Relocating - please follow the link for new content

This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

New listening

Over recent weeks I have been collecting a new heap of music to listen to. Here's a list of ten:

1. U2 - How to dismantle an atomic bomb
2. Talking Heads - The Best of
3. Porcupine Tree - Deadwing
4. Rufus Wainwright - Want Two
5. Gomez - Split the Difference
6. Can - Tago Mago
7. Bjork - Medulla
8. Brian Eno - Apollo
9. Led Zeppelin - Presence
10. Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves

Comments on some of these to follow soon. And I'll be posting more book reviews too. Promises promises!

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

Google's AdSense

I set up AdSense a few days ago. The change that regular readers will notice, is that adverts appear at the top of the page. I'd appreciate feedback on this. I'm not sure that I have tweaked the template for the page correctly. Does this affect your ability to read the posts on the weblog? Let me know. If it needs adjusting - and you know how to do it - please let me know.

AdSense looks like a good scheme. Apparently readers who click adverts generate revenue for the blogger. An interesting idea. I'm intrigued to see how this develops.

Monday, 11 April 2005

US Court secures classical copyright

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Court secures classical copyright: "A major change to US music copyright practices could be in the offing after a court ruled a record label broke the law by reissuing old recordings. New York's highest court said Naxos was wrong to release classical recordings by Yehudi Menuhin and others - even though they were out of copyright. The court said such recordings were still covered by common law. The victorious Capitol label, which owns the rights, said the decision had 'enormous importance'. "

Regular readers will know that I am really interested in the whole issue of copyright, and the importance of balancing the rights of the artist with those of the wider creative process and the public. I'm a big fan of Naxos records - they have reworked the world of the classical music labels. They have also re-worked the whole idea of a budget label, producing work of a high standard, and often producing world premieres. They also release difficult music, not just keeping to the safety of popular classics.

It is astounding that the US courts are undermining the fundamental principle that copyright has a time limit to it. This is really important if we are to see work coming into the public domain for wider dissemination, and for broader use by the creative community.

The article which I quote above, also points out that the early recordings for the pop and rock scene are approaching the 50 year threshhold for copyright - there are implications in this ruling for the work of The Beatles and others.

Let's not forget that court actions like this one were not taken to protect the work of an artist and their family. This is about large corporations protecting what they see as their property. It is important that the legal system sets a clear time-limit to this, so that the public domain can work as it should. For a great example of the public domain, and the power of the internet, take a look at the growing archive of early movies which are now out of copyright at the internet archive.

Sunday, 10 April 2005

Successor to Easytree

Just a really quick note about Easytree. I posted a few days ago to say that it had closed for business. A successor is up and running - you can find it at . As with Easytree membership is restricted to 100,000 - so if you are interested in joining it may take a few goes to get in...

Friday, 8 April 2005

Recover from crashes with Blogger

This is a bit of a silly post, I know. Blogs posts about blogging are a bit too introspective usually. But I have been complaining a lot lately about the fact that my host, Blogger, frequently crashes. This usually happens just as I am trying to post something which I have just written and not saved anywhere else. It is really infuriating.

Well, today Blogger announced that it has a "Recover post" feature to deal with this problem. It is supposed to save the post as you type it, to your computer, so that you can recover what you typed if the browser crashes. Sounds great. Just need to get Blogger to crash now so that I can try it out!

After feeling a bit fed up with Blogger for a while now, since there have been no new features in so long. And particularly because they don't seem to be addressing the problem of categories for blog posts. Who knows - maybe that will be the next fix! That would be excellent.

P.S. Guess what - I just tried to post this and the browser crashed. I tried the new feature, and it worked! That's weird. now Blogger need to reduce the number of crashes...

Thursday, 7 April 2005

Largehearted Boy weblog & Easytree

Largehearted Boy: Bittorrent Brunch:

More about the demise of Easytree. A great weblog, Largehearted Boy, suggests some alternatives. It's amazing that the legal community don't realise that as fast as they track and close down these sites, others open up to replace them. Better surely to think about ways to create authorised environments for sharing live music and concerts off FM radio. Some bands do this themselves through their websites. There are far more creative ways to tackle this, rather than suing people. This then is Largehearted Boy's comment...

"Easytree is officially gone. The successor (in my heart, at least) to Sharing The Groove now passes the baton to... who? I've been most impressed with The Traders' Den, which has a Sharing The Groove feel to it, as well as a varied selection of genres and generous helping of live DVD's.
Other bittorrent lossless live performance trackers I recommend (feel free to add more in the comments):

Digital Panic
Via Chicago (Wilco and related)
Pearl Jam"

UPDATE: I've posted about this again, on 10th April (link here). If you have come here looking for Easytree's successor. Follow this link to Dimeadozen.

Easytree closed for business

Thanks to somebody who anonymously posted this comment earlier today:

Anonymous said...

"Alas is no more. Another casulty of the foolish multi-national media giants and their legions of lawyers.
Does anyone know of another site with similar offerings?"

My response:

"Yes, the Easytree site was closed yesterday at 16:00 UK time due to threats from lawyers. Given that this site took great lengths to ensure that it did not distribute officially available material, I think this is a great pity.

"There are still other torrent sites available of course. But in my view, Easytree was the best! In my view, the greed of the multi-national media industry, driven by profits and share prices, will hound customers away. Instead of attacking the internet and file sharing, they should be embracing it as a way to increase the number of ways to access a band's music. Real fans buy the official music, and then hunt out unofficial recordings to understand the whole creative process."

I'll post more about this to the weblog later...

Sunday, 3 April 2005

The magic of metaphor

I am reading a book by Nick Owen called "The magic of metaphor".

magic of metaphor
It is a collection of stories designed to engage, inspire and transform the listener and the reader. He looks at the whole idea of story-telling and pulls out the power of the story-teller when giving a story from memory rather than reading it out.

I found this great quote last night:

“When we begin to understand the patterns and structures of our thinking, we can start to liberate ourselves from enslavement to our limitations.”

It is one of those sentences that rattles around in your head if you let it. Give it a little time to set off sparks.

Saturday, 2 April 2005

Just to lift the spirits

Just to lift the spirits

This is a photo taken from the chair-lift whilst skiing in Kaprun, Austria back in February. I thought I would post it just to remember the beauty, the grace and the spectacle of the place.

Friday, 1 April 2005

iRiver - so many functions

For my birthday I got an iRiver H340. This is a wonderful machine. It's known in the market as an mp3 player. But it does so much more. It can store 40 GBs of data - that can be mp3s, photos, text (eBooks), data and even videos. It has a colour screen so that you can watch videos. It took a few days to figure out how to do this - once you get there it is fantastic!

It also has an FM radio in it, which you can record from as an mp3 file. And you can record through either an internal microphone or an external clip microphone. All of which means that I am getting closer to producing my first podcast. The storage capacity of this machine is breath-taking.

The official site is here. I have to say that the machine itself may be fantastic, but the manual and accompanying information is useless. The first 24 hours of trying to figure out how everything worked was incredibly frustrating. Nothing seemed to make any sense. This was only rescued by an amazing online forum where iRiver users post questions and answers. It is called misticriver. There are some incredibly informed users on this site. It was here that I learnt how to get video working on the machine. I also learnt some of the basic functions of the machine which the manual should have told me.

So, it is a fantastic machine, which makes the iPod look like a lame fashion icon. But the iRiver out of the box lacks user-friendliness. You need a willingness to become a bit of a geek to understand the real capacity of the iRiver. It's worth the learning curve though for the sheer range of things that this small gadget can deliver!