Before getting to the idea, I have some site updates! Due to a slight spike in readership (about 5 extra readers =)), I quickly scrambled to make some necessary changes to the site:
1) New title font. The standard response thus far has been “I like the gees.” I do too. The font is called Qlassik, for those of you wondering. [slink]Kalenree[elink]‘s WordPress theme pointed me to it.
2) New tag cloud with colours. Took a while to figure out a nice colour scheme but I think this one will do for now.
3) Rearrangement of the widgets at the right to have both columns maintain a roughly equal length. I realize it’s only an estimate especially when the xkcd widget refreshes to a much longer or much shorter column, but at least there is a sense of balance.
4) Some time ago, I licensed all my work under the Creative Commons. This allows people to use my work under certain circumstances. For further information, click the CC button at the very bottom of the site or under any blog post when you’re viewing just that post, and you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot do with my work.
5) Ubuntu‘s new release, Lucid Lynx, now has countdown banners, so I had to add one of those below my Twitter widget in the “Things I Endorse” section, along with the PlayOgg graphic! OGG is discussed below.
6) My curious critter of a friend/mascot now makes his home in the ‘About’ box at right. He looks pretty pleased if you ask me.
Ginger62 graciously allowed me to use photographs from the Hed Kandi night on April 3, 2010, so here is one of the most tantalizing and best-framed photos of the night. Props to the photographer!
I like this picture because it doesn’t give away full details of how amazing the night actually was. Instead, it leaves much to the reader’s imagination while only providing one clue: there was in fact Hed Kandi decor throughout the club.
This brings me to one of the big projects I have in store for this site.
I don’t know whether the Hed Kandi people can, or would want to support me in this endeavour, but I want to build an OGG player that either streams HK/MoS radio, or allows people to load a playlist (of any kind of music).
First of all, what is OGG? It’s a container format, just like AVI, that can either hold audio or video. Most people are familiar with a notion of a codec that is used to compress audio or video into a manageable size. OGG provides two codecs, one called Vorbis for audio, and the other called Theora for video.
From the musician’s or DJ’s point of view, the most common audio format in use today is MP3, but MP3 has proprietary overhead (it’s a non-free format). OGG Vorbis provides all the advantages of MP3 with none of the proprietary overhead. For all intents and purposes, it is free software. Believe it or not, most of your audio and video players are already capable of handling OGG, including the excellent VLC and mplayer media players. OGG also supports file tagging like ID3 tags for MP3s. This allows one to include title, artist, genre, album and other meta-information about a song.
Professional DJs will be interested to hear that OGG is fully supported by Serato Scratch Live (I’m not sure how good the OGG support is in Traktor or VirtualDJ, but I hear it exists). All my music is now in OGG format (I used an application called oggconvert for Ubuntu; it’s available within the universe repository) and I find that Serato actually responds faster when generating waveform information upon loading a track into a deck.
Now, back to the initial idea. I basically want to build an audio player for this blog that plays Hed Kandi tracks. I refuse to use proprietary tools such as Adobe Flash and MP3, so instead, I want to build a music player using HTML5 and associated free web languages in order to play music in OGG format. I’d also like to provide streaming support for at least my own streaming DJ sessions so they can be accessed through this site.
Now, this has been done before. Heck, Wikipedia does something similar when they provide audio clips. So what’s so great about my OGG player? Well, I thought, why not mix a great house brand with ethical technology? If a name such as Hed Kandi’s can be attached to free software such as (streaming) OGG players, I think it would do wonders for intriguing the public and teaching them about the OGG format. Plus, I’m envisioning having nice Hed Kandi themed skins randomly loading onto the player upon each visit. It would add so much pizzazz to this site (and OggKandi is strangely catchy as a name).
Just because a Flash player that plays MP3′s looks and sounds the same as an HTML5 OGG player does not mean we shouldn’t try to embrace the free alternative. If anything, it proves that we can provide the same results without having to rely on proprietary software.
If anyone wants to jump aboard and work with me on this endeavour, please feel free to comment. After all, it’s just an idea right now.
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.