Posts Tagged ‘mp3’

The SXSW Music Sampler for 2014 is now available

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Over on SXSW Baby!, the annual 80 track sampler of the SXSW Music Festival has just been posted. Covering a wide range of musical styles, sounds, genres, and performers all playing in Austin this week and next, it brings together YouTube videos, Soundcloud clips, and other media in one handy file for you to unzip and pop on your current ‘device with an MP3 player’.

DOWNLOAD the SXSW Baby! “Best of SXSW 2014″ sampler link (314 Mb)

I wanted to create some great moments when listening to the songs, to have the music flow into each other, to have sequences that would allow you to both dip in and out of the sampler, or stick it on a five hour playlist (which should just about reach from the TSA screening at your local airport to the reception desk of your hotel – or twice through if you’re flying from Europe).

If the eighty tracks feels too much for you, then you can break it down to eight ten-track playlists.

  • Welcome to SXSW (Tracks 1-10)
  • The Second Bite Sounds Just As Nice (Tracks 11-20)
  • Chill Out And Kick Back (Tracks 21-30)
  • The Music Of America (Tracks 31-40)
  • Foot On The Amplifier (Tracks 41-50)
  • The Wonderful World of Music (Tracks 51-60)
  • Turn On The Electrics (Tracks 61-70)
  • We Hope It Never Ends (Tracks 71-80)

If you’re not sure, here’s the deal. Listen to the first ten tracks. I’m confident that not only will this give you a great hit of SXSW Music, but you’ll want to listen to the rest of the sampler.

Oh and our 2014 performers in full?

Adam Arcuragi, Ages and Agesm Air Traffic Controller, American Authors, The Apache Relay, Band of Skulls, Barcelona, Basia Bulat, The Belle Brigade, Black Books, Blacklist Royals, Boy & Bear, Bring Me The Horizon, Caroline Rose, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cello Fury, Charli XCX, The Crookes, David Ramirez, The Devil Makes Three, East Cameron Folkcore, Elle King, Ezra Furman, Gabby Young and Other Animals, Good for Grapes, The Griswolds, Heymoonshaker, Hollis Brown, Honeyblood, Hozier, Hunter Hunted, James Bay, Jeetta, Judith Hill, July Talk, Kashmere Stage Band, Katie Herzig, Kill it Kid, Kongos, Kyle Andrews, Leif Vollebeck, Lincoln Durham, Lions in the Street, Little Daylight, London Grammar, The Lonely Wild, Los Lonely Boys, Magic Man, Mandolin Orange, Matrimony, Mia Dyson, Mighty Oaks, MisterWivers, Moon Taxi, Neulore, Nonono, Only Real, Pockets, Poolside, Quiet Company, Saintseneca, San Fermin, Shelby Earl, Skream, Sleeping At Your Door, Social Studies, Streets of Laredo, The Strypes, Talib Kweli, Timber Timbre, Tinariwen, Tom Easton, Typhoon, The Unlikley Candidates, Vnace Joy, Wardell, The Whigs, Wild Party, and The Wilderness of Manitoba.

Don’t forget to listen to Edinburgh Nights every week!

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

You might recall that after this year’s radio broadcast of the  Edinburgh Fringe chat show came to the end, I decided to keep the format alive and showcase all the fun things in Edinburgh each week (that would have been the moment for a David Tennant-esque “I don’t want to go…”). It’s three months later, and Edinburgh Nights is still on the air, at 3pm every Friday, with a podcast available to listen again to the show (if you’re in Edinburgh), or to listen fresh to the whole hour if you are further afield.

It’s a show that continues to evolve, but being able to highlight the great bands playing in the capital, give some airtime to the theatre shows around Edinburgh, and to go beyond the ten minute set from the comedians playing the Festival city, are all adding up to an exciting hour every week.

If you’re not yet listening, head over to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast, and if you are a regular listener, why not think about leaving a review?

Winamp’s playlist runs out

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Winamp to become null software on December 21st. Goodbye old friend, although you are now lurking in my C:/ and rarely called into action you never let the world down. Enjoy Silicon Heaven.

What happens after MP3?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

If, as NPR manages to extrapolate, music formats change every thirty years, what will replace the MP3 file?

CD’s stand for Cool Delivery or something equally hip

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Rob Manuel, in praise of CDs:

CDs don’t pause between tracks like your iPod/Spotify. This matters on albums that are meant to run together. Say Dark Side of the Moon. These records are broken by this [MP3]  tech. If I was Roger Waters I’d take a shit in Apple’s office and refuse to stop shitting until this was fixed.

There are some more sensible reasons as well, but as a Mike Oldfield fan, I love this one. Of course Oldfield got around this by making Amarok just one track…

How the old music industry subjugate the new online start-ups

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Nobody wants to acknowledge how sausages are made, so i can;t help thinking that Michael Robertson decided to illustrate the financial mudslide that online music streaming sites are on by comparing services like Spotify to a Hot Dog stand:

Such economic demands [go read the article, basically give us more money than you bring in from subscribers or else] may be imaginary for the hot dog business, but they are the stark reality that every digital-music subscription service such as Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG, Rdio, and others must confront. These details aren’t well-known because digital music service deals are always wrapped tightly with strict non-disclosure agreements.

For the first time, people are talking, and these previously secret demands are being made public. The specifics are even more onerous than the hot dog example cited above. Together they doom online audio companies to a life of subjugation to the labels, as you will learn below.

Doom and gloom at GigaOM.

Glastonbury Preview on this week’s Rock Show

Friday, June 17th, 2011

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Looking forward to the big summer music festival next week on The Rock Show (iTunes link), with my personal recommendations of Glastonbury acts. For the record I’ve not listened to the 2000 acts who will be in the muddy fields, but you’re not going to go wrong with The Naked and Famous, Admiral Fallow, James Vincent McMurrow, Darwin Deez or Ron Sexsmith.

Download your SXSW Music Highlights

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

While you could sit on the SXSW Music website and listen to all the bands there (or be pushed towards their MySpace pages), that’s a lot of music to listen to. With SXSW rapidly approaching you might not have the time to get through all the bands. But never fear, the web is here.

Simon D, on his Outroversion website, has went through the bands and culled out 85 tracks that he believes are the highlights of SXSW. Not only that, but he’s wrapped them all up in one archive file for you to download onto your MP3 player of choice:

Two things you should remember if you have the very gall to complain- 1. This took me ages 2. It’s just my opinion 3. If you don’t like it do it yourself… Ok 3 things!

If you like the musical stylings that I’ve offered over the past 1 year and 18 days then chances are you’ll like my selections. I’ve left off a few of the better known artists like Eisley, Boxer Rebellion, She Keeps Bees, etc.

More information on Simon’s selection here, or you can head straight for the archive file on Multiupload.

(Cross posted from the SXSW Baby blog).

Download My Commentary Track for Tonight’s Eurovision Song Contest

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

More temporal reporting from the modern Internet as I present my commentary for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest final. It’s the Grand Final tonight, with 25 countries battling it out for the right to, well, host the contest next year.

As I’m still here, reporting on the Song Contest in Moscow, while watching the dress rehearsals I’ve recorded a commentary track for those who (a) are watching on the free internet stream at and have no commentator, or (b) who would like something a little bit different to the regular TV commentators.

Please note that the commentary is very much a neutral affair, with little bias towards any country and more factual and eyebrow raising humour than out and out bitching and catty calls about the songs.

After you grab the MP3 files, you need to start the track at the correct time. Start the MP3 before Eurovision starts, I’ll remind you of what I’m about to write.

After the introduction music and my first comments, you’ll hear a beep on the track. At that point press pause. When Dima Bilan stops singing “Believe” (last year’s winning track) and the audience begin to applaud, un-pause the track, and we’ll be away. My guess is that should have everyone synced up within one second.

Now for the rest of the show. Timing is a tricky one here, as the show is running to a timetable but could slip, so you have a choice of two tracks. Both should work, but choose the track that fits best with your watching habits.

Option One (Download MP3 by right clicking here)

A 105 minute long track that covers all the songs, with hopefully the right gaps between songs, adverts and visits to the green room. Once you’ve unpaused after the Dima Bilan stops singing “Believe”, leave your MP3 player running. The easier track to listen to, but more likely to slip out of sync

Option Two (Download MP3 by right clicking here)

After syncing at the end of Dima Bilan’s singing, after each of my introductions you’ll hear the same beep. That’s your cue to pause the MP3 and enjoy the song. Un-pause as the song ends, you’ll get my introduction, and then another beep. And so on through the contest. Note that you only pause at a beep, not a silence (so leave the track running through the commercial break and the two trips to the Green Room).

Whichever track you download, do let me know how you get on. I’ll be doing textual commentary on Twitter (which will be live!)  so follow @ewanspence for the full audio, text and pictorial commentary from 54th Eurovision Song Contest!

And once it’s all over, your feedback either in the comments or by email ( would be very much appreciated.

The Friday Rock Show Podcast

Friday, May 1st, 2009

The Songs for Europe aside, it’s time for this week’s TPN Rock, and it’s a wide range of styles this week, from slow and soulful to swine flu inspired delight!

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Show Notes – Download MP3 – RSS Feed

Ewan Spence at Work

Why Do MP3’s Encourage Piracy while AAC Is The Salvation on the Nintendo DSi?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

What is in the water at Nintendo UK? There’s a nice interview with David Yarnton in the Times today, talking about the soon to be launched in the UK Nintendo DSi. It’s an evolution of the existing DS Lite, with basic cameras, SD Card support and an on-device store.

Are they talking on the iPhone? Of course they are. But sometimes I wonder just what they think pirates are up to. First of all they’re proud that the DSi will not recognise the R4 Card (which is used to run homebrew code and .nds downloaded games). That protection should last about… ooh… 27 minutes.With updateable firmware Yarnton reckons they can keep one step ahead at all times.

Like that worked on the PSP.

But even more wacky is the music support. With SD card support, a small form factor, and a regular headphone socket, this could be a great little music player. But Nintendo don’t want you to even think about playing pirate music on the DSi. Let me quote directly:

As for music, if we allowed MP3 playback, a lot of those files may be pirated. We support AAC, which is the format used by Apple and iTunes.

David Yarnton, interviewed on The Times.

Give me strength. Because nobody has ever wondered how to change MP3 files into AAC files.

Oh, hold on. Import an MP3 into iTunes and it will convert it to an AAC file. But pirates would never think of that….

Why I’m Making Status Quo Sound Crap

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

In preparation for my travels this March, I’m making sure I have a bundle of playlists ready to transfer onto my MP3 Player of choice (likely to be the gen 2 iPod Nano), and one of them is proving interesting in terms of why music is so powerful.

The playlist replicates one of my old C90 audio tapes which had two albums by Status Quo on it. One side had ‘Perfect Remedy’ and the other ‘Ain’t Complaining.’ The problem was that there was something missing from the music. It took me a while to figure out what it was.

There were too many songs, and one of the songs seems to go on for waaay too long. Something wasn’t right. So I dived into the old tape box to find out why. Turns out the answer is both obvious and shows what’s not great about perfect digital music.

At some point in time, the tape had been very slightly melted – perhaps by being next to a radiator or something. And then I remembered that because of the melt, the tape on one side stopped early because it couldn’t fit on the other spool, and the auto-reverse kicked in. I never heard the end of one album (it cut off slap bang in the middle of a song) and never heard the opening track on the other side.

So while I might not have a perfect copy of the album, it was wrong. I had to bring one of the files into Audacity to stretch about ten seconds of one track, and then truncate it rather brutally, to get back to the emotional experience that I remember.

Now, how do I explain this one to the kids…

Teh Quo

Shall We Revive The Mixtape For SXSW Interactive?

Friday, February 20th, 2009

An idea I’ve had for a while, now given an airing for the upcoming SXSW Interactive conference. I’m going to call it MP3 Shuffle, and throw together a quick WordPress Blog for the project (

[MP3 Shuffle is] a musical project at SXSW Interactive 2009, where attendees put together a Modern Mixtape on a USB Memory Stick, and swap it with others via a big cardboard box throughout the Conference. Please use #mp3shuffle to tag any posts, twitters or other online media discussing the project.

You can throw questions about it, how it works, and everything else at me here, there, or on Twitter, because I’ll tell you now I’ve not done a lot of planning on this, it’s going to be organised (as much as it is) in the open and en clair.

Consider me the catalyst on this one, rather than the Head Honcho. The end result (after scanning said USB Memory Sticks, because there is the risk of some malware here) should be we all find some great new music, we all blog about the emotion of music, and we do something cool.

UPnP, the Nokia N95 and Windows Media Player

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Over on All About Symbian, I’ve posted a tutorial on linking the Nokia N95 (and other Nseries devices) to your Windows Media Player collection on your PC, using the Universal Plug and PLay (UPnP) protocols and Nokia’s Home Media client on the handset.

Yes you can still hook up the phone over USB, or a bluetooth connection, but there’s something satisfying about browsing the full collection (about 20GB) on the handset, clicking copy, and it’s there, all without getting up from the sofa.

The Home Media application reminds me a lot of Nokia’s first stab at a podcasting application – the functionality is all there, but it’s lacking a little bit of polish. The podcasting app is now both a separate standalone application and fully integrated into the music player. I think that’s where Home Media application aspires to reach in the next year. For the moment it’s a solid little utility that’s well worth setting up.

N95 UPnPUPnP N95

More over at All About Symbian.