11.17.2011

The GGA Project -- Day #341 "Stalker Feed Gem, Part 2"

Well, back to the stalker feed on Facebook.  Another thing I noticed on that little ticker of an updater last week was a play-by-play of the songs my friend Neal was listening to.  "Neal listened to such-and-such by so-and-so on Slacker Radio," the updates would say.  First, I thought that was totally weird.  I mean we all have the freedom to update our status if we so choose, but when a third party steps in and tells you what somebody else is doing on a song-by-song basis, I mean I don't know, it just seemed a little too personal or real-time.  It turned out Neal didn't know that the app to which he was listening was telling all of Facebook what he was up to, which is odd too.  Facebook doesn't publish the story on your own page, so you don't necessarily know about it, just everybody who knows you does.


Well anyway, I didn't mean to go on about the stalker feed again, but those particular updates did give me an idea.  I've heard a lot about Spotify and Slacker Radio lately, and though I'm a huge fan of Pandora, I was up for trying out a new application and seeing how it compared.  Also, I was interested in the down-tempo/chill station Neal had told me about, as I liked the few songs he's shared with me after hearing them there.


Today's New Activity: Chillin' With Slacker (Radio)


I feel about electronica music the way I think a lot of people feel about wine or maybe jazz.  They know when they like the taste or the sound of it, but the idea of being knowledgable about it is pretty intimidating.  They don't know where to start.  I know I like a number of the various electronica sub-genres when I hear them, but I'd have a hard time listing even 5 artists in each.  For some (drum and bass, for example) I'd be lucky to come up with one.


But that's exactly what applications like Pandora and Slacker are FOR.  They hear you say "I like that," and they say, "cool, here's something else you may like, too!"  That these stations can be tweaked and made-to-order and personalized for free makes deciding to check them out a pretty easy decision to make.  If listening to any of these apps during all my (substantial) commute time didn't put me in danger of going over my phone's data plan every month, I might not ever listen to the radio again!


Here's the thing to know about the Chill station though (this is easy to comment on because I'm listening to it as I write): you might just fall asleep.  Or you might lose all focus and motivation and take two hours to write a blog that will look like you pounded it out in 2 1/4 minutes.  Or you might just feel really really sad!  Not that I feel really sad right now.  Not at all, but I'm saying that if I were on the edge of that feeling, the Chill station could definitely push me over it.  So yes, heed that warning and then, by all means, proceed. 


Turns out Slacker is pretty comparable to Pandora, but I discovered they also have festival stations (like Coachella and Lollapalooza) not to mention a Holiday Classics station.  Yay for commercial-free Christmas music.  Well, in a few weeks anyway.  The site does play commercials every now and then, like Pandora does, but it does have the premium option if you wanted to pay to forego all that.  I can handle a commercial every few songs if it keeps things free.


So yeah.  And though I've mentioned it before on this very blog (and mainly since I want to add SOMETHING audio/visual to this post about music), here's a video for one of my favorite chill-out songs ever:



Here's hoping this finds you in a state of the best kind of mellow...



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