Posts categorized “music”.

Newton MessagePad sings ‘Still Alive’

March 2nd, 2012

Jonathan Coulton makes geeky music for geeks. That’s why this video from YouTube user KonogoRaiana, featuring Coulton’s “Still Alive,” the ending theme from Portal, makes so much sense.

The text file to get this to work, using MacInTalk text to speech code, is gibberish — but the Newton understands it just fine.

[via Tony Kan at My Apple Newton.]

State Shirt: making music on an Apple IIc

February 24th, 2012

Get this.

Musician Ethan Tufts of State Shirt created a song on an Apple IIc — part chiptune, part drum-and-guitar pop song — and recorded the whole process in the video above.

Tufts offers State Shirt songs as “open source” — so feel free to download the tracks, but try to support his good work (and nerdery) if you can.

An iPod for music lovers

August 24th, 2011

iPod classic

Kirk McElhearn at Macworld:

Both iPod classics (black and silver) are ahead of the iPod nano and shuffle in any of their colors. So while many people think the classic is a niche device, this might not be the case. Even if it were a niche, it would be one worth holding onto, because the buyers of this model are the real music fans, with lots of tunes, and want a device that holds as much as possible.

Agreed. My first iPod, a 30 GB iPod video from 2005, is still my only classic iPod, and it’s no longer big enough for my music library. I’ve thought about shopping for a refurbished model just so I don’t have to worry about the song juggling that McElhearn talks about.

For true music lovers, and especially for those of us with large music libraries, the iPod classic is still a viable option – sort of like a Mac Pro for tunes.

iMac G4 appears in Verve Pipe video

February 3rd, 2009


You know me: I’m always a sucker for a good iMac G4 appearance.

Back in December, I went to see The Verve Pipe play in East Lansing, Michigan (their hometown – about an hour north of me). A great post-grunge, straight-up-rock band, The Verve Pipe put on an amazing show. I looked up their videos on YouTube and found the one for “Happiness Is,” starring an old friend:


“Happiness Is” shows singer Brian Vander Ark wooing his lady friend with thoughtful gifts while she’s at work. The video, dating back to 2001 or 2002, would place the iMac she’s using in the brand-spanking-new category.


While not as classic as the Macs in the Tragically Hip video, this one holds a special place in my heart.

Free Tibet!…through iTunes

August 8th, 2008

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, iTunes is offering a “Songs for Tibet – The Art of Peace” collection from big-name artists like John Mayer, Jackson Browne, and Imogen Heap.

A lot of the music features acoustic or remixed versions of already-released songs (Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars (2008)” for instance), with a few originals, and when you purchase the collection as a whole, you get a 15 minute spoken word piece from the Dalai Lama.

You hear a lot about Tibet’s struggle from the artistic community, but if you want to learn more yourself, I suggest reading “Seven Years in Tibet” by Heinrich Harrer (I haven’t seen the movie yet). Harrer was a World War II German refuge who traveled Tibet and tutored the Dalai Lama, and was part of the escape crew that lead Tibet’s government out of the country when China took over.

I think the timing of this music collection is perfect, but not everyone agrees with me. In the reviews, you’ll see a one-star review given by a commenter that types in Chinese characters (maybe? I’m not familiar with the language) who might be towing the Communist Party line: Tibet is a China, always has been. I’ve seen this type of thing even as recent as last weekend in Chicago. While browsing through the Tibet exhibit at the Field Museum, a display showed sticky notes where people could write their opinion about the Tibet situation:

Chicago - "Tibet is part of China"

See the note in the bottom-right corner? That’s what the iTunes review is probably like.

But enough speculation. iTunes offers a great music collection and a chance to raise awareness about Tibet’s plight, and it’s a heckuva chance to put on some tunes and read up on the history of this mysterious land.