Zappa on Spotify

A bit of nostalgia for the old folks. After far too many years absence (for absence read incompetent management by the Zappa Family Trust) [wikipop]The Mothers[/wikipop] and [wikipop]Frank Zappa[/wikipop]’s catalogue returns to the virtual racks. CDs and downloads can be purchased from your favourite store. iTunes has a dedicated page:

and they can all be found on Spotify too. The wayward Spotify cataloguing system means that you will need to play hide and seek to find some… Fillmore East – June 1971, for example, can be found in the Appears On addendum. At least it is catalogued as 1971; all the others seem to date from 2012! The iTunes store has gone for a mix and match approach some correct dates and some 2012:

Thankfully We’re Only In It For The Money is not the moronic remixed abomination that Zappa did in the mid 1980’s but Cruising With Ruben & The Jets still suffers from the inflicted nonsense. Lumpy Gravy returns as Part One and two rather than the individually entitled sections from the CD releases. Uncle Meat still includes the pointless excerpts from the [wikipop search=”Uncle Meat (film)”]movie soundtrack[/wikipop] and the anachronistic ‘Tengo Na Minchia Tanta” but they can be deleted from your expansive Mothers/Zappa Spotify playlist to restore the original track listing as can the “extra” tracks from Freak Out! and Absolutely Free if you have the UK versions encoded within your DNA and find their inclusion distracting.

What will anyone unfamiliar with the works make of it all? From Lumpy Gravy to Francesco Zappa it is a diverse body of work. With the alphabetical Spotify listing
and no relevant dates it will require some considerable homework to piece it all together.

(Update: A user has made a chronological playlist to ease the chore)

I am fully loaded and available off line ๐Ÿ™‚

For now… here’s Mr Undertaker ๐Ÿ˜‰

Zappa, constantly battling with record companies, devised a system for downloading music, which you would then record on tape, but this was a decade before the Internet became usable for anybody and so was never implemented.

We propose to acquire the rights to digitally duplicate and store THE BEST of every record company’s difficult-to-move Quality Catalog Items [Q.C.I.], store them in a central processing location, and have them accessible by phone or cable TV, directly patchable into the user’s home taping appliances, with the option of direct digital-to-digital transfer to F-1 (SONY consumer level digital tape encoder), Beta Hi-Fi, or ordinary analog cassette (requiring the installation of a rentable D-A converter in the phone itself . . . the main chip is about $12).

All accounting for royalty payments, billing to the customer, etc. would be automatic, built into the initial software for the system.

The consumer has the option of subscribing to one or more Interest Categories, charged at a monthly rate, without regard for the quantity of music he or she decides to tape.

Providing material in such quantity at a reduced cost could actually diminish the desire to duplicate and store it, since it would be available any time day or night.

Monthly listings could be provided by catalog, reducing the on-line storage requirements of the computer. The entire service would be accessed by phone, even if the local reception is via TV cable.

The advantage of the TV cable is: on those channels where nothing ever seems to happen (there’s about 70 of them in L.A.), a visualization of the original cover art, including song lyrics, technical data, etc., could be displayed while the transmission is in progress, giving the project an electronic whiff of the original point-of-purchase merchandising built into the album when it was ‘an album’, since there are many consumers who like to fondle & fetish the packaging while the music is being played. In this situation, Fondlement & Fetishism Potential [F.F.P.] is supplied, without the cost of shipping tons of cardboard around.

We require a LARGE quantity of money and the services of a team of mega-hackers to write the software for this system. Most of the hardware devices are, even as you read this, available as off-the-shelf items, just waiting to be plugged into each other so they can put an end to “THE RECORD BUSINESS” as we now know it.

R is for Retribution

Lately we are not allowed to eat or sleep until we have satisfied Martine’s word lustร‚ย so I give her an R and get to try out a new Spotify plug-in too.

There are a few [wikipop search=”Andy Clark (musician)”]Clark Hutchinson[/wikipop]ร‚ย reissues/compilations around but, alas, no sign of the magnificence that was Retribution.

And so this will suffice for now (the rest of the compilation is worth a listen too)….


Magic Mice and Menu Bars

Finally caught a Magic Mouse which is as good as anticipated. I did not have a problem with the old [W:Apple Mighty Mouse] although a lot of people complained about them. I have a Logitech wireless mouse that I used with the old Mac but never got around to setting it up with the new Mac – the Mighty Mouse that came with it has done the job.

I did add Magic Prefs but have not really needed the extra pinches or swipes as yet – but will experiment with configuring it for flying X Plane. Magic Prefs added yet another icon to the ever leftward expansion across the menu bar so here is a quick check of what they are (admittedly some could be removed as they are never used and I have no idea why they are there ๐Ÿ˜‰ )….
menu bar

From the left….

    Magic Prefs – adds extra controls to the Magic Mouse
    Spam Sweep – Within minutes of launching the demo Spam vanished… purchased minutes later.
    Library Books – Monitirs your library account and reminds you when stuff is due back.
    Savvy Clipboard – expands the usefulness of the clipboard.
    BwanaDik – any software named after a Zappa song must be good.
    Scribblet – fuss-free aide-mรƒยฉmoires. Updated to Version 2 today.
    Weather Dock – Saves having to look out of the window ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Growl – pops up and tells you what you are listening to on Spotify, or when you have email, or when NetNewsWire has just refreshed etc. etc.
    Caffeine – Keeps your Mac awake.
    iStat Menus – Monitors the system if you enjoy watching that kind of thing. Who doesn’t? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Universal access – some of the other stuff needs some of this stuff to be on so they can do their thing.
    AppleScripts – Tweak you Mac to do what you want, when you want, how you want it done.
    Bluetooth – Lets Magic Mice talk to Macs
    Spaces – multi desktops thingy
    Spell Catcher – monitors your typing and corrects your spilling milkshakes.
    Time Machine – auto back up and then some.
    AirPort – wifi monitor
    Date & Time – this is why you buy a Mac ๐Ÿ™‚
    User Account switch – what it says.
    SpotLight – search everything everywhere.

Snow Leopard

It is interesting to note the varied experiences with Snow Leopard. For what it is worth my installation time was 43 minutes. A single disc and a couple of clicks affair – if I had a five year old to hand I could have left them to do it without any problems.

Space saved
Space saved

I regained nearly 23GB of disc space. Perhaps I should delete some of my accumulated junk and gain even more disc space. The original Leopard screenshot was named “Picture 59” (59! Perhaps I should delete some of my accu… ) but the shiny new one is called “Screen shot 2009-08-29 at 13.41.54”

Although most things seem to work fine I am constantly lost without FinderPop but I suppose the Turly fellow has some kind of an excuse and we can wait a while longer. Meanwhile I dragged my FinderPop Items folder into the Dock so at least some familiar stuff can be quickly found amongst all the clutter. Perhaps I should delete some of my accu…

To make 1Password version 2 work you need to drop Safari down to 32 bit mode from it’s Info pane:

32 Bit option
32 Bit option

But the Snow Leopard friendly version 3 is currently being tested and should be with us soon.

Another trusty assistant is Spell Catcher which does seem a little tetchy at the moment but I shall follow their advice and see if I can make it a little happier.

The swanky Services looks like it will be quite useful once it is configured for the individual’s needs.

Services menu
Services menu

I have not noticed any real problems so far. Even my creaky old PhotoShop 8 (the first CS version) seems to work fine. Things certainly seem snappier. Scrolling through a long list of stuff (Perhaps I should delete some of my accu… ) in a Finder window is notably smooth and fast. Spotify takes a long time to connect but I am not sure if that is a Snow Leopard thing or a Spotify thing.

I did do a full bootable backup of the old Leopard disc before the update so it will be interesting to go back after awhile with Snow Leopard and see just how different it feels.

Mobile Spotify

A demo of Spotify on an Android mobile phone.

Perhaps once they finish that Spotify will start to iron out some of the glitches in their catalogue listings….

Only one of these tracks is listed correctly. There are no prizes for spotting it or identifying all the tracks ๐Ÿ˜‰ But…. [W:Ravens], [W:Crows]…. Near enough ๐Ÿ™

I would have reported the errors but Spotify have moved to a Get Satisfaction forum. Why would anyone think this was a good idea?

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