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some other things you can do with the internet - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-02-15 00:05
Subject: some other things you can do with the internet
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:calmcalm
Music:milla jovovich
I've been experimenting, this week, with music on the internet. And I'm an extremely happy bunny.
A few days ago someone told me about spotify, a Swedish outfit which provides streaming music in much the same way as internet radio. Apparently they've been in existence for a while, but up till now you've had to be invited by someone sending you a `token,' so it's been a word-of-mouth thing. However, spotify recently opened its doors to British users. You register for free, download the spotify player, then just search for artists, tracks or albums and you can drag and drop tracks to create playlists.
And it's not bad. Some bands and labels have refused to licence their material to spotify - The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Oasis are among them - but I've managed to find stuff as diverse as Vaughan Williams's Job (a terrible version conducted, it pains me to say, by the twinkly Andrew Davies) `White Punks On Dope,' Kevin Ayers, Anna Maria Jopek, and Milla Jovovich's The Divine Comedy. And yes, Thog, it's every bit as good as you said it was, and then some. You get audio ads every now and again at the end of a track, but they're not intrusive and I listened to it all last night and only heard one ad.
Anyway, I dug around a bit (and forgive me if I'm preaching to the converted, this is new territory to me) and found Last.fm and we7. I haven't actually registered with either of these sites, just dicked around a bit. You can find the bands who haven't given spotify licences on both these sites, and of course (I presume; I don't know any differently) you can listen to them worldwide. we7 had the proper version of Job and tons of other Vaughan Williams.
I really like this. There's stuff on these sites I haven't heard for a very long time (Kevin Ayers) and stuff that I would have had to buy from Amazon or a store (the album version of `White Punks On Dope,' the Jovovich album) and they're letting you hear it for free.
The drawback is that you don't actually have the tracks, but the point is that you don't have to - they're there any time you want them. I suspect I've only scratched the surface of this, and I suspect I'm going to have some fun investigating further.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-02-15 01:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll have to check this out.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-15 01:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You won't get access to spotify, I don't think, but Last.fm and we7 should be fine.
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Kat: Love
User: artykat
Date: 2009-02-15 20:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Love
nope, not in the US. Can try the other two though. thanks for the heads up!
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RealThog: heffalump
User: realthog
Date: 2009-02-16 00:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:heffalump

I've just posted a few sites further down Hutch's page, if you want to give them a try.
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RealThog: shoe
User: realthog
Date: 2009-02-15 14:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:shoe

"Milla Jovovich's The Divine Comedy. And yes, Thog, it's every bit as good as you said it was, and then some"

Hm. You've reminded me I haven't played this for a while. Now, where did I put it . . .?

Incidentally, if you google around for her site, you'll find she's posted quite a few more recent tracks she's recorded for free download. Some are final versions, some are works-in-progress, but a lot of them are pretty damn' fine.

"the point is that you don't have to - they're there any time you want them"

You'll find some of the sites limit how often you can play any particular track. For example, unless they've changed it, on last.fm you can play a track only three times.

Must give spotify a look.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-15 23:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for the tip. I'd like to hear more of her work. I'm surprised it's not better-known - it's better than a lot of the stuff you hear on the radio.
I only gave last.fm a cursory once-over, although I did give a couple of Van Halen tracks a couple of listens. I didn't see any notification of a three-listen limit. I don't think there's a similar limit on spotify - which you probably won't be able to access over there - or on we7.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2009-02-16 00:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

"which you probably won't be able to access over there"

I wasn't.

free.napster.com is worth a look, although they've recently started restricting you to 25 tracks per month.

And you might see if NPR will allow you to operate their First Listen CD preview thingie. If so, hurry along because they still have on offer the new Springsteen (pretty damn' fine, not as good as The Rising but then what is?): http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98679384.

There's sometimes good stuff on mp3.com, too, and the music section of downloads.com can be fun.

http://www.jamendo.com/en/ has lots of wonderful stuff (and also lots of crap) by people you've never heard of -- and it's not just free to listen to it's free to download. My absolute fave discovery there is *anabase. Try their album Le bonheur flou at http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/19273

Last.fm may have lifted the three-listens restriction.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-17 23:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh, you beauty! ...anabase* are indeed brilliant, but I clicked on the `rock' tag and came up with someone called JT Bruce who's described as `rock metal instrumental orchestral progressive,' and his album Universica is extraordinary. If this is the quality of stuff on Jamendo, spotify and the others may have to do without me for a while. Thanks for telling me about it.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2009-02-18 00:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

"If this is the quality of stuff on Jamendo"

No! You've been lucky! Some of it's dire. You just have to be patient and browse around until you find the diamonds.

Ta for the tip about JT Bruce -- I'll give him a try Real Soon.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-18 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, I do thank you. Bruce plays everything I used to like about music when I was seventeen; he'd have been a cult figure in our old sixth-form common room. Not that that's necessarily a recommendation, but I like it.
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Kat: Daisies
User: artykat
Date: 2009-02-15 20:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Daisies
ooooo am loving Jojovich's music. I have her "radio" on and similar music playing, which I LOVE! Thank you so much for turning me on to this!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-15 23:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
She's good, isn't she? Thog recommended her to me last year, or maybe the year before.
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RealThog: shoe
User: realthog
Date: 2009-02-16 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:shoe

*bows smugly*
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rou_killingtime
User: rou_killingtime
Date: 2009-02-27 15:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've been a last.fm user for a few years now, and I heartily recommend it. For me, its main feature is the database aspect of it. Many software music players (such as my personal favourite Amarok) have the capability to connect to last.fm and store on the site the artists and tracks you've been listening to from your own collection. This allows your friends to see what you've been listening to, and allows last.fm to recommend music to you based on your listening tastes.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-02-27 22:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There's a music player called Amarok? That's really cool - my favourite Mike Oldfield album.
This is a whole new world to me. I didn't get an iPod because I heard that when the batteries die you've got to send the whole thing back to Apple for them to put in a replacement, for about a hundred quid, so I hadn't bothered checking out online music until someone told me about Spotify. And now, wonders...
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rou_killingtime
User: rou_killingtime
Date: 2009-02-28 02:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Heh, I was unaware of the Oldfield album. Now that odd-but-cool name makes more sense. I heard the same thing about iPod batteries as you did, but it only put me off Apple music players. That, plus the fact that the iPod is pretty restricted in the digital formats it can play. Plus a couple of other reasons.

I neglected to link to a sample last.fm user page, so I'll link to my own (of course!): http://www.last.fm/user/Mr-Happy
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-03-01 00:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope you don't mind, but your username did make me smile.
Thanks for that. I'm now registered. Interesting library you have. I'm rather taken with Tool.
Now, must get my hands on an Amarok player...
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rou_killingtime
User: rou_killingtime
Date: 2009-03-01 02:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, the username is intentionally ironic, if not especially creative. I mean, a chronic depressive choosing 'Mr Happy' as a nickname... well, I did rather enjoy Roger Hargreaves' books as a kid, but that's practically tangential.

You should have seen the music library I used to have. Alas, most of it was lost in a hard drive crash a couple of years ago and I'm still in the process of rebuilding.

As for the Amarok player, the news isn't great... it's written for Linux based operating systems, and the Windows version is very much a work in progress. I'd call it early-beta software. Setting your system up to dual-boot both Windows and Linux (even though this is much easier than it used to be) just to try out a music player would be what most people call overkill!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-03-01 14:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, the idea of dicking around with operating systems does make my blood run cold. I'll have to wait until the Windows Amarok is up and running.
I'm glad you let me see your library. The `similar to' thing led me from Tool to Puscifer, who I'd never heard of before but for whom I'm developing a very great liking. Many thanks.
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