I got a used Mixman DM2 and here's some notes on what I've done with it on day one. This is on Windows XP; you can use the device on earlier versions of Windows, but not later ones. Works fine on OSX and Linux supposedly, but I haven't tried it in either place.
The new effort from Michael Franti and Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers is their most boring offering yet. Almost entirely lacking the depth of lyrics which has been present in every former album, this is basically a drum & bass album for people who need more music to jump up and down to. If you love Spearhead's lyrics, you should avoid this album like the mass-market plague it is.
The Memorex MPD8600 is a small CD-ROM based audio player which supports MP3, WMA, and CDDA/Red Book CD Audio on CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW media. It also has an FM radio tuner built into it. It has quite good MP3 compatibility, including support for the ID3 tags used to store extended information about MP3 audio files. It has a black body with a silver inset on its face, and tapers slightly from one side to the other. It is a highly compatible and functional CD-based audio player, tolerably simple to use, and has acceptable battery life.
When my Kenwood flip-face stereo died (repair pending but I'm lazy) I decided it was time to upgrade. I've been wanting an mp3 player for some time but I haven't wanted to shell out the big bucks and I want something that will let me play more than 700MB. There's various cheapie solutions out there, some of which take USB flash drives or SD cards, but almost none of them support storage devices of more than 1GB. So I was looking for something a little more serious.
Overstock.com had a few mp3 playing units around, so I browsed through them and found the JVC KD-DV4200. The feature list seemed too compelling to pass up; it plays DVD video, which is neat (as I have a small TV which I am now using with the unit) but more importantly for my purposes, it will play mp3 or wma from DVD. This is actually a fairly unusual feature and even though most mobile DVD players will play mp3, they typically will only play from a CD.
In a world in which most music is corporate-sponsored pap that succeeds only because it's the only thing on the menu, most politically-inspired music falls flat on its ass, much in the same way that a fern cannot survive in the desert. Some acts, however, have been successful either in spite of or even because of their political stance. Much like Christian rock, it's hard to make music that's all about a message that doesn't totally suck, but one person with a positive gift for this is Michael Franti. Today, he tours with a band called Spearhead, but before Spearhead there was The Disposable Heroes of Hiphopracy. Franti rapped over percussion assembled by Rono Tse, and the result was a sort of sublime fusion of political message and imaginative hip-hop that is not only worth listening to due to its message, but also due to its pure, palpable quality.
I've always been a collector of soundtracks and other compilations, because they frequently contain songs that cannot be had anywhere else. Typically, one hears at least one song one likes while watching the movie, and then forgets about it for a while, maybe picks it up later. One theater I have often visited in downtown Santa Cruz is actually upstairs from a Blockbuster Music store, and they have (or have had) a standing relationship with them that if you bring in a ticket stub, you get a discount on the soundtrack. I didn't see this movie until just last night, however, and I have had the soundtrack since 1997, when the movie was released.
Based on the book by English novelist Nick Hornby, High Fidelity may be the most enjoyable date movie you ever see. That might not be saying a hell of a lot, but John Cusack has excellent delivery as ever and Jack Black is as outrageous as ever. A small role portrayed by Lisa Bonet also helps keep things moving.