Monday, November 21, 2005


Calendar of Bulgarian holidays
Nestinarsko - Great site about the firedance - with music.
Bulgarian proverbs.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marie & Oma

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Should we just use a laptop?

PineTree FolkDance* Cabal -
Steve and I (Mary Beth) have investigated the use of a computer and software for our sound system. Here's the story:

A folkdancer in Albany, NY has digitized (to MP3) over 3,000 International dance tunes. He has made his DVDs available to us to copy, at a cost of $10 for shipping. I spent $20 on blank CDs and DVDs to make copies, and will ship the originals back to Don in Albany. I'll make master copies for Steve&Marie, Allison and a set to use.

This music is playable on equipment that can read MP3s. It is not playable on a standard music cd player. It can be made playable on standard cd, but it would take a fair amount of work. It is playable on computers and MP3 players like iPods.

There are 2 recommended software packages. Winamp has a freeware version that has the ability to show what's playing, create playlists, and can be slowed down without changing pitch. It has a slick nifty interface.

An MIT folkdancer created software that will track what dances were taught and danced and will track all sorts of additional information, as well as create Folkdance-specific playlists. It will also slow the music without changing pitch. It has a homemade interface that is not slick, but is functional.

Steve and I are agreed that we can use a laptop for all our music. It will play standard music cds, as well as the mp3s.

This project will require:

* a laptop. Mary Beth has a donor from work that we could use for now. It's a boatanchor, but will run what we need. We should probably hustle up a better laptop.

* an external powered speaker for better volume. MB has spare pc speakers, but the sound quality and volume are not ideal.

* a hard drive - there's @ 15 gig of data. A 60 gig+ drive would meet our needs for a while.
* a USB hard drive enclosure to make the music collection and software portable - @ $25
Circuit City has an 80 gig external hard drive for $100. I didn't search hard; there are likely to be good deals.

I went ahead and got the music collection and blank discs, but I think we need a committee meeting / party to proceed further. (Wow, you know you're Not A Kid Anymore when you need a committee meeting to have a party.)

There are likely to be other agenda items.
We have dancing in Portland on Dec. 18th and January 15 and in Pownal Jan 1, with a New Year's Day party at Chez GruverWendt, and Jan. 15 - MLKing holiday weekend. We'll need a couple hours at least.

If we are unable to schedule a meeting, I would like the group to approve further expenses towards a music system.

Mary Beth

*note how cleverly I promote my preferred name.