While writing my previous post about The Music of What Happens, I noticed RTÃ‰’s new music website – http://www.rte.ie/music – for the first time. I’m not actually sure how long this has een there but I thought it was worthy of a mention. I like the jukebox graphic effect, positioning of links, blend of colours and well thought-out user interface. All flash-based of course!
I first came across the Live Plasma project in early 2006 but rediscovered it again recently. This article on Visual Complexity describes it as:
Liveplasma maps and displays music and movie search results with linkages and groupings, making a good use of Amazon.com’s API. After the search term is submitted, it’s immediately surrounded by other artists; the closer they are, the more similar they are in style to the target. The user can search, map, discover new movies or artists then save and share their maps.
It really is quite a lot of fun to use, and good for discovering similar bands to ones you already listen to. It’s also good for finding movies with your favourite actor that you may not have seen before.
I also noticed on Michele Neylon’s recent article that the Last FM Playground project looks to be doing something along the same lines. I wonder if the are also using the Amazon APIs.
You can say what you want about the Michael Jackson but for my money he was a musical genius and his death is a tragic loss to the world. I’m sure the debate about his many and varied character flaws will live on but not for anywhere near as long as his music will.
It’s a real shame that he didn’t get to perform the series of concerts he had scheduled for The O2 Arena in London. Who knows what other great music he might have written on the back of the renewed confidence he could have gained from them. I had the privilege of seeing him perform in Cork, Ireland in 1988 and to this day, I’ve yet to see anything quite like it.
On a related note, you can look at a collection of his finest work on the excellent MUZU TV.
The Irish national broadcaster RTÃ‰ has launched its own TV Player allowing viewers (in Ireland) to watch programmes up to 21 days after they were broadcast. It is similar in concept to the BBC iPlayer (which was actually launched several years ago now) with the exception that it does not yet support Radio broadcasts. RTÃ‰ have been broadcasting live TV from their website for some time now with limited availability of pre-broadcast programmes but this takes things a great deal further.
At first glance, I think it looks really well, seems pretty easy to use and plays well on my home broadband connection.
Check out this clever music video from Take This Dance. When you play it, it attempts to detect your physical location (based on your Internet connection settings) and then downloads data from the likes of Flickr, YouTube and various other RSS-based Internet sites. Snippets of this information then appear at various stages throughout the music video.
Whilst it seems to work very well from my work office (i.e. my location is accurately detected), when I run it from home, it seems to think I am in Dublin, Ireland when in fact I am 100 miles away in Waterford City. I guess this is down to my Internet provider (BT in this instance).
Still though, it’s a neat idea and is lots of fun all the same!
If you have a mobile phone that supports audio recording, then it most probably stores the recordings in Adaptive Multi-Rate format (AMR). If you want to convert these to other formats (e.g. MP3) then I found that Mobile Media Converter by MIKSOFT works quite well. It also supports conversion of 3GPP video files to other popular formats including WMV and MPEG.
It’s available for both Windows and Linux but no sign of a version for Mac (yet).
There was brief, non-technical discussion on Internet Marketing on The Last Word programme on Ireland’s Today FM radio yesterday. They do pieces like this from time to time and they’re generally quite informative to the uninitiated listener.
This discussion was targeted at those whose core business is marketing and selling via the Internet and how to understand (and possibly improve) the search ranking being achieved by your website.
Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman recently completed another motor cycling adventure that took them from the northern-most tip of Scotland, John O’Groats down the the southern-most tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. The highlights from their journey, the Long Way Down, are being broadcast on BBC Two (six episodes I believe), commencing October 28th 2007.
I am looking forward to this as I really enjoyed watching their first adventure, the Long Way Round (on DVD as it happens) where they circumnavigated the world (London to New York via Asia) using a similar mode of transport.
I also caught the end of an interview with Charley Boorman on Ireland’s Today FM last night, which I think made for great radio listening. You could just feel the passion, excitement and fervour in his voice when describing some of the things they experienced. It’s well worth a listen if you have a few minutes to spare.
For the person in your life who has absolutely everything … check out this new idea from Tailored Music Group. You download a song from them and then write your own replacement lyrics for it. You then send the new lyrics back to them and they will have the original artist re-record the song with your custom lyrics.
Whilst this is something we’ve all probably tried at one time or another during our teenage year, I can see it becoming very popular and will undoubtedly make it’s way onto several Christmas/Birthday shopping lists sooner rather than later.
The words Copyright and Censorship spring to mind though…