(RSS 2.0 feed) Topic: Arts and Culture

How Much is the Braid Soundtrack Worth?

I loved Braid, the Xbox Live Arcade game, and the amazingly fitting music was a large part of the charm. So when I heard that music from Braid was available as an official soundtrack… oh, how excitement! Clear impulse buy. ;)

But how much is it worth?

It turns out that all the music featured in the Braid soundtrack was licensed from Magnatune, an indie label focused on “we are not evil” online DRM-free distribution. You can choose how much you want to pay, between USD $5–18, for each one-off album download. (They also offer subscription options.)

Magnatune Albums: Choose a Price (Flickr screenshot by Cryptarcadian)

I like how it tells you what a typical amount is! Apparently that’s $8, with $12 being considered generous, and $15 being “VERY generous”. I don’t know why, but I expected people would pay more. After all, half the proceeds goes directly to the artists, right?

I was originally thinking maybe $10, but maybe $15? Now I’m rather inclined to pay more. Oh how easily I can be suckered into paying more. How can I resist, when it’s something I’m supposed to feel good about? :D

Add comment 10 years, 7 months ago

Sneaky Sound System: TOO DAMN AWESOME!!

Lucy and I went to see Sneaky Sound System at the Enmore on Friday night, where they were playing on their 2 album tour.

Sneaky Sound System front trio

“TOO DAMN AWESOME!” barely does them justice… they are such a great act in the flesh, and boy do Miss Connie and Black Angus know just how to perform for the crowd!

Continue Reading 1 comment 11 years, 3 months ago

Battle of the Choirs — I Might Actually Care!

Wow… for the first time in years, I might actually have found a TV show I care enough about to watch at broadcast time! And not just any TV show either, but a talent quest reality show to boot — Seven’s Battle of the Choirs.

I think the difference here is that all the participants are actually quite likeable, if sometimes for different reasons. There’s energy and passion that goes beyond personal ambition from the choirs, and I think the conflict between the judges is usually about genuine differences in their assessments of the the choirs’ performances (rather than disagreements that, in other shows, have seemed gimmicky or manufactured).

Having said that though, my sister remembers Torbay from Australian Girls Choir and we do think that there is still a healthy dose of exaggeration for the sake of TV going on here! ;) Besides, it seemed like in the end he actually wanted (spoiler alerthover over text to reveal) the Sunbury Divas to make it though tonight?! When did he change his mind?

Lastly, I don’t even mind Kochie here, so the show must be alright! :D

Add comment 11 years, 5 months ago

The Blood of Kings — It’s All Over… Essay Time!

After more than two months of work, fun, frustration and elation, it’s finally over. The last show for The Blood of Kings played on Saturday night, to a sold-out audience in Studio 1. For me, who has never been Producer on a theatre production before, it was a crazy, brilliant, rollercoaster ride… but one that was more than worth a trip on.

It actually started shortly after O-Week this year, when Clairie first mentioned that she was looking for someone to produce a play that she had written. I made comments to the effect of: I don’t know anyone suitable and well, I had no experience in producing theatre. When Clairie later told me she had found someone interested in producing BoK though, I was, of course secretly disappointed. ;)

Continue Reading 2 comments 12 years, 4 months ago

Come and Watch The Blood of Kings!

'The Blood of Kings' poster
(Creative Commons license does not apply to this image)

1 comment 12 years, 4 months ago

A New Era in Digital Music — DRM-Free

Wow, it’s finally happened. Hell has frozen over. In May, EMI will start selling songs on the iTunes Music Store without DRM in AAC format at the higher bitrate of 256 kbps! USD $1.29 per song, while album pricing remains unchanged.

AAC can be played on most current Digital Audio Players, not just iPods. Make no mistake — this is a landmark day for digital distribution of music, and it’s now only a matter of time before the other major players sign-up and offer the same thing. This is one of those times where I’m glad we have Steve Jobs to do what he is good at (even I can’t see Bill Gates getting such a deal out of EMI)!

I think it’s a great win-win for all. EMI gets the price hike they wanted, consumers get DRM-free music at a higher quality (helps justify the higher price), and Apple gets an instant halving in iPod capacity. The new pricing structure will also encourage consumers to look towards buying whole albums again, but at least they won’t be screwed over because you can upgrade existing purchases to the new DRM-free AACs for USD $0.30 per song. Increased sales and great PR for massive damage.

This is great news and might mark the start of digital music purchases for me! Wow, I’m actually excited… (I still hate iTMS, but since there is no DRM I can safely run it inside a Windows XP VM or something.)

EMI press release: EMI Music launches DRM-free superior sound quality downloads across its entire digital repertoire

2 comments 12 years, 8 months ago

An Inconvenient Truth — Must-See

'An Inconvenient Truth' poster

Some of you may know that I basically get no perks whatsoever for volunteering my time to run the COFA Students’ Association. Well… that’s not always true. ;) PricewaterhouseCoopers, our consultants, ran a screening tonight for their clients of Al Gore’s new film about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.

Each and every person should see this film — without exception.

You may not like the structure of the film, which is essentially a lecture on the topic delivered by Gore (using Apple Keynote, I think). Or you may not like Gore himself, who actually does narrate the entire thing. Even I must admit I did get sick of his voice by the end of the film, and it dragged on a little and took a while to get to the final third. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is the message — and it is absolutely compelling.

Continue Reading 1 comment 13 years, 3 months ago

At Last: an Australian iTunes Music Store!

It didn’t happen in January and it failed to materialise even when Russell Crowe said it would (in April), but today Apple finally launched the Australian version of the iTunes Music Store.

I bet my friend Jo will be happy about this! She’s been very excited about this… even going as far as to suggest that the iPod nano, Motorola ROKR, and iTunes 6 have all been signs we were about to get our own iTMS. Well, somehow I don’t think Australia is that important — I’m sure these releases would’ve happened even if our entire continent suddenly got sucked up by a giant sea monster a few months ago. But hey, I’m excited too!

I’m far from an Apple fanboy and I’m still a poor student, but I do own an iPod Photo and listen to a good deal of music. So it was with great anticipation tonight that I launched iTunes, browsed to the new Australian iTMS and setting up my my Apple ID as in iTMS account. Sadly, this is where the joy ended.

Continue Reading Add comment 14 years, 1 month ago

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' poster

This weekend, Lucy and I finally got around to watching Tim Burton’s new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka — a shame we waited so long!

I’m not going to compare this adaptation to Roald Dahl’s book or the 1971 film as neither are exactly fresh in my memory, but I’ll assume you’ve read or seen either of those and include some spoilers in this review.

Johnny Depp’s performance was just amazing! Deliciously quirky in his silliness and masterfully hilarious as a mischievous, slightly unhinged Willy Wonka, how he managed to keep a straight face I’ll never know. I certainly couldn’t while watching Depp — on a few occasions, Lucy had to cover my mouth to stop me from giggling uncontrollably. :roll:

Continue Reading 2 comments 14 years, 2 months ago

Accused Pirate Fights Back Against RIAA

The RIAA has been suing alleged music pirates left right and centre. Now someone is fighting back.

A news article on Ars Technica by Ryan Paul (aka segphault) reports that Tanya Anderson, a 42 year old disabled single mother from Oregon, was accused of downloading gangster rap via Kazaa. Denying the claims, she filed a countersuit against the RIAA.

She claims that the organization engaged in numerous crimes, including fraud, deceptive business practices, and racketeering. In addition, she claims that RIAA has been “abusing the federal court judicial system for the purpose of waging a public relations and public threat campaign targeting digital file sharing activities.

The news article concludes with the most hilarious line I’ve heard all week:

If the RIAA is found guilty of fraud and extortion, I bet that SCO will sue them for infringement of a business methods patent.

These are serious allegations, but would you put it past the RIAA? The lawsuits will undoubtedly cost an enormous amount to fight out, and the RIAA most certainly has deeper pockets than a 42 year old single mother. So my only question this is: how can we help?

Woman countersues RIAA for fraud and deceptive business practices

Add comment 14 years, 2 months ago

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