Wellness Wednesday: How To Be A Sensitive Bigot Online

You’ve thought it, posted it and regretted it. Sometimes, you may have been a bit bigoted jackhole, sometimes you were somewhere in between Trevor Noah, Jerry Seinfeld, and Curtis Jackson.  Whatever the case is, its clear in 2015 – more than ever – that somewhere, somehow even Gandhi’s dieting, and Mother Teresa’s prude self would be crossing the line for some poor sap who is a offense-detector. Here’s a hilarious take on how to avoid an AIDS fire, ebola hurricane, or meningitis tsunami or any biting comeback in such an event:

App Appetizer: Pocket

The horror when people first see my iFun’s screen is only matched by the horror when they see the the 43 tabs on my Chrome browser, or the suppressed anger in my co-blogger’s voice begging me to clear the 12 unfinished posts in the draft-log.  Checkout the first page, and see if its that bad:

This first App Appetizer is dedicated to reducing the problem, avoiding the horror, and soothing the anger. “When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.” is their slogan and pretty much explains it. Here’s how it works. If you copy any url from your browser and open the app, it’s ready to gobble it up like:

Continue reading App Appetizer: Pocket

Open Letter: Dear Bootleggers, MP3 Is Dead. PLEASE BURY IT!

Downloading music was cool – till it was “not so cool” to download music and they arrested people to make examples of them. We started on Napster, when that was a free thing. Then they got busted, and spiderman’s brother – Sean Parker moved along amicably. So did we, to Kazaa (or Bearshare, or whatever P2P sharing system got those viruses on your parents’ computers, but you denied it like the stone-cold vigilante you were).  All along, the bit-rate (basically how good the code makes the music file sound based on how its compressed If I lost ya already, its okay to move along and skip through) was confined to the bit-rate of around 128 kbps governed by the widely accepted “.mp3 standard”.

That was a mistake we made. All of us: the music industry that allowed that to be how music was digitally distributed, the hardware makers of “.mp3 players” (remember those?), and artists for allowing their hours of laborious art-work to go down the digital drain never to be appreciated again. That is bad!

How bad? That is the audio equivalent of watching the 3-D movie Avatar on that black and white T.V. with a big butt that your grandmother refused to let you connect your Nintendo to.  That is like viewing a Picasso painting or Basquiat for you new-age hippies through an Instagram-filtered photo taken from your friend’s iPhone 4 on that Euro-trip they took with their family.
[Sidenote: NOBODY CARES, JANET! YOUR FAMILY MIGHT BE “CULTURED” AND LOADED WITH FREQUENT FLIER MILES, BUT EVER THINK YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT IF YOU’RE INSTATWEETBOOKING EVERY GALLERY AND MONUMENT? IT’S ALMOST 4TH OF JULY, AND YOU’RE NOT HERE! ENJOY BEING “ON FLEEK” IN FOREIGN LANDS AND ABANDONING AMERICA! That’s BASICALLY TREASON. ALSO… get a better camera, OH WAIT YOU CAN’T IT’S AN IPHONE 4, YOUR PARENTS DON’T LOVE YOU, BYE JANET! BURN]
So here we are today. Streaming is the water all levels of listeners and audiophiles sip from.  The convenience of poppin open your Youtube (variable), Spotify (320 kbps), or – as of today – Apple Music app (256kbps) and hearing your jam instantly is unbeatable. That’s fair. However some of us dinosaurs still have the iPod Classic with a click-wheel (its 160 Gigs in the palm of my hand. Stream THAT).  We also load individual files to our iFuns (Pandora, and iTunes haven’t quite kept up with extensive catalogues of Young Thug, and Gucci Mane).  Whether it’s that, or putting together a dj set – the difference is definitely notable when your earphones or speakers puke out an .mp3 version of a mastered instrumentally dynamic album by D’Angelo, Kendrick Lamar, or Muse.  While streaming is still in its infancy (though growing fast), this is one of the main issues it is supposed to fix – raise music appreciation by fixing the audio quality for listeners.  We ALL LOVE the music. Whether we buy, stream, or steal illegally download it, that love remains steadfast. It’s how we treat and value it that is inexcusable today. So bloggers, new musicians, and online bootleggers – STOP POSTING MP3s for download! DEAD THAT.  Unless it’s the aforementioned thugger-thugger leak that will never land on iTunes or be worthy of higher mastering, consider it like the Zune laid to rest in the image above – DEAD.

Yours Musically,

-Audio African

Taylor Swift Is The Most Powerful Brand In Music Today, Ask Apple And Spotify

Taylor Swift is the Lisa Simpson of the music industry. She’s that know-it-all, that happens to be actually right most of the time, and always shows up her peers and sometimes perceived superiors.
And look, I’ll be the first to admit it, I hate that. Maybe I’m just biased because her music is not exactly my shower-tunes (except when I “Shake It Off” drying out from the shower – enjoy that mental image forever now), but even I in my haterade shower dancing can’t deny that in the battle for your streaming bucks between Spotify, Apple Music, and (lets be real) OTHERS, T-Swift is the Gettysburg. She’s the D-Day. Her latest album “1989” sold 1.2 Million copies on the first week back in October of last year. To date it is still at the #2 Album spot with over 6 Million American, and close to 10 million worldwide sales.  All in all – whoever does right by T-Swift, wins a major battle in the hearts and minds of young streamers.

Naturally, everybody freaked the hell out when she hinted at keeping her blockbuster album off the new Apple Music streaming service via a blog post on her tumblr page:

“Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and to work for nothing…change this policy…We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

t swift blog benandsiyablogTaylor Swift raised a reasonable and amicable point about Apple Music, that she tried to with Spotify in the past.  Feel free to read it in its entirety, but here’s the gist:

  • Thanks to Apple Music’s 3-month free tier model, independent musicians, producers, and engineers don’t get paid while contributing to Apple’s growing user-base. Taylor don’t got time for that.
  • She won’t feature “1989” on the new Apple service, until they change that policy. Freemium is a politically correct way of saying “Free” as far as she’s concerned.
  • You can have her old stuff, though – because you’re cool Apple. Spotify gets NO Tay-Tay.

So maybe the response to these grievances that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed in his “$2 Billion and Counting” response to Taylor was ill-advised as Swift took this as calling her bluff.

“We’re not just streaming, we’re mainstreaming now, and that’s good for music makers and music lovers around the world.”

OH YEA? You might not be ready to be mainstreaming ANY of Taylor’s jelly, buddy.

Fair’s fare, Lisa Simpson. Fare’s fair. Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services immediately took the hint and didn’t make the same mistake:

Now, it could be that Apple pays folks next to nothing for that first 3 months, but the point is that they made artists FEEL HEARD AND RESPECTED.  Something the recording industry (even the new streamin avenue has failed to really do).  We all know artists (especially Swifty Hussle) are all about the money feelings.

On the way to launch date of June 30th, Apple Music is buying every life-vest it can to stay afloat. Your move, other guys.

hood evening, bishes (no typo)
“hood evening, bishes (no typo)”

Like Your New Samsung Phone? Lay Off The Internet A While

The last time I was flying out of America’s busiest airport, using Wi-Fi seemed like a seamless breeze. The wi-fi read “OHare Public” and that seemed clear enough, instagram all the Niykee Heaton you want till this New York flight, young African!”. But, my iFun security just wouldn’t let me refresh my timelines, or browser, or Tinder. WTF! Turns out my Cupertino overlords had my best interest at heart, because what seemed fair enough was a trick hack-holes use in every airport to get people sending and receiving unprotected credit card numbers, pictures, and virtually everything on your smartphone. That would have worked if I was wielding a dumbass Samsung Galaxy.

No, it’s not popular start-up Swiftkey’s fault – but it’s how Samsung installed the SDK that foolishly grants the keyboard god-like SYSTEM WIDE access to the phones’ pictures, apps, notes, and generally too much. Lost ya yet? FINE, watch this brogrammer demonstrate:

While, the issue seems to work best with public wi-fis, Samsung Galaxy users are still at risk as long as they have that nifty keyboard pre-installed and browse the internet in any way. Soooo candy-crush only for you! Lay off the internet for a while. (Printed version of our blog is available upon request).

Bobbing for Apple: Will Apple Music Float Or Sink?

On Monday, Apple unveiled plans to enter the music streaming service arena, debuting their design for Apple Music. Naturally, we disagree on how successful this streaming service will be. 

Ben
By Apple standards, Apple music is going to tank. They’re just way too far behind the Spotify cocaine bag.

Siya
O_o Ya think??? I wholeheartedly disagree.

Ben
There’s nothing differentiating it from the other services. It’s the same music at the same price point. So why should I switch? All my playlists are already built on other platforms. You think I have the time to rebuild Morning Commutes on that shit? No. I barely have time to post this week.

Siya
1. They have hundreds of millions of users already vertically connected via devices, and iTunes Store accounts ALREADY (complete with credit cards.) That’s HALF the battle. Continue reading Bobbing for Apple: Will Apple Music Float Or Sink?