Multimedia

A new audio format that brings nothing new

In an article titled Is The World Ready For The Successor of the MP3? Wired.com reports about MusicDNA, a format developed by german firm BACH Technology. From the title it sounded like the article would be talking about a new audio file format. Disappointingly, the successor of 19 year-old MP3 turns out to be… MP3, with extended upgradeable tags.

The sales pitch is that MusicDNA would be reverse-compatible with current MP3 players, and the format would include upgradeable additional info like lyrics, album cover and newsfeed.

What’s worse, since MusicDNA gets information downstream from the labels, what tells us that the labels are not able to collect information upstream? That would be a good way for them to monitor the end users, whom I am sure would be thrilled to use anything that has a backdoor.

A lot of music library management applications now have the option to fetch song, album and artist info as soon as a file is played, not to mention scrobbling. Why not work along those lines and instead improve the performance of data compression? MP3 is by far one of the worst destructive compression formats.

Labels should make it easier for users to purchase digital music online. I am writing from one of the most economically dynamic countries on the European continent, and yet options are still limited from here. This is why I am still getting my music through purchasing second-hand CD’s on Amazon and ripping them… in OGG Vorbis.

Share

DRM
Digital privacy
Economic sustainability
Internet
Multimedia
Social networking

Comments (0)

Permalink

Will Android be the homerun OS of the year 2010?

It took time for phone builders to realize that they would made big saving by adopting Android instead of reinventing the wheel with their own OS. Android has been around for a couple of years now, but it is finally gaining momentum: a dozen device are expected within the next 6 months, so the OS ever-broad user base might create enough momentum to convince developpers to embrace it.

As for Microsoft, Windows Mobile has recently been released, and I read that it still requires a stylus. I rest my case.

Share

Android
Economic sustainability
Google
Mobile computing
Multimedia
Windows

Comments (0)

Permalink

Got a Mac

On my personal home computer I permanently switched from Windows to Linux in 2001. The latest Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution automatically updates itself and allows to do all the mundane stuff like handling electronic mail, surfing the internet, viewing and editing text or spreadsheet documents.

There are outstanding free applications allowing me to create and retouch high-colour graphics, rip and apply audio filters to songs, manage and hand-edit my music and photographic library, and securely store all my critical data. The X Windows System allows to place applications windows in any of its multiple screens and keeping a movies window on all screens on top of all applications.

Linux is good and I love Open Source. My only dissapointment however is the difficulty of setting up and flawlessly running multimedia (music or video) composition software. There is also a file management system issue: since the file and folder owner alone has write priviledge, I have often found myself unable to write files on a wearable Linux device’s memory card. For example I cannot place files on my HTC memory card under Linux. I need to resort to Windows or OSX to do that.

Which is why I pondered wether to get a Mac mini and I eventually ended up doing it.

Share

Bugs
Cross-platform
DRM
Economic sustainability
Linux
Migration
Multimedia
OSX
Proprietary

Comments (0)

Permalink

Google-size me!

After several months of waiting and pondering I have decided to jump in and get an HTC Magic running Google’s Android platform.

The choice of a carrier was tricky. I eventually chose Orange, which would be the weakest network in Switzwerland, but they have extremely good costs for calls and roaming in Europe.

The first days, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to type correctly. The best solution seems to be anticipating the fingertip roundess by typing a few millimeters closer to the dial center.

Update: Android is seamslessly integrated with online Google services. I can access my calendar, create and modify events; and gMail runs like push e-mail on Android. The first time I logged, the address book synced with my gMail contacts but the application seems to fail to refresh. I performed a soft reboot to achieve the result. I have also installed on my laptop a Thunderbird plugin called Zindus that consolidates and syncs the address books. Zindus syncs most address book fields between Thunderbird and gMail contacts, but street addresses have to be written manually.

Share

Android
Economic sustainability
Internet
Messaging
Mobile computing
Multimedia
Open
Operating system
iPhone

Comments (0)

Permalink

Last.fm taking care of business

Founded in 2002, British company Last.fm offers three complementary services: playing customized audio broadcasts on its corporate player, keeping track and statistics about of all the songs played or rated on one’s multimedia application, and building an extensive artist and songs database.

Failing to load music on the Last.fm player for the last few days, I logged onto their portal only to find out that Last.fm now asks users to register for a 3$ monthly fee. This comes as no surprise, considering that in order to be able to podcast copyrighted audio content, the company must have had a way of monetizing it. This seems to be a logical step two years after the company being acquired by CBS.

Share

Copyrights
Cross-platform
DRM
Economic sustainability
Internet
Multimedia
Proprietary
Social networking

Comments (0)

Permalink