My cousin Steve is a director/filmaker. He came across what could very well be the first DJ Mixer. The Gaumont Chronophone was designed for theater sure but it really makes you wonder if there is a time machine somewhere!
“In 1903 French engineer Leon Gaumont was granted patents for loudspeaker systems to go with his sound on disc talking films, which used one of Berliner’s Gramophones. In 1910 Gaumont demonstrated his Chronophone system, which synchronised sound and film, at the Gaumont Palace in Paris. The compressed-air amplifier, whiuch he called the Eglephone, was just a part of the whole system. The volume was enough for an audience of 4000. Initially the longest moving picture that could be made with synchronised sound was only 200ft, due to the limited playing time of the Gramophone record. (Projection was at 16 frames per second) Gaumont surmounted this problem by having two gramophone platters; a deft operator could switch between them to give a more or less continuous soundtrack.” – aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com
For more info: aqpl43.dsl.pipex.com/museum…
via Steve Monosson
Last Friday morning at around 7:00AM before I left for work I was checking email on my Macbook Pro. I shut the lid but then realized I forgot to check the weather so I quickly lifted the screen open again. The screen didn’t come back on which does happen sometimes if you open and close the thing too quickly. This time however I realized how late it was getting so instead of closing the lid, waiting for the computer to properly go to sleep and open it again I just shut it again and ran out. About nine hours later I came home and opened the computer. The screen was still black and the computer was very hot. I held the power button down for a few seconds to force the machine off. I waited a bit and turned it back on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it wake up. I tried a few different things as recommended at Apple.com/support but nothing worked. Since I own an iPhone I didn’t really freak out too much because I knew I could check email if I had to leave my computer for a few days for repair. I went to the local Apple store and met with someone at the Genius Bar. In fact, because this specific Apple store (Palisades, NY) was about to be renovated they would ship my computer to Apple and then have Apple ship it direct to me when it’s repaired. I have AppleCare so hey all in all not a big deal.
Well… Monday rolls around and I’m at work at my partner Charlie O’ Donnell asks me if I am still making music in my free time. I tell him of course and then something horrible dawned on me. I’m booked to playing two shows in Europe this coming weekend and I have no computer! I know Apple is pretty quick with repairs but I started to sweat. As soon as I got home I checked the online repair status and it didn’t even show up in their system. I called Apple and they told me they just received the computer and the system would update itself shortly.
I decided I needed a backup plan just in case my computer doesn’t arrive in time. Luckily I have a friend Leslie who doesn’t need her computer as much as a supergeek like yours truly. She lent me her white Macbook which has a Firewire port (phew!) ready for my M-Audio Firewire 410. I created a user account for myself and plugged in my Time Machine backup drive. I didn’t know what to expect because I never had to go to this drive before. I was very happily surprised to see that you can simply click and open folders on the drive just as if it were a clone of my machine. I grabbed my Ableton live show files (and videos), downloaded M-Audio drivers and Ableton Live 8. Everything loaded up without a glitch! Win one for Apple.
So without any disaster looming I decided to call Apple and just see if there was any chance my own computer would arrive on time. I didn’t have to wait at all when calling the support line and spoke to a very friendly employee. He told me the computer was still in the process of being repaired. I told him I had a flight to Europe and it would be great if I had my own computer with me. I blabbed a bit about how I’d be onstage in Amsterdam and Barcelona and I really didn’t want to scratch up Leslie’s nice new Macbook. He put me on hold for a minute and told me he expedited the process and asked me to look at the online repair status. To my happy shock it said the computer would arrive by FedEx before 10:30AM this morning. I know it would have been a better scenario if my computer didn’t break in the first place but Apple deserves a pat on the back for making it so easy to grab files from a Time Machine backup drive and for superb service.
Catch me live this weekend at Defqon 2009 in Amsterdam and the Montagood Festival, Spain.
photo credit: wZa HK
Every blog in the world has to run a story on everything Steve said last night and I will play along. What did we get? A new super light laptop the Macbook Air, a Network backup system for Time Machine called Time Capsule, a new Apple TV and iTunes Movie Rentals and more applications for the iPhone.
There is no reason for me to get into the specifications because they are all at Apple.com but here is what I thought was important to take note of.
While the Macbook Air is completely gorgeous and lust worthy, it won’t make a great pro-audio machine because of what it is missing: a Firewire port. USB 2.0 is fast but it pushes data in packets and from everything I read it’s not ideal for multi-channel pro-audio. In fact, I believe Digidesign does not even support USB 2.0.
Time Capsule is a good product. It gets the stack of Lacie drives you have for backup off your desk and hid away. I would have liked to see the concept go one step further and be a true network storage device instead of only for dedicated backup.
The new Apple TV paired with iTunes Movie Rentals is a game changer. The price is now just about $200 for the unit and it no longer needs to be paired to any computer. Once they get tons of movies available it will be like having Netflix but without having to wait for the postman. They have all the movie studios on board and the price for rentals is right on target. As a musician having YouTube, podcasts and flickr on Apple TV is fantastic. It puts your own content right there next to the big boys stuff, “Hey Dad… want to see my new music video?”.
Lastly, there were new applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. The SDK is coming and later this year new iPhones. There are going to be tons of music software for the device. Mini sequencers, drum machines, controller apps. It’s going be great!
What did you think of the announcements?