Music and such

Music that I am listening to now, have discovered, or am into at the moment.

The YouTube Music App. Its Going to be Bigger Than People Think.

If you are old enough, you might remember when MTV and VH1 actually played music videos. You might remember a time when all of the reality TV crap they show now didn’t exist. Some of us even remember seeing The Buggles, “Video Killed the Radio Star” on MTV and realizing that MTV was going to change how we looked at music forever.

Fast forward 30 years, and MTV is nothing like it used to be. Neither is the way we all take in music. From satellite radio, to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, eMusic, Vimeo, YouTube, on every device, anywhere we want to listen or watch. I watch a lot of music on YouTube. From vintage 1950’s TV programs on Jazz with live performances by people like John Coltrane, to new release music videos.

A few days ago, YouTube launched the YouTube Music app, and in many ways it felt like MTV during its golden era. The comments section for the video is filled with a boat load of people bashing it and not understanding the point. The way I see it, YouTube is trying to remain relevant at a point where Facebook is getting ready to launch it’s own dedicated video service. The advantage YouTube has is the vast size of it’s catalog, and the fact that it is tied to Google. Content is king in the streaming business, and YouTube has it in spades.

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Predominant.ly Searching for Music.

I used to spend hours in record store sifting through stacks of new and used vinyl searching for something new and unique. Just like book stores, record stores were a place to discover old favorites and new gems. A place to find music that you could share with your friends and so much more. there was something about the experience that will never be captured by an online experience, no matter what your source is, be it iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, eMusic, etc.

Predominant.ly designed and built by Open Work wants to change that. They want to bring to the online world the spontaneity of stumbling across a new find or an old favorite while searching for music.  The concept is really pretty clever. Based on color choices Predominant.ly  serves up groups of albums where the covers match your color choices. The data is pulled from iTunes which makes the entire catalog available.  The experience definitely lends itself to the concept of exploration in the digital space.

Albums

Digital Habits Osound

I’m a big fan of design that blends into the environment, or hides in plain sight looking like something it’s not. I think it’s one of the reasons I like OSOUND from Digital Habits. This wireless speaker looks like a piece of minimalist wall art, yet delivers some pretty impressive audio for a small wireless speaker.

OSOUND features gesture controls, and streams your music via Bluetooth 2.0 specs. The gesture control interface lets you run the system with simple swipes of the hand without touching the device surface. There is also an iOS and Android app if you don’t feel like getting up.

The acoustic box is wooden to help create a more natural tone from the speaker. Designed in Milan Italy, Digital Habits not only thought about the acoustic quality of this speaker, they also considered how to help it blend into the environment. OSOUND COMES IN A variety of color tones (aqua, black, grey, white, burgundy and brown) to compliment your space.

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AUDIO DATA
Speaker System: 3.5” speaker low/mid range and 2” tweeter
Power amplifier: 2×6 W (12V)
Response Frequency: 85 Hz to 20 kHz

COMPATIBILITY
OSOUND connects via Bluetooth for wireless high quality audio. The product is compatible with any Bluetooth 2.1 and higher devices.

ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS
Power: 100-240 AC 50-60 Hz

SIZE AND WEIGHT
Size 16 inches diameter x2. 75 inches thick
Weight 5 pounds

INCLUDED ACCESSORIES
AC/DC 12 V 2 A

Carboni Studio Mind Boggling Animation for Cruisr’s “All Over”.

OK this animated music video for Cruisr’s “All Over” by Carboni Studio is insane. First off it was animated in Photoshop and finished in After Effects to keep the hand crafted feel running through out. That’s right animated in Photoshop, Comped in After Effects. Now you watch it you’ll notice that each scene has to blend into the next as it ends. Not an easy task, and something that requires a lot of pre visualization and very talented animators to pull off.

Now, how many movies can you name here? The entire video is a montage of movie characters and scenes. I stopped counting after 20.

Minimalist Design in the Lampion Vacuum Amp For Your iPad.

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Danish audio maker Låmpion has released a new tube amplifier designed by Stefan Radev. The minimalist tube amplifier is one stylish piece of hardware with a clean aesthetic blending aluminum, wood, and glass to create a clean, simple, functional design. The amp is compatible with both Apple and Android devices and can be used with  stand alone audio equipment as well.

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There is something timeless about the look of this object, and it feels like the design team really took into account how the amp will look when paired with an iPhone or an iPad. The rounded edges and materials mirror what is going on with the Apple products so well, and the look of the build quality screams premium audio. The design team  applied a well balanced choice of proportions, materials, and accents to create the clean look of this amplifier without introducing to much technological clutter.

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Beyond the look, this amp  is solid on specs as well featuring two twenty watt custom tube driven amps, with a frequency response of 5Hz to 50Khz, multiple inputs ranging from RCA output, micro USB input, WiFi audio, an Apple Lighting dock connector, 1/4 inch headphone jack as well as mini jacks.

No word on pricing and availability, but I suspect this will be Europe only and carry a hefty price tag when it’s all said and done.

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Elvis DNA Sound. The King Rises Again.

What a fantastic idea. You use the genetic code of someones DNA to create music. What a great advertising idea. You use Elvis Presley’s DNA to create a new composition and then seed that to other musicians asking them to create a completely new song based on it. That is exactly what Grey Brasil did for Rolling Stone magazine. The video below explains the process, and gives a bit of information about the results of the campaign at the end.

Working with Stewart Mitchell from East Lothian Grey Brasil used a single strand of Elvis’ hair to sequence his DNA. The code from the hair was translated into a MIDI track that was then fed into a more robust music application where the actual musical composition was generated. The whole process is as far as I’m concerned a hell of a lot more fascinating than the ad. to hear all of the compositions created from Elvis’ DNA click here to go to the dedicated website.