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Subscriptions: Why Do I Have So Many Music Streaming Services?

Subscriptions: Why Do I Have So Many Music Streaming Services?

I initially wanted to do a rant on the epidemic of subscriptions that has infected my life. Being a digital hoarder.. someone who need to actually possess digital documents locally on my laptop or external hard rive, I’ve never really been a fan of paying a monthly fee for access to someone else’s content. If there was a song, movie, tv show I liked, I made sure I had a copy of it available on my laptop.. with a copy on an external hard drive.. and on another hard drive stored away just incase the other two fail. I’ve been doing that for almost 20 years. Hoarding any and all digital files on the off chance that I might want to see them again. When apps like Plex and XBMC came along that allowed you to organize your content and stream it remotely, I was all in. I had a huge collection of content and now I was ready to be able to take it with me where ever I went.

So I don’t know how subscriptions crept into my world. I can’t pinpoint the moment I felt I needed to have temporary access to other people’s content, but I can’t imagine living any other way. I’m still in transition. My Plex set up has a ton of movies, tv shows and music that I can stream on any device, but I still use the favorites like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and Apple Music most of the time. Indeed, my Plex library has become more of an archiving tool than a media streaming tool.

My main streaming usage is with music services. Spotify, Apple Music and Google Music are the three platforms that I subscribe too. Indeed, I’m playing $14,99 for each services (family plans to share with my wife), and for the most part, I get a lot of bang for my buck.

 


Spotify ($14.99 for Family Plan)

This has become my favorite service. I can’t lie, I was all-in with Apple Music for the simple that that I was already in the Apple ecosystem. And I was already using iTunes to manage my local music collection, so I tried to 3 month trial. That was my gateway. But it really took Spotify to get me going. I tried it a few times with no real success. It just didn’t seem that critical because I already had all the songs I loved in my local collection. But for my month mix shows, it became the primary spot to find new music. Apple Music had the same thing but the UI was a little clunky. Spotify, once you got into it, was a dram to use. And couple that with an INCREDIBLE algorithm to help you discover new music and I was hooked. Every Friday and Monday I can find at least 20 new songs that I LOVE!!! Not just “like”, but LOVE.

 


Apple Music ($14.99 for Family Plan)

Apple Music was my gateway service. I really wasn’t into streaming music services, but they had a 3 month trial when it started so it wouldn’t hurt to try. Plus they tagged on iCloud Music with allowed you to upload your collection to their cloud, and they would replace any matching songs with high quality versions so you can easily stream from your devices. This meant I would have Apples 35 millions songs AND all of my unique unreleased albums, remixes and personal music also in Apple Music for streaming… all in the same place. Unfortunately the system didn’t perform as easily as it sounded. I’m still recovering from a playlist fiasco with Apple Music. But it I can get it right, it might be very useful.


Plex ($4.99/month)

Plex is a personal streaming software package. I use it primarily to organize my video collection. But after my iCloud music failure I realized I needed a cloud solution for my local music collection. It would act as a streaming service and a back up for my local collection. Plex works great! It organized anything music you put in the designated folder (as long as your ID tags are correct) and the UI it great on desktop and mobile. The only problem with this is the upkeep. I’m constantly adding new music to my collection and I’m pretty lazy when it comes to keeping everything up to date. My current Plex collection is a few months behind so I need to find time updated… time don’t have, so it makes me default back to Spotify most of the time.


Google Play Music (Free with Youtube Premium)

To tell you the truth, I rarely use Google’s service. It’s something that just came with Youtube Premium.. as service I upgraded to get ride of commercials. Much like Amazon Prime did with it’s video streaming service, it’s something there as a backup just in case everything else fails. That’s sad because with all the information that Google has on me, they should be able to make me the most awesome playlists. Maybe it would if I give it a little more attention.

 

It’s Time To Get An iPhone XS Max

It’s Time To Get An iPhone XS Max

It’s that time and year. I get to upgrade my phone every other year and this year Apple is finally increasing the size of their iPhones. So last night I waited until the AT&T web store opened and set to trade-up up my iPhone 7 Pro for the new iPhone XS Max.

iOS App: Sounds App Music Sharing

iOS App: Sounds App Music Sharing

The big thing for me on social media is the ability to post ‘media’ in my streams. I’m basically online to post mixes, promote artists I love and interface with said artists and like-minded music fans. It took me a long time to find an iOS app that would allow me to post video and music clips to embed in my posts. The only app I’ve been able to find that does this great is the Sounds App Music Sharing.

Part social media stream, and part clip creator, the Sounds App allows you to find, edit and then share clips of your favorite music and music videos on your Sounds App account, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and most notably Instagram. You can only post clips with a 60 limit (the instagram max) but that’s enough to let people hear what your listening to. It can be a little clunky at times (creating 60 clips sometimes doesn’t work with instagram) but overall it’s a great way to fill out your social feeds with your musical tastes. Download on iOS and Android

New Software: Flow 8 Deck by Mixed In Key

New Software: Flow 8 Deck by Mixed In Key

I’ve been using DJay Pro on my Mac and iPad for doing mixes. Been looking for something more digitally intuitive to make mixing more organic. I totally forgot I tried Flow 8 Deck my Mixed In Key back in 2014, but wasn’t really feeling it. I found my license and re-downloaded the update to play around with in between video shoots. I don’t know if my style has changed or if they updated the software considerably, but this app is a beast. No real bloat. Just a nice intuitive interface with BPM/Key detection.

Flow 8 Deck – Mixed In Key


 

Play a masterful DJ set.

Flow analyzes your music, and splits every track into 8 perfect loops. When you’re playing, you will skip ahead to a great loop and play it right away.

You can remix live by playing the exact part of the song that you love. Skip the boring parts. Play the most exciting drop. Sample the bits that sound really good to you.

Even if you’re playing the same music as DJs, you will perform a more unique and exciting DJ set every time. Top DJs can use Flow to play 100 tracks per hour, flowing between different genres and vibes. It’s the most exciting way to play your favorite music.

Use the best Harmonic Mixing technology.

Flow was launched by the award-winning team that created Mixed In Key. Our software will analyze your music collection and find the most accurate Mixed In Key result for every track. Our #1 goal is to help you sound perfect in the DJ booth.

See what Pioneer, Traktor and Numark controllers you can use with Flow.

Create great playlists & play them well.

Flow helps you create playlists for different vibes and moods. You can quickly segment your huge music collection into “Chillout”, “Opening DJ Set”, “Mid-Set”, “Bangers” and other playlists based on the energy level of each track.

Flow ranks every track on a scale of 1 to 10 to show you how energetic the track will sound in the club. You can play low energy songs during the beginning of the night, and bangers during the peak-time. It makes it easier to find great music inside your own music collection.

New Plugins: Captain 2.0 from Mixed In Key

New Plugins: Captain 2.0 from Mixed In Key

My main deficiency in music production is my lack of knowledge in instrumentation. I love orchestral strings and vintage Fender Rhodes sounds, but I couldn’t put together original Melodys to save my life. After reintroducing myself to Mixed In Key’s DJ software, Flow 8 Deck, I decided to see what else they’d come up with in the four years I’d last seen their website. That’s where I saw what could be the answer to my musical prayers. Their Captain 2.0 suit of VST/AU plugins might solve all off my problems. The suite consists of 4 awesome plugins. Captain Chords (writing chord progressions), Captain Play (playing octaves and scales),  Captain Melody (writing melodies for your chord progressions) and Captain Deep (creating baselines).

Captain 2.0 Plugins

Tracklib Makes Sampling Affordable for Producers

Tracklib Makes Sampling Affordable for Producers

Tracklib is the world’s first and only music service that enables music creators to discover, sample and license original recordings. By making sampling fast, easy, affordable and legal we create completely new revenues for the whole music industry, change the way the world can make music, and contribute to preserving musical legends and legacies. Tracklib is truly a game-changer for labels, publishers, artists, producers, writers, and musicians alike – everyone benefits.

For more information visit: tracklib.com

I Need That New Apple MacBook Pro 2018 In My Life! NOW!!

I Need That New Apple MacBook Pro 2018 In My Life! NOW!!

Apple’s recently released an update to it’s pro-level MacBook Pro putting 6 cores in the processor, increasing the RAM limit to 32GB and 4TB SSD capability.. three things that I’ve been finding for since I migrated my professional workflow to a laptop. There aren’t that many ‘innovative’ changes to the MacBook. But I don’t need that. I just need more of the current awesomeness. I’m at the point where I’m starting to edit 4K video, so the bump up in processor speed, RAM and space is a welcome addition. It looks like I’m going to have to get a loan to buy this top of the line laptop when it’s available this fall.

ProPatch 2: The Media Clone & Repair Tool by Pixel Film Studios

ProPatch 2: The Media Clone & Repair Tool by Pixel Film Studios

A short while ago, I had a video project where I needed to rotoscope (remove) certain elements from a video shot. There was a filing cabinet that had a half dozen stickers that had nothing to do with my video, so I needed them removed. The shot was a shaky panning shot so I have to manually track the motion and then put a covering asset on top of it and manually track that motion. It sucked. Luckily, Pixel Film Studios has just released an updated to their rotoscoping plugin for Final Cut Pro X that auto tracks what and where you want to remove things from your video.

Need Samples? Loopcloud’s Got You Covered for $14/month

Need Samples? Loopcloud’s Got You Covered for $14/month

Subscription servicer seems to be the new hustle. Music, movies, apps, and now music samples with Loopcloud. Just like Slate Digital is a $14/month service for VST and AU plugins, Loopcloud, the cloud-connected application for browsing, streaming and importing your samples, loops and sounds effortlessly into your DAW just got better.

 

My Next Headphones: “Pipes” by AIAIAI

My Next Headphones: “Pipes” by AIAIAI

I run through earphones like other people run through socks. I have to budget enough money annually so that I can buy four pairs of headphones a year. My last pair were the very expensive Apple Wireless earbuds. They stopped working about two months ago, so i’ve been research getting as good pair without breaking my band. In the $50 range, I stumbled upon AIAIAI’s “Pipes” in-ear style of headphones. I don’t know what the sound quality is, but I’m game to try something new.


The Pipe earphones offer impressive sound quality and overall strength in an organic and ergonomic design. Made from lightweight and highly resilient materials these earphones display an elegant coherency between the overall design and the individual parts.

aiaiai.dk/headphones/pipe/black