Gonna rise up. Find my direction magnetically.

Tag: apple

Squishy Records is proud to present…

(Squishy is Brooke’s name for her blankey…)

First Recording

After working out a deal to get my sister’s used MacBook, the girls decided that the price was right and they both took out a withdrawal from Dobson Horizons Bank (great rates, friendly service).  The MacBook arrived last Thursday and Maddie was immediately drawn in. They have Macs at school so she already knew her way around. Of course, PhotoBooth was the first app to get extensive use (is this true for all first time Mac people???). For those of you not familiar, MacBooks come with a built in webcam on the lid and some software to have fun with named PhotoBooth. You can overlay fun-house type effects and make silly faces. The girls continuously laughed for over 15 minutes.

The other thing that the MacBook allows us to do is to play with iMovie and GarageBand. iMovie is by far the easiest movie editing software I have ever seen. Maddie finished her first composition yesterday so maybe I’ll post that later…. we’ll see, I haven’t screened the whole 7 minutes yet.

GarageBand is one of this apps that I knew once the girls start playing with, they would pick it up quickly and want to do more with. I was not disappointed. I recently started playing guitar again and with Maddie on the piano and Brooke on the drums, we have the makings of band (Julie won’t sing. Don’t ask. 🙁  )

Once the girls saw how easy it was to hookup the various instruments (including the USB mic from RockBand), we needed something quick and simple to record. We decided on a ‘He’s Got the Whole World’. Maddie already knew the piano and the simple guitar cords made it a good candidate for me as well. No drums in this one, but Brooke played her part by singing. We first laid down the piano track, then my guitar and finally Brooke put on the headphones and sang along. I think it’s pretty decent for our first attempt and Brooke’s voice is so sweet…. Hope you enjoy!

He’s Got the Whole World

Download mp3

Why is Apple so damn good?

Seriously, every product I have purchased from Apple has not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. Needless to say, this is horrible for my psuedo obsession with technology and gizmos.

Since we have moved into our house, 7 years ago, I have had dreams of a whole house audio system. I have spent hours dreaming about what the setup might be, and how it would all work. I would browse Amazon and Crutchfield to pretend-build my perfect system. Lots and lots of decisions to be made when considering how to do this. Should there be a central amp for the whole house? Amp for each room? How would you control it all… separate controls on the wall in each room? Some mega-remote? I’d probably need a couple remotes if I went that route… At the end of it all, I would have run hundreds of feet of cable through the house, torn up some walls, run new electric and spent around $2,000.

Then I would shutdown my browser and let the dream fade away for another 6 months until I heard about someone else getting a setup or read an article about it.

So when I first heard about a friend using an Apple Airport Express to distribute music to a remote location over wifi, I was a bit skeptical. I figured it probably would skip, be intermittent at best and you still had to have powered speakers or feed it into an amp since the Airport Extreme has an audio jack on it but no amplification. After digging around a bit, and reading a lot about how Airplay (what Apple calls the protocol used to setup the remote speakers) works, I was convinced.

Here is the setup I have now, and I love it. As a bonus, I setup the Airport Extreme/Expresses as part of a WDS network so now I have total wifi coverage everywhere in the house. No dead zones. Totally awesome and totally unexpected.

Equipment:

  • 1 Airport Extreme (Thanks to some stranger that dropped it in the electronics recycling bin that Julie helps with at the kids school. Total score!)
  • 1 Airport Express (N) – $62 Ebay
  • 1 Airport Express (G) – $50 Ebay
  • M-Audio Studiophile AV30 Professional Reference Speakers – $89
  • 1 set of old computer speakers w/subwoofer

With this setup, Julie and I can use the Apple Remote app for our iPhones to control iTunes on our main computer. This app allows us to turn on/off each set of speakers (computer, kitchen and bedroom) independently and control the volume. It provides us access to our entire iTunes collection, streaming radio and podcasts. I listened to Car Talk while having my coffee last Saturday while sitting in the dining room. I know, I know… I could have done that before with just a radio, but this was being streamed over the net and controlled via my phone. The inner geek is content and very happy.

I can feel the pull of Apple and I have a feeling our next computer purchase will be either an iMac (that 27″ display is just out of this world) or a MacBook. Damn you Steve Jobs for making so many products that I love. If only they didn’t cost so much money. Deal of the century anyone?

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