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Adam Stout works in the technology field and is currently located in San Diego, CA.

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Over the past couple of days I have been working on my computer a lot. In the past I have typically turned on the TV and had that playing in the background since the channels I often watch show repeats through out the day I decided to listen to some music. I have thousands of MP3s but I haven't purchased much new music lately so those are starting to get old.

As a change of pace, I thought I would try out an online service. I have heard good things about Rhapsody from Real. I thought about giving this a try since they do have a free trial, but since for the next couple of months of months I'm still a starving student, I was a bit turned off by the $15 or so the service normally costs.

I'm not sure who told me about Pandora Radio (I think it was my wife) but I started using this and it is GREAT. Pandora is a FREE radio station (kinda). It is custom radio, you can seed it with an artists name or style or even a certain song and then it references the Music Genome database and finds similar artists. This method is amazing, especially for finding new artists. I put in one of my favorite groups, Reel Big Fish, as a trial. The first song is played as an RBF song and then it followed up with 4 or 5 songs from various groups all of which I liked (and owned) and then it played a song from a group that I have never heard of. Importantly, I liked the song. The downsides to Pandora include not being able to rewind or repeat a song as well as not being able to select a specific song (that is how they are able to license the music as "radio" instead of digital music). However, you can skip several songs per hour and you can have a seemingly unlimited number of radio stations you create so if you don't like something, you can switch with a click.

While I still like Pandora, yesterday I wanted to hear a specific song and I remember a service that a friend of mine at school told me about a couple of weeks ago, LaLa.com. I have a new favorite music service. LaLa lets you listen to almost anything for free. (However you do need to register with them). You can add 50 free songs to your list of songs you can listen to any time, as many times as you want but you can also listen ANYTHING once. The selection is amazing. Yesterday I was able to listen to Hindemith's Symphony in B♭ for Band and Youngblood Brass Band's "The Movement" within seconds of each other. LaLa appears to have a much better selection than Pandora but since I can't select a specific song on Pandora, I'm not positive about that. The real topper about LaLa is that it has "LaLa Music Mover" this application searchs your computer for MP3s and then compares that to LaLa's catalog of music. Any matches it finds (which appear to be pretty much anything except for some of my Drum Corps recordings) are automatically added to your LaLa collection allowing you to then play them anywhere you can connect to the web without physically taking all the MP3s with you. Finally a service that understands I already own this music and shouldn't have buy it again. LaLa also has MP3s for purchase for competitive prices (I've seen 79 to 99 cents) if you down want a copy for your portable device.

Overall, I highly recommend Pandora for stream music that doesn't stop with very few ads (maybe 10 seconds per hour) and for finding new artists that appear to what you like and LaLa for everything else.

Enjoy the music, I know I am.
I've been a fan of Reel Big Fish for years and today I bought their new album, Fame, Fortune, Fornication. I can't say it is their best (which I would still say is Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album), but it isn't bad.

If you are a a RBF fan, I recommend it. If aren't one yet, this album isn't going to make you a convert.

I saw on their web site they are starting a new world wide tour, I hope they make it to DC some time soon. I'm not holding my breath that they will make it to Pittsburgh in the 3 months while I'm still here.
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