★ Another Music Related Post

Five years ago this week Apple introduced a new product called iPod. Yes, you read that right, FIVE years ago. No one knew how big this mp3 player would become. Most people ridiculed Apple’s decision to make a consumer electronics device saying that they had no experience in that area, that it would only work on Macs and that it was way too expensive. Five years later, iPod is the world’s most popular music player and the iTunes Store is the world’s largest online music/TV show/movie store.

I jumped on the iPod bandwagon (if there even was one back then) a year after it was announced. I bought one as soon as they introduced Windows compatibility, not through iTunes, but by licensing MusicMatch to make Windows software that would allow users to connect their iPods to their PCs. I always love bringing up the fact that people that I was slightly insane to pay $250 (with an educational discount) for something that just played music. Sure it only did one thing; it played music. But it did it in such a way that people have never experienced before. With its 5GB hard drive, I could carry a ridiculous amount of songs with me. I didn’t have to carry hundreds of CDs with me whenever I wanted to listen to music. I just carried this thing that was the size of a deck of cards and I had almost a thousand songs available at the scroll of the wheel. I remember when not everyone had an iPod. I would walk on campus and as soon as I saw someone else with those now ubiquitous white headphones, you would give them a nod of acknowledgement. And now I love the reaction I get whenever I use my original iPod since the majority of people have only known the iPod when iTunes was introduced for Windows back in 2003. These were the same people who didn’t like the click wheel on the iPod minis and 4G iPods saying they “liked the ‘original’ four buttons across the top better”.

I’m happy to say my original iPod is still working well along with my 4G iPod. If five years has brought us this far, I can’t wait what Apple has next in store.

★ Last.fm

Here are two facts about me. One, I love music. Two, I’m a nerd. And now I’ve found something that puts the two together; Last.fm.

I love music. I don’t consider myself a casual listener of music. To me, casual listeners are those who listen only to the radio. That is their only source of music. They are content with the radio and whatever it feeds them. For me, music is more than just background noise in the car. It provides the soundtrack to my life. I’ll play a specific album or song and it will take me back to a point in my life. I love how I can relate to the lyrics in a song. I listen to so much music that I am constantly looking for a new band or artist to listen to. I usually find new music through friends or the internet. But even that gets tiresome after awhile. This is where Last.fm starts. After signing up for an account and installing a small plug-in into your music player of choice, the site analyzes what you listen to and makes recommendations based on your listening habits. It suggests new artists and shows you other users with your same listening tastes. You can look at other peoples’ profiles and take a peek into what they are listening to. Check out mine to see what a user’s profile page looks like.

Last.fm also satisfies the geek in me. The site will keep track of the artists you listen to. It shows you who you’ve been listening to on a weekly basis and shows you overall top artists. It also shows you a real time list of what you’ve just listened to and even gives you html code that you can paste into your MySpace website or blog. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. It would be even cooler if I had more friends that used it. Seriously, sign up.