The Music Shall Never Stop
I’ve finally broke down and decided to let Mozy (http://mozy.com) backup my music collection. Unfortunately this means that I’m gonna need to leave my music drive attached to my home PC for the next six hundred years. This might’ve caused a problem for me at work ‘cause I need music to keep me sane as I plow through my fairly significant workload. Why isn’t it a problem? Well, it’s ‘cause there’s a fair number of sites that’ll stream music for me without too much effort on my part. Let me tell you about a few.
I think this is my favorite right now. The fine folks over at http://8tracks.com have built a fantastic model for streaming music. Their premise is that using humans to curate a collection of tunes does a better job than any algorithm. I totally agree with the concept and most of the time the mixes are amazing. I’ve found that the best results come from finding folks who’ve created a great mix and following ‘em so that you get updates on any new stuff they create. I have a whole stable of folks who consistently make fantastic lists that I enjoy listening to. Another neat thing about 8Tracks is that you’re going to be exposed to music that you haven’t heard before and that’s always a good thing.
I used their API to build the Weekly Mix Challenge and I’m listening to the site as I write this.
http://last.fm has a fair amount going for it in this context. If you’re like me then you’re pretty damn obsessed with scrobbling your tunes. As a result I find that a) I have a fairly comprehensive radio station of my tracks. But even better is the “Recommended Radio”. Based upon other folks who’ve listened to and loved similar tracks, the Recommended Radio plays tracks that you’re pretty sure to love. You can also create stations based upon artists or genres. I’m pretty sure their decision algorithm is based upon the user community so it can go sideways from time to time but it’s a great source of tunes. Hell, I found out that the lead singer to the Arctic Monkeys has fronted another band! How cool is that? You can access their radio functionality at http://www.last.fm/listen.
What kind of DJ would I be if I didn’t plug my station! Eve Radio has some really fantastic DJ’s. Alas, I can’t listen to ‘em at work ‘cause the port’s blocked but if you can, venture over to http://complete.gamingradio.net/everadio. Small little private internet radio stations are really returning to the roots of radio. Each DJ has their own style and approach. Think of WKRP. You’re likely to find a DJ you really enjoy at some point during the week. Especially if you listen between 8pm and 11pm EST. I highly recommend the best internet radio station in the cosmos.
I have to be honest… It’s been some time since I’ve used Pandora (http://pandora.com). But I still have a soft spot in my heart for my very first effective list. It’s entitled “Girly Punky Ska Stuff”. I seeded it with The Dance Hall Crashers and it’s provided me some really good bands to explore… I blame Pandora for the Dollyrots, The Soviettes, The Randies and a plethora of other bands. It’s good stuff.
As much as I love to have my music drive with me, I’m finding that there are enough services available so that I can get my music fix. That’s saying quite a bit ‘cause I’m quite the junky.