Monthly Archives: June 2008

Online Music Day

As a deep music-lover, I spent my time rebuilding my computer environment for music today.

  • Purchased “Cliffs of Dover”, a guitar instrumental tune by Eric Johnson, at iTunes for $0.99. This is probably a long-tail kind of song picked up by not so many people, but it is a great one.
  • Played Miles Davis at an online radio station I ‘created’ at Pandora.com. This is what I couldn’t try in Japan because of the area restriction for the sake of content copyrights.
  • Visited and played with Dotomi.com. This is a cool music recognition technology.
  • Renewed my account at Playlog.jp (an online music society in Japan), and installed its  iTunes plug-in, which keeps track of song list I play on PC and shares the list in the community.
  • Created song list (i.e., a playlist) of jazz guitar tunes to share at the community of Mixi.jp, the largest SNS in Japan. Installed “Mixistation” software, which, again, keeps track of songs I play on the PC.
  • Played with Last.fm, a large online music society that also distributes its own music player software.
  • Installed two applications (Pandora and iLike) on Facebook. It seems that iLike is more broadly used than Pandora in the Facebook community.
  • Backed up my 25,000 iPod-songs onto the PC. The PC hard drive that contained the songs had been dead. So I ran CopyTrans (a shareware) to restore all the songs in my old iPod back to my PC, after trying three other freewares, all of which failed. I found CopyTrans a easy-to-use and reliable s/w! (e.g. The other freewares collapsed the Japanese song names imported from the iPod.)

I have been familiar with most of these online music services or software for long time, but recently I could not allocate my time to enjoy music deeply and to catch up the latest tech scene of what is going on in this area. So it has been a good chance for me to revive my hands-on spirit and refresh my mind in this kind. All of these services are very cool and most of the functions are much more easy to use and reliable than before. At the same time, using these is still somewhat time-consuming and inanimate to me though.

In particular, this April I had a chance to join the speaker event of the founder of Pandora, Tim Westergren, the event hosted by the Entrepreneurship Club at Kellogg. He said Pandora is (and will be) focusing on the internet radio and its competitor is Clear Channel, the largest radio network in the US. (I will talk about the club some time later.)

Fountain Square Art Festival @ Evanston

EvanstonFestival

Quote from http://www.chicagoevents.com/event.cfm?eid=123 

The Fountain Square Art Festival boasts two-and-a-half decades of success as one of the most important art festivals in the Midwest. In 2005, Fountain Square Art Festival was ranked by the Sunshine Group in the top 50 of the best art festivals nationwide.

The festival is located on six city blocks in downtown Evanston amid newly built luxury condominiums, offices, restaurants such as Wolfgang Puck’s, a bevy of coffee cafes, stores and hotels. A large sculpture garden located in the middle of the festival serves as its focal point. This urban setting creates the perfect ambience for this event, which embodies the word sophistication. More than 250 fine artists show and sell their art to an audience of sophisticated, discerning, upscale, art aficionados and collectors. The event draws approximately 50,000 people who come from the upscale North Shore suburbs as well as Chicago.

This festival has been held at 2 minutes walk from where I live. I enjoyed walking around the area with my wife and just had a cup of lemonade on the street. There was also a cool blues performance.

Social Bookmarking

So, it’s summer… I can spend some of my energies to try things that I wanted to but couldn’t when I was busy. I also have time to write things here in more detail than I used to. Well, all I wanted to do today is to use social bookmark…(The Internet-savvy people, that’s right. I’m way behind!) I am not interested in sharing bookmarks with others but I want to share my own bookmark between my own (or maybe public) PC and cell phone. Unfortunately, none of the following sites has worked as I desired.

  • del.icio.us: It cannot correctly display Japanese text in bookmarks imported from IE.
  • Hatena (Social Bookmark service well-known in Japan): It does not even have import functionality! This is amazing to me since I thought this kind of function is supposed to be developed in the very first stage.
  • Yahoo.com: Same problem with del.icio.us. It also produces a simple error message like: “There is a problem processing your bookmark. Please try again later.”…

Probably there is something wrong with the character encoding in the bookmark file I am trying to import to the services. The encoding system which is used in the export file does not match the one used in the services. The bookmark file, exported from my Internet Explorer, contains lots of Japanese characters. I am using standard Japanese input/output methods built in Windows XP system of my laptop.

Guys, please fix the problem if you are involved in any of these sites! This is something you can do quickly to differentiate your service. 🙂