Mac Pro On Sale Now, Shipping February; What it Brings to Audio Applications

It looks like a machine from the future. It is a machine you’ll only be able to get in the future. And it may be further off before we really see music applications that reach its full potential. But it does paint a picture of a music machine that’s futuristic, and it isn’t so far off any more. Apple today made its Mac Pro tower available – sort of. It seems the massively-custom machine is taking some time to ramp up production, as delivery dates quickly slid to February for all but the first to preorder. But, while the Mac …

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Life After Slots: What the Mac Pro, External Hardware Mean for Production

“Pro” is a funny word. When people say “pros” in contrast to “amateurs,” “producers” rather than “consumers,” they mean something about relative seriousness. And in tech, they usually invoke these words when they’re looking down on tools they feel aren’t up to snuff. That’s fair. Especially in music making and digital art where money is tight, people invest in tools because they deliver, not just to show off. And they’ve usually been burned by something less-than-pro letting them down. So, when people see a machine from Apple dubbed the “Mac Pro,” they have certain expectations. The problem is, the upcoming …

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The new CDJ. Works like a CDJ, but does things you might expect of a computer. Photos courtesy Pioneer.

CDJ, The Next Generation: Pioneer Reimagines DJ CD Player in Networked, Mobile Age of Software

In DJing, it seems, everyone has a banner to fly. There are the turntablists, the vinyl die-hards, the scratch artists. There are the digital DJs, the laptop users. The controllerists. DJing seems to go hand-in-hand with advocacy, and it’s hard to find a middle path. Even the DJ press outlets online often tend to a side. Of course, this is CDM, where we fly the banner of things like tangible music made with fruit JELL-O. (I’m telling you, it’s the future.) So, perhaps it’s worth stating the obvious: none of these things seems to be going away in the immediate …

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ISO Releases Standard for Care and Feeding of Your CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs

The ubiquitous shiny disc. Photo: “Fanch The System.” There’s a massive misconception of digital formats, that somehow if something’s digital it’ll last forever in a pristine state. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth: because digital formats are so intolerant of any error, they’re actually more susceptible to physical harm than analog formats. (If you don’t believe me, compare a vinyl LP with some scratches on it to a CD with a single scratch.) Now, the question is, how dedicated are you to proper care and feeding of your discs? Enough to care whether you’re handling your CDs …

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Monitor Your Audio Drives for Trouble via SMART, Free (Windows/Mac/Linux)

We live and die by hard drives for music. There’s no substitute for redundancy and backups (hey, you could be Matthew Dear and have a drive stolen during your set). But it is helpful to know whether a drive is healthy or not. S.M.A.R.T. monitoring features built into drives can help. Lifehacker today points to a free Windows utility for the job called CrystalDiskInfo: CrystalDiskInfo Monitors Hard Drive Health and Uptime [via gHacks] But that got me thinking about other tools. There’s quite a range of choices for Mac, Windows, Linux, and even some obscure operating systems. The only bad …

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Someone Stole Matthew Dear’s Hard Drive While He Was Playing?

Dateline: Brooklyn. Yeah, you’ve heard all sorts of stories about hard drive failure rates and why you should back up. But here’s a new one: someone might steal your hard drive, while it’s plugged into your laptop, in the middle of a set, as happened to Matthew Dear earlier this month.. Given that hard drives are worth about ten bucks each at this point, we can only assume this is some twisted fan crime. I’d like to respond: Yo! Earth to useless hipster: this is New York. We used to have real crime here, not you jacking someone’s external FireWire …

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Ridiculous Product of the Day: USB Mix Tape

Not really a whole lot I can say about this one — and I’m sure you could just fashion your own if you wanted, which I will say would be a great way for me to stop forgetting where I put my 2 gig flash drive. But this does suggest that, somewhere deep inside, people still like music represented as material objects, whatever Last.fm may say. (That’s why I’m glad Last.fm can snoop while I listen to CDs, posting my listening habits for the universe.) Suck UK USB Mixtape @ Turntable Lab Now if I could just use it as …

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Gibson’s Cute Miniature Les Paul 1 GB Flash Drive, Consumer Electronics Line?

Believe it or not, you’ll stick this into the side of your computer. Bizarre but adorable, Gibson has turned their iconic 1959 Les Paul guitar into a miniaturized replica, a functioning USB 2.0 1 GB Flash Drive. It will store data. It will not make any sound. But it does have specs that you, erm, don’t normally get out of a guitar: 14Mbps read / 6MBps write, 9 year data retention, LED indicator, and USB extension cable. Gibson Signature Series Les Paul Flash Drive No one told me, but Gibson has introduced an entire line of consumer electronics, including HDMI …

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Will Flash Drives be the Laptop Music Storage of the Future?

Flash drives: ultra-fast. Zero noise. Absurdly awesome reliability. Now, replacing your hard drive. That’s the vision, anyway. Flash memory, once limited to very tiny chunks, is slowly creeping towards storage big enough to use for audio. You’ve already got flash storage around, most likely, because of devices like Apple’s iPod nano and iPhone. But 4GB or 8GB is a little cramped for most audio and music work. You need numbers like 32GB. That’s exactly the size of the drive Dell is putting in its new Latitude D420. But it doesn’t come cheap: the SanDisk 1.8″ drive, while extremely fast and …

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DriveGenius: Drive Optimization for OS X

Defragmentation is still critical for peak disk performance for digital audio, even under new versions of OS X — even the Apple Logic documentation suggests it. Only problem is: there's not much on the Mac that's any good. Some utilities even require you to boot into OS 9. Which is why today's announcement of Drive Genius from Prosoft is such good news: Full drive optimization / defragmentation Directory analysis, repair, and rebuilding On-the-fly partitioning (no reboot needed) Testing capabilities, media surface scanning, data integrity Department-of-Defense File Deleting (for the audio mix you REALLY didn't like) This is the kind of …

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