seriously (cont.)

maura:

whatevernevermind:

Wow, hate much, Maura? I said a while ago (wish I could find the tweet) that if I were going to pick one music blog to add to my rss feed, it would be artistpaid. I still stand by it. Show me another place that talks about the future of music more without the whining along with photos of Dylan, Bowie and, just this morning, the view from the Dow Jones Box at KOL last night. There’s a big difference between calling people out and whining. While most are talking about how the music business is going to die, artistpaid is talking more about how it’s going to be re-born. I’m not usually one to jump to the defense of a tumblelog, but I’ve got a little extra time on my hands.

Hi Brad! I remember you saying this actually. That Weezer post set me off because a) it was reblogged without any sort of context, which b) implied an endorsement of the OP’s opinion/sniping even though “recommendation engines” are supposedly what’s going to save music. And also c) the OP was definitely whining more than he was “calling people out” (I mean, the post in question used LOLcat speak!). I have friends who work at that site, so I’m sort of biased, but honestly, what is the point of blaming an independent music site for trying to make the best of the hand it’s been dealt by various major labels’ licensing departments? Or saying “this cheap music isn’t the cheap music I want, therefore everything about the site it is from sucks and is worthy of ridicule?”

I’m all for aggregating the way that people think and feel about music, but time and time again when I read the posts that are picked for reblogging I wish that there was more context being given instead of just “here is another opinion on music that reflects the mostly white, well-educated, wellish-off, tech-savvy Tumblr demographic.” And really, instead of just blaming eMusic for its lack of content from certain labels maybe there could be some sort of context given as to why that’s the case? The implied “huh huh yeah dude” back-slappery that the reblog-sans-comment gives doesn’t really solve much or imply any ideas as far as rebirthing of the business goes to these ears; it just sounds like someone being applauded for getting petulant.

Here’s where I wish I had Disqus installed. Note to self.

I totally get what you’re saying about context, and I’m a firm believer that context is king. But in the aggregate, and for anyone who reads artistpaid, it’s all in the spirit of improving the experience – whether that be the experience of listening to, purchasing, reading out, coding software or in the case of eMusic (hey, I pay them $20/month!), linking to someone calling them out on something that was a little lame, for those of us who know better. Does an eMusic Subscriber need to know the real reason why they don’t have Weezer? Nope. And that’s not really the point, is it? The OP could have said something constructive instead, but I just thought your claws-out, knee-jerk, over-reaction to the site as a whole was harsh. In this world of people talking about what’s going on with digital music and where the business is headed, there aren’t many trying to move the conversation forward and push people to think. Snark is bound to leak through the cracks, right? And BTW, the Tumblr user base is most likely well-educated, wellish-off and certainly tech-savvy. We may hate to admit it, but chances are good that’s going to be the demographic to fix the business. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg9LHm3f9Dk

yvynyl:

Fucked Up On Fox News (via Stereogum) – a pretty hilarious interview taped hours before I saw him play at KFN in Philly.  He told stories about this interview at the show, much to the amusement of the audience.  It’s good to see him rockin’ his Obama shirt on FOX in picture.

The technical story of Muxtape

tlvx:

Muxtape is “a minimalist platform for bands to promote their music”. That minimalist approach encompasses more that just aesthetics. It also informs our technical decisions, architecture, and the tools we use. Minimalism isn’t about doing less as much as it is about doing as little as needed. The more specific your goals the easier it is to say yes and no at the right times. Our goal is to connect people with music they love in an environment that respects and encourages that connection. Ultimately, all of our technical decisions align to support that.

Originally Muxtape was written in PHP, about a year ago. PHP is a fantastic language for gradually turning static pages into functional ones in an ad hoc way. However, PHP as a language is a clusterfuck of bad design decisions because it lacks a clear vision. With the new Muxtape we have an amazingly expansive (and yet minimally focused) vision and needed a better foundation to make that happen.

I spent my first 4 years as a web developer using PHP, and it was fun at the time, but as I began to realize how severely inefficient it was I started looking elsewhere. I’d abandoned my traditional computer science background for the web and its greater design possibilities, but because of this I knew there was a better way. PHP developers shouldn’t be ridiculed as much as they often are because, frankly, it enables people without a more rigorous background to accomplish amazingly technical things. This should satisfy nerds but usually is turned into some kind of weak ‘machismo’ thing instead. Anyways, this dissatisfaction began in late 2004 and Ruby on Rails was brand-new, stable, and addressed every limitation I’d confronted with my old homegrown PHP MVC framework. I’ve exclusively done Rails work ever since.

Well, not quite. When Justin and Jakob approached me last fall about becoming part of Muxtape I knew it was what I wanted to work on, but I had some reservations about using a tool I didn’t believe in. He’d already begun in PHP and the plan was to use that. Ultimately the project, the people, and our overall goals were > the desire to use a specific language so I said yes. Also, this would be a perfect opportunity to challenge some of my now deeply-held opinions, which is always fun.

This is how it went: I was getting things done, we had a solid MVC architecture (that obviously grew to ape a lot of Ruby– and Rails-isms), and I was able to keep “reserving judgement” until about a month had passed. But I missed language features, the framework itself, and a culture of sharing well-tested plugins, and was less productive because of their absence.

Then thing that’s so wonderful about using beautiful, appropriate tools is that they become an extension of you, your body, you fingertips, and your mind. They get out of the way and let you directly interact with the problem you are solving. Everyone’s tried to remove a screw without a screwdriver; a task quickly becomes impossible that otherwise would be trivial.

So at RubyConf in Orlando I just decided to rewrite Muxtape in Rails. It took about a day. Over the next few weeks I’d drop hints about Ruby’s terseness, expressiveness, and power: “these 20 lines of PHP == this clear 1 liner in Ruby”. On the weekend I’d keep the Rails version up to date in a fraction of the time. Justin was playing around with Ruby and liking it, and at some point he was convinced. “How long do you think it would take to re-write the site in Rails?” “Umm, well..”, Cmd-T, “localhost:3000”, Enter, “It already is.” Rejoicing, and things have been even better ever since.

The main takeaway I can share from using PHP again after so much time in the Rails world is one of the fundamental principles of computer science and engineering: abstraction as a strategy for dealing with complexity. [SICP videos] All successful large systems do this well: software, societies, the human body, whatever. You need to identify the level of abstraction that is right for your project: too general and you’ll be wasting time solving already-solved problems; too specific and you’ll continuously be looking for ways to get around its limitations.

Ruby’s inheritance, metaprogramming, flexible mixins, and testing culture support a fantastically granular ecosystem of encapsulatable, interchangeable, combinable tools. And Rails has just the right set of features that are common to web applications, allowing you live in your application’s domain, rather than in code that’s been written millions of times before. This is exactly what led Rails and Merb to combine: ultimately they shared the same values and goals. And this lets us accomplish a tremendous amount with as little effort as possible. Never re-solve solved problems, there’s plenty yet-unsolved to work on instead.

In future developer-aimed posts I’ll talk more about some of the specific tools we love using (shout-outs to AWS, Thoughtbot, SoundManager2, NewRelic, AuthLogic, and especially GitHub) and our forthcoming API, which will be an equal citizen with the HTML site.

artistspaid:

chartier:

Proper marketing and acting like adults in front of your customers—you’re doin’ it wrong:

We’re sorry but in order to keep eMusic download prices at less than half of iTunes® and Amazon® we currently do not have albums by Weezer.

However if you like Weezer, we think you’ll be interested in the following…

Grow the fuck up eMusic.

Also, for the web nerds: The first sentence of this area on eMusic’s site is wrapped in a CSS class called ”sorry.” Hah.

seriously

maura:

what is the point of artistspaid? because it seems more and more like it should be called ‘entitledfanboyspaidinfreemusic’ with each passing day. if all you’re going to do is aggregate a bunch of first-world-problem whining about how so-called “real fans” can’t get all the music they want without expending any effort, at least try and synthesize the information you’re putting together. or better yet, find out why that might be the case, instead of just whining! it’s worse than digg, for real.

Wow, hate much, Maura? I said a while ago (wish I could find the tweet) that if I were going to pick one music blog to add to my rss feed, it would be artistpaid. I still stand by it. Show me another place that talks about the future of music more without the whining along with photos of Dylan, Bowie and, just this morning, the view from the Dow Jones Box at KOL last night. There’s a big difference between calling people out and whining. While most are talking about how the music business is going to die, artistpaid is talking more about how it’s going to be re-born. I’m not usually one to jump to the defense of a tumblelog, but I’ve got a little extra time on my hands.