Movie Lovers Coalesce The Vapors Around Streaming

It’s not just music lovers realizing that streaming has a long way to go to match physical media.

Film lovers see the same issues:  degraded quality, no extras, no ownership, unknown/ temporary access.

We give up a lot for the convenience of streaming.  #SaveTheAudio ?  #SaveTheVideo


The Power of Labels

Degrade -d  

  • treat or regard with contempt or disrespect
  • lower the character or quality of
  • reduce to a lower rank, especially as a punishment

Synonyms: demean, debase, cheapen, devalue, shame, humiliate, mortify, abase, dishonor, dehumanize, brutalize, lossy

 


Original   

  • present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest
  • created directly and personally by a particular artist; not a copy or imitation

Synonyms: authentic, genuine, actual, true, bona fide, kosher, archetype, prototype, source, master, lossless

 


Do you think mp3 would be nearly as popular if it was called the devalued version or dehumanized version? 

Do you think lossless would be ignored by the masses if it was called the original version or the true version?

Of course not – this is the power of labels. Marketers and politicians understand this and use it against us. We must see through the subtle brainwashing, this trick of words.


TLmatched

This is not an audio wave but it caught your eye didn’t it?


Lossy sounds like a cool nickname on purpose. It’s all marketing. They figured out how to sell us less for the same and have been doing it for nearly 16 years now.

The various limitations requiring degradation of our fucking music have expired – leaving only greed.

dictionary-page

 

 

The Logical End of Social Media

Tribalism based on opinion and politics. It’s inevitable.

It could abolish the economy. It could crush the democracy. It could trample on the constitution and bill of rights.

woman-holding-flag


30 years ago I was fascinated by the internet and what it could bring. A new age of enlightenment. I studied and dreamed.

20 years ago I was in the middle of it, working at a dotcom advertising agency, building the groundwork for it.

About 10 years ago I decided I didn’t want to keep playing this game with my personal profile. I’ve been online all day and most nights for 20+ years now, so I figured if my actual name was posting things about all of my interests both work and privately, well, my privacy had no way of surviving. Anyone in the future could search and learn every single thing about me without ever meeting me. This was unsettling, so even though I continued to use services I had to, I try to use aliases and anonymous services when possible, and still have never had a Facebook account.

For the last 10 years I’ve been watching Facebook, Instagram, Google, Xbox, even Apple gobble up every single datapoint they can about their users. They get plenty from me even after efforts to minimize it.

So where’s it all going?

clouds-rainbow-thumb


Analytics. Refined data at our fingertips. All to be an informed consumer, right? How much will you pay for that information?

This is big data + the cloud + commercial interests + human vanity and fear. This is our future.

Who just posted a comment? Who just read my post? Who are they? What do they like? What do they own? — We’re here already, especially if you are in advertising or know how to dig.

inline-facebook-privacy-group-photo

Next step – I want to buy something. Show me the stores nearby. Now filter to the stores locally owned. Or only certain types of neighborhoods. Or with ownership of a certain ethnicity.

Next step — [after filter to local owned] – none found. OK show corporate stores nearby that donate to a certain political cause or party.

Next step — I need a contractor. Search by political affiliation and ethnicity.


This is why people don’t put their Facebook name on Craigslist.


The logical end of this tech, once the weak privacy and fairness laws are obliterated, is total knowledge of all affiliations, history, likes and dislikes of every single person and corporate entity you encounter in your day.

pfft

Unless we are all batshit crazy before then and never make it….

Youkill Audio Youtube

lossless-jpg

Lossless data on the left. The right side is a visual representation of what we’ve been listening to for 20 years now.


Deets on Youtube’s audio handling:

Audio is streamed at either 128k or 320k mp3.

Everything defaults to 128k. You can only get the 320k audio stream by selecting the HD video quality. Some videos start in HD but most don’t. It’s also hard to embed HD youtube into other sites since it seems to default to the basic stream.

It appears there’s no FLAC streaming allowed and no lossy streaming of any kind.

The 320k mp3’s can sound decent, especially coming from 128k, but once you go lossless you won’t want to listen to lossy anymore.


deubert_fig06

Which is better? Neither. The compression on the left appears to have slightly fewer artifacts but neither is close to the original.

Dawg Gone Analog

It’s happening. I’ve considered and planned and anticipated this for 15+ years. But always compromised.

I’m going analog at the studio. Direct to tape. Outboard gear. No DAW. No computers needed at all.

The real deal. Why wait any longer?

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 4.54.26 PM

YOLO sly, yolo

Why? One Word. Workflow. [whoo!]

New Studio’s Primary Rule: NO SCREENS = EARS MAKE ALL DECISIONS. EYES MAKE NONE.

MISSION STATEMENT:  NO SCREENS.  EARS MAKE ALL DECISIONS.  EYES MAKE NONE.

Here’s some initial thoughts –

  • I will track to tape.
  • I might live-mix bounces and direct to 2-track final mixes.
  • Patchbays!
  • I can only afford 4-track 1/4″ tape decks right now, but it could be a stepping stone.
  • Most of my vintage compressors, preamps, mics and processors can finally be put to proper use.
  • Yes…. there will be a digital interface and something digitizing stem mixes from the tape machine for backup, recall, and perhaps future use. It will be also be optional, hidden by default, and have no visible screen.

The bottom line is no screens — we will get a sound from the instrument(s), work with the mic(s) and the input, track to tape, then move onto next layer using only your ears and available dials and knobs.

 

TS_010

This is the analog version of a hard drive full of plug-ins. Except these sound better. And have knobs.

 

I know I’m swimming upstream here. It’s not my first time on that trip.

salmonswimming

Quality swimming up the river Convenience

 

Even the founder of the magazine Tape Op, the bible amongst analog types and tape ops, said on a 2014 panel “someone buying a 1980-era consumer-level 4-track is the least exciting thing to me right now”.

Someone buying a 1980-era consumer-level 4-track is the least exciting thing to me right now – Larry Crane, Tape Op Editor

A slap down from tape jesus himself! But alas, I will work to prove him wrong. My 1980’s era TEAC 4-track tape deck passed it’s exam last night and should be ready for sessions any day now. My studio is shifting into a new mode and it’s all about workflow, limitations, and performance pressure.

 

Cliff Notes on the Loudness Wars

With master quality HD audio getting into people’s ears and getting more buzz every day, I think its important to look into one of the related issues in recorded music: The Loudness Wars.

It really does get to the core of the industry vs. art debate, the present vs. the past & future.

I support a wide dynamic range and have trouble listening to most modern music because of the loudness problem. Even classic artists that I love have put out records in the last 10 years that are so friggin’ loud they crush my ears on first note, and not in the good way. Pure fatigue.

This video covers the industry pressure and competition driving the volume problem.

But there are two other battlefields in this war: the playback systems used to render our music and the production tools used to make our music. Both are bloody battles between quality and convenience.

I’ve been covering the playback side of things with iPhones and PonoPlayers for the last few years, I’m going to start covering the production side of things soon.

 

 

Breathophile

I love air. I really enjoy breathing, and I do it everyday.

It’s what drives me and is perhaps the most important thing in my life.

I don’t want it constricted or contain some odor of unfamiliarity.

Chiang Mai Open Sewer

I won’t accept known poison unless, of course, I like the way it feels.

This is why it’s important to keep it clean. This is why I am a breathophile.

You can accept poor smelly air or you can move to somewhere better.

800px-Relaxing


I love music. I really enjoy making it, and I play it every day.

It’s what drives me and is perhaps the most important thing in my life.

I don’t want it constricted or contain some odor of unfamiliarity.

450px-Fredric_Effects_Harmonic_Percolator_-_front

I won’t accept known poison unless, of course, I like the way it feels.

This is why it’s important to keep it clean. This is why I am a audiophile music lover.

You can accept poor quality mp3’s on phones or you can move to somewhere better.

pono-player-ces-2015-anewdomain-375x195

The Problem With Maps Apps

The now-standard overhead helicopter view used by mobile GoogleMaps, AppleMaps, etc. is neato but not a perspective that is natural for humans while driving. I’d rather see huge clear labels than 3D graphics any day. They are distracting us more than assisting us.

Someone needs to infuse the old, human way of sharing directions into these map apps. Anyone remember this kind of information:

“At the end of the street, take a left, then at the next light, the main intersection, that’s Route 20. Get in the far right lane, go right on 20. Take that all the way to I-75 south (about 5 miles), which runs you right into Johnstown in about 20 miles. Take Exit 3C, go south and you will see the school on your left in about 5 miles. Harrington Street is on the right.”

They should summarize your directions into a paragraph and text it to you, that simple. You should use your eyes and senses when driving, which requires them looking outside of the car constantly, not staring at a video game view on the dashboard.

C’mon Maps Apps, be more human! We aren’t playing Doom we are driving a huge steel deathtrap and we need basic assistance in not getting lost. The current map interfaces cause more problems than they solve.

Note that the desktop/browser versions of Maps don’t suffer from the bad labeling, but they still don’t summarize directions into human paragraphs, or human shorthand.

  • End of street – take left.
  • Next light, main intersection – Route 20, take right
  • Take 20 to I-75 south (5 miles). Take I-75 south to Exit 3C in Johnstown (20 miles). Go south/right at Exit.
  • Take for 5 miles until Harrington Street on right, across from School.

 

 

iWatch, iBuy?

iWatch


Will Apple put out a wearable? The Android makers are going full speed into Android watches, regardless of reviews and actual ship dates. They want to appear to be flooding the market but I haven’t seen a single one out in the wild yet. But if Apple does iWatch you will start to see these things everywhere.

I’ve written some thoughts on wearables before, here and here. As we get closer to the possible announcement next week, I was thinking about this opportunity for Apple to define the market again. Remember, the iPod was not the first DAP, the iPhone was not the first smartphone, and the iPad was not the first tablet, but each of them came to define those markets within the first year.

A wrist-worn computer is a very different form factor than a phone, tablet, laptop, TV screen and desktop. This requires a completely different UI model. When working with new form factors it is critical to focus on core functions. It’s never enough to resize existing interfaces to the new screen. There are many things a watch can do that the others can’t. There’s also many things you can’t or shouldn’t do on a watch.

Apple’s design restraint should really be an advantage here. While other makers are going to put entire Android smart phones on your wrist, I fully expect Apple to define it’s own space with a very focused product that, at first glance, doesn’t “do as much” as the android wearables.

But much like the iPod and all subsequent iDevices, the advantage will be that Apple says “no” to all sorts of features that distract from the main functions.

Apple has probably determined 2-4 core features for iWatch, and will remove any other features that delude or counter those core functions. The first iWatch will be quickly attacked for what it can’t do, while those living with it will more than likely start to understand Apple’s design decisions as time wears on (badump!). Simple, consistent operation is the key to a smart watch, and that plays to Apple’s design strength.

I found Apple products to be designed for long-term use, while many other makers design things for the sales portion of it’s life. They appear to have lots of flashy features, more than the Apple, and at a lower price! What a deal! But much of what draws you in is fluff, crud, and marketing, and the day to day use of the device often lacks the “polish” of the Apple device.

Jon Ivey also likes going back in time to classic designs. The iPod was a melding of a 1960’s transistor radio and a 1980’s walkman. With his comment about Swiss watchmakers needing to take notice of Apple, that tells me they will push forward with a design that takes from some classic watches of the past.

If the simple iWatch v1 is successful, Apple will take 3-4 iterations to slowly add more power features and complexity. They smartly don’t compete on the feature checklist chart, they play the long game of daily use, enjoyment, and ultimately continued purchases in the Apple ecosystem.


IMHO you shouldn’t have to touch a watch very often, and when you do it should not require focusing on a small touch screen sort of thing. If it tries to do everything my phone can do but on my wrist it will fail. I want a new concept that might ultimately replace the phone (especially since I’m down to about 1 real phone call needed per day). I also have 2-3 fully capable screens near me at most times, and I don’t want that on my wrist 24/7. If my watch is constantly blinking and buzzing about every email and tweet I think they missed an opportunity to simplify.

I’d like to see time, weather, calendar and notifications on the main screen, with quick access to Nav, Messages, and Health tracking. I’d like to see it pair with a wireless headphone/mic so you can do some voice control and dictation of messages. I’d like the whole thing to to be very quiet and unassuming, using custom vibrations and maybe slight color changes to the frame to indicate.

The best UI mockups I’ve seen so far are the column-wristband types — where it’s iOS app icons in a single scrollable column on a narrow rounded band. 1 flick either way slides you into that app, maybe with a dock sort of concept that keeps the critical time/date info in front. It looks a little feminine to not have a big bulky watch head and I can imagine the jokes about everyone wearing Apple jewelry, but keeping that UI simple and brand new (it’s not a small smartphone) could be the key to Apple’s success.

The Truth About Naked Selfies

If you take a naked selfie on a working cell phone you don’t expect privacy and you aren’t interested in privacy. I call BS on the crying for these latest celebrity hacks. It’s 2014 and we all know that there is no privacy on the internet, especially for the famous.

If you take a naked selfie and don’t immediately delete it after viewing then you want people to see it. You posed naked in front of a camera, probably more than once. It is meant to be viewed.

If you claim you were taking that picture for one person only – perhaps a person you are fuxing – then you can just pose in person and there’s no need for photos. To take, save, and especially send the image is to admit you want it viewed.

The exception to this is long-distance relationships. Real ones like military, work, college putting the distance between you and a spouse, not “internet dating”. The difference is clear when it comes to the sharing amongst friends – most guys will show their buddies the naked chick selfies sent their way, unless it’s their wife. That’s not shared because it’s legitimate affection.

If you bend over and snap that picture of your junk you want people to see it. You think you control who sees it but you don’t anymore. Don’t take the pic if you don’t want it seen.

pmLStXf

A More Powerful Computer Virus

Great — there’s a new security risk popping up that has a lot of people worried, and it uses USB to change the game and raise the risk of what can be infected if your system is compromised.

Traditional software viruses live on a hard drive, as an App or part of the OS. Protecting your drive from getting infected has been the defense.

If you picked a virus up you tried to scrub it from your drive. If successful your computer was restored to regular use. If not successful you could reformat your drive, restore your data from a backup, and return to normal work.

But now USB firmware has been cracked and can be spoofed. Firmware is the little bit of software built into all USB devices that handles low-level operations such as Who/What/When/Where/Why. See, if you manage to get compromised firmware onto a device, it can say it’s something it’s not. It can misrepresent itself and do tasks not associated with it at all. Traditional computer viruses can easily start installing evil firmware to your devices.

For instance – a USB stick with compromised firmware could ID itself as a keyboard and tell the computer to open a command window and accept what it ‘types’. A camera with comprised firmware could take your data while it’s copying pictures to your drive. A USB keyboard could run a keylogger program, recording all your passwords and using your computer to transmit them to someone else.

And even worse — a USB device is actually allowed to ID itself as multiple things simultaneously, so your computer would easily accept whatever USB devices it sees.

Detecting the bad firmware is also very difficult. Nothing on the market currently would even be able to recognize a problem with the device. It could do it’s dirty work in the background for years without ever being detected.

Adding to this is the intimacy at which firmware and the hardware interact. Even the tools to debug or monitor firmware needs the firmware to work. Compromised firmware could continue to report that there is no problem. Firmware is designed to allow updates over top of itself, and only the factory that builds the device could guarantee that the device has clean firmware.

All in all, a messy situation, one that probably kept one of the designers of USB up all night.

Put into simple terms — the next virus you get could infect every USB thing plugged into your computer, rendering them compromised with no way to restore them, nor a way to accurately identify whether they even are compromised. Some of us will keep the devices and lose even more security, while others will have to replace most of their system because of a virus.

Watch out for USB devices on eBay once this gets out in the wild, and never let a stranger put a USB stick in your computer.