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Study Finds New Pop Music Does All Sound the Same 576

whoever57 writes "A study of music from the '50 to the present using the Million Song Dataset has concluded that modern music has less variation than older music and songs today are, on average, 9dB louder than 50 years ago. Almost all music uses just 10 chords, but the way these are used together has changed, leading to fewer types of transitions being used. Variation in timbre has also reduced over the past decades."
The Almighty Buck

Do You Really Need a Smart Phone? 851

Roblimo writes "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone." I stuck with a dumb phone for a long time, but I admit to loving the versatility of my Android phone, for all its imperfections.

Vinyl Gets Its Groove Back 751

theodp writes "Time reports that vinyl records are suddenly cool again. Vinyl has a warmer, more nuanced sound than CDs or MP3s; records feature large album covers with imaginative graphics, pullout photos, and liner notes. 'Bad sound on an iPod has had an impact on a lot of people going back to vinyl,' says 15-year-old David MacRunnel, who owns more than 1,000 records."

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