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There’s Good DRM!?!?!?!


Over the weekend the digital video game distribution platform, Steam, began its famous Summer of Steam Sale which will run until July 22, 2012.  In this sale PC games of all kinds find a nice discount with an average of 50% off (almost the entire catalog of games in the Steam store), daily deals with 75% discounts (some even higher), community choice sales where you vote for an 8 hour deeply discounted game, and flash sales that run for about 8 hours before the next round comes in, and insane bundle deals (entire publisher catalogs for the average of $50).  All in all, it’s absolute video game purchasing madness.  For example, since Saturday I’ve dropped about €35 and got 22 games ranging from AAA to excellent indie games.  And there’s still a whole week to go, luckily I’ve gotten everything I really wanted to play at %75 off and the rest will be games that seem interesting to me but wouldn’t buy without a discount.

This event would be the first time I really got into using Steam past when I had to install it on my computer years ago when I purchased a retail copy of Half Life 2.  Then the program was a bit clunky and just seemed like unnecessary DRM, and it was, then.  Over the years, whenever I bought a game online through digital distribution I either went directly to the developers site to buy or through GOG.com, who prides itself on offering an amazing collection of classic PC games and many indie games completely DRM free and at universal prices (they also have a lot of classic games not available on Steam).  Pretty much, I was doing everything in my power to avoid getting wrapped up in the pain in the ass of DRM again.

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iTouch Report – October 2011


It is that time of month for a heavy metal discussion piece.  As usual, it’s time to look at the play count on your personal digital music player…if you have one.  If you listen to CDs then you can guess what you have been listening to the most.  I will do this again for November and December, but will probably discontinue this post.  Mainly, my iTouch is screwy with its play count.  I am not sure why, but there is no way possible that I listened to one song over 1,300 times in one month.  I am not sure why that happened, but I reset the play count every month and refresh my playlist with new music every month.  So, for the play count to be nowhere near accurate defeats the purpose of talking about what I listened to most this month.  December will be my last post on this topic.  For now, here is what my iTouch thought I listened to the most in the month of October.  I can’t say I disagree…I just disagree with the number of times played.

10.  Symphony XWhen All Is Lost – I still can’t get enough of this album.  It is more than likely going to be a top 5 of 2011…easily.

9.  OpethHaxprocess - Although not my favorite Opeth album, I don’t think its as bad as some folks made it out to be.  It’s actually great as a 70s prog album.  But we all know what kind of Opeth we want to hear.  Next time…I hope.

8.  Machine HeadI Am Hell (Sonata in C#) – What an amazing opener for Unto The Locust.  This whole album has great potential for my #1 of 2011.

7.  Amon AmarthDoom Over Deadman - Surtur Rising is another great album release of 2011.  Nuff said!

6.  NightwishThe Poet and the Pendulum – Not sure how this popped up so much on the playlist, but it is a great song.  We should see something new from Nightwish in 2012.

5.  NevermoreThe Termination Proclamation – I never got into this band until this album.  I am glad I did, but also bummed that they done.

4.  Dream TheaterOutcry – Dream Theater is back!  Can’t wait to see them next year.  In fact, my tickets just showed up today and planning to take my son to his first show.  Nothing like spreading the gospel of metal to the generations :)

3.  Megadeth1,320′  – This is probably one of my favorites on Endgame.

2.  Chimaira - Scum of the Earth - Chimaira took a bit of flack on some sites, but I dig this album a lot and I am quite happy that they were able to keep the machine working despite a heavy turnover in personnel.  Again, can’t wait to see them next year.

1.  TriviumWatch the World Burn – Another one that took some flack.  In Waves is not their strongest album, but it’s still good music.  This is probably going to at least be in the top 1o for me at the end of the year.

So what’s been causing the ringing in your ears this October?  Is there anything on my playlist that surproses your or something you haven’t heard in a while?  Whatever is your metal pleasure, let’s hear it.  Perhaps you will introduce me to something new.  Have a great night!

iTouch Report – March 2011


This month’s iTouch report would lead anyone to think I was a huge fan of Prog-metal.  I guess I am because computer technology doesn’t lie.  This post is about what I have been listening to regularly for the last month.  For March 2011 there wasn’t a whole lot of variety.  Here goes:

Paradise Lost - Universal Dream – 16 plays

Dream Theater - VIII Losing Time/Grand Finale – 16 plays

Dream Theater - Blind Faith – 16 plays

Overkill – Endless War – 18 plays

Evergrey – Leave It Behind Us – 20 plays

Opeth – The Grand Conjuration (Music Video) – 23 plays

Paradise Lost - Rise of Denial – 37 plays

Opeth – The Baying Of The Hounds – 37 plays

Opeth – The Grand Conjuration – 43 plays

Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us – 49 plays

Faith Divides us a powerful and moving video.  If you haven’t seen it check it out on YouTube.  The song is great and if you are looking for something uplifting this isn’t it.  I can’t say enough about Opeth. I like them so much that I am considering passing on seeing the Big Four as Sonisphere this year just so I can catch Opeth on the Sunday part of Sonisphere.    I am glad I have more time to think about that one.  I expect Opeth to tour again when their new album is out, but I hate to gamble on whether they will or will not come by England.

Overkill was my outlier of the bunch.  Endless War is a really good workout song,  I used it a lot while running on the treadmill. 

So how did a video get on my list?  I upload videos to my iTouch so I can watch them when I ride the bike at the gym.  They do have TVs to watch, but I would rather watch metal for the 20-30 minutes I ride.  For the month of March I only had two videos uploaded, this one and Porcelain Heart also from Opeth. 

The rest are self-explanatory. I think they are all kick as songs and have yet to wear out their welcome.  This month I should have a wider variety.  I am in the process of adding all my CDs to my iTunes library.  I have uploaded over 1,500 songs far and I am about half-way through.  Before this, I only added my absolute favorite songs, but then I realized I was missing out on some gems.  So my library should go from 4,000 to 6,500 songs by the time I am done.  Cheers!