Apple Music and Beats: 1

Apple’s streaming music subscription service, Apple Musicwas released last week in addition to the new streaming radio station Beats: 1 and other features in the new versions of Music on iOS and iTunes on Windows and Mac OS X.

I’ll admit that although I had tried Pandora and Spotify they’d never really stuck. Why not own my music and listen to the full albums I love instead of playlists? Why listen to ads alongside my favorite music?

The three month trial of Apple Music has made me a quick convert for now, at least. As well as the low price, $15 for six of my family members isn’t that much more than what I was paying for one Spotify subscription. The killer feature is that the music matching (previously available in iTunes Match) will let you bring in any music that isn’t available for streaming. No Beatles to stream? If it was in your iTunes music library before, it’s available through Apple Music. iTunes Match was the thing that finally let me stop syncing my iPhone to my laptop.

There’s something really strange about the new streaming  Beats: 1 radio station that launched alongside Apple Music. It’s good. 

Unlike most other internet radio stations, there are hosts. A revolutionary concept, I know, but it’s how they host that is so different. They don’t sound like pre-programmed chatter bots with dumbass names like Free Beer and Hotwings from radio planet twelve in the marketing galaxy.

The only part of Beats-1 that sounds pre-programmed are the rare advertising reads that are given by what sounds like a BBC presenter who usually says about five words before a track starts. Not between every track, so far it sounds like it’s once or twice an hour you might hear a few words. Way better than any of the terrestrial radio stations you might hear.

One particular program I heard on the launch night was enough to make Beats: 1 post-worthy. St. Vincent had put together a mixtape for an 11-year old named Piper (who won a contest) and what do you know, this is really good. Even St. Vincent’s banter with Piper is good. 

Earlier in the day there was still plenty of fine music to listen to. Some of which was new to me. The day-time (Pacific time) DJ’s has a more traditional radio jockey style, but almost no ads and it didn’t sound like it was ruined by the influence of the record industry. Awesome.

The ads that were there were voiced by a tonally inappropriate genericly British accented person which was a bit hilarious to hear him talking about some hotel chain for a half second with rap going on underneath.

The only downside to Beats: 1 is that the music was edited for radio with no explicit option when the old iTunes radio stations had an explicit language option. Beats: 1 is available to everyone who has iTunes on a Mac, on Windows, or on the iOS Music app, there’s no fee to listen to it.

Terminator Genisys: A Fart in a Wind Tunnel

Devin Faraci:

The script is the biggest problem with Terminator Genisys – it is stupid and it is riddled with cheap, lazy callbacks to movies that have technically never happened after this reboot – but the casting gives that shit script a run for its money as The Biggest Problem. Jai Courtney is a disaster as Kyle Reese; he’s wrong in every way, having none of the weary soldier qualities that Michael Biehn brought to the role. Courtney is the new Sam Worthington, who was the new Gretchen Mol, who was the new person whose name I forget because these are forgettable actors foisted upon us by the weird Hollywood hive mind. There are make-up techniques designed to baffle facial recognition software and Jai Courtney seems to have been designed with that in mind – he’s an actor who passes through your brain like a fart in a wind tunnel. Just poof, gone.

In a year where we’ve had the excellent Mad Max: Fury Road, this terrible redux of an action/sci-fi film we all love stands out even more than in an off year where your A Good Day to Die Hard or The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) can be properly ignored and forgotten.

Playstation 4 gets DLNA Media Player

Scott McCarthy:

Hello PlayStation Nation! Every time we announce new features for PS4 here on PlayStation.Blog, I love going into the comments to answer your questions and see feedback on which features people really like and which ones people still want to see. One of those questions I have been able to count on has been, “Where is our PS4 media player?”

If you were watching our E3 press conference pre-show, you probably heard the good news – Media Player for the PS4 will be available to download from PlayStation Store this evening. A Media Player icon will appear in the PS4 content area, simply select the icon and you will be taken to the PS Store where you can begin the download.

A DLNA player for the Playstation 4, finally.

TempleOS and Bubsy 3D

Richard Mitton on Terry A. Davis’ TempleOS:

TempleOS is somewhat of a legend in the operating system community. It’s sole author, Terry A. Davis, has spent the past 12 years attempting to create a new operating from scratch. Terry explains that God has instructed him to construct a temple, a 640×480 covenant of perfection. Unfortunately Terry also suffers from schizophrenia, and has a tendency to appear on various programming forums with a burst of strange, paranoid, and often racist comments. He is frequently banned from most forums.

This combination of TempleOS’s amateurish approach and Terry’s unfortunate outbursts have resulted in TempleOS being often regarded as something to be mocked, ignored, or forgotten. Many people have done some or all of those things, and it’s understandable why.

This article reminded me of Robert Ashley’s awesome A Life Well Wasted podcast, but more specifically the episode where he speaks with Nick “Ulillillia” Smith. Like Terry Davis’ and his TempleOS, Nick Smith does what he loves and dismisses nearly every modern convention or standard and just does his own thing.

In 2007 when I first watched Nick Smith’s now famous 5 secrets of level 2 in Bubsy 3d video it was way too easy to laugh at him for his tone of voice and attachment to a completely obscure game. Today there are people making bank on videos about the most obscure  games and Smith was just ahead of the game.

Almost Lost Big Bird

Rob Crilly:

Big Bird, the giant yellow-feathered Sesame Street character, was offered a place on the doomed Challenger space shuttle mission but had to withdraw because his oversized costume would not fit in the craft.

The extraordinary revelation is contained in a new documentary I Am Big Bird, which tells the story of the Jim Henson creation and the man who has played him for 45 years, Caroll Spinney.

The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers

Dan Benjamin (of many fine podcasts at 5by5) and Merlin Mann (of Back to Work and Roderick on the Line) recently recorded a podcast about the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski.

The Big Lebowski is such a great movie in all of its nonsense, and as Dan and Merlin point out we all know a Dude but for some reason the person I’m most amused by in the movie is Walter Sobchak.

Walter is dead-set on rules (he threatens a man with a gun for breaking one during league bowling) and constantly living in the past (all of his talk of the war in Vietnam) but he’s also bizarrely focused on being politically correct at one point in the film (Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.) and at the same time is constantly bumbling and unapologetic in his every attempt to help the unmotivated Dude. Every attempt of Walter’s to help ends up resulting in failure and more pain for The Dude. What a great character. I know a Walter Sobchak, I bet you do as well.

This podcast goes over almost every minute of it and points out details that those of us who have only watched it three or so times may have missed.

You should read Dan and Merlin’s notes which contain links to the script, links to the movie if you haven’t seen it recently, links to get the show into your podcast dingus, and more. For something completely different maybe consider listening to Chipocrite’s 8-bit Lebowski.

Work It; Make It; Do it; Makes us DaftPunKonsole

Malik Dellidj made this awesome pseudo-midi keyboard on codepen that plays clips from Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Dvorak not supported. Qwerty and Azerty are good to go. Here’s the video for inspiration while you music. 

Our work is never over. When it is I need to go watch Interstella 5555.