Saturday, November 29, 2008

Internet Radio - World Culture Live And On Location

As this is Thanksgiving week and I have been away, I don't have the computer access I usually do and therefore am a little short on time. I'd like to make a comparison of traditional vs more social Internet radio, but since I'm in a bit of a rush this week, I will instead quickly share some of my personal experience with the more traditional formats with you in the form of a few web site suggestions.

I've found it to be quite an interesting and rewarding experience to be able to hook into a live radio station on air in a foreign land. Surf Music, Radio Tower, and vTuner are all sites where you can access live broadcasting world-wide. You can do the same at Live 365, however they will charge you a fee. You may have to be patient though and be willing to try several stations before you get one that is working. If you do however, you will be treated to an experience of world culture like never before. Even if you don't understand the language, just to hear the sound of live foreign commentary along with the music is pretty neat. Try it!

Update: I just recieved a suggestion to try a site called Radeo Internet Player. It looks very promising as well. Thanks dp!

Internet Radio - Magnificant Magnatune!

As an avid fan of independent "indie" music, just let me just say that I am really glad to have discovered the likes of Magnatune! Trust me, there is plenty of fabulous music out there which is not available on major commercial record labels nor that can be heard on your most popular radio stations. Magnatune is devoted entirely to the "indie" music industry and carefully hand picks each and everyone of the artists who are signed with them. What this means to their listeners is access to guaranteed good quality music which is unique and almost impossible to find elsewhere. The artists receive 50% of all sales of their music, a great offer, and receive plenty of publicity as Magnatune heavily encourages sharing of all their selections amongst the listening community. All of the music from this site can be downloaded to an ipod or just about any other MP3 device with ease, readily embedded in websites or blog posts, or utilized in podcasts. I can't wait to include some output from these great independent artists in my world music blog!

This site covers a wide range of genres including: classical, electronica, jazz, blues, metal, punk, rock/pop, world, and ambient. My favorite radio feature which they offer is their "genre mixes" which consist of playlists of up to 500 tunes for free listening from the style category of your choice. What a great way to keep abreast of all the latest releases while discovering new music to enjoy. Fortunately, Jennifer pointed out the world music genre mix which proves to be very comprehensive both with respect to styles of music and geographical regions of the world represented. Click on any selection in a playlist and you will be provided with detailed information on the album its from as well as the artist(s) and the style of music they perform.

If you are interested in purchasing or downloading a cd or downloading a selection, you can listen to all of the music for free before you buy. All of their music is very reasonably priced, even including some freebies here and there, and the sound quality of all downloads is excellent. Once you make a purchase, Magnatune will point you in the direction of similar music you might consider for your additional enjoyment.

Added privileges are available for members. For $5.00 per month you have access to 24 hour, unlimited, commercial-free, live audio streaming of the music genre of your choice. For $10.00 per month you can enjoy access to numerous podcasts and create your own personalized radio playlists. The best offer though is the unlimited music downloading privileges for this nominal fee. In my view, Magnatune on the whole is a real bargain whether you are a member or not!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saving The Best For Last!

I am skipping over Thing #23 at this point, but that is only because of all things we have explored so far, internet radio is my favorite! I thought I would end on the "highest note" possible, from this musician's perspective anyway.

Microblogging In The Library Environment

Of course, there are many types of information that can be communicated quite effectively through microblogging not only with respect to patrons, but library staff as well. In addition to implementing RSS feeds, with this avenue of communication, I could update patron's less formally and more selectively on music cd purchases which I've made for the collection. I really like the fact that you can embed audio into your posts, a feature that would greatly enhance my messages in this particular setting. The library could use this tool to issue updates to both staff and patrons regarding new library services and web site design features. Valuable feed back could then be used to improve upon the original design of such enhancements before they are actually implemented.

Library staff would also benefit from access to this form of communication, amongst themselves, not only from within their own library walls, but also from within the library community at large on a local, national or even world-wide basis. Both information-sharing and problem-solving activities naturally lend themselves to this type of web environment. For example, I can tell you that here in the cataloging department at the BPL, we could sure use all the advice we could get on how to obtain quality service from outsourcing agencies. Hey, what about those reference stumpers? I, myself, am not engaged in public service, but I'm sure my colleagues could use some assistance with those. I could go on and on here, but you get the picture.

Twitter And My Blog - World Music Boston

I can immediately envision this service as an effective aide in soliciting constructive feedback, while my very new blog is in its initial design stages. The more advice I can get, the better. My friends and family have been absolutely great so far in this realm, so why not enhance communications a bit with this nifty little tool. This way I can communicate my progress to the audience I choose and they will know exactly what issues I am currently dealing with. Now, they can provide their input, if they so desire, in a timely manner. No more hassles trying to remember who I should ask for advice or finding the time to communicate with them. All I have to do is post my progress and/or concerns and let all that valuable support come to me automatically on its own. Here is my Twitter account profile which is currently public, but that will soon change.

Yum!!! - On-Line Recipes

I love sauces because there are so many easy ones to make and you can use the same one on a variety of foods. Make a sizable batch of just one and you have the makings for many meals to come. Spicy Peanut Sauce is one of my absolute favorites and frequently occupies a space in my refrigerator. Spicy Peanut Soup with Chicken is a variation of the standard African dish, Peanut Stew. Of course, you can adjust both these recipes to your taste if you don't like it too hot.

When it comes to dining out, I am a true foodie at heart. Unfortunately, frequenting too many gourmet restaurants can get to be a bit expensive pretty quickly. The site for Bon appetit cooking magazine is where I go to satisfy my foodie cravings as well as my budget! And where do I go when I need a break from all that delicious but rich fare? I head for the South Beach Diet site, as well as, for "skinny" recipes that don't taste like it. Amanda reminded me about the housekeeping magazines and those neat little recipe booklets that are often displayed in the check-out aisle at the supermarket. As all of us are frequently strapped for time, glancing at these for recipe suggestions makes for good use of it while you're having to stand in line anyway.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Live Music Archive - World Music (?)

I was really anxious to search this archive for world music concerts given in the Boston area. It was hoped that I would be provided with some real gems to post in my blog, however, I was ultimately rather disappointed with my search results. It appears that there is but a limited amount of concert material with respect to this genre and that locating it is quite a chore. While keyword searching is available, it isn't very effective. This is due largely to the fact that while there may be descriptive terms provided for some entries, it is an optional feature and therefore not included in all of them. It would be extremely beneficial if they could categorize their entries by genre. Happily though, all is not lost and I did manage to find these nice samplings of world fusion by famed Arabic artist Ostad Manoochehr Sadeghi and his Ostad Manoochehr Sadeghi Ensemble. Perhaps, with a little further digging and quite a lot of patience, I will be able to locate at least some valuable material for my readers. I would also point out that over-all musically, this site has great content, in spite of its searching limitations. I fully intend to visit on occasion with respect to all types of music, just for my own listening pleasure.