lynsayshepherd.com
October 5th 2010

iTunes Ping

From what I understand, iTunes Ping is essentially a music-based social networking site. The service looks at the items you have purchased in the iTunes store and provides suggestions as to other artists or songs you may like. In addition to this, you can add friends, see what they have been listening to, and send recommendations to each other, in the form of 30 second clips.

I’ve used the service, albeit briefly, and I just don’t get it. What is the point?

First off, I don’t buy much music via the iTunes store. I’m one of those old fashioned types who likes to have a physical cd to hold in my hands. I like looking at the artwork and get a great deal of satisfaction when I have collected the complete discography of some of my favourite artists. Sad? Perhaps.

Secondly, there are already services which recommend new bands and songs to you, and they make a far better job of it than iTunes Ping. Take last.fm for example. I’ve been using that religiously for over 3 years and it has helped me discover artists which have gone on to become favourites of mine. It looks at everything you’ve listened to, rather than just items which you’ve bought from one particular music store.

Lastly, the whole social network part of- it doesn’t integrate with Facebook (or any similar sites) therefore, you have to find all your friends yet again. What about Spotify? It integrates with Facebook and does a good job of it. Something like this would make iTunes Ping more user friendly. It’s never going to happen though.

After all the hype, the service is disappointing. I’ll be sticking with last.fm thanks.

May 10th 2008

My dearly beloved iPod

All is not well in Lynsay Land.  You see, I’ve had a really irritating problem…

I absolutely adore my 4th generation, 20GB iPod.  Really.  It’s one of my prized possessions.  I have to travel everyday and that wee gadget has kept me company on many a stressful train journey since 2005.  Honestly, it’s one of the best things ever.

Guess what?  It’s screwed.

I have never dropped it or damaged it in any way but, I was listening to it a few days ago in the garden and it crapped out.  Started skipping then died.  I plugged it into the computer and it said it was corrupt.  Tried to restore it (using the latest version of iTunes) but the restore process keeps freezing.  I’ve tried resetting it and that hasn’t worked either.

I stuck the iPod into diagnostics mode and the hdd tests seem ok (plus the hdd sounds fine- no clicking or anything so that’s good).  When I plug it into a computer, it shows a removable device with a size of 0kb (and therefore gives an error when you try to format it- it doesn’t think there is anything there that needs formatting).

There was a small glimmer of hope last night when I plugged it into my old computer.  For once, the iPod showed up in iTunes (as “Lynsay’s iPod”).  I even managed to play a song off it (which proves the hdd is definitely ok).  Stupidly, I unplugged it and tried plugging it in again and of course, it broke again.  Really I should just have formatted it.

I spoke to my cousin and he thinks it’s the hard drive controller.  That may mean a new logic board.  *cries* 🙁

Never mind, I purchased a 2GB iPod nano on eBay this afternoon.  Got it at a good price so here’s hoping it works properly.  It’s not really a replacement.  Just a substitute ’til I get my old one on the road again, which I’m sure is possible.

May 20th 2007

Tux Guitar

Here’s one for all you wannabe rockstars out there…..

I’ve heard all about the Guitar pro software but I know that you only get a 2 week trial and then you have to buy the full version (and as you know, I wouldn’t even think of downloading it illegally).

I had a look around on the web last night and I found and open source alternative. Sure, it probably doesn’t have all the features which the real guitar pro has, but it’s not bad. It’s called Tux Guitar and should work on Windows, Macs and even Linux.

Apparently it’s all based on Java. The only problem I had installing it was that I didn’t have any audio files in my Java installation (because it doesn’t come as standard when you install the JDK). To resolve this problem, I just downloaded a sound pack and unzipped it to the appropriate place. After that, the software was good to go.

Time to learn “Kids Wanna Rock!”.