March 1, 2011 at 7:03 am
So, I was messing about on the Internet this week trying to do a bazillion things at once, and I somehow stumbled upon the Radio link at the top of the Last.fm home page.
Ok, let me backup. Last.fm is an audio scrobbler, which is a funny phrase that means it tracks all the music you play on your computer. (Well, all the music you play in programs supported by the plugin, like iTunes, WinAmp, etc. I think it can also download your iPod stats.) I’ve used Last.fm to track my songs for years now, and you can see my stats here. (Please ignore the Bieber. I was just experimenting. I didn’t inhale.)
Ok, back to where I was. If you click on the “Your Library Radio” link in the sidebar of the Radio page a widget loads that starts playing songs that you’ve scrobbled. It’s like having your MP3 collection with you anywhere, which is handy for me because I keep all my music on an external hard drive that I don’t like to lug [...]
November 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm
On the radio
If you listen to public radio, you might have heard me this weekend as a call-in guest on Marketplace Money. Unlike any of my other media appearances in the past few years, this one had nothing to do with my books, my blog, weight loss, headaches, or anything relevant to my online presence. Instead, I had a question about a $2600 request for overpayment on a 401K rollover from my last employer who made a vesting error on the employer’s matching contributions and oh my God do you want to stab your eyes with a rusty paperclip yet? Because I do. Anyway, I wanted some help sorting out this financial mess that was not my fault but is now my problem, so Tess Vigeland and Kathy Kristof came to the rescue. You can listen to it by clicking the “Listen to the Show” or “Listen to this Story” buttons on this page and scrolling to the 21:35 mark. I even slipped in a plug for PastaQueen.com! I’m getting much better at this self-promotion [...]
December 10, 2009 at 9:22 am
It was so windy yesterday, I thought I might see Dorothy and Toto flying around outside my window on their way to Oz. One of the nice things about freelancing is that the most dangerous part of the commute between my bedroom and my office are two cats who try to trip me. Alas, I was out of cat food for one of those cats, so I had to go out into the cold and 30mph winds anyway.
I also had to drive downtown to the public radio station to tape a short interview for this week’s Definitely Not the Opera, a weekly show on Canadian Public Radio. I do not live in Canada, so I hadn’t heard of DNtO before, but I downloaded the podcast beforehand to get a sense of the program and I think I’m going to stay subscribed. Each week they take on a theme and collect stories and interviews with people related to that theme. This week the show is called “Peep Show,” and no, I’m not going to reveal some [...]
June 16, 2009 at 8:13 am
There are only so many times I can listen to my favorite CDs in the car before my mind wanders and I get bored. I’ve taken lots of long car trips lately, and I find that podcasts keep my mind engaged in a way music fails to over long periods of time. It’s fun to have people chatting over your speakers, talking about interesting things. Below are some of my favorite podcasts that have kept me company over the past year.
When I listen to RadioLab I feel like my skull has opened up and my mind is as large as a star-filled sky. Hosts Jad and Robert explore a different theme each show, showing how science and curiosity lead to exciting answers about the universe, but usually end with even more questions. The audio of the show is expertly produced, integrating interviews, sound effects and narration in an innovative and enthralling way (though some might also find it exhausting). I’ve learned a lot listening to their archives for the past few months, some of which [...]
September 16, 2008 at 7:59 am
I have listened to “Read My Mind” by The Killers 87 times. I have no excuse for this. It’s a good pop song, but 87 times? 87 times?! It’s a four-minutes long, which means I’ve spent almost 6 hours of my life listening to this song. The number is probably even higher because it doesn’t count all the times I listened to that track in my car.
The Last.fm plug-in I have installed in WinAmp and iTunes counts every MP3 I play on my computer and calculates these embarrassing statistics for me. It almost seems like an invasion of privacy putting my actual musical preferences out there, instead of just what I tell people I like. It’s like the difference between all the healthy stuff in your food diary and the Oreos you’re actually stuffing in your mouth and “forgetting” to write down. We tend to judge people by what they do and don’t like. Whenever I have friends or family over for the first time, they go right for my bookcase, trying to glean insight [...]