Privateering – New 21 song Mark Knopfler album ist out!

I love it how all new music from my favourite songwriters always seems to be released around fall. Mark Knopfler’s new album “Privateering” is out on Amazon MP3 today, and it’s (on physical media) a double album, i.e. it has 20 songs on it.

I don’t quite get all the different versions there are – I’ve bought the one called “w. Bonus Track” which has 21 songs for EUR 10,99. There’s also the “Deluxe Version” which has 25 songs for EUR 18,49, i.e. 5 extra songs, but not the one on the “Bonus Track” version.

The best deal seems to be to get the “w. Bonus Track” version and – if you like – buy the other 5 songs for 99c each (weird…).

I’ve only listened to 4 songs, but if you like Mark Knopfler you won’t be disappointed.

Es gibt ja doch noch gute Musik!

Wenn man mit seinem Musikgeschmack eigentlich (glücklich) in den 80ern steckengeblieben ist können einen die heutigen Charts nicht wirklich reizen. Auch das was meine Tochter gelegentlich auf dem Handy (…) anschleppt reisst mich nicht vom Hocker.

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FixTunes – Fix your iTunes MP3 tags automatically

If you have a huge collection of MP3s on your hard drive, chances are not all MP3 tags are accurate, and you will not have album covers for most of the songs. When you’re using an iPod, this is a PITA and does not exactly add to the experience.

I recently found a small program called FixTunes that might help remedy those issues. I had already tried and bought TuneUp last year, but it was incredibly slow and introduced many wrong covers into my songs.

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I first tried FixTunes in manual mode to make sure that didn’t happen again. I was really surprised how accurate the program works. The thing that won me over was that FixTunes allows you to set a percentage of accuracy, so that it will make sure you only change songs where it can accurately determine the data.

There’s only one thing I would like to do: give me an option that makes sure that covers and album titles are only picked from the original albums, not from collections or “best of” albums.

Loving it so far – it’s just going over my full library ;)

CD-R on the deathbed, DVD next

Just read on Twitter: Hard drives cheaper than CD-Rs (in comparison) – CD-Rs just not worth the hassle.

True, when you think about it. Just got an external 160 GB 2.5″ drive for EUR 69.

My new car has a GPS system with a DVD drive. Wouldn’t it be a LOT cheaper for the manufacturer to shove that drive and deliver the maps on an SD card instead?

Same for car audio – do people really swap CDs or use a CD changer? I’d much rather plug an 8 gig SD card into a slot in the dashboard, or connect my iPod right away.

Food for thought.

Ripping MySpace songs to MP3

I recently dicovered my favourite artist Joe Jackson on MySpace, and I was even happier to find 4 tracks from his new album “Rain”, due to appear on shelfes end of January.

I’ll buy the album in any case, but I’d love to listen to those MySpace songs on my iPod in the meantime. The songs cannot be downloaded easily, previous programs or websites that facilitated that have been killed by MySpace.

But, just to make the usual point that DRM is useless: anything that goes through your speakers can be recorded.

Audacity to the rescue!

“There have been many times where I’ve come across a cool track only to be dismayed that it’s “owner” has disabled the download function and been forced to visit the page each time I wished to hear it. Well, no more will you or I be impeded by such DRM-esque limitations for here in this guide I will show you how to rip whatever tracks your heart desires and save them on your PC.”

Let it be said that I don’t condone piracy in any way – if you like the music, make sure the artist is compensated properly.

Very neat.

Thomson D100E512 MP3 Player, Philips Streamium WAC5

On my usual stroll through the electronics store on the way home I was pleased to see they have another clearance sale going.

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The first thing I got was two (…) Thomson D100E512 portable MP3 players. They have a built-in FM radio, USB host and slave connectors, SD card slot and 512 MB built-in memory. No moving parts at all, so I thought this might be something the kids wouldn’t break so fast. Or something for dad to play… Whatever.

I’m pleasantly surprised – great sound, mounts as a USB disk without any fuss, fast USB 2.0 transfer – I like it. At EUR 30, nothing to miss.

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Then I saw something I had been looking at for a few months. The Philips Streamium WAC5 is a hard disk MP3 player, meant to share its music wirelessly to satellite systems. It has a built-in 80 Gig hard disk, Ethernet, WiFi, Remote Control with display, and an iPod like user interface.

I’m not sure yet what to do with it, but at EUR 111, nothing I could walk past without buying it.

Unfortunately I can’t find out a lot about it on the net. The package is still sealed, I won’t have time to play with it before we go on holiday. If anyone can come forward with experiences or hacks for the system, I’d appreciate it.