Liner Notes (January 18th, 2019)

I cut the tip of my finger while cooking dinner the night before I sit down and type the most I do all week. That was some brilliant work on my part. In this week’s roundup, I offer brief early thoughts on the new PUP record, pontificate about Blink-182 working with The Chainsmokers, re-listen to The Ataris and Zebrahead, and go through the rest of my musical diet from the past week. The entertainment roundup is mostly thoughts on more Batman comic books and needing a little break from overly dramatic movies after last week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (January 11th, 2019)

In this week’s newsletter I write about my search for the best Mac Last.fm scrobbling app, Linea Sketch, two Shortcuts I really loved this week, being known as “that AbsolutePunk.net guy,” the new album from FIDLAR, Tarakany!, and listening to stuff from our staff “best of 2018” list. I also run through my usual media diet from the past week, including a lot of depressing (but good!) movies (like Minding the Gap), and give my thoughts on the final two trades in Scott Snyder’s Batman run. There’s also a playlist of ten songs I loved this week and my usual sarcasm.

The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Best of 2018 (Encore Episode 160)

We are back with a special episode of Encore to talk about our favorite albums (and other things) of 2018. I am joined by Craig Manning as we run down our personal best of 2018 lists as well as the full contributor list. We talk about surprises, sleeper albums, disappointments, and try and work through why certain albums ended up in certain spots.

Liner Notes (January 4th, 2019)

Well, here we have the first newsletter of 2019.

In this week’s roundup, I rank Thursday albums, share website plans for the coming week, talk about a few fonts and automation tools I like, and do my usual weekly media diet rundown. There are also links to ten songs I loved this week, and the supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Jason Tate’s Top Albums of 2018

Another year is in the books, and I must say, this was one of my favorite years for music in a long while. I felt like I was discovering new music, or a new album to fall in love with, on a regular basis. And then the albums that ended up connecting with me, really hit me. It’s comforting to know that even when the rest of the world can feel like a mess, music still can find a way to cut through and make things feel a little better, if only for the duration of a great song.

After much deliberation, I’ve put together my favorite music, movies, tv shows, books, and apps from the past year. I’ve included playlists where appropriate, and I hope you’ll find something that will connect with you the way it has me.

Liner Notes (December 28th, 2018)

Damn, this is the final Liner Notes of 2018.

In this week’s roundup, I recap the holiday week and my favorite gifts, share some thoughts on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, go through my usual weekly media diet (heavy on movies, light on music this week), and share ten songs to ring in 2019. I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the year. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (December 21st, 2018)

This is the second to last Liner Notes before the end of 2018. This year has been impossibly long while flying by at a record pace. It makes absolutely no sense. I hope everyone is gearing up for a nice weekend and preparing to spend the holidays in whatever way makes you happiest. I plan to spend some time offline, reading, and enjoying the company of family. As a little holiday gift, I’m making this version of Liner Notes, which are usually exclusive to supporters, free for all.

This week’s roundup includes my ranking of All Time Low albums. After discovering these “do teens know 2000’s pop-punk” videos on YouTube (and immediately feeling old as hell), I got on a pop-punk kick and ended up listening to their catalog all week. I also share my thoughts after spending a week with Apple Music on the Amazon Echo, ten songs I loved this week, and, of course, my weekly media diet. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

Liner Notes (December 14th, 2018)

I’m ready for the weekend.

In this week’s roundup I talk about the massive process of cleaning out my iTunes/Apple Music library, including finally splitting up a bunch of live sessions I had ripped into individual tracks, getting back into some comic books, and then go through my usual weekly media diet from the past week, plus share ten songs I loved. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (December 7th, 2018)

December marches on!

In this week’s roundup, I write a little about Smart Playlists in iTunes and how I use them for holiday music, talk about wanting to ramp up my comic book reading again, share thoughts on the music and entertainment I enjoyed this week, and post the weekly ten song playlist. It’s been a very Copeland, Japanese House, and The 1975 dominating week around my house. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide

In what has become a December tradition, I’ve put together a little holiday gift guide of things that I think are worth your time. I have also updated my recommendations posts for movies, tv shows, books, software, podcasts, headphones, and miscellaneous stuff around the house, so the things on this list will be more focused on stuff not included in those posts and more geared toward things I’ve come across in the past year or so and think would make excellent gifts. As always, I only recommend things I’ve personally used and loved.

I used my Amazon affiliate link when the product showed up there, which gives our website a slight percentage back if you make a purchase and therefore helps fund our continued existence.

If you’d like to get me a gift, becoming a supporting member or gifting another user a supporting membership for a year would mean the world to me.

Liner Notes (November 30th, 2018)

In this week’s roundup I do a way-too-early ranking of The 1975’s albums, talk about the next big forum feature I’m working on, go through my usual weekly media diet, and share ten songs I loved this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (November 23rd, 2018)

I finished this up early, so I figured I’d post it now. I hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend and getting filled up on good food (and booze) and then taking mid-day naps on the couch.

For the Thanksgiving edition of this roundup, I rank my favorite Thanksgiving foods, give some thoughts on new music, and give my regular media diet roundup from the past week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Home Screen Icon Creator

MacStories:

I’ve always been intrigued by Workflow’s implementation of ‘Add to Home Screen’ – a feature that Apple kept in the transition to the Shortcuts app, and which allows users to create home screen icons to launch their favorite shortcuts. So earlier this month, I decided I wanted to learn how Shortcuts was handling the creation of home screen icons.

After a few weeks of experiments and refinements, I ended up reverse-engineering Shortcuts’ ‘Add to Home Screen’ implementation, which turns out to be an evolution of Workflow’s existing hack based on Safari and web clips.

Federico Viticci and I must have been playing around with this stuff at the same time. His implementation and solution is way better.

Liner Notes (November 16th, 2018)

This week went by insanely fast.

In this week’s roundup, I rank New Found Glory albums, talk a little about my thinking behind rolling out the new ad system, discover some cool new iPad apps, and go through my usual media diet from the past week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (November 9th, 2018)

Another week has come and passed. As I sit here writing this, I can see the leaves falling from the trees, and we’re already making plans to cook turkeys and put together gift lists. I love this time of the year.

In this week’s roundup, I rank Star Wars movies, talk about new iPad apps I love, recommend digitizing your paper files, give some first impressions of the new Andrew McMahon album, and go through my usual weekly media diet. Plus, a playlist of ten songs I loved this week. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Site Update: A Few Changes to the Ad System Coming

One of the biggest challenges to running this website has been figuring out a business model that works, and that allows me to sleep well at night. This website is my full-time job, and the income it provides is how I put food on the table. My goal from the start has been to find a way to make this website the only job I have to have.1 Right now I do some consulting work to make up the difference between what the website brings in and what my family needs. The vast majority of the website’s revenue comes from our readers and our supporter system. It’s because of all the people that read this website and visit our forums that it exists.

Over the past two years I’ve played around with a few other ways to bring in additional revenue, the main one being advertising. I set up a self-serve advertising system where anyone could buy display ads on the website, and I priced them way under what most websites charge for the number of impressions they would get. Unfortunately, they never sold as well as I hoped they would. So, it’s time to try something different again.


  1. The long-term goal was, and continues to be, to hopefully find a way to expand the website into an entity that could support more than one person.

Liner Notes (November 2nd, 2018)

November is here. Leaves are now covering the ground and the switch from spooky movies to holiday cheer can begin. I’m already getting excited about Thanksgiving and itching to decorate the place for Christmas. I want to take a quick moment to encourage everyone reading this to make a plan to vote, vote early if you are able, and get your friends involved as well. The mid-term elections are extremely important.

This week’s roundup has me ranking Yellowcard albums (it was time), talking about the new iPads announced this week, and going through my usual weekly media diet. Some good movies were watched, some great music was heard. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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Liner Notes (October 26th, 2018)

It finally got cold enough to where I had to turn on the fireplace — only to find out that the pilot light wouldn’t ignite. Which, of course, meant I had to wait to have it fixed. After a few days of being sad, it has been fixed, and I’ve turned it on for the first time this season. It’s gloriously warm and the cats are cuddled up next to it like it’s the only thing in this world that matters. They may just be right.

This week’s roundup finds me ranking Anberlin albums and going through my usual media diet. There’s also a playlist of music I loved this week and some way-too-early talk about holiday decorations. The supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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