Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

12Feb/114

Celebrating 3 Strange Years

The subject line gave me the opportunity to post one of my favorite songs from really, one of my favorite albums of the '90s.  That's not what this post is about, but if you missed out on School of Fish (both the album and band), you should definitely (in my opinion) dig deeper! They're well worth the 33 cents (at the time of this writing) that a used copy will cost you at Amazon.

This is just a note to mark the third anniversary of Addicted to Vinyl, which means that we're now entering year number four, which is pretty awesome. I always feel like the name is a bit misleading, because we certainly do more than talk about vinyl. The intent at the time that I created this monster really was to have a space to nerd out about the music that I'm enjoying at a particular moment and this certainly has done that and continues to serve as an outlet for those ramblings (and I scored a girlfriend out of all of this, which I guess is proof that you can use these blog thingamabobs to pick up chicks.  Yeah, chicks, chicks, cool!)

When I look back, it's interesting to note how my listening habits have changed.  Three years ago, I was all about the physical product and not much of a fan of streaming music.  Three years later, I stream nearly 80 percent of everything that I listen to and watch.  The live music junkie part of me loves to listen to streaming live shows from Wolfgang's Vault (while continually yearning for a Blackberry app for WV).  For albums, Rdio has been a big entry into my world in the past year (after an all-too-brief introduction to the concept of a streaming music library from Lala.com) and Rdio currently monopolizes the majority of my listening on the go, whether I'm in the car, at the office, or on the Megabus headed to Chicago to torment my friends in the Windy City.

The $9.99 that I pay each month for Rdio (there's a subscription available minus the mobile listening capabilities for $4.99 per month) has been a no-brainer for the amount of music discovery that I get back, thanks to the social aspects that are built into the service.  As you add albums to your collection, the activity is shared with your friends in an ongoing stream of wall posts similar to Facebook (which, by the way you can easily share what you're listening to there as well).  Seeing the other albums that friends are listening to is a quick nudge to either check out an artist that you've been curious about (most recently for me, Bill Evans) or the chance to revisit an old favorite (because as you know, Stop Making Sense never gets old!).

It's a good thing that I came across Rdio, because prior to that, I didn't have enough music to listen to (yes, that's extreme sarcasm - my music collection is glaring at me right now).

The Rdio service isn't perfect - there are artists, albums and complete labels that are missing, but that's an issue that they continue to work on as they license additional content - just last night, I read the announcement that they've added the Matador catalog to their offerings.  So new things are always on the horizon at Rdio, but even in the absence of some key artists and albums, I think that even the largest music head will find plenty to listen to at Rdio. God knows, I'm never at a loss for listening material.....but why I am I listening to El DeBarge right now?  Heyliger! Look what you've done!

And yes, for those that are interested in streaming music, MOG is also an option - their lack of a Blackberry app has kept me away, but as good pal and MOG user Jefito will tell you, both services are good about letting you cancel at any time, so there's no harm in sampling each one to figure out which one is the best fit for your tastes.

Believe it or not, I still occasionally listen to the radio and I've found that the TuneIn streaming app is my favorite tool for pulling in both terrestrial and internet radio stations while on the road. It's pretty cool to be driving through the Cleveland area while listening to WXRT in Chicago. Which is to say that if the radio sucks in your city, you now have options. TuneIn has a slick interface and I like the ability to actually choose the stream quality if there are options to pick from.  With access to the previously mentioned terrestrial, internet AND HD channels, there's an unbelievable amount of choices at your fingertips. (For what it's worth,  I believe that all Clear Channel stations are absent from TuneIn - you'll find those on Clear Channel's iheartradio streaming app, but besides the KBCO Studio C channel, you're not missing much.)

So, how do you listen to all of this stuff in your car?  There's certainly plenty of options, but I ended up settling on this unit from Kenwood, which comes with both an auxilary input on the control panel and a USB port.  If you're a nerd like me, it's a MUST.

For movies, I've been addicted to this Sony Blu-ray player, which allows streaming of a ton of content, including Netflix and video rentals from Amazon.  I use those two functions more than I use actual discs.  Of course they introduced a new model shortly after I bought mine that allows all of the previous and it also plays SACDs and adds support for 3D video.  Either way, what I like about Blu-ray is that they're constantly issuing firmware updates that add additional streaming content and functionality. It's nice to have something that isn't immediately out of date as soon as you purchase it like so many things.

And there's your summary of where I've gone in the past three years of listening to music.  Ultimately, I still want to hold it in my hands and I love the liner notes, but I'm not as attached to that as I once was.  The idea of a virtual library that I can access from anywhere is one example of change that I can embrace.

Addicted to Vinyl would probably still exist without all of you (I'm that much of a nerd that I'll happily talk to myself) but it's certainly a lot more interesting with your contributions, thoughts and the occasional rebuttal. The site has been a great networking tool (yep, that was also unintended) that has helped me to make a lot of great friends and I'm grateful for all of you that evangelize the site on a daily basis (and also to those that invite me to share my ramblings on their sites).  Big props also go to my longtime pal Kevin Brennan for his continued contributions here and also to D.X. Ferris for contributing his comical lunacy on Mondays and Fridays.

So that's enough out of me for now - thanks to all for reading.  I'm certainly looking forward to another year of musical nerdiness.  Shall we begin?

Cheers!

P.S. - I should mention that there is a donation tab in the upper right hand corner of the site, so if you're inclined, we can always use another 12 pack of Dr. Pepper here at the ATV world headquarters.  What?  You mean we're not supposed to be twitching like this?  I guess it's time for another one...

  • http://www.popdose.com Michael Parr

    Congrats, Matt!

  • http://3minuterecord.wordpress.com Scott

    Congratulations Matt! Great song and great blog! Thanks for all the help along the way. Scott

  • http://www.theseconddisc.com Mike Duquette

    Congratulations! And to many more years!

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  • Stereo Dictator

    Congratulations Matt! After three years of maintaining this site along with your multitude of related duties, you are hereby recognized as the king nerd of music collecting. I guess that makes the rest of us willing accomplices in the music nerd kingdom. Salut!