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  • Does It Really Move You?

    11 Abr 2010, 7:10

    With all the music I listen to, I spend many hours wondering why I like certain tunes more than others. It's really hard to explain. The beat? The music? The instrumentation? The vocals? The harmonies? I mean really, what is it that draws you in to enjoy a song?

    For me, most of it is based on either the melody, refrain, or bridge.

    The melody is sometimes referred to as an "earworm" - you know what I'm talkin' about. Write a great melody and most everyone will start humming it all the time. Be it simple or complex, the melody is more often than not the backbone of a great song.

    The refrain is often the easiest part of a song to remember because it's only repeated umpteen times during the song. The refrain is easy...can you remember any of the lyrics leading up to the refrain? Maybe...maybe not.

    The bridge tacks the various sections of a song together. Sometimes it is repeated like a refrain, but more often it is varied slightly to stitch the song sections together without slipping into repetiveness. Many times certain instruments will be featured: guitar, keyboards, bass, heck even drums can pull it off.

    Whatever IT is doesn't work for everyone. Many songs can hit a chord with many listeners, but at the same time there are listeners that don't "get it" at all. With all the different types of music that is available, it's a wonder that any song gets popular at all.

    Here's an interesting thought: How does a song become popular? Word of mouth? Blogs? Featured artist? Radio airplay? Commercials? Movie soundtracks? Go figure...all of them - none of them?? With all the music I listen to I'm constantly amazed at how much I DON'T listen to. Obviously, there are only so many hours in a day, but aside from that I realize there are scads of artists I have never listened to. Even as flexible my taste is, I realize there are complete genres of music I've hardly listened to.

    All I know is this:

    1. Melody is key
    2. Instrumentation can make or break a song - get too jumpy and the song will always fail
    3. Lyrics DO make a difference in spite of the fact we never remember them - if you boil it down to basics, lyrics can be more powerful than melody.
    4. Word of mouth is sometimes more powerful than any marketing campaign - especially when the artist exceeds expectations without force-feeding the masses.

    What do I know? I love music and I will never listen to all of it...ever.
  • How does your love for music affect your purchasing or D/L decisions?

    18 Sep 2007, 20:53

    I stumbled across an interesting article located here...

    *quote*
    Both agreed that the {any MP3 player name} had encouraged people to dig into their record collections, and reinvigorated interest in music.

    "People are re-familiarising themselves with their old record collections and not buying new music," said Kennedy. "I hope there will come a time when people say, 'enough old music, how about some new music?'"
    *end quote*

    After reading the article, I have a few questions for you:

    01. Has the invention of the MP3 player (yes, the iPod was referenced in the article *sigh*) encouraged you to revisit your existing record collection?
    ----A. Yes
    ----B. No
    ----C. What's an MP3 player?
    ----D. What's a record collection?
    02. Has the invention of the MP3 player reinvigorated your interest in music?
    ----A. Yes
    ----B. No
    ----C. What's an MP3 player?
    03. Assuming you had the means to rip your music collection (all formats...and yes, including 8-tracks! *grin*), is the first sentence of the second part of the quote above correct? That is, would you stick to what you know or would you still acquire new music?
    ----A. I'm getting reaquainted with my existing collection and don't need new music anymore.
    ----B. Screw the old music, I'm into the latest and greatest.
    ----C. I like to mix it up.
    ----D. I'm new at this and I don't have any OLD music.
    ----E. What's an 8-track?
    04. In your opinion, what is a fair value for a music CD?
    ----A. $7-9
    ----B. $10-12
    ----C. $13-15
    ----D. $16-18
    ----E. I will pay anything to acquire the music I want
    05. Is DRM...
    ----A. A necessary evil
    ----B. Evil incarnate
    ----C. I'm DRM free
    ----D. I live in both worlds
    ----E. What's DRM?
    06. A subscription model should be inexorably linked to your D/L's. (...you stop your subscription, you lose your D/L'S!!)
    ----A. True
    ----B. False
    07. The choice to fetter a D/L with DRM should be granted to the...
    ----A. Record label
    ----B. Artist (i.e. the band NOT just the singer/songwriter/apparent leader of the band...fugeddabout the backup singers, orchestra, Uncle Lew's niece who provided handclaps on the last track, and other non-essential participants.)
    ----C. Singer/Songwriter/Apparent Leader of the Band
    ----D. Lawyers (without input from A or B or C)
    ----E. End User (...with/without choice is stipulated by higher cost of DRM-free D/L, O.K.?)
    08. The choice of distributing free music should be granted to the...
    ----A. Record label
    ----B. Artist (i.e. the band NOT just the singer/songwriter/apparent leader of the band...fugeddabout the backup singers, orchestra, Aunt Ginny's cousin who provided the beer and chips after the last track was mixed, and other non-essential participants.)
    ----C. Singer/Songwriter/Apparent Leader of the Band
    ----D. Lawyers (without input from A or B or C)
    ----E. I prefer to pay for my music
    ----(NOTE: This applies to ALL formats of music...does it matter what format free is? Of course this does NOT address rampant thievery...for the sake of this premise, assume a perfect world?)
    09. During my quest for good music...
    ----A. I always know what I'm looking for
    ----B. I search high and low for it
    ----C. I read the news today (...doesn't matter where you read it, O.K.?)
    ----D. I let my friends influence me (...sometimes? *grin*)
    ----E. I am clueless
    ----{NOTE: The interpretation of what good means is wide open...no demerits for what you listen to.)
    10. Music no longer thrills me.
    ----A. True
    ----B. False


    Here are my answers:
    01. B...however, Q3 would change things slightly.
    02. B...once an addict, always an addict!
    03. C...granting this premise is relatively simple and mostly painless, I'd settle in for several months of rippin' time!! Maybe a cold imported brew or three would help pass the time, ya know?
    04. A...less is more, always!!
    05. B and D...I'm an equal opportunity listener.
    06. B
    07. B and E...B requires a conscious decision by all participants - you agree? Except for the one-person band type artist, a song does not create itself. E seems to be a path that may grant benefits to all participants...I think?
    08. B...because nobody else should have the right (...see my previous comment about who creates the music)
    09. B, C, and D
    10. B...unless I become deaf. Wot?


    I know that some of the issues above aren't REALLY as simple as I portray them. Some are quite complex and many others are judgment calls granted solely to the End User.

    ...I love my music. I will always love music. I will seek it out, high or low, because I know it's out there waiting for me to listen to it.

    (disclaimer: I do not/have not/will not ever use a P2P scheme to acquire music. I willingly share my musical journeys with whomever will listen...do ya care??)
  • Listing all Sorts

    17 Ago 2007, 17:30

    How much time do you spend looking at your music?

    I think I spend way too much time with iTunes and my iPod. I am constantly ordering, reordering, tweaking, updating, swapping tunes off and on the iPod, making a variety of playlists and smart playlists.

    I've seen many versions of this type of sorting on various last.fm Users pages. Being a little bored and curious about the results, here are my Sorting results:

    Alpha sort by song name:
    First: Abandoned Masquerade / Diana Krall
    Genre: Jazz
    Last: 9 AM / Crash Season Remedy
    Genre: Emo/Pop

    Alpha sort by artist name:
    First: The Abdomen / Summer Rain
    Genre: Alternative Rock
    Last: !!! / Hello? Is This Thing On?
    Genre: Alternative Rock

    Alpha sort by album name:
    First: Acoustic Heart / Adrian Gurvitz / The Journey
    Genre: New Age
    Last: 80 / B.B. King / Rock This House (feat. Elton John) (live)
    Genre: Blues

    Alpha sort by genre name:
    First: The Truck Got Stuck / Corb Lund
    Genre: Alternative Country
    Last: Girl From Ipanema (feat. Jao Gilberto) / Stan Getz
    Genre: World

    Sort by duration:
    First: Then / O.A.R.
    Genre: Folk/Rock
    Time: :08
    Last: Mountain Jam (live) / The Allman Brothers Band
    Genre: Jam Band
    Time: 33:36

    italics = song name

    The above results are based on the music I listen to while I toil away at my job...oh, the horror!

    Here are similar results based on the music I listen to at home:

    Alpha sort by song name:
    First: '04 Ed. / Shotgun & Jaybird
    Genre: Indie Rock
    Last: Zurich Is Stained / Pavement
    Genre: Alternative Rock

    Alpha sort by artist name:
    First: 'N Sync / Bye Bye Bye (...yeah, yeah, reality bytes; it was somewhat magical in it's time; certainly disposable, but it caught a lot of ears...I think?)
    Genre: Pop
    Last: ZZZZ / Bandit King And Queen
    Genre: Indie Rock

    Alpha sort by album name:
    First: '60's Groovy Hits / Wayne Fontana / A Groovy Kind Of Love (...old school, eh??)
    Genre: Oldies
    Last: Zoysia / The Bottle Rockets / Mountain To Climb (...of course there were all those durn "no-name" albums that filled the end of my list! Work with me and allow me to drop them into oblivion...I'm working on the naming thingy, but I can't seem to fill in the blanks!!)
    Genre: Country

    Alpha sort by genre name:
    First: Hot Sake / 00 Soul
    Genre: Acid Jazz
    Last: It's Getting Late / Buckwheat Zydeco (dag, more "no genre" filling the end of my list...please ignore the obvious?)
    Genre: Zydeco/Cajun

    Sort by duration:
    First: The Burning Land / The Apes
    Genre: Rock
    Time: 0:00 (although looking at the file size, it wants to be about 12 mins. long...I guess I gotta look into that!!)
    Last: Concert Très Très Privé (live) / Texas
    Genre: Rock
    Time: 47:47 (whoa, a whole live set in one file...sweet!)

    italics = song name

    FWIW, the biggest difference is that I'm tracking <4000 songs at work and >19,000 songs at home.
  • Music Playback Styles

    27 Jul 2007, 22:09

    Listening to music is big part of my everyday activities. In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the truck, in the backyard, in the livingroom, in the basement...wherever I can and as often as I can.

    On any given day I will likely listen to my music approximately 10-11 hours at a time. Most of my listening occurs at work (natch!) through a modest set of speakers. Throw in a couple of hours of listening during my commute and a couple or three hours after I get home and you can easily see how much time I spend each day. My wife has a similar love of music (...albeit with some minor exceptions I won't discuss at this time. *grin*) so I don't get too many objections from her when I want to kick out the jams.

    Due to it's portability, my MP3 player is usually the device I'm listening to. I have a couple of docking stations in the house, extra cables in place on my other stereos and even one on the portable stereo I use when I'm outside working in the yard. With 40GB of storage on the MP3 device I have plenty of music to listen to without getting too bored.

    Primarily I choose to listen to my music on random playback because it allows me the simplest opportunity to be surprised when a particular song plays. I suppose there are those of you who think that's not the way you're supposed to listen to music, but perhaps it allows me the flexibility to listen to as much of it as possible without getting into a rut (...like my wife does - O.K., O.K., I did promise not to talk further about that, right?).

    With the advent of the MP3 player coupled with playlists, random playback, etc. I discover that I get to listen to more of my music than is humanly possible in any given day. If it were up to me, I wouldn't watch T.V. at all, you know? Don't get me wrong, back in the day I listened to each and every one of my records from the first track to the last track and both sides at every listen. It's the proper way to do it, isn't it? Now with all the music I've acquired over the years I don't quite have the luxury to do that anymore. That's why random playback is so sweet.

    If a particular song grabs my ear sufficiently, I usually go back and select the entire release and listen all the way through...just like old times, but better.
  • MP3 File Tags

    21 Abr 2006, 20:14

    Tags! Who needs them anyway, huh??

    I have become quite involved with updating the tags for my MP3 files and I discovered that my involvement with "filling in the blanks" is more time consuming than I think it should be...is that a bad thing?

    If the artist or label WEBSite that I download from doesn't fill them in properly, why should I? When I introduced my MP3 collection to iTunes and acquired an iPod, I became even more concerned that my files were NOT right. After all, when I use iTunes to organize my files, I realize all that missing information is important...to me!

    I certainly enjoy the ability to organize/reorganize my files by song, artist, album rating, plays, etc. I can obviously see the big holes I have with many of the files and I've spent untold hours (...dare I say days and weeks??) filling in the missing fields. I would never have thought it was that important. As I become more familiar with my MP3 files, I realize I truly want that info at my finger tips.

    After all the time I wasted bringing my older, recalcitrant files up to speed, I learned that a little preparation goes a long way. All the newly ripped files I make from my personal collection are painstakingly fleshed out with the essential information at the very least. Heck, I even hunt down the artwork (as well as I can) and plug that in, too.

    I'm still working on updating all my files, but I can see that my efforts are worth it. At least now I can select any main catagory for playback and get exactly what I expect.

    ...BTW, can anybody remember who "unknown artist" or " " is??? The worst part about it is during playback, I don't remember either...go figure!!
  • How Portable Can Music Get?

    24 Feb 2006, 16:04

    I've gotten used to the fact that I listen to my portable MP3 player more than my stereo. Although that saddens me a little, I realize I'm on the go more often these days than not.

    I've setup my vehicle to allow MP3 playback via a local FM transmission device. Not exactly the strongest signal, but it's much better than listening to the crap on the radio. However, with bandwidth at a premium on the radio, and due to the glut of radio stations (good and bad), I've been forced to setup several "channels" to overcome the bleed-through and drifting signal that occurs depending on where I am in the city. Recently I read about "dedicated" devices that hookup through (hookup to?) my radio and I plan on acquiring one as soon as I determine which is the best suited for my needs.

    I've also setup my computer at work with dedicated speakers for my MP3 player. I use to carry around a portable external hard drive to allow my MP3's to be with me everywhere, but that became a hassle to keep syncronized with my home computer. With dedicated speakers it has simplified things quite a bit. Plug my player in and jam, baby. I don't get to hear any sounds from my work computer (...who needs that distraction anyway?), but then I'm supposed to be working, right? ;o)

    At home I have connected my MP3 player in a variety of ways. Through the television, through the stereo, and through a Bose SoundDock (...thank-you Wifey!!). Although the SoundDock is a wonderful device, I prefer connecting through the stereo. I can hear the limitations of some of my music files (...who was the genius that claimed 128KB was adequate?), but I accept that shortcoming as some of the music files are several years old and of suspect origin. All the music I've ripped from my personal music collection is done at a high enough bit rate to satisfy the most discriminating ears. I don't have "perfect" hearing as it is, but for the most part I'm happy with the results.

    Obviously I've discovered that the portable MP3 player has become handier to listen to than setting up a record, tape or CD. Plug and play! By setting the player on SHUFFLE, I can listen to an endless stream of music I love without any downtime to switch media types. My player is large enough to accommodate a rather sizeable portion of my collection, but I can see that I may need another one if I continue on the path I'm on now. Imagine what will happen when I start ripping my vinyl?

    If I had my way I'd give an MP3 player to everyone I know...