- iTunes tip for people who use their own programs to rip their music:
While having nice looking cover art is a rather attractive way to browse through your music, the larger and more detailed the image, the larger the size of the music file that has that incorporates that image into its tag. Now multiply that image by the amount of tracks on the album, and you'll find that while the images may not be a terribly large file size on their own, cumulatively they take up quite a lot of disc space.
iTunes only ever accesses the cover art from the first track on an album. Since the cover art on the subsequent files only shows up on the bottom left-hand corner of the iTunes window and on the iPod screen when playing the track, there is no reason why the images on those files have to be large or detailed.
I tend to find a rather nice and detailed picture of the cover art that I put on track one, and make a small thumbnail for the rest of the tracks in Photoshop, which is more than enough for the little iPod screen. This allows you to have a nice looking cover on your computer and the iPod's cover flow without having to waste too much space on the images. I went through my iTunes library and made these changes and found that I saved quite a bit of space on my iPod.
I have not tested it, but this method should work with the iPod Touch and iPhone as well.
- Kentucky Fried Laptop
My work laptop would cost $1800 to repair. While I would very much like to have it back — as much for work purposes, where I use it to program cards, fiberoptic multiplexers and pull performance monitor information, as for personal convenience — even I have to admit that $1800 is a rather excessive price for a five-year-old laptop. Unfortunately, the turnover for that particular budget is in March, so I may have to wait some time before my boss can order me one.
We have been informed that there will be a new dress code at work, and had to order shirts. It was supposed to go into effect last week, but not enough of the shirts had arrived, so it was postponed. We still haven't received all of the shirts for the gang, so the dress code has to be delayed again. The funny part about all of this is that when ordering the shirts in January, the website said to allow at least six to eight weeks for processing and shipping, which means that the pencil-pushers setting the policy dates haven't allowed for enough time for the shirts to be delivered before instituting the policy.
- Ponytail Junction
Between the Varèse Sarabande release of Freud, Film Score Monthly's release of the original tracks of Islands In the Stream and Intrada's remaster of The Blue Max (and now Players), these past few weeks have been something of a Jerry Goldsmith bonanza! While Freud offers the least amount of revelatory material (I had the Tsunami edition before I knew it was a bootleg), it is nice to have (mostly) in stereo. Islands In the Stream is a gorgeous production all around, from the quality of the master tapes (thanks to Bruce Kimmel of Kritzerland, who made a pristine copy of the tapes when preparing the score for release on Varèse decades ago) to the amazing Bob Peak artwork that graces the cover. And the music is soooo much more engaging in the original soundtrack performance than on the the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra recording.
The Blue Max is a special case. There isn't much in the way of new music on this edition (although what new material there is happens to be quite good), but the improvements in sound quality make it night and day from the Sony Legacy edition.
This brings me to an interesting topic. Film music releases have started to repeat a little, with new editions atop the ones that had already been issued and re-issued. Many are beginning to grumble that the labels are recycling material, while others are rejoicing in the ability to rediscover old favorites again with the benefit of better sonics and, in some cases, more music.
It should be obvious to anybody reading this blog that I fall firmly into the latter category. I don't believe that each re-release is stealing the thunder from scores that have yet to be release. If anything, these re-releases are helping to invigorate the film music enthusiast community by making available items that had been long out of print, new sources that had been discovered or taking advantage of the improvements in technology to improve the sound and correct imperfections. Rhino's edition of Superman was made with the elements that were available at the sound and were bound by what remastering techniques were available in 2000, while the FSM box set was mastered from better elements with newer possibilities. I expect that there upcoming 2 CD set of Poltergeist will be a similar situation (which I am quite looking forward to).
It isn't always just enough to have the music, regardless of its quality. Despite my great love for The Blue Max, I rarely listened to the Sony Legacy edition because of its shrill and cutting sonic properties made the action passacaglia rather difficult to listen to. The fully rounded sound on the new Intrada edition enhances the intensity of the score. I remember when I got Intrada's 2 CD set of The Wind and the Lion, and had listened to it as many times in the week I received it as I had ever listened to the original issue the entire time I had it.
- Fun N' Games
Minnesota Cricket is a variation on standard Cricket in which, in addition to the standard scoring categories of 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and bulls, one is also scored on triples (T), doubles (D) and three-in-a-bed (3IB). Like the other categories, you have to get three of each, and so there is sometimes a choice as to whether you wish to take a close-out on the 15s or just the trip (go with the trip, they're harder). Three-in-a-bed is getting all three darts in the same scoring area, and yes, nine darts are required to close it out, you have to do it three times. However, you are not bound by the usual scoring areas of standard Cricket for the additional categories, so you can aim your double for the 11 or 6 (the extreme sides of the board) and your three-in-a-bed on whatever feels comfortable.
Jerry Goldsmith (1929 — 2004)