bleachers shadow

It’s summer – time to go out, enjoy the sunshine, drink lots of fluids, and have a good time. Leave your troubles behind and groove to this cheerful, but powerful song. Remember that life is unfair and you’ll never ever, no matter what anyone says, get everything you want from life. But in the end, you’ll have gotten what you needed.

If you’re feeling small, I’ll love your shadow.

Some Catchy Music

I was cleaning out and organizing my iTunes library the other day and played a few songs that made me get up and dance. Let me share these frickin awesome tunes with you. I love country music, so I think most of them are country tunes. Scroll through and have some fun. Sold – John Michael Montgomery: This thing is frickin catchy as heck.

Unbelievable – Diamond Rio

King of the Road – Randy Travis

Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford

Country Music

There’s been a lot of back and forth about country music lately. We’re all entitled to our own opinions and I think this “pure” country music versus pop country music is ridiculous. How many times do we have to split a genre up into sub-genres?

Purists need to leave artists like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift alone. Music is music and they have tons of fans to attest to their popularity and creativity. There’s no point tearing apart an entire genre just to beat down on someone’s musical preferences. Music is as personal as underwear brand. Although I personally don’t search out new country pop music, it doesn’t mean that I hate it. I still enjoy it – I just enjoy traditional country music a whole lot more. I have no reservations about blasting Taylor Swift in my truck when I feel like it. After all, I did buy her CD.

Instead of being a purist or a pop country “fan”, why can’t I be a bit of both? That’s because the very definition of a “purist” prevents you from claiming you like pop country. It’s almost like coffee snobbery. The prerequisite for claiming that you’re a coffee snob is visiting “hipster” caffeine digs and bashing on Starbucks like there’s no tomorrow. Since when did we let those categories constrain and define us? When was the world really black and white?

I advocate a mesh. Self-dubbed purists need to lighten up a bit. I don’t mean that they necessarily need to enjoy this evolved country music. They just need to stop spreading hate. Same with country pop fans – stop beating down on traditional country music. There’s no need to be so defensive and then openly attack tradition. After all, the music we have today evolved from somewhere. Country pop has its roots in traditional country music.

Music is always evolving, just like everything else when given time. It all builds on the successes and failures of earlier times. So, play nice. I enjoy all forms of country: country rock, traditional country, country pop, and country rap: anything goes. A different sub-genre for different moods and there’s no shame in that. Stop your bickering, ladies.

iTunes Radio

I spent several hours updating apps on my Mac. In a matter of a few days, I’ve updated the OS and iTunes. I haven’t really gone in depth with iTunes radio, but I played with it a bit and it seems to be worth it. I like that it’s integrated and built into iTunes, so one media player handles it all. I can purchase, play, make playlists, stream, and organize.

I’ve been through Grooveshark, Pandora, and Spotify: a few contenders in the streaming music business. I’ve had a lot of good times with all of them because they’re all pretty simple to use, although some are more feature-rich than others.

All I had to do in iTunes was click on Radio and add stations. The music just started up without any hesitation. If you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of country music. I added a few different stations, including a bunch of Apple created playlists. That’s the easiest thing to do. Right clicking any station will bring up a menu for adding your favorite stations or playing it right on the spot.Adding Stations

If you navigate down to your added stations, you can customize them by clicking them. That brings up your playlist history, allows for changing of play mode, and the play more/never play options. That’s all you really need in a streaming service right? Clicking on the star when something is playing let’s you tweak everything from there so you don’t have to jump into the full editor (kinda like Pandora’s thumbs up and down).Play More

If you get bored of a station, just make another one, tweak the settings, and let iTunes do its job. Clicking the little plus in your stations lets you create stations based on genre, song, or artist. Simple. I look forward to seeing what iTunes radio has to offer and use it to discover new music, but I expect a few snags along the way, seeing as it is still pretty new, while Pandora has had time to perfect their service.Create Station

Mac Applications: Music

I imported a post from my old blog detailing my Windows applications. Keep in mind that the applications I listed were from a time long ago and some of them have become obsolete or are unsupported nowadays. I bought myself a Macbook Pro last year in hopes that it would last longer than the other laptops I keep buying. So far, it has served me well – a lot better than my HP laptop or my Acer laptop. In keeping with the post about windows applications, I’m going to start a series of posts on Mac apps I use. However, since I’ve amassed a rather large collection of apps, I’m going to go section by section in accordance with how I have them organized. Let’s begin with my first section: Music.Music

  1. iTunes came with my Mac and so far it’s still my default music manager. It hasn’t given me any problems and I’ve never searched for an alternative. Since I have an iPod touch, it syncs perfectly. Importing music is easy and I have easy access to the app store, which is pretty important. I also like having the option of listening to radio channels through iTunes. A few years back, people talked smack about iTunes day and night, but I think their constant updates are shutting people up. As long as they keep making a product that works, I’ll keep using it.iTunes 11
  2. VirtualDJ is home DJ software for your computer. I don’t claim to be a good DJ (not even a beginner) but I still have tons of fun with this app. I honestly have this app so I can play around with music. It’s built well and it works like a charm. Basically, the app allows you to search your computer for audio files and play them, with tons of looping features, cueing, and fading. Additionally, you can apply effects and play jingles right from the app. Don’t worry, you can scratch, too. Recording audio is not hard and you have the choice of burning to a disc, straight up recording it, or broadcasting it via Icecast or Shoutcast. A fun app to experiment with.virtualDJ
  3. Spotify is gaining popularity and has been for quite some time. They’re pretty much all over the board when it comes to dealing with anything related to music, but they excel in the music discovery and social department. Spotify features plenty of new tracks and songs from every genre. Essentially it’s a ginormous repository of digital music. I like to play through the popular charts with Spotify when I feel like relaxing.Spotify
  4. I’ve gone through Audacity before, but I’ll go through it briefly here because I have it on my Mac as well as my Windows laptop. It’s great for cutting music and isolating sounds because you can zoom straight into the waveform and see where the peaks are. Cutting and pasting is easy and creating a new audio file is just as easy. Sometimes I need audio in a different format, so I use Audacity to perform conversions.Audacity
  5. Tune Up cleans my iTunes metadata like a charm. My sister hates unclean and disorganized metadata because it transfers over to the iPod as nonsense and with a touch, it’s very distracting. Tune Up works like a charm, analyzing and matching your music to their database and offering possible matches. So far, they’ve been fairly accurate, but it really depends on the type of music you have and where you downloaded it. Not a bad deal at all.TuneUp