My friend Lamonte just turned me on to “The Music Genome Project” i.e. Pandora. It’s a personalized radio station — which there are about 100,000 of on the internet — but listen, stay with me, this one is really quite good. You give it an artist to start with, it extrapolates your taste from there, and the results are eerily accurate. It even explains the reasons why it picked each song; and if you really love a particular song, it’ll point you right to the track from the iTunes Music Store. Give it a shot, it’s exceptionally well done.
The only drag is that all the music listening is browser based via a Flash plug-in, but! throw in an Airport Express* and Airfoil 2.0**, and whalla, your entire dwelling is filled with beautiful music.
* It’s hard to discount how great the AirPort Express is. When plain-old 802.11b first came out, my friend Jon called it a “life-changing” technology, which I thought to be slightly overblown praise at the time but has panned out to be exactly correct; wireless networking really has changed how we interact with computers and information in general. Having wireless music streaming to my stereo hasn’t exactly changed my life, but it has significantly enhanced it, allowing me to conveniently listen to music at times when I certainly wouldn’t have been doing so without it. If you like music even a little tiny bit, I can’t suggest strongly enough that you treat yourself to one (it even works via the PC version of iTunes!) but I would also strongly suggest waiting to buy anything of this sort until after this Tuesday.
**…which is simply awesome software; it’s one of those shareware apps that you try for the first time and register right away. Why doesn’t Apple provide this kind of functionality in the OS? Airfoil allows you to stream music from any app on your Mac to your AirPort Express, and what’s even better, if you have more than one AirPort Express, you can stream to them all all at once in sync. Rich people pay upwards of multiple thousands of dollars, no kidding, to wire their rich-people-mansions to provide this kind of functionality, and with this software plus a couple of cheap AirPort Express boxes, you could have it for a couple hundred bucks.