Here's a step in the right direction: eMusic has a new plan where you can pay $9.99 a month and have download access to every MP3 on their site. They have lots of good indy and major label stuff. That's less than the cost of one CD. If the major labels were smart, they'd each start a service like this. (via usr/bin/girl)

Update: I signed up for the plan and I'm finding all sorts of good stuff on their site. I'm listening to the Herbaliser's first album right now. This is the way this should be done, no micropayments, freedom to get the music I want and only keep the stuff I'm actually going to listen to. I'm cleaning up one of my extra computers and I'm going to stick it in the back of my walk in closet and store all my music on it. Perhaps I can move the bulk of my CD collection into storage in a couple of months after I've ripped them all to one of the four drives in this machine.

I'm a huge music consumer. I mean really huge. I buy at least two cd's a week, sometimes more. I have a huge CD and record collection, and music has always played an important role in my life. I look around my apartment and realize that I am the record label's idea of a best customer. I use Napster every single day at work. Rarely is it to check out music that I have never heard of, and almost never is it to download music I don't already own. Ocassionally I'll use it to check out some songs by a group somone has recommended to me directly or via a Web site, but if I like it, I always buy the cd. Part of the reason for my use of Napster is convenience. I don't have a 100 Gb hard drive to carry all of my CD's around with me, and I can rarely predict what I'm going to be in the mood to listen to. The other part is laziness. I don't have the free time to rip my thousands of CD's to MP3 to make my collection portable. In the end, it's good news they got the stay, but I think that the labels are being incredibly short sighted and I think everyone knows it but them.

I made some additions to the link box tonight, and I plan on actually doing some work on this site over the next two weeks. I've neglected it since my personal crisis a few months ago, and I'm ready to continue now.

Lion meat is on the menu? I usually don't use this site as a platform to discuss this sort of thing, but I think this is a disgrace.

Details on Kid A, the new Radiohead album from someone who has heard it. It's due for release on October 3rd.

This BBC article, Stopping the cybersquatters, makes me nervous and happy at the same time. When they start grabbing generic names because large companies want them, I'll be quite unhappy.

MacWEEK: Inside the Cube confirms many things that I have thought since the Cube's introduction by Steve Jobs on Wednesday. First, it's not technically a cube at all. Second, it's really not any kind of innovation. It's the innards of a notebook computer with a full size hard drive jammed into a small form factor. It is not technologically unique in any real way from the other desktop computers that Apple sells. Steve, however, knows that he will sell a lot of these cubes and that is what this is all about. I would rather see Cupertino coming out with something innovative, take a couple of chances, and do something that makes me say wow.

CNN has an article on ego surfing. I'm amazed they thought this was worthy of an article in the first place.

It's about time one of the major record labels did this. I've thought for a while that the end result of this whole Napster thing was going to be that the labels would be forced to come up with a strategy for electronic distribution. It's good to see that this is starting to happen.

A site that I am just loving is CaffeMocha.com. It might be the best entry in the new Webzine category I've seen for over a year. It's also a great jumping off point to a large number of well designed sites that I was unfamiliar with.

I really like what Kurt's done with the new VersionTracker redesign. If you are a Mac OS user, this site is one you should know about. I use it daily.

Wow, I have quite the different opinion of the X-Men movie than Jim has. I also was a longtime reader of the comic book, and I actually even worked in a comic book shop for a year or so. I thought that the movie was entertaining, but was somewhat dissapointed with how little some of the characters, notably Jean Grey and Scott Summers(Cyclops) were developed and used. Overall, I thought it was a good movie if you are familiar and already love the characters, but I didn't think it was a good standalone movie. There is a this rich history of stories from the comic that I wish they had tapped into a little more. Sabretooth is Wolverine's father and they didn't even hint that Sabretooth knew who Wolverine even was.

This brings up a bigger issue that I have been wrestling with about movies this summer. It seems like the overall quality of movies is declining to me. It seems like Hollywood is getting even more formulaic than they already were, or maybe there has been some change in me that makes the existing level of predictableness no longer acceptable. I've seen all the big blockbuster movies this summer and I wouldn't describe any of them as good movies with compelling stories.

A very happy birthday to my good friends and co-workers Clint and Sara.

Well, I've got some big news today. We sold our company to a larger pre-IPO Silicon Valley firm with what, I think, is a great future and an interesting strategy based on XML technology. The last couple of months has been pretty crazy as we(the arthouse management team) fielded offers from a couple of companies, made a difficult decision about which one, if any, we wanted to pursue, and then worked our way through the merger process. It's been a great, but a little stressful, experience. I'm a little wealthier on paper today, but that's never been the most important thing to me in the first place. I'll link to the new company as soon as the press releases go out, I don't want to steal any thunder from the PR machine.

The Apache XML Project

I rented Sweet and Lowdown on DVD this week. I'm a pretty big Woody Allen fan, and I thought this film is among some of his best work. Sean Penn was excellent as Ray Emmett, the guitar genius who suffers from a lack of judgement, among other things.

PIX column :: Zeldman's second site offers an interesting look into how major Interactive agencies are trying to communicate via their own Web sites. Speaking from the experience of a small agency, it's a real struggle to keep the corporate site fresh and interesting when you can barely get all the actual billed work out the door.

I'm getting a lot done today on my apartment, which is slowly making the transition from the place where I sleep into a home. I really wish I could spend some time fixing all the problems with the current iteration of Bump and add some of the new content I was planning on adding when I redesigned a few months ago, but I much more focused on the real world right now. I'm still 40 lbs. lighter than I was in March, and I look much much better.(I know this because other people are noticing this fact on a regular basis. It's flattering when someone you barely know stops you outside your building at work to tell you how great you look, but it's even more flattering when an attractive woman you don't know approaches you with obvious interest. This wasn't happening a few months ago, and now it's happening on a regular basis.) I'm still an emotional wreck from what's happened in my life over the last few months, but at least I recognize that fact and am doing something about it. I appreciate my life so much more now than I ever have before, my family, my friends, my job, and myself.

Joe Jackson: Live In New York: Summer in the City is the result of Joe Jackson and two friends playing small clubs as a trio in New York City last summer. As a long time fan of the man, I'm quite pleased with this cd.

A good Salon.com article covers how The Patriot skews history and ends up making the British look far more sadistic than anything that actually happened in the American Revolutionary war. In fact, it compares this portrayal to actual war crimes committed by the Germans during World War II. How well will this film fair in Britain?

I just saw In God We Trust on Cinemax. Unfortunately, the full movie isn't up on Atom's site, but it was really entertaining.

What a great long weekend. I'm getting lots of stuff done, and spent three hours yesterday reliving my youth playing Risk with two of my work friends. I saw The Patriot, which I thought was mediocre, and The Perfect Storm, which I thought was mediocre. Both were a little too Hollywood for my tastes, and I thought the first was very much a slightly altered version of Braveheart set in the American colonies during the war for independence. I hope your weekend is going as well as mine. Now I'm off to configrue my home entertainment center(this is a monster job with 9 components).