Welcome to Dean Cheesman's Blog

So it turns out that I'm one of those people who only posts once or twice a month, but I do read a ton of blogs every day and I "share" the posts I like. So be sure to check out my "shared items" on the right side of the blog. Also, be sure to check out what music i'm listening to on my last.fm page and feel free to click the chat link to talk to me. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kaleidoscope Animation

Here is the animated Kaleidoscope. Really happy with how it turned out. I added the fade-in/fade-out along with the audio in iMovie. Be sure that you watch this on in HD.

Music is "Empty Us" by Boots to the Moon

Kaleidescope Generator

I wanted to try making a program that grabbed random images from a folder and used them in an image. I had a bunch of black and white clip art from this book so I used them. These images were all made procedurally with random colors and radius distances from the middle. I have made some video animations from this too which are promising, but they are small. I hope to create some large HD videos before I share that with the world. I'm considering creating some really large images with this to make prints of and put up on the wall at my house.

Click on each image for the full sized goodness.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My try at some retro-modern art

I'm not sure if retro-modern is what you'd call it, but it's inspired by this dude. I created the design procedurally in Processing and did some post-production in Preview.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4 Steps to discovering new music using Firefox, iTunes, and Last.FM

I can't stand the thought of trolling through hundreds of myspace pages or iTunes directories to sample music from everyone possible to discover something new. I want to have music brought to me that has already been tailored to my taste. None of this live streaming from the internet crap, I want something that can look at what I actually listen to and give me actual music files to download.

Over the past couple years I have developed a simple method to do this which combines online services, browser plugins, and iTunes.

Step 1.
Find music blogs that cater to your taste and add them to an online feed reader.

Use services like hype machine or google blog search to find blogs that have covered your favorite bands. I would suggest searching with bands you like who you feel are lesser known. This helps avoid blogs that cover wide ranges of music types. Another important note is to find blogs that post .mp3 files directly on their blog posts.

Add these blog feeds to a browser-based feed reader. I have been using Google Reader for quite a while and love it. (If you don't know what a feed reader is check out this tour or Google Reader)

Step 2.
Sign up for a Last.fm account and download GimmeSomeTune or similar app.

An app like GimmeSomeTune will upload your listening data from your iTunes library to Last.fm's database.

Not only does last.fm store your listening data, but it will also suggest music for you to listen to. I don't particularly enjoy listening to music through my browser so I don't use much of this. Instead there is also a section that has recommended songs that are free to download. Instead of going to check this all the time I add the RSS feed for this page to my Google Reader as well.

Step 3.
Use the Downloadthemall plugin for Firefox to get all songs from the blogs/feeds.

Since the Last.FM free .mp3 feed and most music bloggers' articles will link directly to .mp3 files I can use the DownloadThemAll plugin in Firefox to download every music file linked on a page. This works great when using google reader. I open up my music section and scroll through a couple weeks of time to load all the info into the browser and then run DownLoadThem all to grab all the music from the page.

Step 4.
Import files to Itunes and use Smart Playlists to filter out the best downloads

After importing all of the music into iTunes I refine the music using Genius playlist. For more on how I do this read my previous article on making a Genius Discovery Playlist.