Archive for March, 2007

EOM Sessions Online Radio Tonight – 3/29/07

derek | March 29, 2007 in news | Comments (0)

El Otro Mundo presents EOM Sessions online radio show every Thursday from 6pm – 10pm PST on Deepmixfm.com. Tonight’s guest DJ will be UCHU. Check it out!

http://elotromundo.com

http://deepmixfm.com

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Maker Faire 2007 – PD / OSC / Processing / Quartz Composer

stevecooley | March 26, 2007 in events,tools | Comments (0)

Derek Scott and myself (Steve Cooley) will be presenting our findings on “Making DIY music tools control DIY visuals” at the Maker Faire, 2007. We’ll be showing a combination of Pure Data (PD), Open Sound Control (OSC), Processing, and Quartz Composer. Hope to see you there!

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Flash Memory + Car Stereo = Better

derek | March 15, 2007 in news | Comments (3)

Most people love listening to music while driving in their cars. Many of those folks like to listen to their own music collection. It wasn’t that long ago when the only way to have a large selection of music on hand was to keep a CD book in the car. Though it was handy, it wasn’t the best solution if you’re driving alone (try flipping through a 100+ disc CD book while driving a manual transmission vehicle around town). Not to mention if your car was ever broken into, you could potentially lose your entire CD collection…unless you took the time to fill your CD book with copies instead of the original discs. Car stereo manufactures have come to the rescue in the last few years with auxiliary jacks which allow you to plug in portable media players, such as iPods. I don’t know how you all feel about this, but I for one am quite tired of having a wire hanging from my dashboard. I know the manufacturers mean well, but this solution is not much different than the cassette tape adapters many of us used to use to hook up portable CD players in the 90s.

Luckily, the manufacturers didn’t stop there. There is a growing number of MP3-capable car stereos (and car multimedia systems) that now come with built-in USB ports or SD card slots. No more wires! Just hop in your ride, pop in your storage device and enjoy weeks of music without swapping discs. This is exactly what we music-loving motorists need in this day and age of downloadable music. No matter if you get your music from iTunes, Beatport, a podcast, a netlabel or if you’ve converted your vinyl records and CDs to digital files yourself, you can dump it all onto a USB flash drive or SD card easily. A handful of USB-enabled stereos also support direct connection to portable media players (like the iPod). Even though that does bring back the dreaded wire, it might make sense to those who have a portable media player, that actively use it when not driving, and don’t want to invest in flash memory. But an important point to bring up is flash media is becoming cheaper and cheaper. I recently purchased a 2GB USB flash drive at a local electronics store for $45, and it came with a $20 rebate offer. Taking a look on sites like Pricewatch.com, I see 2GB SD cards and USB drives for less than $20. 8GB sizes of either one can be found for less than $90 too. Not bad if you ask me.

The prices of the stereos themselves range from $100 to about $1000 depending on how fancy the deck is, with most of the expensive ones being multimedia systems (DVD playback, retractable LCD screens, etc). My favorite so far is the JVC KD-G820 because of its excellent graphical parametric equalizer, but they have a new model I want to check out which supports both types of flash memory. You can also get flash memory-capable stereos by Sony, Kenwood and Clarion. These manufacturers and others also offer rear-mounted USB ports in case you want to add a USB port elsewhere on your dashboard or console.

So instead of dealing with an obstructive wire hanging from your deck or burning a CD (or DVD) whenever you get new music (like I did, then end up with several unlabeled discs littering the back seat of the car), do yourself a favor and get a stereo made for the 21st century lifestyle.

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