Kindle is to Books as iTunes is to CDs?

Ever since I purchased my first iPod, I’ve been very happy with digital purchases for my music.  Of course that’s technically confusing, as CDs are digital as well.  But most people say digital to mean on-line, physical-less data.  Of course it’s easy to copy those files to a flash drive or burn to a CD, and then it would almost be like purchasing the CD.  When iTunes became popular, I don’t remember there being too great a debate over choosing it rather than physical CDs.  There were those who complained about the lack of receiving a booklet, some with lyrics and/or artwork, and not being able to actually “hold” the music in their hands.  But most people knew those things weren’t as important as the key feature: simply listening to that music.  And with the popularity of iTunes, album sales have given way somewhat to singles.  Now instead of having to grab a CD to listen to that popular song on the radio, I can just purchase that one song.

There are many great features of iTunes that go along with the convenience of on-line music purchasing.  Some things have been added to appease some of the previous complaints (Artist LP, etc.).  Now that music has essentially evolved to its new form, will the same happen with books?

With music iTunes is the king; in eBooks it seems that Amazon is the lead candidate.  While Apple has begun work on iBooks, and Barnes and Noble has its Nook, it would be hard to argue against the popularity of the Kindle.  And with a Kindle app on the iPad, you can use both Amazon’s and Apple’s solutions.  Now on its third iteration, the Kindle has some great features, a good selection of books, and most importantly is very great to read on.

But is it as an important thing as an iPod?  Will the Kindle and its competitors shove paper copies to the sidelines as the iPod has done to CDs?  There are plenty of things that would make me root for the Kindle’s success.  It is much easier to hold and read the Kindle than either a mass-market paperback or a large hardcover, even if the Kindle (not the larger DX) screen isn’t as large as that format.  Being able to immediately purchase and download a book that’s available for the Kindle is such a better experience than fighting with the crowds at a local bookstore or waiting for an online order to ship.  There is also the amount of space that paper books use.  Several years ago I pared down my book collection as it was far too much to devote space to and move as wel.  What I have left still takes up more space than I’d like.  If all of those books were available on the Kindle, then all the books I would ever need would only take up the space that the Kindle does.  The Kindle’s collection can also be shared among several devices, so I could either continue reading on my iPhone or my work PC, or even share an account with one or more family members.

So what all will it take for the Kindle to match the iPod?  Well it’s not a whole lot.  The hardware is pretty much at its prime, though there is always room for improvement in the screen quality and speed of page flipping.  The app on the iPad and other platforms is also improving.  The Kindle store is fairly easy to use.  Its primary roadblocks are the selection of books and its prices.  I do think the prices are on average much higher than they should be.  Some have said this is due to the publishers, other have said it’s Amazon’s or Apple’s doing.  Regardless, I think fairer prices could be set for “standard” mass-market titles, while textbooks and such could warrant a higher price.

For now I will wait to purchase a Kindle or if I ever get an iPad, but I don’t think it will be too long before eReaders are as much a part of a person’s life as the iPod and smartphone have already become.

Drum Hardware and Double-bass Pedals

I’ve been continuously researching any additional hardware and cymbals I’d like to add to my kit.  Right now I have a ride cymbal, but no crashes yet.  Part of the reason is because it’s not as critical in my practice space to have those cymbals yet, and I’d have to get additional mute pads for them.  I have my ride cymbal set-up in a location where I can use it either as a ride or for a quick hit to simulate a crash, which is sufficient for my current level of playing.  I’d like to eventually add at least one crash, so that with it and my ride cymbal set off to the right, I can use them as two crashes when learning more complicated fills.

I also need to purchase an arm for my cowbell.  I’ll still need to find a place to set-up the arm, as my smallest rack tom is on a clamp attached to the ride cymbal.  When I eventually add another cymbal stand then I can attach it there.  One day I’ll hae to think about another arm for a splash cymbal, but that’s further in the future.

I’ve also been wanting to play a double bass pedal again.  I used to have a Tama Iron Cobra double pedal, and while it was fun to play and had alot of power, it felt too slow, especially compared to my Pearl single pedal.  While most of the popular pedals use either dual chains or direct link, I think I’ll look at ones that use single chains.  While these have the perception of being cheap, I think for my playing they’ll be more than sufficient.  My Pearl single pedal uses a single chain, and it offers plenty of power along with speed.  I’ll have to test the double pedal version of it, but I would be surprised if it didn’t feel as natural to me to play.  Also, I saw a clip on Youtube where Gene Hoglan showed the pedals that he uses.  While they’re single pedals since he uses two basses, they were Tama single-chain pedals.  If that’s good enough for Gene, then they’re good enough for me!

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are celebrating this holiday, I wish you great memories and safe travels. As usual I haven’t updated this in forever. I think the main thing is I need to find a better way to write and upload new posts, as using the website isn’t as great as a dedicated app or such would be. So what all’s cooking on my mind?

Reason 5 review: lots of new features, primarily Kong

Record overview: I don’t record alot of audio, but I’ll post impressions of how well Record works compared to Audacity and others

Ubuntu 10.10 review: I run Ubuntu on my home PC and use it alot for programming and such, so it merits an in-depth look compared to Windows XP and 7, and to a few other recent Linux distro releases.

Music: I’ve been listening to a few new albums as well as long-time favorites, and it’s time to write some good reviews for those.  Also, I’ve been mulling over some thoughts about drum lessons and other things I’ve discovered, so I would like to share those.

Windows 7 review: My work computer has been on 7 for awhile, and I’ve also been able to deploy it on eligible systems, so my experience with this OS has grown enough that I feel ready to write up how well it works, compare it to XP and Vista, and see how it stacks up against OS X and Linux.

Book reviews: I’ve slowly started reading more, so I’d like to share my thoughts on some of those titles.  I’ll also write about the Kindle, as I’ve been thinking about getting one, and how I think it would do compared to paper copies.

I know I have alot more things to write, and I’ve covered some of those topics in previous posts.  Since WordPress has a Drafts feature I don’t have any excuse not to get those started!

Re-learning Reason

I’ve decided to go with Reason and Record for my audio work. While Logic Express has some things that I liked, I felt that Reason was the best choice for my needs. I will likely use Record for the time being for final mixes of Reason songs, but I would like to eventually get an Apogee One to do some recording of guitar and bass. Drums? I would need a proper room and too many mics, so that seems unlikely for quite a while. I have to read up on using line-level signals vs. hi-z signals on audio interfaces, as my bass uses active pickups. Right now I have a Fender Stratocaster, but for the type of playing I want to do it may be sold for a Gibson Explorer. Only time will tell…

Sticking With Apple

Since my last post I’ve tried out a few more Linux distros and such, but then finally decided to pack up the PC tower and just use my MacBook for writing and music.  It’s been nice trying out Linux, but with working in IT and such I just don’t have time to experiment and mess with things anymore; I just want a fully working system, and for me the MacBook has always been that.

So, all future tech-related entries on here will always pertain to Apple.  As for music, I’m currently deciding on Reason/Record or Logic Express for my work.  I’m also working on getting a plug-in configured so that I can share the music I create on here.

The inspiration and encouragement came from Mons, who I originally met on Shacknews.  I highly recommend you check out his site and purchase his CD!

http://www.monstunes.com/