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Music

Rage against the ma.. oh, wait…

This started as a comment on <insert blog link> but escalated to a full on post of my own.
Firstly, I don’t watch usually watch X-Factor.  Of course, I’ve been at friends houses when it’s on but I don’t watch it of my own accord.
Secondly, I don’t listen to the radio in the UK (other than the occasional Planet Rock and Kerrang) and thus have little interest in what track is number one and even smaller awareness of what is being played all the time.
Thirdyly, Christmas number ones, as far back as I can remember (with the exception of Cliff Richard), have been these so called ‘novelty’ records.  I can’t remember specific examples but I’m sure there was a Mr Blobby one or some form of celebrity rehashed Christmas carol.
I do tire of hearing about X-Factor all the live long day but it’s easy to tune out/block Facebook friends/stop following tweeters.
So, why am I so interested in getting RATM to number one?
Is it the ‘F you I won’t do what you tell me’ element?  I’m not sticking anything to The Man with this, really.  No-one is – except for RATM swearing on Radio 5. 🙂  I see a lot of people putting that line to mean everyone saying “hey, F you Cowell”.  I don’t think that’s true at all.  If that were the case, there some more relevant tracks in RATMs back catalogue – infect I think Take The Power Back would have given a more obvious call to action.
Is it the ‘F Simon Cowell, he’s a C..’ element?  Nope.  Does anyone really think this is going to stop X-Factor next year or mean that Mr C will have to sell one of his myriad houses?  Of course not.
The whole thing is interesting to me from a social and technological view point.
Virul campaigns have been around for years but this is different.
This was started by one ordinary guy.  Some chap who created a Facebook group most likely for a laugh.  I’ll bet he didn’t think “I’m really gonna go out on a limb to stop this X-Factor guy”.
Of course, it’s not the first time this kind of thing has happened.  Crowd-sourcing is really taking off in a huge way.
Crowd-sourcing news at Reddit and Digg, Software companies using it to aid their development roadmaps, even using Twitter to track breaking news instantly.
That’s why it’s interesting.  However, ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered getting involved with this but the fact that this kind of unimportant ‘battle’ can also be used to motivate people to donate to charity made me change my mind.
Last Friday, they’d raised almost £2k.  Today, the current total is over £50k with gift aid.
Am I going to listen to the chart show this weekend?  No way.
Am I really going to be annoyed/interested if X-Factor kid is number one?  Not at all.
However, I spent £0.99 and a donation to charity to be part of something both interesting, useful and certainly something that will be a kind of folklore in geek history.
Either that or someone will stumble across it on wikipedia.. 😛

This started as a comment on Pauls post at Blog On The Motorway but escalated to a full on post of my own.

Firstly, I don’t watch usually watch X-Factor.  Of course, I’ve been at friends houses when it’s on but I don’t watch it of my own accord.
Secondly, I don’t listen to the radio in the UK (other than the occasional Planet Rock and Kerrang) and thus have little interest in what track is number one and even smaller awareness of what is being played all the time.
Thirdly, Christmas number ones, as far back as I can remember (with the exception of Cliff Richard), have been these so called ‘novelty’ records.  I can’t remember specific examples but I’m sure there was a Mr Blobby one or some form of celebrity rehashed Christmas carol.

I do tire of hearing about X-Factor all the live long day but it’s easy to tune out/block Facebook friends/stop following tweeters/ignore people.

So, why am I so interested in getting stopping some most-likely-to-be-a-one-hit-wonder kid getting to number one?

(more…)

Migrate iTunes to a new Mac

I couldn’t find anything, via Google nor the Apple support site, that explained in the simplest and quickest terms how to migrate a functioning iTunes library to a new Mac.  I use a bunch of smart playlists to generate my own ‘radio station‘ playlist which relies on playcount, skip count, rating and other cool stuff.  That means that I really don’t want to lose the meta-data stored in the iTunes DB file when moving my data to my shiny new Macbook Pro (courtesy of work).

The last time I migrated, from my Mac Mini to my Macbook, I lost all the meta-data and really didn’t fancy it again.  It turns out it’s pretty simple and straightforward.  The following steps assume a brand new install of iTunes.

1.  Start up iTunes on the target device.  Accept the license agreement and choose NOT to add anything to the library at this time.  You should now find the iTunes folder and a blank database in your /%username%/Music folder.

2.  Start up the Migration Assistant app (in Applications/Utilities), choose “From a Mac”.

3.  Reboot your source device and hold down the ‘T’ key whilst it restarts.  It should boot up to show a Firewire symbol.

4.  Connect the source and target devices with a Firewire cable.

5.  This should mount the source disk on your target device.

6.  Copy the entire Music/iTunes folder from source to destination.

7.  Once the copy is finished, open iTunes and you should see all your tracks preserved with the meta-data intact.

The cool thing about this is that any iPods or iPhones registered with the previous iTunes installation will continue to work on your new device.  No need to format and re-sync.

Nice boys don’t play rock’n’roll

I got to Alcatraz this time around, it’s probably the best ‘audio-tour’ thing i’ve been on.  Of course the views on the ferry to and from were great also.

Most of the week was, understandably, tied up with work.  Some good presentations during the day, and a days course on Product Management MRD (Requirements That Work) which really was excellent.  The instructor had some awesome anecdotes (true or not) that really got you thinking about the requirements process.  For example,  take the zero gravity space pen.  Legend has it that after they discovered that the bog standard ball point pen wouldn’t work in zero G environments, NASA spent millions of dollars developing the aforementioned space pen.  Of course, when you look back at the potential product goals and use case (enable astronaut to write in space),  it is penned that the Russian Cosmonauts simply used a pencil.  An example of over thinking?  Maybe…

On the day I had free and after hitting Alcatraz, a colleague and I hired a couple of mopeds and spent 5 or so hours cruising around the city,  There is a handily signposted ‘scenic drive’ around that takes you past the obvious places (Fishermans Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge) and out to the not so obvious (names escape me now).
I also managed to go to the late-opening Apple store about 4 times in the week, further tempting myself with the Macbook…  I held strong, I’ve still got a feeling about an announcement this month..

Finally, the Wednesday evening 5 of us hired out a practice room and some equipment (drums, keys, bass, axes, mics, amps..) and had ourselves a wicked little jam session.  None of us having played together before, it was none too shabby.  Belting out such classics as Hold The Line (Toto), Run To You (Bryan Adams), Paradise City (GnR) and also a sweet rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, intertwined with some ‘freestyle’ 12 bar blues and failed attempts at other tracks (Sweet Emotion, Don’t Fear The Reaper).