Some ditch the iPhone

Google Voice Debacle Causes Arrington to Ditch the iPhone, and With Good Reason – Apple – Gizmodo
Normally, I’d say that TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington’s public quitting of the iPhone was a shrill, disingenuous ploy for attention and pageviews. It’s Michael Arrington, after all. But you know what? It’s totally legit, and Apple should pay attention.

The reason he’s quitting isn’t because of AT&Ts horrible network, which everyone with an iPhone has been begrudgingly putting up with for two years now. No, it’s the Google Voice debacle.

He really wants to use Google Voice, but in order to do so, he needs the app for it to really work. It’s not just an inconvenience; it’s seriously detracting from how he can use his cellphone. And with legit GV apps available for both BlackBerry and Android, he doesn’t have to. So he’s terminating his iPhone contract.

And really, power to him. If GV was important to me, I’d do the same. And I’m sure Arrington isn’t the only person furious enough to cancel their iPhone service over this, he’s just one of the most visible. So Apple, pay attention. Because lately your App Store nonsense has crossed from irritating to inexcusable, and that’s just not going to work in the long term. [TechCrunch]

I also hope Apple pays attention. They have handled this extremely badly, first approving several Goggle Voice apps four months ago (((I use GV Mobile, which is excellent))) and now suddenly janking them from the store. Naturally people are now demanding refunds. Problem is, refunds are not issued by Apple but by the app-makers, and from what I understand Apple gets to keep their commission, which means the app-developers are actually losing money!! In the meantime Skype, Truphone and other VOIP apps are still available! Is this specifically directed against Google? Why?

I am not updating to 3.0.1 until I know Apple won’t yank the GV Mobile app from my iPhone in the process. And, it goes without saying, I have zero loyalty to AT+T, who are probably behind this stunt.

This just in:

FCC questions Apple over Google Voice | Software | iPhone Central | Macworld
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has written to Apple, AT&T and Google questioning the rejection of Google Voice and related applications from theApp Store.

In a letter sent Friday to Apple, the agency asked the company why Google Voice was rejected, which related applications have been rejected along with it, and what role AT&T may have played in the decision. It also asked what the difference is between Google Voice and other VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) software that has been approved for the iPhone.

Friday in Denver

Today, two interviews at noon. First a phoner with Jim Beal of the San Antonio News, followed by a live phoner with Luke on KDNK-Radio in Aspen. The conversation with Jim Beal was a little more in-depth and I am looking forward to finding out what he will write.

Thanks for your comments. Seems like the vote is for me to continue writing. Hey, after all you are paying for the subscription and I meant it when I wrote that I would be fine with no longer writing journal entries if that’s what you want. :-) (((Music and words don’t always mix well, I have always maintained. It is the reason I prefer to make instrumental music. Writing in an online Journal could be considered a contradiction of that, or even hypocrisy if one was unkind. I am sure adding a slideshow to my solo-concerts is a contradiction as well, considering how often I talk of not letting visuals overwhelm the music… I am comfortable with that. Too me much of life is a beautiful, surprising, even shocking contradiction.)))

I think Marijose made a great suggestion in her comment and I enjoyed the links to Neal Stephenson and Anne Dillard, who are much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. Over the last couple of years I have received too many emails from irrate fans who were upset that they did not receive a reply.

I will continue to try to answer emails and @ottmarliebert tweets when I can. Please don’t expect me to follow you on Twitter, to read your blogs and to look at your Flickr. I don’t have the time. (((I you want to read between the lines that I am not willing to make the time, I will not disagree with you)))

I spent too much time online as it is and if anything would like to reduce that amount. I see that Stephen feels similarly because, and are no longer valid addresses. Can’t say I blame him. It’s a time-suck and you know how I feel about MySpace and Facebook. Let him concentrate on his third album. I have heard the tracks he is working on and feel that it will undoubtedly be his strongest album to date. Great music! We can always go to his blog to find out more.

A subscriber, who wants to remain anonymous sent in this link s/he feels might be relevant:

Robert Fripp on June 02, 2007 in Mendoza
Thanks for your clear description of the life of the professional musician. This is exact and precise.

In my field, I would add the description of performing in front of continuing cameras and recorders, and the extensive commentary on how those acting in this fashion have the right to do so, even where this is non-consensual; even where their behaviour is utterly without innocence. Plus an endless demand for autography and bowing to the demands which celebrities rightfully bow before – because fans have the right! And then the commentaries on how declining these demands is rude.

The difference between the innocence of a child and that of a master is this: one is a given, the other is assumed. Mastery (please forgive the gender specificity) confers the assumption of innocence within a field of experience. This is exceptionally hard and can only be the outcome of many years of training. In a word, discipline. I don’t claim this for myself, but it is possible to move into this space from time to time.

Whether we persist is largely a result of what we see our work in life as being. Sometimes, the conditions of the world are such that we admit it is not possible for us to continue in the same way. Then, we look at how we may be true to the spirit of our intent, our calling, and accomodate the externalities of our life to approximate to the best fit. Sometimes, we simply head in another direction completely. Sometimes, we take a sabbatical. Sometimes, the work we left returns to claim our attention. Sometimes, we just drop our concerns and eat cake with coffee.

But if we are silent for a while, something may speak to us from where life is really real, and tell us the way to go.

This earlier Diary post may be somewhat related and certainly speaks to why comments are enabled in this Journal and not in the Diary.

Woke up before 06:00. A few photos from an early morning walk in downtown Denver:

I included this last photo because I like the idea of an oil & vinegar bulk store. (((I have two large stainless Klean Kanteens for that purpose))) The store is at the corner of Market and 15th and I haven’t been inside yet.

The Good, The True and The Beautiful: A Conversation with Ottmar Liebert
Submitted by Jamie Lynn Miller on Thu, 07/30/2009 – 03:44
“Doesn’t everyone love trains?” World music virtuoso and world traveler Ottmar Liebert poses the rhetorical question, talking excitedly about his favorite mode of travel. The multi-Grammy nominated artist grew up across the river from the Cologne, Germany train station, the sound of the train whistle and the mystique of faraway places always nearby.

More here. I don’t think I actually said the good, the true and the beautiful in the cellphone-interview, but it was a bad connection and I am glad it came out like that. Plato said it first, didn’t he? And then Wilber expanded on it.

Thursday in Denver

Woke up in Denver this Morning.

Yesterday I had dinner in SLC with Mugaku Sensei. Here is something that grew out of our conversation.

I was thinking about Ken Wilber’s AQAL graph, the lines of development, or intelligences, and the levels or stages along those different lines. We all have many lines of development: music, cooking, communicating emotions, social interaction, humor, map reading, physical fitness, poetry, meditation… and we are at various stages of development along those different lines.

Well, what I realized today is that those graphs are too neat a concept. In reality these lines are knitted together, connected at various points and interactive. Music education improves math scores. Knitting can improve coordination and even reading etc.

In other words, it’s a great big mess of lines. I am reminded of building blocks – we may know which building blocks are available, but how will they actually fit together? Can studying one thing improve a completely different area of development? Do poets make better cooks? Do cooks make better musicians? What about drummers? Do athletes who study music or dance move more effectively? I am convinced that there are many interesting connections between lines of development to be discovered.

New topic: Today I received this email on Flickr and I need help with it. It seems that everywhere I turn, somebody gets offended or decides to wear a shoe that was not intended for them. I receive dozens of email like this on all kinds of different subjects. I don’t know what to do about it. Trying to answer them all takes up a lot of time. What do you think? Do you have some advice for me? It’s fine with me if we turn this subscription into a pure media subscription. I’ll stop writing and just deliver the music and video files. I do have a big mouth – maybe I should shut it.


FREEDOM. That’s what we are blessed with in this country. So, if people CHOOSE to put their photos on the internet, they should be allowed to without ridicule.

Albeit, your comment, “maybe we’ll call those people goggle-heads, sounds like bobble-heads” is downright hilarious, it also had a tinge of putting others down because you don’t care to see others’ pics.

Name calling, judging…not a thing I want to see in someone. Especially from you. Are you a monk?

Must say…I am disappointed in your mindset of how you view others. You don’t see others saying anything negative about your photos, professional or not.

I will remove you as my contact so that you do not need to see my photos (far cry from professional, but they are mine and I love my pics, nonetheless). I am proud of my photos. Since I am in the ‘food’ business, many are food related.

I COULD have glossed over YOUR comment, but I want to be true to what I think is right. If I embrace others, I would like to see the same back.

No hard feelings…just staying true…


1. Judey Sawyer Says: July 30th, 2009 at 04:53
Please know how much it means to see you perform live without the distraction of cameras clicking away and to respectfully speak to you after a performance.

I think that the Newport Beach experience may have been an isolated case. In any case I would not avoid all audiences because of what happened there. I am taking it one place at a time. And thanks for your comment regarding photography.

2. Matt Callahan Says: July 30th, 2009 at 08:21
OK. Is there any chance you might change the settings on your Flickr account so the camera information is visible? Sure it’s fun to guess which one you’re using but….

Would it suffice to add a tag with the make and model to photos? I think if I allow the EXIF data to show it will show on every public photo as well, and I don’t want to do that. And you can add tags with your guess and I will correct them if they are wrong. :-)

3. Judey Sawyer Says: July 30th, 2009 at 08:58
This question is on a completely different subject as Ottmar was kind enough to leave the door open for any question, so here goes. There is a beautiful track on the new CD from Target called “Dreaming” which reminds me of some of the tracks on In The Arms of Love, particularly one called “The Music Box: Dreaming Next 2 U”. What was your inspiration for both of these achingly beautiful songs?

The track Dreaming on the compilation for Target shares the melody with Dreaming on the Starlight Train from In the Arms of Love. Jon recorded new bass and keyboard parts and I added the new electric guitar solo. Sometimes a song just wants to be reconsidered. Well, one inspiration for the In the Arms of Love album was that I didn’t like any of the lullabies I heard. I didn’t like the music I heard in a spa or when I get the occasional massage, and I didn’t like the lullabies for children I heard. The idea was to create something that was relaxing, but with just the right amount of interesting elements, something that would appeal to children and adults. I have also heard from friends that it calmed down their hyper puppy, which they promptly named “Luna”. :-)

4. Victor Hornback Says: July 30th, 2009 at 10:33
Would you ever consider teaching a music clinic (say to discuss either technique or your writing process)?

Have you tried the Lucile’s location in Denver and if so does it live up the the Boulder experience? ;)

Part 1: Only if no cellphones or cameras of any kind were present. :-)
No, seriously… yes, no, maybe… I think I wrote in the Diary a year or two ago about arranging a weekend in Santa Fe for interested people, complete with a visit to my studio, guitar lessons, a hike up the mountains around Santa Fe. The logistics just became too complicated and since we operate with a minimal staff there just was no time to organize something like that. Maybe at some point. I think it could be fun and interesting.

Part 2: I forgot that there is one. Will check it out and report back! Thanks for the reminder.

5. Kaz Says: July 30th, 2009 at 22:20
Question: 2007-07-29: Hello Friends! Ottmar, do you foresee crossing the northern border to Canada anytime soon? I still vividly remember one of your concerts where you got us all up and dancing in front of the stage! Unforgettable!

That’s unfortunately a very complex issue, Kaz.
1. We used to sell a lot of CDs in Canada. This is of course true for the U.S. as well, but the Canadian CD sales underwrote in part our touring there. Without those sales, touring in Canada is much less lucrative and the amount of paperwork required by Canada for touring and tax is unreal. I am not suggesting that Canada requires more paperwork from us than the U.S. would require from a Canadian act, but it is a hell of a lot of work and with reduced returns it is hard to make it work.

2. My agent works with local promoters or performing arts centers, who make us an offer for playing their venue. Going to Canada for just one show is generally not a good idea, because of the paperwork and the cost, and at least several dates have to be lined up. (((there a few more reasons, but those require a lot of backstory and I am not willing to go into that right now)))

That said, I know we have a lot of fans in Canada and the best suggestion I can make is that they should contact their favorite performing arts center or theater or festival (((Montreal Jazz Festival!))) and ask the management to make us an offer. Hopefully we can line up a few concerts and make it work as I have always enjoyed performing in Canada and think the audiences are fantastic.

6. Naheed Says: July 31st, 2009 at 13:49
which technique on picado and arpegio exercises do you practice for your tone? Is this something you can share or post a video?

I use a three finger tremolo, both as free-stroke (((smoother))) and rest-stroke (((more powerful – I use this during solos))). I usually start with the ringfinger pulling up, a-m-i-a-m-i etc… Most of the time my tremolo is a series of triplets, as I prefer a smooth tremolo over the galloping sound many Flamenco and Classic players seem to prefer.

My picado is generally just i and m with an occassional run also using a (((i=index, m=middle, a-ring))). I have a couple of simple excercises I do to warm my hands up. When I get home I will video/record myself playing those. I do practice those excercises without he thumb resting on a string, which I call floating thumb-technique. It allows the thumb to become more independent and ready to strike when needed. I use my own music to practice arpeggios. For example, The River and Up Close (The Scent of Light) both include tricky arpeggios that make for very good practce.

Tone is an ellusive thing. In my case I started working on my tone early on, which means more than thirty years ago. In the past few years I started moving my right hand a lot more, instead of using one position above the soundhole or closer to the bridge. I find that certain notes on different strings sound better when attacked from a very specific location. To my ear, some sound best attacked near the bride, while others want to be struck above the soundhole, closer to the neck. I find that there is no end to the refinement one can discover over years as one becomes more familiar with an instrument. An endless journal, we might say.