Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Myspace Mars Planets Radio

This looks...well...interesting from a promotional standpoint at least. I've submitted Eating Betty, ACEtone ALLStars and Big Shiny for consideration. It will be amusing if I hear back from them.

Whatever it turns out like, I think it is good that people are trying to make some sense of the giant smoldering wreck that is mySpace. Why not have a myspace Radio? - why not before now, damnit? Why not several?

Recording Industry vs. the People

Recording Industry vs. the People's mission is to expose

...the RIAA's attempt to monopolize digital music by redefining copyright law, through the commencement of tens of thousands of extortionate lawsuits against ordinary working people.

They seem to be doing quite a good job of it too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Copyright deal could toughen rules governing info on iPods, computers

This is pretty outrageous

The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies. The guards would also be responsible for determining what is infringing content and what is not.

Read that last line again! This is outrageous and there is nothing pretty about it. Actually it is really disturbing and should be to any reasonable person.

I can only imagine that those frequent travellers who wish to avoid this kind of scrutiny will opt to leave as much of their electronic equipment at home as possible.

I also see an increase in the sales of small, cheap laptops purchased expressly for travelling, which owners will keep free of anything that might interest the curiosity of the inspectors. Not quite disposable but not the end of the word if a $400-$500 laptop is confiscated (and destroyed!). From what I've read, these cheaper laptops have already been becoming more popular. The crap economy is probably the main reason but this sounds like another good reason to have an extra expendable portable computer.
Provided it can do e-mail, internet etc. one of these would serve well enough for average travel purposes.
Not much good for music producers/musicians though...

The iPod poses a conundrum. What about the mp3s ripped from CDs? They're claiming that this is an infringement of copyright! In which case, as the saying goes, 'no one is innocent'. where's the sense in that?

Just for the hell of it I suggest buying only what you actually need to survive for a month (food!). Stop being consumers. See if the corporations and their government henchmen can be hit where it hurts.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

KVR - Audio Plug-In news

I had forgotten about about this very useful site as recently ACEtone Studio's audio software needs have been pretty much satisfied.

But is it a great resource for finding free and cheap RTAS, AU and VST plug-ins, sequencers etc.

It is fun to browse around and see what's new or not so new and it is nice that there is no perceptible platform bias.

Of course there is less stuff out there for Mac (though increasingly more has become available in the past couple of years), and really not very much at all in the RTAS (ProTools compatible) category.

Eating Betty music now available from

Eating Betty albums, 'Eating Betty in Dub' and 'Reverbalism', are now available from's online digital distribution service.

ACEtone Studio doesn't decide the per track price, but at $0.99 it's the same as iTunes charges. To the best of my knowledge, all tracks are DRM free so you can buy and share as you so choose. File formats is .mp3, 256kbps. Should be pretty good.

Most popular ACEtone Studio downloads ever from all participating online distributors are Urgent Dub from Eating Betty in Dub and Black Noise Dub from Reverbalism, so you might want to check those first.

The much neglected but excellent Kratzen fur das Ebenleben by Big Shiny is also available from Mysteriously the per track price is $0.89. What a bargain! Files are also .mp3, 256kbps.

So, buy a few tracks and keep ACEtone Studio out of the red! And remember to share...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crap (Annoying) Software?

Here's ZDNet's 'rogue's gallery of annoying software'

Here's ACEtone Studio's response:

1. Adobe Reader: Not a problem. You'll never need to use this software if you use OS X.
I do remember it being a stinking pile of shite when I was forced to use a windows box a few years ago.

2. Apple (?) - huh? Actually they're talking about Apple versions of software for Windows. Who cares? If you run OS X (any version) you can turn the software updater off permanently and if you so choose, run whatever version you like without ever updating it. No viruses, no update patches...

3. Windows Update: Again who cares? Just get a Mac or run Linux on a Brand X box.

4. Real Player: This has always been awful. Thankfully, so little audio or video requires it these days. Just use VLC for nearly everything. Real Player must be getting close to abandonware status...

5. Java: All problems described exclusively Windows so not much to say about this.

6. Yahoo: Never use it. Who in their right mind does?

7. Norton Anti-Virus: Anything Norton sucks. Machine crippling useless garbage. Thankfully not needed when using a Mac.

8. Pre-installed Software Bundles: Again, not an issue when running a Mac.

9. Outlook / Exchange: I don't remember it being too awful - maybe that was when there wasn't really an alternative. The MS bloatware equivalent for Mac is called Entourage. I tried it out a couple of times. I think it wanted to take over my e-mail activities in a hostile manner. I'll stick with OS X 'Mail' thanks.

10. Flash: More specifically Flash based websites. They got this one right.

A list of 10 is hardly very comprehensive and considering the fact that the article is strictly Windows I'm surprised Microsoft didn't feature more times. And why they gave a Vista a free pass might point more to the fact that there is too much wrong with it - not that there is nothing to complain about!

I would suggest MS Word as both annoying and crap but I'm conflicted by the fact that equivalent word processor programs I have tried suffer by either being worse than Word (how is that possible?) or by being just too unfamiliar/different to the user to comfortably make the change. And I think the differences are what make Open Office and Abi Word for example unattractive and not viable competitors. I wish it were otherwise. But Word is pretty awful. Yet it is the default word processor program for countless millions the world over. I cringe when I get a .doc as an attachment in an e-mail especially knowing that I'm probably the only person on the planet who has a problem with that.

Internet Explorer: I haven't used it for a few years, but bloody hell, any other browser is better! At times it can seem like no browser would be better!

In fairness, I'll let fly at Apple now:
iTunes: Really there is too much going on. It takes too long to load. It takes too many preference changes to stop it from littering your 'music' folder with copies of all kinds of stuff. They should really make it so that preferences can be set to only make available the things you want to be able to do.
I also dislike the fact that it is clunky when trying to input new tag information, and how it insists on auto-filling/predicting genres for example as if I needed help in this area.
It also does a really poor job of finding duplicates which can make for a lot of wasted disk space.

Spotlight: will it please not search for anything until I have typed all of the letters and hit 'return'? It is also an annoying blue color.

DVD Player: almost completely useless. Becomes region specific after first few uses and then will not play DVD media from another region. What if...oh why bother? Just use VLC.

iPhoto: similar to iTunes it over-manages your media, in this case images and video. Slow, annoying. One useful thing it can do is quickly generate web image galleries, so it is not all bad.

Audacity: This is free software. Why knock it? Because it doesn't recognize my Digidesign mBox. I'd love to use it, but there is no point. I must assume that it doesn't recognize many other audio interfaces, so the people who wrote the code can't be very interested in making their software popular. It is also annoying in that it writes everything to .ogg files. You need to export to other file formats. A lot of time wasting in this process.

Digidesign ProTools: I use this all the time. It's great. I love what it can do, but I have so many gripes with it I should start a separate post on the subject...

Blogger: Is absolutely crippled when using Safari. But of course there is no mention of this fact in the help section or elsewhere that I could find. Forced to use Firefox, which is sort of OK, but...

Firefox: I suspect that a major reason for the popularity of Firefox is the fact that it rescued millions of Windows victims from a life of squalid enslavement to Internet Expletive and all of the pop-ups, crashes, malware etc. that such a condition entailed. It can be really slow and asks too many damn questions.

A short list of other crap/annoying software: POMS, AS400, Lotus 123, Quark XPress, Windows Media Player...

Anyone else got any suggestions?

Queen of the Blues targetted by IRS

It is well known that the US tax system is skewed in favour of the the very wealthy and very strongly biased against the average taxpayer. It is also well known that the IRS seems to make a point of targetting celebrities.
The latest would appear to be Koko Taylor, so called Queen of the Blues - known for such songs as 'Wang Dang Doodle', 'Love You Like a Woman' and 'Tease Your Man'. Now, I must admit I knew very little about her before my interest was piqued by this:
This short article has a few details on the subject.

...the IRS says Taylor must pay $400,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. Otherwise, she faces the possibility the G-men will grab most of her income, including royalties and Social Security, and maybe even her home. The feds rejected her offer to take out a reverse mortgage on that house and pay $200,000 plus up to 50% of any future net revenue, moves that would allow her to remain in her residence and live out her remaining time with her second husband.
I can't see why the IRS doesn't just take her offer. What sense is there is scapegoating an eighty year old woman who in a civilized society might be regarded as a cultural icon and treated accordingly? The people working on her case must feel very proud of themselves...

Here is the official Koko Taylor site. No mention here of the tax woes but then it is probably not something an artist wants publicized.

Here is the Koko Taylor MySpace page where you can hear a few tunes. It is indeed a hard pill to swallow...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mindless Twaddle

This video is mindless twaddle.
If anybody can figure out exactly what they are getting at - or indeed in most cases who they are, be sure to let me know.
The 'Veronica' chicks seem to be trying hard, really hard to get a thought together between them and the one on the right is gagging for a Fosters and a quick shag...not interested, frankly you're all too shite...
Before we proceed - just watch it - does it mean anything or have a message? It is awful.
Well according to Torrent Freak this is part of an anti-piracy initiative. Can't really tell what they are getting at in the video, other than - attention seeking. Never heard of you, you don't look good on camera, what's your bleeding point mate?

Anyway, it is not all on the up and up and typically the AA group responsible for this vid has mislead people. Won't be the first time obviously.
Not my problem.

Friday, May 2, 2008

New York Times shamelessly gives MSG a big-up

I read this article a few weeks ago and was not terribly surprised that the 'gray hag' would stoop so low as to run a puff piece on a toxic food additive. I link it here only because it keeps on jumping back into my mind.
The Times has been thoroughly discredited in recent years so there is little point in digging any deeper.
The writer of the piece is either a fool or a shill - either way, having written for the New York Press in the past she clearly doesn't have a lot of credibility. Not much more to say about this.

MSG is bad for you...don't eat it.

Update: This article from the Guardian on the subject of MSG is much more balanced, open minded and well informed. NYT sucks!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Around the World in 20+ Dubs

Eating Betty was recently honoured to be included in the selections for this Echo Beach (WLUW-FM) / Echo Chamber (KFAI-FM) joint effort. Thanks to Dr. Strange Dub and Turntable Terrorist...
You can hear the audio here (part 1) and here (part 2 includes Eating Betty)
or you can see if these buttons work:
Part 2

Part 1

Playlist is as follows:

Artist – Track – Album – Label – Year (Time)
1. Around the World in Dub Intro – Turntable Terrorist – Unreleased – 2008 (2:02)
2. USA: Subatomic Sound System – TTT Mashup of "The Chronicles" (vocals by Treasure Don) & "It's the Heat" – Heat Brings Heat EP – Subatomic Sound (Digital Only Release) – 2007 (4:01)
3. Jamaica: King Chilla – Chilla's Theme – 7" release on Dub Voltage – 2007 (3:01)
4. Mexico: Bungalo Dub – Mr. Mad – Dub Attack – Invasion/7 Records – 2007 (4:16)
5. Brazil: Victor Rice – Sun of Dubday – Dubshine – SpitShine Records – 2007 (3:36)
6. South Africa: Moodphase 5 – Paradise Syndrome (DJ Dope & Farmer Brian dub version) – In Superdeluxe Mode – African Dope Records – 2003 (5:44)
7. Australia/UK: Trevor "The Technician" McKenzie – Someone Dub – Exclusive mix "The Echo Chamber" & "Echo Beach" – 2008 (5:47)
8. Thailand: Dub Familia – Look to the East – Before The Baby Born – Net Release available on iTunes – 2007 (6:16)
9. Japan: Likkle Mai – Your Love (Spotlight Mix) – EP - Lik' Daughter - 2006 (8:42)
10. India: Midival Punditz – Chandini Chowk – Asian Massive – Six Degrees Records – 2002 (6:14)
11. Israel: Blondub Sexy Sound – Heaven (featuring Mad Professor) – Exclusive unreleased track from the upcoming "God Bless The Empress" album – 2008 (3:36)
12. Turkey: Firuzaga Soundsystem – Tekli Dub – Self-released – 2007 (3:43)
13. Sardinia: Arrogalla – Nuis Dub (Boghes de Bagamundos remix) – Arrogalla – Arrogalla Music – 2007 (4:56)
14. Morocco: Dubosmium – Waragine A Ragine – Horizontal Plane Polar Dub – Fresh Poulpe Records (net label) – 2006 (5:17)
15. Spain: Hot Drop – Hotdrop Inna Dance (featuring Ranking Forrest) – Ready – LaFamille Records – 2007 (5:21)
16. France: Fedayi Pacha – Hayduk Bey – New Dub Excursion – Sounds Around – 2007 (4:53)
17. Austria: Makossa & Megablast – Rip It Up (featuring Ras T-Weed) – Kanuaka – G-Stone Records – 2007 (8:25)
18. Czech Republic: Hypnotix – Reasoning (Wintage Remix) – Selection One – Popron Music – 2005 (5:36)
19. Germany: Tokyo Tower – I Need My Dubflash – I Need My Dubflash Each and Every Day – Upcoming release on Mutan Records – 2008 (3:47)
20. Holland: Togetha Brotha Soundsystem – Jahovia Dub – The Way of the Sinner – Self released – 2008 (5:12)
21. England: Rob Smith – Corner Dub (Blue & Red mix) – RSD – 2007 (3:23)
22. Wales: Llwybr Llaethog – Fflio Dub – Mega Tidy – Rasal Records – 2005 (4:55)
23. Ireland: Eating Betty – Dubbin' 2 Hard – Net release available for free through - 2008 (4:14)
24. Canada: Dubmatix – War Inna Corner (featuring Ranking Joe) – Upcoming release on the new Irie Ites label - 2008 (3:45)
25. USA: The Drastics – Kevlar – Premonition – Jump Up! Records – 2005 (5:06)