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Archive - August, 2010

Running Playlist: iTunes top 10 BPM analysis: 08-31-2010

We have some strong new entrants to the top 10 this week.

Unfortunatelly, Katy Perry is still in number 1 with Teenage Dream, but there is still some hope left in the world sinc Taylor Swift made it in with Mine at number 9.

We also got a new good song for a running playlist from Ke$ha, Take It Off, at number 6. Just want to mention that this is not a comment on the musical quality of the song, just that it would work in a running playlist… enough said…

I’ve bolded the songs that would make the cut for a running playlist.

Here’s the list:

Name Time Artist BPM Album Genre Get it on Amazon.com Get it on iTunes
Teenage Dream 03:47 Katy Perry 122 Teenage Dream – Single Pop Teenage Dream Teenage
Just the Way You Are 03:40 Bruno Mars 111 Just the Way You Are – Single Pop Just The Way You Are Just
Dynamite 03:23 Talo Cruz 117 Rokstarr Pop Dynamite Dynamite
Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) 04:43 Eminem 92 Recovery Hip Hop/Rap. Hardcore Rap, Rap Love The Way You Lie (Feat. Rihanna) Love
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) 03:42 Usher 120 DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) – Single R&B/Soul, Rock DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love DJ
Take it Off 03:35 Ke$ha 124 Animal Pop Take It Off Take
I like it (Feat. Pitbull) 03:51 Enrique Iglesias 131 I like it (Feat. Pitbull) – Single Pop Latino, Latino I Like It I
Just a Dream 03:57 Nelly 89 Just a Dream – Single Hip Hop/Rap Just A Dream Just
Mine 03:51 Taylor Swift 120 Mine – Single Country, Pop Mine Mine
Magic (feat. Rivers Cuomo) 03:16 B.o.B 90 B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (Deluxe) Hip Hop/Rap, Alternative Rap Magic [Feat. Rivers Cuomo] Magic

You can also sample the songs here:

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Running Playlist: Music/Running/Playlist App review of the week: Metronome:

Running Playlist
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

What is a Metronome?
A metronome is a device that creates regular ticks (beats) and is used by some musicians to maintain tempo.

As I mention in multiple places on this site, running to a BPM of 180 beats per minute is the optimal foot turnover that a runner should strive for and a metronome is the best tool to use to do this.

If you run with an iPhone, you are in luck because there are dozens of metronome apps out there that you could use.

Most of these apps also allow you to listen to music if you start playing music before you launch the app, thus you get the benefit of running with music and the benefit of having a metronome constantly ticking to help pace yourself.

Since most of these apps were designed for musicians, when choosing an app, you need to make sure it allows you to set the beats per minute you are looking for (180 BPM), and also that you can set the time signature (that is, how often does it produce a “special” tick, which I’m sure is important for music, but if you hear a different sound every 3 ticks, it gets confusing when you run).

I set the time signature to 2/4 so that I have one “regular” tick and one “special” tick and I can associate each of them with my right or left foot touching the ground.

It will take some getting used to running at 180 BPM if you’re not doing so already, but if you keep using a metronome, and controlling how often your feet touch the ground, you will find yourself getting faster very quickly.

Here are links to a couple of my favorite metronome apps:
Free simple and does the job:
Metronome

Not so free, has lots of cool features and does a lot more:
Beats

And of course, you can just search iTunes for the term “metronome” and you’ll find plenty more.

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Running Playlist: Playlist of the week: 08-27-2010

Running Playlist

Welcome to another running playlist of the week.

This playlist is 58 minutes long and was designed to give you a good workout (i.e. high BPM songs) with a long cool down session at the end.

One thing to note is the 10 minute song at the end of the list, which should allow you to keep a steady pace and slow down your run over a longer period of time, thus helping with recovery.

Here’s the list:

Name Time Artist BPM Album Genre Get it on Amazon.com Get it on iTunes
Change Your Mind 00:03:11.0 147 Hot Fuss The Killers Alternative/Punk Change Your Mind Change
I'm In 00:04:33.0 130 Defying Gravity Keith Urban Country I’m In I'm
Everything
Louder Than
 Everything Else
00:07:59.0 149 Bat Out Of Hell II – Back Into Meat Loaf Rock Everything Louder Than Everything Else Everything
Rockin'
Robin
00:02:34.0 148 The Ultimate Collection The Jackson 5 Soul / R&B Rockin’ Robin Rockin'
Can't Stand
The Heartache
00:03:25.0 143 Skid Row Skid Row Rock Can’t Stand The Heartache Can't
Good Girls
Go To Heaven
(Bad Girls Go Everywhere)
00:06:53.0 135 Bat Out Of Hell II – Back Into Meat Loaf Rock Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) Good
I like it
(Feat. Pitbull)
00:03:51.0 131 I like it (Feat. Pitbull) – Single Enrique Iglesias Pop Latino, Latino I Like It I
Shot Through
The Heart
00:04:19.0 154 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi Rock Shot Through The Heart Shot
Angel 00:05:35.0 144 A Little South Of Sanity – Disc One Aerosmith Rock Angel Angel
Fragile
awareness
00:02:41.0 155 Real Feelness The Pattern Alternative rock Fragile Awareness Fragile
DJ Got Us
Fallin' In Love (feat. Pitbull)
00:03:42.0 120 DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love (feat. Pitbull) –
Single
Usher R&B/Soul, Rock DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love DJ
Coma 00:10:14.0 127 Use Your Illusion I Guns N' Roses Hard Rock Coma [Explicit] Coma

You can sample the songs here:

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Running Playlist: 5K Playlist of the week: 08-26-2010

Running Playlist

Today’s list is designed to help you run a fast 5k. It’s timed at 47 minutes, so even slower runners can benefit from using it.

If you notice, all the songs on this list have a BPM of 150 or higher, which means that they will help you stay pumped and energized throughout your run.

They are also ordered in an escalating order so you start out fast, and build up more speed as the running playlist progresses until the end of the run where you have the fastest song for a fast finish.

If you already know your 5K time, you should probably clip this list to match it so you get the benefits of the faster songs being at the end.

Obviously, feel free to move songs around to match your running style, e.g. if you like to start very fast, then slow down a bit and then go fast again, you should move the lower BPM songs to the middle.

And now – the running playlist:

Name Time Artist BPM Album Genre Get it on Amazon.com Get it on iTunes
Live And Let Die 03:04 Guns N' Roses 152 Use Your
Illusion I
Hard Rock Live And Let Die Live
Midnight /
Tornado
04:18 Skid Row 152 Skid Row Rock Midnight / Tornado Midnight/Tornado
Jimmy Jimmy 03:56 Madonna 152 True Blue Pop Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy
You Make My
Dreams
03:11 Hall & Oates 153 The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates Rock/Pop You Make My Dreams (Remastered 2003) You
No Surrender 04:02 Bruce Springsteen 154 Born in the USA Rock No Surrender No
Shot Through The Heart 04:19 Bon Jovi 154 Bon Jovi Rock Shot Through The Heart Shot
Fragile awareness 02:41 The Pattern 155 Real Feelness Alternative rock Fragile Awareness Fragile
Don't Stop Me Now 03:30 Queen 156 Greatest Hits I Rock Don’t Stop Me Now Don't
Wrong Night 02:51 Reba McEntire 156 If You See Him
(Australia Limi
Country Wrong Night Wrong
I'm So
Excited
03:53 The Pointer Sisters 160 The Best Of The Pointer Sisters Rock/Pop I’m So Excited I'm
Danger Zone 03:31 Kenny Loggins 161 Top Gun Soundtrack Danger Zone (Album Version) Danger
The Evil That Men Do 04:36 Iron Maiden 163 Seventh Son of
a Seventh Son
Hard Rock The Evil That Men Do (Album Version) The
Cover 03:38 Engine Down 175 Engine Down Alternative rock Cover Cover

You can also listen to samples here:

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Running Playlist: Amazon top 10 BPM analysis: 08-25-2010

This week we have a new song in the top 10. “For The Summer” comes in at number 7. It’s not a very good song for a running playlist since it has a relatively low BPM of 75, but this isn’t a comment on the overall quality of the song.

I’m hoping that we get some higher BPM songs in the top 10 lists in the future, because we are scraping the 120 BPM level which is borderline for a good running playlist song.

I’ve bolded the better songs for your running playlist. I would definitely like to hear your thoughts on this list, so feel free to post your comments below. And now, the list:

Name Time Artist BPM Album Genre Get it on Amazon.com Get it on iTunes
Dynamite 03:23 Talo Cruz 117 Rokstarr Pop Dynamite Dynamite
Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) 04:43 Eminem 92 Recovery Hip Hop/Rap. Hardcore Rap, Rap Love The Way You Lie (Feat. Rihanna) Love
California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) 03:56 Katy Perry 125 California Gurls Pop California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) California
Teenage Dream 03:47 Katy Perry 122 Teenage Dream – Single Pop Teenage Dream Teenage
Just the Way You Are 03:40 Bruno Mars 111 Just the Way You Are – Single Pop Just The Way You Are Just
I like it (Feat. Pitbull) 03:51 Enrique Iglesias 131 I like it (Feat. Pitbull) – Single Pop Latino, Latino I Like It I
For The Summer 03:51 Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs 75 God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise Rock God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise [+Digital Booklet] For
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) 03:42 Usher 120 DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) – Single R&B/Soul, Rock DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love DJ
Airplanes [Feat. Hayley Williams Of Paramore] (Explicit Album Version) 03:01 B.o.B 93 Airplanes [Feat. Hayley Williams Of Paramore] Dance & DJ Airplanes [Feat. Hayley Williams Of Paramore] (Explicit Album Version) Airplanes
Ridin’ Solo 03:34 Jason Derülo 91 Jason Derülo Pop Ridin’ Solo Ridin'

You can also sample this music here:

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Running Playlist: iTunes top 10 BPM analysis: 08-24-2010

There were no new songs in the iTunes top 10 this week.

It is troubling that Katy Perry is number one. I was hoping she’d drop out. At least “California Gurls” is finally out. Still, not very high quality music for a running playlist.

I’ve bolded the songs that would make the cut for a running playlist although I’m not very happy with the quality this week.

Here’s the list:

Name Time Artist BPM Album Genre Get it on Amazon.com Get it on iTunes
Teenage Dream 03:47 Katy Perry 122 Teenage Dream – Single Pop Teenage Dream Teenage
Dynamite 03:23 Talo Cruz 117 Rokstarr Pop Dynamite Dynamite
Right Above it (Feat. Drake) 04:36 Lil Wayne 75 Right Above it (Feat. Drake) Hip Hop/Rap Right Above It [Explicit] Right
Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) 04:43 Eminem 92 Recovery Hip Hop/Rap. Hardcore Rap, Rap Love The Way You Lie (Feat. Rihanna) Love
Just the Way You Are 03:40 Bruno Mars 111 Just the Way You Are – Single Pop Just The Way You Are Just
I like it (Feat. Pitbull) 03:51 Enrique Iglesias 131 I like it (Feat. Pitbull) – Single Pop Latino, Latino I Like It I
Just a Dream 03:57 Nelly 89 Just a Dream – Single Hip Hop/Rap Just A Dream Just
DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) 03:42 Usher 120 DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull) – Single R&B/Soul, Rock DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love DJ
Magic (feat. Rivers Cuomo) 03:16 B.o.B 90 B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray (Deluxe) Hip Hop/Rap, Alternative Rap Magic [Feat. Rivers Cuomo] Magic
Cooler Than Me (Single Mix) 03:34 Mike Posner 130 Cooler Than Me – Single Pop ,Rock Cooler Than Me (Single Mix) Cooler

You can also sample the songs here:

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Running Playlist: Music/Running/Playlist App review of the week: Cadence:

I had a chance to play with the Cadence app over the weekend, and here’s my review:

What it does:

The cadence app is a very simple app. All it does is scan you music and let you find songs that match a certain BPM you are looking for. This simplicity is also its greatest strength.
It’s very easy to use and finds songs by BPM so you can run or exercise to the BPM of your choosing.

Does it work?

Well, the answer to this is yes and no.
The most important question really, is it accurate? if it’s not, then the whole thing is a waste of time.

I’ve been studying songs’ BPM for a while now, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring out the bpm by just tapping to the beat. I don’t know if this is a testament to my skill or to that of the app, but in most cases (I’d say about 70-80% of the time), it’s spot on to my manual beats.

The problem starts when it comes to slower songs, or at least that’s where I spotted it.

It has a very hard time scanning and getting bpm right on a slow song and it makes a huge mess when it does.

One very clear example was Barry Manilow’s Mandy. it showed the bpm for that to be 219. if that was the case, running to Mandy would give me a heart attack because that is a VERY high BPM. but that’s not the correct bpm for that song.

The app is also limited by the size of your music collection. a typical iphone has usually around 16gb of storage. if you use all of its features, you will have some videos, some books, and some apps which don’t leave much for a very large music collection. if your collection is at around 1000 songs, which is a pretty good size, you’ll be limited to a small amount of songs for each bpm you choose. of course, you can expand the range, but the more you expand it, the less you need the app.

Overall though, I think this app does add value to a run. I would rate it at 3 out of 5.

Get the app here:

Cadence

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