A question for the bloggers of the Blogosphere!

So here’s a question for the other bloggers out there.   I hope this works out!

Ms. J’s sister sent us a Sonos recently.  (Hi B! and D too!)   It’s a device that hooks up to your wifi system that allows you to stream music from internet sources.  It can be controlled by a smartphone app, or from your computer.  It will play any radio station that is equipped for internet streaming, as well as internet based services such as Pandora and Spotify, and any music that you have downloaded such as from Itunes,  or CDs that you’ve copied to your computer’s hard drive.  The advantage over just streaming through your computer is that the sound is exactly like a high quality receiver rather than the merely adequate tiny speaker from the computer.  To play a specific radio station, just open the app and type in the call letters of the station, and you’re listening to a station in Ireland, or Australia, or anywhere else.  It’s one of those things that once it’s hooked up, which takes about two minutes,  makes me wish I had thought of it first, oh well.  In other words, it’s awesome. (Thanks B!)

So the question is, what should we check out ?   Is there a station or program that you would recommend ?   Don’t worry, we’re not picky;  music, news, commentary, I don’t care.  Though we are older people now, so we’re not listening to much of the Top 40 hits that the young people seem to like these days.  We’re more of the NPR listener and The Economist reader types, though we will sometimes listen to classical, bluegrass, jazz, and the odd new wave bands from the 80’s that I fondly remember.      I’ve started listening to BBC 4, which broadcasts a variety of drama and comedy programs.  A station in New Zealand,  hooray for obscure New Zealand bands!  A bluegrass station in Arkansas, and  I can finally listen to John Funke’s  show, “Backwoods”,  from MIT University radio, WMBR.  This is a show devoted to somewhat unknown songs  from the 40’s and 50’s; Country, R&B, Rockabilly, some early Rock and Roll and Blues.  Even though we’re only 50 or so miles from Boston, we can’t pick up this small station on a conventional radio.  Their streaming service doesn’t seem to work very well either, you would think that MIT would figure something out, but no.

Anything else anyone could recommend ?

Are there any children’s programs you would recommend ?  I haven’t been able to find much so we’re relying on Pandora for now, but Mr. C is getting tired of hearing the same selection of Raffi and Elizabeth Mitchell songs played over and over.

Let me know what you think, I’d be interested in getting some comments on this from anywhere, especially outside the US.  I’ll try to check out anything people come up with.

Here’s what the Sonos looks like, it’s the little black cylinder thing in the center, in back of the cook book.   No need for the bulky old “Hi-Fi  Set” in our small house now.


14 thoughts on “A question for the bloggers of the Blogosphere!

  1. I love old country, pretty much the only time I try turn on the radio (99.9 out of Janesville WI) on purpose is Sunday morning to get my old country fix followed by “retro” country at noon – which I love because it’s the country music I first started listening to, but then I wonder how I got so old that it’s considered retro… That aside the football season is seriously interrupting my country music because they also broadcast packer games instead of the retro country- totally annoying. Also I can tell you right now that Lady GaGa recently announced she is “taking over” the radio station (104.1) that my kids just turned on for the next hour. While it’s not my normal station (they wanted a dance party) I do admittedly like Lady GaGa… cause she’s just like old country… or something….

    • I will definitely check that out, thanks!

      That show I mentioned hosted by John Funke (I should have included the name of the show; “Backwoods”) will play some old country from the 40’s and 50’s. Things like The Carter Family, or Doc Watson, so I’ve been learning a lot about it lately. A lot of the current Bluegrass reminds me of the older Country music.

      Here’s how far behind the times I am. Pretty much the only newer music I think I could identify would be Wilco or Arcade Fire, and that’s it. I’m old.

    • No, don’t mind Aussie voices at all. I like learning about other cultures, that’s one of the benefits of blogging. I just turned on ABC Classic this morning!
      I found that one of the local Classical stations here has several streaming stations, one devoted to Early Music, one devoted to Bach, one to Holiday music. It’s an interesting way to learn more about a specific type of Classical music.

  2. Oh, I wish I could recommend something, but like you, I listen to NPR a lot and my Pandora station. But that system sounds awesome by the way!
    My boys love Cat Talk and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. You could play episode after episode for delightful entertainment. 🙂

    • I turned on BBC 6 and the first thing I heard was by Magazine – so I was happy!

      It’s interesting how the BBC is set up, with so many niche stations. The closest we have is NPR, which is not nearly as diverse.

      • 🙂 I love Magazine!

        The BBC are pretty good with the variety they offer, though their mainstream TV programming is pretty dire. The minor stations like BBC4 and the different radio channels are excellent though.

      • Came across an appearance by Magazine on Jools Holland’s show on YouTube. Howard DeVoto is a strangely charismatic performer, if anything he looks better now than he did in the early 80’s.

  3. Fascinating. I’m very interested in this. I wish I could offer some really cool radio stations from France but I have to admit I don’t listen to much here. Local stations probably wouldn’t be of much interest. There’s an all country station which just kills me, but I think it has something to do with the contrast of listening to it in Paris. In the states we always loved wfuv fordham radio and indie 103.1 from Los Angeles. Other than that we are just downloading podcasts from NPR and things like that. Do you get 8 tracks? It’s an app I found that plays different playlists. I’ve found children stuff on there too but it’s probably similar to pandora, which we can’t get. Thanks for the tip

    • I’ll have to check out that app, thanks, it sound good. I’m not so much interested in the technology as the chance to hear some foreign broadcasts, so who knows, I might check out some French Country music. That’s must be funny hearing the radio announcer speaking mostly in French with the occasional coutrny music term in English thrown in. Something like “French, french french french, french, Johnny Cash , french, french, cowboys, french…

      Fordham has a small university press, which was a client of mine a long time ago, so I just might check that out too!

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