Hey so these are a bunch of videos on youtube that I found inspirational. Like, Awesome… Informative… makes me want to dance type stuff, all rolled into one. I’m still figuring out what order I want to put them in or how to best present them. But I guess if you’re interested in me, I guess it would be fun/interesting to watch. Hah! Anyway.. Enjoy! 🙂
Ever since I installed MobileScrobbler on my iPhone, I’ve been using Last.fm a lot … like almost every day, and for hours at a time. Here’s my profile. Last.fm “scrobbles” (keeps track of what you listen to, and uploads that info) your music, and my iPhone automatically does this when I listen to anything in the iPod feature, and so does my Mac when I listen to anything in iTunes. Why do I want to do this? For posterity, as you might imagine, but Last.fm also provides music recommendations in the form of a personalized radio station. And the personalized radio station is what I really love. I mean, you press play, and you’ve got all sorts of new stuff to listen to, and the percentage of it that I like is much higher than listening to anything else. And it’s more interactive, because I can teach the system my preferences by pressing either the “Love” or “Ban” buttons.
Anyway, MobileScrobbler lets me read lyrics while I listen to songs… Which I LOVE doing. That Mac version however, does -not- do this. I was able however, to find a Greasemonkey script that adds lyrics to the song page on Last.fm, and therefore enables a workaround. (Greasemonkey is a FireFox plugin that I use daily… it let’s you add things to, and modify websites. People make scripts to make all sorts of websites do all sorts of cool things. Check out http://userscripts.org for examples).
My workaround is this: Listen in the Last.fm app. When I want to read lyrics for the current song, just click the link in the app to open up the song page at last.fm. The greasemonkey script shows the lyrics right there for me. Works.
Oh, and then I can also comment on the song right there too, another feature I’d like to see added to the Last.fm Mac client.
Ever playing music for other people from iTunes? And want to change the song without everyone noticing? Trying to do a manual fade is tough. This script lets you select the next song you want to play, and then fade the volume out and in to that track. Download: itunes-fade-to-selected-track.zip
property initialVolume : null
tell application "iTunes"
set speed to 5 -- lower means slower fade
if sound volume = 0 then -- if volume is all the way down, fade in
set initialVolume to 60
repeat until (sound volume) is greater than or equal to (initialVolume - speed)
set sound volume to (sound volume + speed)
set sound volume to initialVolume
else -- fade out, skip to selected track, fade in
set initialVolume to (get sound volume)
repeat until (sound volume - speed) is less than or equal to 0
set sound volume to (sound volume - speed)
set sound volume to 0
repeat until (sound volume + speed) is greater than or equal to initialVolume
set sound volume to (sound volume + speed)
Apple has the digital music industry in a stronghold, but how can they innovate to keep us happy?
Listening to my iPhone on shuffle on my walking commute this morning, I got to thinking about how Apple’s over-marketed shuffle feature could actually live up to the hype.
Here’s the idea: Think Pandora, but better, and with your own music. What I mean is Pandora’s system for suggesting music, but more automated and without having to give a thumbs up / thumbs down explicitly. A key concept is that a playlist’s total quality is not just in terms of the quality of each individual track, but also the order in which the tracks are arranged. So, if you hate listening to indie rock right after ‘gangsta’ rap, your media player could learn this and prevent you from such discomfort.
How it would work: You listen to your iPod/iTunes on shuffle like normal, skipping songs when you feel like it. iTunes keeps track of how long into a song you skip it, and records this data in the track’s metadata along with the ID of the previous track. iTunes would also keep this metadata in its index.
So, when you first hit shuffle, iTunes picks a random song. Then, if you skip that song quickly, the next track will be dissimilar from the previous track. If however, you listen through the whole thing, iTunes will pick a similar track, based on whether that song was played through in a similar succession before.
Track selection would probably be best if it relied on multiple criteria, including, for example, tags. The ability to assign tags to your music is something I’ve wanted for some time, but that’s a topic for another discussion. Still, tags would help a track selection system to better calculate similarities between genres.
There’s a lot of tweaking that would have to be done, but I think the introduction of a smarter shuffle would help Apple maintain their lead in the digital music market.