Yeah What They Said 10/09: “Change is in the air” edition

Links to interesting stories and opinions. Right now, let’s take a look at the music industry double whammy of Radiohead + nine inch nails’ decisions to abandon convention:

What price did you choose?
Informal survey and comments about the prices people are willing to pay for In Rainbows.

Radiohead generation believes music is free
Premiere Radiohead site ateaseweb looks at various press reactions to the In Rainbows announcement.

Happiness In Slavery No More: Nine Inch Nails Goes Record Label Free
ParisLemon takes a look at Trent Reznor’s forward-thinking with regards to music marketing strategies and factors the death of DRM into the future of music.

Oasis And Others Jumping On Radiohead Bandwagon?
Mog speculates about other bands following the direct approach. So does nymag.

Tuesday Business Links
More Post-Radiohead Items: Terra Firma Wants Fresh Ideas, Value Of Recorded Music Debated
Business-related insight from an industry insider.

And, because I usually post a video or two with these things, here’s Radiohead playing Videotape at Bonnaroo 2006:

Radiohead – Videotape – Bonnaroo 6-17-06

plus Trent tell fans to screw his record label and steal his music:

"Steal it!" – Trent Reznor is honest and logical.

Yeah, What They Said 8/25

Links to interesting stories. This edition is long overdue.

Medialoper: 5 Ways to Improve eMusic
I love eMusic. At ~$0.25 per song, it’s easily one of the best values in the digital download arena. While generally functional, parts of the site could use some overhauling. Medialoper leads the discussion on how.

Cognitive Daily: Even the musically untrained respond differently to new symphonic movements
“A new study of brain responses to music has found a striking difference in brain activity when a symphonic movement ends and the next one begins, compared to other parts of the musical work.”

Fredflare: Rad Chat with Ratatat
Fredflare talks it up with Evan Mast of Ratatat, one of the greatest bands of the current millennium. Amongst other things, he explains the origin of the band’s name:

The band was originally called Cherry, but there was conflict with other bands using the same name so we had to change it. We just sat down and brainstormed for a few days. It was slow going, but then the name just popped into my head and it was the first idea we’d had that we didn’t absolutely hate. After a while we even started to LIKE it. Now I really like the name Ratatat and I don’t like Cherry much anymore. Cherry” made us sound like sissies! “Ratatat” makes us sound tough, right?

Hollywood Reporter: Unique stories lie behind every licensing deal
A series of anecdotes about the various licensing deals a number of artists have entered into and the effect those deals have had on their careers.

A lot of people claim that they can’t hear the difference between a 128kbps file and a 256kbps file. This video proves that there is indeed a difference.

I think every English speaking person in the world should read this story all the way to the end. It’s a life-changing experience. After you’ve finished, you’ll probably want to die, or kill, or both.

Have a non-iPhone phone or PDA with audio capabilities? Out-of-the-box, iTunes doesn’t offer much in the way of getting audio files onto them. SyncTunes however, might be your savior.


And finally, a RatingQuest update: As of 8/25 6:30PM EDT, I have rated 8,050 out of the 15,865 songs in my iTunes library. That’s 50.7% completion, a 2.6% increase from when I started.

Yeah, What They Said 6/28

Yeah, What They Said, pointers to interesting stories. Some people call it “link sharing.”

Webomatica chronicles the hoopla as the launch of the iPhone approaches. Antics include people paying other people to stand in line, christening June 29 as “iDay,” and links to major newspaper reviews.
T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2

A number of audiobooks were sold at the iTunes Store recently that didn’t work on the iPod. That problem has been fixed.

Speaking of the iTunes Store, these two links will take you to free downloads from it: Link one. Link two.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of a Netflix subscription.

Speaking of Netflix, Internet Zillionaire confesses the irrational lengths passionate Netflix users can go to in their efforts “to scam, scrimp, rob, cheat, copy, burn, and screw over” the service.

Comprehensive Mac performance tests.
Comparative results from running Geekbench on every Mac released since the slot-load iMac (400Mhz G3 from October 1999). My Intel iMac at home scores a 2338 while my G5 PowerMac at the office scores a 2108. My PowerBook G4 scores a lowly 692.

Electric, battery-powered lawnmowers reviewed by Wired.
I have a Black & Decker model and I love it. No gas. No oil. No spark plugs. No exhaust. Push-button start and enough juice to cover my entire yard (front and back) in one go. The best part: I got it for a third the price on eBay.

Star Wars fans hate Star Wars.
This pretty much sums it up. Personally, I think that, as a story, Star Wars is so poorly thought out, written and executed, if it weren’t for John Williams creating an emotional connection through his superb music, the original film would have flopped. Or, at best, it might have attained underground cult status a la Planet of the Apes or Logan’s Run.


Oh hey, here’s a Velocity Girl video, I Can’t Stop Smiling. It’s an excellent song.

Yeah, What They Said 5/30

Yeah, What They Said, pointers to interesting stories. Some people call it “link sharing.”

“Same great Pabst taste, without the beer.” PBR bottled water, available in China:

Pabst Blue Ribbon Bottled Water from Dave Nemetz on Vimeo.

Pi (π) played on a piano
Each digit 1-9 is assigned a note and 0 is a quarter rest.

Cumulative advantage
Some things remain popular because they are popular. As the popularity of something increases, the likelihood that its popularity will continue to increase becomes greater. “If all those people like it, it must be good.” The notion has been common sense for years, but now there’s scientific data pointing toward it.

Album Covers Separated at Birth
There are no new ideas. Pages and pages of album covers that are strikingly similar in concept and execution.

A tip calculator for iPod. It’s not free, but it looks cool. I used to have a tip calculator on an old cell phone and have been missing it for years, so this intrigues me.

Day Trip: Atlanta, Home of the Braves
I live in Atlanta, so I enjoyed this visitors’ travelogue about a day in the city, even though it’s mostly about baseball and other trivia. Did you know that the kazoo was invented in Macon? Oh, and no one calls it “Hotlanta” unless they’re being deliberately obtuse.

The Strokes have produced a music video short film for their single You Only Live Once. It’s very “sci-fi” and a good song to boot:

Yeah, What They Said 5/06

Seis de Mayo edition. Yeah, What They Said, pointers to interesting stories. Some people call it “link sharing.”


Debunking the Myths of Peer to Peer in Regards to CD sales
From the horse’s mouth, the effect of file-sharing, peer to peer, downloading, and copying on a small indie label unaffiliated with any of the majors.

Kurt Cobain: the man, not the myth
Very nice write up of Kurt Cobain: About a Son, a new documentary about Cobain the person. “He was a caring person, he was a punk, he was a rock star, he was a charismatic asshole, he was a friend, a son, a husband and a father. Sadly, Cobain’s human traits got lost in the limelight.”

The New Music Industry
A prescription for music industry survival in this digital era? Four concepts every band should understand: People will share your music with one another; Music is not a product anymore, it is Content; Be the provider of your own content; Content is no longer limited by the product itself.

That last one is probably the most interesting.

The Sound of Young America: This is Your Brain on Music
Podcast interview with Daniel Levitin, a cognitive psychologist at McGill University in Montreal and author of This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of Human Obsession. Fascinating stuff.

Why we’re so good at recognizing music
International Herald Tribune article about the same Daniel Levitin. He spent years working in the music industry before deciding to study the science behind it.

On Classical Music Tagging (ID3 tags) for iTunes and iPod
This is one of my own. I wrote it nearly a year ago and in light of recent my remix album tagging tips, I thought I’d offer it again.

Also from tunequest, click this link to read a random post from the past. There’s no telling what you’ll get.

And here, because I’m listening to it while writing this, Sonic Youth: The Diamond Sea. Float away with it.

Yeah, What They Said 4/17

Yeah, What They Said, links to interesting stories that I don’t have time to write about. Some people call it “link sharing.”

In television and movies, “sourced” music is music that is heard by the characters in the scene. That’s opposed to the underscore, which is heard only by the audience. has a series of articles on the source music used in:

Need to identify a song? Play it for Tuniac.

For something cool, spy these intricate and detailed models made entirely out of paper.

Also, here’s a chimpanzee playing Pac-Man. Seriously.

Finally, since both Ratatat and Nine Inch Nails have made appearances recently, here’s a video mixup. It features Ratatat’s Wildcat played to the video of NIN’s The Hand That Feeds. Enjoy:

Yeah, What They Said 4/07

Yeah, What They Said, links to interesting stories that I don’t have time to write about. Some people call it “link sharing.”

Why “Vote For The Worst” Just Might Work. Medialoper has a Theory of Popularity in a niche-dominated, long tail world and relates it to American Idol: “In a culture defined by niches, the more popular something is purported to be, the less popular it actually is.”

Director Nicholas Meyer talks about making Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
“People said: “Oh, you can’t kill Spock.” And I said: “You can do anything…but you gotta kill him well! It has to feel organic and not like we’re working out the clause in somebody’s contract.””

Looking for a way to run OS 9 on your Intel-based Mac? UNEASYsilence has a solution. You’re going to have to track down a ROM, though.

Universcale. The fine folks at Nikon have put together an awe-inspiring treatise on “size,” showcasing our universe as defined by mankind’s units of measurement. Starting at 1 femtometer (a proton), the scale increases by orders of magnitude, giving examples of what can be found along the way. It eventually ends at the limits of the universe, a staggering 13.7 billion light years across. Nikon, of course, makes equipment to capture images of objects of any size. h/t Centripetal Notion

Tunequest favorite The Polish Ambassador has announced plans for a summer tour and is looking for booking agents. If you’re interested, help him out.

Finally, enjoy this “promo animation” for a catchy dance-rock number that’s been in high rotation on my iPod lately. It’s Fujiya & Miyagi’s Collarbone, from last year’s Transparent Things. If you’ve seen TV, you may have heard a cut-up version of it in a Jaguar commercial.

Yeah, What They Said 4/01

Yeah, What They Said, links to interesting stories that I don’t have time to write about. Some people call it “link sharing.”

Online Odyssey Stoking Interest In New NIN Album: Summary of Nine Inch Nails’ don’t-call-it-a-marketing campaign for Year Zero, the new concept album. Contains a jab at the RIAA for stifling the plan even though it has the blessing of NIN’s label.

100GB drive for iPod with Video: I had a massive iTunes library even before Apple added video to it. My music alone won’t fit on my 80GB iPod. If you’re like me, then, PDASmart’s 100GB upgrade drive might just be the ticket. Available for all iPod with Video models: 30GB, 60GG and 80GB.

Atomic Scientists Bring New Life to Old Vinyl LPs: Real Audio or Windows Audio stream of an NPR story about nuclear scientists discovering a method for restoring the sound quality of vinyl records.

And something a little off-topic:

The facts behind the infamous McDonald’s coffee lawsuit. It turns out in addition to being borderline negligent with its serving practices, the company was also a poor corporate citizen.

Yeah, What They Said 3/23

Yeah, What They Said is a new feature on tunequest. Some people call it “link sharing.” These links won’t necessarily be music or iTunes related, but I’ll try not to stray too far from the topics on this site. Mostly though, it’ll be stuff that’s cool, but that I don’t have time to write about.

Behind the Mario Maestro’s Music:
Koji Kondo was in his mid-20s when he wrote the iconic music for The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. for the NES, but he doesn’t compose much these days. Wired takes a look a him.

10 Albums in 10 Minutes: Classic albums cut up and squeezed into 60 seconds of playing time.

Millions Dream of Megamillions: Compete blog charts the rise in Internet activity as the recent Megamillions Jackpot increased.

If You Can Read This, You’re Hired: How would you find a really good typographer? Would you use dingbats? If you can decipher these ads by 3/25, you could get a 1-year subscription to Indesign Magazine.


Bonus video: here’s Koji Kondo playing Super Mario Bros on the piano: