really does deliver pretty good playlists out of my existing library.

    Various people have noticed that it doesn't work with the Beatles, and surmised that Genius can only work with music that's not on the iTunes Store.

    My guess is that it struggles with artists who aren't on the store, because it picked me an obscure Peter Tosh live track from an album that's not on the store.

    OTOH, it totally choked on a remix of Ofra Haza's 'Im Nin'Alu' and there are five other versions of that on the iTunes Store. Intriguing ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18877 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Hmmm OK I'll give Genius a go. I'm a little bit skeptical about apple collecting all that info about music collections, thus attempting to quantify how much of the music collection iceberg remains under the water. Also the evil little hook that iTunes will have to know about the whole collection (which it keeps on losing and then re-indexing) is almost too much to bother with.

    I do hope that Genius when I ask it about any of the Phoenix Foundation tracks or SJD doesn't just indicate that these are like any (every, or ALL) NZ music, like last.fm. As per some of the comments in Media 7 last week, I am over the whole excessively patriotic "Like this if you love NZ" idea/media whitewash.

    Osterreich • Since Nov 2006 • 460 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    If it helps, Jon, I just plugged a Samuel Flynn Scott track into it (funnily enough, only about half of the tracks seem to work), and it didn't come up with a single track by another New Zealand artist on the first version. Jeff Buckley, The White Stripes, Tegan and Sarah, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes all showed up, as did Neil Young and Dylan, but I had to refresh it four times before a Crowded House track appeared.

    The same thing happens with Dimmer. Anything off of the Mint Chicks Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! album seems to have a lot of New Zealand music associated with it, but F*ck the Golden Youth doesn't. The Straitjacket Fits (only their real hits seem to work) come up with a lot of Flying Nun stuff, and the Andrew Brough tracks throw in a bit of Bic Runga and Greg Johnson, but that's hardly unfair. Goldenhorse comes up with almost exclusively New Zealand playlists. Basically, it seems like the more popular it is in New Zealand, the more likely you'll see a lot of more random New Zealand tracks in a Genius playlist, unless it's Crowded House.

    The bigger problem with the New Zealand stuff is that most of it just doesn't work.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I haven't had a track not work yet. Perhaps my collection is a lot more legit than I thought. But I did have the same reservations about Apple rummaging through my music. But maybe we should have faith that they are looking to see what music they should be adding to their store. Yeah I'm not buying it either. Then again I've been letting iTunes auto-fill my cover art for a few years now.

    Two quick notes after re-reading my post. First I misspelled Gomez. Second when I said I would still buy albums I meant I would buy them online.

    I don't really "do" CDs anymore. I don't need trophies. Although e-music does mean I have to back it up somewhere.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I do hope that Genius when I ask it about any of the Phoenix Foundation tracks or SJD doesn't just indicate that these are like any (every, or ALL) NZ music, like last.fm

    Like Jake said, it shouldn't. However whenever I pick a hip-hop song/artist it will always fill the playlist with hip-hop. Anyone else had the same problem?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I don't really "do" CDs anymore. I don't need trophies.

    I beg to differ. I have just recently displayed my Morphine CD, Good, that is in fact, an 'original' actual promo CD, with documents tucked into the jacket. It looks and sounds just like an ordinary one, but comic book guy would like seriously envy me.

    I have to admit, I'v only got five CDs. However I'm getting a hard to get indie label flown over from America, it should arrive at my record store in the next few day. Then you guys are going to be secretly, in awe of it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2745 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    music and computers. Mainly it's about how the two have combined to seriously alter how I listen to music

    The two have always combined for me, since most of the music I listen to was created on, with or in some cases by computers.

    In fact I listen to more music now than I did even five years ago.

    I'm afraid to say I don't listen as much as I used to. That's because

    (a) I now work in a job that relies on writing and talking to people, rather than coding, so listening via headphones at work is difficult or inappropriate.

    (b) My phone has mp3 capability, but when I'm out walking in public I like to be aware of what's around me rather than shut off in my own world.

    (c) Most of what little time at home is spent either asleep, hungover, concentrating on webby stuff, watching what little there is to see on TV these days, or making my own music.

    So I'd have to say that most of the music I hear on a day-to-day basis is either live music or background music at whatever cafe or bar I happen to be in. Of course, when that happens to be the Hawthorn Lounge, that's not a bad thing at all.

    I don't listen to albums.

    And there's another thing: one reason I don't listen to much music at home is that I've rarely got time to listen to a whole album, and much of what I listen to is conceived as albums rather than individual tracks, or has been sequenced as a continuous mix. Apart from the annoyingly abrupt beginnings and ends that would result from chopping them up and combining them into a playlist, one would also lose much of the sense and flow. Some pieces were even composed specifically for the CD format: Brian Eno had been waiting for years to compose and record "Thursday Afternoon", but he had to wait until the advent of CDs made a continuous 72-minute track possible.

    I still have an issue with buying singles. While it is easier and I know I like it because I've heard it on the radio or the internet, what about those buried gems that are never released by the record companies? It is only from the crappiest of bands where my favourite song from an album also happens to be the main single release.

    I agree with that, and even more to the point: often my favourite pieces are the ones that not only weren't picked up by record companies, but that I myself didn't like or understand upon first listen. It's only by being "forced" to listen them as part of an album that I came to appreciate them.

    those crazy Scandinavians

    Sorry, who?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Sorry, who?

    Too right. Wacky but decorous, that's the Scandinavian way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1558 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    but when I'm out walking in public I like to be aware of what's around me rather than shut off in my own world

    I love walking with music because I harbor fantasies that everyone will suddenly burst into song and dance (Fou de Fa Fa!).

    those crazy Scandinavians

    Sorry, who?

    the pirate bay

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Had a quick go @ the weekend - apart from not recognising the Beatles, it seems... OK. I still reckon I can make better play lists though.

    I listen to my Ipod @ work and on the bus etc, and play more CDs and vinyl @ home - I like having the time to listen to whole albums. I do last.fm too: http://www.last.fm/user/richirvine73.

    BTW - has anyone found a workabel way to rip vinyl to MP3?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    the pirate bay

    Ah: I had to admit that I didn't know of that site until now. For a moment I thought that you were confusing the Kings of Leon with Kings of Convenience.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    OK. I still reckon I can make better play lists though.

    Agreed. Playlists are like baking. They should only be done with the greatest of love and care in mind. I'll stick to the home baking thanks.

    BTW - has anyone found a workabel way to rip vinyl to MP3?

    Yep, install Soulseek and grab a decent digital copy of all your vinyl tunes. Trust me, it may eat some bandwidth but it'll save you a whole load of pain and suffering. And it's kind of legit as you already own the songs.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Speaking of all this e-music malarkey, and PAS readers devotion to tunage. It would be cool to set up a PAS group on Last.FM so all this playlist playing could be shared and seeing a Top 20 for PAS would be kind of interesting as well. My Last.FM profile is here, anyway.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Robin Sheat,

    It would be cool to set up a PAS group on Last.FM so all this playlist playing could be shared and seeing a Top 20 for PAS would be kind of interesting as well.

    Hmm, I often wonder about the point of that kind of thing for groups that aren't musically oriented (as in, a PAS group to me doesn't make sense, as there's not a genre or musical interest thread that ties the members together). So, you'd end up getting just popular music that more people play than the more obscure, interesting stuff.

    I go through groups based on things I like, and often find interesting things. But the ones that are about something other than music have little appeal to me, musically.

    But, I'm not saying to not give it a go if you want :)

    Dunedin • Since Oct 2008 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    BTW - has anyone found a workabel way to rip vinyl to MP3?

    Yep, install Soulseek and grab a decent digital copy of all your vinyl tunes. Trust me, it may eat some bandwidth but it'll save you a whole load of pain and suffering. And it's kind of legit as you already own the songs.

    Or alternatively the hard way, which involves running a cable either from the TAPE-2 output on the back of your amp, or straight from the headphone jack on the front, to the LINE-IN port on your computer, running something like AudioGrabber to record the LINE-IN sound to a wav file, using something like WavePad or PolderbitS to clean the sound up and slice it in to songs, then converting the wav files to mp3. This is my latest project, which I have been pursuing now for a few months. I'm up to "B" so far....

    Soulseek or those naughty Scandinavians works fine for more popular or well-known stuff, but obscure New Zealand releases it doesn't handle too well at all - I've yet to see my Stridulators 7" single on Soulseek, or the Tunnellers, or Vietnam, WSSOES, even more popular examples like Blam Blam Blam and Netherworld Dancing Toys.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Soulseek or those naughty Scandinavians works fine for more popular or well-known stuff, but obscure New Zealand releases it doesn't handle too well at all

    True, although it's pretty good for non-mainstream international stuff.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 888 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    It would be cool to set up a PAS group on Last.FM so all this playlist playing could be shared and seeing a Top 20 for PAS would be kind of interesting as well.

    So you're saying I need to sign up to Last.fm? I used to listen to Pandora at a previous place of work, until they were all like "would you mind not eating up all of our internet with your streaming music?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've yet to see my Stridulators 7" single ...

    Now there is a classic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18877 posts Report Reply

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