New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy

Radiohead may know music–but they and their management do not know digital downloads. In trying to be artsy, buying In Rainbows was confusing and clunky. When it came time to download, they couldn’t handle the traffic. I found that particularly startling because a band with that kind of IT budget should have been able to get a decently distributed web server set up in 10 days.

Anyhow, three cheers for Saul Williams and his management for connecting with Musicane on the pre-order of his new album Niggy Tardust. (Yes, that is a racially charged album title. This guy has some pretty serious stuff to say to you.)

Musicane’s system for doing the pre-order was the slickest I’ve seen yet, offering a pre-order download of the 192kbps version for free or you could pay $5 and have access to 192kbps, 300kbps, or FLAC. I paid the $5 and it was worth it! Continue reading New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy

What Made OiNK So Special?

[Updated 10/31/07, see bottom of post]

I had a professor ask me for more information on what made OiNK special and what it was all about. I assembled the following information for him:

Why Oink Was Special

  • The community was very tightly controlled:
    • Only albums that had a certain level of audio quality (192kbps+) were allowed to be uploaded. Albums had to fit a stringent set of criteria such as being original rips from real CDs, and not “transcodes.” A transcode is a song that has been ripped to mp3, decoded back to wav, and then re-encoded to an mp3. This was despite the fact that many feel double compression is not noticeable to the ear.
    • All torrents had to fulfill certain basic requirements such as a complete tracklisting. A basic description, accurate meta data, cover art scans and a playlist file were highly encouraged and more often than not taken care of by the uploader.
  • The community was self-policing and highly active. Torrents of albums were uploaded weeks sometimes months in advance of their official date. High profile albums were combed over very quickly and rejected if either they appeared to be transcodes or had been doctored in any way.
    Continue reading What Made OiNK So Special?

Upgrades For Security, Drupal, WordPress, vBulletin

I performed a number of upgrades this weekend to help keep my web software up to date. I’m looking at this new media wiki / vBulletin integration called vBwiki Pro and before I tantalize myself with the possibility of adding the software I knew I needed to bring all of my web stuff up to current version first.

I’m running Drupal as the CMS on Weekly Davespeak, vBulletin in the forums and WordPress for this blog.

Upgrades are usually pretty easy, although I did a ton of Drupal customizations when I installed it last year and was worried I would overwrite some of my work.

Continue reading Upgrades For Security, Drupal, WordPress, vBulletin

Manually Installing Windows Media Player Plugin for Firefox in Windows Vista

Surprise, a complete install of Windows Media Player in Windows Vista does not provide the necessary .dll files needed to play WMA or ASX files in Firefox. This means that if you do a fresh install of Windows Vista and Firefox 2.x and try to listen to an archived program on kexp.org you’re going to get that this ugly little window: Continue reading Manually Installing Windows Media Player Plugin for Firefox in Windows Vista