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Hey y’all! Uh-oh, Austin must be rubbing off on me…
Since I last checked in I’ve seen a lot. More music, more barbecue, more technology, more panels, and did I mention more music? Wednesday was the first proper day of the music portion of SXSW, and it started off with a bang. From the moment I stepped out of the hotel I could hear music, and so far that hasn’t stopped.
But even as SXSWi has come and gone, the level of technical wizardry going on behind the scenes just to keep everything working, as well as the countless exhibits, tents, parties, and booths presented by technically-minded companies and individual, means this is far from the rock ‘n roll old school.
Even Music keynote speaker Bruce Springsteen, often seen as part of the old guard, and certainly a well-established musician with a back catalog longer than your arm, made sure to touch on the importance of enthusiasm and a creative spark, no matter if you realize your vision through a harmonica, a tuba, a guitar, or a laptop.
The technical side of my trip has involved stops by the Nokia Lab domes where there was plenty of tech on hand. We’ve talked recently about the Nokia PureView 808, one of the Finnish mobile maker’s new phones equipped headphone audio using Dolby Headphone technology and an amazing 41MP camera, and the Nokia Lab looked just as much like the future as that phone’s spec sheet.
Samsung hosted a fantastic blogger lounge, nicely documented on Storify, which hosted an impressive number of personalities from music, movies, and tech. And these two were just some of the BIG players. The startups? Oh, the startups!
Among the many I stumbled upon, the music services were perhaps the most thrilling, and got me thinking of how technologies like Dolby Digital Plus could be integrated to bring listeners even further into the experience. Can you imagine turntable.fm with dynamic crowd noise based on the level of “Awesome” the group determined, all mixed to make it feel you were there? Personally, I’d enjoy it!
That might be a ways off, but it’s fun to think about. How has technology changed your relationship with music, and what products have made it easier for you to enjoy and play music? I’m going to be checking out some things that could at the Music Gear Expo just down the hall, and as an amateur computer musician myself I’m always interested in new ways to get that perfect sound.
Speaking of, this next clip might not be perfect sound, but as I walked by the lot where this sound was made it struck me that I was listening to the sound of SXSW. A flurry of activity, with people on the street, a stage being set up, and maybe even the whoosh of a pedicab. This sound encapsulates something special about my week at SXSW, what sounds represent yours?