I went up north for three days to see my parents and then spent the evening catching up on LJ to the –200 point. I am now down to one shelf full of books and only the music I have on my iPod and laptop. All my CDs are packed and stored up north. I feel strangely bereft without books and CDs and DVDs.
I have to point you towards something completely brilliant. I've seen links to Spotify twice this week, once in the new OMM, and once in this month's Word. It switched from invitation-only beta to full service only seven days ago. It uses streaming and P2P to create a sort of iTunes of stuff you haven't actually bought (or stuff you have bought if you want), caching the songs to create a seamless playback. The libraries are huge and if you want the free service, you have to sit through a short ad every 10 songs, which isn't too painful.
I think this might change the way I consume music, simply because I can listen to full albums painlessly and buy them if I want or else only buy the tracks I really love.
Additionally, once you get a bunch of people on there you can swap playlists or make collaborative playlists. NOT THAT I AM HINTING.
I did a bit of spelunking to check how good the libraries are -- there's no Led Zep, Beatles, Pink Floyd, Metallica and other usual suspect refuseniks -- but otherwise it seems fairly decent. I checked my own personal criteria for obscurity, which is Ulrich Schnauss, Boards of Canada, Howling Bells, Rokia Traore, and it only really fell down on the middle two. There are lots of soundtrack albums and things you wouldn't usually find easily.
They need a better recommendations system but otherwise I'm having a great time with it. It already suckered me into spending money on iTunes for something I want to put on the iPod. (One caveat: I think it's northern European at the moment. )
This week, I think I am going to talk about one thing per day that I think other people should have a look at or listen to. Anyone else care to join a week of pimping?