Monday, June 9, 2008

Play Me a Tune

In the course of my bloggy world, I have been neglectful of some of my other hobbies, like reading. Hence my recent posts on books and reading. Something else I want to spend more time on is music. Aaron has an iPod and loves it! One on my favorite evenings with him in the last few months was one spent sharing favorite songs with each other. And it was woefully clear... I am way out of it. I have never been on the cutting edge of music and since I quit working and listening to the radio on my commute, my music listening time has gotten lost in the traffic jam of life with three boys. Maybe American Idol is to blame for my newfound musical interest. Who knows? I do know that iTunes is both amazing and evil at the same time. Pretty much any song you want for less than a dollar, but do you know how fast those dollars add up? Well, our credit card does. After a few songs each from Jason Castro, David Archuleta, and David Cook suddenly I'm realizing I've reached my pay-for-music limit for the month.

I was told to try out Pandora for a type of free internet radio. You type in your favorite artist or song and they create a station of songs with similar characteristics. It's part of the music genome project and you can find out more about it here. I typed in Norah Jones and have been getting stuff like John Mayer, Jack Johnson, and Alison Kraus. All of which I like - I would like to find more music by John Mayer and Jack Johnson. A small problem is lack of variety. A big problem for me is that I can't actually hear a certain song or artist on command. Pandora will play songs and artists similar to my search, but the actual one I searched for might get played once in 3 songs, or 5 songs, or 10 songs.

Then I got an e-mail with an offer for two free weeks with Rhapsody. I tried a free trial once on my TiVo and wasn't super impressed. It had a lot of music, but the search features and navigation take forever with the remote control. But once I had it on my desktop, I was in love! Basically for a monthly fee of about $13 you can listen to any song they have, and keep track of your favorites in a library. You can click to listen to one track, or a whole album - same with adding tracks/albums to your library. I didn't add all my own music library to Rhapsody, I'm currently using iTunes for that, but the software seems like it would do a good job - it seems pretty straightforward and intuitive. There are all kinds of features with guides, recommendations, stations, and playlists. While you are listening to a song Rhapsody gives you info on the artist - little facts and tidbits. You can even log on from any computer and play your favorites straight from the browser, although I think you have to download a small add-on. And now that I let my free trial account lapse, sort of accidentally joining (I hated to lose it!) I'm pretty sure I can sign in on my TiVo too and listen there. You can buy any track for 89 cents.

Some of my new favorites
Jazz Artist Bebel Gilberto
Ben Harper - Fool For a Lonesome Train - I know the Steal my Kisses song, but this one is quite a bit different and I love his voice
Colbie Caillat - Bubbly
Corinne Bailey Rae - Like a Star, Put Your Records On
Griffin House - Better Than Love
Ingrid Michaelson - Better Than Love, The Way I Am
Kt Tunstall - the whole Eye to the Telescope album
Lonestar - From There to Here: The Greatest Hits - great country album!
Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
Sara Bareilles - Love Song
Yael Naim - New Soul

I'm always looking for new great stuff - please leave a comment with your favorites so I can check them out!


Jane @ What About Mom? said...

I am in love with Coldplay now.

Candice said...

Of course my new favorite soundtrack is P.S. I Love You
I also like Five for Fighting, my favorite song of theirs is 100 Years.