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Monday, May 25, 2015

Streaming classical

Have I been quiet lately?

You can blame our internet provider, who/which has been providing very patchily.  I suppose I could blame the Wintry Weather. I am sure they have a Reason, and the Wintry Weather is good enough.

Another reason is that we bought a Sound Touch 20.  Bose.  It's an internet radio.  Wireless, of course.  I was a bit worried about (a) bandwidth and (b) how easy it would be to set up.  But our FM reception is so lousy in our gully that the decision to buy seemed logical.  It would be lovely, we thought, to get Radio NZ Concert (Classical) without all that fuzz and the occasional blast from nearby stations.

Well, that setting up.  First of all you have to download an app.  I did this with my desktop, and then found that it had to be connected physically with either an ethernet cable or a USB cable.  And it was supposed to be WIRELESS?  Say what?

Ah well.  My desktop is a long way from where we placed the Bose thingie, so I hauled out my trusty little laptop, set it on the floor by the Bose, and connected it via ethernet.

No go.  My laptop told me that the connection I could physically see did not exist.

So out came a USB cable. Same result.  Then the Bose gadget suggested I tried my iPad.  So I downloaded the app onto the iPad, and presto.  It was indeed easy.

Once on board, you scan through possibilities.  Internet radio, yes.  Local, yes. Definitely my first choice. But could I get Radio NZ Concert? No way!  Not to despair, I turned to global radio, and was given a mind-boggling range of countries.  We once lived on Long Island, and adored the PBS classical station out of Fairfield Connecticut radio, and to our joy we found it, and there it was, just as remembered, even with the same humans behind the lovely music.  So that was preset as channel number one (there are six).

We found Abacus out of Vancouver, and the BBC news.  We also found Classical Weta out of Washington, DC.  Not only do we get wonderful music from them, but we get the local news.  Maybe Michelle Obama is listening to the same station. That's mind-boggling.

It is a bit confusing for us (and probably for them) that they are in the middle of the night when we are in the afternoon, but the music is great.  We even found their website, with a playlist.

Which is even more confusing.  Listened to a great piano concerto.  It was supposed to be Max Bruck.  But though they didn't know it, apparently, it was Brahms.

Perhaps they hauled the wrong disk out of the stack.

But what the hell.  And it uses hardly any bandwidth at all.

But there's a hitch.  For brilliant streaming radio, you need a great broadband service.  That, at the moment, I lack....

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