Posted by: stevealbers | November 24, 2008

Day One – Music


The plan was to start this earlier, but a perfect storm of: moving to a new apartment, getting the flu bug, and fashion show in Milan (well, two of the three anyway) put a little bit of a delay on things. So getting started with learning a little more about me and what I like… we’ll start with online music options.

While there are many, many options for listening to music online, I thought I would share a few of my favorite sites.

The Sound 100.3 -The Sound is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Besides playing “released” singles that you hear on other radio stations, The Sound digs a little deeper and plays other tracks from the album. Everything from Al Green to Bruce Springsteen to the Foo Fighters can be heard. They also play great live tracks acoustic versions that very rarely get any airtime. Click on their “Recently Played” tab to get a better idea of their format!

Indie 103.1 -Indie 103.1 has been my favorite L.A. radio station since moving here. Unlike other “indie” or “alternative” stations that also might throw a Rush, Nickelback or Def Leppard track in from time to time, Indie 103 remains true to their name. From Joe Escalante in the morning, Jonsey’s Jukebox at noon and TK in the afternoons, they keep the good music playing throughout the day.

Pandora – Pandora is probably my favorite non-commercial online radio station. You can listen to stations based on an artist or song. The music is chosen from the Music Genome Project, which selects songs that are a close match to your original selection. Overall it does a pretty good job, although the more obscure the band the less variance you’ll hear. The streaming is excellent too.

Yahoo Music -Yahoo has been the service that I’ve used the longest, although I do not use it that often anymore. They have many different genre/stations for you to choose from. Some of the stations are free, and some require you to pay the monthly fee.

Last.FM – Last.FM is very similar to Pandora. Users can recommend songs/artists and also create radio stations based upon the type of music you currently listen to. They have the ability to “scrobble” songs that you play on your computer and iPod to add to your library (I have scrobbled 4308 songs since April 25th).

KEXP – I used to listen to KEXP (Seattle) quite a bit when I still lived in Iowa. While other stations were dealing with the record companies regarding compensation, KEXP kept streaming the alternative hits. They play a very good mix of new songs, old songs, songs by “alternative pioneers”, to the latest and greatest. Another cool aspect is that they are listener-supported.

ITunes Radio – I admit that my use of the radio function on Itunes is very infrequent. Partly because I forget about the option when I have Itunes open, and also because I’m not impressed with the functionality. Some stations do not give song/artist information, which to me is a big downfall. It’s a nice function because it comes with the Itunes app… but that’s about it.

KBVU – 97.5 – Based out of Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Iowa, this is a station that I’ve actually been a DJ on. For two summers, I was half of “The Nate & Steve Show.” While the main criteria to be a summer DJ was the ability to not curse on air… it was still a cool experience. Playing mainly alternative music, the station is a nice change of pace in a very rural setting.

So if I’m not listening to my iPod at work, you can guarantee I’ve got one of the above tuned in. I encourage you to check one/all of the out and see what you think. They have helped me through many a workday, and probably can improve yours too!

Let me know if you use any of the above, or have other options that I haven’t listed.

PS- On a side-note… I’ve been using Amazon for my Mp3’s lately. DRM-Free and they have some great deals! (I just picked up the new Killers album for $3.99!!)



  1. Is that your old boombox? I have just been serching for stations to listen to at work-must be free! Thanks for the info!

  2. Here is an entry Mashable! just did comparing vs. Pandora. Both get good marks overall…

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