Awesome new internet radio

With this post I'm also beginning a new Linux category.  I've had so many adventures with Linux already, it occurs to me that someone else might benefit from the stuff I've figured out.  I thought of putting all my Linux tips on a single page, but really the blog mode is better.  If you want to just read my Linux posts, go down to the "Categories" box on the lower right and click "Linux."  Duh.

I'm also putting this post under "This is cool" because isn't only for Linux, they have the program for Windoze and Mac too.  This is the fourth internet radio I've tried, and so far it's the best.  Here's why:

  • iTunes has a nice selection of built-in radio stations, plus you can load new ones from the web.  But you can't skip songs, and you can't rate music.  It's just an audio stream, kinda like satellite radio or traditional play-it-in-your-car radio.  I expect more from the internet.
  • Yahoo! Launchcast is great, you can play it from the web or download a program and run it from your computer.  Not only can you rate songs, but you can give a five-star rating to tracks, artists, and albums.  I listened to Launchcast for a long time and have like 10,000 songs rated, which makes me an "extreme listener."  Great, but it won't run on Linux.  Neither the web mode nor the downloadable program.  Also, they have it tied into their pay service and they keep nagging you to buy stuff.  And it disconnects all the time.  Annoying.
  • Pandora is nice because it runs from a web page and it'll run on any OS.  The problem is Linux has problems with performance; if I'm running Pandora and I want to surf the web, the sound gets really scratchy.  This is a Linux problem, but whatever, I need something that will work well.
  • was difficult to set up.  It's a classic Linux installation where you have to do stuff by hand, and there were too many steps.  Also, the radio won't play sound itself, I had to route it through a second music player.  And every time I want to start the program in the future it's going to take several steps.  Way too much work.  This is why Linux isn't mainstream yet.  But still, it's streaming internet radio and I can rate the tracks and it works well once you get it going.  So it's the best.

"Jordan, why do you need internet radio when you have 14,000 songs on your own computer?"  Because I like variety, I like to hear new things.  Especially when I get a sophisticated internet radio that says "I see you liked this song.  Other people who liked the same song also liked this other song too."  Not only does it grow my music knowledge, but it does so intelligently.

Welcome to the new millenium.  Even listening to music has become an interactive process.