Thursday, March 23, 2006

The joys of eBay n stuff

The linky thingy in the title is my eBay "shop" (well, it's a list of the items I've got on there). I've actually been getting my arse in gear and listing a lot of the stuff I've got stashed away for eBaying. Hopefully it should prove a lucrative sideline, and clear a lot of junk out of the house to boot.

I wonder if eBay is killing the lovely British Car Boot habit? Although it costs to list things on eBay, and it costs to use PayPal (something I'll put up with in return for the ability to have non-paypal customers be able to pay me with credit cards), it's a small price to pay not to have to fill a car with stuff and ol paste tables, etc. There's something about browsing through other people's junk which is very English though. Read "nosy". I guess there's no way of knowing what's happened to car boot sales...

Podcasts - inevitable
I've got into iTunes podcasts, finally. There's wicked electronica podcast from Gowan, a mate here at work (who has just been made redundant, the lucky sod) which I've subscribed to. I listened to most of the Ricky Gervais ones as well (who didn't, I hear), and I was into the pub landlord ones but they seem to have stopped for some reason...

iTunes: quality music?
I don't buy songs from iTunes though. I have this thing (probably from being a musician) about fidelity (or at least trying to get the best I can). When you buy compressed audio from these websites, you're not getting CD quality. As ever, perception is a fickle thing, so you just get used to not hearing some of the subtleties the producer and artists put into the music: while I've little doubt there's plenty of fiddling going on during mixdown with a view to how it will sound on an iPod, I just need to have that CD so I can make the decisions about sound quality: I don't want to download something for the same price as that track would cost on a CD and not get CD quality!

Plus, this method of buying tracks will have the inevitable effect of cheapening the best music. Not literally, but artists will be under constant pressure to come up with singles all the time - no room for any artistic "indulgence" (as a label would see it) - and you won't see CDs "crafted" in terms of their being a musical journey on their own: 7 to 10 tracks of music, chosen by the artist and arranged in an order that's pleasing to them.

Without being a luddite, this legacy hangover from LPs about putting many songs on a media so they are distributed all at once is surely a good thing: I don't like crap filler tracks, but there are plenty of songs which never made it to singles which I love (I'm a big fan of Queens of the Stone Age and some of their more "out there" stuff is brilliant, but not populist - and all the better for it).

I fear that iTunes, with the ability to audition tracks before you buy them, will not only kill CDs but it'll make life really difficult for people who want to make music from their hearts. Another bean-counting nail in the coffin of music that touches the heart, eh....?

Janeiro / Tempa Tempa
Well, I think I've probably relented on the "build a website" front. Only slightly though - I'll build a tempa tempa framework which houses stuff on other sites like MySpace. Neil doesn't think we've got enough of a following under the name Janeiro to be worried about moving to another Myspace site. I have some reservations, but he's the boss! I won't be buying another URL for the name out of my own pocket though. I'll have to work out what to do about that - I do have some ideas using Javascript cleverness from a while back.

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