Almost anywhere you look you can find someone or something playing music. Since the time of Napster the internet has been linked to music with little success from the powers that be to separate them. As if almost in spite of the efforts to keep a tight hold onto the rights to distribute the music places like Amazon, Napster, Real player, and iTunes have legitimized the internet as a system to distribute music. Among all this confusion piracy still holds a place when looking to acquire a song or album. The RIAA would have you believe that the number is much larger then it could be but since the applications and sites that host the illicit content do not keep tabs or share the information with anyone it is near imposable to know for sure. While it seems that all the angles have been covered and that you could not find another avenue, hope is just a web address away. In an effort to distance myself from pop-media music I started to look for sites that offered great content that was not being highlighted well enough in my opinion. You might see the link for MTUNE in the places of interest column. The “M” stands for Magna so the site and company are called Magnatune. That was one of the first sites I found that offered great music for a fair price and they have a brave philosophy. Download the music you want to try, in full, and pay us for what you think is worth paying for. The site gives you the ability to listen to a song or album over the internet in a streaming form or download the song to listen to later. You can even listen to an entire genre's list of artists in a streaming play list that resembles a kind of radio station. They have a good selection and the company even goes out and sells the music to companies for advertisements and on occasion you can find the CD version of the artist's album on a store shelf. Give the site a shot, I don't think you will be disappointed. The next site I feel I should mention is Shoutcast. It has been around for years as the site that was developed for WinAmp, a popular music player. WinAmp does more now then just play music and the site has grown to work with more then just WinAmp. Thanks in part to mp3 player popularity programmers have created their own players that use the site also. Shoutcast has grown from geeks with music servers in the garage broadcasting their massive music collections, and now includes radio stations from across the globe broadcasting live shows. The format is dominantly MP3 but AAC has been used here and there. I use this site when I feel like listening to something new quickly. I'll round out the list with a new site I have been using called Jamendo. It's also an international site that uses the new creative commons license. Creative commons was created as a way to better deal with technology like the internet and copyright. From their site Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." From the site you are able to look for new artists that would otherwise have been un-noticed. It's also great to listen to other countries music in the genre you like best. It all seems to help put a fresh appeal to music. They allow you to listen while you brows the site but it uses it's own web based player so once you close the browser the streaming music stops too. You can however download the songs or albums you like for free. I have found a few artists already on the site I like already and I'm listening to them as I type this up now. No matter what you like to listen to the internet has become a standard way to listen. The sites above are one three of the hundreds of sites available that can be used to help reconnect with yourself or the world. I encourage you to leave a comment with a site you like to use, and share your experience of the sites I've mentioned above.
So what are all these mixed up checker board looking things you're seeing everywhere? They are called QR codes, and they make your smart phone a whole lot smarter. Imagen you are walking through the mall and you see a poster of that new movie everyone is talking about. You want to discover more about it, but you're never going to remember the web address. Then you see the QR Code in the corner. You scan the code with your phone's camera and you are taken to the web page. All with a few taps of your fingers and none of it typing on a keyboard. Let's find out what else QR codes can do and what is needed to read them. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, and was named so because the 2D bar code is meant to be decoded at high speed. It was developed in 1994 by Denso-Wave for automobile parts tracking. Since then the technology has evolved to allow much more. To use them you will have to have a camera phone and an app designed to read the QR codes. Google has pu