Browsing the archives for the Music category.


Amazon Cloud Player

Music, Web/Tech

This morning, the Amazon Cloud Player launched, and I must say, I am impressed.

As with most things Amazon, they went all out. It launches with 5GB of storage out of the box just for having an amazon account, an Android app, as well as a nice web player that works quite well. All of your playlists and music automatically sync so that you can have the same experience, no matter what device you are using.

And if 5GB isn’t enough, it won’t be for me, you can buy more storage 20GB for $20 per year, or buy an MP3 album and automatically be upgraded to that 20GB plan. There are even albums for less than $1 on Amazon that meet the criteria.  And if you download that album or any MP3 from Amazon to your cloud drive first, then it won’t count against your space. So you can buy as much from Amazon as you would like and it isn’t part of the 5GB or 20GB size restriction. It can sit there indefinitely. Also, if you go to your amazon MP3 settings on each computer you will be accessing it from, you can set your download setting. “When you save your Amazon MP3 purchases to Cloud Drive, you can download new purchases from Cloud Drive to this computer automatically.” So I can have it automatically download files to my desktop, but download on demand on my laptop. Pretty sweet.

And you don’t have to just store mp3′s on there, but also any other file you would like, but obviously you get the most flexibility out of MP3 files. And when I say MP3 files, I don’t necessarily mean MP3′s exclusively can be used, you can actually upload Apple’s m4a files as well so that you can listen to them using your amazon cloud player as well. Wav files and ogg are out of luck, but most people have mp3 and m4a as it is, so you should be good with most of your collection.

And of course, Amazon makes it easy to click on an artist and shop for more music from that artist in the Amazon MP3 store.

There is even a really nice Adobe Air MP3 uploader from Amazon that automatically scans your Windows Media Player and iTunes libraries for files and playlists and lets you choose what you do and do not want to upload.

I am listening to it right now on my Android and it is working extremely well over a Wifi connection and I’ll have to try it out over a 3G connection to see if it can keep a good connection. But if Pandora can do it, there is really no reason that Amazon can’t.  It does give you the option of downloading the files from your Cloud Drive to your Android device in case you will be out of range and need something to listen to, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

I do have a few things that I wish I could do that I can’t.  I have a few files that I have ripped that didn’t have track info and it uploaded and of course the album and artist are “unknown”. I wish there was a way, other than re-uploading the file, that I could edit that information, but as of right now I don’t find a way to do that.

I also do wish that it had an iOS app, but I am sure that is coming. It probably just takes awhile to get it through the app store approval process. I tried to use the web player on the iPad, and though it loaded, I couldn’t actually get my files to play. But I was able to download them to the device, which I guess would work if there was one file you wanted to listen to.

I also wonder how long it will be before there is a Roku app or it is built into my Tivo. Because that is one piece that will make things much more interesting as Amazon Video on Demand is already in the living room, and putting Amazon MP3 in the living room would seriously upgrade the home theater capabilities of most people’s homes by having their MP3 collection easily accessible without having to go through all of the steps of finding it on your network.

The real test is going to be when Apple or Google announce an inevitable competitor to Amazon so we can see how each of these monster companies handles the same task.

But with Amazon being the first player of the big boys to do this, it definitely gives them the edge. If people get comfortable with their product and invest early, then that gives them an upper hand on these other competitors that would be more likely to own this space and allows them a good shot at owning the cloud MP3 space.

Anyway, try it out at Amazon Cloud MP3 or watch the nice little intro video to learn more.

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Evanescence isn’t dead!!!!

Music

I got really excited today. I was reading the new Rolling Stone today and much to my surprise, I looked in the "In the Studio" section and saw Amy Lee, and right under her, the name Evanescence was on the page. I got excited and read about it. So here is the deal. I don’t keep up with music in the way that I did my first couple of years of college when I didn’t have anything better to do, so I get excited when someone I like has something new coming out. I thought that Evanescence had broken up, but instead, all that happened was that Ben Moody, the guitarist/ songwriter left. So they have a new album coming out in October called "The Open Door". I am so psyched for this. I have loved both their major studio release, and their live album. But they said that the new sound is a little more like "Fiona Apple than new metal", so I am not sure what to make of that, but I will trust Amy Lee and hope that she doesn’t mess things up. Because if this album goes well, then they are suddenly the biggest rock band in America again. We can only wait and see.

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Rediscovering

Music

Link: Amazon.com: Wreck of the Day: Music.

Don’t you love when you rediscover a CD you have had in your collection for months and months because a new single comes out that you had forgotten just how much you enjoyed it. Well, I am that way about Anna Nalick’s CD. I have had the album for a good 4 months. And when I first got it, it was all I listened to. But then I started listening to a few other things and forgot about it. Then I heard her new song "In The Rough" the other day and started listening to it again. Oh my goodness. What a good album. I mean, if you like artists like Mindy Smith, Allison Krauss, and Norah Jones, then you will love this girl. She is so good.

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Yahoo Audio Search

Music

Okay, I was checking my Yahoo mail and saw a news post that said "Yahoo tests new audio search feature". That caught my eye. I am a bit of an audiophile and like to listen to podcasts as well. So I checked out the article that says they will have an index of all sorts of audio files including songs in the Napster, Rhapsody, and iTunes services’ databases. So they are trying to be the all knowing index of songs. It is really neat and you should check it out. This will also index the podcasts that are available via download. It is neat and if you want to checkout the service, you can do it here.

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AllofMP3.com

Music

I know, I know, I have been posting an obscene amount of times today, but this one is completely called for. It would be a disservice if I didn’t say something about it. There is a site out there on the net that is called AllofMP3.com. It is downloadable MP3′s out of Russia. You download by the Megabyte. It is $.04 per Meg. It is awesome. I know, you are thinking that because it is Russian, then it is going to have Russian music, but no. It has American stuff. I am downloading the new 3 Doors Down album as we speak. It is a great alternative to iTunes and Napster. Plus, because it is so cheap, you don’t have to feel bad if your impulse buying nets you a bad album. It is a little confusing when you first start downloading these just because of the way the site is setup, but it is worth it to get an entire album for about $1.25. How sweet is that? You can choose from about 6 media formats, as well as 3 quality settings according to how much of an audiophile you are. I know I will be buying my music on here, at least until they shut it down or something.

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Jason Mraz : Tonight Not Again / Live at Eagles Ballroom

Music

527702For those of you who don’t know who this guy is, you should. A few months back he came to Knoxville and did a show in the Old City. If I had known then how good this guy was, I would have been there in a heartbeat. This is a live album that has a lot of songs off of his most recent studio album named "Waiting for my Rocket to Come". After listening to his studio album, I was impressed with the song-writing, but not as much with the vocal styles. But, because of the song-writing, I thought I would give this album a shot.
This album was so much better than his studio album. Not only does it incorporate a lot of bluesy vocal stylings that have long been lost to today’s music using scat. It really is amazing to hear someone perform that style well. There is also the addition of John Popper from Blues Traveler on "Curbside Prophet" and "Too Much Food". His great harmonica playing adds so much to the music.
The CD also comes with a DVD that has a lot about Jason Mraz’s tour life and some of his background and how he got started. It is a great set that I would recommend for anyone who enjoys folk, scat, or blues. Try it out and  you’ll like it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Don’t buy an iPod

Music

Most of you know that I love my iPod. But here is my reason for this title. Battery life. In the fall, the new iteration of iPods will have batteries that could last up to almost 50 hours instead of the 8 hours it works right now. So if you want an mp3 player, get an iPod shuffle, and then get an iPod in the fall. The article is here.

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Ryan Cabrera – Take it all away

Music

Ryan_cabrera_take_it_all_away_1  For those of you who are reality tv addicts, you may recognize this guy from the Ashlee Simpson show. He was the love interest for a show or two. If I remember right, it ended quickly, but if she was smart she would have stayed with him because this guy is going places with his music.

I heard the first single off of his album "On the way down" and thought it might be a good listen. I was right. His album is a really good punk-pop/relationship album. It is not all about how things are great in relationships, but has songs that show things aren’t always the way you want them to be in a relationship. For those of you familiar and loving of the Goo Goo Dolls, you will notice a similarity of the two artists because lead singer and guitar player of the Goo, Johnny Rzeznik, produced the album and sang backup on a couple of songs. It shows real promise for this kid. Even though he only gets songwriting credit on about half of the songs, he is very talented and apparently knows how to pick writers. The album as a whole is great if you like the whole pop genre. I listen to it alot and have no quarrels with the album, except that it doesn’t get as much airplay as it should. I give this album 4 out of 5 stars.

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A few new albums

Music

I reviewed a few new albums on my review site. Just in case you are looking for something to buy at the moment. New Reviews Here is a link in case you don’t know how to get there. For the rest of you, on the left there is a link to Random Reviews. Check it out when you get the chance.

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Green Day: American Idiot

Music

Americanidiot Let me just start by saying that musically, this album is really good. Whereas lyrically, it leaves a lot to be desired.

I like Green Day. If ever there was a punk band that I enjoyed, it would be Green Day. Their catchy riffs and choruses make it hard not to sing to their music. But they haven’t done so well as of late. With punk not being the IN thing, there hasn’t been a big need for their music and many people had discredited their music after the early 90′s thinking that they could do nothing else musically. When "Time of Your Life" came out in ’97, some hoped that it was the returning of the Punk giants. Instead it was the resurgance of rock and roll ballads, followed by " I don’t wanna miss a thing" by Aerosmith, and Tonic’s "If you could only see". Not to say that those aren’t good songs, but they aren’t exactly what Green Day really wanted to start, I don’t think. This new album is a hit, and by their grammy nominations, I would say that they are being credited very well by the musical community. Once again though, the best song on the album is the ballad "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". But there are alot of times that you just want to get excited listening to the album. The old school riffs are there that make Green Day Green Day. If you don’t mind the use of the f-bomb, then give this album a listen. It is a good album that is alot of fun to listen to. Just not quite to the caliber of Dookie (the album not the other dookie).

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