Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Archive for March, 2012

Ninja Consumers

Posted by Ad on March 27, 2012

Finland’s allegedly trailing way behind our neighbor Sweden in consumption of streamed and downloaded music. I don’t believe that, I think it’s just a difference in behavior that accounts for the over 30% difference.

I may have mentioned having attempted to buy Logic 9 on the App Store, but was unable to actually pay. The store only accepts a bunch of credit cards, which I know better than to get. After some correspondence with Apple’s customer service (who politely/robotically suggested, repeatedly, that I should just get a credit card), I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble. So far, Logic Express 8 serves me fine, and when that fails, I can move to a different DAW. I’ve heard good things about Digital Performer, I’ve been looking at Ableton Live for live performance reasons, there’s always the very affordable Reaper, and beyond those a myriad of other options.

What bothered me the most is the lack of a PayPal option in Apple’s stores, as it’s an option in the US but not here. That’s what I use to buy stuff on Steam and Bandcamp, it’s a very convenient payment options that Apple seems to allow in other countries. Having to get a credit card is a hoop I might jump through if there was no other option. But that’s not the case. There’s other software… and other means.

My theory on piracy is that there’s three types of pirates: pirates of convenience, pirates of economy, and pirates of ideals. Pirates of ideals are the free-culture hippies that think information shouldn’t be locked up and everything should be available for free. Not sure to what extent I agree with them, there’s freedom of information acts on one side, and indie artists’ earnings stolen by labels and royalty-collecting agencies on the other. Pirates of economy are the ones who can’t afford the stuff they pirate, or who just don’t want to pay. In the developing world, I support this attitude. Get stuff, use stuff, build business and education. In the developed world, there’s certainly a lower class that may not be able to afford to keep up with the music and movies their more affluent neighbors consume, but the majority population can afford the 10 bucks an album costs these days.

Still, the most interesting type are the pirates of convenience. These include brats with a runaway sense of entitlement as well as lazy ppl who just want stuff in the most convenient way possible, and probably further still in… some direction. I use Steam because it’s convenient. It’s the ultimate combination of store, personal library and networking tool. I’ve used other means of getting the stuff I wanted… because it was convenient.

The thing is, pirates of convenience may well pay for their stuff (even to the point where they aren’t pirates anymore) if they get it without jumping through hoops. Bandcamp does this well. With a clean interface and a few clicks, I buy music and support the artist. I typically listen to music by my friends, released on Bandcamp (or ocremix), but if I wanted something else, Apple’s iTunes Store is among the last places I’d buy from. No credit card, no PayPal option, no way of paying short of buying a dozen of those iTunes Store cards from Apple Stores irl. Considering there are music stores out there that attempt to sell stuff released for free (eg free releases from Bandcamp, ocremix albums et al), I feel safer getting music from a place where I know the wrong ppl aren’t profiting from the artists’ work.

Despite speaking from a very limited experience with music stores, I think the main reason Finland’s trailing in music downloading/streaming is in measuring the wrong thing: only purchases and streaming services that are being tracked by the music… tracking… ppl. There’s YouTube (-to-mp3), there’s torrents, there’s a lot of ways to get music besides iTunes, Spotify, and whatever else was tracked.

It’s not like Finns are tech-illiterates. It may actually be the opposite. That’s why I don’t think my ISP blocking The Pirate Bay is gonna stop ppl.

Two more things, mostly unrelated: I’ve got a plan/idea/design for a movie/tv-show site, one that includes a way to make money from the site. There’s just the problems of convincing advertisers, and to consolidate shows and movies into a single service rather than have each studio and network demand special treatment/jack up prices for their catalogues or otherwise make their own services… thus driving ppl to the quasi-legal link sites and torrent searches instead. Tho for a single-network service it might work, too. Maybe I should just patent my idea and sit on it, then sue anyone that came up with it independently if they get big. That’s apparently how the big tech companies do it. If only game devs could do the same with to get CloneVille (as in Zynga) off the map.

The other thing is my new album plan: my old music as a free album… or album series. We’ll see. I think I have four tracks being worked on atm that fits my old methods, so they’re candidates for this album. Any proper album would be a later concern, now I’ll just focus on finishing random tracks and giving some extra attention to my few thousands of old tracks.

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Apple Doesn’t Work on This Anymore

Posted by Ad on March 9, 2012

Remember AppleWorks? I remember it from back when it was called ClarisWorks. I like it. Sure, it wasn’t Photoshop, it wasn’t Office, it wasn’t even Word, but over the years, it became a useful wrench in my workflow. While the database and spreadsheet functionality saw some use towards the latter years, the painting functionality barely any use at all, those are fairly easily replaced. Now if only I could get LibreOffice spreadsheets to convert a text-based field to boolean while keeping the information…

The drawing functionality, however, is difficult to replace. Any DTP layout program should suffice, but it’s hard to find something affordable and stable. Especially now that I’m out of a job and don’t have spare hundreds to spend on software. Vector graphics and layout programs are sort’a in the right direction, but not quite. EazyDraw, developed as a replacement for the drawing tools in AW and capable of reading most of the information in AW drawing documents would be great, if not for a clunky interface.

That’s probably what irks me the most: interfaces. X11’s interface puts two rows of redundant stuff on the screen, and Inkscape looks ridiculous with 5-6 rows of menus and margins before I actually get to the document itself. I kind’a feel the same about OSX sometimes – the dock is useful and looks nice, but it takes up precious real estate on a laptop screen.

Anyway, I spend some of my spare time trying to design board games, card games, games of whatever type I can. Before I do any prototyping and testing, I sketch it out on the computer. I mean, I did. Now I have to rely on TextEdit – which works ok when it’s just notes and card lists, but it doesn’t let me put text blocks, lines, and images wherever I want. That’s what I did in AppleWorks.

On a related note, I use Snow Leopard’s TextEdit because Lion’s doesn’t fit my workflow, and didn’t give me any working options to change its behavior. For that matter, lots of apps in Lion don’t even understand command-Q because they don’t have a quit option, only “quit with windows” or “quit, close windows”. Apple, Y U NO keep it simple, stupid?

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