I hope you've all tried Lsongs,
the open source music manager
that we released a few weeks ago. Before Lsongs, digital music on
desktop Linux was a complete disaster. Separate programs, each with
own interface, were required to play CDs, digitize music, listen to
streaming radio, organize
playlists, or burn CDs. Lsongs brings all of that functionality into
easy-to-use and intuitive program.
We modified the Linspire operating system, as well as the Lsongs music
manager, to give consumers a Plug & Play experience with the Dell DJ.
Users can simply plug the unit into the USB port and it is
automatically recognized. From there, Lsongs gives them an easy-to-use
interface to drag and drop individual songs onto the device. Or they can
use the synchronize feature to mirror the songs in their Lsongs library
onto their Dell DJ.
One missing piece was an elegant connection to a high-capacity, portable
MP3 player. I contacted Apple about supporting their technology, but I was
rebuffed. I guess Apple is intent on applying a closed strategy to
initiatives, so users can choose any software and any player - as long
as it's from Apple. It will be fascinating to see if the same strategy
which has relegated them to less than 5% marketshare in the PC business
success in the music arena. We turned our attention to the Dell Digital Jukebox,
which under close inspection, is a great value when compared to the
iPod. According to Apple's site, the iPod 15 gigabyte model is $299 and
the 20 gig model is
$399, while Dell DJs are $199 and $279 for similar products.
I typically go running with a tiny handheld MP3 player, which holds
just a few dozen songs, but when I travel and I want to take a larger
collection, the Dell player makes a lot of sense. Even
the smaller 15GB unit will hold thousands of songs, so I've got music
for whatever mood I'm in, and will never get bored. Here are a few
of my current favorite songs:
Alan Jackson - "Remember When" This guy is more than just a cowboy with
a hat. He's half of a husband/wife songwriting team that writes
poignant lyrics. Yes, there was a time when 30 seemed old...
Baby Bash - "Suga Suga" The
opening line says it all, "So tight, so fly..." for this smooth R&B song featuring San
Diego's own Frankie J.
Groove Armada - "Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)" I stumbled onto this song when I bought a
compilation CD from The Gap. (Or was it Banana Republic?) I know, I know,
silly way to find music, but whatever works!
Counting Crows - "Big Yellow Taxi" It's rare that a remake improves on
the original. I think they did it. Anyone want to disagree with me in
the message board?
Nine Inch Nails - "Terrible Lie" When I feel a bit on the edge, there's nothing
like NIN to push me all the way over.
Rascal Flatts - "These Days" This country trio comprised of second
cousins has captured the essence of meeting that old friend who may have
wanted to be more then a friend.
J-Kwon - "Tipsy" Move over Nelly, there's a new young hip hop phenom from
the Loop (St. Louis).
Icicle Works - "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)" Ah... the 80s - my teen years. Not
to mention a classic one-hit wonder.
Incubus - "Drive" This normally loud and heavy band proves they have
another side and remind me to take life as it comes.
Those are some of my favorites, now tell me your favorite songs.Remember,
the Dell DJ holds thousands of songs, so you can have a vast music
collection, in a device that weighs about the same as 2 CD jewel cases,
and with Lsongs, loading your entire music collection to the jukebox is
To read more of Michael's comments visit "The Call" at
sipphone.com/thecall where this week he talks about the "Skype Hype."
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