Music Technology

Net Neutrality Simplified

Imagine this situation – You want to rent a blockbuster and your internet provider’s film rental site offers this film for $6.99 in HD whilst another film rental site offers it for $4.99, also in HD. And thinking that because they’re both listed as HD you rent from your internet provider’s competitor only to notice pixelization caused by slow download speeds.

Now imagine you’re completely fine paying more to rent films and one day hear about this great flick that everyone’s raving about on the internet. But you can’t find it on your internet provider’s film rental site and have no choice but rent it from one of your internet provider’s competitors, subjecting yourself to the aforementioned issues.

This would be the norm if net neutrality was abolished.

Internet providers with a larger market share would use this status to demand payment for access to their customers and would shut out film rental companies that didn’t pay up, including the companies set up by their competing internet providers.

You’d be at the mercy of media conglomerates fighting each other, as they hinder the speeds of each other’s services and fight for the exclusive rights to certain films, music, and services.

You’d have dropouts whilst streaming and slow transfer issues accessing your own files on cloud services because these services didn’t pay up or is owned by the competitors of those that did. And this would only get worse when you’re on the go and use wi-fi services from different providers at your favorite hotspots.

Seriously, travelers would also see their speeds drop if they happen to choose an American hotel whose internet is throttled, especially when they throttle sites on which operating system and security software updates are hosted.

They’re not lowering their prices, they’re making it harder for people to access services that do and making content providers pay to access their share of the market, in many cases resulting in a reduction of royalties for artists, composers, writers, etc. And who knows if publicly funded internet like those at public libraries will be subject to internet traffic management practices?

How exactly is this progress?

As it stands, Net Neutrality in Canada is supported by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, several last mile internet providers and three political parties, the Liberals, NDP and Green Party. And both Rogers and Bell made statements that they would end throttling in late 2011 and early 2012.

Netflix is currently keeping track of the speed of our internet providers accessing their services and publishing their results on their Netflix ISP Speed Index site and I’m guessing if push comes to shove more of those sites will appear.

Hopefully, the internet providers in the states will figure out this is all counterproductive because people that eventually find out that they’re being throttled needlessly get more demanding and all it takes for their competition to nab their customers are anti-throttling policies.

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New Bone Conducting Headphones

Tayogo is a new crowdfunded product that allows individuals to hear music through bone conduction, freeing of their ears to hear their surroundings.

This waterproof Bluetooth headset holds 8 GB of music and also tunes into local FM stations. And it also keeps track of your daily physical activities through an iOS or Android App.

click here for more details on this product’s crowdfunding campaign

Interesting Idea

Years back I started framing and mounting some of my favorite album covers and although they look great on the wall, there were several issues I had to contend with.

If I had decided to mount the whole LP, the record and inner sleeve included, I would not able to play it regularly because to do so I’d need to take it off the wall and open up the frame to access the LP. And if I choose to make the frame lighter by not including the actual record and inner sleeve, I risked exposing the later to dust, fingerprints and general wear and tear.

What I ended up doing was buying used copies of my album to mount, to simply use the cover and disregards the rest. But this is of course not an environmentally friendly option in the long run. And I could have probably protected my exposed records more in a heavy duty carrying case.

Oh well. Live and learn.

Album collectors today of course have access to better options like the Snap Show and Use Vinyl Record Frame, the Art Vinyl Play and Display Record Frame, the Records on Walls slide in frame, the 12 Inch Art LP mounting kits and this new British Kickstarter crowdfunding project called Record Roots.

With Record Roots one can also easily remove and replace LPs, displaying eight albums at once. And the frame is modular so additional eight album modules can be added to each other.

Like the Art Vinyl Play and Display Record Frame and the Records on Walls slide in frame these hold double LPs. But it appears that the Art Vinyl Play and Display Record Frame is better for triple LPs.

Had I started mounting my favorite albums today I would have probably chosen to use the Record Roots system because I don’t have any double and triple LPs. I had sold those to upgrade to compact disc, back in the day, and my very favorite albums are single LPs anyway.

In case you’re curious, some of my favorite album art features paintings like Live’s “Throwing Copper“, Fleetwood Mac “Tango In The Night“, Queen’s “News of the World“, Heart’s “Dog & Butterfly” and Talk Talk’s “Natural History“.

I am also quite fond of Pink Floyd’s “Division Bell” and “Tree of Half Life“, as well as Def Leppard’s “Pyromania“, “Adrenalize” and “Retro-Active” cover art.

Those are of course the only ones I can think of, off the top of my head. And I managed to find album sized posters and promo posters for most of the above mentioned but I have just so much wall space. 🙂

By the way, if you’re a fan of album cover art you might like “Album Cover Album” by Roger Dean, “The Greatest Album Covers of All Times” by Barry Miles and “1000 Record Covers” by Michael Ochs.

New Magnetic Wireless Speakers

GoDuo Speakers are waterproof, magnetic, wireless Bluetooth speakers that are currently being offered via Kickstarter. Click here for details on this crowdfunding campaign.

Make Speakers or Headphones Wireless

The Roger is a new wireless Bluetooth adapter from Hong Kong that you can plug your headphones and speakers to make them wireless. Click here for more details on this product’s Kickstarter campaign.

New Hardware For DJs

The Evermix Mixbox 2 DJ Set Recorder is a device that enables DJs to record to their cell phones and upload these recordings to the evermix.fm website, a site where fans can access the latest tracks by the world’s best DJs.

click here for more information on this product’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign