DJ Blackboard

A few years ago, I did a DJ set at an event at work and because my job involved a certain virtual learning platform, every called me “DJ Blackboard” (geddit? DJ Blackboard sounds like DJ Blackburn, as in Blackburn my surname!) I’ve still got the tracks I played, but so far DJ Blackboard has yet to have a mix on the internet.

Until Today! Here is a short mix of some of the tracks on “Everyday, Everyday – The Mistrust Remixes” now playing on Mixcloud:

Buy the way – look out for the full album of mistrust remixes on Bandcamp here.

Ultravox covers competition

I’ve recently submitted a remix for the Ultravox Covers Competition on the official Ultravox website. Here’s a link to all of the tracks that were submitted, so have a listen to all of them – some good tunes from all the entrants. If you’re an Ultravox fan or a fan of 80s music in general, you’ll probably recognise most of them. “Vienna” is amongst the 80+ tracks. Have a listen and download some of the tracks – you’ll be surprised at how good they are….

Here’s the remix I did:

Ultravox – I Remember (gimme the money mix) – TB/mistrust remix

Here are all of the entries….

Ultravox.org.uk – Media Archive : 2009 – October 10th.

 

 

Stop: Windows misery strikes again

Tree Swirl, by Paul Harrison
Tree Swirl, by Paul Harrison, aged 15

Windows never ceases to amaze me. It’s like the be-all and end-all to the world of computing. It’s like gateway to a parallel universe, that will only let you in if you meet a million and one criteria, all encrypted in hexadecimal code. BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), followed by STOP: 0x0000007B. What’s that supposed to mean, then? Run Chdsk /F or something – that’ll get you a ticket to ride the rollercoaster again. I feel like the world’s a blur when this happens……

As you’ve probably worked out by now, my laptop with all my Acid Pro files, VST plugins, and all my work projects, died on me. Or rather, Windows XP Pro died on me. It’s a 2 year-old HP/Compaq NC6400, which has been running very slowly for about 5 or 6 weeks but has been more reliable than my old desktop. Should have backed everything up, but there’s probably 20 gigs’ worth of files on there, but you wonder about viruses and spyware being passed on. Took ages to load up last week, then on Friday evening: STOP: 0x0000007B. Couldn’t run Chkdsk because I couldn’t get into Windows, so that’s not much use. So much for Windows.

Lots of trawling on the internet later, a Linux Rescue disk came to my aid – System Rescue, with TestDisk on it. It told me that all the contents of the drive where safe, and not corrupted. Runs from RAM, not the HD. Thank heavens for that! How to get to them without a good knowledge of Linux. Ahaaa! Bypass Windows! Find a sneaky way past the guard dogs at the eternal gateway! Took the drive out of the laptop, plugged into a USB drive adapter connected to another PC, and hey presto! There were all my files, looking the same as ever and (hopefully) not corrupted. This little incident, along with many other run-ins I (and so many people I know) have had with Windows, makes me realise that I should either by a Mac and get some decent recording software, or install Linux on a laptop and make music the open-source way. Either way, I’m getting very tired of having to second-guess the system and waiting around for an error message to appear. I very nearly lost all of the Pitch Black remix stuff I’ve working on for months, just when I’m clear about finishing off.

If you’re a Mac or Linux user, please don’t laugh at me. I’ve seen the light and I’ll be converted soon….

Don’t forget to bookmark this post, in case you ever get this problem!

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Audio Podcasting for the idle blogger

Apart from actually reading out the various posts on here and recording what I’m saying, the only other way I can make an audio podcast of my blog ramblings is to use one of the many “audio feed” tools that are out on the web. There are quite a lot of these things suddenly appearing all over web, and if you’re not familiar with them, they take the RSS feed from your blog and play it back using an articifial voice. I’ve used Talkr on my blog before and it had a nice synthetic feminine lilt to its voice. However, I can’t seem to get on to their site anymore and fear that my audio feeds are no more.  So, what else can I use, seeing as though it’s impossible to get any peace and quiet at home to record a podcast myself? Well, according to various blog posts, reviews, and promo sites there are several, so I thought I’d test what some of them sound like, and what other things they offer (eg the ability to add your audio blog to iTunes. Let’s have a look at a few and compare what they sound like. First up….

odiogo

Offers a whole “audio” and sharing page, including a link to subscribe in iTunes (which I’ve added to my “subscribe” links on here), plus a direct mp3 stream for each post. It also creates an M3u playlist. Here’s an example or two – see what you think:

A is for Amazon (on odiogo)

Stream all articles

Audiofeed

This is the “free” version of Readspeaker, which seems to be making a big impression with allsorts of companies and organisations. It offers a HTML link to your own “audiofeed” page where there are a few sharing options, in addition to a player and direct to mp3 download for each ‘cast. There’s a really useful link to a mobile version of your page.

More soon….

By the way, I’m trying out this new social networking toolbar called “GetSocial”, to make it easier for people to bookmark these posts. So go on then, give me a whirl!!!

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