Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"You've got radio."

I've never been a big fan of AOL. Terrible reputation for contributing millions of their mailout CD-ROM to landfills (incredibly wasteful marketing campaign). Their interface is known as the "training wheels of the Internet." (I mean, really. Why confuse matters with "AOL Users, use keyword X"? Can't they just search like the rest of us?) They (and Starbucks) paid big money to ensure that their logo was in your face throughout the rather sappy Hollywood remake of the great film The Shop Around the Corner (1940).

But, perhaps they're trying to change their image a little. They're now promoting their radio service, which ain't half bad. I found out about it because I'm a BzzAgent (that's a whole different post! Check out the link, then come back and ask me about it!), and now I'm sharing the info with you.

3 Things I like about aol.ca/radio
  • Three dedicated blues stations (acoustic, electric, and 'all blues') in the (supposedly) 170+ stations
  • No commercials
  • Haven't had any repeats yet

3 Things I don't like (aol people, please pay attention)
  • It opens every time with the "1-Hit Wonders" station. How irritating is that?!?
  • If I want to save my settings (like, so it doesn't open with the irritating station), I have to have an account. I don't want yet another account...
  • When I first 'turned it on', it started putting a program on my computer, without asking. How did they by-pass my settings? Oh, my Firefox wouldn't let it happen, but normally I'm asked...right?
3 Neutral things
  • Good basic info about the song, without going anywhere else (although, clicking on the links will take you to Aols' Puretracks store...a little undependable, checked it out twice, and once it timed out...that's 50% timeout so far, about as good as Napster)
  • Can't really compare it to the other listen'n'buy services. I haven't used itunes radio in ages...found it a bit undependable (and they mixed blues & jazz together). Napster is just irritating, had a 3-month 'subscription' -- essentially renting the music...but they don't really explain that until you're committed. (ARGH.)
  • Here's a bit of the interface:
Anyway, it's pretty good radio for when you're sitting at the computer. I think I get the whole satellite radio thing...the ur-radio that we've all been waiting for -- music that is constantly different, without the interruption of advertising. It would be nice to have in the car for long trips, that's for sure.

Lori

7 comments:

PJ said...

A friend of mine in New York has AOHell for her Internet access. It drastically censors what she may see online. They should rot in hell. I used to use Live365 for my Net radio but it was full of ads. Now I listen to SkyFM from England - http://www.sky.fm - almost no ads at all, and a large variety of stations from smooth jazz to classical guitar to world music (just scroll past the log-in). I have it on for hours every day.

raincoaster said...

They use Keywords because when they started they were a closed reservation, and didn't allow people to go off AOL or allow anyone else to search within it, so they had to invent their own codes to let people know where to find them. They're evil to this day.

But the 1-hit wonders station...is that the one that used to be Moonpennies? They were good. Who doesn't love a little Afternoon Delight?

mad said...

AOL is pretty much the devil. It's a wonder Time Warner hasn't spit it out back into the atmosphere. Come to think of it, Time Warner IS the devil.

Lori said...

No wonder they're trying ways to change their public opinion!

Sonia said...

Check out Pandora.com - It's easy it's free...nothing fancy...maybe that's why I like it...all you need is a US Zip code...okay I lost all my values and lied! But I'm having fun with it.

Lori said...

yup...90210
...funny how so many Canadians live in Hollywood, eh?

Lori said...

Oops. I meant Beverly Hills...