21 Century Breakdown: Mike Farley’s Top 10 Albums of the 2000s

The past decade to me was less about musical trends and styles, and more about how I listen to music. I’ve always been a mix tape guy, and as the ‘90s moved to Y2K, I was entering the world of burning mix CDs. But then around 2004, everything changed, and changed for the better, when I discovered iTunes. Now I could not only make up my own playlists from my music collection, but I could order single songs for 99 cents and add those to my collection. Suddenly I was re-discovering songs from my childhood and teen years, and basically every phase of my music-listening life. And I could arrange all those songs any way I liked…playlists galore and, as I described them, “kickass mixes.” Every four to six months, I make a new play list of what I’m currently listening to, and date that as a new Kickass Mix, something I can go back to that makes me remember what I was doing and feeling at that point in time.

As for the actual music I’ve been listening to and enjoying, there are a few acts that have entered my iTunes world this decade that have become favorites that I can’t get enough of, no matter how many times I listen: The Damnwells, the Silver Seas, Ari Hest, Jason Spooner and Butch Walker, to name a few. I know that radio is basically a shell of its former self and we find and listen to music in so many different ways, but I, for one, have fully embraced the digital world of music.

Here are my picks for top albums of the decade.
1. The Silver Seas: High Society
2. Jason Spooner: The Flame You Follow
3. Ari Hest: The Break In
4. Stereophonics: Langauge, Sex, Violence. Other?
5. The Damnwells: Air Stereo
6. The Southland: Influence of Geography
7. The Damnwells: One Last Century
8. Josh Rouse: 1972
9. Butch Walker: Left of Self Centered
10. Paddy Casey: Addicted To Company

  

Live Nation and iTunes reach deal

Live Nation

Perhaps in an effort to challenge audio bootlegs and video taken on camera phones, Live Nation and Apple have teamed to provide concert footage via iTunes.

Apple’s iTunes will have a section featuring the concerts of about 20 artists ranging from Jesse McCartney to Ziggy Marley, when the service begins, the companies said in a statement. They expect hundreds of more shows in the coming months. Prices will start at about $7.99.

Los Angeles-based Live Nation will produce most of the offerings from the more than 20,000 concerts it promotes each year. The company has reached licensing rights deals for live performances with major label owners and artists to enable a smooth launch of the service, it said.

Eh, there’s something enticing about a shaky (and probably illegal) video recorded by the average concert attendee. Plus, I don’t have to pay to watch it on YouTube.

  

iTunes Tips & Tricks: “Neglected Favorites”

If you’re like me and feel sometimes that your music collection is a little too vast, here’s a little trick that I learned not too long ago. I have 4000+ 4- and 5-star rated songs, and I realized that there were some personal favorites that I wasn’t hearing on a regular basis. (For all it’s features, iTunes doesn’t do the greatest job of shuffling through big playlists.)

Using iTunes’ “Smart Playlist” feature, I was able to create playlists of songs that I haven’t heard in some time (six months, a year, whatever).

1. Go to File > New Smart Playlist
2. In the first two drop-down boxes, choose “Rating” and “in the range.”
3. Choose 4 to 5 stars (or 3 to 5, if you like).
4. Hit the plus sign to the right to add a criterion.
5. Choose “Last Played” and “is not in the last” 6 “months” (or 9 months or whatever span you like).
6. Hit OK
7. Rename playlist “Neglected Favorites” (or whatever you like)

You can also add other criteria, like genre, artist or whatever.

So now you have a playlist of all of your top rated songs that you haven’t heard in the last six months. Once you start this playlist, songs will start to disappear when they’re played. As time wears on, new songs (that haven’t been played on your iTunes or iPod in the last six months) will begin to appear.

iTunes won’t let you forget a song!

  

Apple changes iTunes pricing

I’m surprised it took so long to make this change.

Under Apple’s new pricing plan that will take effect in April, Mr. Schiller said songs will cost 69 cents, 99 cents or $1.29. He said the “vast majority” of the songs will cost 69 cents, though people familiar with the matter said the most sought-after songs — which generate most of the sales on the service — will likely cost $1.29 as both Apple and the major record labels try to boost revenue growth. Wholesale prices charged by the record labels are likely to change to reflect the new price points; spokespeople for Apple and major record labels declined to discuss their agreements.

Apple also said it is dropping digital rights management, or copy protection, from eight million songs in its catalog effective immediately, and from the remaining two million in its catalog by the end of March.

Apple’s DRM has made it complicated for iTunes customers to use competitors’ products, like SanDisk Corp. music players or Microsoft Corp.’s Zune. Among the limits imposed by the software locks, it is difficult or impossible to play songs purchased from the iTunes Store on devices other than the iPod or iPhone.

For those of us who have loaded up on iTunes songs over the years, we can pay 30 cents a song to upgrade previously purchased songs in their iTunes library to a DRM-free version. Frankly, this sucks. We hould get the new versions for free.

  

Related Posts