Syncing to Apple music

I have now made my chimpwithcans playlist available on Apple music as well as Spotify.

See the following link: https://music.apple.com/za/playlist/chimpwithcans/pl.u-r2yBBvqC3Exe1

This will sync with the Spotify playlist when I update it each week. Something that’s not so easy to do…. But for you dear readers/listeners, anything…. Actually I did this four my mum who can’t get Spotify in Kenya, but that’s another story.

Happy Thursday chimps!

Music plus tech

As a teenager I used to think I would listen to my walkman for the rest of my life. It was so essential to me – the cassette tapes I had painstakingly curated, the stock of fresh AA-size batteries, the headphones I found in an airport in England. The ritual of plugging it all in and pushing play. It just didn’t get any better.

One day in my early 20s I found my dad’s LP collection and an old hifi setup. I heard classics like Otis Redding and Springsteen in such clarity and power. Besides the fidelity, there was the long beautiful process of choosing the record, cleaning it, playing one side through and flipping it over, reading the liner notes, poring over the album covers, adjusting the needle and the audio settings. A new ritual was born. My life changed.

Now in my 30s I have my iPhone and an Apple watch. New tech, new ritual. I can call up any song I want no matter where I am. The digital liner notes are getting better every day and the sheer convenience of Bluetooth and music on the go is changing my life again. Don’t even get me started on Spotify’s daily mix and discover weekly playlists. That revolution in curation is a topic for another post.

Older forms of technology can all still be used of course. And often they retain their original power even though the convenience factor is low. Vinyl has made a come back. Audiophiles also tout the benefits of CDs and cassettes. For me this means I now have an arsenal of ways to access the Music drug. The music is the constant, Platonic form while the tech revolves and morphs around it in a clumsy, circular dance.

Perhaps one day the headphones will be nothing more than chips in our brains. A neuralink device Elon Musk sells for a fee. What might a music listening ritual look like for this scenario?

I get comfort from the fact that the music never changes. Taste and quality may vary, but a song is a song no matter what. The catalogue keeps on growing, but the essential form and function of a song is set. It is information in the form of a sound wave being received by the brain. Only the tech for delivery varies.

Microsoft

I just downloaded edge browser for my phone.

I am also moving all my mail and calendar stuff to outlook.

Excel Word and PowerPoint are all work mainstays on my computer.

I am going to Microsoft because I pay for it. The idea is that I will be the customer rather than the product.

Hardware is probably next. Liking the look of windows surface and laptops.

Work and play

We went on a beautiful hike this morning. You can get an idea of the vibe from the pic below.

When I got back I had a look at my phone: Meeting requests, complaints, fires to put out all over the place from work.

The contrast is jarring. But at least with a software based business it is possible to travel and work at the same time.

I need to practice juggling the two because I’m loving the hikes but I need to pay for it somehow!

Software

Software is eating the world. A popular line. In my world it feels more violent. Software has eaten my brain and spat it out onto the pavement.

The net effect of Microsoft, Apple and Google in my life is grim.  I have an inability to concentrate on anything for more than one minute. I blame the software.

Blurgh.

Remakes and back-catalogues

Resident Evil 2 just won the Game Critics Awards top honour. This was a risky move by Capcom – to remake a classic. Sort of like covering a Beatles song, the danger is the new version will never live up to the original.

But this gamble seems to have paid off. It is part of a much bigger gamble in the gaming world – making older games available all over again. Xbox in particular is betting heavily with its backwards compatibility.

Personally I have found it difficult to buy old games on a new(ish) console. It goes against the narrative we have always been sold that the newest and latest is inevitably the best. Of course this is purely hype and marketing, and the massive back catalogue will be as valuable in gaming as it is in music.

It’s just a psychological hurdle to overcome in order to enjoy the old stuff all over again.

 

Streaming and ownership

If I can consume media with purpose then I will be happy. Too often though, I feel like media is force fed to me like a scene out of A Clockwork Orange.

I have decided to make a change in music subscription services – from Google Play Music to Tidal. New MQA Masters catalogues on Tidal are a factor, as are my future plans to integrate with a service such as Roon. Roon lets you interact with the music you listen to like we used to with CDs and LPs.

All of this is a rather futile effort to mitigate against the fact that when we stream our music or TV or movies, we no longer own the content. It’s a mindset from another time I guess but to pay for a service rather than a piece of art seems like a poor deal.

At least it is convenient and works on my phone though.

 

Digital Art

Computers are everywhere. The net is everywhere. Software is eating the world.

This has forced us as a species to ask important questions about how we best exist in a digital/analogue hybrid world. No facet of humanity has been more disrupted or scrutinised by the web than our art. Some questions:

How do we control rights and rewards for the art we make online? Metallica has something to say about this, so does Stephen King

How high does the digital resolution of a picture, a film or a song have to be to accurately reflect the intentions of the artist?

Interestingly, writing as an art form is relatively unaffected by issues of resolution. Words can be understood just as well on low resolution screens, and the quality of the writing is largely subjective. It’s hard to measure objectively the purity of a piece of writing, whereas a picture on a screen, or a sound wave in your ears has a bunch of physics and metrics behind it which is now fed into the marketing of art (see here and here) and of equipment to consume the art (see here and here).

I don’t think these questions over digital art will be answered anytime soon, but I think they need to be at the front of your head if you are publishing online.