Back to the future: Hello iPod

Greetings all. As many have seen and heard, Apple has discontinued production of the iPod, a device that was undoubtedly pivotal to Apple’s trajectory of success. The iPod was produced in various formats since its debut in 2001. I was fortunate enough to own the original iPod, the little brick with a click wheel, Firewire connection, and capability of holding up to 5000 songs on its 5GB drive, if memory serves me correctly.

I, like many of you reading this, have owned at least one iPod. I’ve owned several – the mini, 2nd gen Nano, 4th Gen Nano, 6th Gen Nano (that I wore as a watch for fitness tracking (see below)), 1st Gen iPod Touch, and still have a few of them. The iPod, specifically those prior to the iPod Touch, did one thing, well two things, simply well – sync and play your music (via the use of iTunes). Those two things are the biggest attraction to me for the iPod and makes the pre-iPod Touch versions much more attractive. The obvious reason for me, which I’ve read others talk about and I’ve discussed with my brother-in-tech, DarrenKeith, is the fact that there were no internet apps on those earlier versions to distract the listener from the music listening experience the iPod provided.

The largest capacity iPod I owned (and had two of at one point) was the 160 GB iPod Classic, in black. Talk about a workhorse. To date I don’t remember what happened to one (it may have crapped out on me), but the other is now owned by my sister (which I forgot I gave her and wish I didn’t – LOL). I have fond memories of listening to my over 7000 song iTunes library through the years. It provided just the right listening experience for so many events from just cruising around town to chillin’ at home, to flying across country and then half way around the world. It was 2005 or so when I discovered and then regularly using the Minidisc platform, first for band rehearsal recordings to then making my own MDs for a similar listening experience the iPod provided.

Fast forward to the introduction of Spotify and other streaming platforms. It made listening to music extremely convenient and even though iTunes (now Apple Music) became available on mobile devices, the combination of having all your phone/internet apps along with your music was highly convenient, but the distraction (to me) made listening to music less focused, or as I’ve heard put, made music “disposable”.

I have Spotify and the Soma FM app on my phone – my only two streaming platform apps, and yes I listen to streaming music (I’m actually listening to Soma FM as I type this post). I’ve never downloaded music to my phone (or Apple Watch) primarily because I didn’t want space taken up, let alone the fact that why do that when I can stream music. Call me sort of a neo-luddite, but I’ve always preferred NOT having to solely rely on the internet to listen to music (as common as that is today).

When the announcement was made that the iPod was being discontinued, as expected, all versions of the iPod Touch sold out within a day afterwards. I predicted the price gouging to appear on eBay and as expected, I saw a 160 GB iPod Classic with a starting bid price of… $1500 USD (smh).

I confiscated a 16GB iPod Touch from my son some years back that was sitting around doing nothing and decided I would make that into my dedicated music player. I have a 1GB Shuffle but the battery is not the greatest. I attempted to sync the Touch to one of my MacBooks that has Apple Music (vs iTunes) on it. I was able to sync most of my purchases from iCloud, but the vast majority of my collection comes from CD. I had one or two CD imports to this library but couldn’t get them synced. Maybe I’m not as familiar with Apple Music as a successor to iTunes but it was way too cumbersome. I then remembered my mid-2011 Mac mini in my recording studio, the predecessor to my current M1 Mac mini. I had moved my entire iTunes library from that drive to an external drive. I connected that drive back to that Mac, set it up as the main iTunes library and synced as much as I could to this little 16GB iPod Touch. It brought back a lot of found memories, including the auditioning of many tracks I featured on my podcast, The Sunday Soundtrack. What else did I really love about the early iPods? The early ones came with the Nike+ Training app (known as the Nike+ iPod system) that first worked with a Nike running shoe sensor and a transmitter that connected to the 30-pin port of the iPod. Later the Nike+ app was created for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I blogged about that whole ecosphere (and my love for it) many times on this blog site.

Now I’m a happy iPod camper again – 1265 songs in my pocket (thought I’m a bit anal in that a fair amount of tracks don’t have artwork – a must for me since this is an iPod Touch…haha…I have to fix that issue). The iPod has a regular headphone jack and I prefer listening with over the ear headphones, so I’m good. I can hook it into my car audio system via USB as well and it’s small enough that I don’t mind carrying both it and the iPhone with me.

I really thought about getting another iPod Classic, but will learn to live with this one (unless I can somehow convince my sister to fork over the one I gave her…LOL!).

Thanks for the read…have a good week.

Fresh

Oversharing – Is there such a thing in social media?

Greetings all…

This particular post is twofold, maybe threefold, in that it piggybacks on my previous post about the Twitter doomsday posts/articles regarding Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. What I mean by threefold is the genesis of this post comes from the aforementioned, something I heard on a recent podcast called “Off The Hook” by the well known hacking culture organization, 2600 and, lastly, what I consider to be a very well written blog post by my friend Darrenkeith Wyatt. The post, I’ll let you read at your leisure, you can find it here: Social Media + Holidays = Superficial.

What I found interesting in this podcast is commentary that aligned with me for years. The commentary begs the question that is the subject of this post – does the advent and ease of using and engaging in social media cause users to share too much? What is “sharing too much”? Of course, the definition will always be open to interpretation, but is there really a definition answer to what oversharing is?

Being not born a digital native but watching the internet be born and then social media to follow, I remember the strides one had to go through to share their lives. For the everyday person, it generally involved things like the following:

  • Wriing letters and sending physical photographs
  • Pulling out a wallet with an accordion-type plastic photo holder to show photos of family to another
  • Sending email and attaching digital photos
  • Phone calls
  • Livestreaming video (FaceTime, etc)

These examples, and similar, took more effort and extended time in comparison to the shooting of photos and video that can be instantly uploaded to your social media site of choice.

I’ve come across people I follow and don’t follow on social media that appear to share at a very high frequency. The content is varied from user to user, some post content constrained to a certain topic, others anything and everything, but again, does that constitute oversharing?

I think everyone shares whatever they do for a specific reason or reasons. The use of social media is so varied these days that I won’t get into the many reasons why. I will say that some of Darrenkeith’s blog post centers around one of the many discussions we’ve had on the topic of social media evolution, especially in terms of sharing content and consuming of such versus creating.

I remember driving home some years ago listening to a podcast (I think it was via NPR but I can’t recall the name right now) that broadcasted an episode centered around the term “oversharenting” – how parents continually “share” pictures of their children (sometimes from birth) into their teen years and how in those early years, the child doesn’t have any say about whether they want to be all over social media, day in and day out. The episode went on to cite a few teens who ended up disliking the fact that so many photos of them sequencing their growth, have been put on public display without their agreement.

In any event, give Darrenkeith’s blog post a read, I found it to be very interested and agreeable to a few thoughts I’ve had for quite some time.

Thanks for the read…

Best,

Fresh

The Doomsday being presented as Elon Musk’s Twitter

I joined Twitter in November 2006, upon being told about it by a friend I knew from the days of AOL Instant Messenger, iMusic, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and Blackplanet, Lis. Shortly afterwards, I began to connect with other early adapters like Ray, Kenya, Brian, EJ, Will, Terri, and Todd aka The Big La. “In the early 2010s, when Twitter, which launched in 2006, was still relatively fresh, the site had a dramatically different atmosphere. People were more likely to tweet about fairly mundane things: school gossip, lunch, Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV series “Scandal.” Twitter was a place where ordinary people could talk about ordinary things”1 For me, it was just that, posting about the what DID appear to be mundane things – what you had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, running late for work, how you’re feeling, etc. I posted about all those things and, in addition, mainly about tech and music production (to include podcasting), along with other hobbies of mine. It was a relaxed, friendly, and fun place that forced you to be confined to the microblog’s limit of 140 characters. It was about or year or two later when my friend DarrenKeith aka DK joined. He and a number of us, including EJ, Fave (RIH), BSOTS, and many others were hosting podcasts on a regular basis, some weekly like DarrenKeith’s My Love For Music, Fave’s Friday Favecast, EJ’s Wayback Wednesday, and my podcast, theSunday Soundtrack. We are all pretty much regularly blogging back then. I know DK and I still do.

Fast forward to 2022, Twitter has changed tremendously as Internet technology advanced. Twitter was once known as a social network (like Facebook), but that term died and has been replaced with “social media”. Twitter has adopted a slew of new features, just like many other social media sites, but with the growth of technology, the advent and ease of first person news reporting, the use of advertising, algorithms, mobile device social media apps, and the like, Twitter has grown to possess the good and the bad (the latter I like to refer to as being akin to a cesspool).

Recently, the news has been full of the fact that Elon Musk has purchased Twitter. Most of that news (I’d say close to 100%) is that Twitter, based on who Elon Musk is, will suffer greatly at the hands of this millionaire and what he proposes to turn the site into, with respect to free speech and non-anonymity. From what I read, it’s a forthcoming doomsday for sure. Frankly, even with all Elon has been in the news for, the good and the bad, it’s speculation, which I treat as just that. Many say they’ll be part of the exodus already, despite the fact that he hasn’t fully taken over and no changes will be seen for at least six months from now.

Being a user of Twitter for as long as I have been, I’ve seen its evolution and know pretty much exactly how it works. I choose to follow who I do and use its privacy settings available to make my Twitter experience as pleasing as it can be for me. I can’t stand its algorithms in the least bit, BUT, algorithms are innate to social media technology so it’s something we all must live with.

As of today, I have no desire to leave Twitter and don’t plan to UNLESS (under the guise of ‘”free speech”) the environment becomes unavoidably more riddled with hate speech and the like. If that becomes a reality, I’ll take my 65000+ tweets and hit the road – meaning I will not participate/engage as a user any longer. No, I am not going to create a Mastodon (or similar) account and start all over. There is one site similar to Twitter, pnut.io, 100% user run, that I will continue to remain on (since joining in 2017). What I will also do is something DK and I have discussed ad infinitum – crosspost my blog posts from my blog (or walled garden as DK and I refer to it), along with future episodes of my latest podcast Tech Times, and give Twitter users the opportunity to visit. Might as well leverage social networking tech, yes? I’ve lived without Twitter prior to it’s existence, and if I feel the need to do so in the near future, I will. I enjoy Twitter for what it offers me and have connected with many great and resourceful users over the years that have expanded my personality, as well knowledge in a handful of personal interests, for the better. For what it’s worth, I never saw Twitter as a “race thing”, but a community of global users. Yes, racial issues continue to plague us today, but nonetheless…

Time will tell with regards to my exodus or not.

If you decide to leave Twitter, for whatever reason, what will you do, where will you go?

Thanks or the read.

Fresh.

1: Elon Musk’s possible takeover of Twitter is unsettling for many Black users

Quick Portrait: The Lab – Studio A.

Studio A on The Lab. This is where the heavy lifting happens. The central recording and music production tool is Logic 10.4.8, with Native Instruments Maschine and other NI products integrated into the music production workflow. The computer – a mid-2011 Mac mini running High Sierra is the center piece. Despite it’s age, it gets the job done but I’m currently saving up for the M1 Mac mini, 16GB and a newer MOTU digital audio interface (the 828 Mk3 Hybrid) for use with the M1. To the right and out of the picture is a 16-space rack of vintage synth modules. An Akai MPC 2500 sampling drum machine sits on top.

Been spending a lot time in hear during the last two weeks working on tracks for a collaboration project dropping in January 2022, as well as a sophomore project my recording partner and I have been working on for quite some time. We’ve got three singles that will drop prior to the entire project next spring.

Right now, this man is tired and the alarm will go off mighty earlier.

Transmitting from my iPhone 22 mini via the WordPress for iOS app. Goodnight, sleep well.

Oceans of rhythm….

Doug

Vintage Apple Memories (Macs, iPhones, and other Apple products)

Greetings and thanks for stopping by. Recently I came across a photo of an old ad (ten years ago) for the iPhone 4S. This was the model that introduced the world to Siri. It was also the second iPhone that I ever owned – an upgrade from my first one, the iPhone 4. I still have both those phones, still in near immaculate condition. Seeing this ad brought back fond memories all the way back to the first time I ever used an Apple product. That product was the Mac Plus (and the Mac SE/30), back in July 1988. Looking back on being an Apple fanboy to present day, I consider the late 80’s into the early 2000s as the “golden era” of Apple. This (long) blog post describes my journey and fandom (as it has evolved), from then to now. This post evolved from a series of tweets I posted on my Twitter feed from 28 Sep 2021 through 2 Oct 2021, which can be read here.

I hope you enjoy the read.

It was June 13, 1988 , the first day of my first job as an engineer. My previous job, working in the materiel coordination department of a major airline, saw the office full of IBM PC-XT computers, not one Mac in sight, but this new job had two, a Mac Plus and a Mac SE/30. The Macintosh line of computers were launched in 1984 and I had new of them through various ads, but didn’t pay too much attention overall. What I did remember is them touting the ease of “right out of the box” use, and how friendly the experience is. The business analyst in our office, David, was an older gentleman, maybe pushing 60 or greater, but what struck me was his affinity and love of the Mac. He was the one that embodied all that Apple was advertising in a Mac user. As he continued to explain to me how the OS worked and I began to see how different the experience was from using a PC, I also began to see and feel exactly what Apple was advertising as well.It was weird to me at first, that they can connect to a user through a computing device, so warmly, friendly, and easily, but I was totally getting it

As I worked to be acclimated in my position, the work was standard and enjoyable (it was actually my dream job in the field I grew to love and still work in). While the programmatic and design engineering work were done on PCs, David did a lot of the business aspects aligned with his position description on the Mac platform. The small set of Macs in the office expanded from that Mac Plus with a 20MB external drive, a Mac SE/30, to a Mac iiCi, and a really nice Apple Laserwriter II printer to a brand new Mac IICi. Any chance I got, I asked David what he was working on (though I knew nothing of business administration and the like), just to work on the Macs, System 6, System 7, etc. Working on the Mac platform almost seem eerily magical and captivating. David introduced me to a lot of software made for the Mac that existed on Windows, and software solely made for the Mac, like the Mac version of WordPerfect, AEC Information Manager (a database program for the Mac), After Dark and After Dark II screen savers, and many others. It was during this time I discovered the magic of Hypercard, loading software via 3.5″ floppy discs, and so much more. Everything about Macintosh ecosystem had me hooked beyond hooked – it was a scary pleasure, one that I still can’t quite figure out how Apple instilled that in so many users. The friendly usability right out of the box, the print ads in tech/regular magazines, the commercials, everything, I remember the feelings VERY clearly, about how this tech company can lay grip on the psyche so easily with a product…whew.

Three years in 1991, after gleaning so much from David about the Mac ecosystem (during work and after hour office social functions), I scraped and saved enough to by my first Mac – The Mac Classic II, from a small Mac computer shop (whose name escapes me) on Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, MD. When I finally got it home that night, took it out of the box, connect the mouse and keyboard to the serial port, plugged it in, and turned it on, it was more than exciting. I felt everything I described at work but now this was far more special because that was MY Mac. I felt like Ralphie’s dad, from The Christmas Story, the night the Leg Lamp personally delivered to him!

The Mac Classic II was running System 7.0 and I learned the ins and outs of it. Eventually I got a 14.4K modem which allowed me an introduction to BBSs, as well as a Stylewriter printer. From that point, I was SET. Every thing about that Mac Classic II was gorgeous, aesthetically and user-wise. I don’t remember when it met it’s demise, but years later I was able to get a used Mac Classic to replace it. I did so because it was my first Mac, of which I still hold sentimental feelings for, and it was my first opportunity to use the Mac for music production. The Mac Classic is sitting in my studio, as I type this, running a freeware screen saver called Darkside – the same screensaver David told me about around the time of After Dark.

The next new Mac I bought was the Macintosh LC III (aka the “pizza box”). It’s slim design was one I came to love, especially because of how well it served the ergonomics of workspace, not to mention it being the first color Mac I ever owned (oh, I guess I DID mention that LOL). Once again, I had it for quite some time, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what ever happened to it. I don’t remember selling it so…. hmmm.

Let’s see, the next Mac I owned…hmm…at this point my memory is a bit fuzzy. At this point, music production with the Mac was well underway. I acquired a Power Mac 7100, that was shortly outfitted with an Audiomedia II digital NuBUS card which gave me digital and analog inputs and outputs, allowing me to directly record with Pro Tools 3.4 Free. It was a game changer at that time. It was running Mac OS 9, which also allowed me to run Opcode Vision’s sequencer and use the OMS ecosphere, but I actually used another sequencer called Master Tracks Pro 5.2. This was the brains of the rest of my set up, which included a Roland VS-880EX hardware digital multitrack recorder for audio (the Power Macs internal HD was so small it was prohibitive to record multiple audio tracks into it). I still have the 7100, which really came in handy last summer when I had to convert some old Pro Tools audio tracks from a recording session done in 1987, Mac OS 9 to the rescue.

After discovering I needed more HD space and a faster processor – along came my favorite desktop Mac to this day – the Power Mac G5 1.8 GHz Dual. I didn’t purchase this machine new but when I got it, it was in near immaculate condition, a beautiful looking, beautifully designed machine which allowed simple and easy access to its inner components via the door removal on it’s side. A heavy machine, just like its twin, The Mac Pro, it served me well for years of music production, including upgrading to Logic 8 and finally being able to record audio to its internal HD as well as an external 500 GB SATA drive. I was also, for the first time, able to run dual monitors, which made recording and mixing MUCH easier than doing both via one monitor. This machine is still have as well, though it seems to have the dread fan issue and I was having some issue maintaining video on a monitor. Research tells me the video card may not be seated properly and/or I may just have to replace it’s internal battery. I’ve been meaning to solve the issue and find someway to use it again, from a nostalgic standpoint. Every time I see a pristine looking one in the wild (as with the Mac Classic or Classic II), I’m like….”wow….”.

It was during this time I had found a great deal on 15″ Powerbook G4 Aluminum, from a graphics designer in uptown DC who was looking to upgrade. I had always wanted a Powerbook, but couldn’t afford one prior, at least a Powerbook with similar specs. This PB was sort of like the little brother to the G5 as they were both silver. The PB ended up being my daily runner BUT doubled nicely as my portable recording computer after loading it up with Logic 7.2 and some additional audio editing software. I took it with me when on business in Guam for a month and recorded the first tracks from my first release as a solo artist. Armed with a 25-key MIDI controller, it made a perfect combination for recording in my hotel room after work. Not only did I do music production on that PB, but also technical design and simulation work, so all around it was a great first PB to own. While on the subject of Powerboks, in the years to follow, I acquired the following: Powerbook 5300cs, Powerbook G3, and a Powerbook 165. The 5300cs ran Mac OS 8.6 and I mainly used that with my MessagePad Newton 2000, which was always a seamless connection. I was, with all the Newton software and apps I acquired, hoping to get the Newton wireless via two Orinoco wireless cards I ended up with at some point but that never transpired. The G3 Bronze was another good deal I just wanted to have in my collection. Using it was fun while I had it but it was eventually given to a friend who’s current computer crapped on on her – she and her daughter were Mac users for a short time, then back to the PC at some point…oh well, LOL. Out of all the PBs I owned, the G4 remains, needing repair as it won’t power on now. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it.

It wasn’t until the mid 2000s that I got another new Mac, a white 1.33 GHz iBook G4, entering the world of Mac OS X 🙂 I enjoyed the iBook as well, still being able to use my MessagePad with it, it was new daily runner, while the PB G4 was then my full time mobile music production Mac. the iBook was nice to use also but I think I ended up selling it – I really can’t remember at this point. What I do remember that replaced it was a 2007 Black MacBook, 2.16GHz…blazing compared to the iBook…LOL. Once again, a great deal from an owner who just upgraded to a MacBook Pro, so this suited me fine, as I always wanted to own that “black book”. Yep, still have it, new battery installed, running what I’ve seen said as the most stable versions of Mac OS X – Snow Leopard. It gets pretty warm when in use, so instead of trying to remedy that, it’s just tucked away now. I got some good daily use out of it – technical analysis work and everyday stuff too.

2007 – 14 years ago. Up until that time, I had also in my collection a silver door Power Mac G4, a Bondi Blue iMac G3, and an eMac – all for very short times. It was fun owning Macs that are referred to as vintage. That era of Apple was a great time. This fanboy, besides the aforementioned Macs, owned the iPhone 4 and 4s, Quicktime 100 and 200, PowerCD, original iPod, Newton MessagePads 100 (still have), 130, and 2100 (still have). Apple has done many great (and not so great) things since then, but there is no era like the “golden era”.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for hanging until the end, I appreciate it.

Be well.

“It’s been a long time…”

Greetings all. It’s 7am on a rainy Saturday morning. I’ve been up for an hour in a quiet house, The title of this post is part of a bar (lyric) from one of my favorite hip-hop rappers, Rakim. It’s the first lyric from the track I Know You Got Soul – Eric B. and Rakim.

It’s been five months, today, since I last posted a blog, so this will be kind of a “brain dump, journally” type of post – reminiscent of a Twitter follower and one I follow, MrTramuel, does. I’ve been blogging (though I’ve lost some early posts) since 2007 (see the blog roll to the right ) and have always enjoyed it and really would like to get back to it from my own “garden” here as DarrenKeith Wyatt likes to say.

I won’t get into the various impacts of the pandemic we’ve all had to endure, as I believe we’re obviously not out of the woods yet. It appears that things are moving slowly back to a semblance of how things were, pre-pandemic, and I guess that can be looked at a s good or bad thing, based on your personal view point. A new US Presidential administration is in place, spring is here, and a long weekend (for me, anyway) has started.

Work has been pretty busy, with three interplanetary missions in various stages of development. I’m definitely not mad at that, but it has shown me how much I still don’t know and how much ahead of me there is still to learn. I’m thankful to have to the opportunity to gain that knowledge and work with a great set of colleagues. The entire work experience has shown me about my capabilities and the necessary paths to take to increase them. Much of that has nothing more to do with than focus, discipline, and time management – two things I’m constantly working on improving.

The music production front – that is an area which I’ve stepped back from but it wasn’t planned. Producing music (like many other continual paths to reaching goals) is not something that manifests itself out of pure motivation, the driver is really discipline. Motivation is always nothing but “good feels”, its only discipline that moves one forward, and that discipline never is driven by external factors, but internal gumption, So, yeah…I’m not telling you anything you don’t already, but there have been studies that show writing things down help cement things in your brain, so here I am – repeating “on paper” the thoughts I’m trying to solidify.

Memorial Day is Monday -a day commercialized with sale after sale after sale. I saw some news posts (online and TV) alluding to the fact that America has watered down the meaning of Memorial Day as such. I even so a tweet this morning about the USO asking folks to sign some petition by midnight about remembering and recognizing the sacrifices that our military has made. Upon seeing it, I said…”Wait, but…”, then I began to read comments saying the USO is essentially confused. This holiday is to remember and honor those military soldiers that have fallen in the line of duty. Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day are really what you mean. Truth.

Anyway, I *love* quiet mornings before this house gets buzzing, and it’s rainy out still – that’s a plus for focus and introspection, but now, it’s down to the recording studio to get some work done, mug of tea in tow.

Have a good Saturday, as well as a good long weekend (for those of you that can take advantage of it)…and remember and honor those members of our armed forces that made the ultimate sacrifice.

Peace.

Music Monday – 28 Dec 20 – Actively listening to music: Is it passe’ ?

Greetings all…

I hope all is well with you as we head to the closure of 2020, and also hoping it ends in the way that you desire and 2021 begins the same.

For the last few months, especially as a musician and producer of music for listener to (hopefully) enjoy, I’ve thinking about where the advent of music playing technology and the internet has evolved the way we listen to music. I’m old enough to have started my *personal* music listening experience with vinyl. I say *personal* with respect to music I choose listen to vice that fed to me on the radio. As we know, listening to vinyl, reel-t0-reel, 8-track cassette, 2-track cassette, iPod or anything medium that doesn’t compete with the internet (or any other distraction) allows for “listening actively” – really focusing on all aspects of the music you are currently listening to, even if you are doing so with another listener as you both enjoy it.

From the earliest creations of mobile music player devices, music has been pretty much listened in the background while, most times, multitasking. It’s provided a audio backdrop to other things we currently do. Again, radio has done that for decades, but I’m attempting to separate that scenario from “personal listening”.

I was briefly discussing (via Facebook comment) this very same topic a few days ago with a friend who posted an article about the disappearance of active music listening or “deep listening”. The article, The Lost Art of Deep Listening. Choose an album. Lose Your Phone. Close Your Eyes is a great article. The caption itself summarizes the essence of this post is about.

While I do streaming music over portable devices just like in the aforementioned scenarios above, I have specific favorite artists that still release projects on physical media, such as CD, that I won’t listen to until I can set aside time to sit down and listen uninterrupted. I still, especially as a musician who came up in a certain era, very much enjoy reading liner notes for various reasons I won’t get into here, but more so, enjoy the fact of actively listening to all aspects of what the artist or band is gifting me, audibly, without distraction. While, in principle, I strongly belief streaming services AND the evolution ESPECIALLY urban contemporary/pop music have made music “disposable” and the listening experience (at least the way I define it, lessened. I also notice this because, being a music composer/producer, it;s difficult for me to regularly release tracks that only don’t necessarily engage the listener in active listening, even though Ive released said tracks for other reasons, The following is a post from a music production feed on Instagram that show exactly why I say this.

In reality, with respect to my comment above about “disposable”, the above (today) simple goes hand in hand with how the readily available access to media content has created, what I refer to “ADHD” mindsets. I’ll address a few of the tenets above with to the ADHD comment and present both sides, if you will.

  1. LENGHT (sic): This is extremely true but (in my experience of streaming various genres) only really in urban contemporary hip-hop/rap/trap music. The flip side (and there is an understanable, physical reason why0 is that the duration of songs of this genre is nothing new. In the 70s, when I first started listening to 45 RPM records, major hit radio songs and their B-sides, were also known to be less than 3 mins also. I can remember the b-side to The Ohio Players “Love Rollercoaster” – “It’s Over Now”. being less than or just a little over three minutes long BUT this was due to the fact that the album versions were always much longer than the 45 or radio edit versions.
  2. Hip Hop/Rap/Trap – I grew up listening to hip hop before it went radio commercial (Sugar Hill’s “Rapper Delight”) and many rap/hip hop records in that era could easily be in excess of ten minutes long. A perfect example is my first intro to rap with a record that I soon regularly began spinning as part of a DJ crew I was with. Superrappin’ is 12:04.

At that time, long songs took you on a musical journey in comparison to many of today’s records that basically last long enough to take you around the corner and across the street. As for the rest of the tenets, they are actually basic to many genres. Many hit rock songs have over many decades have no more than three to four simple chords, are simple, and are written with slower tempos.

I sent a small poll about this whole topic to a Facebook group that I’m an administrator over and surprisingly enough, that average age range of people that took the poll was in the 50s – they said streaming services don’t make music disposable and that they prefer that approach to non-streaming.

I’d be interested in your thoughts. Please feel free to comment below.

Thanks for the read, as always. Once again, wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2021.

oceans of rhythm…

Fresh!

The Art of Communications (LOL)

Ok, so….I’m ironing my clothes on Labor Day, getting them ready for the work week. My bluetooth headphones are on and I’m streaming some very chilled beats via the Fluid Channel on somafm.com. I’m just about done ironing five days worth of clothes and in comes my 22 y/o daughter from downstairs, or her bedroom, or wherever. The dialog begins:

Her: Dad, did you get my text? (her mother and brother already answered)

Me (taking off headphones): No, I haven’t looked at my phone in like 90 mins. (checks text message…. and sees this):

Me: Do you mean to tell me, couldn’t come upstairs, or from your bedroom or from WHEREVER you were to ask me this ??

Her: Well I…

Me (cutting her off): LOL, if it’s something important, or you need an answer…just come and ask me…you and your brother are the same way! Geez LOL.

Her: Ok okaaay, how is 2pm?

Me: Fine

After she leaves, I’m like, how did this SMS thing get folk to be so lazy, I mean, we’re in the saaaame house! I’ve heard stories of teens right next to each other, texting things back and forth when they can just show each other whatever it is! LOL.

I got to thinking, it’s been a long time since this thing worked,We have four in the house that worked when we first moved in almost 20 years ago. Look familiar to you?

The art of communication in 2019…gotta love it.

peace…Fresh

Social media’s growing influence (and distraction)

Ok, I get it…old hat, right, right. How ironic is it that I have written this post to primarily appear on social media (my Twitter account).

With regards to the subject of this post, I’ve read what feels like a countless number of articles on reducing social media distraction/improving productivity – and after all is said (read) and done, the simple bottom line is – just (don’t) do it – close the tabs, kill the notifications, put the phone in the other room, delete the apps etc.

I will attest, from experience, that for the first time since 2008, I’ve lost the desire to spend a very great deal of time on Facebook, to the point of it being down to five to ten minutes a day only to check on the few FB groups I am an admin on. This final new found freedom is more than very nice. Similarly, I’ve been off Instagram for a month now and I’m feeling the same about that platform. What is left, is Twitter, a platform I’ve been an early adopter of (since November 2006). The truth is, as toxic as Twitter has been known to become, I draw value from it – it feeds my ever-increasing knowledge of topics I’m interested in – and the type of feeds that do this are 95% of the time not personal feeds, so by tailoring my followers list, I avoid a lot of what I consider to be toxic, immature, foolish, etc (sometimes that leaks through via other user retweets, but…what can I do there? It’s not frequent).

Anyway, as I enter in to the last quarter of the year, this second annual sabbatical ended up better than last year’s. My hope is to redirect the time spent on social media as I did, to accomplish much more, in preparation for 2020.

oceans of rhythm,
Fresh