Category Archives: Music

What did Apple do wrong with U2 album?

horse mouth photoI have read a few complaints about Apple giving away the U2 album Songs of Innocence. I don’t understand the outrage. I had ignored the ruckus until I read an article in one of my favorite blogs, Successful Workplace.

What did Apple do to incur this outrage? All the company did was give away an album that was going to be widely popular anyway. But instead people have come out against Apple for their generosity.

You may not love U2, but a lot of people do. Apple spent a reported $100 million dollars to give a gift to a lot of people.

Traditional hymn was played by a current Muslim

Across the street from my home is a Presbyterian church. I don’t go to that church but instead attend a Lutheran church down the street.

A couple times a day, every day, the church plays a hymn or two on their carillon system. Some of the hymns I recognize as traditional Christian hymns, and some I don’t recognize at all.

This afternoon I heard the tune from “Morning Has Broken” made popular by Cat Stevens. I was talking with my neighbor at the time (we were complaining about the lack of rainfall we were experiencing) and he started to laugh saying that it was funny that a Presbyterian Church was playing a song by a Muslim (referring to the fact that Cat Stevens is now a declared Muslim and goes by the name, Yusef Islam). Cat’s original name is Steve Georgiou.

General Larry Platt – Get your pants off the ground

When I ranted on this before, I told young men to pull their pants up.  Recently, General Larry Platt told young men to get your pants off the ground because you are looking like a fool. He also told them to straighten up their baseball caps. He wrote a simple but catchy little tune and then went to try out on American Idol and it has been a hit!  I am sure the producers of American Idol are going to make the most of this “celebrity” and his catchy little tune.

According to other sites, the General is not really a general but he is an activist.  He walked with Martin Luther King, has been honored by the city of Atlanta, and the Georgia legislature has honored the man. September 4, 2001 was designated as Larry Platt Day in Atlanta.

From the Georgia General Assembly:

What’s the big deal about Kanye West and Taylor Swift?

I have always known that Kanye West was a jerk.  Why is it such a surprise that he was a complete jerk and idiot for going on stage with Taylor Swift? Does anyone really expect this imbecile to have good manners?

After all, when we have Congressman yelling “You lie!” during a Presidential address to the joint session of Congress, why would we expect a dumb rapper to have better manners?

Of course, hats off to the beautiful Beyonce for giving up some of her time to honor Ms. Swift.  She has shown the world that she has class (and Kanye and Representative Joe Wilson are classless).

I have an idea!

  • If you are in South Carolina – don’t vote for Joe Wilson and donate generously to his opponent
  • If you want to listen to music – buy something from Taylor Swift or Beyonce

RANT! Be careful buying iPod Touch from BestBuy

My 3 teenagers have all purchased the iPod Touch from BestBuy.  Actually, the youngest one just received his as a birthday gift and that is what is prompting this rant.

There are a variety of gadget sites that talk about the deals available at BestBuy (see here and here). The forums are split as to buying the warranty (here and here) but Apple doesn’t have a great track record on iPods and the BestBuy warranty has replaced 3 separate iPods for my family over the years so we think it is a good deal.

So when my youngest son wanted a new iPod Touch to replace his nano, it was natural for us to go to BestBuy. He was ecstatic when he opened the gift and it was plugged into the family computer within minutes.  Imagine his disappointment when his brand new Touch had pre-2.0 software on it and iTunes wanted him to upgrade for only $9.95!  This OS upgrade was announced almost a year ago.

Is George W. Bush the worst President ever? Part 2 of 5

It is probably too early to truly grade W and rank him among his peers.  Time will tell if his policies were somewhat effective or total garbage.  If you are going to grade a President, you need to take a more inclusive look and not just talk about his various failings.  Also the “what if” discussion in that grading is incredibly important such as, “What if President Bush had not gone after Saddam Hussein – what would the world be like?”

It is also difficult to grade individual events because they are so intertwined (Libya, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Al Qaida, Palestine, Syria are all different variations of the same problem).  That said – here are my thoughts on the 19 things that GW did (or didn’t do):

RANT! I don’t care about Sheryl’s views on politics!

I am a big fan of the music of Sheryl Crow. I have all of her CDs and have bought each one (no, I didn’t “borrow” someone else’s MP3 files). I have enjoyed her music over the years but, to be honest, her first CD was probably her best and she could be accused of coasting since then – a couple good songs per CD with so-so songs after that.

I have listened to Ms. Crow’s latest CD several times. It is titled “Detours”. It is an apt title since it is a detour from her usual high quality work! I feel like the Democratic Party, Al Gore, and Laurie David have been injected into my brain via my ears! To think that I spent $15 for a CD of political propaganda.

RANT! Music formats should get along – 2 of 2

So why don’t iPods support WMA and similarly, why don’t other devices support AAC (Apple’s format)?

The why is simple. WMA is the format that many companies (e.g. Yahoo) use in their stores to sell music. WMA is developed by Microsoft and it is a competitor. Is it a better sounding format? For the most part, no it is not – the formats are essentially tied in audio capability for the average listener and the average audio speakers.

So it is a competitive issue. Apple makes the best device on the market with something like 90% market share. They don’t like Microsoft, so they don’t play nice to Microsoft. It definitely is not a revenue issue for selling songs on iTunes since at 99 cents per song, Apple isn’t making a lot of money on the songs. They do make a bunch of money for every iPod that is sold though.

RANT! Music formats should get along – 1 of 2

I will dedicate my first rant to one of my least favorite things to deal with and try to circumvent: music formats.

I spend a lot of time listening to audio. I drive a great deal in my car so I regularly hook up my iPod to my car stereo to listen to music, audible books, and podcasts. I have owned a lot of different portable music devices over the years and the iPod is by far the best designed. At its basic level, it supports AAC, MP3 and WAV format. It doesn’t, however, support WMA. Why?

Why can’t all portable audio devices play all formats? Why can’t my iPod play WMA? Why can’t my daughter’s Creative Zen play AAC?

This makes no sense.

More on this topic later…