About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

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(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

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To continue in the vein of dissatisfaction with training, let's take a look at the experience this high school student in Singapore is having with e-Learning (found via Corporate eLearningWhere are the humans?

Bryce Zabel's FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Santa's 2007 Movie Smackdown! Bryce has put together a fun poll on which Christmas/holiday movies make the cut for annual viewing. Which ones can youThe Santa Smackdown!

Yeah... somebody had too much time on their hands. Still, it's kinda fun. [caption id="attachment_1180" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="created by Kris Staub - click for larger version"][/caption] You can even buy a print ofSci-fi Periodic Table (TV and Movies)

It's over. For four years of my life (which, oddly enough, took six years), I've been watching Battlestar Galactica weekly. This redesigned joy from my childhood became an engaging, exciting, andReview: Battlestar Galactica finale

There was a time when I was really into The Planet of the Apes series. I watched all the movies and the TV show, multiple times. I still enjoy theReview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

[Note: recent events in my life have conspired to prevent me from putting together the vote scheduled for this week. I'll get back to it. It's not like you allTuesday TubeWatch: MacGyvering Star Wars

This concept video was apparently leaked from Peter Jackson's production of The Hobbit. It's an exciting early look at the controversial direction Jackson may take, thematically: [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/XC73PHdQX04" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent"Leaked Pre-production video for The Hobbit!

Free Online Conference - Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations : eLearning Technology I am impressed. This is a great example of putting your money where your mouth is. Tony Karrer andFree Online Corporate Learning Conference

In Minority Report, Tom Cruise's character was able to interact with a very cool looking computer desktop that he could manipulate with special gloves just by waving his hands around. [captionTuesday TubeWatch: Minority Report to Sixth Sense to PHUD - Interface Advancement and Integration

Cerado's Web 2.0 or Star Wars Quiz Sadly, I got a 38.Web 2.0 or Star Wars?

Creating Passionate Users: REAL motivation posters This is stuff I've talked about with co-workers years ago: the "fake-ness" of motivational posters. The examples Kathy created are hilarious and truthful. ThereCreating Passionate Users: REAL motivation posters

Official Google Reader Blog: There's a feed for that?! I've never actually used Craig's List, but the article linked above points out that you can use feeds from that site andJob Search via RSS

Yesterday (well, technically today) I posted that The Avengers was one of three movies that I would see even if I had to sell my mother to the Russians, withReview: The Avengers (2012) (no spoilers)

In the 7 day challenge, today's topic is: Answer one question I think people visiting my blog may have. Let's be honest: I have no idea what question you guys/gals mayHow geeky are you, really? - 7 day challenge

For the first time ever, this blog is involved in a contest. This isn't like a "who's got the best blog" kind of thing, but one that gives you theWill you win?

A colorful cavalcade of classical coolness

This excites me on many levels. It’s so simple, and yet so cool.

It’s not at all new either. In fact, there’s a multi-award winning film that uses something very similar in its most famous scene. (Comment below if you know what it is.)

What is it, and why does it excite me?

Don’t laugh.

It’s a bar graph.

Yes, seriously.

Wait, wait! Don’t go… it’s not just any old bar graph. This one moves. And it lights up. And there’s music.

Starting to see the cool yet?

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t either, if I was just reading this. Stick with me.

Let’s package it this way: This is a different way to experience music – visually and accurately. We’ve all seen light shows of one kind or another accompanying music, but most of the time it’s just pulsating to the beat or rhythms or some approximation thereof. What we’ve got below is accurate parts, durations, and relative pitch of the notes in a song depicted in a way that you could actually learn something about the music itself.

Check this out as a “simple” example from J.S. Bach:

I call that simple only because it’s one instrument and pretty easy to see how the thing works. But check out the first movement from Mozart’s Symphony #40 in G-minor (one of his best, for my money). For some people this may be a better example because you can actually follow a single instrument through the symphony (for instance, green is the violin (with other strings in shades of green)):

Beyond that fact that I just think it looks neat, I really think this could be used to get people to think of music in a different way. It could be used to help people see the connection between music and math (you can’t get a bar graph without math!). In our increasingly visually driven society, it could be used to help show the ebb and flow of the musical lines, and the intertwining of parts to create the whole. Heck, maybe it could even be used to help the deaf experience music in a new way (maybe it already is, for all I know).

Because this is based on MIDI, it would be pretty easy to single out a given part or parts for display to focus on just the brass, for example. All sorts of ways to slice and dice this.

Like I said, this excites me in many ways: as a music lover, as a technology geek, as an (extremely) amateur composer, and as a trainer/educator. It’s just plain cool.

In case you’re interested in how this works (from the technology side), it’s actually pretty simple. It’s a visual representation of MIDI, which has been around for quite a while (I actually programmed my computer to play the “Ghostbusters” song in MIDI back in the 80’s). MIDI is a mathematical representation of pitch and duration for each note in a score/song. Run that MIDI file through this free software, and it reads all that math and gives you that scrolling bar graph (or even a few other visual options). It’s fun! :)

Do did you figure out which movie used a colored bar representation for music yet? Here’s a hint… ba-ba-da-BUM-BUM!

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