A ZX Spectrum program for the OK Computer anniversary

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Radiohead has never shied away from arty and elaborate “special edition” versions of its albums, which normally ship to fans with unique artwork and limited vinyl. But Tuesday’s collector’s item release of the OK Computer 20th anniversary edition, priced at a whopping $130/£100, shipped with that most hipster of audio formats included: a C90 audio cassette.

And if you’re wondering whether Radiohead’s bizarre, technology-theorizing landmark album would pack something computer-related into that cassette tape, you might want to dig up your old Sinclair ZX Spectrum cassette drive… More at ars technica.

I like this for 2 reasons- the album is one of the best of all time and I still have a ZX Spectrum in the garage. What a time to be alive!

SoundCloud running out of time

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Exiting team members wanted to know why they weren’t warned, while those who survived the cuts wanted assurance that the cost reductions would keep the company afloat for the long-run.

But as security ominously filed into SoundCloud’s meeting rooms at its offices around the world during the all-hands video conference broadcast from its Berlin headquarters, the startup’s staff discovered they wouldn’t be getting the answers they wanted. Instead, sources at SoundCloud tell TechCrunch that founders Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss confessed the layoffs only saved the company enough money to have runway “until Q4” — which begins in just 50 days… More at TC.

I can see no way back from here. Such a shame, but the competition is just too fierce.

BeatsX: long term

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I have been using my BeatsX for a few weeks now and can safely say that they have become my most used accessory. In my initial review I was impressed, but as time has passed that positivity has grown which is rarely the case in modern tech. It is too easy for the novelty to fade away and for products to either become invisible or less alluring, but in this case I am finding them more impressive every single day.

It is fortunate that I can use them at work when I really need to concentrate and this has offered the opportunity to really test out the audio quality and the battery life, which have both remained excellent in my opinion. The point has been reached where they sit around my neck for three quarters of every day and I often forget that they are there. However, when a call comes in or when I want to quickly listen to a video or something else, I just unclip them (magnetised) and pop one in my ear.

This alone makes them more practical than the AirPods for me and from an audio perspective, they most certainly sound better. They also do not look silly either which helps and the W1 chip means that connections are flawless.

They may be Beats, a brand I always avoided, but boy am I taken with them. One of the best products I have ever bought.

Hipgnosis to float as streaming takes off

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A music royalties fund advised by guitarist Nile Rodgers is tuning up for a float next month as it hopes to cash in on the music-streaming revolution.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund is raising £200 million to snap up rights to songs by artists and make money from royalties.

The fund, which will list on the main market in two weeks, will be run by Merck Mercuriadis, the former manager of artists such as Sir Elton John, Beyoncé and Morrissey, and aims to pay out a 6.5% dividend yield… More at Evening Standard.

I have been signed up to streaming for a year now and must admit that there does feel like no way back.

One Man’s Quest For His Vinyl and His Past

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When you talk to famous people for a living, it all starts to blend together after a while. You remember meeting people like Buzz Al­drin and John Cusack and Isabella Rossellini, but you have only a vague recollection of what you discussed with them. But that wasn’t the case with Questlove, the coolest neo-soul drummer in the universe. I can remember everything about our phone conversation. It was an assignment for MTV Hive, a website offshoot of MTV. Quest had a new memoir out, and I was tasked with getting a few ridiculous yarns out of him. For the first twenty minutes or so of our conversation, it was more or less as expected. We talked about the time he roller-skated with Prince, and ran out of a Tracy Morgan toe­-licking party. But then the topic turned to the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rap­per’s Delight.” More at Longreads.

Excellent article.

The Basslet – the watch-size subwoofer

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The Basslet is the watch-size subwoofer. Using a new technology for sound, it delivers the bass directly to your body – for a powerful music experience that headphones alone cannot provide.
LoSound technology with a frequency response from 10 to 250 Hz
Silent to the outside world
6+ hours playtime / charging time 1 hour
Small sender for wireless connection of the Basslet with any audio device with a mini-jack output
Plug and play – no software or configuration needed. More at Amazon.

What a brilliant idea.

Sorry, I meant what a stupid idea and a ridiculous design.