It has been a while since I checked in on Earbits, the commercial free online music application that encourages you to become an active fan of the bands and musicians on your stream. Since then, it has greatly improved and I have constructed a hybrid classical radio channel via its excellent Chrome extension feature.
For those who do not know what I mean by a hybrid classical radio station (in other words, all of you) I mean a radio channel that plays classical music, but also the other “learned musics,” as I call them: jazz, art song, and world. By art song I mean various American hemisphere vocal traditions, prominent among them Broadway, tango, samba, and blues. By “world” I mean, you know: Oud, Gamalan, Chinese opera, that sort of cool global stuff.
In pursuit of these sounds I went into the bowels of Earbits and put together a mix-and-match channel via Earbits’ many channel and subchannel options. Basically I created a custom channel called “Hybrid Highbrow.” Once you start up your channel, you get a huge choice of categories and subcategories. So to simplify things, I just chose the “Editor’s picks” option for classical, jazz, blues, and world. As a result, I got a great station that I’ve really enjoyed listening to over the holidays.
Here’s a small sample my playlist.
Great content; in addition, Earbits has a unique system for encouraging users to follow musicians and promote their work. If you subscribe to a music group’s mailing list, you earn “groovies” (as I said three years ago, it’s nice to know somebody still uses that word). This lets you listen to tunes on demand, a single on demand play for ten groovies.
The site also says that you get groovies for sharing tracks on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s the problem: I’ve been sharing a lot of mine on my @hybridhighbrow Twitter account, but I don’t seem to be earning any groovies at the moment. Hopefully they’ll fix this. Still, I’ve been getting new Twitter followers from the activity, so there’s that.
I’ve got a suggestion. I’d really like to be able to share my Earbits channel via some embedded code. I would also like to have a lot more channel visual editing options, at present there appear to be none. But the bottom line is a lot of great music at your curating fingertips. And putting Earbits together as a Chrome app really works for me as an old school desktop computer stalwart. Of course, Earbits also comes in Android and iOS flavors. I’m going to try both of them soon.
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