Friday, February 4, 2011
I just want to briefly express my deep appreciation for internet radio.
As a big fat hairy music nerd, my lifelong relationship with radio has been tense, to say the least. I listened to regular old-fashioned local radio nonstop in my preteen and elementary school years, settling for the R&B dance sounds of the early '90s. Actually, I quite liked it at the time, as I was young enough to appreciate SWV and En Vogue. Soon after, grunge hooked its tentacles into the radio waves and I liked Nirvana quite a bit, but I was ready for more eclectic sounds, so I stopped listening to the radio and started buying CDs based on the covers (This is how I discovered PJ Harvey and Ani DiFranco). This, as I'm sure you can imagine, was hit or miss. And I was lucky enough to have grandparents with enough money to buy me what I remember as being a CD a week, though it probably wasn't quite that much. Looking back on that, I was so spoiled, but I have cherished that music and without this tiny piece of their infinite generosity, I wouldn't have advanced in my music love at such a breakneck pace as was possible in the mid to late '90s, before...
Though its only been in the last few years that I have discovered gems such as Pandora and last.fm, they have made listening to radio great again. I haven't listened to local radio in years, except for those rare occasions that I decide to check out radio for a week in the car and decide, again, that it sucks. I'm sure I'd feel different about it if I lived in a big city, but I don't wanna live in a big city, so there!
Furthermore, ever since I got a smartphone I've REALLY taken advantage of not only the customizable radio stations like the aforementioned Pandora and last.fm but also many other radio station apps like Digitally Imported (all electronic radio stations like "Future Synthpop" and "Tribal House" and "Space Music" etc--I listen to this ALL THE TIME!), Slacker, and NPR Music. I also love music subscription services such as MOG and Rhapsody, wherein you pay a monthly fee to listen to pretty much anything you want to. This means, if I had a subscription to MOG, I could listen to music that I can't fit onto my phone or new stuff I don't know if I want yet, etc.
These online radio sources are MAGIC! I will never again want for new music to experience. I can listen to specific genres from user-defined radio stations or just click on a channel from DI (Digitally Imported). If I want to hear the new Shakira before I decide to buy it, I go to MOG (or I will once I start subscribing--I REALLY think I NEED it, so I will probably just sign up for it, like as soon as I finish posting this blog)...
So, to sum up, here are a few suggestions for online radio from me to you:
*di.fm (for electronic music lovers--there are 37 channels on this site and it's available as an app for smartphones too. It's free! They have this new station called "Chip Tunes" that I've been listening to all day and it's all video game-sounding electronic music. I love it!!)
*MOG.com (subscription service that's $10/mo but you can do a 2week free trial, also available as an app and you can get 320kbps with this one. Yum!)
*pandora.com (if you've never tried Pandora, you HAVE to--it utilizes the Music Genome Project [meaning that it adjusts to what you like/dislike by using specific identifiers for each song, etc] and it is fabulousness--it's free!)
So, if you've been disillusioned with music since high school and have the perception that all music sucks these days, you are wrong and there are countless avenues to explore stuff out there that you like. Don't be scared. Get out there and find stuff you like! The internet is a beautiful thing, folks.