MrMotane's Rant Mansion

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Todays Music Business Model

Once and awhile i turn on the TV. Strange how i don't watch TV that often anymore. We'll there is the infamous American Idol. Narrator interviews a couple of people before going in and a pretty girl, tall with a cute smile goes in and answers basic questions in front of the panel. Then she starts to sing and this amazingly powerful voice comes out. You sit back and think, “hey, this is a good one”, but then Paula Abdul says she needs voice lessons and that she has potential. We'll isn't this just craptastic. I shake my head and then turn it off. Paula Abdul? Voice lessons? If anyone needs lessons its her. She couldn't sing well even at the top of her game. I can only imagine what the panel would say if Paula showed up with her bag and sheet music now. They would've had her packing. I've been to music college and have been playing music since I was 14 yrs old. All the bands I've chosen to play are at least 20 years old. The music of today stinks and that show is a reasonable explanation on what's happening to today's music. We have a ton of sound-alikes that can't write a single song to save their soul. Back in the 70's and 80's we had, Yes, Rush, Genesis, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, The Police, The Kinks, Tom Petty and the Heart breakers....and the list goes on. Paula wouldn't have a clue to write the songs these genius's wrote. The sad part is there are tons of genius's like this playing around Boston and NY right now. They will never get signed, because they don't sound like the Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberland or Britany Spears. All this has just about made me hang up my bass and song writing for good. I simply don't fit in 2006. I want to write good music, not that crap on the radio. What does Simon know about talent? Ever hear him sing or write a song? What has he produced in the past 10 years? The rehash material thats been playing for a decade? People love this show, because it gives the audience the chance to throw a few tomatoes. In truth, if the audience had their vote it would've been the guy or girl the panel sent packing. It's clear they have no clue what talent is. Sure, id love to hear another song from Carrie Underwood...sounds like everyone else. I can't tell the difference anymore. I cringe to think if maybe Bob Dylan was booed off of American Idol or say Mick Jagger. They are not as technically proficient as say Steve Perry, but what would their songs be without their voice? Think America was devastated when Paula disappeared after the 80's dance jive was over? You can tell if a song is good when you hear it in the supermarket 10 years from now. Think “Forever Your Girl” is playing at your local Dentist office? If people were smart they wouldn't bother showing up at the show to get humiliated by a bunch of has-beens. Wanna get a record label on your own terms? Get a good band, good writers, good manger and play clubs until you drop dead. Make a ton of demo records and sell them like crazy. The record labels will notice, because you'll be making money. The only difference is, you'll be making money for yourself, not being some executive guinea pig for a weeks show agenda.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Is Linux worth it?

Many IT professionals debate whether to use Linux or continue to use Windows despite all its problems. Recently i had a discussion with a friend from my Server 2003 class and a friendly debate turned into a session of self-reflection. Do people use Windows because they have to or because they want to? Is my dislike for Windows because of the way Microsoft does business or is it truly a lousy operating system. I'd say “yes” on both counts. So far true Linux lovers go for the gusto and cut down anyone who installs a version of Linux that has been pre-compiled. A distro, if you will. They prefer Linux completely built from scratch. Naturally they have good reasons for thinking this way, since the lot of them want their computers to run fast, smooth and stable. I guess you need to ask yourself, what is important in an Operating System for you? I love Linux for many reasons. I think its an excellent solution for servers and routers. So, would I use Gentoo and compile it from scratch? I dont know about you, but i dont have four days to wait for my machine to be usable, especially if im using it for a desktop. An Operating System for me must be powerful, easy to use, secure, stable and can be configured relatively quickly. Now Windows is powerful, easy to use and can be installed quickly, however its not that stable and it's sure as hell not secure. What about Linux? That depends on the distro, but more are powerful, secure and stable. The problem lies in installing quickly and its ease of use. It often takes a long time to install and configure. Some distros have made great strides in being all those things and i am running a few of those for my servers. Other than gaming use. the Macintosh does all these things and does them extremely well right out of the box. It's like taking Windows and Linux marrying them and then having a baby. True, its trapped on a single platform, but all platforms have their use and it just so happens i can use it for almost every task i can throw at it. In time I believe Linux will catch up and maybe perhaps Windows Vista as well. Until then my desktop of choice is clear...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So much for 64-bit

The power is there for mobile computers people! The new Intel Core Duo is released in the new MacBook Pro and iMac. Most people are excited to get their hands on the newest Macintosh that suppose to kick some serious ass. Steve Jobs let us all know the new Intel iMac is over 3.2X faster in some apps than the PowerPC G5. Yes, twin cores on the same die. So Steve, can i put on the latest Mathematica 64-bit on my Intel iMac? The latest Intel chip is not 64-bit capable. So what's Apple's answer to this? I can understand not having a 64-bit chip on a laptop, because who is really going to install 4GB or more of RAM in a laptop? How about a desktop or workstation? We'll for databases, scientific applications, video editors and photo editors, dealing with large files of course. So what is the Intel Core Duo doing in an iMac? It's a mobile chip! A very poor move on Apple's part. In addition to this you can't just install your old apps and expect it to work perfectly. Rosetta is a program in the x86 version of Mac OS X that pretends to be an Intel Processor. So you can load your PowerPC apps. Does it work like it suppose to? We'll not all apps. So what does this leave you to switching right now? You need to buy all new apps for universal binaries and pay again. So,if your using 64-bit apps and you bought a shiny new Intel iMac your screwed. We'll at least you can use photo booth. My guess is iBooks are going to have a single core as well as the Mac Mini. This leaves PowerMacs. What if those are not 64-bit? Apple tooted it's horn for being the worlds first 64-bit personal computer. So much for that.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Yep, it's ok!

We'll, I've watched the new Battlestar Galactica and i actually gave it a two seasons watch and you know what I think? We'll, its not bad. At first looking at Starbuck as a tough blond chick with an attitude smoking a cigar took some time. Boomer as a prego Asian Cylon female. Baltar as some weirded out weeping idiot..well i guess i can handle it. The characters are starting to form into their own skin and it shows. I really didn't want to give it a chance, considering when the first Battlestar came out in 1978 i watched it on TV and loved it. Yep, got actions figures, bought the lunch box and the light switch cover. I was a sci-fi junky even as a kid. So, what happened to Lucifer? I have to say that the way the new Cylons look are absolutely sick. It's cool as hell. I guess just like Star Trek: The Next Generation when no one wanted a bald headed captain, people started to accept it. The thing im tired of is this emotion rubbish between characters and tons of dribble dialog, when i want to see things blown up. Action! Anyhoo, i give it the thumbs up. For now.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Give us what we want and we'll buy

According to many sources the buying of new music is on the decline. why? Another interesting find was that online music sales, have suddenly jumped over record stores. Overall a study shows that for music in all, less people are buying new music. We’ll i do have a couple of personal theories.

1. People want to put their music where-ever they want to.Via ipod, computer, memory stick, PSP or just to burn another cd for the camper. Another words, no or less restrictions

2. The new music of today just plain sucks.

Now let me point out the first one. The reason for the increase in online music stores is due to the point of convenience The reason why it doesn't conflict with the second point is due to the fact that as of yet, buying music online hasn’t had any major problems with people burning a CD from a playlist and then turning that over to another format. The annoyance however, is growing.

I for one, certainly no longer go to the record store for a couple of reasons. First of all they have mostly new music and they don't have anything for my 80’s fix. I don't want to wait two weeks for my collection of New Wave hits. So it’s a matter of convenience mostly. Secondly, newer cds from different companies prevent you from making copies or stopping you from putting the music your bought on MP3 players. Kinda defeats the purpose of why you bought the CD. No one is going to buy a CD from a record store if they can’t put the songs they like on their brand new ipod nano they just got for Christmas. The more DRM you put into music making it harder for people to use, the less consumers are going to buy. People are informative and smart and it shows.

No 2 on my list is just pure speculation, but as time goes on, the industry has trouble making up fresh new ideas for the public. I see alot of new bands that play music that sounds like something else we all heard before. When you hear people say, “Sounds like Britany or maybe not” it’s the cloners that are making music just a wash out. The reason i like 80s and the reason that place and time was so great was, no one artist sounded like another. Tons of fresh faces and new ideas. Alot of music today was born of that time, mostly rap and hip-hop. Nothing revolutionary is made today, just crap. I don't see that many pirates on the rise, i just see smarter consumers. Why should i buy full album of Nickelback when i only like one or two songs on the album? Simple, one songs good while a whole lot of other songs suck. Write better songs or albums and get better results. If i like an whole album, i buy the whole damn thing and that is becoming a rarity lately. You can only buy singles in a record store but online music stores you can buy any song you want for .99 cents. So even if you like one song that's not even a single, you can just buy what you want and nothing more. This gives the freedom of choice.

If online music stores start pushing for higher prices, you just might see more piracy or buying on the decline again. As of now, .99 cents is the magic number. Case in point for all that i’ve put on the table tonight....if you want me to buy music give me a compelling reason to do so. Start understanding what your people need and fill in those gaps. Isn't that what Commerce is all about?