Falling in and out of love

Two years and two months ago (and where the hell did those 26 months go?) I posted about my lovely Bose QuietControl 30 in-ear Bluetooth headphones.

They are, without a doubt, the most effective noise-cancelling headphones I’ve ever tried.

With noise-cancelling turned all the way up they are so efficient they block out all engine noise from my 1,000-litre motorbike.

Not that I’d ever use them while I was actually riding the bike, of course.

The headphones also give the best quality audio of any in-ear, or over-ear devices I have ever owned or tested.

But very gradually… I. just. stopped. using. them.

Sadly.

For context, my favourite means of listening to music whilst I’m on the go, is (was) my trusty iPod Classic.

To connect the Bose QuietControl30 headphones to my non-Bluetooth Classic, I have to plug a non-Apple device into the foot of the iPod.

This handy Chinese gizmo turns the iPod into a Bluetooth-enabled device.

Which is pretty nifty, I think we’d all agree.

Except that little gizmo sticking out of the foot of the iPod doesn’t just turn it into a Bluetooth-enabled device. It turns the iPod into a clunk-adverse device.

The wrong kind of clunk or clank against a solid object could turn the plug-in, or the iPod, into devices that just won’t work any longer.

So without much by way of conscious decision, I slowly relegated the Bose to the back of the cupboard, and picked up using my usual plug-in Sennheiser earbuds.

But lately, alongside my still trusty iPod, I have adopted two new ways of listening to music: occasionally I use my phone because it has acres of storage and an awesome battery life, but much more frequently I use a streaming service.

So over the weekend I brought out the Bose, blew the dust off them, charged them up, paired them to my phone and to my laptop and Robert’s your Mother’s brother…

My ears are back in audiophile business.

Which is lovely, obv.

Mind you, trying not to sing at my desk is proving more difficult than I would have thought.

Later: (just got told off for tapping my feet. may have bee actually thumping them in time to Taylor Swift)

In your ears

We have jumped to the digital/streaming music app world.

After extensive research (critically viewing three very well-respected tech websites), we decided on Spotify.

And then Sam forwarded me a special offer: Three months’ individual subscription to Spotify for 0.99p.

That’s not too shabby.

At the end of the three-month special offer (if we still like Spotify) I will convert what we have into a family account, then we won’t pollute each other’s musical choices.

There’s a downside: my Synology NAS has no API with any online/streaming service. I’m sure it’ll come in time, and it will probably come to Spotify first (Spotify being the most tech-agnostic streaming service).

I suppose the upside is that we suddenly have a path of audio hardware to inspect and procure.

Oh well. Into every life…

A day-ish of geek

Today I upgraded the .php of every single website I host to v7.2.12.

Then I redesigned the podcast website (the old design relies on some tech that has been superseded).

If I had another few hours, I would have unpacked the studio equipment and put out a podcast. Because it’s only been three years since the last show.

I also managed to squeeze in a quick trip out on the Ninja.

That was fun too.

Music

I’ve finished importing every piece of (non-vinyl) music into my iTunes library.

Though ‘iTunes’ may soon become a thing of the past, as the trusty iPod Classic is so despised by Apple they stopped making them several years ago.

Fortunately the market is awash with excellent quality portable music players, and the new devices are not tied to the same small-scale digital formats that Applie tied us to; can quite happily cope with the better quality .flac format.

I’ve kept the source audio files, so I can upgrade from .mp3 to .flac whenever I want (when my iPod Classic inevitably dies, probably).

I don’t buy music from iTunes; haven’t done so for many years – around the time Apple introduced the ridiculous, and short-lived DRM, on behalf of a stupidly short-sighted music industry demand.

Anyway.

After today’s efforts my non-vinyl music library now stands at 9,451 songs which, according to the iTunes GUI, will take me 26d 9h 58m and 45s to listen to…

If I could stay awake for 26 24-hour days.

Or 52 12-hour days.

But that’s nearly two months?

Blimey.

Films, TV. Stuff to watch (or not)

I want to watch ‘Lucy’ again but it’s 18.30 on Sunday and there will be an influx of small children soon. And ‘Lucy’ isn’t a family film.

So instead, we’re watching ‘Oblivion’. Again.

It’s a good film.

Tom Cruise does what Tom Cruise does, and Andrea Riseborough shows talent by the yard (just watch her in ‘Welcome to the Punch’).

Anyway, back to ‘Lucy’.

It’s about time Luc Beson wrote and produced something else that good.

I hope ‘Lucy 2’ (currently in writing production) will be that thing.

Anyway, to the reason for this meander…

I was mucking out Prem this evening when a snippet of a song popped into my head. Just a refrain, not even a full melodic phrase.

A half-remembered portion of a tune, but it was hypnotic. Three bars of hypnotism. And no idea of the name.

I knew I knew it. But I couldn’t recall it. And not the title.

Gah! So frustrating.

Back home from the world of smelly pony and hay and straw and rugs and grooming and picking out wet hooves, I set myself a-googling.

I don’t remember what the successful search terms were, I only remember that Google didn’t give me the result, YouTube did.

It was a French track from the closing credits of ‘Lucy’.

Anyway (again).

We watched Ep1 of S1 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina earlier.

It’s a kind of approximate reimagining of the whole Sabrina The Teenage Witch, except it isn’t. But it is. Sortov.

It’s awful. I mean it’s really really really bad.

The writing is shocking, the acting is dubious, the cinematography is horrible, and the incidental music is irritating beyond description.

I can’t think of a single good thing to say about it.

Except that one of the cast is Jasper Carrot’s daughter.

It really is awful.

Nerdiaudiophile

It is a word, I checked.

In the possibly never-ending quest to find me even more imaginative gifts, I was recently given this to wear around my neck:

Bose Bluetooth Earbuds

Bose Bluetooth Earbuds

They are a pair of Bose noise-cancelling in-ear Bluetooth earbud listening thingys (as they are called by the technical community).

And they are dangerously fantastic.

They are fantastic because the audio quality is quite possibly the best in-ear and over-ear experience I have ever had.

They are dangerously so because the noise-cancelling function (I’m still not sure how that works) actually blanked out the sound of the 1,000cc motorbike that I was standing next to, the first time I tried them.

Actually blanked out the sound of the engine.

Entirely.

An adjustment to the noise-cancelling switch-thingy soon sorted that out.

I was also given a cunning little plug-in thingy that turned my iPod Classic into a Bluetooth-enabled thingy, so I could pair it with the Bose noise-cancelling in-ear Bluetooth earbud listening thingys.

Yay!

Very unfortunately, and less than a week later, my iPod Classic stopped working.

Not due, I must add quickly, to anything to do with the Bose noise-cancelling in-ear Bluetooth earbud listening thingys.

And also not due to the cunning little plug-in thingy in my iPod.

I’m fairly sure (but awaiting for a detailed investigator’s report) that the iPod stopped working due to the rapid attempt at interacting with some concrete in the filling station.

Boo!

Anyway, this means that I have to dig out an old iPod Classic that is lurking at the back of the electric cupboard (it’s like a normal cupboard, but made of actual electric) and use that instead.

Mind you, they are all ‘old’ iPod Classics now that Apple have stopped making the best device they ever made, in favour of a bunch of much less-good devices.

But I am unbelievably grateful for the Bluetoothiness (and therefore cable-free) listening experience that the Bose noise-cancelling in-ear Bluetooth earbud listening thingys have brought into my life.

And equally unbelievably grateful to Sam for providing them.

I luffs her.

I’m back

So.

I’ve had a bit of an unintended rest from this blogging lark and although I missed it I also missed it.

Yes, you right that read.

See what I did there?

But anyway.

Having decided that there was a me-shaped hole (whole?) in t’internet, I have likewise decided to fix it.

And now I’m back.

From outer space.
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door. Just turn around now
‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore
Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye? Do you think I’d crumble?
Did you think I’d lay down and die?
Oh no, not I, I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.

Erm.

Sorry about that.

It happens sometimes.

A word or sometimes a phrase can just trigger a lyric and off I go, into the mystical, musical world of futures past.

I don’t know how it happened.

It all took place so quick
But all I can do is hand it to you
And your latest trick
Now it’s past last call for alcohol
Past recall has been here and gone
The landlord finally paid us all
The satin jazzmen have put away their horns
And we’re standing outside of this wonderland
Looking so bereaved and so bereft
Like a Bowery bum when he finally understands
The bottle’s empty and there’s nothing left

Oh Em Gee!

 

Earworms

It’s bizarre, the musical interjections that my hindbrain throws out, unbidden.

This morning I woke up with Supertramp’s ‘Asylum’ pitched crystal clear in my head which is wow, what a way to wake up at 5.20am.

I have no idea why, obv.

I used to love Supertramp. Crime of the Century was (and still is in vinyl form – but stay away from the digitally remastered copies that are downloadable via iTunes etc) a classic album.

I’m just going to have to go off and see what the member of Supertramp are up to these days.

Hearing voices

‘Choir! Choir! Choir!’ is a singing collective that was started by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman.

Based in Toronto, Canada, These two guys started a singing group just so they (and their friends) could get together now and then and… well… sing.

Largely unstructured (they don’t use terms such as Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Basses), C! C! C! (to shorten a bit of typing) have a minimalist approach to organised singing.

Yet, with seemingly very little effort, C! C! C! produce amazing sounds.

And anyone can just rock up on the night and, after hardly any rehearsal at all, just join the choir.

Whether experienced singerist or not.

Just. Join. In.

It sounds unique.

And it is.

It sounds doomed to failure.

It really isn’t.

Here’s C! C! C! being fronted by Talking Heads’ David Byrne.

They did this performance after an hour of rehearsal (and David came to it cold).

If Choir! Choir! Choir! ever come to the UK, I’d like to go along.

To join in.

Streaming

It was brought home to me, a couple of weeks ago, just how old I am.

Why’s that? (I hear you ask).

Well I’ll tell you.

I recently had a bit of a clear-out at home, and took about 15 DVDs and CDs of licensed OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software in to the office, for my colleagues to help themselves.

How many pieces of (free) software got snapped up by my bargain-seeking colleagues?

None, my friend. Absolutely zero.

Even our software-hungry development manager declined all offers.

His reason?

‘I don’t have hardware with a CD or DVD drive any more’.

Well, that made me think.

My music library has 7,528 tracks, and over 60% of those tracks came from CDs.

Now fair enough, these days when I buy mainstream music, I buy online from Amazon.

Usually the music I buy is downloaded materiel (with exceptions when, for specific reasons, I want a physical CD).

So buying music in digital format is not unusual for me.

But what am I going to do with gig music, when I’ve joined the CD-less drive generation?

What do I do when promising unsigned bands send me a CD they have lovingly crafted in their Nan’s front room, and I have no CD drive?

I suppose they could always Dropbox me the .mp3s, but that’s not really the point of a physical album, is it?

Anyway.

In sortov related news, I’m on the cusp of hooking up with a music streaming service.

The full range of choices I’m considering are:

  • Deezer
  • Google Play Music
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music Unlimited
  • Pandora
  • Slacker
  • Groove Music and
  • Apple Music

There are pros and cons for all of these, but at this stage, nothing is ruled in, nothing is ruled out.

Early days.