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July 27, 2004

Downside to MP3

When a client comes to me with a burned CDR of music to play when I'm doing sound, I don't judge them. I have lots of my music collection in compressed formats (MP3 or Ogg Vorbis) on my computer, and I've lost some original CDs and had to burn new copies on CDR. When I get a CD player for my car that can play CDRs I may even stop using my original CDs so that I don't lose any more.

However, if you're going to hand me a CDR to play at a public function, on an expensive, high quality sound system that I've spent all day setting up and making sound as good as I can, please, PLEASE don't burn that CDR from highly compressed MP3 files!

Last night I did sound for a wedding reception (which was very beautiful). The one thing that marred the evening for me was when the groom handed me a CDR with the song Someone (Bryan Adams and Barbara Streisand) on it for the first dance of the newlyweds. It had obviously been burnt from a 64 or 92 kbps MP3, and it sounded like TRASH. It sounded all swishy and flangy, like over-compressed MP3s do -- it pained me to have to play that for their special moment. Times like that make me wish I had an extensive library of music on the shop's laptop, so that I could have replaced the cruddy version with something that sounded crisp and clean, like I'm sure the original production of that tune was.

July 26, 2004

Michael Moore

Don't have much time to write - going to work shortly, but I wanted to mention that I just watched Farenheit 9/11. With all the media attention, I was expecting the worst, but it wasn't as polemic as I thought it might be. Of course, after Bowling for Columbine, I wasn't surprised by Moore's style of choosing clips to make things look more sensational than they may actually be, but I'm an intelligent person and I can recognize that and temper my reaction to the film. Overall, I thought the film does play an important role in asking questions about the Bush administration, it's business ties, the tragedy of September 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq.

Like Bowling for Columbine, F9/11 plays to my personal opinions and biases anyway, so I'm no doubt receptive and sympathetic to its implied criticisms of the Bush administration. Perhaps sometime soon I should take some time to read some of the rebuttals to the film online. However, I don't really expect to find anything that I don't already know, nor anything that will substantially change my general distaste for the actions of the current US government and my suspicion of their motivations.

To be clear, I don't think Saddam Hussein was a good person or that the Iraqi people were best served remaining under his rule. I just don't know if the US was morally justified in its actions. I'm not convinced that the US has made the situation in the middle east better in the long term, and I'm afraid that the enemies of peace, freedom and universal human rights have been made stronger, not weaker by the US actions world-wide in the last four years.

July 17, 2004

A short break in the busy season

It's busy time at work, hence the lack of entries. I've been doing a fair number of out of town gigs, usually PA teching, sometimes mixing FOH or operating lights. Right now, however, I'm in St. John's NL for 5 days to visit mom and dad while they're home from the middle east for the summer. They're only here for about a month, actually, and they're planning a lot of renovations to our old house on Holbrook Ave, so it turns out this will be a working vacation. Still, I'll enjoy it.

July 08, 2004

Promote mozilla

I know that a few of the folks who occasionally read my blog are mozilla fans, so I thought you'd all like to know about the new grassroots marketing campaign started by Asa and Blake. Head over to download.com and add your review for Firefox. The goal is 1,000 reviews in the next 6 or 7 days. The mozilla foundation is not trying to suggest any specific points for the reviews, nor even if you rate it positively or negatively, however, in my review I aimed to keep it short and simple, and to mention some of the great benefits of firefox that any PC user could understand.

What are you waiting for? Go to download.com's Firefox page and submit your review!