Posted by pete on 2nd April 2007
Archive for the 'Music' Category
Posted by pete on 17th February 2007
I’ve been looking for this application for so long and I never knew it. Peel rocks! I love having browser-based feed readers, but there were just some feeds that I only read on my MBP, because that’s where I keep my music. Now, I can keep my music feeds in Peel and other feeds in Google Reader. Plus, Peel makes it a bit easier getting those juicy MP3 into iTunes, adding them directly as I download them. It’s still a beta release and will cost $15 when it’s officially open, but, man oh man, this is good stuff. I’d pay for it now if I had the chance.
Posted by pete on 6th January 2007
Lord help me if a large catalog of legal, DRM-free music ever becomes available on-line; an iTunes (Music) Store without the terrible DRM. I’m an eMusic subscriber now and it’s pretty good, but I’d love to have more non-indy content. Well, I’d love it, bit our bank account probably wouldn’t, unless it’s available under terms similar to those of eMusic: 90 (or 75, if you’re a newbie) downloads a month for $20.
Posted by pete on 3rd November 2006
Posted by pete on 26th May 2006
A couple days ago, I found this Ars article on eMusic. I had seen their ads recently, but wrote them off as just another DRM-laden peddler. Turns out I was wrong. They offer DRM-free tunes from many different indie lables. While they don’t have many (any?) acts from major labels, they have a very deep and wide catalog: the long tail. A lot of jazz, classical, world, and root music too.
They offer a 25-song free trial. I was a bit annoyed by having to sign up for an account before getting this, but it makes sense as a method to avoid abuse. I signed up for their lowest-level account: $9.99/mo for 40 songs/mo. After I download my 25 songs, they gave me the chance to drop out or continue. I think there’s also a 14 day limit, but little over 24 hours after I signed up, I’ve used up my free songs and mostly used up my 40 songs for the month. (You can get “booster packs” to suppliment your monthly allotment.)
This could be what I’ve been looking for for quite a while. It’s easy to use (4 out of 5 stars), integrates decently with iTunes (2.5/5), has a pretty good catalog (3/5), and the price seems reasonable ($0.25/song and less — 4/5). I think I could spend a lot of time here (like with the iTunes Music Store, before I swore off DRM) and get a lot of music (unlike the ITMS, where tracks are $0.99/ea).
If you’re at all interested in signing up, please drop me a note either via email or in the comments and I’ll send you an invite. For every person who signs up through me, I get 50 free songs.
Posted by pete on 24th April 2006
As much as I love music, its power to transport across geography and time never ceases to amaze me.
One minute, I’m here in the office listening to my iRiver, the next, “Whole of the Moon” by the Waterboys comes on and there I am, back in my junior year in high school. And I’m not upset about it.
Or maybe it’s just the lack of sleep.
Posted by pete on 4th February 2006
A little over a year ago, I posted about how incredibly crappy the radio is around here in northern Virginia. This, as far as I know, hasn’t changed. It’s still crappy music radio and possibly even more crappy. The good news is that I’ve found a few sources of new music. First, I eventually did get XM, although kind of ironically, I spend most of my time listening to the comedy channels. The 80s music station just serves to remind us that, while there was a lot of good 80s music, a lot of it as crappy too.
To me, the most interesting discovery was Salon Audiofile. Just about every day, the provide at least one link to some free MP3 download from somewhere around the Internet. Every-so-often, they’ll have an exclusive track. I’ve heard a huge amount of good music from them and got turned onto Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Brujeria, Clap You Hands Say Yeah, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Brendan Benson (the links I had have expired), Alex Chilton, and Great Lakes Myth Society (reminds me of being in Buffalo, for some reason), to name just a tiny few. It’s highly worth the $35/yr membership cost.
I’ve also recently discovered Stereogum. They have a download feed like Salon’s Audiofile, but it’s free. I haven’t had the time to listen to the tracks I’ve gotten from them yet, but it looks promising.
So anyway, this past year’s been pretty good musically. Not the best, but definitely the best in at least 10 years. It’s pretty refreshing to hear all this great new stuff.
Posted by pete on 29th April 2005
Wow, I just discovered 80s Lyric Quiz. Did pretty well:
But then, I’ve got something like 50 80s compilation CDs at home and one sure way to have my lose time is to have me start looking at the 80s playlists on the iTunes Music Store. I guess I should have scored better, eh?
Posted by pete on 21st January 2005
OK. It’s almost 4:30 AM now. 4:30 _AM_. I shouldn’t be posting anything, but, hey, I’m here, so guess what? I’m gonna.
I’m stuck in the iTunes Music Store. So many songs. So many good songs. So many good songs that I have somewhere or had. I used to love music. I’d listen to all kinds and tons of new stuff. Some actually stuck. It was great. Now, I hardly ever listen to music, just NPR.
What happened? I think it’s the environment. Back in college, both undergrad and grad, and, to a lesser extent, high school, I was surrounded by new music and got exposed to all kinds of interesting stuff, but now, after leaving the colllege environment, it’s gone. Since leaving that ivory tower, I’ve lived in the Albany, NY-area and have spent several (one, two… holy crap! I’ll have been down here nine years next month!) in northern Virginia, just outside of D.C. The only music I’ve been able to surround myself with has been commercial radio. In Albany, it wasn’t bad; I had 102.7 WEQX, which — at least then — played a lot of great, varied music. I’d hear everything from bluegrass to metal.
D.C., on the other hand, has just crap crap crap radio. So much so, that I’ve had to shut most music out and just listen to an NPR station. Every-so-often, I’ll hear some interesting music on All Things Considered or whatnot, but mostly, just talk. Mind you, it’s great talk, but it doesn’t move me in the same way as music.
I miss that part of me. I spend time going through the ITMS and it reminds me of that kind of discovery. It reminds me of all that good music out there that, because of the complete blandness of 99% of the radio stations out there, nobody’s gonna here. In the ITMS, I hear songs I haven’t heard in years and all kinds of memories come back over me. It’s so nice to revisit those times of my life (with the comfortable buffer of the years between…) that the music takes me back to. I need to try to re-connect to that.
I was out in L.A. last June and drove around quite a bit. Well, I didn’t quite drive much, but I spent a lot of time in the car. At least they had some good radio. I was flipping around betwen one or two _real_ alternative radio stations and NPR. It was a blast! Lots of new music. I even heard a Morrissy tune without wanting to hurl. Amazing….
Lisa, Grace, and I were visiting my parents and sisters (and new brother-in-law!) in Tucson in September. My mom had recently gotten a new car with XM radio. Dad, Lisa, Grace, and I took a drive up Mt. Lemmon one afternoon. Since Lis was driving, she (we got to control the radio. Much to dad’s shagrin, we listened to a lot of Fred. That was pretty good, but, in respect to dad (and Grace’s ears), we didn’t turn the volume up much beyond “barely audible,” so we didn’t get a good sample. I wonder if getting XM would help. I’m trying to think of other, cheaper, things I could do to get that spark ignited again, but I’m coming up blank. OK, at this time of the morning, most things come up blank in my brain. I’ve got to get to sleep…
Posted by pete on 29th December 2004
These guys rock. I first heard their Flaming Lips/Public Enemy mash-up “Are You a Visionary” from the album “Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots”. This was good, but “A Night at the Hip Hopera” is much better. If you love Queen or even just like them, but would like to hear something much fresher, fire up your favorite BitTorrent client and get downloading.