Posts tagged: Mp3

Friday 19th October 2007

Which mp3 player do you use? Not the physical piece of hardware, I am referring to the software on your PC or Mac. I have been using WinAmp since the dark ages, by which I mean nine years ago in 1998. I actually found out about the software while in a Trouble chat room. I was lounging around waiting for someone to jump in and observed a chat between two guys talking about a strange format. The URL came up on the screen and I went ahead and downloaded the software. It was a very late beta version, (0.99) I think (some screen shots through the years) . In any case, since then I have had every version of the software and seen it develop from a basic player, into a media library organiser, CD ripper and visualistion tool. In fact, during my time at college, Pav showed me how to use one of the many plug-ins to convert mp3s into WAV files to be burnt onto CD. Nowadays, the software does all that for you but back in 1999, you had to do it all manually. On Wednesday, I was prompted to download version 5.5, the 10th anniversary addition. Once again, the developers have surpassed themselves with a truly fantastic piece of kit. Sure, some people may swear by Windows Media Player, but I will always remain faithful to the llama. There are numerous new features but there are two which cry out to me. Firstly the ability to display album artwork, secondly the details of the track being play hover in a cloud above the system tray.

Received a strange letter from Arsenal this morning. An invitation to join their membership, “The Arsenal“. Only one thing which is wrong with that, I am already a member and have been since May 2005. I also joined the Season Ticket waiting list, exactly one year before the 2006 Champions League final (in some strange twist of fate). I am going to write back to the football club and explain that I am already a member and concerned why such a administrative error has been made. If they can get something as simple as my membership wrong, how well will they do with the 33001th position I have on the waiting list. Two years down only another thirteen years to go.

Not much planned this weekend, I am going to get up relatively early on Sunday to do some work but apart from that there is not much on. Oh, there is a small case of a World Cup Final, which I will try and catch. I am sure Pav and Charlie will try and get me out to watch the game in Reading.

Sunday 12th June 2005

Audio update, for the first time in six months. Rather depressing reading, unfortunately. Single collection has only grown by 100 songs over the past 6 months, equaling downloading one song every other day. My collection of albums has not really grown for over a year. I blame this purely on the closure of various BitTorrent sites which I use to use extensively. My collection overall is in quite bad shape and I need to undertake an extensive pruning when transferring over to the new PC next weekend.

People often tell me that I spend far too much on recordable media. At the time I bought my TDK Cyclone drive, in July 2002, I made a promise to only purchase and burn onto TDK discs. Certain sites over media as cheap as 20p, I have always paid around 50p for my discs. It is worth paying the extra for the quality and piece of mind, knowing that the disc will play in every player and last for years. I kept this promise over the past three years, ordering around 50 discs in bulk. I still have 20 CD-Rw discs lying on my desk but wanted to keep them for their sole purpose, which is to archive my MP3 album collection. So this afternoon, I rushed down to Staples to pick up an emergency supply of discs. Looking at the shelves I noticed to my surprise the number of DVD related media in relation to CD. The format has really picked up the pace in terms of consumer everyday use. CD based material was quickly going to be replaced by DVD as the preferred format of exchanging data. The reason I rushed out and made this purchase was to sort out my audio collection in the car. I had been creating discs at the drop of hat, without paying attention to quality and therefore always searching for something to listen to in the car. There are only a handful of new tracks that I listen to and the rest are a mixture of newly discovered songs from the 80s and 90s.

Monday 12th April 2004

As I come to the end of University and hence the educational leg of this trip we call life, I do wonder. I wonder what will make the children of tomorrow to take this step and leap into higher education. I recall like yesterday the day, when I ‘knew’ I would be heading to University. It was July 1994, some ten years ago. I was given an award for excellence for my time at my primary school, then Lansdowne County Middle School, now Chepping View. There were around five of us given this award. My headmaster remarked that these would be the people who would be at University in some eight years time. That sealed it for me. All of my elder cousins had gone to University and I had known for many years that it would be going. I suppose it was confirmed for me that afternoon, during that final school assembly and as I left Lansdowne forever. Leaving behind many sweet memories, friends and dreams of joy. So it was with bemusement, I heard the latest attempts of the government to get more young people into university. In a radio advertisement aired around December last year, the Aim Higher market team hit new heights. To appear to be happening, hip and appeal to the ‘yuth’ of today, they scripted the following:

Spokesman:There now follows a message about going to university. (Cough). Word up.
Youth (not impressed):He says he’s got something interesting to tell you.
Spokesman: The mega news is that the darty government posse will help you through uni by shelling out the clam.
Youth: There’s lots of financial help available like loans, grants and help with fees.
Spokesman: You cough up zip till ya minted.
Youth: You won’t pay back a penny of your loan until you’re earning over £15,000 a year.
Spokesman: So peg it man, don’t veg.
Youth: To find out what’s available to you now and the changes proposed for the future call 0800 587 8500 for your free information pack.
Spokesman: Don’t sack it, braw.
Youth: Don’t stop. Aim higher.

To read an article in the row which this advert caused in the commons go to the Education part of the Guardian website.

A quick message to Sam. Thanks for leaving a message on my guestbook. Tried to e-mail you but message was returned to me. Please get in touch via e-mail. Thanks! :D

Looking at my Audio page, which I had not updated for almost exactly 2 months. It was time to update my MP3 database. Not a dramatic update, as I have only increased the total number of songs by 30. The main increase has been in the albums department, where I am just 10 shy from 200! Also, I have been cleaning up my MP3s and removing songs that I rarely listen to and seasonal favourites, which also have been archived away onto CD-Rw. I know many of you may be concerned with the recent move of legal action being taken against Peer-to-Peer sharers in Europe. It appears that the record labels are going to go after people who share an excessive amount of copyrighted material. Not sure how I should approach this situation. All the audio listed on my audio pages has been ‘obtained’ from various sources, but I do not share any of the material. I know that does break the whole philosophy behind peer-to-peer networks. That is not to say I’m a self centered and selfish individual, if anyone contacts me requesting any material, I am more than happy to trade or in some case give them what they desire. Not sure how I should plead my case when the lawyers come knocking. Then again, will they? Ignorance is no defense, but then perhaps I could make the case that I have all this audio in CD or tape format? Didn’t think so! :S

Monday 29th March 2004

My friend Daz, asks me on Friday, as he does most Friday’s for an album. Of course I can not go into detail, on how I ‘obtained’ this album. The album in question was “Ride Da Riddims 2″. It should ring a bell, because it is one of the many television advertised albums. As always, I tracked it down and downloaded it over the weekend.

When it comes to my music I have very high standards. All audio has to be encoded in MP3 formatted at a bit-rate of 192 kilobits per second. My naming convention is also very strict, using a tight, track number, artist and title sequence. I hate the way certain ‘collectives’ out there on the web decided to fill the comment part of the ID3 Tags with their signatures or URL’s. This has to be removed too. I also have both version 1 and version 2 of the MP3s tag. The main reason for this is that the MP3 player in my car, only works with the first version, while WinAmp automatically selects the latest tag for all display and playlist information. Sometimes I get lucky and there are other audio enthusiasts out there like me, who believe in the same naming conventions. Although I have to admit this can be quite rare. On other occasions I get the worst luck and the individual mp3 files are themselves unnamed. It takes a quick visit to Amazon, to discover the full track listing. Once this has has been done, I begin listening to tracks that appear to be ‘interesting’. On this occasion I selected a track featuring Beenie Man on vocals. As the dance hall ‘riddims’ kicked in, I instantly put the volume up. The main vocals filled my room and within a flash my mind drifts to my car. The heat of the summer… I am in my car, with the song pumping, sunglasses on and as I drive, I take in the views… :D

My daydreams ends, and I am back in Leicester. I know my blog roll is not spectacular in terms of featuring any breath taking blogs, but it does feature an award winning blog. A Teenager Blogs, was the gold standard. I aspired to have a blog of the quality and content. He seemed to take ideas I had for my blog a few stages further. Such as labeling each entry, not merely by the date, but by some song lyrics which reflect the entry as a whole. However, I sadly discover that Max has decided to stop blogging. He had taken a small break a few weeks ago, but due to the immense pressure from his regularly visitors he was brought out of retirement, somewhat prematurely. He therefore came back with a few entries, but they lacked that unique touch which had become his trademark. Then, we discover that he has found a meaning for his life and nolonger has a need to blog. I do admire him for taking this step. However, he is young. He will learn that he will want to blog again, later in his life. Having started blogging and been successfully blogging for over a year I can clearly say that I can never see a time in my life when I will stop. It is not the addictive drug factor of the phenomenon. It is more of the therapeutic nature of my entries. It enables me to think out loud, with a world of strangers and let them come to some conclusions with regards to my life and my circumstances. I know in the future that blogging may be moulded differently with different technologies, particularly mobile technology. However my will and my determination is thus. I shall never, never stop blogging. I am not going to abandon my weblog, because of some great realisation or answer appearing in my life. To the contrary, I will it share it on my blog. I shall share it with all of you.

You Mean The World Me, Through Thick And Thin
You Take A Part Of Me Wherever You’ve Been,
Don’t Give Up, I’ve Messed Up
I’d Give Into The Fight You Trust In Me
You Love Me, Taught Me To Believe In Me
How Can I Tell You, That Girl I Know Your Good.

Monday 13th October 2003

The broadband connection finally went live at Sheffield Street, at around 5pm on Wednesday 8th October. Two souls had been waiting patiently, for the big, “switch on”. For one, it would just be a case of normal service resumed, for the other, it would be an brand new experience, unlike no other. Once the configuration had all be set correctly, thanks to those lovely people down at technical support, we were up and running. I had received an e-mail from my housemate, over six weeks ago and it had suddenly become a reality, “we’ll be setting up a home network and broadband connection, if you are interested…” Of course, I was. The benefits of having an internet connection on your doorstep, are too obvious and dull to waste noting on my blog, but not having to trek to the Queens building just to check my Hotmail, is of immense benefit.

Music wise, I’ve listening to a variety of music over the past two weeks. Of course, Kazaa-Lite was downloaded, before I had a chance to breathe, and eMule followed quite swiftly behind. A song, I had heard several times, during Fresher’s week, was known to me only by the title, “Turn Me On”. I was soon informed, by my dear friend Sippy, that the artist was Kevin Lyttle, with the help of Alison Hinds. I downloaded about four different versions of the song, by 5.15pm. The song is released today and it is hoped that it makes the top ten. In total, I’ve downloaded some twenty songs and four albums since the broadband pipe went ‘live’ and the downloading continues…

Audio page updated to reflect the changes to my music database.

Erasure, whom I mentioned in my blog, early last year around 19th January, are releasing a single this week. Well I should be clear and declare, re-releasing, but “Oh L’amour” has been remixed and rehashed for a modern pop audience. To date, I have not heard it played on the radio. To be honest, I have not been listening to that much commercial / music orientated radio stations in the past few weeks. The only time I would do such a thing, was if I was commuting some 600 miles a week. (I don’t think so…!) I am looking forward to seeing how well the electronic duo, do on Sunday in the Top 40.

Some of my dreams lately have been edging on the level of completely bizarre. I’m not sure if my new surrounding have anything to do with my dreams, but the content has been extremely peculiar. Mixed up images of friends from primary school, people I hadn’t seen in over ten years, and strange meetings with the Terminator. Not sure what has been happening. Maybe my diet has something to do with?

England played with great resilience in Istanbul at the weekend. As always, when in mattered, they put in the performance to answer their doubters and prove that England are still a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Hopefully, all the uncertainty regarded Sven can be discarded and the Swede, left to make plans for Portugal, 2004. I’m looking forward to the tournament, as always, they come at a crucial point in my academic life:

  • SATs – Euro ’96
  • GSCEs – France ’98
  • A Levels – Euro 2000
  • Finals – Euro 2004
  • I’ve quickly adjusted back to University life and am enjoying being back in Leicester. Of course, I miss home, High Wycombe does tend to hold some happy memories for me, and as much I miss my family and friends, I know there is a job to complete here. The culmination of four years of good work, needs to be seen through to the end and I’m not going to start letting people down, as perhaps, I have done in the past.

    Tuesday 2nd October 2003

    So an new month dawns, and September disappears into the abyss. However, with anything records remain of the past and they come back at times to haunt you, at times to bring joy to your heart. A incident when I logged back into my University account was to check the contents of my network drive the home drive (H:\). Browsing throw the folders, I discovered an old excel spreadsheet with details of my MP3 database. I checked the date, it was 31st May 2002. My mind instantly flashed back to that time and how wonderful life was. I had just finished my exams and the World Cup was a mouth-watering prospect, with a few days away from England’s first group game. The file took me to a life, which now seems to be a completely different from where I am now and where I am heading. The most extraordinary fact is how my MP3 collection has grown, since the end of my second year and how the content of my web blogs have gone from a few lines detailing updates to the site, to an opportunity for me to tell the world what is on my mind.

    487 days had passed since the date recorded on my MP3 database. In that time, my MP3 singles collection had grown from 1282, and increased by over double in the space of 16 months. The most dramatic rise is in the album collection. In May 2002, I had 37 albums. I now have 152, which is an increase of over 4 times. I have updated my Audio page to reflect the latest information with regards to my MP3 database. Due to University commitments, I will update it on a monthly basis.

    Not sure if any of you have seen the latest Party Political Conference Broadcast from the Labour party. It did indeed make me chuckle. I would use the word that they use, but it is more borrow the idea of the classic MasterCard advertisements. However, the tagline changes to the comical: “There are some things a government can’t do. For everything else there’s Labour.” Interesting, very interesting but I’m not sure the most ideal marketing tactic for a political party heading for some rough times in the coming parliamentary session. Of course, time will tell.

    Wednesday 20th August 2003

    I do not think I have mentioned the legend that is Tommy Boyd. By chance, about three years ago I started listening to TalkSport during the weekend evenings. This was to become something of great importance in my life. I was hooked every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Tommy Boyd, would dispel his wisdom to his avid listeners every weekend. The jewel of the weekend was the Sunday evening phone-in. Calls would be aired directly onto the studio, no producers or assistants screening calls. The would result in some hilarious radio for about four hours. Callers would ring up to play, pre-recorded audio, or say some stupid line or whatever. It was an example of democracy on the radio, and people had the opportunity to get take out their angst against the world. After all Monday morning was glaring on us all, and was as inevitable as the sun rising. A great site would his dedicated to Tommy Boyd and his life.

    My MP3 collection has grown dramatically over the past few weeks. I now have over 140 albums and over 2500 songs. My Audio page has been updated to reflect his.

    Wednesday 23rd July 2003

    I have been busy, this week, downloading more Mp3 albums from eMule.

    You’ve waited a long time for it. The Audio page hasn’t been updated since 8th June. Some of the individual mp3 listings haven’t been updated since 15th May. I have been very bad with regards to updating these. I’ve finally got around to it, as I have now got a great PlayList generator. It is a plug-in for WinAmp. It is called, EZ Playlist. I now have over 118 albums. Over a year ago, my total collection Mp3 albums only covered 10 650mb CDrw. I now have some 26 CDrws, each holding some 700mb of quality albums.

    However, I received an e-mail on Tuesday at 7.16am from Nehal Patel, with regards to comments I had posted on my website. He appreciated my comments but had a few corrections with regards to my posting. Firstly that his surname is Patel, and the actual full name of his website is, “My Sangeet”. Sangeet is the Hindi for song. Nehal pointed out, that although there is substantial amount of ‘copying’ which takes place in Bollywood, there are many musical composers who are original. The following, have produced soundtracks that are less than 5% copies of Western songs:

    • A.R. Rahman
    • Ismail Darbar
    • Aadesh Srivastava
    • Anu Malik – used to be a big copier but has been “clean” for a few years now and has created amazing tunes on his own
    • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

    Mr. Patel, was also able to provide some much needed statistics with regards to this copying phenomenon. In general only about 15% of Hindi songs are copied from western sources. Another 15-20% are copied from Eastern sources (mostly Pakistan and Persia). So actually 65-70% of Hindi film songs are completely original.

    Some original soundtracks include:

    1. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
    2. Taal
    3. Rangeela
    4. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
    5. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
    6. Devdas

    I would like to send my best wishes to Nehal Patel, ask him to keep up the good work. He has obviously been doing his research, and knows his subject well. Thanks for the feedback. It is much appreciated.

    Not been up to much recently. Just trying to get other things sorted, like mountains of paperwork and post, in anticipation of my Final Year at University. I must say, that I am looking forward to it. It will be a bit strange, switching back to student mode, but I’m sure, once I’ve settled down, the work will get in the way of everything that I want to do.

    Still looking at a new ISP, as the spam situation with my mailbox with MadAsAFish is getting out of control. I hope to have something sorted by the weekend. It cannot come soon enough!

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