A Conversation for MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3) Technical Guide

More MP3 Stuff

Post 1

Zach Garland

This was originally an email to a friend. I'm editing it and leaving it here for future reference.

Though I edited this piece, I'm only now really getting into and discovering MP3s. My system is comparatively slow (Pentium 200 on a 33 Modem) for these damn things. However, the Listen-On-Demand technology is getting better. Most of the time I can listen to at least thirty seconds before it starts 'skipping.' The use of http://www.idrive.com makes it a little easier to eventually save stuff to a zipdisk, and it's infused with MP3.com so well the interaction is near flawless.

What are some bands that you think are cool? Do you use WinAmp or something else?

I've known about MP3s for some time, but it's been a bitch to appreciate them until now. And I still wish I could get a cable modem. I'm downloading a six meg MP3 right now as I write and edit this and it's taking me about forty-five minutes to get it in my hard drive.

I'm trying to focus on local music. Ethnocentric of me, I know. However, I'm hoping to eventually get weekends off again, and I'd like to have familiar names of local talent in my head so I could glance at a newspaper or local Net Guide for Dallas Texas and see what's available. And no, I'm not looking for country western music. My tastes are a bit more eclectic than that.

There's some great stuff out there. There's also some pathetic crap.

Some examples of good stuff I've found include http://www.thebrowsers.com. Rock/Pop stuff. Not bad; Kate and Rearrange are replayable tunes. Like love power ballad type stuff.

Also a guy named Graham Flinn that's pretty cool. Funky blues. High energy jazz fusion, whatever that means. http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/36/graham_flinn.html I've listened to Big Fat Ax and Adrenaline Junkie and am considering hunting down a copy of his album to purchase. Nice sound. His tunes work great with visual WinAmp plug-ins that turn the music into a visual lightshow on your screen.

By the way, http://www.winamp.com is a shareware mp3 player with lots of bells and whistles and it's not crippleware. Though others may be better, this one is very slackful. Something for nothing. I'm seriously considering registering it anyway. Last I checked it was only ten bucks. It's an awesome program.

Leora Salo is a friend of mine from ren festivals who has a nice Celtic Jazz Folk sound. She considers herself a modern-day gypsy, and her music is more like sound paintings than the usual pop fare you'll hear on the radio. Definitely worth checking out and I'm not just saying that cuz she's a friend of mine. =) http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/24/leora_salo.html

I have Leora Salo's Remember Me CD and also another one she sent me personally. I recommend The More Things Change and Storm Rages On for online listening. Leora is an up and comer. Many radio stations across the country play her, and she's playing at the Celtic Quill here in Dallas this Saturday night in case anyone's interested. Next April she's scheduled for an album publicity tour that may take her to regional and even national locations. Sorry, probably not England yet, but you never know!

Though I bought her stuff in person, you can purchase most of this music online. That's one of the great things about MP3s. Contrary to the fears of the record industry, this "listen with an option to buy" functionality of MP3s online is infinitely better than radio. I used to buy a lot of albums but got chagrined when I'd take something home and only listen to it a couple times. I stopped buying records with any frequency for a few years. I also don't like buying things online, but I'll buy an album online almost at the drop of a hat if I like the music.

Over a year ago I found a Florida rock/pop group called Apples and Oranges that I still like. I bought their homegrown CD off the 'Net.
http://members.aol.com/applesoran/Home.html They're a nice combination of creatively infused guitars and keyboards with the voice of a woman who can go from melodic angel to spitfire vixen within an inhalation of breath. Very nice. Apples and Oranges is still one of my favorite online bands and has been for over a year.

One example of bad stuff is something called Arbuckle Indian Christmas; it's trying to be funny. They fall a bit short. They sound like a handful of drunk guys who get together on weekends and turn on the microphones and amplifiers when ever something vaguely amusing strikes them. Recording whims. What disturbs me is I may be living next door to these guys for all I know.

Some of the stuff I hear reminds me of my high school and college days with garage bands and kitchen sink bands. I was a keyboardist for the Never-Heard band called The Dirty Tampons. Long story. Another band name we used was A Bunch Of Guys Who Just Happen To Have
Instruments. Stuff like that. I might still have cassettes of our work around here somewhere.. HA! Maybe I should convert them to MP3 files! Just for grins! LOL!

Imagine the damage my drunk buddies and I could have done if mp3.com existed back in the late eighties! Even the bad stuff presently found in mp3.com is still interesting to experience. Though not worth the multi-megabyte download, a LowPlay listen to something you've never heard before can at least be.. educational.

Check mp3.com's regional listings for bands and artists in your area. Talk to your friends and see if they've found anything interesting. Find out what you like to listen to, then figure out what mp3.com calls your favorite genres of music, and every once in awhile click on something you're pretty sure you won't like. You might be surprised.

And feel free to laugh. Some of this stuff is meant to be bad. It's all part of the fun. smiley - smiley

More MP3 Stuff

Post 2


I also have a page for my band on mp3.com
We're at www.mp3.com/Meridien
It's all interesting stuff with a wide variety of styles and sounds.
I also have sponsored a few of my recording studio clients there:
These three groups are all Christian groups.


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