Its quite amazing when you stop and think that iTunes is almost 10 years old this year. Apple’s end-all-be-all monotheistic gateway for your music collection towards your iPod device, is an application that is loved and hated equally. Like a teenage mom, iTunes went from a young, innocent slender application whose sole purpose was to curate your music collection, to an over-bloated thirty-something iPod-Baby machine that had acquired more functionality (and resources) over the years. Right before Apple gave iTunes a much needed binary liposuction with version 11, iTunes was one fat mama.
But that fat mama had started herding my music collection back in its younger years, and over the course of 10 years 15000 tracks have found their way into its arms. Over 100 playlists divide these tracks into manageable chunks and … I’ll probably never get them out again. Album art, MP3 tags, comments, stars, iTunes poisons my library with proprietary metadata and decides its a better idea to arrange the songs for me instead of my own ‘one album per folder’ setup.
When I started using Linux and other operating systems more and more, I got annoyed with the fact that I could not access my iTunes music from a different OS then OSX .. and that bugged me.
Hence it was time for the great escape ! A search for an application that would export every track in every playlist that I had to a predetermined folder structure that would be compatible with parallel universes WITHOUT iTunes. After hitting “The Google” for hours on end, I decided to enter the terms “iTunes Export” and came across a brilliant little application by Eric Daugherty called .. “iTunes Exporter”.
How it works ? Simple : On Osx (sorry , its an OSX app only) close iTunes and fire up “iTunes Exporter” Select the playlists you want to export and voila : iTunes exporter creates a folder with the name of the playlist and exports the tracks (using their id3 tags as file names) together with a playlist file. The result is simple and brilliant : Your (non DRM’d) music exported to a folder tree, ready to be imported into any media system of your choice. Its handy if you iPod-iPhone or whatever iDevice ever breaks .. or you just buy an Android device.
In the words of some Scottish guy with an ax and a skirt : FREEEEDOOOOMM !!!
if you listen closely to every episode of the Knightwise.com podcast, you are in fact, very familiar with the artist mentioned above. Our outro track is known as ” Sisumies”, a collaboration between Mosaic and Planet Boelex. It’s been a little quit around Planet Boelex after his release of the wonderful album “Suntaa” , so we are very happy to report that there are new sounds emanating from the north as winter is coming. (Can you tell we are watching Game of Thrones ?) Today we bring you the new track by Planet Boelex “Refurbished” The track is available on bandcamp as a drm free and money free download.. So get it now.
We close up the hectic week with a great track from “Carbon Based Lifeforms” When I’m not listening to podcasts in the car, I usually switch to some downbeat music to chill me out and make the drive to work a little more bearable. My monday morning routine does require me to ONLY listen to music on the first commute of the week and one of the tracks I’ve been playing over and over is this one : Terpene. You can’t talk about food and you can’t write about music. So just hit play and chill out.
If i have to reach back into my mind and pull up the first memory I have of the Spacemusic podcast, I think I go back as far as Adam Curry’s original Daily Source Code where Adam played a promo for this “ambient and electronic music podcast” that was produced by a guy with a slight Dutch accent. Now, almost 8 years later I am still a loyal listener to this fantastic Podcast. I’ve mentioned TC’s (Thats the producer) new episodes on Twitter many times over, but for those of you who love the sounds of ambient, electronic and even some Trance music : Check out the Spacemusic Podcast. The latest episode features a great mix of uptempo and chilled out music that has even prompted me to buy some albums from the artist. Worth a listen to help kickstart your day / your week or chill down after a busy day. Check out www.spacemusic.nl
Time to chill into the upcoming weekend with a great track I found on the Spacemusic podcast. If you don’t know Spacemusic and you ARE a fan of ambient and electronic music ? You have been missing out BADLY for the last couple of years. Podcaster supreme ‘TC’ puts together great shows with the best in ambient and electronic music giving you a fantastic show to listen to. Thats where I found out about these guys : Solar Fields. Talking about music is like reading about food. Its pointless so .. just enjoy the clip below ( Full volume required) and you will be buying their stuff on Itunes before the track comes to and end. Enjoy “SOL” by Solar fields. Check them out on Itunes and be sure to subscribe to the Spacemusic Podcast.
Just a little bit of pop-cyber-culture for you today with this great mashup of the original Star Trek song and the theme music from the Simpsons. Though the guy looks like he just had brain surgery done and the patients front and rear lobes have been successfully removed, its still a great track to listen to.
And speaking of theme music.
If one thing annoyes the hell out of both me and Nyana, then it has to be the theme-song of the new series Star Trek Enterprise. I cannot believe the dumbed down the opening credits into some idiotic theme song that makes it all just a little more hey hey USA. Bless the power of the internet to let the true creative souls stand up and produce their own theme. Using title music of StarGate Atlantis (great music – bad show ) they combine it with shots from Enterprise and Stargate to make a truly great opening trailer. Maybe if Mr Berman (Producer behind Enterprise) would have listened to these guys , Enterprise might still be on the air and he would not have been fired from Paramount (although I think its a GOOD thing). For those Blissfully ignorant : Here is the Original version .
Proprietary : The word alone sounds repulsing to me. Being an open source – cross platform fetishist, anything that is locked into the boundaries of a certain manufacturer is probably comparable to the used toilet paper of satan himself. Anything that veers away from open standards and locks users into the steel confinements of a certain brand or manufacturer is no worse then the sing sing prison. Just think about it. Special document formats that implore you , no , FORCE you to buy a certain peace of software in order to open them. A peace of hardware that only has drivers for a certain operating system. Or an on line music store that will only allow its content to be played on one brand of players. Anything that promises advanced functionality at the cost of the consumers liberty to buy what he wants is something Cruellla Devill would probably love. I hate proprietary stuff. Whether its office document formats, Itunes-music-store restricted music, or even some fancy sort of USB connector variation that will only fit on that one stupid dell machine. If it ain’t open , I don’t want it ! I scream in defiance. What good is a fantastic slideshow made in powerpoint if I can’t open it on my mac, Why the frack would I buy a song on Itunes if i can’t play it on my cheap ass mp3 player, Why in hells bells would I encode my music in WMA format if my linux machine won’t be able to read it.
Oh ow , caught in the net.
But , willing or unwilling, i have slipped into the net of these close quarters and have witnessed the power of this fully operational battlesta.. erm .. proprietary software. This week I installed my old Mac Mini as a server at home. Giving it some extra firewire storage-space I bestowed upon it the tasks to store all my pictures and music , and do some video capturing on the side. Your basic run of the mill media server. Using a great program called SHAREPOINT i was able to share any folder I liked using the universal SAMBA protocol. For reasons beyond my comprehension mac does not allow sharing just any folder, just the home folder. Probably to prevent you from turning your mac into a file-server , but hey , come on .. its MY MAC remember ? Nevertheless I got it working nice and dandy. Writing a little logon script with automator gave my other macs access to the shares and that was that. Then I stared using Iphoto and Itunes on the mac server to manage the pictures. That way a boring server was also good for some music playing and photo slide-showing. Think of my mac mini as a power-station (not quite a server , but not quite a workstation). When I got downstairs on my macbook (after connecting to the shared folders using my Ubuntu workstation) i booted up my Itunes and saw…. The mac mini’s music directory.. magically shared through the wonders of AFS (apple file-sharing system). And behold : The Iphoto library on the server was available as well ! And it was surprisingly fast. Sharing files (streaming video) between macs using AFS was faster then doing the same thing with my linux machine over the open source standard of SAMBA.
Its magic .. damn you !
So there you have it . By some technology indistinguishable from magic my macs had talked to each-other and decided on a little functionality to brighten up my day: Share pictures and music just like that. Wether the other kids in the room ( my Ubuntu station and Windows machine) could join or not (they couldn’t) was none of their concern. Too bad really. I mean , I feel good about the fact i can share pictures and music from a centralized place .. but am appalled at the fact that somewhere somehow I have fallen for the proprietary marketing trick. It comes with its advantages of course. But the next time I sit behind my Ubuntu workstation … and curse for not being able to access my Itunes .. I know i’ll curse : Damn you proprietary devil !
This week marked the final episode of the Spacemusic.nl podcast. A show I loved and enjoyed .. Its time to step up and salute its creator.
Beaming out to eternity.
Time rushes by in an ever fasting moving world. We are always busy , always have so much to do , so much stress. As the technological progress beats its ever faster sounding drum, its sometimes hard to keep up. Yet amid this valley of fast talking people, of series of events that dance through the hurricane of progress… there is a eerie silent vortex. As I slam my buds deeper into my ears to drown out the savage society I live in.. My hand reaches out for my Ipod and I breathe in deeply before pressing the button.And then it comes. Like a wonderful ocean of peace that silently scatters the seconds into a blissful eternity. Sounds and chill-out atmospheres shatter my worries and as I peer into the remains of reality … the world slows down. Like tele-porting yourself from the heart of Beijing to a remote iceberg near patagonia .. Reality , stress , rush .. it just stops. A few seconds later I hear the sound of his voice. A voice that is warm, soothing and wonderfully at ease in this ever racing world. A voice that was strange at first , then became familiar .. and that has become the voice of one of my friends. As his carefully selected music flows through my reality the world is sugar coated with this beautiful soundtrack. And somehow my deepest thoughts and emotions greet the light of day after a dark and raging storm.As i toss pebbles into the ocean of my own consciousness , I think back to the very first time I heard this voice. Somewhere in October 2004. As music flowed around me and wrenched me from the grip of everyday life.. The voice spoke about walking through the snow. As I heard the crunching ice beneath his feet I could imagine i was there. Amid a hectic day in my life , he offered me an opportunity to step out into the virgin snow.
The first episode.
Ever since that episode, I have been hooked, addicted, in need of my next fix. Countless times his music, his voice and I chased through busy traffic, dark nights on the freeway, dull tasks at the office. But thanx to the protective chill-out screen , nothing could touch me.. Wherever I was , I chilled out and embraced the eternity between 2 seconds to contemplate what where my deepest thoughts.Or on day-trips, that me and my fiance took in the Belgian ardennes. Spacemusic would be playing as we floated through reality. Between forests, highways, slumbering towns .. The music covered it with .. .Magic. On these long drives we hardly spoke. We learned what it was to be silent , to contemplate .. to enjoy. It didn’t matter where we went.. As long as we had plenty of time to listen to TC’s tunes and appreciate the magic of the world around us.
The honor and the privilege.
I have the honor and the privilege to know the man behind the magic, I have the greater honor of calling him my friend. So today I stand between feelings , just like his music perches me on the edge of realities. I’m happy because I have faith in what the future brings. Faith in the fact that Tc’s creativity will evolve into something different.. that it will move onto greater things. But also I find sadness in the part that there will be no more trips to neverneverland, no more emergency beam-outs to chilloutland, No more spacemusic.But i understand and support the wizzard behind the curtain. I wish him the best of luck , I raise my sword in silent salute.. But most importantly .. I thank him.For the hours and hours of time he poured into this project. For the love , the passion , the joy and the emotion that flowed through these unspoken words. I thank him for the many magical moments I have experienced while listening to the music. The way he could transform a lonely commute through a rainy night , into a flight between the stars. I have and will always enjoy .. spacemusic.
Thank you Tc , you are the best .. and knowing you .. i know that whatever path you take .. you will always be.. the best.
An episode jam packs with tips for the mobile geek. How to carry and organize your tech equiptment as easy, light, convinient and efficient as possible. What to take with you, where and how to store all your geeky goods. Furthermore we talk about the Ubuntu-Granny incident and let you hear ' The Knightcast Signal".
There are more people working behind the scene over at Knightwise.com than one might initially expect. For those of you who have been listening to the Knightcast podcast for a while know that we even have our very own (well.. not ours alone) talent scout ! DaInfaMousJinx is a Dallas Dj roaming the Gothic scene organising gigs, looking for bands to promote and is basicaly spilling his creative vibe all over. DaInFaMousJinx (or Jinx as we call him for shorred) had dropped of the face of the earth the last few weeks. We thought something was amiss but nothing was farther from the truth. Jinx had just become a dad. So we take this little moment to congratulate Jinx and His lovely wife Alleycat on the birth of "Robert John-Coltrane Scarbrough" (or Cole for short). The whole gang is doing fine and its time to put our talent scout (and his wife who gets to do his stuff when he's to busy) in the spotlight. Congrats to the happy family. Be sure to check out Jinx's MYSPACE site for tons of info on the Dallas Gothic scene.