It's 5AM NYC time but 11AM in Geneva, Switzerland where I am sitting by a window looking out at the Alps and blogging furiously. On this particular over-cappucinoed and slightly xanax-induced morning I want to listen to some music in my new noise-canceling obnoxiously packaged but oh-so amazing Bose headphones. I am only going to try the free music sites, as I've already paid for 3 hours of Wi-Fi access (even though I came prepared with two apparently dysfunctional global Mi-Fis). Beware the Verizon FiveSpot.
So after paying 15 CHF, let's see if I can access Pandora from outside the States. Pandora was one of the first free online music distribution sites which started as part of the Music Genome Project back in 2000. It works via a series of "channels." You pick a band you like, Pandora plays it and then plays songs that sound like it, which is a great way to discover new music.
#FAIL Pandora is U.S. only. Although downloading a simple Hot Spot shield could help the situation, I'm not about to pull any fancy IP blocking tricks at an airport at 5AM.
Then I thought, oooooooo, maybe I can access the elusive Spotify now that I'm across the pond. I was given a trial run of Spotify a few years back but it has since been revoked, not quite sure why. In case you aren't familiar with Spotify, it's a service with a savvy black interface and an enormous back catalog of music with excellent streaming quality and social networking features so you can share music on Twitter, Facebook and via e-mail. Basically it's one more reason that Europeans think they are cooler than Americans. And in this case, they are right.
#FAIL Spotify still hates me even though I'm in Europe. Mais pourquoi?!?
Next try: HypeM. The Hype Machine is an MP3 aggregator rather than an application created by Anthony Volodkin (@Fascinated). It's an excellent way to find great new music and sort lists by popular, most tweeted and the latest. Basically it's a dance party all the time.
HypeM FTW! My morning rocks on. And this chocolate croissant is that much more delicious to the tune of King Charles' Love Lust.
Now I'm starting to get curious. Have you heard of Grooveshark? Their tagline: "Listen to any song in the world for free. Create free internet radio stations. Search for free mp3's to stream." With only 6million registered users (and an impressive 37,504 Twitter followers), it is a quickly growing go-to for music seekers. Two very savvy friends in Tel Aviv turned me onto the service for people who prefer web applications to desktop ones. The Florida based company provides an epic collection of music, the ability to make playlists, share with friends, upload music and YES! it's free and works globally. Check out their sweet staff here. Hello James.
For a minute there, I lost myself.