As I watch myspace (er, I mean my_____) continue to tank. I wonder how bands that referenced the social network are feeling now. Those songs about friend requests and name dropping myspace sure seem to have a novelty shelf life. Ok, just a completely random thought ... back to work.
So, while on a blogging kick I have a few things I felt like sharing with everyone and anyone who may feel like reading. This blog has 1,787,897 views, so I know someone's reading. Someone cares! I feel so special.
Yeah, this is why I probably shouldn't be posting while drinking coffee. Ehh, anyway:
I just discovered Prism add-on for Firefox. It basically lets you make websites stand alone "applications." The feature exists in Chrome, and kicks ass. But as someone who uses multiple accounts, and multiple browsers, having it for Firefox is fantastic. Now I can keep my email and calendar open from one account, and then use the "news" account to track any new updates that may need to get posted. Works perfectly on the secondary monitor.
I'm an uncle. My wife's sister had Rylan yesterday. He's healthy. I get to go meet him next week. I feel old.
I think cat videos are funny.
The "content" portion of news posts is almost complete. A little more work today. Ok, ok, ok ... here's a look.
At 27, I may only have a few years left where people in our general demographic are going to pay much attention to what I have to say. When I hit 30, the people who are going to care are those that have followed AP.net for years. Beyond that, I'm basically a suit - right?
Eh. That's a topic for another time. However, the topic for right now is to use any shred of influence I may have to discuss a topic that weighs heavily on me. I don't think a day has passed in the last 10 years where I haven't seen a post on this website from a teenager discussing how difficult life has been. I don't think I've gone a month without reading some news story about someone taking their own life. I, painfully, read the recent story of the student who killed himself after his roommate broadcast him making out with another boy online. I read posts from people talking about how their parents don't believe in them - how teachers claim they're failing at life and will never amount to anything - how friends are stabbing them in the back, girls are cheating on them, boys aren't paying attention to them ... the stories, the posts, could fill books.
But there's something I want to share - from someone who has been through the trials and tribulations of adolescence: Believe it gets better.
There are times when you think that life can't possibly change. Where you start believing what you hear others say about you. Where you start to think that your life will always be what it's always been. I search for a more eloquent way to say: that's bullshit.
When you're in it on a daily basis it's hard to look to the bigger picture. It's hard to see what exists beyond the walls others have put up around you. You're young, you are living a life that is, for all intents and purposes, created by others. They create the world where you work, where you live, where you sleep - they craft the framework, and then you play their game as the rat in their maze. You're lucky if the worst thing that happens is they move the goal posts on you.
It gets better. The truth is ... you just have to wait. Do I wish there was better advice? Fuck yes. I spent years dealing with it - my saving grace being the headphones and preparing for the day I could prove certain people wrong. Does life still act like a bitch on some days and kick you in the balls? Of course it does. But it's still better than adolescence. As I get closer and closer to, I guess, "adulthood" -- married and closing in on 30, not going to be able to spin that any other way -- I realize that getting older isn't about all of a sudden waking up with all the answers. It's about the time you spent getting here. Those lessons inevitably make you who you are. Maybe I'm in the minority (doubt it) but when I hear people looking back at their teenage years with fondness -- longing for the nostalgia of high-school dances or football games. I'm actually glad I don't have their lives. I would fucking hate if my happiness peaked in high-school. I would hate if that was as good as it gets. The secret is ... it's not. Sure, cherish being young - enjoy the moments you have - but use them to learn how to be you. Because soon, you'll be pushed from the nest - and that's the life you should be preparing for. And while I don't purport to have all the answers ... it's always easier to fly if you believe you can.
If it were me ... Pandora(ish?) version: I'd be talking to someone about getting my service in all cars. Kill traditional radio. And I'd want a button on the dashboard where if I like a song, I can push one button to buy the album or song - and it'll automatically download to my iPhone/iPod/computer back home.
If It Were Me ... Myspace Edition: Drastic times call for drastic matters. What would I do? Change. Re-think how you would build the website/company if you were starting from scratch. Ditch the idea that you're fighting for identities online. Become a social aggregator (like FriendFeed was) that allows you to import all of your social streams (with commenting). Allow bands to better import outsides feeds with their music pages (and combine all of this into one front page feed like facebook). Remove all of the giant ads on the site and focus on smaller ad campaigns. Maybe even go completely ad-free for 6 months.
I think it's time someone tried a game changing move in the music industry. Someone with money. Someone that's been lagging in recent product launches and needs to do something to really re-spark the public interest.
Microsoft - I'm looking at you.
Want to be cool again? It's time for a device that you pay a monthly fee on (like an iPhone data plan) that gives you unlimited access to music. That let's you download music from any source (omgz, yes leaks, etc.) and a % of your monthly fee goes to the artists on your device (I listen to a lot of Manchester Orchestra one week - they get a higher percentage of my monthly fee). Put some smart people in front of the numbers and let's figure this out. Let's make it ridiculously simple.
Leaks, release dates ... a thing of the past. Spend the insane amount of money it would take to convince labels that their way is no longer working. I bet if you spent as much as you are trying to overtake Google with Bing -- you'd be able to change the music industry (and compete with Apple's iPod) in 2 years. Here's a battle you can win by innovating instead of copying.
If I was running Google and Murdoch said he was going to pull all Fox "News" articles from the Google index, I'd say -- "fine, we'll help you out and remove MySpace too." That would be the final nail in that coffin.
There hasn't been much hype for the new Paramore album at all around here. I was wondering if anyone was even talking about it - so looked around online. Not much talk about it at all from what I could see. Even fanpages seemed sorta disinterested (not what I expected at all). Guess Brazil will still go nuts for it -- but has the hype left this band? I like the new CD for what it is (which is important to take into account). Wonder how it will sell. Any thoughts? Anyone else seeing similar things?
I got a lot of reactions from people for the "industry" blog I posted yesterday. Quite a few emails, quite a few comments here, twitter, and facebook. I am glad people are at least thinking about it. And that it's on your minds. I think one of the problems with the industry nowadays is that everyone waits for someone else to make a move. No one wants to take the risk. So everyone sits and wants to see success from the other guy before adopting a new strategy.
Where's the innovation? Where's the competition? Where's the capitalistic spirit!
I am well aware that I'm going to be in the minority of my profession when I say this ... but I am starting to think all advances and promo copies should be abolished. Let's all get the music at the same time. Put the "professional" back on par with the "fan." The music industry is changing so slowly I feel like I'll be 60 before anything drastic (and real) happens.
I'm playing around with iTunes 9 this morning and decided to write down some thoughts about what I would do to improve the program. Just one of those "if it were me" moments that I felt like blogging about. Just random thoughts and such ...
1) Open up/improve your API. Allow people to build onto your system (especially online in the cloud). I want to display the last X albums for a band on their AP.net profile - automatically -- I can't. The open platforms of Twitter (and even Facebook) show what can be done by being more open with things.
2) Allow me to grab affiliate links by right clicking. We use affiliate links around AP.net for stuff, but linking to iTunes is a pain in the ass. I can't just find something on iTunes and link to it (with my affiliate id) without going through a time consuming process. While we're at it - allow more people to be part of the affiliate program. Give people iTunes credits for every 5 people they get to buy something on the store (make the send to facebook/twitter links worth something).
3) Full length previews. Give me 5 plays and then I have to buy it or something. Or figure out some system. But 30 seconds previews need to go.
4) Send me physical album art when I buy an album on iTunes. I'll pay $2-3 more if I get a sweet poster in the mail. This would get me to stop buying physical releases all together if the art's 8x8 or above.
5) Let me share playlists through iTunes with my friends or have easy links for email.
6) Gimme a profile through iTunes I can link people to ... show my favorite albums, playlists, recently played songs, wishlist ... or at the very least team up with Facebook and let this information display on my profile/app or something.
7) Allow personalized recommendations. Let the users be able to recommend stuff. Say I'm listening to Band X and I think fans would like Band Y ... let me click a button to add that comment to the database or something.
8) Branded iTunes stores. I want an AbsolutePunk.net store within iTunes (and a version that lives online). Where I can recommend stuff, post new albums coming out, have charts for my members ... things like that.
9) Why can't I buy the digital booklet without buying the album?
10) Why aren't lyrics included in my tracks I buy through the store?
11) Why can't I buy the bonus tracks separately a few weeks after the release date or something?
12) Why is there not a website version? Don't mind the program, but you could reproduce it online and not force people to download 80mb files.
Is it just me or has the pop-punk world been pretty dismal and quiet lately? This year didn't really produce a whole lot from it (of quality) ... is the genre on its way out? Or has the over saturation just led me to zone out most of it? Really the only stuff I can think of I enjoyed listening to from that genre this year is ...
1) The Dangerous Summer
3) Boys Like Girls **
4) All Time Low
5) Set Your Goals
** Regardless of the weird backlash that album is getting - I think it's an extremely strong pop album (better than their first) and I would have had it at #2 until I hear the new Cartel disc (which still has a chance of swooping to #1).
Have a question for all you "lots of music" iPoders out there. Do you put your entire library on your ipod, or just stuff you're going to listen to? I ask because my iPod can hold 160gb. My library is 77.77gb. So technically, I can put everything on my ipod (and have room to spare). However, do I really want to do that and scroll through everything? Or is the back-up a good idea?
Yes, this is the question of the day and the sort of stuff that goes through my mind.
I think the release of an instrumental version along with the regular version of Imogen Heap's new album is a great idea. Sometimes I like just putting on instrumental music to zone out while working (and when they exist, like Bleed American, for my favorite albums - even better). More bands and artists should do this. Grab it here.