22 January 2004

pictures for pictures

I've added two new 80x15 images down there on the left side. One leads to my Fotolog and the other to my BrickShelf gallery. Both are free sites offering web space for pictures and a little community spirit as well. I had to flex my pixel art skillz a little but I think the camera and building brick are vaguely recognizable.

I'm listening to Johnny Cash albums recorded live at prison performances, and they seem somehow appropriate as I sit at my desk moving numbers between spreadsheets. Stripes and bars indeed.

21 January 2004

life's little pleasures

It's the little things that sometimes matter most. Tonight I needed to return some stuff to the local library but didn't feel like driving. So I bundled myself up and walked. It was supposed to be rather cold, but I had a warm coat, scarf and gloves on, and to finish off my ensemble I donned my full-cuff headphones. They made great earmuffs, and Morcheeba's Fragments of freedom is great music to listen to while walking. It mixes so many diverse but all upbeat genres of music (well, most all upbeat) and I couldn't help but bounce a little on my way. I didn't want to bounce too much, on account of all the ice still on the sidewalks, but all the while I knew I'd picked the perfect album for the quick trip. It made my evening, really.

It had some stiff competition, and the title isn't set in stone quite yet. During my drive home today I was hearing talk about the space program while doing a little sky gazing of my own. To the south there was a very interesting cloud formation—it looked almost like a ridge, being a nearly straight line dividing the clouds and the blue sky. Beyond the ridge were scattered bits and pieces of clouds, and then clear sky and the sinking sun. It wasn't until I hit a stoplight (most of my commute home happens at seventy miles an hour) that I noticed the changes in the clouds. They were moving very quickly, and almost before the stoplight turned green the sky had cleared from north to south and only the low, burning orange sun remained. Years have passed since I last watched the clouds, and frankly I'd forgotten just how quickly they could move. The speed was almost unnatural; it felt like halfway between real life and Koyaanisqatsi.

20 September 2003

sample hunters

Here's an interesting site: A comprehensive guide to samples and references in Paul's Boutique. Comprehensive it is, but only for that one album. I envision a site encompassing all music but covering it in just as much detail. Wouldn't that be really cool?

This is no simple idea, though — I've put a little thought into this. It would be called Sample Hunter and its logo would be recognizably similar to Steve Irwin's but not enough to be illegal or un-hip. Users would not just suggest samples, they'd put bounties on them. Each bounty would be worth more sample requests, and some samples would be worth more than others. A couple spoken words in the background of a Beck deep cut would fetch a higher bounty than, say, the backing track to "Ice ice baby" (David Bowie and Queen, "Under pressure", I know). Redeeming bounties would allow the hunter to place new bounties and enjoy other privileges I have yet to determine.

Would such an idea work? I know I'd lurk it definitely and maybe even fill in some samples. Just an idea, though. I don't have the web space to actually implement anything. Yet.

27 May 2003

silly, silly me

So I had this brilliant idea for how I could solve not one, but two problems that aren't important issues at all. First of all, I like to listen to music at work, but my computer's CD drive clicks and makes a lot of noise. So listening to my CDs and mp3CDs is right out. I tried out internet radio, settled on a playlist of about ten shoutcast streams, and still wasn't happy. I was spending too much time switching channels, as it were. That's "problem" number one. "Problem" number two—warranting quotes because neither is life-threatening—is a backlog of music I haven't heard, primarily in mp3 form. Can you believe that it took me a week to realize the solution?

I made a private shoutcast server. I culled some other tools, namely Oddcast, and mistakenly set the bitrate to 160kbps. Which is very close to CD quality, but also huge. Each song necessitates streaming around five megabytes, so you can imagine the stats I'd be running up for downloads. I want to get the attention of the I.T. department, but not that way. Oh, and the bitrate's too high—it skips.