About 13 years ago John Oswald gave us his masterwork of audio collage, Plexure, which wove together minute fragments of the greatest hits of the previous 10 years into a brilliant sound tapestry. Now you almost get to do the same thing in a few moment with your own music collection, at least whatever portion of it you keep in iTunes, thanx to Jason Freeman's iTunes Signature Maker. The Java program asks you a few configuration questions like how many songs you want to include and how big the fragments should be, and then crunches away for a few minutes to give you a little clip that is a brief collage of the songs you've been listening to.
Here's an example: http://detritus.net/steev/mp3s/steev-audio-sig.mp3
One really nice feature of the program is that after it builds the signature, you can look at the "structure" of it. for the example above, we have:
Modest Mouse - 3rd planet
Human (Calexico Vocal Mix)
Best Of Mano Negra
Modest Mouse - gravity rides everything
Modest Mouse - I Came As A Rat
Flor Del Fango
Flor Del Fango
Calexico - The Black Light
Modest Mouse - Alone Down There
Modest Mouse - Paper Thin Walls
Havana 3 A.M.
Lagrimas de Oro
Clandestino: Esperando La Ultima Ola...
Paul of Mediageek has some interesting commentary on a report by the Council on Information and Library Resources about how over-restrictive copyright laws are making very difficult efforts to preserve and archive old sound recordings.
Paul of Media Geek reports on the recent move by the Grateful Dead to stop free downloads of recordings of Dead shows. He discusses how the Dead became so successful largely because of an open policy toward taping and sharing of their shows, but now that the band basically doesn't exist anymore and there's a way to sell their huge archive of live recordings easily (the Internet), they are starting to clamp down.