Category: Music Page 1 of 15

About This Music

This is so weird

You’ve heard this song. You might think it was done by Enya.

It was concocted by Karl Jenkins, originally for Delta Airlines. But there’s more to the story, of course. Here’s an interesting read about the process of creating this music: An Aural History of Adiemus

This makes the case that whether consciously or subconsciously, the music was built to carry a subtle message of white supremacy. Now this is not saying it was done as a malicious, racist message. But it does speak to how insidious and hard to perceive a racist framing of things can be.

Hey at least they didn’t ruin a real classic, the way United did

Making Ringtones

I like old rock and roll guitar riffs.  To me, the opening of Heartbreaker or the signature riff of Iron Man is just perfect — for a ringtone.

I see lots of apps in the Android play store offering to get ringtones for you. I worry about the security and commitment to users’ privacy of the companies behind these apps. Most apps, in fact. I have probably way fewer apps on my mobile devices than most people.

So I wanted to roll my own ringtones, and I have trial-and-error’ed my way to an efficient way to do this.

  1. Decide on the music you want to clip for the ringtone. This is the hard part.
  2. See if the song is in your MP3 collection. If you find it, skip to step 6.
  3. Find the song on YouTube.
  4. Using youtube-dl, make a local copy of the video as an MP4 file.
  5. Using VLC, convert the soundtrack of that MP4 to MP3 audio. (There are dozens of websites that offer to convert YouTube URLs into MP3s but I find these untrustworthy and would rather do it on my own machine.)
  6. Open the MP3 file in Audacity.
  7. Locate the clip you want and mark its beginning and ending. Be sure you listen carefully to the borders of the clip, as there are often small traces of the preceding and following bits of the track audible. Audacity allows you to clip with millisecond precision. Be patient, it’s worth it.
  8. Copy the clip you have selected and paste it into a new empty Audacity window.
  9. Export that clip as a WAV file

Now you have a fully functional ringtone. On my Android phone, the easiest way to get it into the right place is to upload it to Google Drive, download it on my phone and move it to the /sdcard/ringtones folder.

This practice probably violates the letter of copyright regulations, but I am going to emphasize that the ringtones made in this way should be for personal use only. They should not be shared and should definitely not be re-sold. To do either is to feed justification to the tyrannical regime of copyright currently in ascendance.

Holy Carp!

Have you ever watched something on TV that was utterly surprising? We just got around to watching a season of America’s Got Talent (thank you Hulu!), and this came up in episode 1:

We were blown away. And just for the record, before Howie’s comments, I turned to Jill and said, You know, I cannot believe this is about to come out of my mouth, but… doesn’t she remind you of— and Jill said, Janis Joplin?

Go catch up with all her stuff on YouTube. Not everything is as clean and refined (!) as this one is, but it’s all got that raw life energy.

And she’s 14, people. 14.

P.S. Howie could not sign her to a record deal but Simon could. And did.

Christmas Lights & Music

This one seems to have started it all

It was built in Mason, Ohio by Carson Williams in 2005.  It was featured in a Miller Light beer commercial, and Williams went on to run a business designing things like this for malls, etc.

It also quickly escalated

Happily for the neighbors, the music is typically not on loudspeakers but broadcast over a low-power FM station at the house.

And now this, which takes the genre to what should be its logical conclusion:

But that’s silly.  Nothing is ever done that someone won’t try to outdo.

On This Day in 1957

Sam Cooke released “You Send Me”

File under Things I Found While Looking Up Other Things.

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