• Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Friday, February 18, 2005

iTunes Sucks

As much as I'm thrilled to have the shuffle, I'm quite frustrated with the way iTunes works. Apparently, iPod will not play songs that wern't transferred thru iTunes. Fine, so I installed iTunes and it "organized" my library of music. Now, it's next to impossible to pick up songs that I had neatly organized in the last 4 years the way I want to. It used to be pretty easy picking them up using WinAmp but NO NO .. iTunes is way too smart for that. It organizes stuff by ratings, album name, artist name, album release date and other mp3 meta data that songs that I accumulated since the napster days don't have. Most of my data is in the file name, artist/title .. isn't that all one needs really? what do you have google for? But now I've got no clue about 100s of songs that show up as unknowns on the iTunes library. I'm really pissed off. I'd have just loved to drag and drop music that I wanted onto the ipod.
I'm really not very happy about the way iTunes "organized" my music. For Gods sake, why couldn't the interface be something like the classic WinAmp? I'm going to try and override iTunes automatic 'organization' and try and use the file structure to access the library. I pray that it will be possible to do that.
Anyways, that apart, I did manage to load the iPod with music that I wanted to listen to. It's quite cool looking and sounds great. Waiting to go for a run wearing them.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Shuffle is MINE

Today, I became a proud owner of an IPOD shuffle. One of my dear friends Bharath ordered the gadget on amazon and found out that it is incompatible with his old and only laptop. I happily snapped it up as the thing has a 4 week wait time at most places. I'm charging it right now.
I think the IPOD shuffle makes a lot more sense to own than the other bigger capacity ones. It is ridiculously small, stylish and mobile and I'm all for mobility. Further, it's as good as any key drive. Nevermind the MacMini but the shuffle sure makes financial sense.
Thanks Bharath and may you have a happy married life starting March :).

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Knuth of Photography - Ansel Adams

I've gotten interested in photography very recently. I was looking for books that din't treat the camera as a black box with tweakable controls to take 'good' photographs. Most books are show pieces of the writers work or contain naive and sometimes useful information but do not even remotely make for compelling reading (books on digital photography are even worse). There were very few books that took a logical approach to explaining the inner workings of the camera and it's intrinsic relationship with the creative pursuits of the photographer. Along with the Ansel Adams series (The Camera, The Negative and The Print), I'd also rate Lighting for Imaging by Norman Kerr very highly. I'll talk about that in another blog.

The Camera and The Negative contain simple ray diagrams and graphs to explain concepts like DOF, Shutter Lag, Flash synchro, etc; smart and sensible advice like It's easy to confuse the hope for accomplishment with the desire to obtain better instrumentation or talking about the Zone System as a basis for the visualization procedure, whether the representation is literal or a departure from reality as projected in our "mind's eye".

Frankly, reading Ansel Adams is like reading an engineering textbook except he manages to talk with precision, clarity and simplicity about what is essentially a fuzzy art.

Buy them at
The Negative (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 2)

The Camera (Ansel Adams Photography, Book 1)

Monday, February 14, 2005

No Pain, No Jane

I visited my sister and future brother-in-law in Denver this weekend and we went skiing to Winterpark and Copper Mountain. Winter Park is home to Mary Jane, the purists delight. Though I did none of the black runs (they all have waist-high moguls, so I did the only blue run available on that mountain) I still bought the 'No Pain - No Jane' T-Shirt. I'll return to Mary Jane to really 'earn' the shirt but it won't stop me from wearing it.

Loved Jane and Copper. Can't wait to get back ..