Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Do Androids Dream On Electric Pillows? Because Now, You Can...

“Smart” devices pervade our culture, giving everything from your car to your medicine cabinet a mind of its own.  Now, even when your own mind is shut off for the night, a smart device can be there to keep you informed of your sleep stats.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is totally not a joke.  Meet the smart pillow.

If you like death metal and your partner likes dubstep,
now you can both snooze to your own tunes!
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Strained Brains And Song Refrains: Could This New Music App Help Restore Some Lucidity To Those Afflicted With Declining Minds?

Music has been inextricably linked to culture, community, and comradeship since the first caveman hit some rocks together in a catchy beat.  Its influence has spanned the globe and has even journeyed into the stars.  Our greatest composers and artists are held in the same respectful strata as our greatest heroes...and now, there might be one more reason why.

Rock out 'til the clock's out.
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The Imprints Of Prince: Musician Inspired Massive Code-Teaching Initiative

The world lost a musical icon this week with the passing of Prince, but until his demise, few of his fans knew of the inspiration he'd offered, bringing about more adeptness and awareness for the future via technology.  No, not the song about partying like it was 1999 (although that was tremendously pertinent at the time.)  After an inspiring discussion with a proactive friend, Prince used his influence to support a nonprofit means of teaching kids how to write computer code.

He wants kids to rock hacks as well as he rocks an axe.
Which is to say, crazy good.
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You-Apalooza: Catch Concerts Without Leaving Your Couch Thanks To This Streaming Service

Are you a rocker, but due to time, money, or location constraints, you can't rock out at a show?  No worries - this concert-broadcasting service will still make you feel like a sultan of sound.

Impending avalanche of rocking out!
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Jumpin' Jack Flash, It's An App: Rock The Rolling Stones' New Release

The Rolling Stones are the encyclopedic definition of rock 'n roll.  After over 50 years, 29 studio albums, and unquestionably the most iconic frontman to ever pivot, prance, pounce, and pout across a stage, if you're not getting some kind of satisfaction from these guys, you're doing something wrong.  And now, there's an app to help get yer ya-yas out...

Hipsters, you are not the Rolling Stones.
But maybe you can learn a thing or two from them.
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That Tune In Your Head...Lock It Down With This New App

So, you're a rockstar.  Or at least you're attempting to be one.  Really, someone needs to step up and fill a few recently-vacated positions, so why not you?  It's just that sometimes, those facemelting solos and sweet, sweet licks escape your brain while you're trudging away at your day job (or the bar...whatever, we don't judge.)  Fear not, however...there's now a way to keep track of your proto-"Greatest Hits" album...

All they need now is a screaming crowd app, a tour booking app,
and a doing-lines-off-strippers'-butts app.
But until then, you can still rock out.
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Va-jamming: New Insertable Music Device Serenades Your Unborn Child

Happy New Years, baby!  Did you get some good partying done to ring in 2016?  Well, if you celebrated so hard that you'll be creating another human around September or so, have we got some rockin' news for you!

You can't shove a Fender Stratocaster up there, but this is the next best thing.
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But Does It Go To Eleven? Marshall Set To Launch Smartphone

They're known by musicians and music fans worldwide for their impeccable attention to sound quality, and soon, you could have a Marshall in your your phone!

Be a monster of rock...AND call your mom.  What a nice device.
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Found By Sound: Kidnapper Located Via Spotify Sign-Ons

The information superhighway has a lot of vehicles on it, and you might be followed without even realizing it.  Such was the case with one woman who thought she could escape the law, but didn't count on the law looking in on what she listened to, and where...

If Bonnie and Clyde here are jamming Spotify while fleeing the law,
they're gonna get caught!
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Hear The World: Listen To Top Tracks From Different Countries With "Music Globe 3D" App

Are you a music fan that likes branching out beyond not just genres, but national interests?  Now, with the help of a new app, you can travel the world via your ears...

You can still feel like a rockstar on tour, even if you're neither of those things.
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Reznor Helms New Beats 1 Radio Launch; Brings Listeners Closer To God

And you can have it all.  His empire of...well, a lot more than dirt.  Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor wants to help music fans find new artists to aurally appreciate, as well as enjoy classics, with the new Beats 1 radio program by Apple...

Despite previous claims, his intent is neither to let you down, nor to make you hurt.
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Walk This Way? Meet Sony's New $1,200 Walkman

Remember the allure of owning your first Walkman?  It's your music, in headphones, wherever you want!  Nearly magic!  Now, years down the road, with the colloquial term having segued over time from "Walkman" to "iPod" to "my phone", Sony has reintroduced their flagship travelling-tunes device...but is it worth it for the price?

Real buttons, though.  Those pressable buttons are nice.
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I Know It's Only Rock 'n Roll (Setlyst App Review), But I Like It

Are you a rocker?  Do you rock out?  Then you know that, amid all the beers, babes, gear, and gregariousness of live performance, it really helps to be organized.  A new app can help take care of at least a little bit of that (without making you start a budget for a real manager...)

Now you just have to worry about staying inflammable and keeping your gear in one piece.
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Get Your Recording Groove On For Free With New "Pro Tools First" App

Are you a rocker?  Do you rock out?  Or, for that matter, do you sing opera, hit jazz, bust rhymes, yodel, or otherwise create music?  If so, you've probably recorded or wanted to record your craft so it can be immortalized and shared worldwide.  Now, the most famous program in the business is going to help you do that...for free.

Live out your craziest rock 'n roll dreams...ok, except the app can't really help with the alien part.
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For fifteen years now, Avid's Pro Tools software has been the industry standard for digitally creating and altering recorded music.  With the ability to layer tracks with precision and add countless effects to a composition, it is a valuable (but pricey) means of making a masterpiece.  Now, according to, Avid will be unveiling Pro Tools First, a free app that is a scaled-down version of their professional program.

The main differences between Pro Tools First and the regular Pro Tools is the capability for literally hundreds of tracks to be layered together in the same composition.  This essentially means that in the full version of Pro Tools, you could individually record an entire orchestra and chorus with each musician on their own track, then seamlessly blend them using the software.  Pro Tools First offers the capacity for 16 mono/stereo audio tracks, 16 MIDI tracks and 16 Instruments tracks for a maximum of 48 tracks, and 21 audio plug-in effects - all of which would be completely satisfying for many types of projects.

You don't want to worry about all this.  Just worry about the basics, and your song not being awful.
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A detailed analysis of the comparisons and contrasts between the versions of Pro Tools can be found here on Avid's website.  While there is no score editor or video playback in the app version, such amenabilities as Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch are there to help you tune up your timing and tone.

A very useful feature of both Pro Tools and Pro Tools First is the ability to share your work with other artists, producers and engineers via cloud computing.  This enables a production to be worked on remotely, where updates to the work or wholly new sonic attempts can flow freely.  While space for such projects is limited on Pro Tools First (you get room for three songs), this could theoretically help to keep you on task.

Sign up to be notified when Pro Tools First drops...soon, you could be a superstar!  Or at least give yourself an objective viewpoint on how your shower singing and karaoke jams really sound...

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Space Station Sunday: Success And Space Jams

Good evening, space fans!  It was a calm but productive week on the ISS.

New Year's celebrations got multiplied 16-fold for our orbiting adventurers, who got to see a dozen-and-a-quarter daybreaks from their perfect perch.  As alcohol is not allowed on the ISS, no champagne toasts were made, but that's a fair price to pay for saying you got to literally party around the world on New Year's Eve.

With much Martian goodness to follow...
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According to NASA, approximately 3,575 hours worth of research on some 300 different projects were conducted by the space station crews during 2014 alone, bringing more insight and innovation into the micro-g lifestyle as well as new developments for all the rest of us who remain ground-bound.

Over the course of the 2014, nine different unmanned vehicles visited the ISS (four Russian Progress ships, two SpaceX Dragons, two orbital Cygnus craft, and one final flight of Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle.)  Four Russian Soyuz crafts spirited up three new crew members apiece to join the stellar ranks of the ISS team, and eleven of the astronauts and cosmonauts participated in seven different spacewalks over the course of the year.  By all accounts, this helped make 2014 a tremendously productive year in space.

Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore, the NASA astronaut currently commanding the space station, got to celebrate a little extra on this successful year, as his 52nd birthday fell a few days previous on December 29th.  The Flight Control team in Houston was even on hand to sing him Happy Birthday from mission control!

Butch's ISS comrades also helped him age in style.
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From an earthly perspective, the ISS captured the imagination of Israeli photographer Gadi Edelheit, who tracked the station using the HeavensAbove astronomy site and captured images of the ISS as it was in transit past the face of the moon.  The video of the flyby, made famous via Gizmodo, puts into dramatic perspective how small our space force is in the face of all that space.  

And as for snaps from the other direction, NASA astronaut Terry Virts maintains a fascinating Instagram account of his space voyage, with station life and earth life all getting examined via his lens.  With the astronauts adopting an ever more lively presence on social media, the imagery and intrigue from space can touch even the most remote corners of earth!

Want more?  There's a unique ISS Instragram as well!  

This image of the Viedma glacier was captured from the ISS as part of  the Expedition Earth And Beyond program,
which provides space-based earth photos to students.
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And if you'd like a spacey soundtrack to go along with all the excellent imagery, check out the "80UA" collection of remixed space sounds  - everything from rocket blasts to ambient cosmic noise - made by Italian artists Fabrica Musica.

That's all for this week, space fans!  Tune in next time for more from our stars in the stars.  Don't let gravity get you down...have a great week and remember to watch this space!

Google Play's Best Apps Of 2014: Music, Movies, and Multiculture

It's the time of the year for annual roundups of cool stuff to be listed, and Google Play has been diligent in their research.  Their list of Best Apps of 2014 has been released, with many useful and interesting elements for you to consider.

Not a long time ago, in a smartphone not far, far away...

The usual suspects are, of course, in appearance.  The music-identification app Shazam, the highly-informative TED app (relating the various and fascinating TED talks), and apps for popular services like Groupon, Uber, and OKCupid were favorites in 2014.

Language-learning apps proved an innovative and popular way to get your brain around another country's verbiage.  The Duolingo app teaches and tests on Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English language skills, while the Monki Chinese School app works for those who would venture further east.

For those who were more about entertainment than information, the Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, and Hulu apps made the list for your television viewing pleasure, while the Disney Movies app brought the animated movie magic.

The Economist "Espresso", Buzzfeed, Yahoo News, and the "breaking news" apps from CNN and the New York Times all delivered the news better than a paperboy thanks to their programs.

Music proved as important as ever in the smartphone app community, with Pandora, TuneIn Radio and IHeartRadio apps appearing on the list.  Other music-involved apps such as edjing (a "DJ Music Mixer Studio"), Equalizer+ (a sonic equalizing app), and musixmatch (a lyrics synching app for karaoke adventures) also made the cut.  Rock on!

And if you just need to drop everything and hit the road, there's the Anywayanyday app, to find you a flight or hotel somewhere special.  Or just somewhere different.  Why learn all this cool stuff about the world and not go see some of it?

Just remember to, you know, put down your smartphone for a little while when you're out there.
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Serendipitous Songs? New App Maps Where And When People Play Similar Songs

Do you ever wonder if you share a "soundtrack" with other people, perhaps during a certain time, or in a certain vicinity? If you do, now there's a way to find out what your fellow music fans are jamming to at the same time or place you are.

According to, Spotify's new Serendipity app tracks your tunes as you rock out, then shows users if someone else, anywhere in the world, is grooving to the same song. As Spotify describes this, "If you're listen[ing] to a popular song, there's a good chance someone else is listening to it in sync with you." You can watch the results on a map and allow yourself to be happy that someone, somewhere is also crying along to Air Supply's "All Out Of Love."

The fascinating part about this is that Spotify has deduced that every second, ten people begin listening to the same song within a tenth of a second. So yeah, it could be implied that every time you're blasting the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive", ten other people may be doing the Travolta dance along with you...somewhere.  
Ha, ha, ha, ha - oh sweet, some dude in Belgium is jamming it too!  Intercontinental dance party! 

Rumors: Spotify Setting Up Streaming Video Service

From Business Insider:
Spotify, the on-demand music service, is planning a major change.  According to two sources briefed on the company's plans, Spotify intends to become an on-demand music and video service – one that would invest in original content and compete heads-on with Netflix.  Ultimately, Spotify's metamorphosis would also put it into competition with content creators and providers such as HBO.