I am a huge music fan, I'll listen to all sorts of music ranging from the pop to opera and this is my experience of Spotify, a service that truly is a “game changer” meaning you can listen to virtually any music you like without having to go buy a download or a CD. I've been a Spotify user for quite a while and am now a premium (subscription) customer. There is one snag though, I am also an Ubuntu user, a platform not supported officially by Spotify. Despite this, it is possible to get Spotify up and running on Ubuntu and a few mobile devices. This is my experience so far of using Spotify.
This week I have been lucky enough to be one of the first people in the UK to have a play with a product that 3 are bringing out today (Friday 18th September): the MiFi. What on earth is a "MiFi" you might ask? It is a small device that combines a mobile broadband modem, a WiFi router and a battery. You can easily carry it around with you, and connecting to it is no more complicated than connecting to any other WiFi hotspot. Up to five devices can be connected to it, you won't need any extra drivers or configuration packages and yes it works on Ubuntu. You can also connect devices to it that can't use a mobile broadband dongle, like iPod Touches and Internet radio devices and locked down corporate laptops that you can't install software on to. I was invited to an event in London on Monday by the folk at 3MobileBuzz and got to find out about the device, as well as be loaned one to try it out.
All sorts of people connected with The Open University are blogging about their interests, experiences and knowledge they want to share with you. These people include not just academics but also librarians, tutors, techies and project managers all putting information out there and discussing ideas, it's a side of the OU that you might not have thought about, one that isn't immediately visible when you deal with the OU, or even work in the place, but it is quite an interesting side.
Students and staff of The Open University may be far flung sometimes, but thanks to Web 2.0 new opportunities are arising all the time for them to connect. The latest of these is the chance to share musical tastes and contribute a shared playlist that can be listened to on an online radio player. Many of you may be familiar with last.fm, a service which can recommend and play music you might like based on music you have played previously.
The EEE does lots more fancy multimedia stuff. One great program that is on board already is Amarok (although it has been renamed Music Manager here). This has got to be one of the greats of the open source world. Through this application you can listen to your music collection, listen to internet radio, subscribe to podcasts and it integrates with last.fm (so you can listen to streams and scrobble tracks).
There comes a time, probably when you have heard James Blunt for the thirteenth time in the space of a couple of hours, that you start wondering if there is a better way to discover new music that you might like. Fortunately there is an answer, an answer that has been around for some time now it is last.fm which offers you the chance to discover new artists that you might like based on your existing taste.