HiFi Streaming

Spotify recently announced its HiFi streaming upgrade where users can, for a premium fee, get higher bitrate streaming music. I would be surprised if Apple doesn’t do something similar before the end of the year.

Apparently, there are some benefits to being over 50 and suffering from tinnitus. I took this test (found at 9to5 Mac) and I couldn’t tell any difference, even with my fanciest headphones. Hopefully, you do better.

The Yule Apple Music Playlist


The holidays are here and I’ve been doing more work on my “Yule” playlist. I’ve made lots of new additions this year including this gem from Joey Alexander. If you’ve got an Apple Music subscription, go ahead and subscribe and enjoy. The playlist is very heavily jazz but with a few other delightful holiday songs from other artists, including this one where Jack Johnston takes Santa to task for the way they were treating Rudolph just because he has a red nose.

Anyway, here’s the link:

MacSparky’s Yule Playlist

Drummer Boy

I’ve never liked the Drummer Boy Christmas carol. I remember playing it as a kid and thinking about how much it made me sleepy. Last year I decided to do my own cover of Drummer Boy so I cooked this up with Garage Band on the iPad and my MIDI keyboard. Enjoy.

Air Turn for iPad Sheet Music

I’ve digitized all my sheet music and I display it on my iPad via forScore.  I only have two complaints. The music is a little smaller on the iPad so I have to pay a little bit closer attention when reading it. I recently purchased a pair of reading glasses (I know) and that seems to be solving this problem. The second complaint is turning pages. The app has an easy enough gesture to reach up and flip the page but because it is not tactile like sheet music and because computers aren’t perfect, sometimes it doesn’t go just right and I end up turning two pages.

Today Macworld did a video review of the Air Turn device that solves this problem with a Bluetooth foot pedal. Tap it with your foot, and the page turns. This seems like a no-brainer for a professional musician. Maybe it’s a Christmas list item for me.

Christmas Time is Here

Want a little holiday cheer? Here is a my 11 year old daughter and I covering one of my favorites, Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here.” (Wikipedia) Sarah sings. I play the piano. (The bass, vibes, and drum were also all accomplished with my MIDI keyboard.) The whole thing was produced in Garage Band (both iPad and Mac versions). Enjoy.

Download Christmas Time is Here