Saturday, August 15, 2009

Music over the net.

One thing you miss incredibly when you're living in a country other than your own is the radio that you had in your country. I suppose there are some interesting Swiss radio stations. And, actually I rather like Radio Swiss Jazz, but one channel isn't really enough. Sure, there's World Radio Switzerland as well, but the music they play on the station is stuff I just can't stand, even though I like the content. There was also the English Show in Basel, but they had the same problem.

After awhile I decided it would be good to check out the options on the Internet. At first there were a few stations on iTunes. It's still a pretty good option. Stations like those of RadioIO are pretty decent, even if they're all music and no news. Of course for news there's always the option of listening to NPR, which I can get over iTunes, various network players and even my cable TV box. However, I still end up watching CNN or Swiss TV for most of my broadcast news these days, even if it's just for the background noise.

But, the listening to of music on a computer isn't always a great experience. It's okay to use iTunes at work with some headphones, but at home I want to just kick back and listen. I'd also like to listen to something played over some nice speakers and not have to deal with the headphones. So it was gadget time! :-)

The first thing I'd actually tried was iTunes with a Airport Express. I bought my first AX before leaving from the US. I was using it as a extension wireless router at first. It worked quite nicely for this. I also tried using it with my iTunes collection, then on my little G3 iBook. The iBook didn't have enough room to store my entire collection, which I wanted encoded as a lossless collection, but it did play some stuff nicely. It was fun to play with for a bit but I ended up deciding I needed to use the disk space on my iBook and so ended up going back to just using my five disc changers. However, in Switzerland, I no longer had my five disc changers....
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