Monthly Archives: April 2009

Zune Panic!!

Now I’ve gone and done it!  I’ve almost filled up my Zune, and I have more to add.  What to do??   Right now I’m paring down some of the stuff I don’t listen to all that often, and I’m only able to load about 2½ hours of video (three one-hour TV episodes) at a time now.  Podcasts take up very little room, and I only subscribe to about five.

I’ve been tempted to get a 2nd Zune just for video, as I could load up a lot of my favorite TV episodes, cartoons and movies on there, and save my main Zune for audio.  Thing is, 120GB just is not enough!  I could have gotten more music on there had I gone with a lesser compression setting, but then I wouldn’t have liked the sound quality.  I had guessed I could fit 20,000 songs on the Zune, and if I get rid of the video, my guess may be right on the money.

In the future if drive prices drop, I may attempt surgery and put in the 240GB Toshiba hard drive as an upgrade.  I have a lot more that I’d like to put on there, including a lot of needle drops.

I’m still debating what to get for a memory-based player.  I’d really like a smaller Zune, like the 8GB, or I may get the Sansa Clip 8GB since it is smaller, easier to clip on, and not to mention that it’s cheaper (about half as much as the Zune).  Thing is, I prefer the Zune’s larger screen and interface.  But I don’t really need that for something that’ll see a lot of outdoor use.

Simon & Garfunkel Bio: “Old Friends”

Old Friends (by Joe Morella and Patricia Barey) covers the dual biographies of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.  While it may not be a definitive or all-inclusive look at their careers, it is still a good, entertaining starting point for listeners who know little about the duo, outside of their hits and albums.  There are a few factual errors scattered throughout, but the continuity of their parallel career paths helps the reader understand how the duo formed, how they worked together, what forced them apart, and despite the outcome, how they still remain old friends even today.  The timeline reaches back to their early childhood, up through Paul Simon’s “Rhythm of the Saints” solo release, along with their reunion concert in Central Park.  Old Friends is a good read, and I’m giving it 3-1/2 out of 5 stars.   Click here to view this book at Amazon.

Biography: Chuck Panozzo of Styx

The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life with Styx is an autobiography written by Styx’s founding bassist Chuck Panozzo (with Michele Skettino).  If you are looking for a book that goes into minute detail about Styx, this is not the book you’re after.  Instead, this book is the heartfelt story of Chuck Panozzo’s life, starting back in childhood where he knew he was “different” from the other boys.  His tenure with Styx was definitely a highlight of his life and career, but it’s his struggle after the original band’s run that forms the most interesting part of the story.  His twin brother John’s battle with alcoholism (which he lost), his own battle with his sexual identity, and other outside factors are all part of the story.  By the end of the book, Chuck has finally decided to “come out” as an openly gay man, no longer hiding his true self as he had earlier in life.  If you are worried about any explicit details, you need not worry–he speaks more about relationships than anything else.  Chuck’s story is, more than anything, inspiring: living proof that you can overcome any obstacle in your way if you are true to yourself.  This book, while short, is a great read, and I’m giving it 4-1/2 out of 5 stars!  Click here to view this book at Amazon.

Beatles Remasters Coming 9/9/09

The music news wires are abuzz about one of the bigger reissue developments in years: the remastering of the Beatles catalog on CD.  This time around, there will be both stereo and mono versions of the albums released.  The stereo discs will be available separately as well as in a boxed set, and apparently, the mono albums (ten of them) would be only in its own collector’s edition box set.  Past Masters will now be a single 2-CD set, rather than two separate discs, and the mono set will have its own equivalent set available.  Release date is September 9, 2009, the same day that the Rock Band video game series will release their Beatles title.

If they get it right this time, this could be the Beatles set to own.  I have all of the original CDs, the Toshiba/EMI “Abbey Road” from Japan, “Rubber Soul” and “Help!” from Canada (which used a different stereo mix than the U.S. CDs), and the U.S. “Capitol Albums” releases.  Hopefully the sound quality will be improved–the original U.S. CDs are harsh.  As long as they lay off the compression and the noise reduction, and poor EQ choices, they should sound fantastic.  The “LOVE” project sounded quite good, and according to the official press release, a lot of thought went into this series.

The full news release can be found at The Beatles website.