Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Online radio

There's a lot out there right now, so much to choose from! And so much is free!

I love my Launch station. I've been listening and rating music for long enough for it to get pretty familiar with me (I'm a Ratings Master, with a current total of 23,181 ratings - yes, I'm a bit obsessive). They also have tons of other stations to listen to. Pretty good bang for something I've never given any money to. Not that I don't want to, but my home computer's a mac and they don't support OSX. Also, lately it keeps telling me that every 7th or 8th song I'm listening to is The Battle Of Epping Forest (which is a good song, but that's not what's playing, and it's throwing my last.fm stats off!). Sorry guys, once you support OSX and fix your tagging issue I'll send you money, but until you do you won't get a dime from me.

Radio Io is another great place to go for themed stations. Limited free access and better access with subscriptions. Personally, I flip back & forth between the 80s, 70s, Eclectic and Rock stations, and they're adding new ones all the time - I notice there's a new History station and they've even added an all Grateful Dead station, if you're so inclined...

Podcasts are also pretty damn cool - I've been listening to CBC feeds, Strongbad e-mails, the Crazy Daisy hour, Harry Shearer's radio show, They Might Be Giants... and I'm even considering trying one for myself. Ah, the internet's a wonderful thing.

But what's new on the horizon? Pandora is a great recent addition to the online music world - six years ago a bunch of musicians got together to create what ended up being the 'Music Genome Project' - they've listened to music by over 10,000 artists and categorized each track according to its tendencies (vocal harmonies, for example), and created a great interface for listening and customizing stations. Also offered in free and subscribed versions.

Upshot? I haven't listened to an actual radio myself for months. I can't deal with the commercials, the sycophantic DJs and the lack of specialization. I'm just too spoiled now.

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