Tag Archives: music

How Does iTunes Work on the iPad?

Imagine being stuck in an airport for hours on end. You’re bored out of your mind, and feeling as though you could flip out at any second. Now imagine having the iPad with you, just waiting for you to connect to iTunes. It takes one tap of a finger to connect to the iTunes store via a wireless connection.

Once you connect to iTunes, you know what to do from there. You can browse through music, podcasts, telelvision shows and movies to purchase. Grab that new album you’ve been dying to listen to, plug your headphones in, and rock out. There are millions of songs available – and thousands of movies and videos.

If you are a student and could use some extra knowledge (who couldn’t?), you can connect to iTunes U. There you will find lectures, lessons, audiobooks and even podcasts – all coming from universities and museums.

You can quickly transfer your existing iTunes library from another device to your iPad and from your iPad to the other machines. No matter where you go (or what device you have with you) you won’t have to leave your media at home.

iPod on the iPad

Using your iPad as a music device will let you see and touch your music in ways you can’t when using your iPod. The large screen makes it so much easier to view your library, and make changes as needed. You can browse through your entire collection by song, artist, album or genre. You’ll be able to see your collection as full-sized album art. You can flip through them just as if they were physical CDs.

Tap a song to play it and the “now playing” screen shows up. It will show you the album art for the track you’re listening to. Tap on the album art to flip it over, and you will see the track list. A simple touch of your finger can pause your song, shuffle through your playlist, change to a new song and adjust the volume.

It’s really easy to add music to your iPad. Tap a button and head over to the iTunes store to find new tracks to purchase. Or… transfer existing iTunes libraries from other devices by sync’ing them together.

I’ve seen a few people make comments as to how the iPad is “nothing more than a glorified iPod”. When it comes time to listen to your music though, isn’t a “glorified iPod” a GOOD thing?

Turn Your iPad Into a Harp

There are a lot of musical “instruments” available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. While some of them are quite good, others are mediocre at best. The bad ones are usually ones that have strings involved, such as with guitars. The small screens on those devices just don’t work well for this type of app. The iPad is changing that, though. Thanks to the large screen, apps with string instruments in them are likely going to become the new must-have musical apps.

The Air Harp is no exception. It turns your iPad into a 15-string harp. It features 15 different strings, and even comes with sheet music for you to play. The sounds are quite soothing, as well.

If you enjoy creating music, you may want to take a look at this app. It’s set to be released on April 3rd. Thanks to TUAW for surfacing this app.

Beat Your iPad with the dPad Drum Sequencer

I have told you people many times that I’m no musician. I cannot stay with the beat of anything, and I am no good at creating music. I do, however, love music. I’m a big fan of gadgets that help me to lay down some jams (such as my Tenori-On). Apparently, I will also be able to play the drums right on my iPad.

The dPad Drum Sequencer is astoundingly simple to use. There are eight different types of percussion sounds that I can add to my mix. I can also change the beats per minute of my tune. If you give the video a listen, you’ll see that it actually sounds like Ringo Starr is playing right next to you.

The app devs have promised several future updates, including different drum sound packs, the ability to add your own drum sound packs, left-handed input support and record/save functionality.

What other music apps have you heard about that are coming to the iPad? I’m glad that TUAW has surfaced so many of these potentially awesome apps.

What is the Name of That Song?


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How often have you heard a new song and liked it, only to not find out the name of it at the end? It can drive you crazy trying to Google pieces of the lyrics, attempting to figure out who sings it, and what it’s called. You can’t buy the song for yourself if you don’t know the name of it. That’s where Midomi comes in. With Midomi, you can use your own voice to hum or sing lyrics to any song, and the service will find it for you. Once you’ve found it, you can watch the video for that particular piece of music, or even record a version of your own to share with the world.

Create a profile on Midomi, and sing your favorite songs. Upload them and create a playlist of searchable songs for others to enjoy. The next time anyone searches for that song, your performance might be the top result! You can listen to and rate others’ musical performances, see their pictures, send them messages, buy original music, and more.

There are more than two million legal tracks on Midomi. You can listen to samples of original recordings, buy the full studio versions directly from Midomi, and play them on your computer.

Thanks to James for sending in this screencast, so that everyone can have fun on this awesome site. Let me know what other websites you cannot get through the day without!

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How to AutoTune in GarageBand


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This particular screencast was sent in by Elan. You might know him on the Web as App411. Here he’s going to show you how to use the Auto-Tune yourself in GarageBand. Auto-Tune was that funky robot effect that ruled the radio for a big chunk of 2008. Autotune is the effect made famous today by artists like T-Pain. Some swear by it, some condemn its usage. Whether you love the effect or hate it, I think you’ll have fun playing around with it.

The first step, of course, is to open up GarageBand, and open up a new project. Click on the voice tab, and name your project. Choose either the male or female basic track. Next, you’ll need to record a few notes. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a great singer. AutoTune will make you sound fantastic!

Next you’ll want to select the little button near the bottom-left that looks like a pair of scissors. You’re going to edit a part of the track that does not have your singing in it. Remove everything prior to – and after – your voice. Choose your desired volume. Elan chose to keep his at the default.

Next, you’ll go to the Advanced Tuning slider bar, and pull it all the way to 100. This will give you the full T-Pain effect. Choose whether or not you want to limit it to the key, and change the pitch if you like.

This was a great screencast, Elan! Thanks for sending it in. If any of you decide to create a track using these effects, make sure you share them with us so we can see what you’ve come up with!

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What Type of Music Helps You be More Productive?

I am like many of you out there… I cannot work unless there is music playing in the background. My assistant Kat is the same way. If she’s at her computer (which is always!), there is music playing. She swears she cannot concentrate unless she has music pumping through her speakers or headphones. It apparently makes her more productive than if she has silence or a different type of noise in her immediate area. Thinking about it, I guess I’m the same way. I do my best writing when there is music to fit my mood at that moment playing.

That’s the key for me… my mood. I don’t listen to any one particular style of music all the time. I like a pretty wide variety of stuff. Some call me “eclectic” in my tastes, and that’s fine with me. I like what I like… and I don’t expect you to listen to it if you don’t. However, I do encourage you to always broaden your musical horizons by listening to something completely different than your normal playlist every once in awhile. Pandora is great for that!

What type of music are you addicted to? Do you work better when you are rocking out, or do you need complete quiet in order to concentrate?

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GarageBand Tutorial


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Today’s screencast is one that is both informative and fun. Alex is a GarageBand expert, and wanted to show all of you his tips and tricks. When I’ve used GarageBand in the past, I simply clicked on a lot of things and attempted to actually make something that resembled music. However, there are actually specific things that you can do. Who would have ever guessed?!

Once you open GarageBand, you’ll want to choose “Loops”. That lets you use all of the tracks included with the application, as well as adding in your own instruments. Name your recording whatever you choose. At the bottom, you’ll see options for changing the key, tempo and beats per minute. However, it’s usually better to change it from within your project.

Choose a category to the right of your project window. You’ll see a listing of all the tracks, and you should choose whatever one you like the most. You should play around by putting a few different tracks together, to see what works well together.

GarageBand allows you to change the length of each track in your project, as well as letting you fade tracks in and out. Alex gives excellent instructions for managing this, and plays his end result for you. It’s not difficult to do. I would have never figured it was this easy!

You can also record your own voice (or musical instrument!) and add it to your track. Use your built-in mic or external microphone. Create a new track, and choose “Software Instrument”. Once you’re all set, you can start playing your tune… and then save it. Play around with the different instruments that come included with GarageBand, and even add your own singing in there if you dare!

Once you are finished with your song, click on “Share”. You can now send your creation to different applications, such as to a CD burner or iTunes. Don’t compress the song file, or you will lose quite a lot of quality.

Thanks a lot Alex for teaching this old dog some new tricks!

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Manage Your Music Library with TuneUp


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Tommy has created a screencast for us to show you how to easily manage your iTunes library using TuneUp. According to the TuneUp website, the program will clean up your library automagically. They used my word!! They must be good. TuneUp is touted as being your music collection’s best friend. Let’s take a look and decide for ourselves.

Often when you enter a CD and much of the information seems to be missing, such as the album art, genre and artist information. TuneUp will take care of this problem for you. Click the “Clean” button, and drag your track to that area. It takes only a few seconds to process. Click the “Save all” button once it is finished, and everything will appear – automagically!!

Another great feature of this application is called “Tuniverse”. If you’re listening to a track, Tuniverse will automatically display related music videos from YouTube, including live versions of studio recorded tracks. It will also pull up information about the artist, such as their bio. You can even click a button to take you to merchandise sales for the singer or band found on eBay!

TuneUp costs $19.95 per year, or $29.95 for a lifetime subscription. It works in both Windows XP and Vista, and Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard. There is a free version available, with a limited amount of cleans. You can clean up to 100 songs with it, and produce 50 album covers. With the paid version, you have an unlimited number of each to use.

Okay, so Tommy was right. TuneUp is a powerful and easy-to-use program to manage your music! Thanks for the excellent screencast.

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How to Make Electronic Music


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Our friends over at ThinkGeek have done it again. As if my Tenori-On wasn’t cool enough, now I have two Bliptronic 5000 LED Synthesizers!! They are exclusive to ThinkGeek, and I’m more than happy that they sent these babies to me for review. You can connect as many of them together as you like, and watch them create beautiful music! Change the tone, volume, style and settings with a touch of a button, or a turn of a knob. They are simple to use, and addictive to play with!

Creating your song centers around a 4-beat pattern, which evolves as you push buttons. Each row of vertical buttons stands for the notes found in one octave. Push a button to turn a note on, and then push it again to turn it off. Pushing more than one button in a vertical row will make a chord!

There are knobs down the side of the Bliptronic, as I mentioned. These allow you to change the tempo, choose your instrument from 8 different sounds, adjust the volume, and turn looping on or off. There’s also, of course, a ‘Play’ button.

You can get a Bliptronic of your own for around fifty dollars. That’s not much money when you think of how many hours, days and even months of fun you’re going to get out of this thing. Wow your friends, and dazzle your family. Put your imagination to work! You know you can’t wait to get your hands on this thing!

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