Friday, August 24, 2007

Old Wine in New Bottles

It is always interesting to me how you can make use of some of the latest technology to access older media and technology. I love to watch DVDs of silent fact, there are more silent films in circulation now then there were when I was first interested in them 30 years or so ago. And with a DVD you get a nice soundtrack and if appropriate, color tints for no extra cost, unlike film prints from back then.

Another new way of accessing old Americana that I've just been getting into recent is, the free Radio station (or should I say stations) from the Music Genome Project. You type in a artist or a song you like, and the huge database of music, categorized in many different ways, is searched for songs that would make a good match as a streaming radio station. After this, you can add additional songs or artists as guidelines (they are called "seeds") and you also can give a thumbs up to especially appropriate song choices and thumbs down to songs that don't belong on that station. In addition, once you've created a few stations, you can instead of giving a simple thumbs down to a song, redirect it by saying, no it belongs on this other station.

A few hours of obsessive categorization in this manner, and you have all sorts of idiosyncratic stations to listen to. Today, as noted below, I have been listening boogie-woogie piano all day, yesterday I was listening to some country blues, some jazz guitar, and various old, weird, pre-blues musics. There are links at right to the stations I have set up so far, in about 4 or 5 days. You can listen to them without signing up, if you want to create your own stations, you have to sign up, but there is no charge.

I am finding it well worth while and am really enjoying listening to it. There are some styles of music I'd like to find more of, but the database is growing (over half a million songs so far), so I am hopeful it can continue. And if your taste in music is not as antiquarian and obscure as mine, I'm guessing you will have better luck finding stuff you like.

For what it's worth, this is an endorsement!

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