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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Jason Bourne is at it again. Chasing down his past and removing people who get in his way with some amazing hand-to-hand take downs. The Bourne Ultimatum picks up right whereReview: The Bourne Ultimatum

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » There’s No Place Like Home Photo showing Earth (in the box) from Saturn, taken by the Cassini-HuygensWe are insignificant

The MASIE Center - Learning Lab & ThinkTank - PodCasting for Learning Call I'm listening right now to this podcast. It's got a slow start, but there are some good ideasPodcasting for learning Podcast

SciFi.com: Science Fiction Movie and TV Reviews Oh, man ... I loved this show when it aired in UPN's fledgling season (kind of ironic that it would be released at theNowhere Man on DVD

In light of my most recent post, and the fact that I'm putting the Polls back in the right sidebar, I thought I'd open up a new poll question... [poll id="10"] I'mBest X-Men movie?

Apple - Trailers - Spider-Man 3 Oh, man. I can't wait for this. I'm impressed by how many effects shots they already have done, and it's still a year before itSpider-Man 3 Teaser Trailer (w/Superman Returns)

The main "event" around here lately is that this website was down for two days while we switched servers. Apparently there were issues with the process. I'm not convinced everythingThe Event

It's a popular debate lately: are these social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) bad for us? Recently an Oxford professor, Baroness Susan Greenfield, made some rather provocative speculations aboutTuesday TubeWatch: Social networking will eat your brain!

Easily the funniest of these kinds of things I've run across... see more crazy cat pics There needs to be a Hitman Monkey comic book. A depressed monkey running around whacking people...Hitman Monkey

Given my erratic posting schedule lately no one would probably notice the hole, but I'm going where the internet doesn't reach for a few days so there won't be anyThe Sounds of Silence

Hana Gittleman's "covert" site This site gives you the chance to join in on the Heroes storyline and become a part of the story. There are links to other websites fromHeroes Viral Marketing

A little girl is brutally murdered on the day of Jack Nicholson's retirement. The cops pin it on someone convenient, but Jack doesn't buy it. He's made a promise toReview: The Pledge

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox) This is the same eye tracking idea I talked about in a previous post. The focus this time, though, is reading patterns. ScanEye-movement tracking & Web Content

I've got a swirl of thoughts going on in my head at the moment. This one's gonna ramble. Hopefully it comes out making some kind of sense. I want to endI want to end my life, but I'm too lazy

I've posted before about the Green Lantern movie(s) in the works. No cast has been announced, no real information has come to my attention at all about the live actionNathan Fillion as Green Lantern? - Tuesday TubeWatch

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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