At same stage, I got frustrated with the inane chatter of mainstream commercial radio and now listen to CBC and Jazz.fm
which offer more content and less ads. The problem is that I am not
being exposed to that much new material (outside of jazz), so lately I've been tuning into Pandora - the Music Genome Project's music discovery project (hat tip to mocca).
Pretty cool. Basically, you tell it the name of an artist or song you like and it uses its database containing 400 attributes of around 300,000 songs from 10,000 artists to figure out other material you might like.
Pandora bills itself as "the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken", so I was a bit disappointed to find the underlying science quite elusive. I imagine they are using something like the "least squares" method for finding songs with similar attributes, but how would that work for an artist whose material may vary substantially over time (e.g. Madonna)? Maybe that has something to do with some users suggesting that seeding your channels with songs instead of artists improves results. Personally, I've found both song and artist founded channels have led me to discover great new artists that I would never have known about before.
One of the (many) things I don't get is how companies can thrive based on ad revenue. To me, ads are about as welcome as the letting the dog in after it has been raining. So, in light of the emerging developments this week is around legislation for not letting you fast forward through ads on DVDs, and Tivo deciding to show ads during fast forward, these geeks have come up with a novel and interesting way of "fixing" the problem: How-To: BroadCatching using RSS + BitTorrent to automatically download TV shows.
There are a couple of things I like about this:
The use of java on the client. Looks like a slick app.
Applying the magic of BitTorrent. For those who don't know, BitTorrent is smart way of transferring large files across the internet. Introduction here.
And finally, it was good to see Max Headroom make a cameo again :-)