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Hi guys, hope my readers are doing well. Great news, I have finally finished importing all my music from Napster to Spotify. I couldn’t believe that sh*t took me more than two weeks to sort out. LOLOL.. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t difficult, it was just the sheer volume of music I have saved. I still need to find time to Shazam my cassettes, but at least I’ve organized my playlist to a manageable level. I have to be honest, among other things, I really miss Napster’s live radio, user music compatibility level, and being able to permanently disable my listening activity 😩😡. However, I’m not sorry I’ve changed to Spotify. I’m blown away by the significant improvements, bug fixes, and features added, within a year+ since I’ve tried it. They must have had a lot of huge investors to be able to triple their customers in such a short period of time. The one thing I really like about Spotify I forgot to mention from before, I can download and mix my non-spotify music via Wi-Fi. I was very happy about that, cause I didn’t need two extra software to make it work, everything was already integrated. I’ve complained about that to Napster during the whole 5 years I was a customer….. Nothing…. Again, I’m almost positive that the record labels wanted more money to do that, and Napster simply said… No… LOL….

So, I’ll start creating hand picked playlists. This will be fun because literally there is a song for every theme you can think of. It’s almost like creating your own compilation CD. The other beautify about playlists is that all the music I select I genuinely love, and have taken the time to share it with my readers. By the way, most other streaming services like iTunes also allow you to share playlists. However, just as a recommendation, if you decide to share playlists, keep it simple…. I’ve seen these mega lists that include upward of 600 songs. I’ve seen one with 1,000 songs. People, this is too much consumption at one time. Don’t be an idiot. When I see a playlist that big, that tells me two things, either that person was high on weed and took absolutely no care in making the playlist, or they were just too damn lazy. My opinion, a playlist should be in the range of 10-20 songs, but don’t exceed 30 (or 3 hours). Other wise, the average person would not bother, unless they are high like you; and if that is the case, they would be too high to actually listening to it anyway. Please make sure you’re telling your friends about my blog. Very few people are doing what I’m doing. So help those who are truly interested find me. Thank you.

©VintageNewscast.com

Like many old school fans, I still have quite a few old cassettes from back in the day, when I used to tape off the radio. Now that we have such amazing technology today, I’m glad I didn’t actually through away all my old cassettes YET. I’ve been shazaming a LOT of my tapes over the years, which allowed me to get rid of a significant amount of cassettes. Now, I’m not the type of person that would tell a stranger to throw anything away that has sentimental value to them (especially if it’s a vinyl album or something like that). However, I do recommend using Shazam to help you retire those old tapes to make more room for other things. Manly for three important reasons. First, finding a good cassette player has become hard to find. I’ve purchased a number of cassette players and they all sound like crap. In fact, a couple of them ruined a few of my tapes. And I’m not willing to spend upwards of $300 for a “good cassette deck,” when I know I’m only going to use it for the purpose of Shazam’n’.  Second good reason to Shazam your cassettes, you don’t have to hear the dj bable anymore.. LOL. I used to hate when they’d talk through the song I liked. But I knew they did it so that we can buy the album. Thirdly, Once you Shazam something, and or save it to your Spotify, it stays there forever! Even if the license on a song expires, it’s still listed! The nice thing about that is, if you can’t find it in any other album, you can just purchase it from Amazon or Google (DRM free). At this point I Spotify will ALWAYS have free accounts, so I really really doubt you have to worry about anything. Oh yeah! One more thing, you don’t have to run around asking friends if they know the name of a song!! 😳

Some of the songs I’ve Shazam’d lately are, “Touch Me (All Night Long) by Cathy Dennis,” “Sweet Love by Anita Baker,” “Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester,” “Don’t Turn Around by Owen Gray,” “Let It Whip by The Dazz Band,” “Jungle Love by The Time,” “What Is Love by Haddaway,” “Broken Wings by Mr. Mister,” “Suavecito by Malo,” and “I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman.” Those were just a few of several thousand Shazams, and tons of tapes 😫 😐; but it was all worth it. If I were to throw them all away, that would have been music I wouldn’t ever hear again. Mainstream radio doesn’t play music from my generation anymore period. One thing you’ll learn, even when it comes to streaming services, hand picked music is not the same as a computer generated playlist based on habits and algorithms. But, it’s good for the young kids who don’t yet have a musical perspective.

© VintageNewscast.com

While we are enjoying the new movie streaming era of commercial free binge watching, there exist a new issue arising that I haven’t heard anyone address yet. That is the need for a new rating system for TV Shows. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve noticed more and more TV shows (regardless of the subject matter) are showing more and more sex scenes. While many producers have always made the argument that “sex is a part of life, and it should be normalized… bla bla bla” something to that effect. However, my argument to you is, we’re no longer watching video at home anymore as the result of 4G. Half of Internet users spend just as much, or perhaps more time on their mobile devices than their TV, and many of these TV shows are not “mobile/public safe.” Particularly vampire and medieval TV shows appear to be concentrated with the most sex scenes (be it straight or gay now). Sex is being used to the point where in many cases it doesn’t even fit in to the movie, but they put it in there anyway. For instance, a woman is about to be viciously attack by a werewolf, and a guy breaks through a door with silver bullets and saves her. The next thing you know, before you’ve made your next eye blink, they’re already under the sheets. Now, if this was supposed to be “realistic,” this bitch was just attacked by a werewolf, having sex would be the LAST thing on a woman’s mind at that moment. That would be the “reality of it.”

Not only do many of the added sex scenes make absolutely no sense, I’ve noticed these sex scenes are getting longer and longer, and more realistic looking. In fact, some of the sex scenes are better than the rest of their acting ability. In my mind, it’s almost as though these producers are using sex in the event the movie turns out not to be that good. You know? Like if “Basic Instinct” was a bad movie, at least you’ll rent it to see Sharon Stone do her crazy sex thing. New producers must work harder to create better content with good actors, and not use special effects, CGI, and sex as a replacement for a decent script and acting. Is this what we’re reduced to? Regular movies appear to have the correct ratings on most of the movies I’ve rented. Although I do which they would expand rated “R” by adding “sex,” and “sex with violence,” so that I’m not surprised in public. TV shows are NOT marked properly. You can’t blame Netflix or any other streaming service, it’s the movie studios. Streaming companies only provide the content. I remember in the 80s-90s parents have made such a big stink over having TV ratings, so they can better manage their children. Now it seems that sex is soo normalized that no one is saying a word. Yet, these same people worry about who’s gay? Come the f*** on!

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It’s been about 4-5 years since the announcement of Shazam and Spotify partnership. This is a partnership that can only be best described in my opinion as “A marriage made in heaven.” Very rare do you find two products that come together, and work nearly flawlessly! As far as I’m concerned, Shazam is truly Spotify’s “companion application.” Also, not only did it make business sense, both companies made the integrated features fully functional to free users. One of the many things that make Spotify unique to Shazam than all the other partnered companies, is that you can actually save Shazam’d songs directly to any of your Spotify playlist. Shazam also allows you to play the full song using Spotify’s player, from within the Shazam application.

Visiting family can’t get any easier. You’re relaxing and all of a sudden, your relative decides to pop on some vinyl on the old spinner. Oh, oh! All of a sudden you hear that favorite song you haven’t heard in 15 years! You’re dancing and grooving…. You feel yourself about to ask that relative the dreaded “let me borrow that album.” Da 🎵 ta 🎵 ta 🎵 da 🎹 !!! LOLOL. Then you catch yourself! “Wait a minute! I got Shazam and Spotify!” Oh great! It found the song! Now I can easily add it on my Spotify playlist! And even better, you’ve just saved yourself from getting that “hell no!!” look from that relative that knows you’re not going to return their album the way they gave it to you (if at all). The world is back to normal. 😀

© VintageNewscast.com

You know, one of the things I’ve quickly noticed is that when it comes to music on social media; despite members of mixed races and cultures, discussions and music shared are often times almost exclusively American classic music (and even then, people tend to copy and paste the same music). Now, today many people would probably think that I am making too much out of this. However, someone like myself who is extremely eclectic when it comes to music (and movies for that matter), I couldn’t help but to wonder why that is? I mean, I can see a clear difference on the number of likes I get on Facebook with popular American classic music, as apposed to popular Spanish or reggae classics. I find this mind boggling, because as I grew up during the 80’s, reggae and Jamaican music was all the rage. People loved Jamaican music so much that it created a kind of stigma, where I’ve witnessed all kinds of American women trying to court men from the island, this happened a lot in my community. Growing up it was very common to hear Black American women say “my boyfriend is Jamaican, or West-Indian, etc.” Interesting I never heard too many American Black men say they’re dating, or have married a women from the island. Anyway,, it is my opinion that reggae became so popular as the result of the 80s explosion, but reggae quickly shifted from being a political sounding board for education and awareness, to what the call today “dancehall.” Soon reggae became all about finding a good club to dance to some “good reggae.” Now, it appears that people can’t remember half the artist they used to dance to. Am I wrong? I don’t think I am. One thing I know when it comes to the internet, offer a thumbs up/down button, people are going to use it. In this case people are not reacting to music of different cultures… Hardly… In comparison…… Could it be most people have an affinity to American music? ?? ?? I honestly don’t know. I hope not, because Americans need to learn traditional music from different parts of Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, etc as well. You can’t truly say you know about something if we’ve never experienced it. No matter what anybody thinks. The music industry has a huge part in other countries outside of America, wanting to be Americanized. The music industry doesn’t care about our culture, they just want to make money. The culture is OUR RESPONSIBILITY! The record labels don’t give a shit about the art of music. Only the $$$$$ Even if we lose everything.

I guess I’ve been a bit guilty about this myself. I responded towards the lack of enthusiasm for these great foreign music, by hardly posting them on social media (if any). I can’t help but to feel like I am wasting my time, when there is no emotional connection to those that see it. Which also means, it circles back around to the same subject I’ve been blowing up you guys ears off about. The lack of seasoned folks participating on social media. Not only can you really enjoy the plethora of classic music that you’d probably never have heard again otherwise, you can help share and expose the young kids to this too. Any music you want, Spanish, Reggae, African, Haiti, Asian, whatever, in full crisp stereo, free from pops and crackles. Now there is this wide spread trend of posting “birthdays” of celebs. Too many post these celebs/birthday not always because they remember and enjoy the nostalgia, but rather to have something to post to a group. It’s almost like some Black folk have to be cued or something…

I’m going to give it to you guys straight. Music has always been in the blood of almost all people of color since birth. Us seasoned folks are not dead yet, there is still plenty of life in us NOT to let the music we grew up with die. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Donald Trump wants to cut a billions of dollars from the education system. Which also means that music curriculum will be cut out totally. Music classes that was heavily fought to get by both leaders of the Black and the Latino community back in the day. But in general today’s Black and Latino community is clueless about that. If this happens the responsibility falls on you as a parent, not the teachers. Doesn’t this mean something to you? Damn! Without extra curricular activities, your kids will be roaming the streets doing I don’t know what! Music is one of the very few things that can give children structure. I’m just beside myself about people’s attitude towards music today, just seems that people are interested in very low, low, low quality of music. We’ve gone from writing and listening to music with powerful messages, to only listening to music with a “good beat.” And sometimes not even that. A lot of the music I hear today from the younger generation appears to have no consistent rhythm, just a bunch of chaos.

© VintageNewscast.com

 

I’ve done a lot of research on this new company called “Soundiiz.”It’s unfortunate that customer service/help desk of various streaming companies are not aware of this service. I’m not sure if it’s because it is evidence that they’re so large they don’t communicate with their employees? Or the result of just how fast internet technology is moving. I’d say a little bit of both. Well, I wanted to do some hard research, and made sure it is legit and legal before I actually post this to my blog. Soundiiz, is a service that allows you to extract and or import all your playlists from one streaming service to another. At first it was hard for me to believe, just on the fact of “why would any service do this?” Why would any company allow away for a customer to leave them? BUT, I also quickly realized that it is also an opportunity for these same streaming services to gain new ones.

Soundiiz has both free and paid service. I would think that most people would opt for the free. With the paid you do have some useful features such as, “splitting playlists,” “change song orders,” and “exporting playlists.” I DID NOT TRY THE PAY SERVICE! So I don’t know about the “exporting playlists.” If you’re interest, I think it would be worth it to find out whether or not the exported *.CSV file is comma delimited. It should be, but you never know. YOU CAN ONLY IMPORT PLAYLISTS NOT ALBUMS!!! However, you can get around this by painstakingly, creating a single playlist, and manually drop songs from those albums in to the new playlist. Now, just to let you know, their web service still needs work, it’s not the smoothest, and not the easiest to figure out. BUT, if you’re really tired of your old streaming service, or you just want to try out something new, without having too loose all your hard work curating all those playlist, use Soundiiz. It’s a wonderful way to try a service with as much of your music as possible. Hey guys, just a side note. Remember that not every streaming service will have the same library. Meaning, some songs may not exist in their library because of licensing. However, keep in mind that many (if not all) songs are linked to albums. So what I mean is, just because the service you’re migrating your playlist to doesn’t have a particular song from an album, doesn’t mean they don’t have the song. You’re more than likely would have to manually search again to see if they have the song you want under a different album.

© VintageNewscast.com

There’s an interesting article posted by Rolling Stones Magazine called “Napster, Spotify and the Fall of the ‘Middle-Class Musician’.” The article was written by Jonathan Taplin. He writes about his book called, ‘Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy’. It appears that a significant chunk of this book discuses (the claims of) how ever since the invention of music streaming, the internet giants who got in the the music business has made it impossible for the lesser known artists to make money. I don’t know, is it possible that this is a bigger issue than what I’m able to see?

 Taplin delivers a digestible account of just how the CEOs and venture capitalists who make the Internet run – many of them guided by the philosophical teachings of Ayn Rand – have created a monopoly, gained far too much power and also made it even more difficult for artists to survive.

I know what I’m about to say is probably a horrible example, but it’s the only one I can think of right now. But, I see this issue no different than when people thought new technologies back in the 80’s where taking jobs away. However, the fact was, new kinds of jobs were actually being created. The real issue as I saw it was, the insecurities of old employees learning something new, and the difficulties they had embracing change. You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d make the assumption that in a subtle way, Taplin is trying to say that lesser known artists was some how put on “minimum wage.” An unwilling salary cut.

I just think that there are soooo many other additional issues that people are not taking in to consideration. A LOT. I’m not going to make this article lengthy, so I’m just going to cut to the chase. We’ve seemed to forget that, the OLD P2P Napster was partly responsible for the massive digital overhaul, and the way we receive and experience media today. The whole reason why most people were illegally downloading in the first place, was because we literally could not afford the music. I think that I can speak for most TRUE music fans, that we prefer to purchase our favorite artists. However, if we don’t have the financial means to pay (cause there’s a 900% markup on CDs) it’s by human nature that we will find other means as to get the music that we want, especially if music is in our blood. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but it is very human. That’s just my opinion. Streaming has allowed people who can’t afford to buy music, stream unlimited music for a reasonable AND affordable price; or YouTube or Spotify for FREE streaming; AND it’s totally legal. Anybody who still use Bittorrents when it comes to music at this point, is just coocoo out of their mind. Well, somebody else can explain it to ya, ’cause I’m done with that. The rates in which they have to charge is going to be different than selling CDs in units. You cannot expect to make not even close to the money you used to make, when you’re under not only a different price structure, but under an entirely different music culture. Not only that, young people between the ages of (I’d say) 14-30 are using more streaming than any other age group. Having said that, most of these age groups are very picky about what and who they listen to, in addition to the fact that, you’re not the only artist that people are exposed to. I liken this to photographers and Behance. Being a photographer and competing to be seen over literally millions of other photographers is no easy task. By any means. Or picture starting a twitter account, and trying to get REAL loyal followers? It’s not an easy task. It takes a very long time. This is where good family culture comes in. The fact of the matter is, unless you’re Beyonce, you’re not going to get those streaming numbers that’ll get you the dollars you feel you should have.

I understand the struggles of a musician, but the real issue is the record labels still taking 70% of the profits, leaving a streaming service very little to have a functional business. Do you know that music streaming services are charged a flat rate (every year I believe) just to have the right to stream their music, ON TOP paying royalties? To my understanding, they’re not even paying songwriters for newer music streamed anymore. Why do you think big names like Janet Jackson are all starting they’re on labels? Record labels want to not only take your money, they want to control every inch of your creativity, style, the way you look, and sometimes they even try to force you to change your name if they don’t like it. There’s nothing you can really do about the record labels greed and their crookery. So trust me, services like Spotify and other streaming services are NOT the enemy. Stop trying to blame them ’cause the record labels are too big to be controlled. Streaming services are just as much a victim as artists. Get it? Having said this tho, there is absolutely no excuse not to use Spotify (FREE $0) services, or any other streaming service you love (paid or not), ’cause your favorite artist will not receive anything if you don’t.. The flip side of this coin is that, it’s unfortunate that a new artist needs a record label, because they got the connections and promotional money to put you out there. Music was never a main source of income, it’s always the actual performance. So, use the music to promote yourself, and if you’re good, when contract renewals come around, make the decision if you’re good enough to venture out on you’re own without a label.

© VintageNewscast.com

Ok guys!! Rant time!! Haven’t done one in a long time. When it comes retailers and their high markups for their accessories, can kiss my @ss 😡. I’m specifically referring to Samsung’s OEM earbuds. Anybody that’s a die hard, true music lover knows that, no matter how much you pay for a pair of headphones, THEY NEVER LAST!! I know that a lot of my readers maybe brand-loyal, but trust me, ALL major brand headphones crap out within 2 years of consecutive use, 3 years if your lucky. Some may last longer, but they still don’t last long enough, when you weigh the amount of money we spend for them.

Every retailer I’ve ever purchased these Samsung headphones from were all $30. On average, I’d say I squeeze about 4-6 months of life out of them before buying a new one. So, 90 dollars a year is a lot of money to spend for an accessory, that’s not even sturdy, or child proof even! I know I probably sound like a spokes person for Amazon, but, I keep telling you guys, BUY FROM AMAZON! They sell almost everything up to 4 times cheaper in a store. Retailers get you because their convenient. You hear a little crackle in the left ear, just go to any electronic store or T-mobile store and pay for a $30 new one. Amazon has these same OEM buds for $7. You can buy 3 of them for and still come out cheaper. Sad part is, these are the ONLY in ear buds that fit comfortably in my ear. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so, cause I know a whole lot of you will still gonna spend full retail price anyway, after I told you not to. Shaking my head 😕

© VintageNewscast.com

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