Now Listen to Multiple Genres on Locusic

Locusic now has the ability to play multiple genres of music in a single stream. Can’t decide between Rock and Pop? Pick both.

Locusic Player Settings

Select as many genres as you like. Then click the “Apply & Play” button and Locusic will play songs matching any of your selected genres from bands within 50 miles of your selected location.

As an added bonus, Locusic now remembers your selections, so the next time you open the player settings, your previously chosen genres are already pre-selected for you.

 

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New, Hi-Res Imagery

Long story short – Locusic now has new, crisper, sparkly graphics – specifically for newer hi-res displays on smartphones, tablets, etc. (Check the Before and After images below.)

This affects the web app and Android app.

Before

Before

 

 

 

After

After

For the last few years, mobile devices have been coming out with higher and higher resolutions. Their higher pixel densities mean that websites and other graphics are scaled up to use more than the number of pixels specified in the design (css) – in order to fill the appropriate (designed) amount of the screen.

There’s a good article about the details of some of this here.

In the old days, a pixel in a website’s design represented a single pixel in the display it was rendered on. Now with device pixels getting smaller and smaller in high-resolution displays, that would mean the website, graphics, and text would appear way too small. So the newer devices scale up the display of websites so that they actually use more pixels than they were designed for.

Let’s say you had an image that was 96 pixels wide. On a laptop, that might display as about one inch wide. While on a smartphone, 96 pixels might only be 1/2 inch wide or less. So the device scales the image up so it takes up the amount of space the designer originally intended.

If the device has a pixel density (the ratio of the density of the pixels on the device’s screen compared to a “standard” screen) of 2, it would use twice as many pixels to display the image.

The problem now is that the device is using 192 pixels of width to display an image that only has 96 pixels worth of image data. The result is that the image looks blurry, or like it’s a low-resolution image.

And that example is just for a device with a pixel ratio of 2 – the pixel ratio of Apple’s “retina” displays – in use since the iPhone 4. Other devices have even higher pixel ratios. My current smartphone, an LG G3, for example has a pixel ratio of 4.

The solution is to create images with higher resolutions and use those in place of the original graphics. Then the design needs to be updated to make sure you tell it to display the new 192 pixel image in a space that’s only 96 pixels wide, for example. Then the device (with a pixel ratio of 2) will scale it up to its natural size of 192 pixels – and it will look beautiful!

Of course there are a lot of technical details I’m not getting into in this article – like telling the design to only download the hi-res imagery if the display will actually take advantage of them – to save bandwidth for lo-res displays.

We did a lot of this kind of work recently and love the results. What do you think?

Before

Before

 

 

 

After

After

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Locusic for Businesses

barThere’s now a business version of Locusic with a customer-friendly playlist to delight your patrons and coworkers!

You know how when you go into a bar, restaurant, coffee shop, grocery store, or elevator there’s music playing in the background? If it’s dead silent it seems kind of creepy right?

Locusic now has a great background music solution for businesses who want to celebrate the local music scene and not be creepy. It includes a completely ad-free, curated, business-friendly playlist.

The House Of Bricks in Des Moines is the first local business using Locusic as background music. They’ve been using it for a couple weeks now. If you’re in Des Moines, head on over there and check it out.

Use Locusic for Businesses to provide music for your customers (bar, restaurant, salon, gallery, store, tattoo parlor, etc.), or if you just want a fresh music solution for you and your co-workers.

If you run a business (in central Iowa or the Twin Cities) and need background music or want to show your support for local artists, let us know and we’ll get you hooked up!

 

Photo credit: Kent Wang on Flickr

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Locusic Android App

 

Locusic Android AppLocusic now has an Android App!

It’s available in Google Play now.

It works pretty much just like the web app, but:

  • It’s on your phone.
  • It has a cool icon you can put on your home screen.
  • There’s no unsightly url bar taking up space.
  • It plays and goes to the next song even if your screen turns off.
  • The music pauses, or the volume decreases if allowed, when another app (like navigation) needs to talk to you.
  • It pauses the music if you accidentally (or on purpose) pull your headphone plug out of the jack.

Currently (as of June 4, 2014), the app, just like the web app, will only play music if your current (or home) location is within 50 miles of Des Moines, IA or Chanhassen, MN.

So go download it and try it out. If you like it, give us a good rating in Google Play.

If something doesn’t work, or you have a request, let us know. We’re already working on a couple improvements.

For all our iPhone/iPad users, we’ll be releasing an iOS Locusic app in the near future, so stay tuned.

(Here’s the direct link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.locusic.android.locusicapp)

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Upload Enabled Across Iowa

Iowa flag on state outlineWe just enable “upload” for the entire state of Iowa. Now All musicians and bands in Iowa (not just central IA) with original music can setup a profile (for free) at http://Locusic.com

The player functionality of Locusic is still only live in central Iowa and the Minneapolis areas (as of today, April 1, 2014). The player, or listening, portion of Locusic will become active later in other areas of Iowa once we have a decent amount of music in those areas. (We don’t want to launch the player if there’s nothing to listen to).

Soon all bands across Iowa will be able to get free airplay to local listeners (the ones who are close enough to come to their shows) on Locusic.

So if you have friends in bands based in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Muscatine, Davenport, Dubuque, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Waterloo, Marion, Bettendorf, Mason City, Clear Lake, Decorah, Clinton, Burlington, Ottumwa, Fort Dodge, Coralville, Carroll, Algona, Spencer, Fort Madison, Atlantic, Oskaloosa, Shenandoah, or Storm Lake (or any town in-between), let ‘em know what’s up with Locusic!

 

Please share this news with the musicians and bands that you know in all areas of Iowa!

 

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Iowa Concert Photographers Reception

photo courtesy Cody Osen, Iowa Concert Photographers

There’s a great, unique event tonight (1/24/2014) celebrating the local music scene in Des Moines and some of best that choose to photograph it.

It’s a reception for a gallery exhibit of local concert photos by the Iowa Concert Photographers . The exhibit and reception are at Grandview University‘s Cowles Communication Center Gallery.

This group of talented concert photographers does some Amazing work! And their dedication to the local music scene has really shone a spotlight on music being made in central Iowa.

There’s another great article about this event on the Band Bombshell site.
My favorite quote from photographer, Cody Osen: “The fact that there was music this good coming out of Des Moines—and so much of it—just blew my mind.”

The same can be said of most local music scenes and that’s exactly why Locusic exists.

The gallery reception is from 6-8pm. For more details, check out the facebook event page.

If you can’t make it out tonight, the exhibit runs through Feb 14th.

 

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Locusic Winners of 2013

I expect 2014 to be a pretty big year for Locusic.

We have lots of news coming – to be among the first to hear it – and to find out how you can help us out from time to time -put in a request to join our secret society group, Locusic Backstage, on Facebook (only for Locusic super fans).

But first, to put the wrap on 2013, we’d like to recognize our top artist and listener of the year – according to the Locusic data banks (for central IA and MSP). So without further ado…

 

Most Popular Artist

The artist with the most “Thumbs Up’s” on Locusic in 2013 was:

Bonne Finken of Des Moines, IA

The Runner-Up was Randy Burk and the Prisoners, also of Des Moines.

 

Biggest Local Music Supporter

The user who listened to Locusic the most in 2013 was:

Tim Rons of Ames, IA

 

To the winners (Tim, Bonne, Randy, and their respective band members)… you are all eligible for a free Locusic T-shirt or some random local music merch item of our choosing. Contact us by Feb 1 however you would prefer (facebook, twitter, email, contact page, etc.) and we’ll figure out how to your prize to you.

Thanks everyone!

 

 

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Holy White Hounds Interview

The Des Moines band, Holy White Hounds, have a new EP out. It’s called, “Oh Mama” and it sounds amazing!

They’ve gotten a whole ton of press lately. So here’s some more!

We caught up with frontman Brenton Dean of HWH for a quick interview…

Locusic: For those unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe it?

HWH: We don’t describe it really. You could call it rock but I don’t like doing that too much. The word rock covers everything from Katy Perry to Bob Dylan depending on who you ask. I believe it was the great John Frusciante who said, “I feel that when you speak about things your diarrhea’ing all over them. You just ruin whatever your talking about.” That kinda sums up my fear of describing our music.

Locusic: From what I’ve heard of the new album, it sounds really well produced. Where did you have it done and what was the recording process like?

HWH: We recorded the EP at Sonic Factory here in town. Branden Darner produced it and Micah Natera engineered. So yes, very well produced. Those guys do great work. We spent some time mixing out at ARC studio in Omaha as well. That was a great time. The recording process was pretty laid back. We put in a couple long days and then took our time putting the touches on it here and there over the next couple weeks. We ate and drank a lot throughout the recording. So I guess we kept it pretty loose.

Locusic: What do you guys do when you’re not working on your music?

HWH: That’s a tricky question because I’m never without music. It sounds fuckin’ corny, but truly, I am so rarely without a song developing in my mind. If that wasn’t the case I don’t think I would play music at all. What would be the point in putting myself out there like that if I didn’t feel innately driven to do it? It’s hard work, being in a band. Luckily I got someone like Ambrose [Lupercal], who is a super disciplined guy. If we are not working on our music we are probably talking about working on our music… working on not pushing up daisies.

Locusic: Where can people get a copy of the new album?

HWH: Best way to get a copy is certainly to come to a show and buy one! Although, for the lame ducks out there, it will be up on iTunes very soon.

 

Speaking of shows, you can go see Holy White Hounds at Octopus College Hill in Cedar Falls on 11/15 or at the Gas Lamp in Des Moines on 12/28.

Also, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter and listen for them on Locusic (in Des Moines under Rock). And checkout their latest video for Switchblade off the new EP.

 

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How To Meet Other Musicians

Photo courtesy of www.picturephilly.com

Ready to get out of the basement? Have you perfected your signature guitar moves in front of the mirror? It’s time to meet up with some like-minded musicians and start something! Once you have the itch to start up a band of brothers or sisters, it must be scratched. It seems so simple, just go find other musicians, but people don’t religiously flock to venues to swap ideas as much as they used to. You know, that whole internet thing eliminated some of that. Here are ways you can find other musicians and start living the ‘How We Met’ portion of your future ‘Behind The Music’ special.

 

1.       Shows

Is there a local band you really like? Go see them. Talk to them afterwards. Chances are they would love to talk about music, aspirations, people they know looking for a band, etc. The easy access of the internet has made people less likely to be bold and be the first to approach someone, but BE BOLD.

How did Keith Moon become the drummer of The Who? He talked to them after a show and told them he was better than their drummer. Courtney Love talked her way into Faith No More after a show while wearing a wedding dress. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Chances are, there are musicians at the show doing the exact same thing you are…so find them, too!

 

2.       BandMix.com

Band Mix is basically a Match.com for musicians to check out each other’s profiles and find matches for their band or music project. No love connections here, just individual musicians seeking band mates. Band Mix allows you to search by location, genre, instruments played, and even vocal range. Your profile allows you to upload audio, photos, and specify what kinds of musicians you’re seeking.

 

3.       Music Stores (Equipment, Records, Head Shops…)

Flyers, conversation, and recommendations! Oh my! Generally, people who work at music stores are musicians, or aficionados of the local music scene. Ask questions. They’re at work and they’re bored. (See: High Fidelity)

They would love to talk with you about the latest gear, latest band, or latest band that broke up. (Stray musicians! Go find them!)

 

Already in a band? How did you find your band family? We want to know!

 

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