Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you...!

I'd like to take the opportunity to wish all of you visitors and readers of this blog a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Thanks for reading this...


P.S. Once again, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you - see you all in 2012...!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hero still going strong: Gary Numan's mix for The Quietus...

This might be old news, but it has first come to my attention that one of my still-active music heroes since my teens has just recently made a set (along with Ade Fenton) for The Quietus!

And when it's as good and eclectic as this (IMHO), then I'd gladly like to give it some blog-acreage!

Thanks for reading (and listening to) this...


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Falling forward (in HTML5) with html5media...

After writing my previous blog-post regarding the Yahoo! Web Player, I thought that I could just as well follow up on the aforementioned post by mentioning another equally easy-to-implement solution by Dave Hall, called html5media.

As you probably already know, I've previously posted about html5-based fallback solutions for Soundcloud's, Mixcloud's and Google's Flash-based embedded players - i.e.: if the flash-plugin isn't supported by the browser (read: "i-Whatevers and other mobile devices"), the html5 audio-tag would (sort of speak) step in instead.  
html5media does actually the opposite, and will normally only use a Flash-based fallback, if and when a browser cannot use a native, HTML5-based player (a.k.a.: a fallforward solution).

But why is Dave Hall's htm5media-solution intereseting then?

Well apart from it's easy to implement (which will revealed shortly), unfortunately there are still a number of older browsers being still used out there (such as IE7 and IE8), which don't support html5 video- and audio-tags!
And just to make things even more tricky, virtually all of the (more) modern browsers don't support a consistent set of audio and video-codecs, thus making embedding audio and/or video somewhat difficult, if one whats things to work for any user that graces one's site with a visit.

So if one wants to make html5 video- and audio-tags work in all major browsers, Dave Hall's html5media is solution worth considering, as all it takes is just a single line of code to make HTML5 video and audio tags to work. And if one's browser doesn't either support html5-tags or the used media file's codecs, it'll then revert to a Flash-based player insted!

Getting things to work by using html5media is simply done by adding the following line of code somewhere in the <head> of your document - and preferably just before the closing </head>-tag:
<title>My Website</title>
<script src=""></script>
...and that's it!

If you're (audio-wise) using mp3's and/or (video-wise) using H-264 encoded mp4's for your website, then you won't experience html5media kick in, if you view your website with IE-9, Safari or Google Chrome; the media-files will be played by these browsers' native, html5-player!

However, if you're using Firefox, IE-7 or -8, or Opera, then you will experience html5media work in full-effect, and play your mp3- and/or mp4-files using a Flash-based player (actually: a Flash-based solution from FlowPlayer)
Firefox-, IE-7 -, IE-8 - or Opera-users can see html5media work by clicking on the screen-shot below:

"O.K., so this all seems pretty cool, but are there any drawbacks or pitfalls in using html5media?", you might ask, and the answer is: "Yeah - sorta..."; just like the Yahoo! Web Player, which I previously posted about, html5media relies on javascript to work!

And again: according to the latest stats from, almost 37% of the World's Internet population could be considered as either not having Javascript enabled - or flat out do not have it installed; which in turn means that html5media will NOT work for these users out there!
And again: Something worth keeping in mind, IMHO...)

Otherwise, if you're already using/coding in html5 and do not want to save and upload your media-files in various formats (for example: mpeg AND ogg) to ensure all of your bases are covered regarding having your files played in any of the newer browsers out there - and/or you want all of the IE-7/IE-8-users to hear/see your embedded media-content, then html5media is a viable solution to take into consideration.

On an end-note: yes, I'm well-aware that there is an similar (javascript-based) solution out there by John Dyer, called mediaelement.js, which more or less does the same thing and works equally fine!
"Unfortunately" though, one has to download all - and host yourself - of the necessary files in the mediaelements.js-package to get it to work; a factor which might not appealing for blogspot-users, for example! 
But before anyone gets the notion that I'm poo-poo'ing mediaelements.js in this blog-post (which is NOT the case), I'd like to add that mediaelements.js also boasts of having plugins for Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, jQuery, and BlogEngine.NET, ruby gem, plone, which be of some interest for some of you readers out there that have your own hosting-opportunities and are already using one of these solutions/platforms already!

For the rest of you, try and give html5media a shot...

Thanks for reading this...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Introducing the Yahoo! Web Player - a cool evolution...!

TBH, the topic regarding this blog-post might not be breaking news per-say, and I'm probably (more-likely: "definitely") not the first to mention the following in a blog-post - but for a couple months back (last August, to be exact), the people at Yahoo! have given their Yahoo! Media Player a major overhaul!

Their player has now evolved into the Yahoo! Web Player, and not only can it now also handle playing videos, Yahoo also claims that it's: "The easiest way to add video and audio to your site"...!

First of all, "i-Whatever"- and Android-developers can stop reading this posting now, as this player does NOT work on handheld-units (explaination follows), but otherwise will work on virtually all browsers - that is if certain requirements are met!

First of all, the Yahoo! Web Player needs JavaScript to be installed and enabled to function.

And be advised that according to the latest stats from, almost 37% of the World's Internet population could be considered as either not having Javascript enabled - or flat out do not have it installed! (Something worth keeping in mind, IMHO...)

So in other words, if JavaScript is disabled (or not installed) on a user's browser, the Yahoo! Web Player will not appear (obviously); furthermore, the Yahoo! Web Player currently employs some Flash to work (which explain the lacking "i-Whatever"-support) - thus requiring the users have to have Flash installed for the player to work, too.
However, Yahoo! claim to be working on removing this limitation in a very foreseeable future.

But is it really "The easiest way to add video and audio to your site", as Yahoo! claims? Well, if we're dealing with adding and integrating media to a site or blog with one line of code, then the answer is: "Yes"!

All you have to do is add one line code like this:
<title>My Website</title>
<script type="text/javascript" src="">

What happens then is when a page loads, the Yahoo! Web Player scans the webpage's contents and adds play buttons next to ‘playable’ items (for example links to mp3-files or links to YouTube videos).

Once clicked, a play button will open an in-page player in the lower left-hand corner that will stream all the detected playable items in one unified playlist - just like it's predecessor, the Yahoo! Media Player (except the Yahoo Web Player now also supports videos, too).

You can try and see it work in full-effect by clicking on the screen-shot below:

As an added "bonus", it can also easily be added to some of the already existing blog-services out there, such as WordPress, Blogspot and Tumblr, too!

There might be some readers out there that might be already asking themselves, if this blog-poster would use the Yahoo! Web Player himself?

And the answer to that would be a "Yes" and "No" - as it "...depends", where I'd use it and if there are any design- and other technical considerations involved!

For the record, I think the Yahoo! Web Player is a vast improvement compared to their previous endeavor, the Yahoo! Media Player, on all accounts; and yes - admitted - it is a v-e-r-y easy affair to implement!
And it works immediately out-of-the-box, too...!

However, I'm personally not too keen on a solution´that relies on a plugin-topology, which statistically isn't supported by up to approx. 37% of the everyday web-users out there (BTW, I am NOT a Javascript-hater); nor does the Yahoo! Web Player work on mobile devices (as of yet)...

And design-wise I'm not too sure about placing things down in the lower left-hand corner of things, neither; although this reservation that I might have got could change, as the Yahoo! Web Player is to evolve, based on user-input and -suggestions!
That being said, if one needs an easy to implement, quick-and-dirty media integration solution that works out-of-the-box, than look no further; the Yahoo! Web Player is definitely better than it's predecessor, and should seriously be taking into consideration - regardless of my own minor hangups with (potentially) using it!

Thanks for reading this...


"Let's Mix" - R.I.P.!

Whilst in the midst of wrapping things up at my IRL-work for the pending X-Mas holiday - as for wrapping up the previously announced and forthcoming "dee3 | 30th"-set, too - I've just recently received the following mail from the staff behind "Let's Mix":

"It is with great regret that Let’s Mix today announces that the mix streaming site will go offline on January 1st 2012. This decision follows the reassessing of our licensing restrictions, alongside a critical evaluation of the business case for our service. Our intention to expand on our operations had fundamentally outgrown the Let’s Mix site.

The closing of Let’s Mix is not the result of complaints from copyright holders. It is a decision based on the equation of cost for hosting and delivering copyrighted components, versus the ability of monetizing use of the site.

We found that as the business of music streaming evolved, so would we need to. Had we desired for Let’s Mix to grow any bigger, we would also have been forced to impose strict limitations on mixes in ways neither we nor our users would have wanted to. Faced with the proposal of sacrifizing user experience and scale, we were forced to reach the difficult decision of seizing all activity at Let’s Mix.

It has been a great pleasure to enjoy the hours upon hours of mixed music, and we are thankful for the many discoveries we have made listening to your mixes.

We have already begun offering our members the ability to download their own music mixes when logged in to their accounts. These are after all your music compilations, and we encourage you to download backups of these unless you don’t already have these in place.

Access to the service in its entity will be terminated on January 1st 2012.

TBH, I've never been a fan - nor a heavy user - of their services, but it's still a shame to see sites like this disappear…

"Let's Mix - R.I.P.!"

Thanks for reading this...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wildtek Concept: Reverse Thinking

In all modesty, I'm blessed with being - once and a while - almost carpet-bombed with promos from various artists and/or labels; and to date - and fortunately for me - the majority of all of these promos have all been note-worthy...!

That being said, virtually all of these promos that I've been receiving have been either singular tunes or E.P.'s; however, in my case anyways, receiving full artist album-promos is a rarity!

A couple of days ago, an artist and DJ that I more than respect (and have the privilege of calling an IRL-friend), Dimitri Pike, was kind enough to send me a promo of his first full-album called "Reverse Thinking", which is to be soon released via Bandcamp later this month (12/12/2011).

Before anyone starts to think: "This album's only getting some blog-acreage, 'cause it's one of his friends", then I'd like to say beforehand that is isn't the case!

I can already reveal that although this album is a very diverse affair, it's still very coherent, comprising of twelve tracks spanning over field recordings, ambient, electronica, dubstep (of the proper kind) to pounding techno!

Furthermore, this album was recorded and produced during and in between his various recent travels, and therefore often inspired not only by precise places - but by various people, whom he has encountered during his travels, as well.

Based on what I've just described, one might get the suspicion that this release is probably one of those "Personal" and/or "Introverted" releases, which is only interesting to Dimitri Pike's family and friends; but it isn't - and it'd be grossly unfair of me to label this release as being such!

This album, whether listening to it's individual tracks or as a whole, is IMHO an essential release squarely placing itself quality-wise amongst other full-length releases from earlier this year, such as Sandwell District's own full-length, Surgeon's "Breaking the Frame" or even Planetary Assault Systems' "The Messenger" - just to name a few...

And when also taking into account this album's diversity (and still remaining coherent) and its' personal-based roots, I have no qualms in stating that "Reverse Thinking" is probably the best (electronic) album in 2011 - and would recommend it to any- and everyone!

But judge for yourself - each day up to the album's release, Dimitri Pike will upload a track from the album on Soundcloud - and as more of the tracks from the album go public, I seriously believe that you'll understand why I've rated this album, as being the best electronic album I've heard this year!

Thanks for reading this...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

EAMV Jedi Academy

Here's something that some of my 2nd-year students have made...!
I'm so proud of 'em - and it's NOT because I've got a minor appearence
in the vid...!