Newsletter May 2001

The US tax day has passed and with it our second spring birthday. The archives are bulging while the checks are written and the sap rises. If you feel like browsing, don’t forget the Index. Nearly 700 pages contain an awful lot of stuff.

May is partly a hi-fidelity month. Center stage in the interview seat is mastering engineer Scott Hull of New York who, among other things, mastered Steely Dan’s Grammy album-of-the-year and our own BETTY’s Carnival. If you don’t know what this esoteric but crucial part of record-making is about, read it here. In line with our dogma, this isn’t an audio nerd discussion for cognoscenti/aficionados but is conducted in everyone’s language.

On the same theme, the fourth chapter of Mike Thorne’s forthcoming book is posted. This one is called Delivering The Music (All Change), and is a ramble through the way that music is affected (often in curious ways) by the way it’s delivered, from 78s all the way through to the mp3. Closely linked is the battle to establish new standards, notably in DVD and on the Internet. These are interesting and confusing times.

Following on Captain Sensible’s interview last month, we offer a free mp3 of our club remix of his song on Thorne’s Sprawl CD, The Toys Tango (very freely adapted from The Toys Takeover). The 400 or so downloads of Supernatural Beauty a couple of months back showed us that length and the phone bill are not an obstacle to you, so this one is also just on eight minutes long. It works and plays with the full and crazy collection of vocal noises contributed by Lene Lovich to the original. The original three minutes couldn’t contain all the larking around the we can do here. The new mood ranges from silly to downright scary. Alarming things can go on in the nursery, but you can dance through it all.

Finishing with medium-fidelity, we update our comprehensive survey and review of mp3 software applications, including several new ones such as Apple’s iTunes. This is a major section of our geek-free Help Desk, which also embraces simple, accessible descriptions of most aspects of computing and the Web. As always, our thanks go to other sites who link to us, often specifically to this collection of simple words.

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