Pandora-ed out?

I was impressed to learn that the Roku’s Pandora channel had been redesigned, allowing one to link it to an existing Pandora account. Now I can get all of my Pandora channels on the Roku, making the Pandora channel much more useful to me. A few nights ago when Travis and I were alone, I cranked up my Intoxica surf-rock channel and we rocked out to that while I was cooking dinner.

Having enjoyed the tuneage from my Roku, yesterday I fired up my Intoxica channel on my laptop. You know what? It didn’t last longer than an hour. I became bored with the music and turned it off.

I think this is one of the flaws with Pandora: you can build a channel so exactly that the music begins to sound the same. It doesn’t take long for me to start wishing for a little more variety. With Pandora, one can box oneself into a corner.

There are some new music services out there now like Spotify, which might fit the bill, but I’m not in the mood right now to have to learn another service all over again (and there’s no free Linux client as of yet). For now I’ll stick with Mondomix and it’s world music stream.

Giving Turntable a spin

Friday gave me my first look at a new music service called Turntable. It’s a service where you and up to five of your friends can take turns DJ-ing a music channel (or “room”). Participants in the room can vote whether a song is “lame” or “awesome” and the vote determines whether the song stays in rotation. They can also share real-time comments in a chat window.

It’s an intriguing idea, but how does it work in practice? It works well if you like hiring schizophrenics to DJ your parties! There were some cool tunes I heard that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to, but the music flow soon became a jumbled mess.
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Swervin’ In My Lane

Swervin’ In My Lane
Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing
‘Cause sometimes all my days are filled with rain
As I travel down life’s highway, things ain’t going my way
‘Cause there’s always someone swervin’ in my lane
You keep a-swervin’ in my lane and it’s causing’ lots of danger
I’m a-honkin’ on my horn, I’m a-shooting you the finger
I keep a-switchin’ on my bright lights, but you’re just too dim to know
When your swervin’ on life’s highway, you’re running someone off the road
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Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills
Weezer (get a Snuggie with their new CD!)

Where I come from isn’t all that great
My automobile is a piece of crap
My fashion sense is a little whack
And my friends are just as screwy as me

I didn’t go to boarding schools
Preppy girls never looked at me
Why should they, I ain’t nobody
Got nothing in my pocket
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Netflix streaming with the Samsung BD-P1600

For Christmas, my parents gave us a gift card to apply towards a Blu-ray player that could stream Netflix. I did some research on models this morning and picked out what I wanted: the Samsung BD-P1600. I don’t own any Blu-ray discs and may not ever. All I wanted was a player that would excel at streaming Netflix movies. If it could play discs too, well, so much the better.

I spent the evening playing around with it. How does it perform? Fantastically. On the first power-up, it took several minutes for the system to download an apply a firmware update. After that, though, it’s worked very well. I was stunned at the picture quality when I tried streaming some movies: it’s amazingly good. So much so that I’m not at all surprised now that the big cable companies are shitting bricks over this technology. The writing is on the wall for cable TV: I have 12,000+ titles of movies and television shows available for watching anytime. Why would I want to saddle myself with a costly cable subscription?
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Inaugural Trams

Inaugural Trams (YouTube) (download from Mediafire)
Super Furry Animals

Trams
Inaugural Trams
Trams
Inaugural Trams
Trams

I will design a town in the image of your face.
Round the wrinkles of your eyes my footsteps you can trace.
We could promenade down infranasal depression.
The streets of your hands will never feel a recession.

It’s a secular day and it will be even better tomorrow.
It’s the first day of the integrated transport hub,
Let us celebrate this monument to progress.
We have reduced emissions by seventy-five percent.
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