It's Random

Socalled - Work With What You Got

This song is featured during the ending credits for the ice hockey movie, Goon.  The music video for the song is quite an entertaining piece.

i did a music player research when i decided to ditch itunes, IMHO, musicbee showed to be the best for me.

I may give MusicBee a try, it honestly never even popped up in my search for iTunes alternatives.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Winamp vs. Songbird vs. Amarok vs. Foobar2000 (vs. MusicBee)

I’ve been an avid Winamp user since my very first mp3 download (early 2000’s).  All the different options, the fact it was infinitely skinnable, and the equalizer that was second to none made this my first and only choice for playing music for over a decade.  As my music collection has grown to ridiculous proportions, I’ve recently discovered the limitations within Winamp.  Multiple playlists.  It shouldn’t be a difficult thing, I should just be able to drag whatever is in the Playlist Editor section to whatever playlist I’m creating.  However, it’s not that simple.  The Playlist Editor is in the upper right corner, and to try to drag anything is futile, because it can only be dragged within that specific section, and nowhere else.

Nothing in Winamp is as simple as drag and drop, and it’s a real shame, because it really sucks the life out of what is an otherwise great media player.  That’s the one thing iTunes always had over Winamp, the ease of creating and editing large playlists.  Unfortunately, I hate Apple and their products for reasons I won’t get into right now, which makes using iTunes something that’s out of the question.  I immediately went searching around for programs that work like iTunes but are not actually iTunes.  I eventually came across Songbird.

If you’re thinking that it looks exactly like iTunes… that’s because it does.  I spent about a week using Songbird, and have to say it’s a very capable music player.  It also features a built-in, fully functional web browser based on Mozilla Firefox.  Why I would want to surf the internet with my music player, I have no clue… but the option is there.  There’s also plenty of add-ons that can expand Songbird’s range of features.  The equalizer is very nice, although it’s not as expansive as Winamp’s equalizer.  Unfortunately, Songbird takes a very long time to start.  You’re stuck looking at a pink splash screen for 30 seconds when all you want to do is listen to your music.

My computer is by no means a slouch with 4 gigs of RAM, a dual core processor running at 3 Ghz… the computer itself doesn’t even take 30 seconds to start up.  Also, you have to install add-ons to Songbird to get the song title to show up on the Windows taskbar, which is a pain.  If I’m using a web browser or Photoshop and a song comes on, I can’t just look down and see which song is playing, I have to physically take the mouse and click on the Songbird program to see which song is playing.  Oh, but the add-on that allows Songbird to show the song in the taskbar tends to break other things in Songbird, which can be quite annoying.  So, I eventually uninstalled Songbird and installed Amarok… the music player native to Linux, but ported to Windows by the KDE developers.

Amarok barely functions as a music organizer.  Sure, it’ll play your songs, but good luck sorting it into any sort of usable playlist.  Oh, and half the options don’t work on it.  There’s no equalizer.  I mean, there’s an option for the equalizer… but when you click on it, just like everything else Linux related, it throws an error code saying the option isn’t available due to some missing file or something.  Gotta love that Linux.  I finally remembered Foobar2000… when I last tried it several years ago, I remember it sucking quite a lot.  However, things may have changed, so I figured I’d give it another shot.

For being the lightest program out of the other three I mentioned, Foobar2000 is quite robust.  Everything is literally just as easy as drag and drop, and creating playlists is a breeze.  The equalizer is larger than Winamp’s equalizer, with the ability to change nearly every bass and treble option available.  Starting the program is nearly instantaneous, with the music player popping up as soon as you click on it.  After using it for 3 days, I can say that Foobar2000 will probably be my music player/organizer of choice going forward.  I won’t be uninstalling Winamp, as there’s things that I still like about it, including its very nice file converter, but Foobar2000 is just more simple and easy to use.

EDIT: After a suggestion from Carlos García to try out the program MusicBee, I have to declare a new winner.  MusicBee is pretty much Songbird done right.  It doesn’t take forever to load, it has a built in browser also built from Mozilla Firefox, and a 15-band equalizer that produces clearer sound than Winamp and Foobar2000.  The song playing will also show up on the taskbar, which is always a plus!

The only drawback I’ve noticed with MusicBee, and it may just be my computer, but there’s a lot of little visual artifacts on the player itself in the form of little lines.  It’s only minor, as I said before, but it is a little distracting.

However, it’s not like I’m looking at the player, I usually listen to music while multitasking anyways.  There’s tons of skins and other options for it, so you can customize it to your liking.  I’m currently running the latest Beta, and I have to say it’s a great music player.  If you’re out there looking for an iTunes replacement or just something that’ll easily organize your music, MusicBee is the way to go, with Foobar2000 coming in a close second.


Watching this on RDA right now. Awesome.

Devo… Godzilla… Ultraman… my dreams in life are coming true!

ALL OF MY RAGE!!! (Subway edition)

You know those Subway commercials?  You know, you know… the ones where the adults all have little kid voices?  Yeah… they’re annoying.  How does anyone find them funny?  Is it because of the little kid voices?  No… that’s not it at all.  People just like to be annoyed when commercials appear on television, I suppose.  You know what would make these commercials funny?  Have all the adults keep their adult voices, and just have them continue to act like jerks to each other.  It’ll be so awkward to see a bunch of adults acting like morons that there’s no way it wouldn’t be hilarious!  The Subway commercials, my friends, is How Not to Direct Commercial Advertisements 101.

This one sucks, as well…

ALL OF MY RAGE!!! (Man of Steel edition)

Man of Steel… the teaser trailer.  Superman has been my very favorite superhero for as long as I can remember.  I love the movies (Superman III and IV not so much) and I love the comics.  Admittedly, I haven’t been able to keep up with the Superman comics since the mid 90’s, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that he’s my favorite superhero.  People will argue that Superman isn’t that great (boring, full of plotholes, and bland), and I will argue that Superman is great (supremely powerful, virtuous, and awesome badguys).  I personally thought that Superman Returns was a decent movie.  Sure, it had plenty of flaws, but it is still so much better than crap like Green Lantern.

I have a few complaints about this trailer for Man of Steel.  So far, the only good thing I’ve found about this trailer is that Christopher Nolan has a hand in this movie.  However, as great as Nolan is, I don’t really want to see the Batman Begins version of Superman.  Honestly, Superman isn’t the type of character to be dark and brooding, but I’ll be damned if that isn’t exactly how they portray him in this trailer!  It’s almost an exact duplicate of the Batman Begins teaser trailer.  I also have a gripe with them posting Zack Snyder’s high points as a director (300 and Watchmen) without mentioning the turdfests (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Sucker Punch).

Anyways, let’s break down this trailer.  It immediately starts off like a pretentious art film.  I mean, Superman should be pretentious, he’s pretty much the greatest and most powerful superhero imaginable.  Whenever he runs into trouble, he can pretty much invent a new superpower to get him out of whatever situation he faces.  He even came back from the dead, for crying out loud!!  That aside, the opening is pretty ridiculous, even if you’re going for making “arthouse” Superman.

The next scene shows Clark Kent becoming a member of Deadliest Catch, and I’m kind of confused by this, but I can roll with it.  Everyone needs to relax, and since he’s super powerful, maybe he views it as a nice peaceful day on the lake.  Next, it shows a kid running around with a cape.  I assume it’s supposed to be Clark Kent as a child… but, didn’t Superman kind of invent the whole children wearing capes to imitate Superman thing?!  Why is Clark Kent running around as a kid with a cape years before Superman technically exists??  Next scene, Clark Kent becomes an Ice Road Trucker, because, y’know, why the hell not?

Of course, up next there’s still more arthouse style bullcrap with swings and butterflies and kids with capes and raspy talking going on.  Finally… finally, we get to see the one freaking thing I was waiting for… Superman… apparently flying away from trouble.  I mean, yeah, he was definitely flying into outer space and away from the city he’s supposed to be protecting!  I can only imagine Superman thinking, “Screw you, Metropolis, I’m outta here!!

The trailer finally finishes with a giant, stylized S that only slightly resembles the S that has been on Superman’s crest for generations.  It’s a lame attempt of a facsimile of Superman’s normal S pattern, and fails miserably because it’s not Superman’s S.  I didn’t mind the whole raised S for Superman Returns, because it was modern, but still retro, and not a slap in the face of tradition.  I sincerely hope this… this thing they’re passing off as Superman’s S is not what he’s going to be wearing on his costume.  I will seriously walk out of the fucking theater if it happens.  I’ve never walked out of a movie before (except for that time the theater was set on fire during Underworld: Evolution), but I will make an exception for my favorite superhero.  I refuse to sit through this film if it degenerates into an embarrassment of everything Superman stands for.  From watching the teaser trailer a few times, it looks like it’ll be an absolute humiliation of Superman’s character.  I can see the fat executives at Warner Bros. now, “Truth, justice, and the American way?  You better get ready for gloomy, despondency, and long emotional walks in deep thought.  That’s what all the kids like these days, right?”

The thing that makes Superman great is that he’s not conflicted.  He’s not a character that walks on the edge of the moral compass like many other superheroes.  He will never sacrifice 1 person to save a dozen… he’ll save them all.  Even if he fails, he just goes back in time and does it right!  That’s what makes Superman great… there’s no gray area with him.  Some people say that he was morally conflicted in Superman Returns, but I think he wasn’t really conflicted as much as he was longing for the life and family he could never have.  Superman isn’t allowed to live a normal life precisely because he’s Superman.  Superman is the greatest good guy… and that’s all he needs to be.

This trailer doesn’t get me excited for a new Superman movie at all.  It doesn’t feature the iconic greatness of John Williams’ Superman Main Title March (and it’ll be a travesty and a tragedy if it isn’t featured during the opening credits of the final movie).  This trailer doesn’t feature anything great about Superman… nothing.  It has some footage of Clark Kent gone fishin’ and hitchhiking… but nothing significant that makes me feel, “Okay, this is Superman!”  It makes me feel like I just watched the most “meh” superhero movie trailer of all time.  For contrast, the original Batman Begins trailer got me excited for a reinvention of Batman.  It featured all the important plot points of Batman without giving away a whole lot.  The Batman Begins trailer did what the Man of Steel trailer did not, and that is present the character in a way that is interesting and exciting.

The one thing I ask for from the Man of Steel movie more than any other thing that I’ve listed above, is that General Zod must yell, “Kneel before Zod!" at least once.  If this movie does not feature that line, then it’ll be as good as Spider-Man 3 was without “We are Venom!!"  As in, it won’t be good at all.

If there’s one lesson that I’ve learned in life, it’s that trying hard doesn’t get you anywhere.
Me… just now (6-12-2012).
Facebook continues to get creepier and creepier.  Good times!

Facebook continues to get creepier and creepier.  Good times!

Headphone review!

My favorite pair of headphones/earbuds recently broke, leaving me in quite a conundrum.  I owned the Sony EX71 Fontopia earbuds, which I found about a year ago on for roughly $6.

This is a pair of $40 headphones… for $6… I couldn’t pass that kind of a deal up.  I got them in the mail a few days later, and they were a great pair of headphones.  In fact, they were the best pair of headphones that I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned a lot of them.  The bass on these earbuds was deep and the sound was crystal clear, that’s pretty much all you can ask for.  People that claim to be audiophiles like to say that the Beats by Dre headphones are the best, but in my opinion, these much cheaper pair of Sony earbuds were better.  Beats by Dre is nothing but an overpriced, overhyped set of headphones that are only expensive because they’re produced by Monster, and Monster is notorious for producing overpriced crap that really shouldn’t be expensive at all.

Since my Sony Fontopia earbuds were so good, I kept them at my computer desk.  In fact, they never, ever left the desk for any reason, unless I was dusting, and even then, they were only placed on my power chair for the few minutes it took to dust off the desk.  Well, last month, I was listening to some music, took the earbuds out to go get something to drink out of the kitchen, and when I came back and put the earbuds back in my ears, the left earbud stopped working.  My heart sank, and while I was thankful that they only costed me $6, I was still very disappointed.  I couldn’t find the same headphones for $6 anymore, even the cheapest price that I could find was up to $18, which is more money than I really have to spare right now.  Luckily, I always keep a backup, and in this case, it was my pair of Sony EX35 earbuds.

Now, while these did not sound nearly as nice as my previous pair, they were good enough to last me until I could get a more expensive pair.  However, I became lazy, and eventually never bothered looking for another pair, and these became my main pair for use at my computer.  I still needed another pair to use for my mp3 player, nothing fancy since I mostly listen to podcasts and talk radio, but something that would still make a good backup pair in case my pair of Sony EX35 earbuds stopped working and/or broke.  So, while shopping at Walmart, I ran across a set of Maxell earbuds… for $5… which I bought.

Oh… my… gawd… what a mistake.  I fully expected them to sound like a cheap pair of headphones, but these freaking things didn’t even sound good enough to call them cheap headphones!!  Listening to anything through these earbuds was like listening to something playing through a tin can… through a pair of earmuffs.  I have literally never heard earphones sound this bad.  The really hilarious thing is that I can’t even find this specific set of Maxell earbuds online… anywhere!  I couldn’t even find these earbuds on the Walmart website… and I bought the freaking things from Walmart!!  These things are so awful, I threw the package away in disgust, without thinking of the review I am currently writing.  However, just as a warning to anyone out there shopping for cheap headphones, these headphones came in a plastic package with red cardboard inside, and was relatively plain looking packaging… and it was $5 at Walmart, and were the only headphones available for $5.

These headphones horrible things are so terrible that I wouldn’t even pawn them off on some unsuspecting ebay dweller looking for cheap headphones.  It’s always fun when the first moment you put the earbuds in that they don’t even seal out any noise.  It comes with three different sized earpieces, and none of them work.  Every other pair of noise cancelling earbuds that I’ve used, the default medium size earpieces have always worked.  Not this time!  None of them worked, when I tried all three of them, I could still hear the fans in my computer humming right along, quite loudly, almost as if I put bad fitting earbuds in my ears.  Needless to say, I’m not even using them as a backup set of earbuds, at only $5, it’s not worth putting my ears through that kind of pain and suffering.

I ended up hopping back on where I found a pair of JVC noise cancelling earbuds for only $3 (they’re normally $20), and they had great reviews from every site I checked.  So, I’m hoping that the JVC earbuds will work well enough to, at the very least, perform adequately as backups.  They may become my primary pair if they sound better than my current Sony earbuds.  I just feel so terrible for using $5 for the stupid Maxell earbuds; I would’ve much rather given the money to a crackhead, at least then somebody would’ve gotten some use out of the money.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.  Welcome to America, where everything is made in China!  Your Independence Day fireworks?  China.  Your American flag?  China.  Your American car?  China.  Wow.  I’m at a loss for words right now.