Yes, I’m a Kung-Log user. Blogging from your desktop without having to log in to Movable Type is cooler than cool, since OS X’s in-built spell-check means that I reduce my chances of looking like a cock when I post.
Kung-Log 1.4.2, however, encodes certain HTML entities for you — you might’ve noticed, since all the ampersands in this post, a vital part of all in-text HTML entities (like, say, an em dash [—], or a typographically correct apostrophe [’ as opposed to ']) have been encoded. This is great for ampersands in general, but terrible for the ampersands used in the aforementioned entities (oh, and a few thousand other entities, thanks). This is a kick in the face to people like me who write their own code because they enjoy semantic correctness… it’s part of being a pedant. Hurrah.
For now, I guess it’s back to Kung-Log v1.4.1, registering my discontent at Kung-Foo. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this largely-illegible post… what with all the HTML entities that aren’t being rendered.
After a hearty breakfast (thanks to Scotty Chan, the man with the plan) a crew of my friends and I descended upon Perth’s CBD for a short constitutional. All seemed to be going along well until we approached the gaudy yellow-and-black doors of JB Hi-Fi. As a future note to anybody, anywhere: If you see me going into JB Hi-Fi, stop me.
Every time I walk through those doors I end up buying a hundred dollars worth of CDs or more. Last time, it was Veruca Salt’s Eight Arms to Hold You, A Perfect Circle’s Mer de Noms, K’s Choice’s Paradise in Me, and perhaps Gob’s Too Late… No Friends (as far as my memory serves me). Of course, I don’t regret those purchases (with the exception of K’s Choice. It turns out they suck more than “Not an Addict” would indicate), but the thought of spending a hundred bucks every time I walk through the doors of a record store is just a little unsettling.
Today, I proved to myself that I just never learn. Fifty blank CDs, AFI’s Sing the Sorrow, Strung Out’s An American Paradox, Massive Attack’s 100th Window, and Veruca Salt’s Resolver. I could strike this one down as “catching up” with some of my favourite artists’ latest work; since all of these albums are, really, their latest albums… but that would be a cop-out. I am terrible with my money. Abusive, even.
A little more shopping took us to the camera store: Scotty wants to trade up on his digital camera. This got me thinking… I have 2 cameras: my really old (and sucky) point-and-click consumer-model shitbox and my newer, cooler SLR. I used to love photography, hence the purchase of an $800 SLR, but that was in high school when I actually had access to darkroom facilities. Nowadays, buying film and paying for processing seems like a real drag — a digital camera could only be a step in the right direction. Of course, trust Scotty Chan to get my brain racing. Talk moved to laptop computers. “If I get this job in Melbourne, I’ll probably sell my car and my PC and get a laptop”, he says.
Me? Selling my PC, my eMac, and my cameras could undoubtedly afford me a shiny-ass new iBook, or even a 12-inch PowerBook (given that Curtin’s campus computer store gives some seriously generous student discounts). But where does that place me? Aside from the portability, and being the kind of geek item that I’ve craved for years; how well could a laptop really serve me? It wouldn’t be any more powerful than my desktop, it’d have a (painfully) smaller screen, and portability and… really… cool… dammit I want one!
I hate myself. My credit card will never recover.
As I previously reported, I bought four CDs today. I did what the record companies feel I should do. I didn’t pirate these records. I don’t plan to share these records. My only interest is in listening to music created by artists that I feel deserve my money, my respect, and my support. But no… Virgin Records has to try and fuck me, too.
I use a Mac. I use iTunes. Religiously. The fact that my eMac has a better amp and waaaaay better speakers than my stereo means that I use my Mac as my stereo. The contents of my CD collection resides on my hard drive, and I just fire up iTunes whenever I feel like listening to it. Virgin, your “Copy Controlled” disc has in no way impaired my ability to import these songs to my computer. The only thing it has done is ensure that my computer makes an occasional clicking sound when playing the CD (or the MP3s that the CD has spawned). Clicking. A tiny click that sounds like static every ten or fifteen seconds.
Suuure, that’s gonna stop the piracy. If somebody is downloading this music for free, don’t you think that this tiny static clicky sound is, in their eyes, a small price to pay? On the other hand, people who appreciate (and pay for) great music are generally music lovers, audiophiles. This clicking is annoying the shit out of me, one of the aforementioned audiophiles, and to be honest I don’t plan to ever buy another CD that has a copy protection scheme implemented. That is lost sales. Fuckers.
I paid for this god damned record, and all I ask in return is the ability to exercise my rights as the owner of this CD. No, I don’t own the music on the CD — it’s “licensed” to me. But as the licensee, shouldn’t I be able to listen to the music with some fucking audio fidelity? No pirate in the world will be swayed by an occasional click, but I for one will not be giving Virgin Records another fucking cent. Sorry Massive Attack, but I won’t be buying any more of your albums. Nice knowing you.
Virgin, take the money you’re spending on “copy protection” schemes and “digital rights management” and invest it in something worthwhile. The pirates don’t care; you’re only fucking your loyal customers.
UPDATE: After posting this, I felt a little guilty and thought “I suppose I could just keep the CD in my car and listen to it there if not at my desk.” But no, Virgin was too crafty for that. The CD won’t play at all in my car either, since that CD player is also an MP3CD player. Fuckin’ yeah.