Let's push things forward.

by Edward Aten

Music-tech insider, insighter & inciter.

Read this first

Stop. And. Listen.

Somewhere along the way we stopped listening.

We watched and listened. Read and listened. Wrote and listened. Played games and listened.

And great music became hidden.

Hidden by the din of loud trains. Hidden in the spectacular visual effects of music videos. Hidden in low-quality formats. Hidden by our inattention.

A lot of art shrinks when exposed to a shifting focus, but music falls hardest.

Our ears are magical because they can completely trick our brain. They can take us to a pacific forest or an african bazaar. But we can go further with music — new places that never existed before.

Musicians use textures, tones, balance and placement to create a new physical and emotional places that never existed before — and our ears are the only way to get there.

All you need is focus, content and equipment.

We bring our own focus, artists create the content but for years we built equipment...

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Bitcoin’s Intentions

This post from Chris Dixon about the original paper for Bitcoin and the creator’s intentions got me thinking about intentions.

Companies, concepts and products rarely only grow larger; most change direction. Some people start trying to solve a problem one way and end up solving it in a different way. Some may solve a different problem completely. Sometimes, people find something they never expected in an area they weren’t looking and leave everything they started searching for.

These aren’t pivots where someone revisits their intentions; sometimes people head out in a direction, keep going and end up somewhere else doing something different than where they started.

  • Coca-Cola started out as a medicine before becoming the worlds largest soft drink manufacturer.
  • The Hitachi magic wand was meant for, um, full body use prior to the purpose it is successful for today.
  • ...

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Some music for you

I love music and I use music.

I listen to music for fun. To break down compositions. To enjoy the production and magic.

But I also use music help me create, relax, attack, work out or set a mood.

Here are a few examples:

Hacking mixes When I need to go deep I go here. Lights down. Headphones on (or home with my speakers up). If I need 60 minutes, 90 minutes or more in the zone I go deep house.

Chillwave I’m not the kind of guy that needs motivation. I’m the kind of guy that needs to relax, focus and take a deep breath. Chillwave is my ADD antidote.

https://soundcloud.com/edwardaten/sets/chillwave-1

Acapella Simple. Beautiful. Inspirational.

I love this playlist because you can hear the flaws, errors, tricks, tweaks and the imperfections that make some of the best singers of all time perfect. I’m hard on myself as a designer - this playlist reminds me authenticity,...

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I Hate Motivational Anythings.

I was invited to yet another motivational meetup to “help me reach my dreams”.

I didn’t go. I’ve never been. I’ll never go. Here’s why:

If you can’t get off your ass when your idea is still a perfect dream in your head, when the world hasn’t shit on your idea six different ways you never imagined, when you haven’t even written the idea down and realized not only that it isn’t that great but that it doesn’t even make sense, when it’s just you and a whiteboard and your ass is in a chair, look out because this, this is the moment it is easiest.

It only gets harder from here. It never gets easier than this very moment. If you need something to help you do the easiest part you are in big trouble.

If you find yourself beating around the bush of your ‘dream’ but never making any real headway, still working...

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YouTube Has Already Won Streaming

YouTube has already won streaming. Here’s why:

1. Users.

YouTube is the second largest site on the internet. THE SECOND LARGEST SITE ON THE INTERNET. They have over a billion people going there every day to find what they want. Eyeballs matter.

2. Accesibility.

Mobile. Web. In someone’s blog. On my facebook wall.

YouTube is everywhere. All the time. Easy, fast and integrated. Any new platform (like RapGenius) integrates YouTube and no one else. They are the music platform.

3. Content.

YouTube has 10x the content of Spotify. Search is taken for granted after Google, but YouTube is one of the only places in the world you can search and find anything. Rare takes. Alternate versions. Covers. EVERYTHING.

4. Economics.

This game is only about money. YouTube doesn’t only have it with Google’s coffers, but they make money on their own in a big way. A ton of it. Top...

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The New Stealth

The next big hit may not have been written about in Techcrunch or discussed on HackerNews yet but could be secretly live right now in the AppStore or on the web.

Buying Facebook ads in Ohio. A/B testing designs, content and flows in the Philippines. Creating shell companies to submit test apps under. Companies you know may have amazing products you will love available to you right now but you’ve never heard of them.

Welcome to the new stealth.

Companies used to go stealth to keep their competitors guessing, but recently stealth has fallen out of vogue. Customer development and lean philosophy value feedback and data over PR hits so fewer companies spend years getting ready for the big launch.

But when you are well known or well funded, releasing incomplete or beta projects can be a disaster. Bad reviews can distract a team. Bad metrics can scare investors. Whether internal or...

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True Opposites

It was never billed this way, but Antifragile is one of the best startup books of all time.

There are many powerful concepts but the one I keep using almost daily is what I call true opposites.

In the book Taleb asks: What is the exact opposite of “fragile”?

Almost all people answer that the opposite of “fragile” is “robust,” “resilient,” “solid,” or something of the sort. But the resilient, robust (and company) are items that neither break nor improve, so you would not need to write anything on them— have you ever seen a package with “robust” in thick green letters stamped on it? Logically, the exact opposite of a “fragile” parcel would be a package on which one has written “please mishandle” or “please handle carelessly.” Its contents would not just be unbreakable, but would benefit from shocks and a wide array of trauma.

Robust negates the effects of fragility, but...

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Daft Punk - How the Robots are Hacking Your Brain

Daft Punk is on an interstellar mission to bring Lets Get Lucky (the first single from Random Access Memories) to the earth. Like any self-respecting group of robots planning world domination they have studied humans and crafted a plan to ensure Up All Night is in your head, on your speakers and eventually in your iTunes library.

daft-punks-album-random-access-memories-will-be-released-on-may-21st-485x323.jpg

The robots are hacking not just the system but your brain to make “Lets Get Lucky” the song of the moment and maybe, if the hack works, the song of the decade.

Lets take a look at what the robots have learned.

Great songs don’t give it all away at once; they leave you wanting more.

YouTube may be making it easier than ever to get every song to ever person, but humans value things higher when we don’t get everything we want.

Remember the phrase “Why by the cow when you can get the milk for free”? Daft Punk is giving us a...

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