Tag Archives: music

mflow – a revolution or a gimmick?

As some of you may already know I’m a music guy, I just love anything about technology music especially if its something new and totally different… oh and a bit weird. So when I heard about this program called mflow from a friend, I just had to try it out…

screen-shot of mflow

okay what is it already? Good question, its (to my understanding) a whole new concept of music stores such as the one built into the popular iTunes and the likes of amazon. Instead of having a section where people/the store can recommend other songs and albums you may like and instead of having a “what other people who liked this bought” there is nothing. It replaces this rather boring feature of these stores with something called flows, I will explain in a moment.

I have had access to the beta for around a day now, as the full program comes out on the 15-4-2010, and its a great concept that could be built into existing stores (with some sort of licence I guess). The easiest way I can describe it is that it is like twitter and the iTunes store bundled into one, you search for tracks and when you find a one you like and think the people who are following you will like you click the “flow” button and it sends that track to there flows inbox with a full preview of that track that they can listen to and buy if they want. if they do deicide to buy the track (for 79p or some certain tracks are 99p) then 20% of the money that bought that track goes to you, which basically means you get paid to say “hey look at this cool song I just found” to all your mates.

if you are just wanting to buy the track you can have the usual 30 second preview of the song, but you can choose which part of the song to play that 30 seconds and you can play it as many times as you like. for instance if you listened to 30 seconds of the verse and are still unsure you can just click to when the chorus kicks in and play 30 seconds from there. Also if you do deicide to buy the song it will download as a DRM-free format (which means you can put it on whatever you want, not just your Zune)

flows

you can follow whoever you want and anyone can follow you, so if someone likes the type of music im into and want to hear more, some that they may not have ever heard before they can simply follow me and get the latest songs im “flowing” straight to there flow inbox and vice-versa. unfortunately it is only available in the UK at the moment but hopefully it will arrive in other contries like other programs have done such as the great Spotify.

The official website is at http://www.mflow.com/ where you can request an invite into the beta, also if any of you want to follow me to see what type of music I enjoy my user name is chrisw92, the same as it is here on blazebyte.

Obscure Game Review: Maestro- Jump in Music!

Welcome to gaming obscurity, these are games that will fade into the abyss due to the fact that they did not obtain decent hype or due to the fact they are terrible. Either way they are bound to mentioned once in every blue moon. Most of the games I will review on this feature are here for a good reason; Meaning that I want them to be recognised!

In this instance the game is for the Nintendo DS and in called ‘Maestro: Jump in Music’. To the common observer it should be immediately evident that this title has something to do with music, thankfully it isn’t quite as repetitious as the famed ‘Guitar Hero’ series. This game is a rhythm game at heart, but it uses a platforming gimmick to keep things interesting. This platforming gimmick is actually pretty innovative, It requires you to do different forms of rubbing (Not that kind you pervert!) with the stylus to execute simple movement and create sounds. The actual system is hard to define as it is completely innovative yet still has a very short learning curve.

Initially I was very pessimistic towards this game, It lacked any kind of brutal violence that gamers have became accustomed to, it also had vibrant childish visuals. Then it grew on me, the visuals began to look very cute and the gameplay was addictive as hell. This game is essentially Guitar Hero dressed up as a platform game, the gameplay flows exceptionally well with the music and is certainly an original rhythm game.

As stated before, I originally disliked the graphics. They are actually very nice and are subtitle for the type of gameplay — The various different worlds in the game are all clichéd themes, all of the different places look fantastic there is the typical space, underwater and jungle themed levels and they all look exceptionally beautiful. The character design is very wacky but once again is relevant to the game and adds to the humour found in the game.

It’s a rhythm game, Right? So it must have a decent selection of songs, Right? My answer to that question would simply be: ‘Kinda…’ This is probably the games biggest flaw the music. Why? Well because it has many classics like ‘House of the Rising Sun’ or ‘Our House’ and even some classic music from Mozart. The problem being that EVERY one of these songs are remixed, and this is probably due to the fact that some of the sounds in the song are activated corresponding to gameplay. Another problem being that these remixes for the most part are terrible, Honestly they are pretty bad!

Aside from that slight problem the game is fantastic and is worth some of your time. It is a simplistic and easy to pick up and play game therefore will be brilliant for simple bus journeys. Over-all it is just a really good game, that sadly is one of the ‘Underdogs’ of the rhythm genre. What are you waiting for BUY the game!

Harmonix Announces Rock Band Network, Our Hard Drives Hide in Fear

Today on Twitter, @HarmonixSean was in a tissy about when the newest issue of Billboard would arrive, fellow Tweeters and followers thought nothing of it, until he posted a link to Billboard’s site.  The Rock Band community exploded with this new, fascinating news.

“We’ve figured out how to make it so anybody who owns and controls masters and publishing can put music into [Rock Band] at their own pace,” MTV Games exec Paul DeGooyer tells Billboard.

This upcoming feature, to be set in open beta sometime in August will allow artists, and about anyone with a master track they own the rights to, create a song for use in Rock Band.  The Rock Band Network will be based on Microsoft’s XNA Creator’s Club.  If you want to make your own tracks, you’ll also have to be a member of Microsoft’s XNA Creator’s Club which will run you about $99 a year.  Don’t fret (hehe, see what I did there) PlayStation and Wii owners, a Harmonix rep has stated that the standout songs created will also arrive on the PlayStation Store and for the Wii.

With the possibilities here, it could mean Rock Band maxing out to thousands of songs by the end of this year with the help of the community, much more than Harmonix promised us for last year – 500.

So, do you guys and gals see this going anywhere?  Will actual touring rock bands use this or will we experience the same lack luster quality we see in so many other Xbox Live Community games?  Comments?  Shoot away.  Please note this is my first WordPress post, haha, so tell me what you thought of my editing too.

PSP.FM (Last.FM Portable)

How can I access it?

PSP.FM is currently in beta, meaning it is not yet complete or bug-free. However, most things are functional and usable. You can access it by clicking here, but be aware that the link may change before final release. PSP.FM is best viewed using a PSP. Using it on a computer is not an accurate representation of how it appears on the PSP.

What does it do? (Features)

  • View artist info
  • Read artist bio
  • See listening of top tracks by artist
  • View artist discography
  • View album info
  • Find upcoming concerts
  • View artist photos
  • Find similar artists you might enjoy
  • Nominate artists to be Artist of the Week and be featured on the front page
  • View popular artists from the past week
  • View Last.FM user profiles including recently played tracks and top artist/track charts
  • Perhaps more to come, or others I forgot to list

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