Penteo 4 isn’t the first plugin to convert stereo to surround, but it sounds like the best. I heard it in front of speakers the size of a bus at British Grove Studios in May, where I heard a whole range of stereo music and broadcast material being processed live. Unlike similar plugins, the sound was full, had clearly defined channels, and seemed to compliment the original mixer’s intentions.
How the original stereo source is split between each surround speaker
Here’s Penteo for beginners.
You start with two channels, left and right. (Told you this was for beginners.)
I just realised my whole biography and personal profile is way out of date, so it’s worth putting on record what has changed for me over the past year after freelancing for my entire adult life.
What has changed
I do proper marketing and business development for Rooster and We Make Awesome Sh, two wildly different agencies which are growing faster than I can describe here.
I’m getting married this summer.
I quit smoking a year ago. Suddenly I like fitness and fashion.
I still write for Wired, but solo journalism is behind me. I hit all my ambitions as a writer inside two years, and I prefer to be faced with a real challenge. That’s the only way to keep improving.
My skill, and passion, is generating traffic. Writing was a great vessel for that, and throwing myself into environments where I learn every other aspect of marketing has been transformative.
That’s just my work; life is good, and I spend so much more time with my girlfriend and kids. Learning to focus on what is important is so much better than being fooled by urgency.
Something else that has come to the fore is my interest in psychology. Understanding the behaviour of myself and others around me continues to improve every corner of my life, and in my view, makes me a better marketer.
My talk on HTML and web audio at the London Music Tech Fest 2013
Update: Full video footage added below.
I was invited by Mint Digital to talk at the London Music Tech Fest last Friday. With an audience full of developers and audio professionals, I wanted to highlight the growing potential for these two disciplines to collaborate now that HTML5 audio is supported in several major browsers.
There’s room for some early innovators to make a big name for themselves in this space, and after the talk I had a good chat with some folk at Ninja Tune, the Guardian and BBC Radio who want to experiment in this space. Mint Digital proposed putting on an audio-dedicated hack day, which could produce some real magic.
Here’s my presentation slides with a few examples of web audio in action, plus a few ideas for what could happen next.
I’ve found an extra clip from Jonathan Ive’s appearance on beloved British children’s programme Blue Peter, which you can see below.
He discusses how Apple approaches naming new products, and the psychological effect that those names can have on the design process. Barney asks how Ive would approach designing a lunchbox. His reply:
"If we’re thinking of lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’ already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. You think of a box being a square, and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use, because those can determine the path that you go down."
I found it on the iPlayer stream of the original blue Peter episode. It looks like the official BBC clip which did the rounds on mac news sites last week was an edited version which cut this out. A shame really, because this was the most insightful part, though I thought it was great to see how humble Ive was while being presented with his gold Blue Peter badge.
Here’s the full original segment where Ive gives extra feedback on work submitted by young designers:
Notice how Ive reacts to a design with a smart wristwatch… perhaps one day his smile will prove telling.
The first happened in February, but for most of the year I’ve been busy covering rock news for Ultimate Guitar. Which is great, but it’s important to push forward with your goals.
Fortunately the last two were wrapped up in one turn, and just before the year is out. Today my work appeared in Wired UK for the first time on page 140 of the current issue. If you subscribe to Wired you will see more reviews from me which are currently ‘in the queue’.
Here’s a little snap of the Matrix-esque design (which I love, the first Matrix was a huge influence on my interests years ago):
If you don’t know what a Goatse is, it’s basically a rude picture which was the basis of an early internet prank. The prankster would lay linkbait to something enticing (‘New Aphex Twin Album!’), but it would point to an unsightly NSFW picture called a Goatse. I’ll leave it to you to guess what the hands are doing.
You might remember a similar prank on a BBC Olympic logo competition a few years ago:
In other news, Gawker recently published an investigation into the man behind (or is that ‘in front’) of the original Goatse image.
Ignore Ive. In 2008, Apple said it's in this for the money
Jonathan Ive is widely credited with being the design genius who helped turn Apple’s fortunes around in the late 1990s.
As a propagandist, he’s underrated.
Today Wired UK posted comments from Ive on how Apple’s goal is not to make money, but to make good products. This would only be a fair comment for a design-centric company like Apple to make if it hadn’t explicitly gone on record to say the opposite.
"If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the … royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all. Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably.”
You could argue that Cue was specifically talking about why Apple was in the music business rather than discussing it’s wider product line. But then you’d have to swear to never to mention how Apple’s software and hardware is a tightly integrated product.
Sometimes I wonder if Ive has become just another product to wheel out as part Apple’s propaganda machine, but he’s running the risk of becoming a parody. I hope not, because nothing could be worse for Apple than seeing its poster boy fall so far from grace.
If you don’t know the backstory to this, my husband and I were recently denied an apartment in Toronto for the clearly stated reason that he plays in the metal band,Vilipend. This has been very heartbreaking for the both of us, not only because we loved the apartment, but the landlord made it a very long process to apply for the place and we invested a lot of time into ensuring that we had done everything we could to have a solid application. On two occasions we were told by the landlord, in writing, that we were the strongest applicants and that she had little to no reservation in renting the apartment to us. It was in our final (not to mention ONE HOUR) meeting with her and her mother that they asked Mike more about the band. Her decision to deny us the apartment based on the fact that his artistic outlet is accessible using Google was offensive and completely infringed on our privacy so, not to just roll over and take it, we felt we needed a strong response:
A doctor has spoken out to condemn ‘emo’ haircuts with heavy fringes, saying that they could lead to lazy eye syndrome.
"If a young emo chap has a fringe covering one eye all the time, that eye won’t see a lot of detail. And if it happens from a young age, that eye can become amblyotic," said Andrew Hogan, education director of the Optometrists Association of Tasmania.
Why was I shocked?
Because in 2011, I wrote an April Fools article for Ultimate Guitar about a fictional coalition of emo kids with lazy eye syndrome:
Yesterday I reported in the Guardian on Apple’s plans to upgrade its iTunes Match library to offer “adaptive streaming”.The theory is, anything you re-download (or stream?) from iTunes Match will be at the best quality available for your device or connection speed.
Now I think Apple is seriously considering HD-AAC as the file format to deliver this service.
Spotify receives a lot of bad press for its tiny streaming royalties.
At the last #sonicmeet, I told a skeptical Mike Hillier that Vienna Circle, a band whose second album I have been producing, have seen streaming payments in the pennies before. Sure, it’s no flattering payment, but it certainly looks better than the £0.000125 that many artists receive per play.
I just received an updated copy of Vienna Circle’s digital stats, and checked back to see if I was utterly mistaken that Spotify, or indeed another streaming service, really can pay more than the hallowed penny for a single track stream.
If it can, then suddenly streaming becomes a reasonably viable platform for the long term.
The band that changed my life is coming back from the dead.
I first saw At the Drive-In on the cover of Kerrang, a magazine that I had arranged a work placement with but had never read. I didn’t know anything about rock, even. I had about four months until I would walk in that office and have to feign some knowledge, and buying their magazine seemed a good place to start.
The internet still ripples with the news of Steve Jobs’ passing, but some articles and pictures have risen above the tributes to canonize the day. This post rounds up the most striking moments from my day reflecting on the life and death of Steve Jobs.
This revealing story posted to Quora explains how Steve Jobs, or someone working on his behalf, sent special gifts to cancer victims. It’s a personal side to the great leader that might only be revealed after his passing.
Before I met the wife I had a girlfriend named Rebecca. Rebecca had non-Hodgkinsons lymphoma. It was a rough time in her life and she was very depressed by it, even though chemotherapy was healing her over time.
Rebecca was a big fan of Pixar films. I knew Steve Jobs had also been battling cancer and was a big part of the Pixar company. I didn’t know a lot about the guy at this time as it was before the rise of the iPod, iPhone, or iPad. I also wasn’t the thorough nerd that I am now. Yes, there was a time I didn’t care about technology.
I sent a letter to Steve Jobs telling him about Rebecca and her situation. I asked for an autograph for her, hoping that could be something positive for her and encourage some positivity. I never thought I would get a reply, but i thought it was worth a try.
A week later I receive a package in the mail. In this thick envelope was a letter from Steve Jobs speaking of his cancer fight and how he wished Rebecca a quick recovery. Also in this envelope was six Pixar prints signed by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Mike Doctor, And Joe Ranft (a fellow cancer sufferer). Each of these men had written a letter to Rebecca wishing her well.
It was 12:43am and I was playing an Xbox puzzle game with and old school friend. I got a text message through the service ifttt telling me Mac Rumors had been updated. It said Steve Jobs had passed away.
I felt sick, for the wrong reason. I had been asked to write a Steve Jobs obituary two weeks before, and it wasn’t ready. For some reason, it didn’t feel pressing — I didn’t think his death was looming, despite his decision to step down as Apple CEO one month before. But it was.
I drove too fast down wet country lanes to get home. I ran to my laptop, and with the document and research already open, I rewrote the passionless draft with something authentic. Then I wrote a shorter obituary for another client.
Then I asked myself if it was really alright to be profiting from the death of one of my heroes.
The various employees around me were questioning the belief that the, then rumor, could be true. Looking at twitter, the first hit was a funnyordie.com clip. Nobody knew in my group until someone in ichat sent out apple.com/stevejobs, then it all got very quiet in my area. It was the same quiet it got when Steve stepped down just a few months ago, a mix of shock and disbelief, and a little bit of expectation. Even the sarcastic jokers didn’t have anything to say. This was pretty big. As I drove out, news vans were already on approach.