Time was that it was difficult to hear music that didn’t make it onto your local radio stations. Which is to say, it was difficult to hear the vast majority of music available.
Not so today. The internet is the great music equalizer. If you are looking to expand your musical horizons, or simply hear a cool tune you’ve never heard before, here are eight of our favorite sites. Though some have pay options, each site can be enjoyed free of charge:
Television commercials. Watching them today is an annoyance. But there’s something about seeing commercials from 30~40~50 years ago that can provide a nostalgic and interesting look into bygone times.
Here’s our selection of websites where you can watch classic television commercials for free:
Last night we were with a 5 year old and a coughing, sneezing 7 year old watching videos on YouTube. It was a blast. The kids loved laughing at the antics of silly pets, laughing babies, dancing toddlers and funny cartoon characters. The adults appreciated a quiet, non-headache causing, pre-bedtime interactive activity; and, of course, we love seeing the kids laugh.
The problem is that there’s no good way to know in advance what videos are age appropriate. Last night, we happened upon a cartoon video about a surly unicorn, Charlie, who reluctantly joined two obnoxiously happy unicorns on a trip to Candy Mountain. The video seemed geared towards kids . . . until the last 20 seconds of the video when it was revealed that the two happy unicorns had lured Carlie to Candy Mountain for the purpose of drugging him and harvesting his kidney. The children watching this were left confused and horrified. An awkward conversation ensued.
Fortunately, there are family friendly ways to enjoy online videos while avoiding the likes of Charlie The Unicorn. Some websites to help you out:
This site is free?! Audiophiles who want to discover new music, or simply don’t know what they are in the mood to listen to, would pay a lot for Musicovery.com. (And, indeed, the site has a premium membership that streams higher quality music). What’s so cool about Musicovery is the interface. Select the genre(s) you want to listen to and your mood from a matrix of energetic to calm, dark to positive, and your suggested song starts playing on a page with a a sort of flow chart to similar tunes. Give it a listen and try not to get addicted.
GO TO THE SITE
If a movie or TV show is available for watching via streaming download somewhere on the internet chances SurfTheChannel will have a link to it. Episodes of The Simpsons taped off of Korean television, movies currently out in the theater hand videotaped in China, James Bond flicks from who-knows-where — all are at your mouse click at SurfThe Channel. Also available: sports, anime, kids shows and an impressive array of documentaries. Almost better than having cable.
GO TO THIS SITE
Plain and simple: Call any U.S. or Canadian phone number for 10 minutes, for free. You don’t even have to sign up with Via Talk. There’s no catch. That we know of.
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We aren’t sure about the practicality of Podlinez.com but the concept is very cool: Cut & Paste the URL for any podcast into the homepage and you’ll get a phone number (in the U.S.) to listen to that podcast through a telephone.
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