Sunday, January 22, 2006

Plans for the future

The start a a new year is the traditional time to make highly optimistic plans for the future so, for once, I will follow tradition and announce my resolutions... blog-wise of course.

The first record

With this musical guide still being in its nappies, I think I should shed some light on my blogging philosophy, notations I will use here, how I classify music by Genre etc. I also intend to diversify my posts in future and not only include album reviews and my thoughts on music but technical topics on using a computer as a music player and audio quality in general.

Blogging philosophy

Most of the posts will, of course, continue to be album reviews. For those, I will always use a post title of the form "[genre] artist - (release year) - album title". Therefore you'll be able to tell immediately when browsing the archives, which posts are reviews and which are other kinds of information. On the index page and on archive pages, you'll find only introductions to the various articles. The full articles are available through the "Read more..." links or through clicking the post titles. To move back to the index page or an archive page from a post, you can use the "Back to MainPage" link or one of the archive links in the navigation bar.

For the album reviews, I use a very personal classification by Genre. The Genre of an album as well as being in the post title, is indicated next to the album cover in the short introduction to the review, the format of that being:
"artist - album title
[genre] - year
n° of CDs - total n° of tracks
total running time"

I associate a single genre for each artist. So an artist with extremely varied music will by classified by his most typical kind of music. The genres I use (on this guide and for my music collection) are the following:
  • Blues
    Album by artists who predominantly play The Blues
  • Classical
    Albums by artists who predominantly play Classical Music
  • Country
    Albums by artists who predominantly play Country Music
  • Electronic
    Albums by artists who predominantly play Electronic based music
  • Flamenco
    Albums by artists who predominantly play Flamenco
  • Jazz
    Albums by artists who predominantly play Jazz
  • Mark
    Albums by Mark Knopfler or Dire Straits or The Notting Hillbillies or Mark Knopfler contributions with other artists
  • Religious
    Albums by artists who play moody music, religious chorus and related things
  • Soundtracks
    Film music (not classified by artist but by year and film title)
  • Heavy
    Albums by artists who play loud music (Heavy Metal, Grunge, 1970s Rock, all that kind of stuff)
  • Oldies
    Albums by artists with career peaks before 1980 and that don't fit in any of the above categories
  • Guitar
    Albums by artists who have no specific genre (except Pop maybe) that are well-known for their skills on the guitar
  • French
    General Pop artists related to France or sing in French
  • German
    General Pop artists related to Germany or sing in German
  • Italian
    General Pop artists related to Italy or sing in Italian
  • Spanish
    General Pop artists related to Spain or sing in Spanish
  • Pop
    Anything that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
I must stress that this list is in no way sufficient to classify all music but is well adapted to my tastes and therefore appropriate for using on this music guide.

Diversifying content

The step we will be taking in the album reviews is to move to some serious Jazz and Blues. I'll not only review albums I select in those genres, but also try and make a general introduction on Jazz and later on, on The Blues. I hope to explain what the whole point of those types of music is because they are often misunderstood. It is up to the listener to find for himself, a significance, a meaning in the music he listens to. Therefore, my views are not at all objective, but they are presented as an example of how you can appropriate music to make it mean something to you, even and especially when it's reputedly "geeky" or "intellectual" music.

Another area I plan to address is the technicalities of organising a fairly large music collection. The traditional Hifi set with CD player is no longer sufficient to allow comfortable listening because of the sheer amount music people possess these days. Therefore, many people turn to their computers to play back their music but soon give up when they see the desasterous sound quality their sound cards deliver and the amount of noise their cooling fans generate. I will try to propose solutions for these problems by presenting hardware, software, ripping and organizing methods and audio compression formats that will allow you to transform your computer into a convenient and high quality means of enjoying your music. My sources of information are, for most, listed in my "Links" section in the side bar on the index page.

Articles that I consider important (or that I'm proud of :-) ) will appear in the "Essential Posts" section of the side bar for quick access for those who missed them. Generally that will be news on this music guide, introductory articles, guides to audio hardware and software.


So much for the big plans and wishes for the future. I hope I'll be able to keep some promises. In any case, your comments are always welcome. The whole point of this music guide is to get people talking about their tastes in music and to make the "geeks" and "weirdos" speak up and let the "normal" people know what they are missing.

Suggestions, critics, general stupid remarks, ideas for a new Poll (side bar of the index page), everything's welcome and in any language! Garanteed without sensorship. :-)