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Thursday, January 08, 2009


My husband and I enjoy quite a bit of technology in our house. Sure, our Roomba needs repair, but our DVR still keeps all our favorite shows on tap for the rare moments we should have to catch up on one of them, our MP3 players are constantly updated with the latest podcasts in addition to our stock pile of favorite music and comedy tracks, our door is fitted with a number pad to save the trouble of digging out our keys, to name a few of our favorites... But a new one my man recently bought us is the Slacker Personal Radio. He found a great deal for the G1 model through Woot, so he bought us one each.
You hook it up to your computer (usb), identify what genres of music you enjoy through their website, then wirelessly you download hours of music for each genre to listen to at your leisure. You don't actually need the portable device to enjoy the service of hearing music for free, but it acts as a sort of MP3 player for travel. It refreshes and downloads new bunches of songs periodically and when you're in a wireless hotspot. We don't want to pay for the premium service, but the penalty is minor... You can only skip songs six times per station (genre) per hour and you may hear a brief commercial which you wouldn't with the premium service. I've yet to hear one. A cool feature I don't get to enjoy much as I use my Slacker while driving is that you can click to get background information on the artist and album. You can also press a button to indicate which songs you enjoy so that the program can better select music to suit your tastes. You can even indicate you never want to hear certain songs ever again.

What's strange is that this inspires the same sense of bitter-sweetness I feel in a bookshop or library. I'm exhilarated at the thought of all the works I've yet to experience, then feel melancholy at the knowledge that I'll never get to experience enough of them to satisfy me. So many artists, so little time. Anyway, we both think it'll be a healthy opportunity for us to be exposed to new music we may grow to love. We're just hoping the company doesn't go under any time soon, taking this great chance to expand our horizons away with it.

1 comment:

The Critic said...

See, that's what my dream of winning the lottery is all about. All those books and I actually have to work eight hours a day, plus all the associated time involved in getting ready and getting to and from work. It sucks up tons of reading time.