garageband_yosemite

Apple’s OS X Yosemite Proves Largely Wrinkle-Free for Music; GarageBand Updated, Too

Here’s a welcome change. OS X Yosemite (10.10 is a major update to a desktop operating system that brings with it almost no apparent headaches for pro audio. The normal advice applies. Backup your system before doing anything (even Apple’s Time Machine I’ve found does the job nicely). Time something major like an OS update for when you’ve got time to test, and to revert if you have trouble. (Hint: not in the dressing room before a gig.) And don’t rush to update – there’s nothing here that you immediately need for music work. But in this case, if you …

READ MORE →

Web2 Watch: Mixaloo Launches “Digital Mix Tapes”

Mixaloo is a new service for building digital mix tapes. Counter-clockwise from upper left: assemble tracks, get recommendations and previews (or add your own recommendations), promote your mix online (via an embeddable widget), and make custom skins and cover art. The Web holds huge potential for music sharing and music discovery, but figuring out how to make that potential work — and how to navigate copyright and licensing laws in the process – has been a major challenge. This week, the creators of the website Mixaloo promised to “bring mix tapes into the digital age.” Whether you buy into that …

READ MORE →

Music Sales Widgets, Everywhere

Widgets are all the rage these days. The idea is, artists create a little miniature music player you can embed anywhere (MySpace, blogs, etc.) with their tracks. Fans buy music via the widget, and the artist gets a cut. Hometracked has an exceptional round-up of widgets with feature comparison. (It’s about time someone took the time to do that!) So far, though, I haven’t been blown away by any of the widgets. Often, an overcrowded market is an indicator that no one technology quite has it right yet. There’s also the small matter of getting enough volume in music track …

READ MORE →

Free Audio Pro Dashboard Widget for Mac

It’s been a while since I looked at widgets for music applications, but here’s a new one, and it might be enough to make me switch back to Dashboard from Konfabulator: BigBlueLounge Dashboard Widget The widget includes a keyboard with built-in sounds (though no MIDI sending, sadly), tap tempo, and three calculators. You can calculate how much hard disk space you’ll need for a session, convert time to number of samples (not that I’ve needed to do that, but okay), and calculate the speed of sound at different temperatures. (Incidentally, the speed of sound does not change at different altitudes …

READ MORE →

Sexohol Releases First-Ever Widget Album

First vinyl, then 8-track, then tape, then CD, then MP3, now . . . Dashboard widget? Yes, you heard that right. Sexohol is releasing its album Enjoy as a Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X. It’s free, and includes pictures of the lovely couple in the band plus lyrics. Only downside is you have to be connected to the Internet to listen to the music streaming. “But, Peter!”, you say, “I need to feel the hot loving of Enjoy even when I’m not connected to the Internet!” Sexohol hears you; US$9.99 buys you a Widget you can listen to anywhere. …

READ MORE →

Musical Widgets Pt. V: Circle of Fifths, Now in Clock Form (Mac)

Ever wished you could see the Circle of Fifths (aka Circle of Fourths) displayed on your clock? Well, now you can. And you can even click individual keys to see key signatures, just in case y— hey, wait a minute! Speaking as a sometimes-theory teacher, are you telling me you haven’t learned your keys yet? What are you going to do when your handy Dashboard clock isn’t handy? You’re not going to know your key signature for C# major, that’s what. Or maybe this is a new way of telling time, like, I’ll see you at half past G-flat? I’m …

READ MORE →

Best Widgets for Music: Roundup in Review

Overwhelmed as I am by the absurd number of widgets for Macs and Windows that whizzed through the site over the past days? Me, too. Here’s a look back to keep it all straight: Part I: For Konfabulator — onetonnemusic roundup, drum pad/pattern machine; For Dashboard: Guitar Chords, Oblique Strategies, Symphonic for iTunes Part II: For Dashboard — BPM Widget, Audio Calculator, Chord Reference, ittyBittyMidi MIDI monitor, Music Calculator, Create Annoying Bass Grooves Part III: For Konfabulator — Guitar Tuner, Beat Meter, iSpeak text-to-speech, Scratchpad virtual turntable Part IV: For Dashboard — CountBPM, Digidesign/M-Audio widget, Piano, SoundVolume, Krispy Kreme (because …

READ MORE →

Useful Widgets Pt. III: Konfabulator (Mac/Win) Strikes Back

So, your appetite for musically-useful widgets to run on Dashboard (OS X Tiger only) and Konfabulator (Mac/Windows) still isn’t satisfied? Fear not: Adrian Anders writes in with four more, all for Konfabulator — so Windows users aren’t left out of the fun. (All these widgets are cross-platform.) Guitar Tuner: Nice graphics and both standard and drop-D tuning (though no tuning meter — you’re on your own for that) Beat Meter: Ugly as sin, but you can tap tempo or set a metronome marking iSpeak: Text-to-speech conversion for when you’re in a Radiohead OK Computer mood. Scratchpad: Looks like a turntable …

READ MORE →

Useful Widgets Pt. IV: More Mac Widgets for Musicians

The musical widget madness continues. powermac99 from iCompositions points out his Dashboard Widgets site. Like Apple’s, it’s beautifully organized and easy to navigate — too bad Konfabulator’s site is overwhelming. (Maybe that’ll change with Yahoo.) I’ve been hunting around that site finding still more widgets: CountBPM is my favorite BPM counter yet: click or keyboard input tap tempo, and you can view lots of data to help you accurately guess the tempo. Digidesign Widget lets you search both Digidesign and M-Audio.com for products and tech info. Piano isn’t just a keyboard widget. It supports QuickTime synths, QWERTY and mouse input, …

READ MORE →

Dashboard and Konfabulator Widgets for Music (Windows/Mac)

Be vewy vewy qwiet — I’m hunting Widgets. Yes, widgets are all the rage these days. Between Apple’s Dashboard, included with Mac OS X Tiger, and Konfabulator, which just became free for Windows and Mac and has morphed into Yahoo! Widgets, nary a desktop shall be without little floating things. The idea isn’t entirely new — look back to the 1984 Mac’s Desk Accessory, or, well, to all the stuff that’s sitting on my real desk. But tools for easily creating your own widges are making these proliferate. Anything useful for music? Well, yes and no. onetonnemusic has a roundup …

READ MORE →