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Eric Biskin
Eric has moved indefinitely to Facebook and Tumblr. Sorry!
Eric has moved indefinitely to Facebook and Tumblr. Sorry!
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Well, folks, it seems my Google craze has officially ended, after being a very loyal follower of the company since 2010. In the past few months, Google has made some moves I consider to be unforgivable, and this year's I/O was a huge letdown. It is true that I still feel like Google has not been evil to the degree that all other corporations of its size always are. But for the first time, Google is now operating in a way that no longer caters to the consumers' wishes but rather only to Google's wishes.

Google+ was a bold move. It has so much more potential than Facebook ever will. But it was bad timing. Google: give up. Keep G+ running, but give up on your huge ambitions for the social network. Right now, you seem very, very desperate. So desperate that you are operating yourself completely around this one product: getting rid of other products in favor of G+ (with the usually-bogus excuse of "closing due to declining userbase"), buying up other companies solely so you can incorporate their products into G+, forcing all new Google Accounts to link to G+ profiles, and...The Internship, the Wizard to your Nintendo.

Let it happen. Stop forcing it. Facebook is probably going to really start dying within the next five years or so. Google+ will have its time! But now is not that time. And to many, especially the Facebook-worshippers, you look very, very, very evil right now. You have made it this far in the industry. Don't pull a Crapple, er, I mean an Apple.

I have few doubts that Google Reader is the website I visit the most, by far. I visit it (or the Android app) multiple times a day. I love it so, so much. Google+ could never hope to offer the simplicity and convenience and comprehensiveness of Reader, the ultimate feedcatcher. You are expecting all (or even most) of the bloggers and webcomic artists and fansites I follow to start regularly linking their posts on G+. Let me tell you: most of these people won't even know Reader is gone. So they won't change anything!

I will be switching to something called Feedly. Or something like that. And I will not only not start using G+ more often, I will be going on an indefinite G+ hiatus.

So to my followers and friends, I regret to inform you that this profile will be quiet for a while, effective immediately. I suggest you follow my new tumblog instead. (http://ezlospirit.tumblr.com/) That is quite active.

Don't be evil.

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#zreo  ( #zeldareorchestrated ) is closing down‽

Honestly, when I read this, tears came out of my eyes; I came that close to letting out a sob. This news is devastating. But to be honest, I knew it would happen someday. I just didn't think it would be so soon.

I have been wondering what had happened to Twilight Symphony, but it seems that the digital distribution fell through. Which is a shame, really. As a proud owner of a limited-edition 3-disk physical copy of the album, it pains me to learn that others' purchase of the digital edition through iTunes and other vendors will not help support the ZREO team for all of the hard work that its staff put into the project.

It was truly an honor to correspond with +Eric Buchholz in what was essentially the construction of the official ZREO YouTube channel early last year. Since I first began to listen to its music shortly after the OoT album was completed, I have always done my best to show my love for ZREO's output and dedication to making breathtaking arrangements. Heck, if I had had any training in music arrangement and I'd had the proper technology, I would have gladly contributed something myself! (Alas, I have never had any plans to get such training or equipment.) I feel that literally giving up about three weeks' worth of my free time in January 2012 was the ultimate show of gratitude to Zelda Reorchestrated, and I am proud to have been a part of that process.

Following the last Vokle presentation by Eric and +Jeron Moore, I stayed online for an extra 15-20 minutes and asked Eric a few more questions. The answer that still stands out to me was to my question regarding whether or not ZREO would return to its original single-track release schedule following the release of Twilight Symphony. He said that the team would occasionally release new tracks, but these would primarily be "Legacy" tracks, which would be like super-Redux tracks: new-ish arrangements of previously released tracks recorded using high-quality samples. Now it seems as if this will not happen, or at least not under the ZREO name. Which is made even more of a shame for me because I was thinking about and looking forward to hearing the "Legacy" tracks just this morning (or maybe that was yesterday).

A song that I have adopted almost as a sort of anthem to live by is "Everything Changes" from Pokémon. Because it's certainly true: everything changes. People do great things, and then eventually, they move on to do other great things; over the span of about ten years, the Beatles produced numerous albums filled with fantastic music, but after that, the band's members went their separate ways, and they all enjoyed successful solo careers (and half of them still do). I can only hope that the members of the ZREO team, too, go on to do great things now that the team is dissolving. And if Twilight Symphony and Symphony of the Goddesses are any indication, I don't think they'll have any problems! (Which reminds me: I still want the rest of the latter symphony on CD/MP3!)

ZREO's music has been some of my favorite music ever: spectacular arrangements of already-wonderful and -lovable themes. From now on, I will do my best to follow the work of the team's individual members, and I will also continue to get my Zelda arrangement dose from OverClocked ReMix. I will also continue to follow Pokémon Reorchestrated. And of course, even though ZREO will be gone, I will continue to listen to the amazing music that it released over the years, especially Twilight Symphony, which I have listened to many times over already and which has become my favorite album of all time.

I raise my glass of cream soda---nectar of the gods---to you, Project Z.R.E.O. Thanks for 8+ years of gracing the Internet and the online Zelda fan community with your music! I wish all of you all the best in the years to come!

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And...have some older, higher quality recordings! (Almost all song covers. Hence the name.)

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Coming Soon to YouTube! But for now, you can download the first 100 Phone Recordings II in MP3 and/or original AMR/WAV format via torrent! Check out my random a capella music/variety show now!

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I don't think I've ever really felt betrayed by +Google as a consumer until now. I use Google Reader more than almost any other website. It is my number-one source for news about my all of my favorite video game series and Google products and for new pages and strips of my favorite webcomics, all thanks to the 61 RSS/Atom feeds that I currently subscribe to...with 2 of them just added within the past two hours. Reader has been such a godsend and has always had a wonderful, easy-to-use interface that has also allowed me to share video game news with my friends directly via either Buzz or Google+. Now I will no longer have that ability.

I'm not going to be one of those "overreactor"-types who scream "I'M NOT USING GOOGLE STUFF ANYMORE" and think that someone at Google will both see their posts and also care because I'm more mature than that. And I don't actually hate Google for this because it's one of about four or five Google services other than Web Search that I use at least once a day. And I understand the company's reasoning behind this shutdown. But in the event that someone at Google does see this post, I just wanted to express my sorrow about this as one of the surprisingly-few people who has practically lived off of Google Reader as far as gathering information from the Internet goes. [sadface]

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Eric Biskin hung out with 1 person. <a class='ot-hashtag' href='https://plus.google.com/s/%23hangoutsonair'>#hangoutsonair</a>Zack Gordon
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