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2 years ago

The Lion King - InfoBarrel

The Lion King is definitely one of the best animated movies from Disney in my heart. It is so classical with the phenomenal story, lovely characters, and excellent music. Everyone who has watched The Lion King would remember the beautiful and heart-melting rhythms in the movies, such as "Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." Not to mention they also won the Best Original Score and Best Song of the Academy Award. Thus, when I saw that the special edition of The Lion King DVD has been released, I knew I had to own it!

This Special Platinum Edition of The Lion King DVD is just one of my Disney movie collections, but it is my favorite one. This two-disc DVD contains so many features, which are worth taking the time to go though each of them. But what I love most is its restored visual effects and two 5.1 soundtracks: Dolby Digital and a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix. Not only does the film presentation look more vivid and gorgeous, the sound effects are so different in thunderous 5.1 soundtrack. I really enjoyed the resonant opening of "Circle of Life" reverberating in my living room. The roaring of Simba's father, Mufasa is also quite stunning in Dolby sound effect.

The first disc pretty much contains the movie itself only, while the second disc has deleted segments, background stories, and games. But there is a feature that you should not miss in the first disc. That is the commentary from the director and producer. You would learn so many interesting insights of the production of this movie. This special edition DVD also has a new song "morning report," from the adopted The Lion King musical, but I don't have much feeling about the new song since I didn't see the musical.

One thing I have noted is that several scenes seem to be redrawn. Some scenes are not quite the same as I remembered when I watched the movie in the theater. This is a little disappointing. However, I still love this movie so much and it is definitely a great edition of a DVD that needs to be added into your collection.

2 years ago

iCloud set to make Apple sing higher

Apple will kick off its perennial Worldwide Developers Conference with several big software releases including Apple's soon-to-be released cloud service iCloud. You can also expect the next update of its desktop and mobile platform, Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5.

AAPL has said previously that the focus of this year's Conference will be software, especially iOS and Lion. Those awaiting the next generation iPhone may be disappointed since many industry experts believe it will not be announced next week.

Therefore with that and this year's focus on software, look for all eyes to be on iCloud, which is Apple's soon to be announced cloud service for music.

Although not official, AAPL confirmed that iCloud will be a "cloud services offering," however, they stopped short of using the word "music" nor did they add any details.

The musical writing is on the wall given though since Apple has signed a licensing deal with EMI with additional deals with Sony and Universal right on the horizon.

So with AAPL going all in with digital music, the question is how well will it compete with Google and Amazon in the space?

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that iCloud from AAPL will be able to mirror a user's entire iTunes library for play on multiple devices. It also said that it could replace low-quality songs with better versions, automatically.

What we can also conclude despite that automation is that iCloud will be more expensive than "media locker" services from GOOG and AMZN.

So will people pay more for the version from AAPL? Well it may be packaged with their "MobileMe" service so that would make it an attractive aspect for existing Apple customers.

But the worst news for Google and Amazon in all of this is the rabid loyalty AAPL customers have for the company. Even if the iCloud offering is on par technologically with its peers, expect music aficionados to once again line up the block with their wallets out.

iCloud is set to take AAPL stock even further into the clouds.

2 years ago

Butler director Daniels faces $25 million suit by hip-hop mogul

By Daniel Wiessner

Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:14pm IST

Director Lee Daniels gestures at the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California October 21, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

Director Lee Daniels gestures at the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California October 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni/Files

Highlights from the Westminster Dog Show.

2 years ago

Judge Orders File-Trading Lime Wire Service to Disable its Software

GENERIC internet piracy download downloading file sharing movie MPAA compuetr security napster grokster CBS/AP

The end of Lime Wire as it has existed for years appears to be at hand.


U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood issued an injunction today against the company that operates the long popular file-sharing software, LimeWire, and requires managers there to disable "the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading...and/or all functionality" of the LimeWire software, Lime Wire announced.

In May, Wood, who serves the Southern District of New York, granted summary judgment in favor of the music industry's claims that Lime Group, parent of LimeWire software maker Lime Wire, and founder Mark Gorton committed copyright infringement, engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement.

LimeWire, the software, was released 10 years ago and quickly emerged as one of the favorite ways to pass pirated music across the Web. Gorton and his company have acknowledged making millions from offering the software.

"While this is not our ideal path, we hope to work with the music industry in moving forward," said a Lime Wire spokesperson in a statement. "We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future."

Legacy software

Lime Wire continues to exist but no longer operates as a file-sharing service, the spokesperson said. Exactly what the New York-based company will do in the future is unclear. At this point, the company's chances of licensing music for Spoon appear to be small and its prospects dim.

Obviously, there is little that the court can do about software that is already released. But in her order, Wood tried to close the door on any further releases, upgrades, advertising of the software or the creation of any comparable software in the future. She also wants Lime Wire to do its best to discourage the use of the LimeWire software already in the wild, what she called "legacy software."

"Using its best efforts," Wood wrote, "Lime Wire shall use all reasonable technological means to immediately cease and desist the current infringement of the Copyrighted Works by Legacy users through the LimeWire System and Software and to prevent and inhibit future infringement of copyright works."

She ordered Gorton and employees to establish "default settings in the legacy software that block the sharing of unauthorized media files" and offer users tools to remove the software from their hard drives. Wood ordered Lime Wire to create a copyright filter that would work on legacy software. In addition, Wood required Gorton and crew to first get the permission of the music labels before building any new legal version of LimeWire.


This is not the end of Gorton or his company's troubles. The Recording Industry Association of America, which filed the copyright complaint against Gorton and Lime Wire in 2007, will now seek damages that could easily top $1 billion. That phase of the trial is scheduled to begin in January. A group of music publishers has also filed a copyright complaint against Lime Wire.

According to music industry sources, Gorton and the Recording Industry Association of America were in settlement negotiations for a long time as the judge deliberated over whether to impose the injunction.

Gorton offered to license music from the top four record companies for Spoon, Lime Wire's little-known legal music service. The deal fell through after Gorton's lawyers insisted that the music labels allow LimeWire to continue to operate for a year so users could be moved over to Spoon.

The labels totally rejected the idea. RIAA lawyers have told the judge that LimeWire costs the record labels about $500 million in lost music sales every month. They wouldn't wait a year. They wouldn't wait a month. They assert they have taken a beating from Lime Wire for too long.

"For the better part of the last decade, Limewire and Gorton have violated the law," the RIAA said in a statement. "The court has now signed an injunction that will start to unwind the massive piracy machine that Lime Wire and Gorton used to enrich themselves immensely."

This story originally appeared on CNET

2 years ago

The Best New Music Software Of 2014


In our look back at the best of 2014,

2 years ago

These Hip Hop-Classic Art Mashups Are Pretty Much Perfect

Hip hop and classical artwork might not seem like a match made in heaven, but Gisella Velasco and Toni Potenciano found a way help these classics brush that centuries-old dirt off their shoulders.

Spitting sick verses over stunning sketches since December 2013, Fly Art Productions describes the project as "paying homage to the good things in life: fine art and fresh hip hop." And indeed, the classics are looking super fly with the additional swagger of contemporary lyrics. Master verses from Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, the late great Tupac, TLC and more are each paired perfectly with the accompanying painting. Who knew Drake went so well with Joan of Arc?

Here are just a few of the verse-visual mashups:

2 years ago

How to Make 8-Bit Music with FamiTracker

There are several effects you can add or take away from any instrument at any time. Each effect is assigned a number or letter that you need to enter followed by two numbers that serve as parameters. First however, let's discuss a little more about layout of the note entering area.

You will notice that in each channel's column has a whole bunch of dots in it. Look closer and you will see that some of the dots are grouped together into columns of their own. The leftmost column has a group of three dots. When you click on these and enter notes, the dots will show what note, a dash, and what octave. If you entered notes, you'll also see the next column over with a group of two dots will say "00." These numbers represent which instrument is set to play the notes. If you had multiple instruments, whichever one was selected would play the notes. This is useful if you want to have different instruments with differing effects such as volume arpeggios, which can easily be edited in the instrument editor.

The next column contains a single dot. This is for the volume. Most everything in this program works based on hex. So the value for the volume could be anywhere from 0 to F. In case you're not familiar, basically it's like having everything set on a scale of 16. 0 is the quietest. As the value increases, so do the numbers until you get to 9. After that you start with the letter A and keep going until you have the highest value F.

(0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F)

Volume Changes

This is one of the easiest and most useful effects you can use in FamiTracker. At any point through your song, you can change the value in the volume column, whether a note is being played at the same time or not. This is how we can create a delay effect. If you have the volume when a note is played set to F, you can drop it by a few degrees at a time, then spike it, and drop it again. For example, F, B, 7, 3, D, 8, 4, 1.

Other Effects

In addition to being able to change the volume on each line of the song, you can do the same to many other effects. The last column of dots is grouped in three. Here you can add and edit almost any effect you desire. The first dot tells what effect will be applied. The next two are for parameters that vary depending on the effect. We'll try adding tremolo here. So, pick a line and on the first dot of the effects column, type "7." In this case the next dot will represent speed. The third dot represents depth. If you're not sure what those mean, try playing around with them to see the changes they make.

In my example "Chippy" below, I entered "777" at first, "755" a little later, and "733" after that. If you try this, you will hear a great difference between the three.

As mentioned, there are many other effects you can add in. To many to talk about here in fact. To see the full list of effects and what to enter for them, click Help > Effect Table.

2 years ago - The future notes of music

LONDON, England (CNN) -- A group of musicians working at universities in England are getting excited about the latest computer acoustic software, whereby a computer reacts to what a musician plays.

The software is programmed in such a way that, when used alongside a live musician, it produces an improvised sound, in a similar way to how chess computer programs play "live" against human players.

Professor Peter Wiegold, Head of Music Research at Brunel University, says several universities throughout the country are using this sort of software.

At Brunel, English cellist Matthew Barley has taken up a research post to develop a repertoire of duets between a solo cello and a computer using software developed by Ircam, the Paris-based Institute of Research and Co-ordination of Acoustics and Music.

Wiegold says that the musical software works in a similar way to the loop machines solo guitarists use to accompany themselves, but instead of just playing back the sound, it is more like a live, dynamic accompaniment.

He says it is an exciting development for music because the software can create a sound that a human may not have thought off.

It can also alter pitch, so that the cello sounds more like a double bass, or duplicate the sounds to give the impression that there are 30 cellos supporting him.

"It's very exciting because until recently, pre-programmed music was very one-dimensional," he says.

"Now, because computers are so fast, the computer will respond instantly and will throw something back at you that you may not have thought of, or that you may not have ever heard before. They can change texture, pitch, all sorts of things that until recently, were not possible."

He does not believe computers will ever replace musicians, but instead enhance what they do by combining art with science.

"You can never recreate what a human does. What you can do is bring a computer into the equation and see what happens."

He says the aim at the end of the Barley project is to program a computer so well that it will sound like a live musician.

The project will culminate in an album and a live performance of cello and computer in London next year.

He compares it to the computer-generated music created by DJs on the clubbing scene, but with a classical twist.

2 years ago

SXSW Music begins today-What bands are you going to see?

While the interactive and film portions of colossal media festival South by Southwest (SXSW) began last Friday, the SXSW Music festival begins today, offering Austin music lovers the weekend of the year.

The festival, which lasts from March 17-21, is one of the largest music festivals in the United States. Acts from around the globe will perform on over 80 stages throughout downtown Austin, providing residents and visitors with more than 80 musical options-at any given moment. There are literally hundreds of performers every night, from every conceivable genre.

SXSW began in 1987, and is based around the Austin Convention Center in downtown Austin, TX. There are numerous conferences throughout the day, and the music starts playing at 8 p.m., lasting until 2 a.m every night.

The conference has grown tremendously in the years since its inception. While the conference began with only 700 registrants in 1987, but has now ballooned to have nearly 12,000 registrants. When the film and interactive components were added to the conference in 1994, registrants increased further, with the other two festivals drawing in 17,000 more registrants every March.

The festival is literally responsible for putting Austin on the map as a music city. While it was always a place with a strong music environment, cited as a party city ever since the 19th century, Austin musicians had no way to reach out to the music world as a whole or get them interested pre-SXSW.

Now, however, SXSW is perhaps the big event in the music industry, and is now the largest revenue-producing special event in the Austin economy, generating at least $110 million in 2008 alone.

SXSW is also unique in that they offer free mp3 downloads of featured artists from the event. This year, over 1,000 tracks were released by the festival, and were subsequently aggregated into major torrent packs by the bittorrent community.

If you're interested in that torrent pack, the unofficial collection can be found here, along with the packs for the SXSW festivals from 2005 on.

However, if all you're interested in is the list of performers and venues, then you should head over to, where you can find a list of performers organized by date and venue. So, if you're in Austin and have registered for SXSW, be sure to check out at least a handful of this cornucopia of musical talent.

Who knows? Maybe the artist you go see will be the next big hit-always a possibility with SXSW.

2 years ago

Mixing Techniques - Just Hit Mute

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Mixing Techniques - Just Hit Mute