Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Posts Tagged ‘itunes’

iT phone home

Posted by Ad on April 23, 2015

Wow, it’s been a while. I had stuff written, but never posted. So, let’s get some new thoughts online.

There are different ways of using stuff. Take matches. You can light things on fire with them. The orthodox way is to draw the match against the striking surface and the bring the burning match near paper or kindling. A non-standard method is to use matches to light another match on fire, making them stick together. This isn’t the standard way of lighting things on fire tho.

Another creative, non-standard use of matches is to build things out of them. You can build animals out of them and pinecones, you can build houses and things out of them… and optionally also light these on fire.

I can classify uses of things into three categories: intended use, non-standard use, and advanced use. Simple enough?

So there’s iTunes, and OSX. iTunes worked great when it was a music library and little else. It works ok as an mp3-player manager, altho the clunky way of throwing files forth and back could be improved by making it possible in the Finder (or Windows) instead. But iTunes really breaks down when connecting to the web.

I don’t use the iTunes store for much. All my iTunes gift cards have been used in the App Store instead. I don’t really listen to the stuff iTunes sells, except for the stuff friends of mine have already released elsewhere (so I don’t need to buy it from iTunes). So I’ve disabled the store. I mentioned in a post way back when that iTunes wanted to check, twice, that I was aware that I wasn’t logged into the store. That was annoying, but at least it only asked twice.

That’s not the case with the new problem I’ve found: on a computer-to-computer network, the kind that I use when I don’t have access to any other network, and I want to connect two devices; iTunes wants to connect to internet radio. It can’t. That’s fine. What’s not fine is that it tells me. Not once, or twice, but _indefinitely_.

So I was semi-DJ-ing at this event, and didn’t want to have to run forth and back to adjust volume levels with my hastily compiled playlist, so I started a computer-computer network and connected the iPhone to that. And iTunes kept telling me it couldn’t connect to internet radio.

SHUT UP, I KNOW, YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO!

Time to check out Songbird again. With any luck, it can do everything I actually use iTunes for.

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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 are Morons, RIAA worse

Posted by Ad on January 24, 2012

Lately, iTunes has been asking me to sign in a few seconds after starting the app. I get it, it’s a music store that I persist in using as the music library it used to be. But you’d expect the program to let me opt out of logging in every time. What’s more annoying is that it asks twice, with some delay in between. This even happens when the iTunes Store is disabled in the Parental options.

I had a similar problem with an old version of Photoshop Elements, where every so often after I’ve started it, it “couldn’t get info” from… somewhere. Didn’t matter if I was in the middle of tweaking an adjustment layer or effect, it just dropped everything to let me know that it couldn’t get info from wherever. I’m tolerating that because once it’s tried a few times, it stops. Besides, I don’t use PS for much anyway, and that old version will be retired along with my old laptoip once I get a new one.

But when Apple does this to me, it’s worse. It’s not a glitch, it’s something that someone decided was a good idea. I don’t like the idea of logging in to do stuff on my own computer. I don’t use the iTunes store, and I’ve only bought a handful or Apps via the App Store. While it never actually requires me to log in, asking – twice – is annoying.

Speaking of which, I’m not likely to purchase much of anything from either store anyway. I don’t have a credit card, and I can’t get either store to accept PayPal, which I use for my online purchases. I’ve heard there was an issue with the App Store charging as much as 4000USD for Lion through some glitch, but that’s no reason to pull support for it… especially as so many other parts of the internet use PayPal without any apparent problems. I mean, every game I’ve bought on Steam I’ve bought via PayPal. IIRC, all the music software I’ve bought over the net I’ve bought with PayPal.

And segueing from iTunes, the fallout from the rightfully rejected SOPA/PIPA has shown the true colors of the MPAA and the RIAA. The way I see it, we could do without those two. The less power they have, the more they’ll have to focus on good music, not just metrics and a bland copy of the next hot thing. Maybe they’ll support real artist instead of manufacturing their own?

The way I understand it, Spotify has to deal with whatever they demand for their music, and if Spotify doesn’t make enough dough to keep up, they lose their contracts with the big music companies. That might actually be a good thing. If I knew my money was going to the ppl that make the music I listen to, I’d happily pay for a subscription to Spotify. Currently, I wouldn’t.

If the big labels pull their stuff, Spotify could survive as a transparent, independent music platform, delivering great music, supporting the artists that make the music, promoting new and interesting indie artists. Last I used Spotify, it was a search engine for names of songs and artists, with a “featured” page with the “hottest” music. I don’t care. I’m apparently too hipster to like most modern pop music. What if I wanna find some new, cool, underappreciated artist, or discover the unknowns hits of some niche genre, or catch up on jazz history or video game releases?

The movie industry could do better too. While stuff like Attack the Block and other gold does appear from time to time, we’re still getting huge budgets on mediocre films. Sure, Inception was cool, but Avatar was predictable and gimmicky, like the entire, color-ruining, still not focus-altering 3d thing. Granted, you need money to make movies, so why not spend more money on movies and less on bribes?

While big, spectacular films, good or not, will always draw ppl in for the things that money can buy on screen, the record industry is in a terrible position where music is all over the place and the value of any given album or song has dropped dramatically.

While Apple tries to remedy this with a convenient means of buying music, and Spotify paying big money to use the big names on its service, I’m hoping someone’s gonna come up with a, big new music service that’s better than both of those. Something that doesn’t ask you repeatedly to log in to your own music, and that actually pays the artists.

In the mean time, I’ll use PayPal to buy my music from artists’ bandcamp pages or from cdbaby or something. As for my own music, I’m still on Logic Express 8, and while I’ve been meaning to upgrade, Apple doesn’t make it easy for me to hand them my money…

PS. I’m still displeased with wordpress’ new interface. I can see one or two paragraphs of text in the New Post text box, and the resize thing doesn’t work. Navigating through the site to get to the Add New Post page thatactually works is troublesome because the whole thing defaults to the wrong blog. I have two. This belongs on the music one. Dear webmasters, stop “fixing” things by b0rking them!

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