Communal interactive jukebox

[I wrote this in 2003 - there are still pieces of this vision that haven't been realized]

why isn’t there a little wireless didgeridoo that just sits next to a cd player (stereo audio input), with a wireless network card, and maybe an ip address or a network id or something that you can initially configure easily/remotely by plugging in a computer via a usb or something, that just sits there and plays whatever your laptop running winamp tells it to by wireless???

apparently these exist already :(
but they’re pretty crap at the moment – they’re proprietary, and are only just getting up to speed with 802.11b etc.

this doesn’t exist though:
you could set a password to it, and then anyone with a laptop nearby who knew its id and had the password, could wrest control of it, e.g. at a party. better still, you could have a sort of queuing system/software for allowing different users to place requests, and people could vote whether they like what’s playing and that person’s reputation would go up – like slashdot karma – it would be a sort of communal interactive jukebox

What’s blowin’ in the wind?

[Thanks to Stephen Hartley-Brewer for the kernel of this idea]

My brother is my musical weather vane, my song-canary who knows what’s good long before the rest of the world has cottoned on, and points out the things I’ll like. I treasure his advice, partly because it’s good, and partly because it comes from him.

But just for badness, pretend you don’t have a brother with his ear to the ground. Instead, you have a big computer that you’ve fed the listening habits of the entire world. Ask it two questions:

1) who is listening to music that’s hugely popular (or that I like) a year ago?

Those are your early adopters.

2) what are they listening to now?

Throw in some collaborative filtering to tailor the recommendations for me.

Are iTunes or Last.fm doing this to predict who’s going to be big next year?

Are the record labels doing this to predict where they should put their marketing money?

Can bands buy this information to figure out which users to send promo albums to?

If there was a prediction market for music, could my brother get paid to tell people what he likes and dislikes?

Adam Detre’s recommendations on music in late 2008

[this is quoted verbatim from an email from my brother]

sorry for the atrocious sepelling. i wrote this in the dark with a slightly broken keyboard…

Here are some of my favourite bands that i have listened to am listning to alot. Mainly in the last two months. Except Postal Service.

Try some or all.

I would love to listen to musics with you sometime.

Slow club-
http://www.myspace.com/slowclub
pretty. i liek them AT THE MOMENT. found them on the weekend.

Johnny Flynn
First person to open my eyes to folk. Love his voice.

Brendan Campbell.
Dont know much about him but he’s kinda like folk meets acoustic reggae – only got a few of his songs but i lve them and i am too scared to buy more incase they arent as good

Fleet Foxes
Harkness almost to PET SOUNDS – Beachboys. Really pretty laid bak musics ) i even bought the CD cos te album rtwork is great

Listen to SWAY, he a rapper dude but SAY it TWICE is one of my favourite moern hip hop tracks.

LAURA MARLING has SUCH pretty voice. So easy to melt into your thoughts while listening to her. my favourite is New Romantic

NOWon a slightly different note

I ADORE KINGS OF LEON and their last two albyus especially – Bause of the times is one of my favouriets.

And Cajun Dance Party

Crystal Castles
Super funky electro – Lots of lovely Blip Blop noises

POSTAL SERVICE one of my favourite bands of last year (GIVE UP is thieir only alub i thitknk but some of the remixes of their songs are great

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL introduced to m by BERGE. really good (semi-old apparentl clt following) indie band

LUDIVICO ENAUDI is BEEEUATIFUL modern classical musics. buy ANYTHING look at myspace of his.

MIA Sri Lanka rude gal elctro hip hop-sih in parts

SNTOGOLD similar genre to MIA

KANYE’s new album isnt bad from the songs i heard… dont hate me for saying that

ADELE’s album – 19 is BRILLIANT one of the nicest surpriswes of this year for me.Saw her live she was goooo

MGMT – first got turned onto the becuase radiohead were talkingabout them. They are nothing like radiohead. One of the best bands of this year again. Very happy-hippy-electro. NICE.

Testing the legs of the Sansa Express

My Sansa Express arrived yesterday.

Sansa express

We plugged it into Adrian’s Windows XP laptop, dragged some
files across, and went to eject it. No eject button on the
disk drive. Didn’t show up on the ‘safely remove device’
list. Huh. So we yanked it out, it played happily and all
appeared to be well.

When I got home, I plugged it into my Ubuntu laptop. A
Konqueror window opened up, I dragged some files across, and
went to eject it. Again, there was no ‘safely remove’ option in the
‘/media/usbdisk’ context menu, so I figured it was the same
deal. I yanked it out, but now it refused to light up, it wouldn’t turn
on, and when I popped it back in it didn’t mount. The thing was
dead.

I’ve played this game before with my old iRiver. So I downloaded the Sansa Express manual, looking for info on how to reformat or reset it. The hard reset instructions said to hold the ‘Select’ button while pressing ‘Volume up’ simultaneously. I
tried that a bunch of times, but still no dice. I started to sweat a little at that point, but ended up pressing lots of pairs of buttons simultaneously, and one of them seemed to do the trick. It might have been ‘menu’ + ‘volume up’.

After resetting, I retried things on my Ubuntu laptop, and this time put the computer to sleep to force a safe removal. I later found that manually entering ‘eject /media/usbdisk’ works too, though sometimes takes a while.

It looks like the Sansa Express tries to use MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) if you’re running XP/Vista, and falls back to UMS/MSC (i.e. just a normal USB hard disk) in OSX/Linux. The latter mode requires a safe removal.