Sunday, April 02, 2006

Soundtrack for Your Life

I don't know about you, but I like to have a little music playing while I work. Not usually anything with lyrics, but I often enjoy classical or even just some quiet piano music. Unfortunately, the local radio stations don't always agree with my preferences and my CD collection is limited at best. What is a poor information technologist to do?

Fortunately for me, I do spend a great deal of time in front of the computer and on the Internet. Not long ago, I discovered a wonderful service called "Live365" (at, where else, This site houses literally thousands of "stations" with music for all tastes. You can even do a search for your preferred music types and, with a free account, register your favorites. Now, when I say these stations cover the whole gamut of the musical world, I am serious. The other day, I did a search on "piano" and, amongst the 450 results was the "all Rachmaninoff" station. Talk about your niche market!

I also have, among my other favorites, a couple that I like to listen to when I'm working out. I've got a fun, "clean" comedy station, with riffs from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, and Bill Cosby. I also found a more thought-provoking station called It's full of motivational and business-oriented audio tracks which can turn my 30-minute ride on the stationary bike into my personal business seminar.

Now, listening to Internet Radio does have its limitations, of course. After all, you do need to have a computer connected to the Internet. You can't transfer the songs to your iPod or other MP3 music player, though they do have podcasts you can download. If you have the free service, you might not be able to access your favorite channels (precedence is given to VIP, i.e. paying, members). Also, using the free account, you have to put up with advertising -- not too annoying, but still something of which to be aware.

Assuming you can tolerate these minor issues, though, this service may be everything you could want in adding a soundtrack to your life. Try it out!

How do you prefer to get your music? Radio? CD? Whistle While You Work? Let me know!

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