Friday, May 9, 2003

So, unless you have been living under a rock, Rather Good has a whole series of flash animations that have become quite the meme up to the point of potentially being the part of a VH1 interstitial these days?

Seems that Fischerspooner is the band behind the sort of odd minimalistic electronica behind the VH1 content? In any case, odd band. I kind of like it.

I stumbled across Fischerspooner while listening to some random persons published shared iTunes playlist.

Now, of course, the fact that you can effectively blast your iTunes music collection out to the world at large likely has a few people upset. The reality is much different -- it only works well if you limit the number of streaming connections to a size that'll fit in your upstream bandwidth. Since most people with broadband are on an asymmetric connection-- ADSL or a Cable Modem-- only one, maybe two, people can be listening at a time. iTunes limits the number of clients to 5 anyway -- likely under some legal threshold.

There are apps to provide GUIs for downloading someone else's library to your hard drive, if stealing music is your thing...
10:12:16 PM  pontificate    

Quite some time ago in a rant I cannot find, I ranted about the inadequacies of encoding "continuous mix" (not just dance stuff -- Pink Floyd, Banco de Gaia, and others, too) albums into MP3 (or AAC). In particular, the nature of the MP3/AAC encoding algorithm is such that you cannot play two songs back to back such that the second starts exactly as the first ends-- you cannot encode a "continuous mix" album as separate tracks without there being a slight gap or a slight overlap upon playback of the whole album.

This is really annoying for many albums.

I filed a bugreport against iTunes requesting some feature that could support an encoding style that could provide continuous playback of such albums. It appears that I was not the only one who file such a request.

iTunes 4 has a Join Tracks (mid page) feature that allows a CD to be encoded such that it supports continuous playback.

I have no idea if it will still support shuffle play of individual tracks, nor do I know how it'll interact with the iPod. I just discovered the feature a few minutes ago and am re-encoding the first CD using said feature.

Which led to a second new feature discovery. iTunes will automatically identify tracks that have been previously encoded. The resulting warning dialog box includes the option to replace the existing tracks with the new tracks. As such, re-encoding is fairly automatic -- you don't have to hunt down and delete the original copies of the tracks.


Unfortunately, Join Tracks are not quite the solution I had hoped for. In effect, encoding an album as a Join Track creates a single large AAC or MP3 file with no tracking information into the file.

For now, I think I'll continue to live with the annoying slight gap or mismatch when playing continuous mix albums....
2:29:01 PM  pontificate