iTunes in Norway
It might not sound like much from the title, but it could have ramifications. And, I believe, it’s a first step towards sensible rules governing downloaded music. The Register is reporting that the Norwegian consumer protection Ombudsman has found that iTunes is guilty of breaking Norwegian law. One part is that it’s unreasonable to make Norwegians sign an agreement that they’ll be governed by English law. Fair enough. But the other parts are, I think, worthy of wider note:
[The Ombudsman said that] iTunes must accept responsibility for damage its software may do, and said it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold.
Both of those are very common in the world of software, and both are utterly unreasonable. We wouldn’t accept it if car makers disclaimed all responsibility for damage that their cars might do, so why do we let software manufacturers get away with it? And as for altering terms and conditions after sale? That’s just plain silly. And yet most of the legal download services enforce such terms as this – they claim that, after you’ve paid for the music and at any time of their choosing, they can change how often, where or on what devices you can play it. It’s a strange world in which we let companies get away with such blatant abuse.
pax et bonum
The Pipettes are a girl band with a difference. Watch the video on their front page! Good stuff
(_Thanks to Eddie for the link._)
pax et bonum
I’ve just finished watching Manchester Passion – the BBC’s new version of the Passion story. For those who missed it (most people outside the UK, apart from anyone else!), it was a live, 1-hour programme taking Jesus through the City of Manchester from the Last Supper and Gethsemane to the crucifixion, accompanied by a Manchester soundtrack (music from New Order, James, Oasis etc.). OK, it was broadcast on Good Friday, but we only just got around to watching it
Generally, I thought it was very good. Some of the music worked particularly well – for me, stand outs include Sit Down during the Gethsemane moment (“Those who feel the breath of sadness / Sit down next to me / Those who find they’re touched by madness / Sit down next to me / Those who find themselves ridiculous / Sit down next to me / In love, in fear, in hate, in tears / In love, in fear, in hate”) and Pilate duetting with Jesus to Wonderwall (“Maybe / You’re gonna be the one who saves me / Yeah maybe / You’re gonna be the one who saves me”). And the downbeat/upbeat switch at the end was handled excellently (the sudden appearance of Jesus at the top of the clock tower singing I am the resurrection by the Stone Roses!). Some of this music is, in this context, profoundly worshipful stuff! Writers of “worship songs” take note!
If you get the chance, I’d heartily recommend watching it for a refreshingly different and moving version of the story.
pax et bonum
Be careful what you listen to!
A man was dragged from a plane and interrogated because the taxi driver who took him to the airport didn’t like his taste in music. (From The Register .)
Waste of time?
Sorry for the lack of posts here in the past few days. I’ve been wasting my time with new toys instead of blogging.
What toys? Well, I’ve bought myself a new electric fiddle from eBay. Not one of the gorgeous but expensive Bridge fiddles that I’ve been lusting after for a while now. Instead of spending £1000 or so on something I couldn’t be sure I’d like long term, I’ve opted to spend £63 (including postage!) on something that will let me get started. OK, it’s not exactly pretty and, OK, it doesn’t sound anything like as nice as the Bridge, but for this price I can’t really complain
Of course, an electric instrument isn’t much use by itself so I’ve also added an M-Audio Black Box – a combined amp modeller / effects box / drum machine / USB recording interface that Tom pointed me at. They’re going quite cheap at the moment (I got mine for £99 from SoundControl but they seem to have sold out online now) but are very good value for money. So, for less than £165, I’ve got myself a starter electric fiddle / effects / recording setup. Which is nice It looks like this:
The fiddle actually looks a little nicer than that makes it look – the paint isn’t flat red but is a bit sparkly. However, the strings on it are horrible!
The basic, unaltered fiddle sounds like this (75 kB mp3) but adding a bit of reverb and chorus to it mellows it somewhat (145 kB mp3). Of course, being electric means that I can do funky (150 kB mp3) and strange (300 kB mp3) things. OK, so the playing’s not that great on those tracks – I’ll try and get a better recording! Those are my first attempts; the provided software is powerful but doesn’t always work the way I expect.
pax et bonum