Lou Reed Says

January 21, 2011

Candy Says  

Lisa Says  

Stephanie Says  

Caroline Says 1  

Caroline Says 2  


Though I’m usually a proponent of Neuros, their recent survey had this as their first question :

1. By my participation in the following survey, I hereby agree to keep all information about the survey, including the products and concepts being tested, completely confidential and further agree not to disclose such information to any other party nor to attempt to copy, print or download any information from this survey. As to members of my household, I agree that they are also under this same obligation of confidentiality. In addition, I agree that I and others in my household do not work in the market research or advertising industries or for a news/media outlet.

Sorry Neuros, but I’m not taking a survey that says I can’t tell people what the survey was about.



I contacted Neuros about this, and although I still disagree with an EULA for a survey, Neuros’ response was understanding,  and they explained their reasons for the EULA well.

As ‘user experience’ goes, I’m glad to see that ITunes finds the album I’m looking for, múm’s newest, when I type ‘m-u-m’ into the search box, even though ITunes lists the band name correctly as ‘m-ú-m’.

I hereby dub this feature “vowel-insensitive word search”.

5150 likes Maggot Brain.

Funk Mob likes Maggot Brain.

The Jazz Mandolin Project likes Maggot Brain (flac download).

Pearl Jam likes Maggot Brain. Here, have seconds they say.  Santana likes Maggot Brain.

The Volebeats like Maggot Brain (Emusic download).

Widespread Panic likes Maggot Brain,
though it seems you often have to wait for the second set.

Mike Watt likes Maggot Brain enough to put it on his record. He even likes it enough to make J. Mascis let him play it at the show.

The band Maggot Brain likes Maggot Brain.
I like Maggot Brain, too. Yeah, Maggot Brain.

Dear Ipod,

I see you sitting there, all shiny and black and superior, and I’m ok with that. You could be just a little bit better, though. Here’s a picture I took of you earlier :

Ipod showing 3 versions of all my trials

Look at the picture. See the problem? There are three songs called ‘All My Trials‘ on there. No, my problem isn’t that I listen to too much folk music; my problem is that I want to listen to the Pete Seeger version, and not one of the two Nick Drake bootleg versions I have. But can I can pick the Pete Seeger version from the list? NO, because all three entries look the same.

So please, dear Ipod, in the future, could you maybe notice that there are several song titles that are the same and give me a visual clue as to which song is which? Maybe you could put the performer and artist info after the title for the duplicate songs. You could set it off from the song title with italics or a light grey font or something. Whichever choice you feel best.

Thanks in advance,


I’ve been a subscriber to Emusic for a while now, and when I started I was subscribing as a way to save cash spent on new records. For my money, I was pretty happy.

Last week though, a friend and I were discussing the audio quality differences between the 190kbs vbr that Emusic sells and the stuff that was on the original CD. He’s an mp3 doubter, slowly filling his house with audiophile quality equipment; me, I’d like audiophile gear and lossless digital music, but I’ve compromised for now.

During the conversation, we conducted, separately, a quick A/B test that showed me the pop I’m missing from Emusic downloads, and showed him the significant improvement that 320kbs constant vs. 190kbs vbr makes.

The immediate result of the conversation was that I searched and listed out a number of online music stores, especially looking for sites selling lossless quality audio, and especially skipping sites selling DRM crippled audio. The list and some brief site commentary is below, add any others you can think of in the coments.

  • Emusic.com : The site I purcahse from now.
  • Bleep.com : Electronic music. Autechre, Aphex Twin, beepity beep boop bid-eep. Some lossless audio, including the entire Autechre back catalog. I’ll be purchasing here later, I think.
  • Fastatmosphere.com : The list of artists is short, but they sell flac versions of the albums they sell. They do the personalized music stores for Jay Farrar and Gillian Welch, which is nice.
  • Backofficemusic.com : They do the online stores for Primus and related projects, They Might Be Giants, and others.
  • Musictoday.com : The offer a lot of CDs and traditional merchandise, but also sell digital downloads of some of their bands.
  • Zunior.com : Offers FLAC and MP3 downloads of a lot of really small labels. Nettwerk is there, and I see the Constantines and The New Pornograhers on the bestsellers list, so there’s music I like there.
  • Magnatune.com : Offers two tiers of MP3 downloads from a lot of bands I’ve never heard of. They have a close relationship with Amarok, my player of choice at home, and they seem like an unusual store. I’ll be visiting them again, though I’m really not sure which bands I like there.

I’m excited that newer, open media players are coming around to integrating music stores into the player, ala iTunes. Kudos to Amarok and Songbird, though I’ll talk more about them later.