Review in 20s: Mike Oldfield – Music of the Spheres [Music]

This is a new one for the reviews section, Music!

When you think Mike Oldfield, you think Tubular Bells and The Exorcist. Music of the Spheres is completely different yet very much the same, based on the premise that everything in the universe has a unique sound or vibration. Oldfield has orchestrated a journey by music through the universe.

Its a very good album from big impact tracks, to very subtle and calming tracks. Its the sort of album you put on at the end of the day and just kick back and relax to. While it could be argued its just a re-hash of oldfield’s old catalogue circa Tubular Bells 1. I still enjoyed it.

Verdict – 4 Stars

Links | Music Of The Spheres


Confessions of a Serial Soundtrack Collector

It seems no matter how good a film is, the music that goes with the film is always under appreciated, while there are exceptions to the rule we really should pay more attention to the music, it will make or break a film.

I don’t really know hoe I ended up collecting soundtracks, but two moments that really standout are; tracking down a piece of music used the in 2004 BAFTAs and another piece of music featured in the South Bank Show.

The music from the BAFTAs was probably the easiest to track down, I just emailed them. It took a couple of weeks but they emailed me back answer: Whisper of a Thrill – From Meet Joe Black – Thomas Newman. Within seconds the CD was bought and on its way. Its OK if you can email the people responsible and get them to tell you the music used but in the case of my second hunt, the emailing method wasn’t so fruitful.

After watching the South Bank Show, I had the I must have that music moment and started on my merry way trying to track it down by google to no avail, I had some idea of who the composer could be Craig Armstrong or Thomas Newman, so I loaded the ITV website and sent them an email. I have found since then both ITV and the BBC hate these inquiries and just brush them off, Channel 5 usually give a better response. I got the typical response, “Due to the nature of the way we create our programming there is no record of the music for each program.” I spent another few months searching, and had all but given up hope on finding the elusive piece of music, when i chanced upon a newly upload Craig Armstrong Album on iTunes. I had found it. Finding Beauty – Craig Armstrong within a couple of seconds it was downloaded.

I am sure that there isn’t just me who has these little quests, I am also sure that many people unlike me will give up on finding the song they were looking for. I wish the BBC and ITV would setup websites that listed all the music from each program. I think music companies should be actively encouraging the publishing of music in film and TV, it would earn them some points and make some money.

Since my first encounter with the wonderful world of soundtracks my library has grown from a mere 5 hours to over 22 days (thats528 hours) So much so I now have so much music that the chances are that I hear a piece of music in a film or TV program, I will already have a copy in there somewhere.

The problem is finding it.

Music industry still don’t get it.

The manager of rock band U2 has urged internet service providers (ISPs) to help end illegal music downloads, according to The Hollywood Reporter. -via BBC News

We should really make the life and times of the music industry into a book, specifically that of fiction. They still don’t seem to understand that there getting wrong, at every turn. I buy all my music, and have for the most part stopped buying mainstream popular stuff in favour of the small indie labels and bands, because its alot better.

I believe whole heartedly in supporting the artist, but getting ISPs to gang up on their users, so the Music industry can make even more money, the MPAA are already on record saying they have over exaggerated there figures. There will always be a market for music, so why does the RIAA and BPI hang fast to the old ways, even now.

The Most Helpful Applescript Ever.

iTunes LogoI have a ever growing iTunes library, but sometimes when importing stuff, the ID3 tags go all wrong, or in the in Japanese/Non-English Characters. So like many geeks I hate having to mess with each ID3 tag individualy even if iTunes makes it easy. Solution CDDB and a little script from You simply go to the playlist, run the first script which searches CDDB to find the album your playing, then you run the second script that then copies the page details and puts them in your ID3 tags. Voila! your library is nice and perfectly formed.

Its Official the RIAA is the Worst Company in America


The RIAA won The Consumerist’s “Worst Company In America 2007” reader poll.We predicted an RIAA landlslide, but they only managed a 53.8% majority over Halliburton’s 46.2%
RIAA Wins Worst Company In America 2007 – Consumerist

No Surprises here folks, apart from the fact the RIAA will never acknowledge they are the least liked company in america for 2007. And I can only wonder why (note slight hint of sarcasm)

Piracy: The Loss of Objectivity and Intelligence

“Unfortunately, many schools have turned a blind eye to piracy,” Berman said. “I don’t doubt that there are legitimate issues that universities must grapple with, including privacy and cost concerns. However, when a university such as Purdue tells the AP that it rarely even notifies students accused by the RIAA because it is too much trouble to track down alleged offenders—such inaction is unacceptable.”Congressman Hollywood: Universities a wretched hive of scum and villainy

This is what happens when a person in power, brains’ get turned to jelly and is spat out by the cat. It never occurs to these people funding researching and going around screaming disaster and catastrophe from the hill tops, to actually look what is right in front of them.

The Music/Movie Industries is Inherently, poor at adapting
So what exactly does this mean well its quite simple. When Napster came along the Music industry looked at it and said “We still good it will all blow over in a couple of months” Then a couple of months later they had a problem. The same goes for the Movie industry. They are arrogant enough to dimiss a technology that will quite clearly effect them in the money making department and try to place the sole blame on the cosumer. The consumers pay them money in the first Place

Solve not Sue
Anyone with a slight business interlect and brain cell(s) would look at the current situation within the Music/Movie industry and start working on solutions, put the money were it is well spent. The industry will never change the habits of the youth of today, they have spent to long in the courts increasing the resentment for that. They need to start working to give the consumer product they want in the form they want, this by no means free.

The idea that forcing your consumers to do something because the man companies say it should be is completly stupid and cause more illegal downloading, just so you as a consumer feel happy your pissing the said companies off. Everybody knows that downloading music and not paying for it is wrong, but when the labels offer no better alternatives, what else are your options.

The Other Options
iTunes Store, has a big market share and a big catalog of major labels and indie music, look deeply at the  Store and you see just what a miracle it is, its there, and in the same moment why it doesn’t give what a p2p client gives. The simple matter of choice is what it now starts to boil down to, what could be classed as the catalyst to this whole thing in the first place.

People want choice they want to choose how they consume media and where, iTunes limits you to the iPod and your PC/Mac, there is a simple solution get rid of DRM and completely and open the whole thing up, and I would never illegally download again.

However, there is one place that iTunes excells at apart from providing a seamless UI experience. Our friend the Longtail, p2p only really is a good distribution system for popular tracks, when you get to less popular tracks you quickly find nobody sharing things.

To cut a long story short we need a solution, that the consumer is happy with and we need it fast else we could see everybody going down to court.

Sorting the piracy mess

I though I would take a break and post something else that really gets me.

We all know that piracy has ended up as a monumental PR mess for the record industry, and it is a undisputed fact that the industry in general were far too late and couldn’t adopt the same model they do in the shops so invented DRM (lets not go any further into this)

I love music as much as the next man, but when a consumer thinks their being ripped of they will always find a new way, the internet provides such a way. So when Napster and Kazaa came along the consumers went there instead of going to the local music store, by the time the industry realised just how big this was they had only one option left to sue everything and everybody related to this P2P software. As a resulting pissing off there next generation customers and the ones they already had, and along the way giving themselves and P2P developers bad press.

Continue reading “Sorting the piracy mess”

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar GalacticaBattlestar Galactica is about to start its 3rd series, I have just finished watching the second season, and all I have to say is its very good.

This weekend I got hold of the soundtracks to BSG, and they are fantastic, quite honestly one of the best soundtracks I have heard, and I think it is much like Doctor Who in the sense that the Music and Drama etc. makes each episode a small film in its own right. I cant wait for season 3.