Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Mog.com relaunch but I still prefer Grooveshark

September 16, 2011

Mog.com relaunched a few days ago allowing completely free listening — no credit card required. You can sign up for an account or connect with your Facebook account. Sounds cool, right? Yeah, well …

I have a Mog account. Is free listening available to me? Well, sorta but, apparently since I already have an account, I have to provide a credit card. Yes, I was a Mog premium subscriber before but let my account lapse because I wasn’t happy enough with the service to justify the continued expense. So, now, even though I can listen free for 14 days, they require a credit card. And there’s no indication that I’ll be able to continue listening for free after that. No, I’m not that cheap, I just don’t like getting roped into something, spending a lot of time working up laylists and such and then having to abandon it.

OK, so I created a NEW account and now I can listen for free. I created a playlist, saved it and grabbed the URL to share it to my friends. Turns out THEY have to create an account to listen to it. Not terrible. But compare it to Grooveshark.

Grooveshark doesn’t have the cool interface that Mog does. But it does let me share music with my friends who can play it (or my playlists) without a Grooveshark account and that’s pretty important to me. If my friends want to create their own Grooveshark account, they can but they don’t have to.

New-ish “cloud” backup solution — MiMedia — also streams

January 31, 2011

This is my first real posting regarding cloud services. I’m no stranger, I just haven’t been altogether happy with what’s available. I’ve used SkyDrive, Dropbox and have done a trial with Carbonite as well as a number of the other online backup/file sharing providers and have accounts with streaming/storage providers like MP3tunes, Grooveshark and some of the other, lesser known services but, I have to say, I like MiMedia‘s prices and services. I got a MiMedia account because blueTunes folded and “gave” their users to MiMedia. All my music was transferred and I have a free trial for the service which I am exercising now.

So, what’s their deal? They provide both online backup (“cloud” backup) as well as the ability to stream/share your content with others (I’m streaming Bob Marley right now).

Via a Windows application (no Mac or Linux yet) you install on your computers ( — you can connect as many to your account as you want), you pick the files/folders you want backed up and they monitor for new files/updates/changes and upload them to their servers. One useful twist is that you can request they send you a USB drive onto which you place your first set of files (they pay the shipping both ways). Load it up with up to 250GB of pictures, documents, videos, music, applications, whatever, send it back and they’ll put it in your cloud. Then, as you continue about your work, all the stuff you’ve “tagged”  will have their changes sent to your cloud.

They don’t yet have an Android app but if you’ve got a Flash-capable browser, you can go in that way. And you can upload and download individual files.

Undiscounted prices are

  • 25GB for $5/month or $49/year
  • 100GB for $10/month or $99/year
  • 250GB for $20/month or $195/year

And they can provide more if you need it.

New hardware in the household

June 2, 2010

A few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and replaced my well-used Linksys WRT54GS with a new Netgear WNDR3700. The Linksys was running an older version of DD-WRT and I considered loading OpenWRT on the Netgear but, honestly, the stock firmware is currently meeting all of my needs. Smallnetbuilder.com’s review of the Netgear was what got me on the right track but the thing that pushed me over the edge was the fact that Linksys/Cisco STILL doesn’t allow the DHCP server to give out static IPs. Yep, I bought and brought home their E3000 and spent all of about 20 minutes with it before I boxed it back up and headed back to Fry’s. Why do I want the ROUTER to hand out the same IP over and over to a given device? It’s so I only have ONE place to look and update for all the particulars of my routing and IP address assignment. Sure, I could assign the IP addresses manually, going around to each device and putting its IP address into it but then, well, it’s a manual process and I have to keep a record someplace. Yes, I know that some rogue device could come in and masquerade as one of my REAl devices but, honestly, how often does that happen? Out of nearly 50 networked devices in my home, I’ve got nearly 30 that have a fixed IP. So, go ahead, call me lazy but that’s how I do things.

 

The newest member of my household is my home theater PC, the Gateway SX2840-01. 6GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB 7200 RPM hard disk, Intel Core I3-530, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit — small machine, big performance! CNet said it was “the budget PC to beat”. And Fry’s had it on sale this past weekend for $450 while everyone else is selling it for $560. Nope, no Blu-ray but it has 9 USB ports and an eSATA port so I don’t think I’ll have a problem adding one later if I decide to give up on my standalone player. And if I’m really pushed I can add a small form factor video card to use instead of the Intel HD graphics, although I watched quite a few streamed 720p HD videos with no artifacts or hiccups. No 1080p yet but that’s coming next weekend, I think. It’s hooked up via HDMI to my TV (Samsung LN52B750 ) and via VGA to an LCD monitor.

 

Have I abandoned my Squeezeboxen? Nope, I’m still running Slimserver (now called Squeezebox Server) on my Buffalo Linkstation LS-GL but the addition of the Squeezebox Radio, its lack of support in the 7.3 versions of the software and the wait for a version that I could load and run on the LInkstation started pushing me toward a more “standard” solution. Since I’ve also got several devices that understands DLNA (e.g. the aforementioned Samsung LN52B750) I figured adding a machine into the mix that can provide that streaming capability wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’ve been running Windows 7 for quite a while, now, and have to admit, I like it a LOT more than Vista and am even coming to like it better than XP. So, runinng Windows Media Center and J River’s Media Center and Squeezebox Server gives me 3 different ways to stream, upload and download.

Squeezebox Radio announced

September 3, 2009
 Engadget reports that Logitech announced Squeezebox Radio and Squeezebox Touch today at $199 and $299, respectively. I’ve got two of what they now call the Squeezebox Classic and am incredibly happy with them — I use them every day. I stream my music collection and listen to Internet Radio Squeezecenter installed on my Buffalo Linkstation Pro (not available anymore) and back it all up to a Buffalo Linkstation Quad. The portability of the radio makes it a pretty attractive addition — smaller than the Boom (with smaller sound) and an optional battery pack.

Les Paul has left us

August 13, 2009

Today, at age 94. If you know who he is, this means something to you. If you don't know who he is then go read about it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/08/13/ST2009081301806.html

Killing The Blues

February 3, 2008

I don’t buy a lot of CDs, primarily because I just don’t have (take?) the time to enjoy them the way I used to but I finally broke down and bought Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. It’s a T Bone Burnett production so it’s pretty … well, weird. It’s a duet album and their two voices mesh so nicely, it’s almost spooky, but how weird to bring together the lead singer from Led Zeppelin and THE bluegrass warbler of our time? If pressed, I’d have to call it roots music (or roots revival if you’re looking for a Wikipedia entry). Composers range from The Everly Brothers (for what’s probably the most popular cut on the disc: Gone, Gone, Gone), to Gene Clark (The Byrds fame), Tom Waits, Sam Phillips (no, not the record producer who discovered Elvis but the woman who wrote Taking Picture which was on the last episode of The Gilmore Girls) and Rowland Salley, better known as the bass player for Chris Isaak. And that’s why the title of this post is Killing The Blues, because, right now, it’s my favorite cut from the recording. Once I had a chance to read up on the music on the CD, I listened to Rowland’s own recording of that song. They’re very different from each other and I think the contrast is a really good indicator of T Bone’s production values and perspectives. This Youtube video is a good introduction to the collaboration.

Walmart sells MP3s

August 26, 2007

I heard they intended to sell unDRMed MP3s along with their DRM WMA files. Well, they do — I bought a couple of tracks last Thursday … encoded at a constant 256K, by the way! And you don’t need to download any special application to use their store if you use this URL.

The Boomer’s Anthem

May 11, 2007

It’s actually called Remember Song by Tom Rush.

Trade CDs, listen to music

January 3, 2007

Just heard about LaLa on KNTV, the local NBC affiliate (they do a pretty good job reporting on local technology news which is why I gave the link to their technology section instead of their main page).
Anyway, Lala does a couple of things. First, it let’s users trade CDs — the physical discs. They provide mailing materials and take a fee for each trade they facilitate (something like $1 for their services and $0.75 for shipping). Second, they have “radio stations”, not unlike Live365 and ShoutCast. I’m not sure how one goes about setting up a radio station but there are lots out there. To tune to a station, you simply select it. You need to have Javascript enabled and, pops a window that shows which song is playing and you hear music. It doesn’t look like it’s possible (yet) to play Lala radio stations outside of your browser (thereby obviating use with my SqueezeBox, it still looks interesting, though, and I think I can figure out how to piece together a URL.
I’ve only just started playing with it so, as I know more, I’ll post more.

I keep forgetting KPIG!

January 2, 2007

Just when I start to tire of the same old radio, I stumble onto KPIG again. You’ve really gotta be able to listen to just about all kinds of music to enjoy it, though.