Thursday, 26 April 2012

Meet You in the Sky

I am not really sure what genre Buzzin' In My Brain by AlÅ« falls into. I think its officially singer-songwriter, but has too strong of an electronic/goth edge for that to be an accurate description. I call this freak.  The BPM is 89 and the song has a really strong beat so good to run to.  I think if she ran, she wouldn't need that lobotomy.  Run your crazy out!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

6 Free Running Songs for April 2012

Here's the March 6 free running songs post.  These songs are all available on Epitonic for free and legal download.  To download the song, click on the name of the song.  The band name links to the Epitonic page about the band.  They all are close to 90 BPM so work for a 180 SPM (strides per minute) run.

3:13 by Ogurusu Norihide 91 BPM
Japanese hipsters creating experimental 'laptop folk' and it really does sound Japanese to me. I can see the cherry blossoms.  This song will do its best to put you in a good mood.

Fallout by Neon Indian 90 BPM
Neon Indian is the solo project of Alan Paloma who has his roots in Mexico, lives in Texas, but recorded this in Helsinki, Finland in the winter!  I couldn't help but want to hear what that sounded like. The genre is electronic or synthpop.

Everlasting Beacon Of Light by Zechs Marquise 87 BPM
From Texas as well.  Genre is space rock or funk.

Missile++ by Blonde Redhead 92 BPM
Classic New York indie rockers Blonde Redhead give you this very runnable track. 

Falsified Inspiration by Aficionado 87 BPM
American indie rock.

Stormily Reassuring by Boxeur The Coeur 89 BPM 
Boxeur The Coeur is from Napoli, Italy.  This song sounds a bit too 'pop' the first listen, but it really grew on me.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Running Is Beautiful

Here's a truly gorgeous song: Beautiful by German electro trip-hoppers Monocular (she is singing in English). I can't find a video of it on YouTube, or a track of it on Soundcloud.  But I can listen to it on, so here's the link play on I hope that works since I am not sure if you have to be signed up for and in to to listen.  Anyway listen to this, then go buy this amazing song. Its BMP is 92 so great for a 180SPM run.

If you want to buy, here's some Amazon links, these aren't affiliate links just putting them here to save you some time, and for anyone having trouble listening on, since Amazon has a 30 sec sample to whet your appetite.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Take The Sun

Diving by Sneaker Pimps, was released in 1999, but I just found it through the's Spotify app, which creates a playlist of similar songs based on what you are currently listening to, which I have to say works really well, the other songs are really similar.  I'd like to know the algo behind that - I guess if you have a big enough data set such magic is possible.

Diving has a BPM of 87, so its a little slow for a 180 SPM run, but either you are tolerant enough to have a 174SPM song, or you can bump up the BPM with Audacity, see how here.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Before It's Too Soon

Here's a dreamy electronic track from the French music duo Air: Once upon a time.  You can click here to start a free download of the song, or here to go to their Epitonic page.  It has a perfect 90 BPM for a 180 SPM run.  Not too sure about their advice 'don't try to run after time',  I know we all do that, PRs are the best!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Take Control of the BPM

Today's post is a long one, but I really hope that it is useful to you.  I am going to show you how to take a song and change it's BPM.  The first time you do this it will feel like a lot of work, but after you have installed the right tools and know how to do this, it only takes a minute or two to change the BPM of a song and you will be master of your running playlist. But you have to promise to still read my blog!

First off I am going to assume you have read my blog post, Intro to BMP, and already have MixMeister BPM Analyzer installed.

So lets say you have a song that you feel just makes you want to run, an anthem to your self expression through running, but it just isn't the right BPM. For me Galvanize by The Chemical Brother is this song and I was well inspired by this video featuring some italian Vibram FiveFingers wearers.

Using our half, or 90 BPM, works as good as 180, it is way to fast at 104 BPM. So in this post I am going to show you how to use a super and free tool called Audacity to slow down the BPM to 90.

Click here to go to Audacity's home page. Right in the middle of the page you should see the download links.

I clicked on the first link, since I have Windows, and I don't have the newest version of Audacity, the 2.0.0, which was released 13.03.2012. Once you've downloaded the file, double click on it to install Audacity. I then clicked yes to everything without reading anything, like any other normal software user. Just so you see the irony here I am a software developer who once spend several months designing an installer for our software...

The installer will automatically launch Audacity for you, so you should see a window like this.

Now grab the audio file containing the track you want to change. I have my music in mp3s, but Audacity can handle other formats, check here to see if you're covered.  So to load my file I go to the File menu and select Open, then browse to the folder containing my file.

Then go to the Effect menu and select Change Tempo.  This will open up the following dialog box.

In the Beats per minute: Textboxes type in the from and to BPM.  For me its 107 and 90. Audacity automatically fills in the percent change.

Then hit OK.  Finally you have to export the song into a new file. Go to the File menu and select Export... you will be prompted to choose a file name and location.  Don't choose the same file name and location or you'll write over the original. You will then have a chance to edit the meta data, I just click OK on this dialog.

If you choose to save it as an mp3 you will get this dialog.  Don't worry this only happens the first time.

Audacity, due to patent constrictions is not allowed to ship this dll (a software file that provides some functions), so you have to install it.  The Audacity wiki has a page, here, to explain how to do this. -  in fact you'll get taken to that page, to the right section even (they detect your OS), if you click on the Download button.  If you are a Windows user here's the essential info (copied from the Audacity wiki page)

  1. Download an unzipped copy of the required lame_enc.dll here
     Left-click this link, do not right-click
  2. Do not open this file, but save it to your computer. As you will be using this .dll file directly for encoding it is recommended to save it into your Audacity installation folder. This is normally at C:\Program Files\Audacity. For me it is C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity.  

Just to be sure this worked I ran the new file through MixMeister BPM Analyzer.  And well it says my file is 87.48 BPM.  That's fine, in range, but I tried again, using Audacity, going for a target 92 and also 93 BPM. The 92 ended up at 89.42 and the 93 at 90.39.  I choose the 90.39 version, since it changed the original song by a lesser amount.  Don't ask me why this didn't work exactly, I think that the BPM detection isn't perfect.  It's always a good idea to double check the BPM using a tap for BPM tool.  I have done this for over a hundred songs and usual it works the first time, and its only occasionally that I have to tweak a song like this.  Anyway if you are curious to hear what the result sounds like here's a short sample.

One final thing to discuss is the ranges of BPM that can be changed. If I have a song that is 130 BPM or above I up it to 180.  Some songs sound too fast, but most, and pretty much everything over 150, sounds good.  Going down is harder, I usually put the limit at 100, but made an exception here at 104. Stuff less than 90, well I usually try taking songs over 70 to 90. You may notice that a lot of songs are in the 110 to 130 range, which is a great BPM to dance to, but usually don't sound good after tempo changes.  Still I was able to create a running playlist with almost all my favourite songs using Audacity.  I hope you can now too.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Introverted, Complex and Experimental

Wikipedia says post-punk is a genre that 'retains its root in the punk movement but is more introverted, complex and experimental'.  So here's two songs that fall into the post-puck genre for all the complex introverts out there to experiment with.  Both the tracks are available for free download at Epitonic.  Click on the song name to download, or the band name to go to their page on Epitonic, so you and listen first and read up a bit on the band. To be honest I don't listen to this style of music much in normal life, but I do while running/biking/gym-ing and these two songs aren't quite as hardcore as other post-punk songs.

Waiting (Too Late) by Colisem with a 89 BPM

Plastic Bag by Evergreen at 87 BPM

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Make Sure You Travel Far

This song, The Only Way, by Gotye is certainly the darkest song I have posted yet, its about death. But for me it still works, because I think it helps me be really alive to at least sometimes thinking about death.  Run, bike, swim, dance and love now, you'll be dead soon enough.  OK I'll stop pretending to be Eckhart Tolle!

The BPM is 89 so perfect for a 180 SPM run. Enjoy yourself.

UPDATE : I don't know how I missed this, but the last few days I have been thinking / reading so much about Micah True's disappearance and finally him being found dead.  It's strange to mourn someone you never met, but I am mourning him. No wonder I picked this song. RIP Caballo Blanco.

Calm down now baby
The end of the journey's in sight
You've travelled so far love
Now all of the stars are aligned
Say goodbye (I don't want to)
Don't you fight (I don't want to)
Leaving your life's no easy ride

Monday, 2 April 2012

Catch-up March 2012

Here is the catch-up list for March on Spotify, Run To The Beat March 2012 180BPM.

The two dimmed tracks aren't available on Spotify, you need to have them in you personal library for Spotify to add them, but both of them are from the 6 free songs that you can easily download them.