Category Archives: music

Wanted: a Digital Piano for the Apartment

digital piano

I learned in December that I still love playing the piano.   I hadn’t played in years but the many feet of snow outside inspired me to sit in the warm basement and remember how to play.  Since then I’ve been thinking more about it and recently a few piano playing friends pointed me in this direction for buying a digital piano:

  • Pianos need all 88 keys.
  • Pianos need to make beautiful music and must handle 32 notes polyphony.
  • Pianos need weighted keys.

I’ve started to narrow my search for the brands and models that I want to try.  If you have any extra digital pianos around the house you no longer play or if you have recommendations (and I know family members and friends who play are reading this) please let me know.

Chopin Announces Your Call But I Had No Idea

I have a custom ring tone setup on my cell phone when my bride Amanda calls (all the rest of you get the sound of an old phone ringing). Yesterday at work I heard her calling but the phone was in the cabinet so I turned down the radio and got up to grab the phone. And suddenly she hung up on me. I sat down and turned up the speakers again and there was her ring again. What was going on? The computer can’t receive calls so it had to be that the music playing was same song as the ring tone.

The song that Last.fm was playing at the time was Chopin’s Étude No. 5 in G-Flat Major “Black Keys. All I knew about the ring tone was that it was the only pleasing music that would suit a call from Amanda and that it was named melody07.mid.

Think I am going crazy and hearing things? You be the judge. Continue reading Chopin Announces Your Call But I Had No Idea

Goodbye Yahoo Music


I’ve enjoyed the Yahoo! Music Unlimited service for more than two years and today’s news about the transfer of the subscribers to Rhapsody isn’t a surprise after all that has been happening in the world of digital music.

Digital rights management (DRM) is one of the downsides of subscription services because the tracks can’t go on a portable mp3 player unless you pay more per month and then the tracks only work on certain players. You can get around that by purchasing tracks and albums and burning to CD and then rippping the tracks to your computer and then after all of that you can add them DRM-free to your favorite mp3 player. Annoying!

The problem with DRM is hinted at in this question & answer from Yahoo! regarding the migration of the subscribers to Rhapsody (emphasis mine):

I purchased tracks and albums through Yahoo! Music Unlimited. Can I play them in Rhapsody?

Yahoo!-purchased tracks can be imported into and played on Rhapsody. Instructions on how to import tracks after you’ve migrated will be available soon. We strongly recommend you back up your purchased tracks to CDs in the event that they do not play successfully using Rhapsody’s Music Software.

This is exactly why I bought zero tracks from Yahoo! in these two years. I didn’t want to lose them when the software stopped working or the company was sold. Looks like playing it safe worked this time.

Are you going to switch to Rhapsody or take your business elsewhere? Do you have a better way to fill your life with music? (I’m keeping my eye on Last.fm and their upcoming subscription service.)

New Yahoo! Music: Listen from the Web

The new Yahoo! Music has an great new function that allows you to listen from the web site to any of the 2 million+ tracks in their collection as long as the music is in a playlist. To enjoy this unlimited music on the web install the Firefox plugin on your PC. Here’s what Yahoo! says about the beta version of the plugin:

If you have a subscription to Yahoo! Music Unlimited and want to listen to your tracks in Firefox using the Yahoo! Media Player, you need to install this plug-in. It currently works with Yahoo! Music web playlists, but full-length playback may not be available on other pages of Yahoo! Music at present.

Let’s take a look at some screen shots:
Continue reading New Yahoo! Music: Listen from the Web

Listen to Music Heard on iPod Ads

Music of the iPod Ads

I don’t own an iPod but I do love discovering new music. If you love music and have enjoyed some of the songs featured on iPod ads you’re going to appreciate my playlist of songs featured in iPod and iPhone commercials.

Apple’s iPod Commercials Music, a playlist on Yahoo Music Jukebox

You don’t need an iPod to enjoy these songs. You can listen to 30-second samples from the web site or if you are a subscriber to Yahoo Music Jukebox you can listen to the full versions in near CD quality.

Don’t worry, I’m not keeping track of every song on every ad — that’s what Wikipedia is for. What I did do was take the list of tracks and make them easy to listen to.