Monday, September 19, 2011

Yes, It's 3:30 AM, but the New Site is Up!

My life always seems to work this way. I get an idea. I run with it. I don't stop. Three days ago, I started work on a complete redesign of I knew the day was coming when I'd need to make that happen, but I didn't expect it to happen this week.

I'm not going to restate why I did the new design. You can read out that on the first news post of the site. (Never fear, I will continue to keep this blog up. This blog is where I get to rant. Over there, I keep things more business-like, you might say.) What I will say, though, is that I feel much better now that it's "done" (I have a few things yet to touch up, but they're all very minor.)

I like the idea of starting something, going all in with it, completing it, then moving on to the next task. It's refreshing. I hope you enjoy the new site as much as I do. I feel like I've accomplished something.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thoughts on Google Music Beta: Magnifier

I've only spent a few minutes on Music Beta - and only about 10 minutes listening to music from Magnifier. If you're unfamiliar with either or both services, check 'em out here:

Music Beta:

Basically, my thoughts are simple:

First of all, Music Beta successfully ruined my first listen of Rachael Yamagata's song River by blipping the crap out of it. I have 24 mbps download-streaming internet service, so I'm guessing the real streaming problem of this very delicate tune was on the content delivery side - not on mine. Seriously. Ouch.

But here's what I find to be the real problem:

Google says, "Add new and exclusive tracks to Music Beta for free" and in their promotional literature, they repeatedly say Music Beta is "your music library" and "your personal music library"....  I find that hard to believe - and as far as I can see, I'm right.  Here's why:

Yes, only *you* have access to the songs. Yes *you* can organize them into playlists - just like in iTunes. BUT - and here's the kicker: your songs are stuck in cyberspace and you can't download them on to your computer - even if they are in *your personal music library* that is called Music Beta.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but it looks like even when you make content available offline on your Android device (is it available for iPhone?) you CAN'T play songs OUTSIDE of the Music Beta app - meaning: they aren't YOUR songs - they're stuck in MB. Unless I'm missing something, there definitely is NOT a feature to download songs to your computer or make content available offline on your computer.

So I argue here that the feature to "add free songs to your library with Magnifier" is totally and completely dumb. They in no way become MY songs.

At least Spotify doesn't try to tell users they OWN songs that they merely from within their program.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

View from Horseshoe

This past Sunday night, I took the stage at Horseshoe BBQ on Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. It was a fun night - not a stupendous night, but a good night. It was my first show as a father of two. I had a mild headache. I was running on about 10 hours of sleep over three days. Beautiful. (in a weird sort of way.)

I want to say a quick thanks to Rena Newman for inviting Chris Zonada and me to perform, and I want to thank Mike at Horseshoe BBQ for paying us - for supporting live, original music in Chicago. His commitment is rare this city I call home. Thank you. Speaking on behalf of all other Chicago songwriters, we hope that we can pay you back - some day.