Archive for the 'Music' Category

Entrance

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

If decent voicemail isn’t the killer mobile application then how about this.

One of the many things that’s being touted as the next big thing is location based services. That’s where your phone already knows where you are and can tailor information to your location, or send your location automatically to other services like the AA or the local pizza shop. Those features are pretty standard, but there’s also been some talk about your phone automatically reacting to your location, i.e. downloading traffic alerts or adverts for nearby shows or discounts for the shop you just walked into. Obviously it’s just another avenue for spam but I expect someone to at least try and start a free, ad-supported, mobile service sooner or later.

But that’s not my idea.

What I’m wondering is, if you’re phone can react to location then surely your location can react to your phone. Billboards could change to target the majority of people nearby, signs could welcome you by name to the cinema, or — still as scary but more useful — you could setup your cards so that ATMs and credit card machines confirm that you’re in the area before accepting your card.

You’re thinking, I expect, that you’d never let the phone company share your location with random services like that. I say all you need is an incentive, a service so desirable that you’d ignore the implications and the downsides. A killer application for location information sharing.

And I have one.

Entrance Music

Imagine it, when you walk into a bar your chosen music comes blaring out the speakers. No longer do you need to choose an annoying ringtone and wait for people to call, just set up your theme and go find a pub. The more you pay the longer and louder your music plays.

There you go, that’s your free killer idea for today. Go and make millions.

The Sound of Silence

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Wow, no posts for three weeks — a new record.

Why so quiet? Well I’ve been in Moscow for work the week before last and the rest of the time I’ve been somewhat busy catching up with all the other things I was supposed to do over the last month.

Preparing for the trip was interesting, it was all very short notice and it’s been a while since I’ve had to work with a proper drop-dead deadline, and it’s been ages since I’ve had such a tight schedule to keep. In the end it all went as smoothly as I could have hoped for — even if our software isn’t as easy to use as I would have liked (particularly since I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to improve exactly that).

I was pleasantly surprised by Moscow, considering my last visit to was marked by close encounters with scam artists and dodgy policemen. This time everything was quiet, no scams, no police, not even that many strange looks. I did manage to get hopelessly lost by getting off at the wrong metro stop and not realising for an hour, and I managed to sleep through my stop on what I thought was the last train of the night (fortunately there was at least one more train going back the other way).

I found a couple of really nice bars that I’d go back to (and a few that I wouldn’t recommend). This is easier said than done as Moscow’s street layout and numbering is somewhat odd. I also found myself, pretty much by accident, back at a bar I’d been to with the Vodkatrain lot, these dudes were playing (sorry for the shaky video):

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I have more videos but the embedded player doesn’t seem to play nice with multiple videos.

All in all a fun, and worthwhile, trip. Now I just have to decide where to go next.

Best in Class

Monday, February 19th, 2007

It’s been a fun weekend so far, dotting around London, meeting up with friends, eating and drinking. Emphasis on the drinking.

I’ve discovered a couple of gems, first possibly the best club in London, Feeling Gloomy, from the site:

The UKs only club night that brings you the saddest, most melancholy music known to man.

Which is probably not the best advert for a club but it works remarkably well, lots of fun music with melancholy as a general theme and a mixed crowd that seemed to be really enjoying themselves. Well worth checking out, even if it does have an annoying dude taking photos for the website. Yes, you can find us in the set from last Saturday.

The second gem was Hot Fuzz which was fantastic, so much so that I almost don’t mind forking out £13 for the privilege of seeing it in a swanky Leicester Square cinema. The film is pretty much what every action comedy should aim for, they’ve well and truly raised the bar I’ll be interested to see what they do to top it.

Off to attempt to find something cultured to do for the afternoon, and tomorrow onward to Berlin.

Working at Chirstmas Time

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Well it’s the December the 27th and I’m back at work in an almost empty office, there’s only two of us left now. People always think it strange that I work the days between Christmas and New Year but generally there’s not that much going on around now and it’s not that hard to wander in and get some stuff done. Better to save holidays for some other time.

It also gives me a chance to listen to all the CDs I’ve bought over the last few weeks (I got a bit Amazon-happy again and just kept clicking the big button). I’m listening to Jarvis, Jarvis Cocker’s new album, at the moment. It’s really rather good, well worth picking up in the sales. You can hear some of it on his (particularly awful looking) myspace page.

Bonus link: teaser trailer for the new Fantastic Four movie. As one of the few people that actually liked the first film I’m quite looking forward to this one.

Busy Week

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

It’s Thursday, I’m knackered and I’m only half way through my stupidly busy week. In the last post I said:

… maybe I’m just being particularly fickle this year as I’ve not really liked all that much I’ve seen.

Or maybe not, this week has marked a notable turn around in shows.

First, Regina Spektor at the Liquid Room on Monday. She was great, as always, I’m notably naff at describing music gigs so I’m not going to really try. Worth seeing.

Tuesday was supposed to be my quiet night but a ticket for Russell Brand — a show I really wanted to see — fell into my lap. Russell’s not quite how I expected him to be in the flesh but he puts on a brilliant show, it’s probably the funniest hour I’ve seen at this years festival. I’d say it’s well worth catching but it looks like he’s cancelled the rest of the run due to laryngitis. He did sound a bit rough when I saw him.

The streak of good shows continued in style with the Dresden Dolls at the Spiegel Tent who were fantastic, even better than the last time I saw them I think. Go see them if you get the chance, blame me if it you hate it (but that’s unlikely).

So tonight Muse get to try and round off the week with a bang, and them I’m off to Oslo to visit elvis_chimney for the weekend. Hopefully I’ll manage to make it back in one piece — and not too poor — for the start of next week.

Back in one piece …

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Well, back from T in the Park and still in one piece. A tiny bit sunburned and tired despite sleeping for ages for the last couple of nights.

The weekend itself was great although, if pushed, I’d have to say that it didn’t quite live up to last year but then the line-up and the weather in 2005 made it a hard act to follow. I’m not going to say much more about it, I might work some thoughts into future posts in the meantime there’s plenty of other comment out there. Try this search to find some pictures, opinion, etc. I will give a quick shout out to elvis_chimney, and his recommendation to start Sunday with Fuck Off Machete who were a great way to kick off the day.

That last sentence is probably enough to get the site banned by another set of work filters.

They released 35,000 tickets for next years festival yesterday morning. They sold out in under an hour and a half, which is a pretty good indication that people had a good time. Predictably there’s already a whole bunch of tickets on eBay although it’s unclear whether the bidders or the sellers have any ability or intention to follow through on the deal.

Magic Orb

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Thought I better post something that wasn’t a website rant (don’t worry there may be more of that soon). A post on cruftbox.com led me to a nifty bit of media streaming software called Orb.

You install the software on a computer that has access to your media files (pictures, music and video) and has Internet access. Once the software’s on your server you can just navigate to my.orb.com from any machine on the Internet and stream all your music and video.

Thanks to this I’m now sitting at work streaming music off my home server. All in all took about half an hour to set up at home and less than five minutes to log in from here. It does have it’s downsides, I’m lucky that I have a computer I leave on all the time anyway and I have reasonable upstream bandwidth (certainly more than enough for CD quality music). The major problem I have is that both the server and the web based client have lousy interfaces, which becomes a problem if you’ve got a lot of media files. The system does import any playlists you have so the solution is just to build playlists with your favourite software and play them rather than trying to navigate to what you want to play.

All in all it’s a pretty impressive piece of software, not 100% stable but pretty good, I know it’s not the only way to do this but it’s the setup is really simple and it has the ‘it just works’ feel to it that’s lacking in other solutions. Well worth checking out.

And it means that anywhere with a ‘net connection, I’ll have access to my music collection. Be afraid.

Getting out the house …

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Wow, I’ve got really bad at this web thing lately. In my defence I’ve had a few things on and I’ve been tinkering with some other sites (if don’t already know about the other site you’re probably not interested, trust me).

I am on a bit of a quest to do something beside veg in front of a computer and/or a TV. I made strides in that direction last night (more…)

More on gigs and ticket touts

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

I may as well shill for StopTicketTouts.co.uk which is an online petition to, eh, stop ticket touts. It’s a good idea, and worth signing for the time it’ll take you, but most online petitions are pretty worthless and I’m not sure this one’ll be any different.

Further to my recent rambling on RSS feeds for upcoming events I’ve remembered a site that did repackage ticket information scraped from the Ripping Records site. It was called Ripped Tickets but sadly seems to be no more. The magic of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine reveals a page from 2005 that shows what they were up to.

The question there is: what happened? Did they get cease&desisted by one of the sites they were scraping? Are they gearing for a relaunch? Too much traffic not enough revenue? Was the site enough for them to sell the idea to someone else and it’s just taking a while? They seem to have been going recently enough that it’s perhaps just down for a server swap/revamp but who knows.

Gigs revisited …

Friday, February 24th, 2006

A while back I talked about wanting an RSS feed for gigs in my area. Using the ones I found from gigs.co.uk seems to be working OK but they’re not perfect. There’s a lot of events there that I don’t care about, the feeds themselves don’t contain much information so you’re forced to go to the website to check and the ways the feeds are formed off the searches means the date coverage of the feeds is a bit odd.

A bit more searching revealed at least one other person who wants some sort of ticket alerts. Let’s make a wish list for a decent ticket alert service …
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