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bLink 9

The music bloggosphere

By Thom Wong 22 Dec 2005 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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If you've been using the Internet since the days of 2400 baud modems, then chances are you've already downloaded the latest Kanye West album, mashed it up with theme songs from 60's cartoons and posted them on your own flash-intensive website. However, if you only returned from the store yesterday, eager to find out about this "information superhighway" everyone is talking about, then the whole idea of music on the Internet could be a daunting proposition.

Leaving aside the legal issues surrounding music online (It is legal! It isn't?), there are more than enough sites to keep you awash in aural pleasure…uh…hoppin' tunage. If you are a neophyte, a good place to start is music blogs. Personal favourites include Largeheartedboy, You Ain't No Picasso, Dreams of Horses, and Gorilla vs. Bear (the usually reliable and immensely popular Stereogum has morphed into a Mr. Britney Spears-watch; here's hoping for a return to form). These sites feature a strong personal touch to picking music and most stress that the song files posted are for "sampling purposes only."

If music blogs already bore you, or there seem to be too many to choose from, you might try two other sites: Pandora and The Hype Machine. Pandora operates like a best friend who works at a record store (but not HMV - have you seen what they consider "rock" in that place?). You give it an artist you like and it will generate a "station" for you to listen to other artists considered to be of similar character. Best of all, the site is completely legal since you cannot choose what songs you will hear.

The Hype Machine, is a blog aggregator, which simply means it takes all of the songs posted to music blogs that day and generates a list. You miss out on the clever banter and witty repartee, but get easy access to all the music.

(On a sidenote: Proposed changes to the current Copyright Act could affect you more than you think. Click here to contact your MP.)

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Monday and Thursday on The Tyee. What's he all about? Click here. For previous 40 bLinks, click here.  [Tyee]

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