Archive for the ‘LiveMocha’ Category

In which our journey of enlightment continues.

#37.) Pandora and LastFM–I can see where these two services would be of interest to acquisitions librarians or people doing listeners’ advisory. Basically, both websites allow you to type in the names of groups or musicians and then the site pulls up music that is similar in style. Pandora only allows you to have a quick taste, however, before it wants you to register so I tend to favor LastFM. When it comes to finding new music for my personal collection, however, I recommend CDBaby.

CDBaby is a commercial site that caters to independent musicians. I found it an especially good source for ethnic or Middle Eastern dance music which tends to be very specialized.

#38.) Comic Relief–I got a big kick out of Shelf Check (available at ToonDo). It’s great to see how artists, using a limited palette of tools, are able to create different and amusing comic strips.

#39.) Animoto–Animoto looked really cool and professional and I was eager to try it out–right up until I opened the registration screen. Be forewarned–Animoto wants A LOT of information for the purposes of selling you stuff before it will let you register. You don’t even get to take a trial version out for a spin. I didn’t sign up and I don’t encourage other potential users to do so either. Applications want to be free, man.

#40.) Retroland–Okay, I LOVED Retroland. It’s a site dedicated to pop culture from the past couple of decades, great for stuff you vaguely recollect as a kid. I did a search on space food sticks, tasty bits of junk food “just like the astronauts eat”, and came up with this result. Completely devoid of nutritional value, but darn tasty. Neat, huh? Alright, maybe you had to be there. A warning: this cyber trip down memory lane is very addictive.

#41.) Live Mocha–There are a number of language learning sites out there. Live Mocha goes them one better by offering on-line writing and speaking help from native language tutors. No Arabic, unfortunately. In order to take advantage of its interactive elements, however, you need to have digital audio software and recording technology and the know-how to use them.

An alternative might be the BBC Language Center. There’s a big chunk set up for non-native speakers to learn English (ESL teachers, be advised), but there’s also a handy Berlitz phrase-book-style of audio and video for people looking to learn Spanish, German, French, Greek, Portugese, and Chinese. It’s not meant to substitute for actual one-on-one instruction, but to serve as a complement to same. Check it out and see how well you can follow along.


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