He is an ironman

My dad finished his Ironman in the amazing time of 10:52:12. That’s 10 hours, 52 minutes, 12 seconds.

Ben Turner got 10:26:10, and Wayne was around 10:05. All three of them got amazing times, and I’m sure all their families are extremely proud of them.

This Ironman saw the breaking of a world record. 34 year-old Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium broke the record that has stood for 14 years to set a new record of 7:45:58. That’s nearly 4 minutes ahead of the old record.

All the photos that are going to be uploaded to that location are now at http://ge.tt/84HVxc5

Guten Tag from Austria

Just a quick check in from a café here in Austria.

It’s the middle of my dad’s IRONMAN, and I’m sitting here to upload some photos of the event.

http://ge.tt/84HVxc5 Click that link to see the photos as they upload. Ge.tt is an awesome website for uploading files and sharing them with people. Unfortunately it doesn’t recognise pictures that were taken sideways in the way my camera natively does, as well as the Mac OS, so I didn’t notice this problem until after I had set them uploading.

The IRONMAN organisers have a website where you can track people in the race.

http://ironmanlive.com/tracking.php?race=austria&year=2011

Then enter their last name or number (my dad is 2597), and it will give you their times for each check in they’ve gone through so far.

Good luck to all those still out in their race (that’s everyone at this point, I saw the first runner go past just half an hour or so ago), and I hope everyone has a relaxing holiday 😀

Oh, just remembered. This café is awesome. They use iPads with iBooks as their menu, and they write orders on these little electronic pads. SO COOL!

New Logo

I’ve recently created a new logo for Music Meets Tech.

You can clearly see I’m no graphic designer, but I think it’s quite nice. It gives the general idea of what this blog is about.
I designed it on my Mac in Adobe Photoshop, using a variety of images which belong to me, or were found on the internet.
Unfortunately, the logo isn’t quite what I had in mind, because Blogger wouldn’t let me have more than 200 pixels in height. It’s a bit more squished than it would be otherwise, but doesn’t lose anything important.
Let me know what you think of the new logo—or the design of the site in general—in the comment section below. You can post with nothing but your name and email address, or even anonymously (although it’s always nice to see who the post comes from).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Soundtrack

This is a response to a conversation I had with my friend over Facebook. His comment was:

the music was different. usually its all orchestral nd stuff. this time there was electronic john hopkins liek stuff and medeval sounding acoustic guitars. im talking background music specifically

just my opinion

Background music. Exactly. That’s all it was. It didn’t have any of the usual flare of a John Williams score. There wasn’t anything memorable in it, except perhaps the music Daniel and Emma danced to, which doesn’t really count.

They didn’t even use the main theme “Hedwig’s Theme” during the title sequence or credits, which they normally do.

Sure, the music did a great job of adding to the atmosphere, but that was all it was, atmospheric music. John Williams himself has this way of adding to the atmosphere fantastically whilst creating incredibly memorable tunes. Everyone knows the main Harry Potter tune, Darth Vader’s Theme, Star Wars Main Title, the Superman Theme, the Jaws theme, the list goes on.
No one’s going to remember the music from this film in my opinion.

(Follow the break to get down to the ratings and the next film)

That said, the ratings have been pretty good. According to Wikipedia:

  • Soundtrackgeek.com: 9/10
  • Shadowlocked.com: 4/5. They also added: “While this is a good soundtrack, there’s something about it that keeps it from being great. But it did make me more excited to see the new film.”
  • BlogHogwarts: 4.2/5. “Desplat has satisfied the expectations. Nevertheless, I must confess the music didn’t find my ‘soul’
  • Filmmusicsite.com: 7/10. “Desplat was really on to something when he wrote this soundtrack, and perhaps if he had given it a little more thought, he would have recognized how close he had come to writing something outstanding. Instead, the soundtrack’s musical gems come and go and never fully develop, leaving the listener disappointed by how close the soundtrack came to musical greatness.”
While the statistics seem to suggest it’s gotten pretty good ratings, if you look at the comments, you’ll see they agree with me. The soundtrack simply didn’t have anything to set it above any other film’s soundtrack.
My personal rating? I’d give it a 6/10. It would be even lower if I wasn’t taking into account the fact it is actually a film score. However, because it does do a very good job of adding atmosphere, I think it deserves to get pushed up a little. 

There was originally speculation that John Williams himself would come back for the final film. While this was the plan of both Williams and the films’ director, unfortunately they have conflicting schedules, so this won’t be the case. Because of this, the composer of this film will be returning to do the second part of The Deathly Hallows.
The composer of this film — Alexandre Deslpat, whose other works include:  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Fantastic Mr. Fox; and The Twilight Saga: New Moon — stated that:

“I would take every opportunity to use the fabulous theme composed by John Williams. I’d say it has not sufficiently been used in the latest movies, so if I have the opportunity and if the footage allows me, I’m going to arrange it” 

I agree thoroughly with the first part of that statement. I also thought that the previous films lacked the use of the original motifs written down by John Williams. However, I still enjoyed their soundtracks as individual soundtracks.
It’s unfortunate, in my opinion, that he didn’t go through with his original plan to use Williams’s themes more, because that would have been a huge boost to the overall quality of the score.

If you have a different opinion, I urge you to let me know why. Or, if you have anything to add, please go ahead in the comments. I’m interested to see what you have to say.

Hate Apple announcement? I said no such thing…

Despite my bad luck in the past, this next Apple announcement is perfect for me. It starts at midnight on Thursday the 2nd of September, and, for the first time, I shouldn’t have anything stopping me from watching live blogs. The amazing timing of a public holiday means that I don’t have school the day after the night of the announcement, so I can watch it.

To make it even better, this should be the first time Apple live streams video of their own events. Despite it only being available on Apple’s own devices, this is still perfect for me. It will also be the first time Apple’s had an announcement since I got my first Mac.
All-in-all, some great timing for me, much more so than any in the past.

Why I hate Apple announcements

Now, before all you Apple fans out there start flaming, just here me out. This post is not based on the announcements as such, but just some bad luck on my part.

Apple announcements invariably take place at 10:00 AM United States Pacific time. This unfortunately means for me that it is invariably at midnight. On the dot. Every time there is an Apple announcement, I have the option of staying up past the time I normally would to see the announcement live.

But it’s not just that. I think that Apple hates me. Their last two major announcements (the iPad and iPhone OS 4) have been at times that are very inconvenient for me, and the next coming one will be even worse. When they announced the iPad, it was right in the middle of my mock exams. I got up and checked my Twitter the next morning to find out that it was called the iPad, but it wasn’t until a few days later that I could finally watch the video of it. There was certainly no option of reading a meta-live blog of any sort.

Later, when they announced iPhone OS 4, it was perhaps less of a nuisance, but still quite inconvenient. I was away from home on holiday, and I should have been in bed (had to get up fairly early the next day). The hotel I was in had very dodgy WiFi (although I was very glad to have any at all), and it didn’t work on the old family laptop. So I was forced to read a meta-live blog on my iPod Touch. Not too bad, all in all, but far from ideal. Whether it was because of the iPod or the WiFi, I don’t know, but I frequently had to manually refresh the page, and a lot of the images didn’t quite work correctly. But still, I got the general gist of it, and when I could later watch the video there wasn’t anything super new to me.

The upcoming announcement — whatever it may be — as I said above, will be the worst. It begins at midnight on Tuesday 7th June. That’s the same day that I have my final IGCSE Additional Maths exam. It’s probably one of the toughest subjects I’m taking this year, and so there is NO way I am going to be able to stay up late to find out about it live. Unlike in the past, however, this time I am determined to keep a media blackout until I am able to watch the video Apple releases on their iTunes podcast. I am even going to the extent of unfollowing anyone on Twitter that I think it likely to be talking about this. I’ve got a .txt file on my desktop listing all these people, so I can follow them again afterwards.

More after the break Continue reading