Sunday, October 16, 2016

How to Embed an Apple Music Playlist on a Blog or Website

It was fairly easy to embed playlists from Spotify in blogs and websites. The process isn't quite as easy for Apple Music. Nor will the embedded playlist play the entire song, even if you are listening on your mobile device with an Apple Music subscription. You will get 30 second clips, on a computer or mobile device.

 1. Go to
 2. Enter the url of your playlist. You can find this url by clicking on the share button on your playlist and copy the link (or send link as a text message to see link).
3. Copy the link to the site.
4. The embed code will be generated.
5. Copy the embed code the html for your blog/website.

 This is what it will look like:

You can also embed a player for any song/video on Apple Music that looks like this:

If you would like more details, 9to5 Mac has more information.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rochester's Party in the Park Lineup 2013

Find your favorite Thursday night party or get a season pass for the entire 2013 lineup.  Details on tickets, food, drink, parking, directions can be found at the City of Rochester page.  All shows are held at the Riverside Festival Site.

(30 songs, scroll on right side of playlist)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Planning Your Days for XRIJF 2013 (Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest)

Last year was my first venture to the XRIJF using the Club Pass.  I spent 8 of the 9 days clubbing all over downtown Rochester with my friend Kirk.  To get the most out of your Club Pass takes some planning.  Most artists are playing 2 shows in the same night and some play across multiple nights.  Organizers group similar artists in certain venues.  Higher energy jazz seems to find its way to the Big Tent, blues and Americana can be found at Abilene, and last year the Xerox Auditorium had some of the most intense jazz.  Get The Blessing and other artists from across the pond provided cool sounds for one of my favorite venues, the Christ Church.

Since the line-ups have been released, I've been compiling Spotify playlists to listen to the daily line-ups.  I star my favorites and make sure I don't miss anyone that really peaks my interest.  I still like to stumble upon the unknown once and awhile so I don't let my playlist dictate my entire evening but it sure does help me navigate the week.  I'd like to share me playlists with you.  Enjoy.

FRIDAY JUNE 21, 2013


SUNDAY JUNE 23, 2013

MONDAY JUNE 24, 2013




FRIDAY JUNE 28, 2013


Monday, January 21, 2013

2012 Journeys

  I love reviewing all the Best of 2012 lists from a variety of sources from Pitchfork, The Guardian, SPIN, Rolling Stone, NPR and a variety of other music blogs around the Internet.  I like comparing my own "starred" list of songs and what the paid writers think of the 2012 releases.
     This was the first full year that I used the Spotify premium subscription service.  Using this service I listened to around 100 different full album releases this year.  I would have never purchased this many CD's as this would have cost over $1000.  The Spotify service cost me about $120.  I think this worked out in my favor.
     I will post my starred tracks for the year below, but would like to mention a few records that got my attention this year (Frank Ocean was not one of them).  It's nearly impossible to rank the variety of sounds in any priority order but this is a short list of favorites:
  • Regina Spektor-What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
  • Beach House-Bloom
  • Lana Del Rey-Born to Die
  • Kathleen Edwards-Voyageur
  • Heartless Bastards-Arrow
  • Bruce Springsteen-Wrecking Ball
  • Dr. John-Locked Down
  • Of Monsters & Men-My Head is an Animal
  • Alabama Shakes-Boys & Girls
  • The Lumineers-The Lumineers
  • Neon Trees-Picture Show
  • Tennis-Young & Old
  • Sharon Van Etten-Tramp
  • Jack White-Blunderbuss
  • Sun Kil Moon-Among The Leaves
  • Fiona Apple-The Idler Wheel
  • Passion Pit-Gossamer
  • Bob Dylan-The Tempest
  • The xx-Coexist
  • Joanne Shaw Taylor-Almost Always Never
  • Elbow-Dead in the Boot
  • Ellie Goulding-Halcyon
  • Tame Impala-Lonerism
  • Cat Power-Sun
     So I guess that's not really a short list.  I can't say one record really dominated my listening habits for any period of time this year.  I did have Jack White's Blunderbuss on repeat for awhile, in part because I had tickets for his show for awhile before it became apparent I wouldn't be able to go to the show.  I've seen most of these records on other lists.  Some were rare or even non-existent, such as Heartless Bastards, Neon Trees, Tennis, Sun Kil Moon, and Joanne Shaw Taylor.  I also can't say I know many of these records inside and out, top to bottom.  I'd like to change this for 2013.  Instead of quantity, I'd like to give records a few more quality listens.  

For a sample of my musical tastes....give my Starred Playlist a listen (on shuffle, of course).  There is a bit of variety so if you don't like one song, FF to the next.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September Journeys

September begins with a dedication to learning minor pentatonic scales up and down the fretboard.  The use of backing tracks and play-along apps like Jam Tracks makes practice more enjoyable. After a week of practice it's virtually impossible not to see patterns emerge places where it is easier to shift to a higher or lower pattern.  My next steps include learning to quickly identify root note locations and how to play in every key at the same location as well as how to play every key up and down the frets.  I also decided to try to learn the patterns on the keyboard I have set up as well.  I don't know a thing about playing keyboards, but since I know the scale notes on the guitar, it transfers easily to the keyboard.  In fact, it's easier since there is only 1 pattern to learn instead of the 5 patterns I am learning for each minor pentatonic scale on the guitar.

On the weekend of Sept 15-17, I journeyed  to Saratoga Springs, NY for a few musical experiences.  First and foremost, was the Florence + the Machine concert at the Saratoga  Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Florence Welch is a top-notch performer with a beautiful voice. I'm surprised by the number of people who still don't know her material.  She is so fun to watch on stage.  She seems to be in a trippy, hypnotic-like state of being somehow possessed by Stevie Nicks and Adele.  We had wonderful 1st-row balcony seats which provided great site lines, however, those behind us remained seated so we didn't stand until the last couple of songs.  I much prefer to stand during a rock concert!  For some reason the video screen sync was behind the audio.  This made it impossible to watch the large video screens.  We didn't really need the screens from our seats but I'm sure it was annoying to those who did like watching the video screen.

Two other musical side trips in Saratoga included late evening visit to One Caroline Street Bistro. They have local musicians almost every night and this particular Saturday was no exception.  I can't find any calendar listing the artist we enjoyed but she was probably in her 80's, used a walker, and carried an oxygen tank.  As my back was to the stage at first, I was quite surprise to find out who was killing it on piano!

The second side trip was a look at Caffe Lena, the oldest continuously operating coffeehouse in the United States. Opened in 1960, Caffe Lena helped propel the careers of Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, and Ani DiFranco.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to see a show here but maybe next time.

Right now, I am exploring the Blue Note Spotify App.  The entire Blue Note catalog is available.  It is similar to the Classical Spotify App in that you can listen according to a timeline, instruments, or mood.  I filtered for electric guitar from 2000's to the present and Dr. John's Duke Elegant (performing the music of Duke Ellington was the first recommendation.  Next up is Brian Blade, who I am not familiar.

In an article reviewing the top live concert apps, I came across bandsintown app for my iPhone (also web-based).  I like the concert cloud feature and the ability to stretch the radius to 100 miles.  You can also automatically listen to artists via a Spotify premium account.

It's not too late to check out the iTunes Music Festival.  Every day in the month of September, iTunes is streaming the live shows from London.  You can watch on any iOS device, including Apple TV.  Apple TV is my preferred viewing method.  I live-streamed the Jack White concert on September 8th.  It was great to see since I had to sell my Jack White concert tickets for Toronto in October.  Still up and coming....Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Ray, Ellie Goulding, Alicia Keys, and Muse.

Finally, some starred music of the last couple weeks include Cat Power's Sun, Wax Poetic's  (Nora Jones' original band) On a Ride, and Bob Dylan's 35th (yes, 35!) studio album, Tempest.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Journey through Garageband as a Non-Musician

If you are like me the look of screen on the left is a bit intimidating.  At the same time, as a non-musician music lover, I am intrigued by capabilities that Garageband provides for non-musicians.

So this week I was determined to connect my daughter's older Yamaha keyboard and my guitar to Garageband.  I wanted to explore the MIDI capabilities and guitar amp capabilities of the program.  Yes, I do "play" guitar but believe me when I say that I consider myself a non-musician.

The first thing I learned was that I needed a MIDI converter USB cable to go from the Yamaha to the iMac.  There are cables like MIDIsport available but discussion groups led me to believe that there were too many issues with this 3rd party cable.  Instead, I purchased a UX-16 cable directly from Yamaha.  I then watched 2-3 YouTube videos on how to use a keyboard with the MIDI features on Garageband.  It was pretty simple but I did have an issue with a clicking sound once I released a key.  I did a complete shut down/restart of the computer and this solved the problem.

After watching a few very short basic instructional videos, I was creating all sorts of MIDI tracks.  It is amazingly simple to create layers of sound that are listenable.  I'm not going to publish any songs any time soon but it was a lot of fun messing around with the 1000's of combinations of software instruments available in the program.

Connecting my guitar was even easier as I already had an iRig cable to use my guitar with my iPad.  I then added a guitar track and started experimenting with all sorts of amp and effect capabilities.  As a practice tool I found some .mp3 jam tracks to download and add as a track in Garageband.  I then started a commitment to learn some blues scales.  I can confidently say today that I have the Am pentatonic scale memorized up and down the fretboard.  I've been inspired by Gary Marcus's book titled Guitar Zero.  My interest in neuroscience and music intersect once again.

Next steps?  I am going to continue trying to find the time to practice guitar everyday.  Playing along with backing tracks is not only fun but a great way to learn.  If you add a drum track to Garageband you can even sync the guitar track in perfect time even if your timing is a bit off.  Secondly, I plan on teaching my son and daughter the in's and out's of creating music.  Since they are both better musicians than I will ever be, I hope they start to enjoy the creative process as well.

So don't be intimidated.  Read, explore, watch videos and have some fun!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Journey though Spotify Apps

Music lovers who are into music discovery must try Spotify Apps.  I will discuss some of my favorites and how they contribute to my musical journey.  The great thing about reading reviews and playlists from Spotify Apps is the instant access to the track.

The Spotify Apps provide a wealth of information regarding new releases, reviews, trending playlists, and songs on the rise.  In addition to information that comes to me from various feeds and friends, I often come across that artist that appears in a variety of places.  I feel compelled to give those bands a listen.  At other times, the review is written in a way that makes you feel like you have to give that band a try.  And finally, other times it might be enough to know that if you like one artist then you might like this one.

My recent favorite comes from ANYDECENTMUSIC?  ADM surveys over 50 sources and compiles reviewer averages to compile its' listings.  Currently Bill Fay, Purity Ring, and Plan B top the list.  You can also find what is being talked about and direct links to reviews.  When multiple sources give stellar reviews, more often than not you are onto something good.

Rolling Stone Recommends provides users with various playlists, album reviews/links, and top rated songs.  Playlists include Best New Music to Ultimate Girl Group listings.  Occasionally, an artist will compile their own playlist to share.  Direct links to album and song reviews are provided.

The Classify app is great for anyone who would like to learn more about classical music.  You can listen my era, mood, theme, instrument, or composer.  Classify also provides recommended playlists.  It's a must app for anyone interested in classical music.

Pitchfork, The Guardian, and NME also provide Spotify apps with reviews, playlists, and new music highlights.  I usually check all of these to see if there are any cross listings.

For those who like to stream lyrics there is TuneWiki, just play a song a TuneWiki will stream the lyrics for you to sing along or to share.

There are plenty of other apps to help you create a greater social experience, listen to playlists by mood, keep up to date on concerts, make Top 10 lists and more.  What is your favorite Spotify App and why?

Here is Rolling Stone magazine's New Music Playlist (scroll to bottom of the playlist for the latest additions).