Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blah blah blah music blah blah.

Anyone who's spent too much time around me in the last couple of years has been forced to listen to me extol the virtues of Yahoo Radio. I discovered a while back that I could create my own customized radio station just by listing my favorite genres, artists, and songs, then listen to it all day long while tutoring or folding laundry or whatever - for free. (Sure, you had to put up with a few commercials every hour. And you could pay, like, $5 a month for commercial-free, but I'm too cheap. Every dollar spent on tunes is a dollar not spent on awesome scrapbook paper.) Over a period of time I refined my station to reflect my dizzyingly wide array of musical tastes. Because where on earth can you go from Death Cab to Steely Dan, followed immediately by a Baroque concerto, the Crunchy Frog sketch by Monty Python, and then a couple of tunes by Sinatra? Only on the internet, that's where. And I liked that it would suggest new stuff based on my preferences, so I discovered some bands I'd never heard before (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, say, or Rogue Wave) as well as rediscovering some older ones (I had no idea I liked Guster or Joni Mitchell so much). Of course it took a little while to winnow out the music I hear far too often on the real radio, as well as what I just plain don't like. For example, the computer assumes that if I like Led Zeppelin, I must also like AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne. This is an incorrect assumption. Van Morrison, yes; Rod Stewart, no. Dave Matthews Band, yes; Green Day, no. You get the picture. But after a couple of years I had something like 1,000 ratings saved so I had it pretty well tailored to my preferences (including about eleventy-million different recordings of Ants Marching, which after all these years I still think is pretty much the best song ever).

So anyway, now that I am staying home again I logged into Yahoo so I could listen to some free music and I found out, it was gone! Apparently they sold the whole Yahoo Music concern to CBS or something, and all of the user-customized stations got deleted! Which isn't a problem on the scale of earthquakes or pirates, or even layoffs, but it's a bit of an inconvenience. So I've been looking around for an acceptable substitute. I found out about Pandora on a scrapbooking blog, actually, so I've been trying that out. It's free, which is the primary recommendation, and you can listen to it on your iPhone, assuming you're hip enough to own an iPhone. (I'm not even hip enough to set foot inside the store.) Pandora is definitely different than Yahoo, better in some ways (like the profanity filter, which never seemed to work on Yahoo. This is a problem when you like Ben Folds as much as I do. Great music, lotta swears.) If this doesn't work out the way I want it to I'll try another site; any suggestions? I know about Rhapsody but I think you have to pay for that one. Have I ever mentioned being cheap?

Also, speaking of music, one of my favorite new-ish shows is Chuck (which is in its second season) and they have really been bringing it, soundtrack-wise. I've been starting to annoy Matt because every episode I'm like, "Oh man, this song is aaaawesooome!" and then he can't hear the dialogue or whatever. Enter TV Show Music... problem solved.

3 witty remarks on "Blah blah blah music blah blah."

jdhoosier said...

Pandora rules. Yes. And you can get it for your Blackberry now, too, if you're intimidated by the blinding whiteness of the Apple Store and products therein.

Pandora rules.

Joni on 3:56 PM said...

Oh, I can get it for my Blackberry, too! What a relief. ;-)

Can I get it for my $20-from-Target, pay-as-you-go Virgin Mobile phone with a dead spot right in the middle of the screen? No? At least I can listen on my computer.

Anna on 5:17 PM said...

I love Pandora. :) And I have a $20Virgin Mobile phone from Target, too! Can't beat the $15 every three month auto top-up. At least if you're like me and almost never use your phone. Last time I checked, I had like, $60 of airtime saved up. One of these days I'm going to have to start calling people....

My verification word is "funstorm" - I'm about ready for one of those after 10 hours at work.


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