Trying to get the most of out my Sonos setup with a decent streaming radio option. I’m been using Spotify for quite a while now, and only really listening to the music in my playlist there. I’m completely out of the loop on any new popular music. I’m looking for suggestions. You can share your opinion right away in the comments, or read on if you want to know my thinking so far.
Some basics of what I’m looking for:
Cheap or free with few ads – I already pay for Spotify, but their radio doesn’t work with Sonos
Works with Sonos
Slacker – Slacker starts out ahead because I used it for a whole summer a few years ago. It checks the pre-defined station mark. I’ve only used it a little this week but so far I sill like it. There aren’t many ads on the free version, and the paid version is only $4/month.
Pandora – I’ve never been a Pandora person. I know people love it, but I never got hooked. It looks like it has pre-defined stations, but they don’t show up in Sonos. Bonus Points: Each time I’ve gone to the site this week, it auto-plays my Mitch Hedberg station.
Songza – This was new to me, but seemed to have solid reviews. I tried it out and loved it instantly. They have tons of different stations with typical and completely random themes. You can navigate by genre, decade, mood, or activity. They will even suggest categories based on the time of day and ask what you are doing. They have an Angsty mood, which is exactly my favorite kind of music, so that got me hooked quickly. I haven’t heard a single ad and can’t find anything about a paid service. It looks like they had one but then were bought by Google, I can only assume they stopped offering the paid version. The biggest con so far is that on some of the stations I’ve tried this week, the songs repeat way too often. It might win just because it is free and there are so many stations to jump between.
Let me know of other options. iTunes Radio isn’t on Sonos. I’ve heard good things about Beats radio options, but they are more of a Spotify replacement and even though I want out of Spotify, Beats doesn’t offer the features I want. I used to have Sirius and loved it but I don’t drive as much any more and its very expensive. Their newer streaming stuff where you can customize your station looks perfect, but only the basic non-custom stations are supported by Sonos.
Ars: Why YouTube Buffers
I’d recommend this article to anyone who users the internet. So, everybody. It doesn’t get too technical and explains a bit about how the content you consume online (specifically YouTube and Netflix) make it from it’s source to your house. It’s not Verizon or Comcast connecting right to Google or Netflix.
There has been lots of talk online about Verizon and Netflix and how companies aren’t cooperating causing Netflix to be unusable at times. I have Verizon Fios at home and haven’t noticed any major issues. Sometimes it takes a long time to start playing, but I don’t run in to buffering issues. YouTube also has been fairly solid, although not perfect. However, having Comcast for the past few months, I can understand the YouTube frustrations. With Comcast, every few days YouTube would just stop playing videos for a few hours. Although for Comcast that’s a step up from when we first got their cable internet and every few days the whole internet would just not work for a few days.
Mike Herrera on Stage It
If you don’t recognize the name, he is the lead singer of MxPx. If you have known me at any point since 10th or 11th grade, then you’ll know that band. Just listening to the Tomorrow is Another Day track is a musical time machine back to high school. The track on the link is live and acoustic, he stops a few times along the way. Here is an album version to hear it with the full band.
The 8-track performance on Bandcamp was done on Stageit, which I wasn’t familiar with. Taking a look at the site, I’m a huge fan of the idea, so long as the quality is there. An artist or band can decide they are going to do a show from their webcam. Tickets are sold and then fans can watch and chat (even with the band) during the performance. Most of the shows I clicked on are Pay What You Can, but you can also Tip, and Top Tippers get rewards from the bands.
The site says that the shows aren’t recorded so they are once-in-a-lifetime, but the Mike Herrera one is on Bandcamp. I would think Stageit would also want to sell the live tracks for them and the musicians to make as much as possible. People would still pay more for the live experience, especially with the interactivity and rewards.
I didn’t recognize many of the bands currently on the site, but it looks like they’ve had some in the past. I’ll have to keep an eye on it.
I have a proposal. Fun. has to swap names with Matt & Kim. If any band should be called ‘Fun’, it’s Matt & Kim. What should fun. do having to be called Matt & Kim? They could just call themselves The Format. If they called themselves The Format they’d have to make songs as good as they were then. (Me = bitter than fun. is so popular when The Format made much better music.)
The new album is called Lightning and comes out October 2nd. You can pre-order the CD on Amazon, or as mp3s.
Covers are usually just ok. Every once in a while I find a good one, although it’s usually not a cover of a song I like a lot. In this case I like the original a lot and this cover is really well done. So listen.
Do you have those songs that instantly take you back a few years? I assume everybody does. That can get a bit nostalgic. But what about when you hear a new song that takes you back? That’s a lot more fun. This might be cheating. I loved this band years ago and they sound exactly the same.
Everclear. So Much for the Afterglow was the first CD, first anything, I ordered online. I loved the song Everything to Everyone so much I had to pre-order the CD. Some of their albums after I didn’t love as much, but this new song sounds like those old days and the high school me still inside instantly started rocking out.
Everclear – Be Careful What You Ask For
The album, Invisible Stars, comes out June 26th. I was shocked that it’s their first in 6 years. Although SMftA came out in 97. I had both Volumes of Songs from and American Movie, but not much stuck. I don’t ever remember their two after that.
Can a song be acoustic if you use a Power Pad? It’s certainly not unplugged. I have no problem with it, I know some people get upset when acoustic isn’t truly unplugged, so just laugh at them and use a NES.
I really like this album. Besides this song, My Way and Don’t You made my day-to-day playlist on Spotify.
It’s calmed down, but a few weeks ago this song was stuck in my head non-stop. I think they paid off Spotify, cause it kept coming up on my playlist. Even if they did, it was worth it.
Motion City Soundtrack – Wait So Long
What I didn’t know until writing this post is that this is a cover. I was shocked. How could the song sound any different? Oh, you must listen to the original by Trampled By Turtles. How did they even get from there to the cover? I still like the MCS version, but I have the urge to add Trampled By Turtles to Spotify. The name alone is awesome and this song has be uber-curious.
Of course you know, so this is just reminding you. Max Bemis is in Say Anything, who has their own album coming out in the spring. Two Tongues is him and Chris Conley, his usual spot is in Saves the Day. Both bands are awesome and together, the first Two Tongues album (AmazonSpotify) was pretty great.