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Descrobulated

Music | Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 | 9 years, 3 months ago

I’m long overdue for a proper review of my favourite game du jour (and du quart since I’ve been loving this game for over 3 months), Audiosurf. In short, it’s a freakin’ rad game that analyzes your music library and transforms each song into a match three game (akin to Bejewelled or Bust a Move) played on a hilly race track where everything happens to the beat of your tunes.

The latest version of Audiosurf added last.fm support which was a value-add I couldn’t pass up. last.fm is a social network service that keeps track of the songs you listen to. I ran this for a few weeks and was really intrigued by the analytics it presents. You can see your most listened-to artists, related artists, hear previews of other songs, and see what other last.fm users have similar tastes – the latter being a great way to discover new artists enjoyed by musical cousins you never knew you had.

last.fm calls this voluntary submission of your playlists “audioscrobbling”, and I’d have been scrobbling sooner if I weren’t limited to their crappy proprietary audio player. Happily, a talented programmer by the name of Florian has released the foo_audioscrobbler plugin for Foobar2000, my very favourite (Windows only) audio player. The plugin works behind the scenes and doesn’t seem to slow anything down.

Now everything I hear, I can read about later! And so can you!

As you may have noticed, I’ve added the fantastic and minimalist Last.fm for WordPress plugin to my blog, authored by Rick of Rick’s HideOut. I much prefer Rick’s plugin to the official last.fm Widget which is too Flashy and ostentatious for my liking. Rick’s simple plugin does all the processing on the server side.

So have a look at my sidebar to see what I’m into, and click the title under “Playlist” (or just click here) for a look at my full profile. Feel free to add me to your last.fm friends list, though I’m not much of a social networker. Unfortunately I had to create a new last.fm account since I wasn’t comfortable publishing my last one, so my listening history only goes back a few days so far.

What do you think of the plugin? Too much? Or too cool?

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Giants Without Footprints

Surreality | Thursday, June 19th, 2008 | 9 years, 4 months ago

I had the pleasure of having dinner with talented DJ and actor Don Berns last night. He was kind enough to make a copy of his swan song album, but I was so star-struck that I forgot to pay the man! Thus, I’m paying in trade by advertising a stage production he’s performing in this coming July.

The production is called Giants Without Footprints, written and directed by Stephen Kunc, and is showing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival (416-966-1062). Here are the pertinents:

Giants Without Footprints

George Ignatieff Theatre
15 Devonshire Place (near the Museum subway station)

Admission: $10

Wednesday, July 2, 6:30PM
Thursday, July 3, 8:15PM
Friday, July 4, 1:15PM
Monday, July 7, 10:45PM
Tuesday, July 8, 1:00PM
Friday, July 11, 4:00PM
Sunday, July 14, 8:30PM

My readers should know I run a non-commercial blog and only endorse products and services I myself approve of, so if you’d like to meet me at the show leave a comment and we’ll work something out!

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The dumbest things fascinate me

Blather | Tuesday, June 10th, 2008 | 9 years, 4 months ago

Cups.

No, not the Common UNIX Printing System that no one can get working in order to print in Linux. That’s too frustrating to fascinate me.

I’m talking about cups. Tea cups, for example. The liquid receptacle.

It was maybe 5 years ago that I was carrying a drink from my basement fridge to my computer when it dawned on me – there’s so little between the contents of this can and the space around it. This tiny membrane of aluminum is all that it takes to enable this barely viscous liquid to float through the air.

Weird, eh?

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