Fantastic Friday Finds: Amusements

WickedBlog’s Fantastic Friday Finds LogoIt’s been many weeks since I’ve shared any Friday finds. I’d like to remedy that now. I’ve taken some of the “down” time this week to catch up on what’s going on around the web. Granted, I’ve allowed myself to lag behind a bit in recent months, but I’m back!

Today, I’m sharing a few entertainment finds across the web.Songza – Your very own full-featured Internet jukebox with an extensive library (tested by searching for Eva Cassidy songs) and an amazing interface. If you have tried and shied away from other free music services, try again — try this one. (I did note that the buy button didn’t work on my Linux machine’s Firefox browser — it sent me to Google with an error), but the jukebox itself is pretty awesome. At the very least, I can now listen to the new stuff before deciding to buy it.

Pandora offers a way to discover new, wonderful music based on the favorites you have now. Just type in a song or an artist that you know you like, and Pandora’s matching system will find similar styles in artists you may never discover on your own. I love it (and it plugs into my facebook, so I can share my finds with friends)

(BTW… does anyone have a suggestion/recommendation for a LEGAL way to purchase DRM-free mp3s online? iTunes has a few available at a higher rate, but I’d like to find a more reasonable option, instead of “selected” titles only. )

SmugMug – Another beautiful interface site — this one for sharing photos — without the upload limits experienced by Flickr and other photo upload buckets. (Of course, it’s a paid service.)

NBC TV Episodes online – NBC’s Heroes is what got me started… iTunes didn’t pick up the second season, which left me jonesing for more. NBC was kind enough to have not only the first season, but also all the episodes from the second season available on their website, in a Linux-friendly player online format which makes them a “Hero” to me.

They also offer some of my other favorite shows, like Chuck and Journeyman and a few I’ve wanted to see, like Bionic Woman and Friday Night Lights. I wish the other providers would take this path! Check out this “at a glance” chart of features for more info.

And… NBC Direct (currently in Beta) offers the option to download the full episodes to play on WMP — with a promise that Apple and Linux versions will be coming soon. Now that’s nice.

ABC and FOX both utilize the Linux-oblivious “Move Networks” player – rendering them useless to the open source OS crowd and ABC only offers the most recent episodes from the current season. CBS doesn’t carry all episodes and the player is flaky and slow when it works at all.

(All hail NBC — for full features, flawless streaming and cross-platform OS choices!! Now if only they had the REST of my favorites…)

WIWIO – Yes, I’ve mentioned these freebie PDF ebooks before, but the selection has continued to increase to include topics ranging from comics and technology to drawing and simplification — alongside some classics and some great novels. So, if you haven’t checked them out yet, you should. I have a list of over 70 titles currently in my queue — and I download my limit of three daily nearly every day. Not only are they free — they are pretty.

You now have free access to music, photos, television shows and books. And with that, I declare this a wrap!

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