Monthly Archives: April 2007

wifi devices don’t fear the iphone

Jon Healy has a couple pieces up about the Sansa Connect, one on his weblog

I look at what it means to add real WiFi capability (as opposed to what Microsoft put in its Zune players) to a digital audio player, and how the Connect may signal the beginning of the post-iPod era.

— and a longer piece in the LA Times:

SanDisk ranks a distant number two to Apple in digital music player sales, accounting for less than 10% of the market compared to more than 70% for Apple’s iPods. But its new Sansa Connect player provides a glimpse of what a post-iPod world might look like, with players tapping into online jukeboxes and friends’ collections instead of relying on the tracks stored inside them.

Apple is not an internet company. It doesn’t matter whether the devices it sells are connected via telephone or internet or not at all. In the days when the soul of the company was being formed, it was primarily the third option — these computers were not designed with connectivity a forethought.

Its contemporary flagship — the iPod –has only a hardware bus, which is a throwback to the Wozniak days almost 30 years ago. This is a device which is fundamentally disconnected, just a brick with power cables and headphones.

That’s why the iPhone makes just as much sense for Apple as an internet device would have. You could add a dial-up modem to the iPod and it would be an improvement. There’s nowhere to go but up.

It’s also why the Sansa thing is special: it looks to become the first wifi music device which manages to cover its bills and stay in business. Portable music devices need to get hooked up to the internet. The telecoms are blocking that; the iPhone is part of the blockage.

Not to say that the Sansa is all that open, since it can only get network music from Yahoo, but my guess is that Sansa took that approach for simplicity, so that they could have a narrowly defined target for their first ship date.

Creative Commons “share alike” license asking for trouble?

The comments on my license on my own music post turned into a lively conversation about Creative Commons licensing.

Mike Linksvayer commented that the Share-Alike license, which requires a downloader or remixer to themself allow redistribution and remixing, allows inclusion of a SA work into a collective work which is not as a whole also under a Share-Alike license. For example, my releases on this blog could be incorporated into commercial CDs and forbid redistribution or remixing of the CD as a whole. This is important because the requirement that reusers are bound by the same commitment as the original creator is the main defensive feature of this license.

And gurdonark had this to say about the Share-Alike license:

While most CC licenses seem to me relatively straightforward and issue-free, the [Share-Alike] designation and its accompanying license gives me the most pause about whether it will require a court to interpret how its intricacies work.

I agree with gurdonark that there is a lot of complexity lurking under the surface of the SA license, but I feel confident that it strikes the best balance between promoting my creations and defending me from exploitation. So what if my track on a compilation CD is the only one under the same license? This helps me and hurts the others; I profit at their expense by using this license.

Cruxy on soundtracks, threads, and remixing

People With Ideas blog (from the Cruxy guys) on my videoblog soundtrack post:

Writing and recording music for podcasts and videoblogs is an emerging opportunity for musicians that can generate publicity, reach new audiences, and, down the road, opportunity for revenue from royalties, sponsorships, and advertising.

With Cruxy, anyone can release their works for sale under a Creative Commons license to allow others to re-use them in a legal, fair, and managed way. The creator always maintains control of the media and the specifics of how and when it can be used, while still allowing for their own creativity to grow and live beyond just the original work. Its all about “being involved in the thread”, as Lucas put it.

1 Bit Audio Player : A JavaScript-inserted Flash MP3 player for WordPress blogs and other websites

1 Bit Audio Player : A JavaScript-inserted Flash MP3 player for WordPress blogs and other websites

1 Bit Audio Player is a very simple and lightweight Adobe Flash MP3 player with automatic JavaScript insertion. It’s main purpose is to act as a quick in-page preview for audio files you link to from your website or blog.

The player can be easily installed as a WordPress plugin or used stand-alone in any website. Small audio players will than automatically appear next to any MP3s you link to.

This is a variation on the del.icio.us PlayTagger in concept but not code, with the new feature that you can exlcude some MP3 links from 1 Bit by setting the ‘include only class’ or ‘exclude class’ options to CSS classes that you have set on your tags.

Crazy_Arms_Lucas_CC_SA

This is an experiment I’m doing with Jay Dedman. He made the video, I made the music.

Jay Dedman hooked up my 2 spirit of gods music with his crazy arms videoblog entry. In the posting that started the thread, he had a licensing problem with music:

After posting my video today for Videoblogging Week 2007, commenters pointed out that I used a commercial song that I had no rights to use. Most people would be like ‘who cares?’..but in this case, it’s important. We just had a big event this past Saturday where Jon and Colette spoke about Creative Commons. If we videobloggers want respect from commercial companies (ie dont steal our stuff!)…we must respect existing copyright law. This means don’t use commercial music without permission.

time to get off the commercial media nipple once and for all.

Soundtracks for videoblogs are an ideal application of blog music. In both cases the media has to be fast, cheap, conversational and copyleft. This is an instance of remixing outside of the mashup genre, and an instance of redistribution outside of filesharing.

It’s also a case where the new medium shows how it is different in substance from the old one.

Blogging a soundtrack for a blogged video is about the same kind of thing as blogging a text comment on somebody else’s textual blog entry by a third party, except that the form of the conversation crosses boundaries from one art to another.

Catpower was the music provider in Jay’s first video, but Catpower was never involved in the thread. Since conversation is about who makes a conversational gestures as much as what they say, the stars from the old medium of offline audio need to make a deliberate effort to participate if they want to be part of the new medium.


This video was originally shared on blip.tv by jaydedman with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. (Donate)

JPEGs vs album covers

Design Observer: writings about design & culture

Are JPEGs the New Album Covers?

Black to Comm “Levitation/Astoria.” 7” Lathe-Cut Picture Disc, design by Marc Richter and Renate Nikolaus. Dekorder Records.

Over the past few months I’ve been researching a book about current record cover art. Besides hunting down examples of stimulating music graphics, I’ve also been looking for digital alternatives to the traditional album cover.

2 spirit of gods

This is two guitar instrumental versions of the Mormon hymn “Spirit of God.” Neither has much of a godly spirit to it. I like them for the phrasing.

For more information on this hymn see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirit_of_God_Like_a_Fire_Is_Burning. I learned the tune from sheet music at Mutopia. I blogged a previous version of it on 12/3/2006. These are licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 per my standard license on my own music.

Version one here is abrupt and tricky:


feb 6 2007 spirit of god version 2 edit 2 (mp3)

feb 6 2007 spirit of god version 2 edit 2 (ogg)

Version two is woodsy and sweet:


spirit of god february 4 2007 (mp3)

spirit of god february 4 2007 (ogg)


Postscript: creating this blog entry was a lot of work, much more than it should have been, because of the relatively poor technical infrastructure for blog musicians and because of my blog host’s industry-lagging support for multimedia. Despite the lavish over-investment in web video in recent years, audio is still in a basically broken state.

squashed on standard layout of playlist blogs

In the comments on my blog entry about the standard layout of playlist blogs, squashed from Motel deMoka stopped by:


Kahlo is posting for MdM and feedmegoodtune is MdM friend as well. (ie. the format you talk is distinct of a tight group of people)

There are few more playlist blogs. But overall a regular playlist blog is fairly rare. Almost every big players post at MdM. eg. Music is art is another site. The rest is DJ’s site.

license on my own music

When I post my own music, I usually have to write a little license statement each time. This blog entry is to consolidate those license statements, so that in the future I just have to point here.

My default license is Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, which means that you are free to redistribute or remix the work as long as you provide attribution and release your derivative works under the same, similar, or a compatible license. Commercial use is fine, as long as the commercial use is under the same license. (But see the canonical definitions on CreativeCommons.org for the formal definition of the license).

For attribution, give my name and a link — something like “Music by Lucas Gonze (gonze.com).”

If you want to use another license, such as one which restricts commercial use, contact me. One way to do that is to submit a comment on this blog entry.

For music which I composed, the license grant applies to the composition as much as to the sound recording. For music which someone else composed, I take care to use only music which is firmly in the public domain or under a free license compatible with my grant. If there are samples the same rules apply.

There are cases when the terms stated here don’t apply, such as when I did something collaboratively and lack the rights to make these claims, when a piece of work predates this statement, or when a piece of work is in a medium (such as code) aside from music. This statement only applies when I explicitly say so.

standard layout of playlist blogs

Playlist blogs are emerging as a distinct subgenre of MP3 blogs. As part of this they are taking on a common layout.

This blog entry catalogs layout patterns in these four playlists:

  1. I love the java jive and it loves me
  2. Robot+Proud
  3. Remix Sunday 58
  4. Ternura porno

For example:Ternuro Porno

The following is the standard form of these playlists, in order from top to bottom:

  1. Date and time the post was created.
  2. An image related to the mood or theme of the playlist.
  3. Song list, with each song formatted like this:
    1. Direct links to mp3s.
    2. Link text usually formatted as “artist – title”
    3. Sometimes (2/4 cases) with “(release information)” appended.
  4. A paragraph or two of prose.
  5. The traditional footer of a blog post. This usually includes a permalink to the post and the date and time that the post was created.
  6. Comments on the playlist.

In all cases the blog home page incorporates the full text of the playlist inline rather than linking off to a separate document.