Online Radio (Pandora) does make you buy music: The Generators

When I am not listening to my music collection, I usually listen to Pandora, using Open Pandora. Now, I know, no ad’s, how does Pandora make money? Well, I would gladly pay 30 bucks a year for this service, the Open Pandora app should be eaten up by Pandora.

Anyway’s, I kept hearing this song by “The Generators” – Roll Out The Red Carpet. And the lead singer sounds so much like Alkaline Trio, that I was like, yeah, this is good, so I went and bought it online, at Audio Lunchbox – 10 bucks, no DRM, mp3 format.

So, the theory that online radio doesn’t server its purpose is bunk, and that no DRM music is going to cause piracy is bunk, its just all bunk. It is just music. If people want it, they will get it. And I would rather buy it for cheap with no DRM than with DRM any day.

And with tomorrow being Online Radio Day of Silence, this is a fitting post, I suppose 🙂

Joost is cool

I got an invitation to Joost. https://www.joost.com/

What Joost is: TV but over the Internet. The interface is cool, they seem to have a lot of programming, and not just independent stuff. Looks like I just found another way to get entertainment. (XBOX 360, Amazon, Netflix, Other online video, and now Joost)

I am watching Spiderman cartoon right now in the corner of my screen, and it is pretty good quality. There are AD’s it looks like they pop up in the background, etc. Doesn’t seem to intrusive, yet. We will see 🙂

 

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Cutting the Cable

This morning I cut the cable. I called up Charter and disconnected my cable TV. I have researched into all the different ways to get media/TV shows etc online and I have found that it just isn’t worth it to have cable TV anymore. I can watch the shows I really like to watch online, or at worst, buy them for $1.99 an episode, or if I am really desperate, download the torrents.

Basically all you need in your house is a good Internet connection and you can do anything. That coupled with Netflix and you are good to go. I can use Amazon Unbox, Itunes, Xbox Video Marketplace, Bittorrent, Fox.com, Abc.com, NBC.com, CBS.com. Basically there is one show I cannot miss – that is 24. The others, Law and Order’s and 1 or 2 others, I don’t mind if I see or not, it is just background noise usually when I am doing other things.

Do you think you could take the plunge and cut your cable?

 

Orb 2.0: Trying it out again

A long time ago, I tried out Orb right when it came out, and it was cool, seemed buggy. Yesterday I installed Orb 2.0, flashy new Ajaxy type site now, and a few more features. Still doesn’t work well over mobile data. I have to turn on Wi-Fi on my phone to get any good speeds/buffering. Even then the videos/movies audio is always ahead of the video. Listening to mp3’s over it is pretty good though.

Just another tool for the media toolbelt.

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Amazon Unbox

So last night I decided to try Amazon Unbox Movie downloads. I read about it over at Fransen’s blog, where is using the Tivo feature. I tried “A Scanner Darkly“.

What is cool is, I use my Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender (I’m running Vista Ultimate). The Unbox video (even though DRM’d) played through the extender. Pretty sweet, exactly what I wanted. The one downer is it won’t play until fully downloaded, whereas if you use the unbox client on the pc, you can start playing it like 2 minutes after it starts downloading. They have a web load feature where you can order a movie or TV show from a remote pc and your PC at home will start downloading it, so it can be ready when you get home. That will probably be the next thing I try.

Still looking for the ultimate combination where I dont have to buy cable service, but still can get all the media I want and watch it on my TV. The quest continues, but for sure Amazon Unbox is another tool added to the belt.

Windows Media Player 11 – Video Support

I really like Windows Media Player for the music library features, organizing, rating, etc. In Vista, the Photo Gallery takes care of pictures well, and videos too (tagging) – gotta love it, the photo gallery handles the videos. But the Video organization in Windows Media Player is, lacking.

When you are in music, you can organize by Album, Artist, Genre, etc. Video just has Actor. I have like 250 music videos, and organizing them becomes a pain. One other thing that is just missing in my opinon is, video preview when you are in the library view. With a song, you don’t need this obivously, you just listen. But a video, you can’t see it unless you goto the “Now Playing” tab. So you end up switch back and forth just to organize, quite a headache.

Maybe as I use it more, I will uncover an easier way to organize all my media, photos, music and videos. A “de-duping” feature for music would be great. That is one thing Itunes has that WMP is lacking.
With 80+ gb of music, organizing becomes a part time job 🙂