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BitTorrent + Donations = Viva la revolution? is an interesting question on Ask Metafilter about providing a service that makes it easy to share music and donate to the artists (which I was actually just talking to someone about the other day.) Metafilter user scarabic suggested that the Internet doesn’t need any help with the trading but to stick to the  facilitating donations aspect. Which made my wheels turn and I posted this:

The idea is decent but I think scarabic might be right. Why not find a way to hook donations into all the trading activity that’s going on right now?

It would be interesting if someone would build a verified directory of where to donate money to artists. Have an open API so torrent trackers and other music trading sites could implement it as a feel-good gesture.

That way if someone’s on some torrent tracker and is grabbing my album they could have a little link that says “Hey, like the album? Click here to donate to the artist.”

I think that’d be neat and have the potential to catch on and also potentially put a nice spin on all the trading that’s going on if it were to actually work in artists’ benefit.

Not sure if it’s actually doable though. If a big paypal directory’s not possible, you could turn yourself into a collection agency, hold and distribute the money or something. (Then turn evil and crook all the musicians out of their cash of course.)

I haven’t thought much about the technical aspects of it but I think it’s an interesting idea.

Posted on - March 31, 2006 [at] 10:58 pm by Brad
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I’ve been wanting a nicer design for this site for a while. I’m okay with the navigation and coding, but I’m basically colorblind and have little time to fight with it anymore. So I’m trying out another pay-for-design contest.

I’ve posted a $100 contest for a new blog header incorporating my new logo and some sort of sexier color scheme on Sitepoint. The contest runs until April 7th.

Sitepoint’s contests work differently than Worth1000. You pay $10 to post a contest and then it’s kinda free-form. You’re encouraged to give feedback and request changes as entries are posted (in fact I think they close your contest if you don’t post anything.)

Also I don’t think you have to choose a winner if you don’t like anything that was entered. So it seems like a good deal. They have logo contests as well which might be of interest to you guys.

Anyway, if you’re a into design feel free to enter or contact me privately or something. And in the meantime I will not be looking at color wheels or trying to determine what the sexiest shade of grey is.

Posted on - March 30, 2006 [at] 2:54 pm by Brad
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Just got this in the mailbox:

Dear Customer,

As someone who has purchased Audio CDs by Nine Inch Nails, you might like to know that Every Day Is Exactly The Same will be released on April 4, 2006. For the next few days, you can pre-order your copy at a savings of 0% by following the link below.


What could be better than 0% savings? Besides anything I mean. On the bright side this email finally motivated me to turn off Amazon’s mailings.

Posted on - March 29, 2006 [at] 2:19 pm by Brad
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What Happened To Dynamic Range is an article that’s been making the rounds lately. Bob doesn’t give any examples of modern bands or recordings that he’s talking about so it’s hard to make much of his opinions. And it’s hard not to blow off the entire article after this statement:

The music available today isn’t musical at all.  It’s best described as anti-music.  It’s anti-music because the life is being squashed out of it through over compression during the tracking, mixing, and mastering stages.  It’s simply, non musical. It’s no wonder that consumers don’t want to pay for the CDs being produced today.

Beep beep cranky old man alert. The music you kids listen to isn’t music. There are certainly a lot of styles these days that leave me cold (such as the alterna boy-rock super compressed pitch-corrected and computer harmonised stuff), but I’m also heading into being a cranky old man myself.

I was going to pass this article by and not mention it at all except that I’ve been listening to a lot of albums from the 70s lately and almost across the board I wish they were mixed and mastered more aggressively. Led Zeppelin sounds kind of weak when it should be knocking my head off when it rocks out. I’m listening to Dancing Days here right now and want to run the whole thing through iZotope Ozone and crank it to the max. In particular, the re-master of Fun House kicks so much more ass than the original.

Posted on - March 28, 2006 [at] 4:21 pm by Brad
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I spent the weekend painting my office (which I guess you could call a studio if you wanted to be romantic). It was a kids’ room before I got here and the colors were pretty nuts. My main functional goal was to stop having my guitars lying around and instead mount them on the walls. This mission has proved a success:

office renovation

You can see some progress shots here. Once I get my desk put back together I’ll get some pictures of that online as well. I have further tricked out my Jerker desk with an additional shelf that they now sell at IKEA.

Posted on - March 28, 2006 [at] 3:15 pm by Brad
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I did an email interview with Teo Zilla a while back and the article is online now: Brad Sucks, harbinger of a dark-age? Mom always said I’d be a harbinger of a dark age. (Part 2 is here.)

Posted on - March 22, 2006 [at] 1:11 pm by Brad
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REAPER has added Acid-style time-stretching (alt+drag to stretch.) I already raved about it before but it just got even better. Also a media explorer and a bunch of other great stuff. It’s hard to even keep up with the rate of development on this thing. Well worth checking out.

Posted on - March 21, 2006 [at] 4:43 pm by Brad
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I tried out the sound on my Inspiron 6400 for softsynth playing. Can’t get the latency low enough to make it not suck. I think my plan now is to get the laptop sound good enough for live playing and then (maybe later) replace my current desktop recording rig with some sort of Firewire deal (leaning towards the Presonus Firebox, still not sure though.) That way I can use the laptop for live playing without having to dismantle my desktop audio setup every time I need to add some blorp sounds to my live songs. But I still have the option of yanking the Firewire device out of my desktop and taking it with me to record on the laptop.

Trying to cheap out of buying a better low-latency soundcard for my laptop led me to ASIO4ALL last night which is an attempt to provide low-latency audio drivers for even the most craptacular of audio cards. It didn’t work, but I sent off a debug report to the author so maybe something will come of it before I cave and blow another hundred dollars on something retarded.

Posted on - March 21, 2006 [at] 3:00 pm by Brad
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Anyone out there know if it’s worth caring about the quality of PCI Firewire adapter I put in my desktop? They range from $11 to $108 or so.

The expensive ones have a lot of bonus features like USB ports and Firewire 800. But I feel a little dirty buying an $11 card to attach my expensive sound interface to. Though it occurs to me I never think about the quality of my USB adapter.

Posted on - March 20, 2006 [at] 1:28 pm by Brad
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No Revolution: Freedom’s Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose – a lot of this rant rang true to me, especially the label-as-VC idea which I’ve been thinking about for a while. [via]

Posted on - March 19, 2006 [at] 3:42 pm by Brad
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