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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As I mentioned in my last post, I've recently reconnected with a lot of friends from my high school youth group through the wonders of Facebook. It's been a lotFacebook points to the past, and I consider the future

How could anyone be stupid enough to let his skin turn blue? Slice of Sci-Fi has a two lists of movie trailers. Here are my favorites from their lists. The Chronicles ofBlue Skin, and movie trailers

The Fantastic Four is all about teamwork and family, when you boil it down. Or at least it should be. Both the original movie and the current sequel, unfortunately, can'tReview: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Craig Ferguson's Late Late show did a Doctor Who themed episode on Tuesday night. Craig cracks me up. And he's a true Doctor Who fan, too. Here's the "Cold Opening" and monologue: TheFerguson's Doctor Who show

Hometime - How-To - Project Help - Preventive Home Maintenance This is a great list. Excellent reminders. I am terrible at home maintenance so I actually need these kinds of reminders—otherwiseHow to keep your house from collapsing around you

Monkey Bites The post is missing a few details (perhaps because they aren't available), but it looks like the popular Eudora email client from Qualcomm is being completely re-written, using theEudora goes Open Source

[caption id="attachment_730" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Dark is Rising sequence"][/caption] When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back; Three from the circle, three from the track; Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone; FiveThe Dark Is Rising, except on film (Review: The Seeker)

SoSF Interview With the “Tin Man” Creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle - Slice of Scifi Yeah!!! Here's some hope for "The Pretender" fans... can't wait to hear more"The Pretender" to continue/conclude online!!

Alright, I'm confused. How could my theme CSS have been reverted back to default? Does that mean someone hacked my site? If so, I guess I'm fortunate that only myTheme of the day... confusion

[This post was scheduled to go up last week, and I just realized it never posted. Anyone know how that could happen with WordPress' schedule function? I'm not waiting anotherMake a silent noise unto the Lord - Tuesday TubeWatch

“Journeyman” Creator Quells Cancellation Rumors - Slice of SciFi A couple posts ago I mentioned that "Journeyman" may not air all of its produced episodes this year. Well, it turns outGood-ish news for “Journeyman”

Set up your own free storefront (referral included) It seems like there has to be a catch to this, but I haven't found it yet. Zlio.com is a service that allowsMoney for nothing, and discounts on online purchases - Zlio.com

When I returned from my vacation yesterday, my computer would not recover from hibernation mode (i.e., it wouldn't turn on). I went into a local computer store today to askA child's view of computer repair

I managed to see a limited release of ABC's new show "No Ordinary Family" online yesterday. Not sure if it's still available, but if it is these instructions will getReview: No Ordinary Family - Pilot

Andre Agassi began the end of his professional tennis career tonight with a great match vs. Andrei Pavel. Like many people, I've been watching Andre Agassi for almost his entire career.Agassi's last first round 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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