The first thing I did when I got my iPod was rip my entire CD collection. That took up maybe 10 of my 55.79 GB. Then I put some video clips on it, and from time to time I put photographs on it so I can show them to people I visit.
I almost never use those things, though; what I really use my iPod for is listening to podcasts. (I should put the podcasts on the blogroll.) Probably about half of them are talk programs from various places around the world, and the other half are music.
I have some really great music from my CDs on the iPod; it’s nice to have all of them at the touch of a finger. I wind up not listening to them very much, though, because there’s so much great music out there on the net yet to be discovered.
When I was a kid, I had trouble sleeping at night if I didn’t have a radio going next to me. I loved listening to shortwave radio when I was a teenager, at the height of Communist propaganda broadcasting. I listened to the news from Moscow; I listened to the BBC World Service; I tried to learn Dutch from Radio Nederland.
There’s not much to listen to on broadcast radio any more. Right-wing morons like Rush Limbaugh and Gordon Liddy, religious fanatics, endless raving about sports. When I drive to Nashville every few weeks, I enjoy listening to WPLN-AM, but down here in Aluhbamuh, even the public radio is mostly limited to classical music and post-modern soul, neither of which really turn me on. (Remind me sometime to tell you the one about the college roommate who used to stand across the room from a cassette recorder and conduct Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.)
But there’s lots to listen to on the Web. Right now I am listening to Groove Salad from SomaFM. AOLRadio has quite a few of the XM satellite channels, in addition to many of their own (they seem to have gobbled up Spinner, my favorite music radio from my old Windows-using days).
I like Pandora and last.fm, but they’ve been one-upped recently by Deezer. They’ve actually worked things out with the rights organizations so that the artists get paid royalties, so you can listen to the song you want to listen to, on demand, legally.
There are three other amazing music radio sites I’ve discovered in the last week that I have to mention: from the government of Denmark, there’s DR NetRadio; from San Diego, there’s Slacker; and most amazing of all, there’s Musicovery.
There’s still lots of good stuff on Live365, notably Radio DavidByrne.com. There are all the great jazz streams on public radio, especially KPLU, and then, of course, there’s the incomparable WWOZ, the voice of everything that is quintessentially New Orleans.
There’s other stuff worth mentioning, but I’ve got things to do right now. Bye.