Painted On An iPhone

brushes

Is this another compelling reason to want an iPhone, or is it just another reason to have one’s head bowed over a piece of handheld technology? If you’re an artist or merely a compulsive doodler, though, it does sound pretty great.

Brushes is a painting application for the iPhone and iPod touch. If you haven’t heard of it by now, it made a buzz shortly after its release when a streetscene painted by Jorge Colombo was featured on the June 1, 2009 New Yorker magazine cover. That made such a splash, it seems, that Read More

The Grid Goes Down

outtage

Sitting in a Panera in Danvers, MA and enjoying the free Wi-Fi, I worry about how dependent we are on the power grid. I’m not alone in thinking that a life off the grid is the way to go, the only sensible response to our increasingly networked age. Maybe webdesigners like myself are more nervous than most in times like these? Is anyone not?

Getting ready to leave the house this morning due to the massive power outtage caused by last night’s hurricane-force winds, I Read More

My Favorite Font Joint

myfonts

Need a logo for your business or a new look for your website or brochure? Myfonts is a great place to start poking around the world of fonts, even if you don’t know the difference between a dingbat and a descender. You can try out various fonts according to style and era by entering your text in the handy box, and then purchase the font of your choice… they even have some free fonts as well. Read More

Help Choosing Your Website’s Colors

colorjack

Colorjack is a website I found recently that can kick-start your quest for the perfect color palette for your website. The opening page features a virtual swatch-wall — hover your mouse over each color to see palette options, or use one of the links on the page’s right-hand margin for more in-depth help. You can explore clashing colors, complementary colors, or several other options, as well as being able to preview your color choices’ accessibility, i.e. how they would appear to the color-blind. Give it a try — it’s a great tool.

My Life In The Cloud

clouds

More and more, it seems that the digital traces we leave of ourselves — photos, songs, preferences, friends, likes and dislikes, resumes, recipes — are existing in a place other than our own hard drives. To me, it makes perfect sense that the next step for the average online music fan is a site like lala.com, which Apple is rumored to have bought. For a very small fee per song (i.e. 10 cents) you have unlimited access to that song. The only hitch (and it’s a big one) is that you have to log on to lala.com to hear it. That means no copy on your hard drive, no song in your iPod. It is now in the “cloud.” But with the increasingly full-featured music players being brought onto the market, that most likely won’t be an issue… soon, you’ll just log on to your iTunes account with your iPod or the like, and stream away. Of course, a downloadable option is currently available at lala.com, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that one day goes away.

It makes great sense storage-wise not to have to worry about how much hard drive/iPod space you have left for your music, and eco-wise this approach seems poised to obliterate the entire CD-manufacturing industry, with its attendant plastics, paper, chemicals, shipping etc.

I can feel good about these developments because I already own thousands of CD’s and vinyl records. It’s as if I’ve hoarded this manna-music for years, knowing that the day will come when the product won’t be quite as filling, quite as immersive an experience. No gatefold covers upon which to gaze while listening to the tunes; not even a skimpy hard-to-get-back-in-place CD booklet insert. It’ll all be up in the cloud, giving us an awe-inspiring selection 24/7, but I’m not the first to admit that the prospect has taken some of the romance out of being a music fan.

Of course, it should all be about the moment when you close your eyes and listen – a great song is a great song is a great song, no matter the delivery system. But still…

And where does this all end? Could all your stuff be wiped out in some kind of massive domino-effect server crash? Does that make anyone nervous?

Ah, the simple pleasures of flipping on a vinyl LP and enjoying the music that needs no buffering, no compression, no wait time. It’s a welcomed respite from my fascination with lala and 8tracks and the like.