In a world teeming with increasingly similar tech products, Apple is one company that seems to have no problem churning out standout products. This might be attributed to sleek designs, fun features, and friendly interfaces--or maybe you want to chalk it up to good ol' marketing tactics. However, in the case of the iPhone and the iPod Touch, there's one attribute that undeniably separates these devices from the masses: the ever-expanding cadre of third-party applications. You can find everything from cookbooks and weight-loss trackers to games and productivity tools, but the area in which the iPhone and iPod Touch … Read more
Today's show covers Wilson's ever-growing locks of hair and Google ads catering to stupid people. We also take a look back at the original Sony Walkman and examine the best-selling video games of the '90s. Finally, stick around for our weekly Audio Draft Pick sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.fm!
The first segment of the show is dedicated to Wilson's beautiful head of hair. I think I met Wilson's hair long before I ever met the man, and while I've always loved its golden highlights and butter-soft touch, I can't help but think of the Herculean Kevin Sorbo every time I glance in its general direction. Maybe it should start introducing itself with us at the beginning of the show.
Lots of nostalgia on today's show! After a long examination of the way Google is marketing ads to stupid people, we run down the top 50 best-selling video games of the '90s. Most of the picks are no-brainers, but there are a few surprises in there, including Frogger for PS1 coming in at No. 46. Did people really pay money to buy FROGGER on a DISC?! Scary to think about now.
Next, we launch into a story about 13-year old Scott Campbell swapping his Apple iPod for the original Sony Walkman. Fresh on the heels of the gadget's 30-year anniversary, this leads us to reminisce about the influence of the Walkman on all subsequent mobile audio products. We all had them (at least those of us born prior to 1990) and absolutely loved making mixtapes and mixtape art for our friends and significant loved ones. Unfortunately, we get so nostalgic that both Jeff and I reveal humiliating stories that you won't want to miss.
Long live the Sony Walkman! You were there with us through good and bad times, my friend--we'll never forget you.
We're also very psyched today, not only because the date is 7/8/9, but also for the Weekly Audio Draft, brought to you by Beck's Beer and Last.fm! Also, big thanks to Dylan Swart for sending in a poster for the segment. It's my pleasure to introduce today's band, Matt Pond PA.
Like everyone, the transition from middle school to high school wasn't easy for me, but music like this, among others, helped me push through it and I'm proud of these guys for continuing to put out such heartfelt records after 12 years of lineup changes, relocation, and subtle changes to their sound.
The sample song on today's show is called Several Arrows Later from the album "Several Arrows Later." The music combines smooth, gentle vocals with beautiful instrumentation for a unique sound that refuses to be pigeonholed into today's genres. The word "emo," although thrown around a lot in describing Matt Pond PA, is a cringing understatement for this band. Granted, all of the band's music is emotional by nature, but what I like the best about Matt Pond PA is that each of its songs strikes a different chord--each one means something different to the listener. Check out Matt Pond PA and get hooked!
(Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News and Reviews.)EPISODE 377 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Browser and jukebox freeware mashup Songbird brings onstage four new features to help manage songs, communicate better with iTunes, customize volume, and expose more information from Last.fm.
Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Songbird 1.2's biggest new feature is the ability to automatically organize files across multiple folders according to each track's metadata. This can be especially useful both if your music is scattered across disparate folders, as well as forcing naming conventions on inconsistent files.
There's also the ability to introduce iTunes library tracks and playlists into Songbird, and export tracks from Songbird to … Read more
What's not to love about the online radio site Pandora? There's simply no better way to hear great music with a minimum of fuss; just type in a song or artist that fits your mood, and Pandora creates a stream of music just for you.
Unfortunately, Pandora's emphasis on simplicity can be a turn-off for those who crave more sophisticated features. But just like the mythical box from which it's named, there's more to Pandora than meets the eye. By digging deeper into menus and settings, Pandora power users can finesse some pretty cool tricks … Read more
The jukebox in the sky is a reality. When I started this blog two years ago, it was all but impossible to open a Web browser, type a song name, and have that song start playing immediately. Now, it's commonplace.
I still like the simple approach of Grooveshark--the other night, my brother and I set up a running DJ battle on it to reminisce and introduce each other to new tunes--but Meuzer is an interesting alternative. Search on a song or artist name, and Meuzer pulls results from YouTube--very similar to the Muziic app I looked at earlier … Read more
We all like to share songs with friends, and we all have songs that share meaning with loved ones. Perhaps that's why there are so many music social networks out there. These sites combine both, and make music exploration and enjoyment something that you're not doing on your own.
From the well-known to the obscure, I've been exploring a variety of music social networks that you'll definitely want to check out:
Buzznet is a great way to connect with other music lovers. You can write status updates and view an activity feed that shows what your friends are listening to. You can also tell all your friends what your "song of the moment" is and post it to a profile that can be completely redesigned and themed using built-in tools.
Buzznet has some songs from major artists, but I would have liked to see more tracks. That said, the site makes up for it with music videos from YouTube. That adds a bit more value, as long as the recording quality is good..
Flotones isn't the best looking site in this roundup, but it does a nice job of connecting indie artists with fans. You can choose to sign up as either a fan or an artist. If you're an artist, you can upload music, post to a blog, give out your contact information to schedule gigs, and more. As a fan, you can find artists, follow their updates, and review their music. You can also send them private messages. Not all musicians put their music on the site, but quite a few do.… Read more
Microsoft may change the name of the Kumo to Bing, which makes us wonder what the past tense of Bing would be. Bong. Also Last.FM is under attack from TechCrunch, and Eucalyptus is welcomed back into the App Store with open arms...and open searches.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE_982
EPISODE 982 Nokia Ovi launch http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1317441 http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE54P1A320090526?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-10249116-94.html http://blog.ovi.com/2009/05/26/update-on-ovi-store-opening/… Read more
After trudging past endless rows of RVs, and waiting in a series of long lines, the Last.fm team got into the Stagecoach country festival relatively unscathed. And despite the 50,000 fans (most of whom claim beer as their drug of choice), it was a pretty respectable scene, actually. The highlights of yesterday where The Infamous Stringdusters, Reverend Horton Heat, Earl Scruggs and Darius Rucker.
You may know the latter for his work with (or as) Hootie and the Blowfish, however these days he's all about country music. He rocked the "Mane Stage" with festival-friendly songs … Read more
Ron Richards from iFanboy joins us as we finish today's show with a discussion of "geek" vs. "nerd" and decide "dork" is the next wave. We also talk about a cow that poops money, also known as Jonathan Coulton's business model. And we get mad at AT&T.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 938
AT&T working with RIAA http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10203799-93.html
How it works for a real musician http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2009/03/24/payday/
John Mellencamp: Back In The Good Old Days… … Read more