I don't talk about music a ton on this blog, but I do like music... just never really been that good at discovering new music. Plus, I could never tie together all of the different ways I listen to music. I used to have XM in my car from GM, and really liked it, but let the subscription slip after I changed addresses on my credit card. I guess I didn't really like it that much.
I like Pandora, but never really listen when I'm sitting in front of the computer, so that's pretty much out. I've found some cool bands on MySpace, like Deep Metal Mechanic, but I can't do anything with them except put them on my page... can't stream them anywhere... can't even pop the player out of the page. Kind of useless for really empowering my music discovery.
Breaking my music free from the computer is important to me, so I bought two Netgear MP-101 routers and have been really happy with them considering how much I paid (less than $100 each). That's been nice, but the real break is that all of the great discovery services out there don't work well off the computer.
If you visit my site, you'll notice I now have a Last.fm
badge on the right sidebar. It contains the last ten songs I listened
to, plus after it has enough data, I guess, my most popular artists of
the week. Think of it like del.icio.us and Google. Google is run by a machine that eats data as is Pandora. The results are certainly good, but people powered stuff like del.icio.us has the potential to be even better. That's what last.fm is. If someone out there listents to similar stuff, it recommends the things that they listen to that I haven't found yet. Last.fm promises to be a great discovery tool for me, except for the fact that I listen to my stuff through the Netgear routers and my iPod...never on the computer itself. So, getting it my music listening data isn't easy.
Jscrob solved the iPod issue, which is why you can now see what I listen to when I ride my bike and go to the gym. It sucks all the data off my iPod when I sync/charge, so you'll be sure to see lots of dark techno, industrial, and movie themes... but don't think that I turn on Rammstein when I get home at the end of a long day... this is only half of my music story, lest you think I'm peculiar.
I need to solve the apartment problem. Enter UPnP. Universal plug and play compatability promises to allow me to stream my music to other devices... so I just needed a UPnP server that was compatible with Last.fm and I was good to go. I tried Tvedia and that looked really promising. It works with Last.fm just by getting me to enter my Last.fm id/pw, but I haven't gotten it streaming to the routers yet. The company keeps telling me its something on my end, but I can easily switch back to the Netgear server and that works just peachy. I'll keep plugging away... hopefully, I can get it working. I also tried Winamp+this plugin but the plugin didn't seem to install properly. I wasn't sure if it was on, installed, working... whatever... nothing happened.
So that's where I am... hopefully, I'll be able to get the music I play in my apt into Last.fm through one of these UPnP solutions, and also get Streampad working as well. Then I can get some better music recommendations than what I get from these Arctic Monkeyheads. Bring on the hard stuff!