Today's episode of The 404 Podcast begins with a short lesson in Chinese breakfast foods and our love for combining savory meat into sweet bread. The dish in question is called char siu bao and it's a dim sum staple that you can also find in most Chinese bakeries--even Jeff seems to enjoy it, so you know it can't be that bad!
Before we make you too hungry, we'll touch on the new T-Mobile G2, the first smartphone to run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network. The original T-Mobile G1 was the first Google Android phone released … Read more
Because the plastic accessories used to play music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band look somewhat like real musical instruments, they have the unintended consequence of making gamers think they can pick up a real-life guitar and play, and real-world musicians think they'll be instant experts at these games. Neither case is generally true (take it from someone whose most recent album is holding steady at No. 87 in Amazon's Funk Rock category, and has been playing guitar for more than 20 years, but who can hardly get through a Guitar Hero song on medium difficulty).
The inclusion of basic but usable electronic drum pads in the past few generations of these games changed the situation somewhat, and at harder difficulties, one could end up playing a fairly realistic drum part, but it wasn't until this year that the line between real instruments and game controllers really started to blur.
Having recently gotten a chance to demo the latest gear for Rock Band 3, I found a lot of new angles designed to punch some life into the ailing music games genre, but also still ran into several examples of the disconnect between real music and game music.
Just as Rock Band changed the guitar game landscape by adding drums, the upcoming version of the game adds a keyboard controller, a few new types of guitar controllers, and a new chord-playing system in the game that finally makes actual music-playing ability relevant.
Besides the usual five-button guitar controller similar to the ones used in music games as far back as the original Guitar Hero, there's also a new Pro-level controller. This version has six fixed string-like sensors in place of the traditional strum bar, and replaces the five colored fret buttons with separate tiny buttons for each string at every fret on the guitar neck. That's 17 frets across six strings, more than 100 independent buttons.
Playing with this Pro guitar controller turns on an optional chording system, which allows for onscreen chords requiring up to six notes to be hit simultaneously (thereby forming the chord in question). The in-game tutorial for learning to play these chords seems reasonable enough, but the notation used in the game itself was confusing, with bars of differing heights scrolling down a virtual fretboard, indicating a chord constructed from notes above or below an indicated root note. If that sounds hard to follow, that's because it is. … Read more
Originally a Firefox add-on, FindThatBand has gone Chrome. Instead of hopelessly searching for music within the endless black hole which is the Web, Google Chrome users can now find their favorite bands by highlighting text.
To find the band, simply highlight its name and hit CTRL twice. A pop-up will instantly appear with a list of 11 music resource sites. This list consists of MySpace, Last.fm, Pandora, Wikipedia, Hype Machine, Amazon, iTunes, Discogs, allmusic, iLike, and Grooveshark. (Last.fm is a CBS site, as is CNET.) Between all of these sites, it is highly likely that you will find … Read more
Those about to rock will have to wait a little while longer, as Harmonix on Monday announced that the third core installment in the Rock Band series will arrive on October 26 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii and DS.
Releasing just days ahead of Halloween. How spooky.
Along with Rock Band 3's release date revelation, Harmonix announced various retailer-specific preorder bonuses.
Read more of "Rock Band 3 hits stage October 26" at GameSpot.
Creating digital audio has long been one of the best arguments for using locally installed software rather than a cloud service, but that's beginning to change. The latest entrant, launched Thursday, is a program called Roc, which lets you create simple 8-beat loops from a library of hundreds of sounds, all without leaving your Web browser.
Roc is the latest creation from Aviary, which offers a free set of Flash-based online applications for creating and editing content. Most of Aviary's tools are for graphics, but in September it launched the Myna audio editor, which lets you record and … Read more
On today's show, size matters. You're going to hear that a lot. So, apologies in advance. Also, we have a great interview at the top of the show with Stephen Volz and Fritz Grobe, otherwise known as the Coke and Mentos guys. They've got a rocket car, a Coke Zero contract, and a dream. Also, Goatse wants to clear up some things, Mortal Kombat is back, and once again? Size matters.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Thanks to a Green Day Rock Band tease, this was one of the least-kept secrets leading up to E3, but nevertheless, here's the visual proof: Rock Band 3 is getting itself a keytar. We felt certain enough to make it one of our "lock" predictions at this year's E3. Well, check that off the list.
EA/MTV/Harmonix's franchise already has 2,000-plus songs, a variety of discs, and a band full of instruments including guitars, bass, three-part microphone harmony, and drums. The newest game will have 83 songs from 83 bands and support for … Read more