Friday, November 30, 2012

Fire The Head of iTunes. iTunes 11 review: The Worst Interface Update In Years.

The iTunes director must be fired. I have nothing good to say about iTunes 11. Every year iTunes keeps getting worse without fail. Not since the first iPod has iTunes been a good program. I am very disappointed in Apple's software division and leadership. Anyway, lets get going on this review.

When you first boot up the latest iTunes 11 it gives you two windows. One of them is for tutorials. I should never need a tutorial to use a jukebox program. I don't need a wizard either. But they gave us one.

Here is the crappy tutorial window that pops up. There is no way I'm going to touch anything on this. Immediately its in my way. So I off-click it.

Next up is the main player screen. The sidebar is gone. It looks like I don't have any album covers either. At least 50% of my music does not have anything. The first thing I try to do is get album covers. It takes me a minute to figure out I have to select all 168 albums. Then right click to "get artwork." It still fails on 50% of the albums. This album view is still very ugly.

As you can see here, iTunes can't get album artwork for all of my songs. Many of my euro-albums don't come up for example.

Hidden in some kind of cloud dialog box is your next/previous playtrack. WTF! Nothing as good as

What the hell does this blue icon mean? Well it brings up a really shitty vertical timeline of upcoming tracks. It disappears when you are done. The fact it disappears and that its vertical pisses me off for some reason. Its a very small pop-up window for such a large feature.

The designers of iTunes were not done fucking up this piece of software. The biggest piece of shit in iTunes 11 is the updated miniplayer which is activated by an icon that looks like a "fullscreen" function. It actually shrinks your player and it goes into small piece of shit mode.

Here we have two icons that both look like they activate fullscreen mode.

Not only are the expand/hide icons now on the left instead of top-right (why did they move?), that shitty blue  icon is back. It brings up a totally different looking playlist. Wait, where is the fucking volume control? OH, its inside that shitty up-vote arrow thats pointing to a square TV. What the hell is that icon supposed to be? Well we had to click it to find out.

The volume slider is horizontal. But since its a pop-out dialog now, they should have made it vertical, like youtube. They made it worse. Apparently it controls different zones but I have no idea whats going on when I click on these things. Its just another hidden control.

Whoever designed this piece of shit likes GUI features that magically disappear.

Lastly I have to say one more thing about the mini player. When you aren't using it all the controls disappear into an Apple icon. I accidently click the wrong button when I mouse over it and the controls suddenly appear. What the fuck were they thinking?

In album mode, a giant horizontal THING appears when you click on an album. If you don't have the full album, there won't be any information here. It will look even stupider when you don't have album art. More player controls appear within this band making it even more complicated.

At this point in the review I can tell you with certainty this is the absolute worst iTunes of all time.

Other complaints, there is a cloud icon,  next to the category drop down that does absolutely nothing. I'm literally clicking on Mr. cloud, and nothing will happen. It looks nice at least. The itunes store also looks confused, with album covers slammed into the margins and scroll bars tha magically appear.  I don't like the iTunes store now either.

The visualizer is the same, however the windowed version is gone. You must be in a fullscreen mode to access the visualizer now. Argh.

Lastly, a complaint I've had forever. Literally over half a decade I've been complaining about this. ITUNES DOESN'T REMEMBER MY PLACE WHEN I TURN IT OFF!!! Every computer system has saves. Even microsoft word will save my progress. But if I turn off iTunes, it won't remember my spot. Everything I was looking at or had queued up gets cleared away. It even sends me to a different window than before (The tutorial screen again).

Holy shit iTunes 11 is bad. I really do hope they start firing these guys in the iTunes divsion. Apple, you have some of the worst, backwards thinking, shitty GUI designers I've ever seen. What the fuck.



Friday, November 16, 2012

I Heart Synthesizers

Check out these great pixel art illustrations!

More Here By Dusty Portrait

Thursday, November 15, 2012

6 Instructables For Electronic Music & Synthesizer DIY

My first Synth by Rodolfo


Korg LunchBox Synth


Television Oscilloscope


Spherical Speaker Array


Analog Synthesis With the Computer

Atari Punk Stick

Analog Four Demo Sounds By Elektron

Analog Four Demo Sounds By Elektron.

Analog Four Site Sounds by Elektron
The device marries a 4-voice synth - featuring fully analogue oscillators, filters and signal path - with an advanced Elektron sequencer. It also features chorus, delay and reverb effects plus CV/Gate and DIN sync outputs. Check out the full spec below.

The Analog Four is set to start shipping 3 December and has an RRP of £899/$1149.

This is a decent price considering the other alternatives brand new. Sounds fantastic to me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

DDR For Commodore 64 - HardSync

"Hardsync is a C64 party game that follows in the (wait for it...) footsteps of games like Dance Dance Revolution and StepMania.

Using a custom adapter, I've connected a PlayStation 2 dance mat to one of the joystick ports of the C64."

More Here

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Genre-based E.D.M. Tutorials Ruin Creativity and The Music Scene

There are many tutorials for specific genres. These videos show how to copy a sound and style of music. The problem is that they don't allow people to experiment with the tools they have. The people searching for these tutorials don't have the knowlege to do it another way. They introduce people who are not specifically expressive or have been previously oriented toward music into a robotic way of production. When they've finished the tutorial they hope to sell generic music on itunes.

Trance, dubstep, rap, ___-wave, etc. are all examples of "tutorial genres." Most of the online radio stations today are playing tutorial music from uncreative producers. Its all crap.

If you don't know how to make music on the computer, read the manual. You are not supposed to be copying other peoples style. You can make any type of music you want. Don't follow tutorials or any school of thought. It kills creativity and it makes your music dated.


Ted Talk on how schools kill creativity:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Hack Your PS2 Memory Card And Run Anything

How to hack your PS2 Memory Card With MCBoot The Easy Way. Soft mod your Ps2!

You will need:

  1. Blank Sony Memory Card (One you don't mind overwriting. I bought an 8Mb official red)

  2. Official Sony PS2 To PS3 Memory USB Adaptor (Try ebay, although they seem a little rare)

  3. Windows XP

  4. The software drivers and MCBoot tools

  5. These instructions

  6. An IDE hard drive or USB memory drive to store games and progams. If you get the hard drive make sure its compatible with your PS2 Fat on this website. You will also need a sony network adaptor (which does online, ethernet, and connects to the hard drive). I already had one.

  7. Game roms or Isos...try the pirate bay and search "PS2" in the PSX category.

Once you have all these materials you can create hacked memory cards for you and your friends. Use the tutorial link above. With the card plugged in your PS2 will boot into a new, hacked, file menu. This lets you load anything and change settings.

Soon I will be doing more game reviews and music reviews. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Love Novation Supernova II Rack Pro-X

  1. Every patch sounds great

  2. Its easy to tweak presets

  3. High Build Quality

  4. Its blue

  5. Excellent knob feel

  6. The digital distortion actually sounds good

  7. It has fat filters

  8. The resonance is good.

  9. It has a lot of memory

  10. It has good electronic drums

  11. It reminds me of a Prophet, 303, and a Moog.

  12. The screen is easy to read

  13. Controls are somewhat logical

  14. It has multiple outputs

  15. Its fairly light

  16. It allows for input on the front panel

  17. On top of all that it has a vocoder

  18. The printed manual actually explains how effects and filters work with illustrations!

  19. The sync/fm sounds are insane

  20. Very good basses

  21. All the effects sound good and reverbs are excellent.

  22. Filter overdrive knob!

Cons: Almost none. You can emulate supersaw if you are sneaky. It may not have as many effects as Roland, but the ones on here tend to sound better. They probably could have made more oscillator types, but this does have more modifications to the oscilators that exist than I've seen on other systems.

Rating: A    

Update: I have to admit that I sold this synth, as much as I loved its sound. I didn't have time to program it. If the used price wasn't so much I'd consider getting it again. I've been looking at Nord Lead because I want something nastier than the SuperNova.

The Supernova II goes from bright to dark sounds very easily and is extremely musical. Must buy.