Archive for June 6th, 2007

Get to know eMusic

eMusic is the No1 Indie music store (with Linux support too). They have 2 million DRM-free songs to choose from Indie groups. You pay $10 each month and that buys you 25 songs, at high quality. I was very enthusiastic about it, as it’s a very nice alternative, but I feel that the site is not maintained as much as it should have. Problems include:

1. No song charts! Hell, this is the first thing the consumer is looking for, especially because most of the artists there are unknowns!
2. The splash screen of the site gets you directly to the “sign up” page instead of the main site to explain the available plans or to show off the charts. In fact, there is not even a page to show the plans at all before you sign up!!! This is like trying to sell “a graphics card” to someone without giving him any other information about the make, capabilities, VRAM etc.
3. I would also like an additional “pay as you go” plan, even if the song price might have to go to $0.49 instead of the current $0.33 per song.
4. Song preview sucks, you have to download an .m3u each time. They could have hept that for users without Flash, but also add a mini Flash player too. This is one of the very visible signs that eMusic is almost… abandoned.
4. Some broken URLs throughout the site.

Nevertheless, it’s still the best there is and so, why don’t you have a look. They recently gave away 40 songs of their “Independent Music Awards Winners 2007″ list. Go download them, legally, no registration required! Good Rock music.

Regarding porn

Ok, this is a real question. I read that the porn industry struggles to maintain profitable. And I ask you: why shoot new porn movies every day? There are thousand clips, if not millions, already shot and available in several mediums. Why is there a need to shoot more porn movies? I mean, it’s not that they are any different from the previous ones! There are only so many sex positions or “scenarios” you can invent and try to convey through your film. The “meat” of the story (no pan intended) is always the same. So why aren’t the studios already shut down and just circulate the movies already in existence? Besides, the porn industry doesn’t even need HD, so no reason to re-shoot such movies/clips.

Jericho is back

The power of 20+ tons of peanuts. Jericho is back.

Argh… 24 fps

Unfortunately, Canon did not include the extended attributes for their cine-24 fps mode in the HV20 and so there is not a single affordable HDV NLE that can recognize that the 1080i stream is actually at 24 fps. You need to do a manual 3:2 pulldown, but except Adobe After Effects at $1000, there’s no other NLE app that includes such a feature out of the box. The unfortunate thing is that Premiere Elements has a pulldown importing option, but because Canon didn’t use the extended HDV attributes to indicate that the stream must be processed in 24fps, the option is grayed out.

There is a lot of outcry for this problem in the forums, and they all suggest we call Canon to ask for a firmware upgrade… There are some third party utilities that can do the pulldown (you need to grab, save, import with the utility, export with that utility, re-import to the NLE app), but the cheapest one costs $300 in the PC world. For the Mac, there is the free JES Deinterlacer utilty that might or might not work and CinemaTools that is part of a $1300 package.

You all know that I am a 60fps fan girl, but 24fps can also be interesting if you want to create a “movie-looking” movie. Check out this video (youtube, HD 720p), this kid has amazing talent. He shot this amazingly-looking short with his HV20. I’ve seen some of his other stuff, the kid has potential.

The Fountain

I watched “The Fountain” tonight. JBQ only watched the first 25 minutes and he had to walk off because the movie was putting him to sleep, literally (his eyelids were closing while watching). I personally liked the movie quite a bit (much better than the stupid “Science of Sleep” that we had to endure 2 weeks ago). The Fountain is a movie of somewhat confusing parallels and allegories, but at its core it’s preaching “live your life at its fullest, but accept death when it comes”.

What bothered me though is that the the movie’s marketing Hollywood geniuses focused on selling it as a sci-fi movie, while in reality it’s nothing but a philosophical, metaphorical movie, nothing to do with sci-fi really. The year 1500 events are drawn from the book the wife wrote (these events never happened) and the year 2500 events simply represented the hero’s mental state. The only “real” events were the ones in the present. This is also telling from the fact that every single scene in the 2005 and 2500 events had the hero in it. The 1500 events didn’t, because it was his wife’s book story, not his (except the last chapter).

Confusing. But nice.