music

Arcade Fire keep pushing boundaries of digital content with Reflektor

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Holy shit. Arcade Fire has done it again. And I’m not referring to their new single, Reflektor. I’m talking about their new video (I call it their new digital experience because that’s what it is).

I have previously spoken about Arcade Fire and their innovations in digital both here and here.

Today their new single and video(s) were released at 9pm local time. The traditional video is dark and gets some getting used to. However, when I found out that Arcade Fire also released an interactive experience I was hooked.

Another Chrome experiment, the experience is actually called Just A Reflektor and is a short film that follows the world of a woman in Haiti as she experiences both her world and ours.

Here are a couple of screen shots:

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 9.18.54 PM

This one is of me within the video.

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The one above is of the heroine.

Vincent Morisset is again the genius behind this production as he was with sprawl2. If you haven’t experienced the video make sure to watch experience it and read about the technology here.

Make sure to use the Chrome browser via desktop/laptop or an iOS/Android device. Enjoy!

Pono, meet iPod: The latest details about Neil Young’s ultra-Hifi audio service

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You all know (or should know!) how HUGE of a Neil Young fanboy I am. Here is a piece from GigaOM on Young’s Pono music player.

Gigaom

Neil Young’s Pono audio service, which promises to bring us better-sounding digital music, will apparently be compatible with your old iPod, (s AAPL) according to a report by Evolver.fm.

Sorta, anyway: Pono is apparently making its music backward-compatible to existing equipment, meaning that you will be able to play that HD audio file on your iPod or computer. But you won’t be able to really enjoy it unless you buy a special Pono player, which Young briefly showed off on Letterman last year.

Play Pono files on your regular equipment, and they’ll sound just like your average iTunes download. Play them on the Pono player, and you’ll get 192 kHz, 24 bit audio, which presumably sounds a lot better – even though some actually dispute that notion.

There’s no word yet when exactly Pono is going to launch, or how much the player will cost. However, it looks…

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Neil Young: 1972-2012

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Recently I conducted a session at our social media agency in Toronto. It was about Neil Young and his mostly musical career over the past 40 years. I say past 40 years because Neil has been rocking in the free world for much longer.

Others have written much on Neil and his dealings with technology. Here are three of them.

Technology Highlights:

  1. Lionel Trains – model trains
  2. LincVolt – big cars can be clean cars
  3. Pono – 21st century digital

What podcasts do you listen to?

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I’m in the need for some new and inspiring podcasts to listen to. I’m a Blue Jays and MMA fan.  I’m also an entrepreneur and a social marketer. So the podcasts reflect this.

Here is what I currently listen to:

Drunk Jays Fans – brought to you by the guys from The Score’s mosts popular blog on your Toronto Blue Jays.

ESPN UFC Podcast – from across the pond in England. This is one of the most unbaised podcasts on MMA around.

Freakonomics Radio – from the blog and book of the same name.

Humble and Fred Radio – because sometimes I need to relax and just have some unadulterated fun.

Q: The Podcast – Jian Ghomeshi is the best interview today.

The Ricky Gervais Podcast – Gervais is not actively podcasting these days. But when he does, it’s golden.

Six Pixels of Separation – Mitch Joel’s weekly conversations are very enlightening. And the monthly Media Hacks is entertaining and informative.

Spark – Nora Young helps us understand how our lives are being transformed by technology.

This American Life – Some of the best stories of people and their lives from south of the 49th.

This Week in Startups – Jason Calicanis is entertaining and his interviews and weekly news roundups are a must listen for all entrepreneurs in the tech space.

Under The Influence – Terry O’Reilly uses his unique story-telling style to bring today’s marketing and advertising trends to Canadians.

Wiretap – One of the best shows by CBC.  Jonathan Goldstein’s unique brand of humour and his band of characters always brings a smile to my face every week.

What’s your favourite podcasts? And why? Please share. Thanks!

3 Music Streaming Services To Discover New Tunes

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I love listening to music at home, in the car, in my ear buds, at home and even at live concerts. And of course I love social media. Which is why I helped organize MusicConnectTO a few years back:

Today, let me share with you my 3 favourite music streaming services and why I like them. In no particular order:

Mediazoic

Mediazoic was founded by my friend and cousin-in-law, Greg Nisbet. Mediazoic’s internet radio system allows individuals and organizations to create, customize and deejay their own internet radio stations as they create playlists, have complete control over the look and content of their station(s), and distribute a graphic “tuner” pointing to their station(s) anywhere on the web. The best thing about these stations is that tend to change every week and almost every time I have no clue who I’m going to listen to. It’s one of the best music discovery sites out there.

My favourite Mediazoic station is New Canadian Music (click on link for a link to the player)

New Canadian Music

Songza

Songza is my station of choice if I’m with a group of people with different music tastes. There are professional curated playlists and even one’s put together by fand and friends. My favourite feature is picking music based on the day of the week, time of day and what I’m doing. Hat tip to Karim Awad from big time design for pointing out this website out to me.

Grooveshark

Grooveshark is my old-faithful. I’ve been using this service to listen to my favourite new and old music since as long as I can remember. I have the ability to search for music, create my own personal playlists and listen four hours without hearing the same song. Grooveshark is the only place online where I have found that I can listen to all my favourite Neil Young songs for a whole day without ever hearing the same song twice!

What are your favourite music streaming services?