Notes for Week 26, 2024

Song of the week:


  • I note below a story about record labels suing AI companies, effectively for copyright infringement. I had a good chat with a friend about this during the week. And while the lawsuit stuff is probably justified within reason, there are good AI use-cases here. Going back to ye olden times, the only way to learn a song was have incredible theory in your head to know what notes were coming out of a speaker, or to go buy sheet music. Now, I can use a tool like lamucal to figure it out for me. That's a great use-case that doesn't lean too heavily into the "we stole all the music to train our weird model".
  • I've been doing a bunch more music production stuff. You're never 'done' with equipment but I have the complete package. I have a couple of really nice pedals (some old distortion pedals, a new Walrus Audio Melee reverb+dist & two Chase Bliss ones; Mood mk2 and Generation Loss), down to two guitars (PRS Silver Sky in pink (not the cheaper one, the USA one) and a PRS custom 24) and a bunch of synth stuff (Teenage Engineering op-1 field, TX-6 mixer, EP-133 and a few pocket operators alongside an Arturia Microfreak and one or two bits 'n bobs). Not to mention Logic Pro loaded with a bunch of interesting plugins.
    • All I need to do is spend a few hours sitting there, locked in my home-office just noodling on something and releasing it. My mates and I do a monthly challenge to pop songs into our WhatsApp group but they're unpolished because of the audience. I would spend more time with the craft and beauty aspect of production if I had to give it over to a public audience, even if that audience was 2 people.
    • I should point out that there's absolutely no rhyme or reason behind the music. I swing from hard industrial rhythmic stuff to melodic mild chill-out tunes.
  • This week in work was busy as usual but I hit a milestone that's been sitting there, waiting to be hit for months. It's an internal announcement about our Dublin office moving, but the logistics of getting contracts signed, PR approved and everything in-between has been lengthy and silly. But we're over the hump and everyone is excited for next year's big move!
  • Apple have said they're not going to launch some of their key new launches in Europe with other markets (notably USA with their new AI stuff). This is because of two things, I assume: 1) they need to do more due diligence on what hits DMA and privacy laws. And 2) absolute spite.
    • Let's dig into factor 1. I think this is the net win for the EU that parliamentarians wanted. They want Apple to put their money where their mouths are regarding privacy, security and data. The fact that Apple need to take time for extra due diligence in the EU is exactly the solution to the first-order problem. You can't scatter out features like AI and pretend that the security chip on the phone is enough. It needs testing, rigour and honestly, inspection. Would I rather Apple orientate themselves better and launch these new features for the EU in-line with the US launch schedule? Of course. But do I want Apple to dig deep and think more like Apple on this subject? Yes.
    • On factor 2, this is a more emotive one. I have been in the Apple ecosystem since I was a teenager, when it most certainly was not cool. I recall Macteens during summer, working in Compu b (an Apple reseller in Ireland) years later being a dream job and the growth Apple with phones and tablets. Apple, at it's core, is still the Mac to me. And I still reminisce about the magic of my iPod Classic; which I still have! But now, if we're being brutally honest with ourselves, Apple is what Microsoft was back then. They have really stupid products on the market that service basically no one (the VR headset that's consuming more product and engineering time than it deserves -- put that talent on the Mac & macOS for fuck sake), unloved products that have huge markets (where's the "prosumer" display from a company that builds prosumer computers?!) and they wield an unusual amount of dominance in the phone and tablet markets which makes them act like dickheads.
      • For what it's worth, I think the executive team at Apple are great. They're just lost in the weeds, which result in decisions that serve short-term gains over long-term wins.
      • And to make it worse, they only engage with sycophantic fanboys who blog or vlog their way into the hearts and minds of iPhone customers exclusively.

via flickr