02009-08-21 | Photos | 7 comments

In the evening, dinner al fresco with friends. The weather has been spectacular and it’s been really nice to be home.

Check out these beautiful living root bridges!

Great rant about the sharing of music and the user experience:

the music of sound » On the sharing of music… #music #piracy #user_experience #FAIL
But thats like putting an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff, I think the main philosophical change has to be that the erosion of value must be reversed. In the history of music formats the LP is still the ultimate in my opinion, because of the ritualistic way which you engage with it. You have to consciously put an LP on to listen to it and in so doing you engage with the artwork. Every format since then (cassette -> CD -> MP3) has been a reduction in experience and this is where I think music delivery as an artform has been a failed experiment (other than in specific cases) where the user loses. Is it a coincidence that music has become a faceless, artless data file and at the same time kids don’t really care about it, place value on it or are prepared to spend money on it?

I suggest reading the whole piece.


  1. Brenda

    al fresco w/Friends – Thanks for adding to my vocabulary! Cool!

  2. Panj

    Magical Bridges!…danke

  3. steve

    Yes, well … I suspect that, based upon the announcement that the RIAA is allegedly going to stop suing people, one might conclude that the RIAA has finally figured out that this is a futile strategy to stop piracy activities.
    Yet that was announced quite a while ago, and there are still many of these cases in the pipeline so nothing seems to have changed. Announcements, not withstanding.

    In fact, I would love to know (though can’t find any hard data) if this litigious strategy has caused ANY behavior modification at all on the part of would be pirates. And, if so, by what percentage? What’s the ROI for the RIAA?

    I teach at a technical college, and this topic comes up a lot (on breaks) with 18-25 year olds. If my discussions are even marginally representative, I would say,

    #RIAA_litigation #FAIL

    I recall about three years ago, Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music, admitted that he was “fairly certain” his kiddos pirated music. Never saw a case of Bronfman vs Bronfman though. Interesting.

    The title of this article is the perfect set up and describes the entire issue for me personally:

    #music #piracy #user_experience #FAIL

  4. Ottmar

    Steve, I don’t think anybody would argue against that at this point. The question is how do we create value, how do we package music differently, how do we create depth (listening enjoyment) rather than width (millions of songs in your pocket)? Like the author, I remember how special the few LPs were that I could afford and how many times I listened to them, not as constant musical background but as a special audio event.

  5. steve

    >Ottmar Says: “Steve, I don’t think anybody would argue against that at this point.”

    Well, I would hope not. Though I must say that the actual evidence of continuing litigious activities makes me wonder if the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. i.e., is management communicating with corporate counsel? hmmmm….

    As to how to create value, etc., I have to tell you that I was quite impressed with the _Ghosts I-IV_ release that Trent Reznor did. It was pretty spectacular, and offered a great user experience. There were multi-track versions of the songs for doing remixes, a Blu-Ray disc of movies that went with the music, and a bunch of other “value-add” items in addition to the music itself, not to mention a really nice photographic folio that came with it. A nice package. Independently released: which might be both its strength and its weakness. I am unaware of a major label putting this much effort into a release recently (by “recently” I mean last five years or so)

    All this costs money, though. I realize that. Such a release isn’t going to be possible for many, MANY artists. I’m just saying that when I think of added value and a very nice user experience from a presentation standpoint, I think of this release as a perfect example that embodies that “wow, that’s cool” factor from the LP days in a modern release.

    But I think you have done a similar thing in a different way with the _Friends forum_. I think the hi-def versions of songs are awesome. I think the interactive aspect of this forum, and the Monday music is innovative. I like the Twitter updates, and the access to your photography is beautiful … So, perhaps you already have your answer. You know, I will really never listen to “Butterflies…” the same again, after having heard the hi-def version. I realise this isn’t the same thing as what the author is talking about, but perhaps the days of Peter Max, Roger Dean, Hipgnosis, et. al. are just simply gone forever, and the nice user experience will have to take a different form, such as all the items I have previously enumerated regarding this forum.

  6. Ottmar

    Show me the money and I’ll do a “Ghost”. :-)

    I don’t think I’ll ever do something like the “La Semana” Limited Edition box again. Yes, we won two packaging awards and the box is truly beautiful. But, it was so much work (((I even stained paper with tea which I scanned to create aged-looking paper))) and our cost was $20 for each finished box! We still have a number of them in my garage. I refuse to sell them at this point and only gift them to people now and then.

    I am glad you like “Backstage”. I think it has great potential. I like the immediacy and that you never know what will come next… that’s a bit like good radio used to be, isn’t it?

    Sounds like you would like another 24/96 download from “One Guitar”? That can be arranged. Am also hunting down 24/96 mastered tracks from the binaural “Up Close” album. I think Jon might have those somewhere…

  7. steve

    Yes I do really like the Backstage format. I think it’s working very well, and I like the randomness of “what happens now?” Reminds me of the old KFML days in the Denver-Boulder area. Live radio. I mean, REALLY live. Naturally, KFML is long gone.

    As I said, I think you have your answer for creating value per the article.

    I would LOVE another 24/96 release! A binaural 24/96 would be awesome as well. I am sincerely grateful.


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