StevenOBrien

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[NO TITLE]
Posted on July 30, 2016 at 14:06

Once upon a time, there was a young writer who had a fantastic idea for a story, but became lazy and never got around to expanding it beyond the first sentence. The end.




I made a vaporwave
Posted on April 21, 2016 at 00:32





The Horrible Truth About Penny Lane
Posted on January 16, 2016 at 17:08



"In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he's had the pleasure to know"

A display of headshot photographs? Hmmmmm, where have we seen these before? Memorials for victims of disasters? Missing posters? The cunning narrator wishes to deceive us into thinking he's displaying different hairstyles, but why would the narrator not just say "hair" instead? Very strange.

"And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello"

Why the fuck would people stop and say hello to these photographs if they were just pictures of hairstyles? Something strange is going on. Clearly this is an impromptu memorial to some sort of horrific disaster which has occurred.

"On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mack
In the pouring rain, very strange"

Take note of this so-called "banker", he will play a very important role later. He is the only person on Penny Lane who doesn't fit in with the scenery. Even worse, he doesn't fit in with the appearance HE HIMSELF is trying to give. Why would a so-called "banker" NOT wear a mack in the pouring rain? Bankers are intelligent, practical people, and this person, clearly, is not. Very strange indeed PAUL.

"In Penny Lane the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain, very strange"

We are expected to take this as just an innocent observation, but take note of how Mr. McCartney CLEARLY makes sure to describe this person as a fireman. What possible reason would a fireman, clearly uniformed and therefore on duty (how else would he know that he's a fireman), be running into a barber shop of all places if not in an attempt to avert imminent catastrophe? Clearly some sort of a bomb threat has been phoned in and the closest emergency responder is rushing in to apprehend the suspect, who is clearly the so-called "banker" waiting for a trim.

I would like to take a brief opportunity to bring your attention to the urban dictionary definition of "trim", which is essentially slang for the opportunity to partake in a woman's vagina. Radical Islamist terrorists have frequently cited their reasons for committing suicide atrocities as being in the hope of receiving 72 virgins upon arrival in heaven. A mere coincidence? I think not.

"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes"
This, in my opinion, is the most damning piece of evidence. The suicide bomber has exploded, and a mountain of dust and debris has been kicked up around the barber's shop, covering our narrator's ears and eyes in, literally, Penny Lane.

"Well beneath the blue suburban skies"
Why is it "well beneath" the blue suburban skies and not merely "beneath"? Perhaps something is now separating Penny Lane from the blue suburban skies above? Perhaps A CLOUD OF DUST AND ASH AND SMOKE?

The high pitched screeching sound at the end of the song
This is clearly meant to imitate the sound of ringing ears after a blast.

Wake up sheeple.




The 72 hour MMORPG score
Posted on November 28, 2015 at 23:56



Fun story behind this one:

In late 2013, I was hired to write the score for an indie MMORPG which was about to be kickstarted (For $100,000! Astonishingly, it failed!). The developer had gotten rid of their previous composer, the Kickstarter was just a week and a half away from beginning, by which time, there needed to be a trailer and tech demo complete with ~15 minutes of music. To make matters worse, I had a week-long holiday booked three days after I was hired, which meant I only had 72 hours to write ~15 minutes of music. Fun!

Somehow, with little-to-no sleep for those three days, I managed it, and I think the results turned out alright. It's not my best work, but considering I was falling asleep every 5 minutes and in excruciating pain towards the end of writing it, I guess I deserve a pass? I hadn't listened to most of it since I first wrote it, and I was surprised by the quality, so I figured it was good enough to upload.

Despite all of that work, the Kickstarter ended up being pushed back a month (because visual artists are wimps and can't go three days without sleep, apparently). Even worse, after writing another two more tracks for the game, I was eventually dropped from the project over creative differences, the music was never used, and I never got paid for my work. :)

Anyway, the moral of the story is to put rejection provisions into your contracts (or just don't become a composer, that's also a very reasonable course of action). Enjoy!

-Steven




American mods are asleep
Posted on November 26, 2015 at 17:57

American mods are in turkey-induced comas. Post European propaganda everywhere.











Solemn Pie
Posted on October 29, 2015 at 05:32

Because "Solemn Piece No. 1" is just too much for SoundCloud, apparently.





64Digits FTB Minecraft Creative Server
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 23:03



We have set up an FTB Minecraft Creative server! To access it, all you need to do is download the FTB Launcher, set your modpack to FTB Infinity, and join 64digits.com.

What is FTB?
Feed The Beast is an easy-to-install modpack manager for Minecraft. The modpack we're using (Infinity) includes things like:

- Microblocks which allow you to build everything to very minute details
- Added decoration/construction blocks which allow for very diverse creations. Everything from lanterns to chairs to sinks to pillars to statues to pink trees.
- Vastly expanded redstone and minecart features.

You can find a full list of what's included in the Infinity modpack here.


Is it a new map?
Yes!

Wait!! What about all my stuff on the old map?!
We still have it!

What can I build?
Anything you want!

Is there a city to build in?
We are just starting it. The rough plan is to create a set of stylistically consistent districts. One district could have neoclassical architecture, another could be a slum, another could be filled with skyscrapers etc.

You can feel free to build whatever building you like near the spawn point. We will figure it out as we go along and try to organize things around the first few buildings.

A few guidelines I propose:

- Stick to a structure of city blocks to make street-building more manageable. 90% of the time, streets should only contain the fronts of buildings.
- Leave enough room for the streets and for pipes coming out of your building.
- Don't build anything that looks stylistically inconsistent with the surrounding buildings. If the buildings around you are medieval, don't build a big modern skyscraper right beside them (build it a distance away from them).
- Build with the existing terrain as much as possible. We don't want the entire city to be completely flat.
- Make an effort to make streets varied in shape and size (bonus points for making it fit with the style of the buildings that are on that street). Try to form naturally diagonal streets by building some building further forward than others.

Is there WorldEdit?
Nope. It doesn't work with FTB, apparently.

Are there any survival aspects to this server?
We can set you to survival or adventure mode if you really want to play that way, but the default is creative.

Why haven't you installed X mod?
Making a custom modpack and getting it set up on the server and all of the clients is a little tedious, but if you have a really interesting mod, it might be worth considering.




Get building!




Setting up Foobar2000 for classical music
Posted on May 06, 2015 at 11:19

(This will probably only be of interest to those of you who have a large collection of classical music and have issues sorting it properly. Everyone else can ignore this.)



This is how I have my Foobar2000 set up. The listings are automatically generated based on the metadata of the albums/tracks you have in your library.

Instructions

1. Download SimPlaylist and SimPlaylist Manager.

2. Open up Foobar2000. Go to File > Preferences. Click Components on the left pane and click the "Install..." Button. Browse to your downloads folder and select the SimPlaylist zip. Repeat the process for the SimPlaylist Manager zip. Click Apply and restart Foobar2000 when prompted.

(I'm assuming from this point that you already have an Album/Composer/Date list along the side of the window which displays its contents in the main window, similar to this. If not, you'll either have to modify the instructions accordingly or go to View > Layout > Quick Setup and select "Album List + Visualization".)

3. Go to View > Layout > Enable layout editing mode

4. Right click the main playlist where all the tracks are listed and select "Replace UI Element". In the window that pops up, select "SimPlaylist" and click OK.

5. Go back to View > Layout > Enable layout editing mode to disable it.

(If you want to get rid of this playlist setup, all you have to do is repeat steps 3 to 5 and select "Playlist View" instead of "SimPlaylist" in Step 4.)

6. Go to File > Preferences and click SimPlaylist in the left pane. Add three new custom columns and set them up like so:



Code
$iflonger(%performer%,1,%performer%,%album artist%)


Code
$right(%title%,$sub($len(%title%),$strstr(%title%,': ')))


Code
$ifgreater($strstr(%title%,:),0,$left(%title%,$sub($strstr(%title%,:),1)),'('Misc.')')



7. Next, go to Groups in the left pane, which should be just under SimPlaylist. Set it up like so:



Right Click in the Presets pane and click "Add New". Name the new preset "Classical works", ensure that it's selected, and set everything up as it appears in the image.

Code
%DATE% - %ARTIST% - $ifgreater($strstr(%title%,:),0,$left(%title%,$sub($strstr(%title%,:),1)),'('Single pieces')'),ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - $iflonger(%performer%,1,%performer%,%album artist%) - %ALBUM% - %DISCNUMBER% - %TRACKNUMBER%


Code
$ifgreater($strstr(%title%,': '),0,$left(%title%,$sub($strstr(%title%,': '),1)),'Misc.')


Code
$iflonger(%performer%,1,%performer%,%album artist%)


8. Go to the "Album List" option, and add a new View (you can call this whatever you want)



Code
%<DATE>%|%ARTIST%|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', K. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', K. '),$len(', K. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', K. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', D. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', D. '),$len(', D. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', D. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', B. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', B. '),$len(', B. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', B. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', R. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', R. '),$len(', R. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', R. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', S. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', S. '),$len(', S. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', S. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', W. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', W. '),$len(', W. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', W. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', Op. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Op. '),$len(', Op. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Op. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', Hob. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Hob. '),$len(', Hob. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Hob. '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', BWV ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', BWV '),$len(', BWV ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', BWV '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', HWV ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', HWV '),$len(', HWV ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', HWV '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', WWV ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', WWV '),$len(', WWV ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', WWV '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', WoO ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', WoO '),$len(', WoO ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', WoO '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', RV ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', RV '),$len(', RV ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', RV '),9)) , ' ' )]|[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', Perger ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Perger '),$len(', Perger ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', Perger '),9)) , ' ' )]|$iflonger(%performer%,1,%performer%,%album artist%)|%ALBUM%|%DISCNUMBER%|%TRACKNUMBER%


This will automatically display all of your music in the order: Year of composition, composer, opus/catalogue number, performer, album, disc number, track number. To add a type of cataloguing that isn't already listed in the code, you just need to add this to the code, directly after "%ARTIST%|", replacing the "X." with whatever catalouge letter/name you want:

Code
[$if( $strstr(%TITLE%,', X. ') , $substr(%TITLE%,$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', X. '),$len(', X. ')),$add($strstr(%TITLE%,', X. '),9)) , ' ' )]|


9. Go to "Display" and enter the directory where you want to store images of composers/artists:



10. Press OK. Go to the album list on the left of the window and select the view you set up in step 8. Select a year from the list that shows up.

11. Right click the Playlist header (a menu which contains Columns and Groups should show up), and set everything up how you like it.

-----

If all went well, your library should be displaying similarly to the first image. All of the codes I've posted are assuming that your tracks are formatted in a certain way (which is meant to be standard for formatting classical music, but very few publishers seem to actually adhere to it in reality):

The Title should be "X No. X in X mxxor, X. xx 'Title': I. xxxx" (this includes all of the spaces, commas, etc.). So for instance "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457: I. Molto allegro", "Don Giovanni, K. 527: La ci darem la mano", "Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 'Pastoral': IV. Allegro: 'Thunderstorm'" etc.

The artist should be the name of the composer, the album artist (or performer tag, if the file format supports it) should be the name of the performer(s), the date should be the year of composition.

If your library is formatted differently, or if you want works to display in a different manner, you'll have to modify the above codes accordingly.

-----

It's not the easiest thing to get set up, so hopefully I've made everything clear. Let me know if you have any questions/problems.

This method is based on a smajnr.net post.




On Music Streaming
Posted on February 23, 2015 at 12:27

There is a disturbing amount of misinformation being spread about streaming services like Spotify and Pandora screwing over artists with menial payments. I just wanted to make a short blog about my own experiences with these services to set the record straight.

"A songwriter has to be played 1.000.000 times on Pandora to earn $90. The production team that wrote the most streamed song of all time (Wake Me Up) received a total of $12.000 from Spotify after being streamed over 168 millon times." - http://www.wired.com/2014/11/aloe-blacc-pay-songwriters/

This does not add up in the slightest for me. I self-publish my music through CDBaby, and here is a snippet of my own accounting numbers:



As you can see, on average this works out to just about $0.01 per play. Using this math, the song that received 168 million plays on Spotify should have received $1.68 million in revenue. I don't have my music on Pandora, so I can't give you numbers for them, but if it's anything like Spotify, it seems as if the $90 for a million plays is way off.

My numbers add up with what Spotify is reporting, and do not add up with what major artists are reporting.

So what's going on here? Are record labels being forced into a bad revenue-sharing deal by the streaming services? Does the amount of pay go down exponentially as the number of plays increase? Are we really to believe that a major record label with an army of lawyers standing behind them would agree to something like that, while I, Mr. self-published small time composer with 2,000 followers can get 1,000x more than they do without even talking to the streaming company once? I really don't see how this can be the case.

The only other explanation I can come up with is that record labels are deliberately taking a much larger cut out of streaming revenues than they are out of digital/physical sales. Whether the purpose of that is to make as much profit as possible at the expense of artists, or to turn artists (and therefore customers) against streaming services is open for interpretation. If they believe it would drive more physical/digital sales, it's easy to see why they feel it's in their interests to justify taking themselves off of streaming services. Perhaps they want to maximize revenue by starting their own "fair" service (I haven't heard of any artists complaining about Vevo!). Who knows.

Regardless of why this is happening, I think the ultimate point is that it's the record labels who customers and artists should be suspicious of, not streaming services. I cannot stress enough that we know from past experience that if streaming services fall or become excessively balkanized, piracy will take their place, not digital/physical sales. As musicians and music-lovers, we must not allow this to happen.

-Steven



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