finetune

Like Pandora but much cooler, finetune is probably the best internet radio I’ve used yet.

The one thing I really love about Pandora is that you can give the thumbs up/down to songs played, thereby teaching the player what you like and what you don’t; unfortunately, finetune lacks this option. However, finetune allows you to skip through as many songs as you’d like (or should I say, don’t like) thereby allowing you to cut through the crap. Not to say that there’s much crap here - the automatic station creator is actually really intelligent (much more so than LAUNCHcast). The finetune team says that that their secret sauce is made of “7 years of accumulated listener data; Almost 100 Million listener hours; 13,000 user created playlists; a pinch of salt to taste” - and it shows.

I really enjoy firetune’s layout and slickness. The song quality is great, as is the variety. I also like how finetune invites you to explore playlists of other users in a very social but not-shitty-like-MySpace fashion.

finetune has a feature unique to the internet radio stations I’ve used in the ability to tag songs, artists, and albums with genres (or anything, really) to describe that music. Those tags are then publicly displayed across the finetune network wherein you can listen to music that matches the tag you specify.

Another really cool feature is the ability to embed playlists into websites. Here’s my first playlist:

Make your own playlist at http://finetune.com.

Published in Split Magazine

Split

A few months or so ago, I stumbled upon a website offering a compilation CD of metal bands from India. I was interested in hearing what other nations listened to so I inquired about obtaining the CD. It was then that I met Arun Kale. At that time they were out of CDs, but we continued conversing anyway, mostly about music but also web design. Arun recently redesigned his website, Split Magazine, which is totally dedicated to spreading the word of good independent Indian music (and music in general). Arun checked out my site last week and came across my review of Thom Yorke’s The Eraser. To my delight, he quite enjoyed the review and asked to syndicate it on Split. (Of course I said ‘yes’.) You can check out my review on Split here.

My Review on Split of Thom Yorke's The Eraser

For the record, this is my second “semi-major” syndicated writing; my first was a poem that I wrote in high school, which was published in a national book of student poetry.

Wii - First Impressions

Wii System and Remote

Having pre-ordered my Wii back in October, I was fortunate enough to not have to wait in ridiculous lines for hours and hours in cold rain, unlike many other Oregonians who purchased their Wiis upon its midnight launch last Saturday. I got home from my Wii adventure around 12:45am, where I began to carefully unpack the new Nintendo system. I lived this moment in slow motion, unwrapping each component with the care and respect it deserves to be afforded. My experience could be likened to the N64 kid on several elephant tranquilzers.

Wallop (Private Beta)

A few weeks ago, I was reading up on supposed plans for Yahoo! to purchase the social networking site Facebook. While poking around these internets, I somehow found my way to a new social networking site called Wallop, which is in a private Beta phase right now. I was extended an invitation on Monday and, being the curious cat that I am, started an account with Wallop to see what it was all about.

Wallop is unlike any website I’ve ever used before, which is to say that it’s really cool from a designer’s prospective but it may be a bit overwhelming for the n00b internet user. The whole site is built with Flash, making it very slick and instantaneous. Click on Pictures, for instance, and *bam* they’re there - barely any load time is experienced. The whole site works this way, and is a welcome difference from MySpace’s occassionally ridiculous load times and, in my opinion, crappy navigation.

John Mayer - Continuum

John Mayer - Continuum

My wife is absolutely in love with John Mayer. I have little doubt that, if we weren’t together, she’d be a travelling groupie who’d follow Mayer to no end. Well, maybe not, but ever since his first big hit, “Your Body is a Wonderland,” she’s grown passionate feelings for the young lad. And so have I.

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