Things That Are Awesome Right Now

google music

This is awesome. I got a beta invite about two weeks ago, and I’ve used it nearly every day since. Here’s why it’s awesome.

I spend about 90% of my weekly computer time on my work computer, far away from the hard drive I’ve worked so hard over the years to cram full of music. Sure I have my iPhone, the Hype Machine, Pandora, and (until they made the move that turned me against them — restricting their mobile app to paid subscribers only) Last.fm, and they’ve all done a great job of keeping my musical needs covered, but all have fallen short in some way. They never have exactly what I want when I want it. It’s always hard to find or bookmark specific songs. I was missing MY music library.

Then Google comes out with what I believe is their most selfless and philanthropic use of their gigantic servers. Over the last two weeks (yeah, it took that long which was lame, but c’mon, it’s a once-and-done process) I’ve been able to upload nearly 100GB of music. I’m sure it gets compressed heftily, but as far as streaming compressed music goes Google Music sounds pretty darn good. Imagine if every user uploaded a similarly large music library. That’s a lot of space Google is giving out for free. Sure sites of theirs like YouTube will surely always top Music’s disk-space needs, but it’s covered in intrusive ads. None of those on Music…yet at least.

Sites like Mashable have come out and said they’re not really excited about Music and think it leaves a lot to be desired…but what the fuck do you want from a FREE service? They cite things like the inability to purchase music from the site like you can on Amazon’s comparable service, and you surely will be able to from Apple’s forthcoming iCloud. But you know what you CAN do? Go to those other sites (that would charge you long before Google would to store the same amount of music), buy the songs you want, and upload them to Google. Now was that too difficult? And the lack of offline caching? How often are you not connected to the internet and really itching to hear that one song? Yeah, never. Mashable, get off your high horse.

Anyway, now I have my whole music library accessible from my work computer and my home computer without an external hard drive tethered to it. That is awesome right now.

github

This is mysteriously awesome. I can’t figure out why it’s useful to me, so that’s why it’s a bit of a mystery that I’m so infatuated with it right now. Maybe I like it so much because it’s the only “social network” that I’ve signed up for that requires you to enter terminal-style commands to set it up and create updates. That’s badass. [Side note: working with terminal commands is pseudo-awesome right now. I’m really excited when I type in a totally geeky command to a black and white window with mono type font and see shit happen.] Their entire site forces you to use https. It’s secure, and they flaunt it. Are you listening, Facebook?

If you care to follow me (and improve my code, I guess. Is that the point of the site? I really don’t know…what is it good for?!?), check my shiznit out at https://github.com/kohnmd. It is awesome.

being engaged

This is romantically awesome because my financé is awesome. I’m so excited to get married!

No Comments »
date Jun 23rd 2011
author Mike
category Geek, Life
tags, ,
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dance party

I was listening to headphones while doing the dishes tonight, and Ally was at her desk doing homework. This song came up on my iPod. I ran over to Ally, grabbed her hand and pulled her up from her chair. We had an impromptu dance party while this song played in my headphones. She didn’t hear a single note of music, but she still danced her heart out with me for the entire 3 minutes and 11 seconds.

That’s how you know you have an awesome girlfriend.

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/kid-cudi-erase-me.mp3|titles=Erase Me|artists=Kid Cudi feat. Kanye West]

(don’t listen to the lyrics too closely…)

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date Nov 3rd 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
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6.7.2010

6.7.2010

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/pink-floyd-time.mp3|titles=Time|artists=Pink Floyd]

I always seem to think that I’m not a fan of Dark Side of the Moon, but whenever I listen to it I realize it’s awesome. For some reason, though, I’ll forget that tomorrow and go back to thinking that I don’t really like the album.

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date Jun 10th 2010
author Mike
category Photo
tags, ,
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This one goes out to Mario and his goofy hair and big-bird-yellow Saturn.

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/daddy-yankee-gasolina.mp3|titles=Gasolina|artists=Daddy Yankee] No Comments »
date May 19th 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
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5.9.2010

5.9.2010

Thanks to a new Google group I just joined, I get awesome new music in my inbox every day. I was running seriously low on good music. There’s only so many times I can listen to Portugal. The Man before it gets old, and even Kid Cudi radio on Last.fm is becoming repetitive.

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/black-keys-tighten-up.mp3|titles=Tighten Up|artists=The Black Keys]

I didn’t mean to imply that I hadn’t listened to the Black Keys before I joined the super fun music group, but I was uninterested enough in their previous albums that their newest album’s release would have gone unnoticed to me. I actually really like it so far, though. Until it’s released on the 18th, you can listen to the whole thing on NPR.org.

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date May 12th 2010
author Mike
category Photo
tags,
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sleigh bells

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/sleigh-bells-tell-em.mp3|titles=Tell ‘Em|artists=Sleigh Bells]

I can’t figure out if I fucking love this band, or if they annoy me to no end.

Paste magazine thinks they’re phenomenal, so I guess I’ll follow the the crowd for now…

No Comments »
date May 12th 2010
author Mike
category Life
tags
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5.6.2010

5.6.2010

Ignite Boulder 10
Andrew Hyde

[audio:http://blog.rhymeswithmilk.com/media/audio/mumford-the-cave.mp3|titles=The Cave|artists=Mumford & Sons]

Winamp rules. This song in FLAC rules.

No Comments »
date May 8th 2010
author Mike
category Photo
tags,
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Music

The Blow – Hey Boy

I now have audio!

This is actually a plugin (the WordPress Audio Player, which only a few days ago came out with what I hear was a much-needed update), which is something WordPress does really well (plugins, that is). Finding, installing, and activating plugins is never more than a few convenient clicks away.  But of course, as has been my luck with this theme so far, it wasn’t as easy as that for me.

After installing and activating, I uploaded the above mp3 via FTP* and created a new post with the suggested insertion format. I got a big fat error saying:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Flash is up-to-date and JS is enabled, so that wasn’t the problem.  Being that this is a fairly common error message to get with this plugin, I was able to find a lot of support in the WP forums. Many people suggested adding <?php wp_head(); ?> to the head section of the blog. This somehow triggers the plugin or something, and it fixed the problem for most people.  After adding it, a bunch of new code appeared in the head section of my source code, so I was hopeful that this solved it.

It didn’t.  Same error kept coming up.

And since it fixed the problem for most people, there was little support beyond that in the forums.  I downloaded another audio player that simply loads the WP Audio Player when you click on a link, and it had no problems.  Obviously it wasn’t a problem with my browser, Flash, or even my blog.  There was a problem with how the plugin was communicating with the theme (it actually worked just fine when I switched to the WordPress default theme).  Though most complicated PHP is over my head, I was forced to dive into the plugin’s main file ([PLUGIN DIR]/audio-player/audio-player.php) to see if I could spot where the error was being triggered.

Miraculously, I was able to decipher enough to figure out that the plugin was trying to add a small snippet of code to the page’s footer.  A light bulb went off when I saw that.  While doing research on what the wp_head() function does, I noticed somewhere that there was an equivalent wp_footer() function.  I put that into my footer.php file right before the </body> tag, and what do you know? I now have audio.

Slowly but surely this blog is coming together.

*WordPress also has a really simple media-upload tool built in which I would have used, but naturally I ran into roadblocks with it as well.  My server allows max upload sizes of 2MB by default, and after some research I was told to edit my php.ini file.  Using HostMonster’s PHP Config tool, I created a new default php.ini file and edited it accordingly.  It didn’t work.  I don’t know if I just have to wait for the changes to take effect or if it just didn’t work.  I guess I’ll try this if I still can’t upload bigger files by tomorrow.

UPDATE: I just uploaded a 6MB song, so apparently editing the php.ini file worked.

No Comments »
date Jan 4th 2010
author Mike
category Geek
tags, , ,
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