Monday, August 31, 2015

Motörhead- "Bad Magic"

Motörhead's new CD, Bad Magic arrived in the mail a few days ago and I've been listening to it off and on since then...

Overall I like it better than their last six or seven albums. This one is heavier and livelier, possible because it's the first after Lemmy's heart surgery last year, with him drink in quite a bit less.

Some of the songs are a bit dull, more random sounding noises from the guitar than music, but some of it is great.

I was quickly drawn to the song, The Devil with its deep, thundering baseline (not to mention lots of songs with subjects like that get my attention in a positive way....) following that I quite like Firestorm Hotel and Till the End.

Of course one of the absolute highlights has to be the album's closer, their cover of the Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil.  It sounds great with Lemmy's gravel voice and much harder edged guitars than the original. Like the original, hey play around a lot with various sounds from differs sides of the stereo, totally unlike the usual Motörhead.

So, it's a pretty good album, probably now my favorite for this Motörhead line-up, Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Photo Processing Software - The End of iPhoto

So, after over a decade of using Apple’s iPhoto application for all of my photos, they’re forcing me to switch.  They’re discontinuing it in favor of their new app, named Photos.

I tried Photos a couple of times and it’s just bug-ridden garbage.  It’s slow, it crashes, it fails to import photos from my cameras, and it messes up the metadata on my photos (swapping east and west in geolocation data, making half my photos display as taken in Osh, Kyrgyzstan (as far east of the prime meridian as New York City is west)), and in the end, wouldn’t upload to any service it has plug-ins for.  No errors, it just failed to do it.

I tried using the free, open source app, Darktable, but it wasn’t very intuitive in terms of managing a large collection and breaking it down into albums and things like that.  And it didn’t let me fix the metadata that Photos screwed up on a batch of photos.  Still, if you want a laugh, go to the download page and read their instructions for setting it up under Windows…

Now, with a couple of recommendations from other photographers, I’m trying out Adobe Lightroom.  It’s not free, after the 30 day trial it’ll be $10 a month.  And, presumably I'd be at their mercy if they feel like raising the price.

So far it’s not too bad to use.  It takes more mouse clicks to do some tasks, like write titles and captions for photos, than iPhoto requires.  And deleting rejects is slow, requiring both keyboard and mouse, compared to iPhoto with just the keyboard.  Making adjustments to exposure settings in photos is a lot easier in Lightroom, or at least, a lot easier to get good results without being an expert.

The biggest issue I see so far with Lightroom is that it uploads the photo titles I type, and not the descriptions…  With iPhoto, it does both for Flickr.

So, I'll see how it goes...