…Once Opened, May Never Be Closed

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I’ve been using Pandora for streaming internet radio for over a year and I have just now realized that it’s system of deciding what to play based on the “music genome” of each song you like or dislike is fundamentally flawed. You see, Pandora only allows you to “thumbs up” or thumbs down” a particular tune when, in order to accurately rate a piece of music you need at least three options: “Thumbs Up”, “Thumbs Down” and “I COCKING HATE GOD DAMN COLDPLAY!!!” The button for that option would be Chris Martin having his face raped off by wolves.

FOLLW ME ON TWITTER and you might get to participate in the creation of HE comics. This comic was inspired by FB @RobStenzinger‘s reaction to this tweet. @patrickcentral and @allixsenos pointed out that (as Josh mentions in the comic) Pandora is only regurgitating what I’m feeding it. I’m ashamed to admit that I probably thumbs upped “Speed of Sound” at some point. Still, nothing explains why it keeps playing Whitesnake with reckless abandon.

The Plastic (guitar) Ono Band

[reddit-me]9/9/09 may be a a banner day for plastic guitar enthusiasts and Beatles fans alike, but when it comes to sacred gaming days involving a succession of 9’s nothing beats 9/9/99. Pour one out and break a GD-Rom in half for our fallen homey.

Comment-wise: What do you think about The Beatles Rock Band? Is it worth the custom vintage style instruments or would you rather just have the game? Also, what do you think Apple is going to announce today (if you care about such things)? Will they use the dual significance of this date to lauch the Beatles on iTunes? Will you buy “The White Album” for the 7th time?


Like a Blacksmith, But For Songs


Microsoft spent hundreds of millions of dollars last year to try and undo the damage Apple’s “I’m a Mac/I’m A PC” ad campaign had done to their image. Judging from the infomercial they produced for Microsoft Songsmith (a software that lets you… well, read panel one in the comic) it only took about $500 to negate all of their damage control efforts and solidify their image as the ultimate “we still don’t get it” company.

By “it” I am referring to “cool” not quality. Microsoft products may fit your needs perfectly and that’s just fine. I used them for over a decade before switching to a Mac and the biggest complaint I had was Windows XP Networking and file sharing NEVER working the same way from day to day or machine to machine. Other than that I was able to compute to my hearts desire. To each his own. So, while I am not suggesting that their product is actually inferior to their competition’s, I am asserting that their marketing department is a butthole chewing dumbass factory (literally a factory that manufactures dumbasses that chew on their own buttholes for sustenance). Did you watch the infomercial? Watch it! Seriously. It’s like an exercise in lack of self awareness. Blade Runners actually administer that video as part of the Voight-Kampff test to identify potential replicants. If the subject doesn’t laugh at first, then slowly start to stare in shivering disbelief, they know it’s a synthetic and “retire” it on the spot.

Now, I said MS’s products weren’t ALL inherently inferior… Songsmith certainly is the exception. It is a product that fills no need. I have been to the internet and I promise you there weren’t any kids there clammering for a software that adds 1990’s-esque midi jams to their bittersweet lyrics about ponies and ninjas and such. It’s supply on one side and an absolute vacuum of demand on the other.

Luckily the internet occasionally giveth more than it taketh away. And it hath giveth a plentiful bounty, ten fold… a bunch of mash ups of modern song lyrics backed by Songsmith’s instrumental stylings. They are truly horrifying to behold. UPDATE: Turns out the Songsmith Classics were created by HE reader azz100c. There are more horrors on her blog entertainmentweakly.com/blog.


I keep drawing shirtless old men.

The fact that WalMart is shitting shutting down the DRM servers that allow customer who have purchased music from them to actually listen to said music is a mostly a non-issue for me. If you looked at all of your choices for online music purchasing and chose the place that gives you a case of Coors and a 30 lb bag of cat food with every oil change, then your probably deserve whatever you get.

I was forced for the first time to pay for DRM’d music when, in order to purchase presale tickets to a Ben Folds concert, I was required to buy his new album through the iTunes store. This was a problem for me on so many levels. Ben is my favorite performing artist of any medium. His music has had a greater impact on my life than I can explain in words and I want to thank and support him for that. That’s why I’ve gone to at least 10 Ben Folds shows in the last 8 years. I pay $40 a pop and he gets a healthy chunk of that. I buy $25 teeshirts and he gets nearly all of that. TicketBastard forced me to pay $13 for a group of crippled files, of which Ben probably gets $.05 per track (if that). His label, Sony, gets a fairly even split with Apple. So now I have to burn those broken files to a disk, re-rip them in iTunes and replace them in my library. It’s not hard. It’s just a hassle, and it certainly doesn’t support the artists, which is the only reason I would ever BUY music in the first place.

I enjoyed Ephram and Paw. I might bring them back in the future. Maybe they can tangle with Pete.

(Thanks to FB, Joe Conroy, for inadvertently giving me the punch line for this comic.)