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Published: 2004 Publishing House: Sanctuary Publishing Author: Steve Levine (the genius behind Boy George)
One of my in-built commandments is to not start explaining what the internet is. So for those who still deem an explanation and get a tingly sensation down the spine whenever mundane, mediocre blandness is written, you’ll better read elsewhere. Perhaps read the source code of the pop-ups renting our communities visual space. These internet users are paying thirty pounds a month on a dial-up connection, they’re usually dangling amongst the rafters trying to get three green lights to flash, indicating a 56kbps connection speed. It may work with a mobile phone; though seem to think it’ll work with a modem, waving it above their heads on the highest point in their attics at Poffley End. If you don’t believe me; here is the audio-text:
“Hey Malc pet, what are yee doin up there, you’ll catch a cold?”
“Ah pet, yee connection on clock-work modem works better when I dangle freestyle up yee; problem is I’m unable to prosper by using the 56kbps speed, coz, yee keyboard is down yee. It worked with yee cell phone. Arrrrggghhh!!”
“Hold-on Malc pet, thank goodness we didn’t get wireless in 1999.”
In Steve Levine’s paperback book called: ‘The Art of Downloading Music.’ It reads as an a naive, intriguing, 278 page lecture on the download links to media file compression on all that is downloadable via the internet, in late 2003 - By the time it got to print in 2004, the new updates got updated and clumps of material became invalid, an occupation hazard when it comes to the internet, especially whilst boosting up certain URL’s knowing fully well they’re be super-seeded by a tech savvy lad whose learnt the web language of PHP overnight. It kind of makes Steve Levine a crusty dinosaur arm-chair surfer, who still dreams of his days involved with ‘Culture Club’ during his ‘New Romantic’ period, producing music, with the beasts of ‘Motorhead.’ Sanctuary Records made its revenue on the back of
pop drag queen ‘Boy George’. It now has been replaced by Sanctuary Publishing, the brains behind ‘The Art of Downloading Music.’ Fascinatingly basic in content, ideal for the novice, who’s just discovered the joys of apps and media downloads.
Levine doesn’t exactly break-out into an engineering perspiration at writing the ‘Foreword.’ He gets helped along by quotes by Charles Darwin (You may’ve heard of him). The text choice is bigger and it takes up half a page, well Darwinism is far more important than Levine’s whimsical anecdotes. Not that Levine’s aim is to be funny, it just the thought thread he chooses that tickled me based on the incredibly steep education force of finger-tip technology, Levine explains.
“Facing what they (that’s us) see as a truly daunting task. Many may quit before they (that’s us) get started, hence; the need for this book.”
He’s plugging his own book to the people who’ve already got one. Then again, I suppose if you picked it up in a bookstore and the author Steve Levine says you’ll need this book, it sounds rather desperate. It could’ve made a huge difference to my buying decision if that was read out to me. Remember to read all the small-print before making that purchasing decision, especially if it’s a book by Steve Levine.
No doubt the notebook size paperback would make for a decent base for stocking fillers, for those who’ve just engaged in Broadband services, and thought Napster is a comic strip for the youth of today. Levine intrigues his reader (probably just me) with Napster’s origins, however, he does cleverly explain more knowledge is available by going through the recommended ‘search route’ of a certain ‘Google’ or ‘Yahoo.’ But, first of all you’ll have to have access to a computer, with internet access, apparently. To get downloading quickly, without any hiccups ‘The Art of Downloading Music’ is the download bible; it answers all of those frequently asked questions you may have had in 2003. It won’t however, systematically quicken up you’re internet download speeds on purchase, Levine forgot to mention that part. He was too busy saying how good this book is.
I must confess, ‘The Art of Downloading Music,’ is not an art-form. I only paid £3.00 plus Postage and Packaging from an eBay auction from a seller who was doing a massive clear-out; in 2004. Being an iPod techie person who at the time seemed endeared to anything resembling the Apple iPod on aesthetics and was a couple of quid, I would’ve thought: Hey, this looks cool, I want one, what is it? In that order! - Because the front of the book jacket is designed as if it is a white Apple iPod. Levine must’ve seen me cometh.
‘A Conversation with Steve Levine;’ before ‘Part One,’ stretches on for 25 pages. It is related to the book, because ‘Music’ is in the title. Having experienced all the hype and razzmatazz of the ‘glam rock’ and ‘new romantic’ yester-year periods; Levine is keen to enrol his own knowledge of marketing music, which tends to be outdated even for 2003. Yes, no-one wants vinyl any longer, they prefer the optical disc. It is called a CD. We have to move onto different media formats to keep afloat, strangely enough, its called progress. Another Darwinism beckons. Several interesting factors directly from Apple did stimulate a synapse in my frontal lobe was Levine’s views on Apples iTune choice in MP3 compression; they opted for Dolby Lab licensing, which in-turn swayed towards mobi-technology even before smart-phones hit the mainstream market. Compatibility via a desk-top – laptop workstation had to be USB linked to all mobile devices; so data could be read without losing obvious quality. Now-a-days, the music scene has more clout on licensing online material than they once did, which Levine misses the point. Leaving ‘Sanctuary Records’ his old music business to burn in the archive dust with old vinyl sleeves. Relaying online music download tricks to access you’re favourite tunes via creative methods are now thwarted thanks to licensing regulations in protecting artists rights - Odd material to publish, from a ‘has-been’ music professional who’d been part of that gown of collecting talent and protecting royalties.
Look-out for the ‘splashed ink tips!’ correction: they’re more like a head of a ‘toilet brush.’ That’s far more appropriate.
Yet another creative way of filling up space on a page, all rectangle and light purple to add gravitas to the tip anecdote; it is serious pointers to help aid the complex four key iPod’s functions. ‘Do not remove battery when iPod is active or collecting data.’ The possibilities of doing so is pretty far fetched, although, telling the consumer what would happen if such an event occurred, is enough to ring up the Samaritan’s and claim that: “Steve, is doin my ead in!” – To say it lacks any anecdotal scripts that’ll get the creative juices flowing as freely as if you’ve just eaten a packet of ‘Starburst,’ is an understatement. Levine’s verses are predominantly bullet-pointed, and read as if an instruction manual for an Apple iPod. Hardly night-time reading unless you want to irate your partner by stating MPEG formatted instructions and tips; by starting with the two words: “Steve says…..” - Accompanied by a tired groan and a twenty second scowl.
Armoured with a ‘download glossary’ and ‘index’ the length of a quarter of the whole contents of the paperback; it can be used as a ‘one stop solution;’ for answering download queries. For example, it’ll be highly effective if you want to know what the term ‘buffer’ means. Or wander why the iPod seems quieter than normal.’ Steve Levine has the answers, not that you’ll ever think about some of the questions raised. For some-one who sees quantity or monumentally thorough, a good thing without actual quality content. Levine will give you enough information for you to ponder over, for an hour, or two; if the term, ‘novice internet download user’ is stamped on your fore-head. The crazy thing is that Steve Levine has published a second edition of ‘the Art of Downloading Music.’ I assume it is another load of dribble for those people stuck in the attic waving their ‘smart-phones in the air, trying to connect with the ‘World, Wide, Web’ to download, the entire MP3 audio from Dr Who.
“Hey Malc pet, what are yee doin up there in the attic, we’ve got Broadband now!”
“Aye, pet, but yee wanna download the whole of the Dr. Who series onto yee smart-phone; our Steve says… yee MP3 quality is the best ever.”
“Yee, don’t believe what yee Steve says… , yee is stupid, yee tryin to sell yee a book yee stupidly already got pet.”
Thanks for reading.
Pictures of The Art of Downloading Music - Steve Levine
Steve Levine's attire whenever he met Boy George in his hell raising days