All items tagged with "music"

Relive the Apple Watch keynote as an hilarious musical

Relive the Apple Watch keynote as an hilarious musical

We’ve had a couple of days to let the massive announcements of Apple’s September 9 keynote sink in, but if you want to relive the event you might want to check out this new video from Jonathan Mann.

Who is Jonathan Mann, you may ask? The brilliant YouTube musician who created the celebrated Mario Opera close to a decade ago is the answer. An unabashed Apple fan, Mann was previously responsible for composing the iPhone Antenna song which Steve Jobs publicly danced to, and earlier this year composed a great WWDC ear worm which is still rattling around my brain months later.

Following Apple’s Tuesday keynote Mann is back in Apple territory with a new musical tour-de-force entitled “Apple Watch: The Musical,” which somehow manages to compress Apple’s entire Tuesday event into just 3 minutes and 13 seconds.

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App Watch: Plain old text and widgets (lots of widgets)

U2 plays it safe with solidly crafted Songs of Innocence

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

Screen grab from iTunes/Apple

As Bono came in chanting and The Edge power-chorded his guitar for the radio-friendly chorus of “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” today, we hoped for a revitalized big-arena rock band performance from the biggest Irish rock band of all time.

What we got was the boys miming a well-rehearsed, highly-produced single that sounds like anything but The Ramones. Bono sings, “I was young/Not dumb/Just wishing to be blinded/By you/Brand new/We were pilgrims on our way” and, frankly, we wish they were young again. We wanted to be blinded by rockstars, but we really only got an ad for Apple.

At first listen, Songs of Innocence is a musically safe choice, a collection of songs that will sound just fine in the background as you wait in line for your first latte of the day at Starbucks. This isn’t the same band that had us thrilling to “In the Name of Love,” or “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” let alone snake-dancing to the mysterious syncopations of “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses” or the gospel-tinged “One.”

The new album is being pitched by the band as intensely personal, but it comes off as more craftsmanship than artistry. It’s not all bad, and chances are U2 super-fans would have bought it even if it weren’t free, but the music lovers in us were a little disappointed.

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Radiohead’s trippy app delivers unexpected new tunes

Screen grab from iPhone: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Screen grab from iPhone: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

UK-based rock band Radiohead just updated their Polyfauna app, originally released at the end of this past January, with all new audio and visual content.

The What’s New section of the iTunes description says, simply, “Entirely new.”

If you’re a fan of the ambient tech-inspired music of Radiohead’s seminal Kid A album, you’re going to love these new tracks. Here’s a video (below) to whet your appetite.

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Sony’s new iOS app delivers discounted albums every day

Sony-Album-of-the-Day

Sony is hoping to boost digital record sales with a new iPhone app that offers a discounted album every 24 hours. Prices are slashed by as much as 70 percent in the Album of the Day app, and all purchases are made through iTunes.

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App Watch Aug 12 2014 — Lists, learning, coffee and spaaaaace

Spotify added a neat equalizer to its iOS app

spotifyequalizer

Equalizers haven’t been a fashionable tech feature since Boomboxes went out of style in the 90’s, but Spotify just released a major update to its iOS app and I can’t stop playing with its fun new equalizer.

Spotify’s 1.1 update includes a number of other new features like a redesigned Artist page on iPad and new Discover feature, but the simple equalizer is perhaps the most useful new addition, allowing users to customize presets with six sliders.

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Beats Music 2.2 adds taste tuner, badges and playback improvements

beatsmusic

Apple’s recently acquired music streaming service, Beats Music, just received its biggest update since getting scooped up by Apple at the end of May, adding new features that let you fine tune your musical tastes on the service and view songs that were just served up in The Sentence.

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Bose sues Beats over noise-cancelling headphone patents

beatssteve

Beats just launched a legal assault against Chinese copy cats earlier this month, but it looks like the company just got hit with a legal bomb for copying another headphone maker itself.

Bose Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Beats for allegedly infringing on the company’s noise-canceling patents, according to CNBC’s Josh Lipton.

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Mega-pedal serves up soaring vocal harmonies, impressive guitar effects

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been playing music for coming up on 30 years now, and I’ve tried a ton of music gear. These days, I run a fairly bare-bones setup, with a smaller amp for those close venues, a couple of dual-effect pedals (Visual Sounds’ Route 66 and H2O), and a Boss VE-20 vocal harmony box to thicken up the background vocals in my disco band.

I’ve always had a thing for multi-effect boxes, though, running through my share of a few complicated ones that never quite gave me what I needed in terms of both effects sounds and onstage ease-of-use.

When I heard about TC-Helicon’s new VoiceLive 3 mega-stomp box, with a huge range of guitar effects and amplifier modeling, an amazing vocal-harmony processing system and a stage-quality looping feature, well, I had to try it out.

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