rfunk: (phone)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 07:48pm on 05/06/2008 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
This week we gained possession of a pair of 8GB iPod Touches, through a surprisingly generous rebate program.

The iPod Touch is unlike any previous iPods, but is very similar to the iPhone. It's basically an iPhone without the phone, camera, or bluetooth. That doesn't sound like it leaves much, but what it leaves is high-resolution video iPod functionality, plus wi-fi networking, built on top of a miniature Mac OS X complete with web browser, email client, and other programs.

Apple's firmware doesn't allow adding apps that aren't already there, other than using web apps designed for the iPhone/iTouch platform. (A new firmware version coming soon will open this up a bit, but not by much.) However, people have figured out ways of fixing ("jailbreaking") the firmware to allow installing third-party apps, and there's even a de-facto standard packaging/installing system to make it easy to get and install programs.

A Linux guy gets started with iPod Touch )
Jailbreak for the good stuff )
Some added applications )
Music! )
Video )

So yeah, quite the fun toy here.....
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:19am on 21/06/2007 under , , , ,

One thing that has kept me sane in my recent bout of working long hours is that I finally took a few minutes to set up SlimServer (which powers my Squeezebox) and my home router so that I can get access to my entire music collection (9747 songs and counting) from the office. So at work (and wherever else I decide to open it to) I'm no longer limited to just the few CDs worth of favorites that I've copied to the machine there.

(In the process I discovered that trying to stream MP3 via HTTP through an ssh tunnel just doesn't work so well. Every minute or so bits of audio would repeat a few seconds later. It's probably related to redundant congestion control happening in the TCP-over-TCP arrangement. Bypassing the ssh tunnel helped immensely.)

In addition, I now have both Amarok and SlimServer scrobbling my plays to Last.fm, so my profile there is becoming more complete. I'm up to over 7400 songs scrobbled there since I started last summer, and now rapidly increasing. If you like, you can check out the long list of songs I've listened to recently.

Because of the scrobbling, I've learned that (based on the top 15 artists I listen to) my musical taste is 9.24% mainstream. (It may be interesting to look into some things other people have done with the data there). Last.fm's Events section is also becoming useful for finding out about when bands I listen to are playing nearby -- especially since there are RSS and iCal feeds for recommended events.

My Recent Tracks My Top Tracks My Top Artists
Music:: The Cure - Close to Me (Closer Mix)
rfunk: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 01:56pm on 10/10/2006 under , , ,
I've been intending for a while to mention Last.fm and comparisons between that and Pandora for purposes of discovering new music and generally listening to music you like.

The short version is that with Pandora, you tell it what you like, and it uses musicological traits and mysterious algorithms to determine similar-sounding music. While with Last.fm, you tell it what you're listening to (automatically via a "scrobbler" plugin to your music player), and it compares your listening habits to other people, then can play you things that other people with similar listening habits also listen to. At least that's the theory; I haven't played much with the Last.fm playback mechanism, and the web site is extremely unresponsive. (But it does often know what I've been listening to.)

Anyway, the reason I mention this now is that Pandora is on tour, with an informal town-hall style gathering in Columbus scheduled for Monday, October 16. They want to discuss the following questions:
-How is technology changing the nature of radio?
-How important are community and peers when it comes to discovering music online? What's the best way to foster community? [This one sounds directly related to Last.fm's community-networking nature.]
-Can services like Pandora help create a larger middle class of artists who aren't superstars, but have enough of an audience to support themselves through their music? Do music lovers want more music discovery?

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