In 2001, Kate and I made a big mistake: we bought tickets to see Depeche Mode at what was then the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester. It’s not that we dislike them, it’s just that we consequently did not have enough money to see James perform one week later at the same venue.
Ordinarily this would not be an issue. After all, James would perform in their home town again.
Watching BBC NorthWest Tonight on the evening of 7th December 2001, a week after we had seen Depeche Mode, we saw the flaw in our plan. Tim Booth was leaving the band he had fronted for eighteen years or so. Kate and I had spent years failing to see James. I had caught them on their 1992 acoustic tour, when they avoided Manchester and instead played a fine set at the Town and Country Club in Leeds. Kate had completely missed out on them live.
We were, to say the least, annoyed. Ever since the release of Laid in 1994, James had been my favourite band-that-actually-does-any-work (Ian Brown and John Squire being rather too keen having a holiday for my other favourite band to be a realistic live proposition) and I was one of that limited number of people who genuinely had fallen in love with the group before the release of Gold Mother (only by a matter of weeks, mind).
It was, then, without any hesitation that I bought the live DVD. Up until now this has been heard only rarely for one simple reason: iPods do not play DVDs.
Now, thanks to two pieces of software, this is about to change. MacTheRipper performs the useful task of extracting the audio (a forum post explains how) and the snappily titled AIFF from PCM converts the files to something iTunes can use.
Users of more recent iPods may well be pleased to see that this software can also be used to put video on their devices.