On Soundcloud

If you’ve been a visitor to this place over the years, you’ll have noticed a progression in how the music I make is posted. Originally I used the wordpress.com built-in audio player. I was unhappy with that, so I transitioned over to using Soundcloud. Then I moved from that into using both Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Now I’ve removed all the Soundcloud content from here and moved everything over to Bandcamp. In this egotastic article I’ll discuss some of the choices behind all this.

In the beginning, there was the wordpress.com audio player (this thing):

The wordpress player is a perfectly serviceable thing. It plays audio. The problem I had is that’s all it does. If you show up here, and play one of those, I can’t tell. I’m a relentless statistics and data nerd, and I’d like to know if anyone actually listens to anything. It also doesn’t feature any native download link, which means I have to put a second link in for people to download my music. That’s fine, it’s not like another line of html is going to kill me. I’ve had a lot of problems of readers who actually can’t figure out how to use the audio player. Other than my hate mail, I hear so little from people that I figure if I get a few people complaining they can’t play the music there are probably a lot more who can’t figure out how to email me. Again, it seems pretty obvious to me how play buttons and download links work – but I realize that not everyone knows that facebook is not the internet.

For a long time, the wordpress audio player was the only thing I could embed on wordpress.com that could play music right on the page. I could store music elsewhere and link to it, but given the problems of people who can’t figure out ‘play’ buttons I didn’t think that wasn’t going to work well. This lame-ass blawg is hosted on wordpress.com (not a wordpress.org installation, there’s a difference) and so my options are limited to whatever the wordpress.com admins bless. In return I theoretically get a wordpress site I don’t have to micromanage and isn’t hacked every twenty minutes.

At one point wordpress started providing native support for soundcloud. Meaning I could upload stuff to soundcloud, embed a widget on the page that people could play music directly from, provide download links, and provided statistics too. Soundcloud has tiers of service ranging from “free” to “holy shit that’s a lot of money”, and I’m not really afraid of paying money for service so I signed up in September 2011 and started loading music that way.

This is the soundcloud player, if you haven’t seen it before:

The New Set Layout

The New Set Layout

In this period I was still including everything: download link on the blawg, wordpress audio player, and the soundcloud player. Again, it’s only html but it means I have to upload stuff to two places, which takes a little while on my poor-ass Bell Aliant 1Mbit DSL connection.

The intial problem I had with soundcloud wasn’t with soundcloud, it was with me: too much material. The default “free” level of soundcloud offers two hours of storage. That’s a lot of storage for no money. The fact that soundcloud offers a free tier at all is a gamble on their part. In my case it pays off for them, as I make between four and eight hours of new material a year. My total output since 2009 is about seventeen hours, so I blow right on through the free tier and the bottom two tiers of paid levels of soundcloud (2 hours, 12 hours). I started out with the 12-hour tier (€79/year) but I filled that up and was left with the choices of “only have some stuff on soundcloud”, “do some janky shit with mulitple accounts” and “pay even more money”. Despite how things seem to turn out, I actually want to do less work managing stuff, so I did pony up and move the “fuck that’s a lot of money” tier (€250/year, about CAD$300).

After a while of using soundcloud I stopped using the wordpress audio player, which meant I didn’t have to upload tracks to both wordpress and soundcloud, didn’t have to put as much html (ooo the hardship), and hopefully presented fewer confusing options to the people who get confused easily. With the €250 soundcloud gives “full stats” which satisfied the data nerd.

So here’s where things start to get complicated. I’m not rich, and €250 is a lot of money, especially for a hobby I’ve sunk untold thousands of dollars into for really not much return. Thank fuck I actually do the music for myself and not for anyone else, or I’d have given up years ago. I can justify costs in my head if I think I’m getting some benefit for my money.

At first glance, and for a long time, I didn’t have any issue with the soundcloud statistics – even if they were weird in some aspects. My most poopular track? Booze n’ Snooze, and not by a little – by a wide margin. I have never figured out why it’s the most poopular. I realize that it only has 300 plays total (or 160 plays, depending on how you read things, but I’ll get to that), and your Skrillex-Fire-Engine remix has 100,000 and wub-machine-people-fucking has 315,000, but I’m talking about my shit here not yours.

With soundcloud, the “fuck that’s a lot of money” tier gives me (supposedly) “all” the stats. Meaning I get lists of people (who have soundcloud accounts) who listen, the geographic regions of listeners, and the source of the play (widgets on websites, etc). That’s how I realized Booze ‘n Snooze was inexplicably poopular in Poland. What’s up, Polish types, why do you listen to that?

Here’s where things start to fall apart. Soundcloud’s stats say that for “all time” (since September 2011) Booze ‘n Snooze has “160 (of 299 total) plays”. So which is it, 160 or 299? What’s the difference? No idea.
booze n snooze plays

So from where were all these people discovering and playing Booze ‘n Snooze? According to the soundcloud sources stats: Six plays total. Four from this lame-ass blawg itself, one (and only one) from some other website, and one from exfm. So my only conclusion I get is that the rest of the 154 (or 293) plays came from people playing it directly on the Soundcloud website. There’s no more detail available than that. I can’t glean any insight into why that one is more poopular than the rest. The plays don’t carry over into adjacent tracks so I infer they’re not on any of my profile pages looking at stuff, which implies they’re finding it via search. I have another (older, unrelated) track called “Booze” which has a total of ten plays, so I conclude it isn’t people searching for Booze. Why would you search for booze, anyway?

I’m using Booze ‘n Snooze as the example only because it has the most plays, but this pattern carries through for the rest of my tracks. My total plays for all-tracks all-time (since September 2011) is either 3594, 3612, or 3452 depending on which stats page I look at. According to the sources information 140 plays come actually from this lame-ass blawg, 209 from exfm, 135 from the souncloud iOS apps, 3 from tumblr, and 3 from soundcloud’s android app. That totals about 490 plays from known sources, so the rest (almost 3000) must be “on soundcloud’s website”. Let’s start with the obvious fact: nobody is listening to the music on this lame-ass blawg, and I’ve always known that from the wordpress.com’s stats. Everyone visits this lame-ass blawg looking for me to do their homework for them, not to listen to crappy music.

The Soundcloud stats have always been puzzling like this, and I just figured the soundcloud reporting isn’t fine-grained enough. Then a few months ago I realized something pretty obvious that I should have noticed from the start. What on Soundcloud counts as a “play”? How much of the track do you have to get through for it to count? When I first joined soundcloud my own plays counted towards the total, but thankfully they fixed that, at least making one more step for people trying to game soundcloud. I did some tests as a not-logged-into-soundcloud user and I found that if you press the “play” button, let it play less than five seconds and press stop, that counts as a play.

Well, shit.

So of 3612/3594/3452 plays, how many are “real” plays? How many people click play by accident? How many are the people who can’t figure out the internet and click on everything and immediately stop? How many start playing, hate it, and stop? I can’t tell. I’m going to bet “a large number” though.

Here’s an example how the stats don’t really provide insight. For a brief period of about a week, inexplicably “Hey Man Do You Know Anything Else” surged in poopularity (I use “surged” in the context of the comically few plays my stuff gets, it’s not shit beef level). It got 112 plays over the span of about a week, in a constant and consistent rate during the day. The stats give me a long list of soundcloud users, most of which played it one time, from all around the stupid planet with no trend in country and most importantly – no sources listed at all on the source tab. So I can gain zero insight into why people were playing it. Was it on a website? Was it on tumblr? Probably not, according to the tumblr stat of 3. If no source is listed I have to conclude they’re using the soundcloud website. If it was directly on soundcloud’s website how were people getting to it? Mailed around as a link? Posted a joke on forum? Just as inexplicably as it started it ended, and it hasn’t had a play since. Given context I can’t even tell who listened to the whole thing. For all I know of the 112 plays 111 clicked “play” and immediately clicked “stop”. I’d almost say “spam” except there didn’t seem to be any point why someone would.

Hey man do you know stats

Since I said that “s” word, in another tangent, let’s talk about soundcloud spam. Since it started, and especially with the new redesign of soundcloud, in which soundcloud wants to be the new tumblr of audio, spam is a pretty easy thing to do. Make an account, don’t make any music yourself, “repost” other people’s stuff (what’s the point of that feature, anyway?), comment on tracks with random statements like “HUGE DROP!” and usually a spam link to join your spam facebook group. Interestingly I got rid of a lot of that just by not tagging my stuff as “electronic” anymore. That, and I don’t join groups promoted by spammers and delete spam comments so they probably realize it’s not worth the bother. The culture of soundcloud really is based around the Skrillex-fire-engine-remix/wub machine people fucking/novelty shit beef crowd and everyone calling everyone else a producer. That’s fine, I just delete the spam comments and other people can do what they want.

So back to stats. I figure a better metric is “downloads” since you have to do work to download a track from soundcloud (find the small download button), so fewer downloads are probably accidental. All time downloads for all tracks is about 248, Booze ‘n Snooze being 16 downloads. In both cases the download rate is around 5-7% of the number of plays. I can’t see any reason you’d download a track if you didn’t actually listen to it/like it. So I’m inferring from this that most of the 3612/3594/3452 plays are people who do it by mistake, or don’t like it and give up.

So where the fuck am I going with all this? If I was still in a free/cheap soundcloud tier, I probably wouldn’t care as much. My soundcloud bill is due on the day I’m writing this, and if I don’t cough up €250 my stuff falls back to a free-tier account, I lose the stats, and only the last two hours of stuff remains. If I was relying on soundcloud as the embedded player on this lame-ass blawg I’d be up shit creek, as those would all disappear. In context though, nobody listens here anyway so I probably wouldn’t notice. (In fact, since I removed all the soundcloud stuff from this place I haven’t noticed any change in soundcloud play traffic anyway, which agrees with the low number of on-wordpress blawg plays from the stats).

How much do I want to pay for nobody to listen? That’s what it really comes down to. €250/$300 is a lot of money to support 248 downloads. I really only have one consistent listener, so for $300 I could send them a CD every time I make a new track, save money, and get just as much exposure.

Let me back up here a little bit. I want to make a point that I’m not really on a “I hate soundcloud” path here, because I don’t hate soundcloud. I think it’s great, I think it provides a great service to people who actually want to make music and have people listen to it. If I was a doofus who made five tracks a year and loved dubstep soundcloud would figuratively be the best thing since sliced bread. My personal situation makes soundcloud a pricy service. If I had a huge audience who were big soundcloud users maybe I’d care more. I don’t think that I have no listeners because of soundcloud, I think I have no listeners despite soundcloud.

At the €250/$300 level I get lots of other things that I’m not interested in. Stuff like Dropbox support (don’t care), pro support (I only ever had one problem, and that was a minor issue when they did the new redesign, which they happily responded to and did get fixed), groups (I don’t even know what the groups are for), and spotlight tab (which they got rid of with the redesign, then had to bring back. I don’t think anyone sees it anyway).

Also if I didn’t have an alternative, I’d definitely be sticking with soundcloud. In Dec 2012 I started putting stuff on Bandcamp, which overall is cheaper ($120/year), has no storage limit (at least none they’ve tried to impose on me, and I have everything I’ve made there now), and is geared towards people who want to download stuff, as they will generate a variety of mp3/aac/alac/flac/boogityboogity formats. My stats on bandcamp are terrible compared to soundcloud – if you believe the 3500+ plays are real plays. If you believe the true value is much much lower, then the bandcamp stats are probably right in line.

So in case of my limited finances and not enjoying having to duplicate things, I’m going to let soundcloud expire, save my €250, keep my bandcamp account, and see where that takes me.

I know this entire thing was not interesting to you. That’s why it went into “administrivia.”

You Really Can’t Be Serious

Soundcloud recently unveiled it’s redesign (December 2012).

You can’t seriously think that this view of sets:

The New Set Layout

The New Set Layout

is in any way better than the previous view of sets:

The Old Set Layout

The Old Set Layout

(If not obvious, the new layout crams all the tracks together into one waveform with no distinction between them except a vertical line. No track names and the only time length displayed is for the entire set)

The new layout completely negates the reason I organise into sets: so people can find pieces by the collection they’re part of. I currently have 223 original tracks over 23 pages on Soundcloud, ain’t nobody want to scroll through 23 pages.

I don’t care, they’re not going to fix this because in their mind it’s not broken. Soundcloud want to be the new tumblr, the new fertile land of reposts and unoriginality.

Summary Execution of 2011

Last year I wrote up a big nothing about the stats here on my repository of garbage. This year I figured I’d do something similar but I’d dial it back a bit.

First off, here’s the top viewed stuff during 2011.

Post Title Views
Modify an Arduino for DebugWIRE 4,952
(Yet Another) Sparkfun SerLCD library for Arduino 1,291
The Arduino Duemilanove with ATMega328 and that Reset Line 710
A Minimal Arduino Library for Processing Serial Commands 654
An Arduino Library for the ADT7310 SPI Temperature Sensor 478
So, you want to move to OSX Lion. 448
An Arduino-Based MIDI Wah Controller for Logic Pro 375
Using the Sparkfun Speakjet Voicebox Shield with an Arduino in Passthrough mode 268
A Too-Simple Arduino Library for Handling the Seeeduino Relay Shield (and Generic Relays) 257
Recovering Installed Firefox Extensions (i.e. – Socialite) 150
You don’t give a shit what I think of Duke Nukem Forever, and neither do I. 129
Don’t get Lien’d on in New Brunswick 118
Dark Sparkling Crystals 88
Why iBooks Sucks 79
Easily Melted 79
Pay No Attention to that Crap Behind the Curtain 69
Get yer mail from Thunderbird into GMail in Zero Steps 54
Late to the Party 50
Torchwood: Miracle Day Review and Analysis 46
Invalid Opcode at 0027 with Spinrite 45
Loop it through Jones 44

It’s no surprise that the “do my homework for me” posts are top of the list, as usual. Most people reading the OSX Lion post are either (a) trying to get it to run on their G5 (it won’t), or (b) trying to find out how to pirate it (pay the $29 you cheap fucks). The first music-related post you get that’s on the list is Dark Sparking Crystals, and the problem is those aren’t even real stats.

This year was the year of wordpress referrer spammers. I won’t go into the details of referrer spam, but essentially if I were to look at my stats for things, this is the sort of bullshit I’d see.

I even went as far as to change the url of Dark Sparkling Crystals (see what the url is there), and that didn’t have any effect. I’m sure if you’re a big time famous blawg that these things barely show on your radar, but in my case most of 2011 is made up of referrer spam.

The next highest musical bit was from Easily Melted, which was just a case of mistaken identity. Easily Melted – which was published in August 2009 – got a big bump in August 2010 from people searching for (natch) “Easily Melted.” I figured it was some political thing, given the results I see when I search for “easily melted”.

Late to the Party makes the list again as the post that’s the “next” post from the DebugWIRE post. People surf in to try and get the DebugWIRE post to do their homework for them, click the next, have to see Merlin Mann, then quit.

So yep, of the new music done in 2011. The most poopular was Loop it through Jones. The sad part of that was that unlike everything else I make, The Dolphin was the one piece of specifically crapped together just by tossing apple loops into an assemblage. That was a reaction to the accusation that all I did was “stick apple loops together” (which I don’t), and sure enough it becomes the most poopular. I can’t win.

You have to go a bit down the list to find the first original music post, and it’s The Rampart Part 1 from Rampant in the Carpark (35 views), which I think drags a lot of people in searching for “Reaping previous system.” The next one is XMESSTWOZEROONEONE from Tis the season to cash in (28 views), and think that’s because this blawg’s only reader Scott Redman pimped it out a lot before xmas.

I won’t bother detailing out a list of results like last year, but suffice to say that the median number of views for a musical post is 7.

I didn’t really get any fun search terms this year. Just things like “caustic soda instructions”, “steven cogswell asshole”,people with homework to do, and lots and lots of people looking to pirate osx for their G5.

The all-time champ for music is still 2009’s The X Stands for CASH (2009’s xmas bullshit). Now runing at 90 view.

The most popular downloads are the schematic from the “do my homework for me post” (420 downloads, which I’m sure is ironic), and the second being my SerLCD arduino library (225 downloads). I suppose it’s a mark of achievement when I find my libraries being reposted as other peoples’ work. Sigh.

So what about other things? This year I continued with Radio Reddit, which near as I can figure is pretty much dead. It overflows with people submitting music and nobody actually listening.

This year I submitted “Boardozer” and “Thumbtack”, and here’s my to-date-since-joining-Radioreddit stats. Last year’s AWXMASFY submission never got approved, so I never bothered trying submitting this years xmas crap.

I bet if you were to multiply the number of plays through by the number of listeners the results would be pretty poor. Also, nobody ‘submitted’ my music for voting this year – which only exemplifies the lack of interest in Radio Reddit.

I also bought “ad space” on Radio Reddit for two months (not to promote myself, for someone else) and while the Radio Reddit guys were really good at taking my money, I got zero communication from them. I was supposed to get statistics and such and got nothing. I emailed, I submitted questions and nobody would get back to me. So I gave up on that.

Back in September 2011 I joined Soundcloud, as it was the one site that will let you embed a player on a wordpress.com blawg. From the stuff I see people can’t figure out how to use the wordpress audio player. (Hence my Public service announcement for dorks). I thought maybe the Soundcloud one would be a little more obvious.

Soundcloud is pretty easy to use. The problem is their business model doesn’t fit for guys like me with tons of hours of material. The “Solo” level costs me €79 a year, and still “only” gets me twelve hours of storage space. The 2009-2011 stuff comes out to about 16 hours as it is, without counting what I call “the old music”. Hence I didn’t put any of the 2009 or earlier material on Soundcloud. The next tier up is a mind-numbing €131 a year, and I ain’t payin’ that much just to contribute to my loser hobby.

Soundcloud’s stats are flat-out confusing, and at one point there was a post from them acknowledging they were wrong. I’ve never been able to make sense of their charts. Here’s the best I can get you:

The problem with Soundcloud is that – unlike wordpress.com – if I look at my own stuff, even while logged in, it counts it as a view. So I have no clue how much of that is me, or is someone else. Pro tip: if you’re looking to game Soundcloud, you’ve just seen how. Most of Soundcloud seems to be made up of people who toss loops together and call themselves “DJ’s” anyway.

I did get a bit of hate mail this year, which I won’t bother talking about, and I did get one ‘thanks’ for the “help me do my homework” post. So, thanks. Scott Redman remains the only regular listener, near as I can tell. Scott’s a great guy.

I didn’t make it onto No Agenda this year, but I did make a new theme to replace my old theme for Starbase 66, the international Starlost podcast. I had a bunch of stingers show up on Here Goes Nothing, and For Those About to Rock, but it’s doubtful you would have noticed those unless you were on the lookout. My post on Duke Nukem Forever was enough to get me an appearance on a plodcast – which then got cancelled. I also made a terrible appearance on Starbase 66 #100, for some reason I haven’t figured out yet.

This year I tried to avoid doing as many “cover” pieces as I have in years past, since they just invite complaints. I did still manage to put a couple in, however. No lawsuits yet. From my own stats, Schwarzchild Radius, Boardozer, and The Rampart Part 1 were the ones I listened to myself the most. I did like the bit starting around 5:00 in Undisputed Wavyhate Champion (what a terrible title that is), and Last Drink Before the Abyss I think manages to mesh my amateurish ukulele playing with the rest of my amateurish playing. Will You was so well received someone thought it was a joke piece I’d ripped off from someplace else. Oh well.

Summary: 2011 sucked ass, but at least I didn’t smash any bones up this time. AWTFY.

Pay No Attention to that Crap Behind the Curtain

So, since 2010 is but a distant memory and 2011 has already started to suck ass, I figured I would share with you some of the stats from this lousy stuff.

Technically I got these stats on January 11th, 2011, so they run the calendar year Jan 11 2010 – Jan 11 2011.

Boringly, let’s look at the search terms that land losers in this place.

Search Terms # of Searches
debugwire 233
arduino debugwire 79
debug for arduino board 61
arduino jtag 39
debugging avr dragon 36
arduino dragon 30
avr debugwire 30
debugwire arduino 30
avr dragon debug arduino 28
arduino debug wire 23

Notice a trend?

I think the most interesting search terms were “asshole instructions” , since I guess some people don’t know how to use theirs correctly. Related, whoever keeps searching for “jim tranquilla, microwave technology”: If you’re reading this, he still owes me $33,253.63.

First off, here’s the “non-musical” posts. You know, those ones about the microcontrollers and shit where people are trying to find someone to do their homework for them.

Post Views
Modify an Arduino for DebugWIRE 2,910
The Arduino Duemilanove with ATMega328 and that Reset Line 481
(Yet Another) Sparkfun SerLCD library for Arduino 178
An Arduino Library for the ADT7310 SPI Temperature Sensor 141
iPhone 3G and iOS 4.0 slowness 57
Why iBooks Sucks 26
Get yer mail from Thunderbird into GMail in Zero Steps 25
Solution for iOS4 on iPhone 3G 14
Woe to the Stupidshield 9
Buy Craig Bevan’s Album Instead 6
Rub a bum bum (Tim and Brad’s Xmas song) 6
Macrowaves and Peeps 5

Okay, take a look at that first post (the “do my homework for me” post). 2910 views. Now, let’s look at the musical posts. The top musical post is “And Something About A Witch”, which got 47 for the year. I have no idea why that’s the top one, other than Brad Thornton is a talented and popular guy.

I often joke about the fact that only two people actually listen to my stuff, and that pretty much shows. For the sake of brevity, only things with 5 or more views for the year are listed. Some actually have zero views, and that’s cool. I have wordpress set to annoy the five people in the magic ice cream club who follow me on twooofter and I usually get more rebleats than actual views. I also realize that WordPress’ stats aren’t exactly accurate.

The dull as dishwater musical details:

Post (music title in brackets) Views
Nothing about Big Dogs (And Something About a Witch) 47
That’s some Big Dog(WHO BEAMED THE BIG DAWG OUT) 46
Guaranteed to Offend (Hail the Eternal King of Olympus Mons) 41
In a Galaxy Just Next Door (Theme from the Waxbase) 32
Late to the Party (Mein Waffle) 31
2009’s Pig in a Slanket Collection. (2009’s music as a collection) 30
Come On, Now You’re Not Even Trying. (Dean of Science) 25
The X Stands for CASH (Suxmas, from 2009) 24
The Past Future Imperfect of Law Enforcement (Lament for a Cyborg) 23
Make It Stop (WTFTATR) 21
Rampant Attempt at Seasonal Commercialism 2010 (AWXMASFY) 17
The PenIs Mightier than the Sword (You Got Kicked in the Pills) 17
Crackpot, Buzzkill, Asshole (Buzzkilled and In the Morning, Yo. Featured on No Agenda) 17
Catbounce (Nitrogene) 16
I Warned You. (Glaze) 15
Still Ruining Other People’s Work (She Insisted) 14
Green’s Function and Reciprocity Chicken Chicken Chicken (Euclidean Space) 14
Decompression Fitting (Wrath of the Waxbase) 14
A Public Service Announcement for Dorks. (not music) 13
Load of the Rings (Amon Hen Goes Nothing) 13
QUOTA IS NOT MET (Omatic) 13
Sham Along (Fence Post) 13
Fifty Seven Seconds (The UxHJ, not music) 13
Whoring Out Roundup (Theme from Sexbase 69, For Those About To Disco, and
A Very Special For Those About to Rock)
11
Live from Douchestock (A Flash of Internal Organs) 11
You still won’t like it (Haus of Waxbase) 11
Intermission (L’Hopital’s Rule) 11
Move along, nothing to see here (Teared, from 2009) 11
… and Special Guests The Harlem Globetrotters. (Metalologist) 11
Creep’s Show (Feature Creep) 11
The House the Tired Meme Built (Eerie Ham) 11
Meh. (Meh) 10
The Cut of your Jib (Herp deDerp) 10
Stink it up (Stink the Bismarck) 10
Bonus Wound (Ah Pretension) 9
The Defendant Ate The Witness (Trial for the Shark) 9
PUT THE GLASSES ON. (THEY SUCK) 9
Ratyuan Poroga Westip Ubucap (Yarga Lomba) 9
No Profanity Contained Wherein (The Pimento Oaf) 9
Executive Derision (And With That) 9
Cleanse the Patella (Le Parc du Coq Sac) 8
And now there only was. (Fart in a Spacesuit) 8
The Contractual Obligation Piece (Interstellar Crotchicanery ) 7
Two Thousand and Ten and One and Two and Three and (Sacrifical Anode) 7
Genie in the Bottle (Spilled) 7
The Dork Knight (Midknight) 7
Decoughinated (Punitive) 7
Timed and Timed Against. (KICKSTANND) 7
Sabre Dance (Conference Slide) 7
The Interactive Nonfiction Best-Seller (Antialiased) 7
With Powdered Milk Love is Eternal (Interior Liquid) 6
The Hedgehog’s Hedge Fund (Beatstone, from 2009) 6
You want your money back. (Auld 2010) 6
Five Pack of Brown Paper Bags (Endless Chicken at the Ritz) 6
Sold. (Kimg of the Assholes) 5
Voided (Destination Waxbase) 5
Fourteen Sticks (Skein of Evil) 5
Movie of the Weak (Oak) 5
You can’t catch salmonella from Cooley-Tukey. (Walt’s Crack, from 2009) 5
Mindless Repetition is Boring. (Fawdown) 5
Screaming Bunny Ninjas (The Catscape Expanse) 5
Dubious Achievement Unlocked (Have You Seen) 5
The Gene Pool Can Be Pretty Shallow (Off the Weak End, from 2009) 5
2010’s “AND WITH 2010, FU” Collection (2010’s music collection) 5
Fatfinger and the Humminao Zwo (Humanatio, from 2009) 5
Wide Open Throttle (WOT) 5
Carborundumbest (Reaction Bonded Carbide Blues) 5

Now, those are post views, and all the music posts have the embedded flash music player (I can’t get stats for if anyone actually plays anything from the flash player), but you can also download the MP3 to keep if you wish. Very few people do that. Top one of those is “Hail the Eternal King of Olympus Mons” (16 times), and then “Euclidean Space” (9 times). Lots of people download the schematic for where to pop off the capacitor from their Arduino, for some reason.

In trivia, the reason Meine Waffle is so high up the list is because it’s the post adjacent to that “do my homework for me” thing with 2910 views. People read about how to cut off a capacitor, click to see the next post, and then… leave.

Also in trivia, the “all time” top music post is “The X Stands for CASH”, 2009’s xmas crap (67 total).

I’m also dismayed that “Dean of Science” is as poopular as it was. Scott Redman, one of the two people who actually listen to this stuff, (unsolicited) sent me one of his guitars from his collection. The Dean guitar is beautiful, and a damned order of magnitude nicer than my Ibanez EX350 I’d been using up until that point. I took it out of the box, didn’t tune it, plugged it in and recorded something and pushed it out. Mr. Redman also sent along the acoustic guitar from “Teared” which appears in a few places. Thanks, Scott, who didn’t have to do that.

I should point out that I don’t ask for money or anything, as I am rich in the spirit of our Lord and Saviour Geddy Lee. Hell I’ll send you a disc of this shit for free if you actually figure out how to ask. If you want to support someone, donate some money to your local animal shelter or your favourite Podcast. Sometimes those are the same thing, I think.

I have this habit of taking existing themes/pieces and backing over them again like you would an old lady at the intersection. Big winner this year was the theme from podcast Starbase 66, for which I managed to squeeze out 1,2,3,4,5 versions, plus 6,7 which were the “Big Dawg” variations. Starbase 66 got so damned tired of listening to me do this they replaced their intro music with a variation of Theme from the Waxbase.

For Here Goes Nothing’s theme I ended up doing 1,2,3 (SB66 Crossover),4 and also Metalologist which featured a clip of Casey from HGN playing guitar. I also did a couple of stingers that made it onto HGN (“That’s Not Metal/Now That’s Metal”, and the F-U-Haiku backing track)

I did 1,2,3 bits based on For Those About To Rock, and by virtue of being the only entry did 1,2 show intros for them. “A Flash of Internal Organs” was a bit I took on as a challenge issued by the FTATR folks during an episode to cut their jibjab during that show into a song.

To round out the whoring-out report, Lament for a Cyborg got chosen by Brad Thornton as a closing theme for the first couple of episodes of his podcast A Brief History of Music.

In an embarrassing situation, the bit I’ve done that the most people have probably heard was “In the Morning, Yo”, which I managed to assemble from some snips of Adam Curry during an episode of No Agenda. I sent the thirty-three second piece to Adam and to my surprise he played it on NA244. No Agenda says they have around 450,000 listeners. Thankfully he did not credit me on the show.

This year I also submitted a few tracks over to Radio Reddit, and according to theory they add things to their playlist. The reality seems to be “they will add it to the playlist if I make a donation”. Well, not really. It just feels like that. I submitted AWXMASFY (2010’s Xmas crap) a few weeks before xmas, they even put out a call for xmas music to play on Dec 25th, and as of Jan 11th it still hasn’t been approved. Only two songs have actually been “submitted” to reddit by listeners anyway. (Unlike some folks, I’m not a whore and don’t submit my own stuff from Radioreddit to Reddit). Not really a compelling use case for Radioreddit, but hey, it’s there.

In technical terms, up until “Dean of Science” all the guitar bits were done with my Ibanez RG350 which I got at the pawn shoppe and has a shitty floating floyd rose tremelo I can’t stand. All the post-“Dean of Science” bits are done with the Dean. Scott’s a great guy, unlike myself.

The only other equipment change was at one point I got completely fed up with my Digitech GNX3000, which I’d been using for the guitar work. The GNX3000 was nice when it was new, but as of OSX 10.5 it had become just about useless. It was perpetually not being recognized as an audio input, making me hack the xml files and constantly reboot to get it to work, which kinda cramps your muse. I also noticed I was never actually using any of the onboard effects (which is what it’s for, dammit) – I was doing everything with the realtime processors in Garageband/Logic anyway. So I sold that and it went to a nice home, and got a Presonus Firestudio mobile unit, which runs over firewire and has been absolutely rock solid. I got that around the end of April, so probably everything from May onward was done with the Presonus. The acoustic is recorded with a Shure SM57 which also goes into the Presonus. I know, you don’t care.

Up until “Smoak”, other than a couple of test pieces from 2009 everything was done with Garageband. I had famously bought Logic 8 and hardly used it due to the learning curve. When I plunked out another five hundred bucks to buy Logic 9 I figured I had to learn it. First was “Test Was Negative” from 2009, then “Smoak”, and from “Theme from the Waxbase” on everything is done in Logic 9.

So, what did I personally think of this year’s shit? I’ll freely admit that I’m vain and I listen to my own music, since why the fuck not – that’s why I make it in the first place. Some pieces I think turned out not-so-bad were “Wrath of the Waxbase”, “Destination Waxbase”, “Spilled”, “Your Wallet, Sir/And Your Watch”, and “She Insisted”. Some other pieces have some nice segments (4:05 in “The Hazmat Suit Suite”, 5:34 in “Have You Seen”, 2:20 in “Conference Slide”, 10:25-11:45 of “A Flash of Internal Organs”, 2:05-3:00 of “Haus of Waxbase”). Some of them even I won’t listen to (“Omatic”, “Artherioysuisocialism”, “Deneb”, “Stump”). I have no clue what the two listeners liked/disliked.

Last year’s big piece that took forever was “You Look Feiss Today” (because it used so many tracks). This year’s big winner for time suck was “A Flash of Internal Organs” because of all the bits I had to do to meld in the lines from FTATR.

As if you can’t tell by listening to them, “Ah Pretension/The Ibuprofen doesn’t help” were quite literally experiments in “record something really fast and try to build something out of it”. I really liked how those turned out in the end.

I think the official count for 2010 was somewhere between 90-95 pieces depending on what you wanted to include. I only had a few things that I did that I never published. After hearing “Omatic” you’d have to figure that I’d publish anything. I have a few unfinished things that either I didn’t like anything I could do with them, and one case of a collaborative project that I think has died on the vine. I think the best part was tricking convincing Ro Karen to do the cover art.

So, that’s it. I haven’t picked out a name for the 2011 collection yet. And with that, fuck you.