13 Jan

Why Songbird fell short of becoming my audio player (back to iTunes)

Some time has past since my last post. I was really hoping to find an alternative iTunes media player on the MAC. There were several reasons including the need to connect my android easily with my media. However after using Songbird for a while I came up to various issues where I could not live by day to day. The following is a sumary of the good and the bad of the program:

Pros:
– open-source
– syncs with my Android
– shows concerts and lyrics
– shows artist’s info, news, photos, and videos
– can directly browse the internet

Cons:
– slow with big libraries and start up
– no visualizer
– Some very important add-on do not download to the latest (even I tried various hacks)
– playback does not follow track in library (yes, there is an add-on called FocusTrack that does this but does not install with the latest MAC version)
– direct conflict with the media shortcuts on an Apple Keyboard (again there is an add-on that does not work). This is super annoying because whenever you hit the “Play” key, iTunes starts to open and play.
– The current MAC version does not consolidate media like iTunes by organizing the folders neatly.
– No direct pod-casting feature like iTunes where each show has a page and everything can be seen neatly with description and picture. You can access RSS via Songbird but it is very primitive and way behind iTunes.

I really wished Songbird had matured enough so I can make the switch. It seems that iTunes is what I need to go back to and live with.

Does any of you know of a good alternative?

 

05 Jan

Producing Maneli Jamal’s New Album/Sacred Balance Album Release/ICOT CD Release

I am super excited about 2012!

Some of the developments about the next few months are as follows:

– Recording/producing Maneli Jamal’s next album in the coming weeks with my good friend Benjamin Gendron-Smith. If you don’t know Maneli, you better go check him out now. He is an amazing modern finger-style guitarist with quite a large following. I have met with him the last weeks and went through the pre-production phase with him. We are going to hit the studio this weekend.

– I am so happy to announce that all of the artists for the Sacred Balance show are confirmed as of now. Here is from the press release:

Dual-city (Toronto/Montreal) based electro-visionary trip rock band Sacred Balance celebrate the release of their self-titled debut independent EP at Toronto’s El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue) on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. The special guest is award winning Toronto composer, pianist, electronic musician John Kameel Farah, as he returns from fall tour dates in Germany; and folk/rock singer-songwriter Carlo Meriano will open the night.

The current Sacred Balance member lineup consists of Montreal’s Pouya Hamidi (founder/keyboard/programming), and Toronto’s Chloe Charles (vocals/lyrics), Neil Whitford (guitar), Mackenzie Longpre (drums), Kelly Lefaive (violin) and Andrew Roorda (Bass). For this show, VJ Zum One works along-side the band projecting an improvised video experience, and djembe artist and prominent part of the Toronto Drum Circle movement Tim Gentle sits in as guest musician.

– Finally, I am working closely with Persian Piano Night artists for creating a CD partly recorded this past fall in Montreal. It will features compositions from the PPN series of concerts that we had.

Ok gotta get back to work!

Talk to you soon,
Pouya.

05 Jan

Is Songbird a good Open-Source alternative to iTunes?

Using a MAC has a lot of benefits such as no antivirus software hogging RAM and having vast amount of audio program available for it. One of the nags I have about Apple though is it can be a close company. For instance technologies behind iTunes DAAP streaming have not been revealed. I guess their justification is to be able to compete with their competition. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I decided to attempt to get away from an Apple product and see if I can find an open-source alternative.

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