transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Recently, a friend asked me (me: the master of all things electronical) for some recommendations for downloading free music legally. Although i was hard pressed to name any legit source of free major label music, i have enough links to some really amazing sites that feature and host very good free music. Much of it is licensed under various Creative Commons licenses, and most is both free (as in beer) and free (as in free speech). As always, read the fine print for exact details for each site and every download. Additionally, check your local laws if you’re unsure about the license (personally, i have not found any gray areas here, since most of the music is either offered by the artists themselves as free, or is licensed freely, or is in some cases even public domain).

Since many of these are blogs, i highly recommend getting to know RSS feeds, and adding their feeds to your favorite feed reader. If you have no favorite feed reader, Google Reader is a great place to start.

So, without further ado, here are my top picks for really cool free, legal mp3 sites, in no particular order…

Here are some free albums and some cheap albums. A whole lot of really good free stuff. At the top right you can select “Price: low to high” to get all the free stuff listed first, but the default setting is “bestselling, so that one shows the most popular free stuff, mixed in with some good cheap deals too. You can also go to single songs, too, and browse the links on the right by price and genre, etc.’s free music and netlabels categories

I could spend days without sleep sifting through some of these really amazing collections. You can drill down by keyword and genre and popularity. Very little big-name artists, but some serious gems (also a lot of duds, too, but if you look at the download counters you can tell which ones are liked – or at least downloaded – the most).


This netlabel has tons of free samplers and whole albums by nobody you’ve heard before but every minute is really good, and they have an excellent mix of genres. I guess you could call them a metalabel, since their compilations frequently feature artists on other netlabels. One of the best free music sources around.

Note: these next two exemplary sites, despite my egregious lack of better-apt descriptions, are among my very favorite resources, not only for the wonderful personal touch you can find, but also for the incredible variety and sheer scope of their blogs and the insight gleaned from reading their notes on each feature, which are like meta-liner notes. These are both, as they say, earnest labors of love for their respective curators. As i’ve noted in a comment below, the best possible thing to do in lieu of giving you a lengthy and drooling description, is to implore you to go and dig deeply and feel the fresh cool sand between your fingers, and linger, and wonder at how new and interesting things can truly be when experienced with fullness and vigor. And maybe leave a note of thanks whenever you see something really cool that you enjoyed.

Free Albums Galore

This site frequently features avant-jazz and minimalist techno, but you can also find some fantastic alternative, pop, rock, folk, et cetera. Another great resource.

Catching the Waves

Another great free music source. See Free Albums Galore above. Same thing applies here.


Bandcamp has tons of music from indie bands. Some free, some not. It’s fun to sift through, and you can find some real cool stuff here, sometimes even some up-and-coming bands that are just beginning to fly above the radar. Try this link for free stuff. I don’t use bandcamp that often, since i’m usually directed there by one of the other sites above.

The Peppermill

I have not heard anything from this label that i didn’t fall in love with immediately. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. And try The Box: I cannot tell you anything about this record, except that it is freaky and weird and quirky, and yes, you DO recognize that tune.

I would be not only remiss, but probably also shamed before my peers, and quite possibly also drawn and quartered, if i didn’t point you to


…who have awesome compilations and records, covering all kinds of genres, though a lot of it is maybe more techno and hip-hop and trip-hop oriented. Their massive year-end best-of mixes last year were pretty amazing.

Free Music Archive

Possibly the granddaddy of all free music sites, the FMA is a project of WFMU, “the most renowned freeform radio station in America”. They feature music of all kinds. This is one amazing resource that is just as much fun to sift through as it is to listen through.

Lastly, here’s one i just found out about:

Thomas’ Posterous

Having no experience with this one, all i can say is that it comes highly recommended from Catching the Waves.

Other great sites, archives, and blogs to check out

Oddio Overplay
The Silent Ballet
Netlabel Index
largehearted boy: daily downloads
RedFerret’s wikidump
WFMU’s Beware of the Blog:mp3s
Netlabels Noises
Ektoplazm: free music portal
Jamendo (the King of free music sites)

Lastly (ok, really lastly), here’s my Google Reader bundle: Free Music et cetera (OPML)

Happy sifting!!


Dec. 30th, 2008 04:00 am
transmothra: (Yrgi the Ukrainian Rocka Rolla)
Comments are generally closed here due to the WordPress plugin that i use (ljxp), which, when connecting to LJ to update a post, basically deletes the entire post and recreates it as an entirely new post. I've known about this for a while, and i'm not real happy about it, but either the LJ API is not well understood over there, or it's not easy or possible to update a post without destroying it.

So if you've commented on anything i've crossposted here from my blog, and i've updated that post and lost your comment(s), sorry.

That is all.
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at Please leave any comments there.

Here’s a list of some cool and useful stuff i’ve compiled for Holly’s brother. I thought i’d share it here.

You never have to worry about spyware, adware, viruses, trojans, worms, or other malware, because i’ve already used this stuff, plus i only use apps and sites that are already well-known to be pretty friggin’ excellent. Every one of these sites and apps come with a solid reputation.

All of this stuff is 100% free, except for a few that you can optionally pay for, like Reaper (audio recording). Naturally, i do not recommend downloading pirated software or media content.

Awesome free stuff you have to have, or at least need to know about:

System utilities and just plain excellent basics

Cool, useful stuff for your desktop

Audio, video, media

  • Audacity (audio)
  • Reaper (audio)
  • foobar2000 (music)
  • VLC (media player)
    • Great video player. Looks daunting, but all you have to do is play video or audio files. It’s one of the few that can open almost any file type. Can also convert, stream, save, etc.
  • GIMP (images)
    • Like Photoshop, but a little scarier-looking. A couple of hours playing with it and you’ll get the hang of it. Powerful.
  • Irfanview (images)
  • DVDFlick (DVD authoring)
    • Put your legally questionable downloaded movies on DVD with menus and everything! Not the best, but really easy to use.
  • uTorrent (downloading)
    • Download anything you want with this.
    • Best sites for searching are:
      • Obviously, use at your own risk. Read comments, look at details, and install anti-malware apps first. BTjunkie even has icons for # of ‘good/bad’ reports per torrent, so make sure to check them out.
        • You can use Peer Guardian to hide your IP address while you’re downloading legally questionable content. Not perfect, but better than nothing.
  • TVersity (media center)
    • Like Windows Media Center, but free and better. Download podcasts and videocasts and share your video across your home network.
    • If you have an Xbox or some other device for your TV, you can even watch your hard-drive movies/music/photos on TV. Super awesome.

Web sites that you will presently become completely, slobber-mouth addicted to, because they are awesome and will make you WIN.

  • Google Calendar
    • You can even remind yourself of appointments via email or SMS to your mobile phone! You can also share calendar events and add other people’s events to yours.
  • Lifehacker
    • Learn how to make life easier, cooler, better, and awesomer. Comes in many flavors, from real-world DIY projects to digital shortcuts
    • I really cannot say enough good about this site. Some of the best tips, tricks, and suggestions i’ve ever found for all areas of life, both digital and in meatspace.
    • Seriously. Wicked awesome.
  • Facebook
    • Find old friends. Avoid others. Lots of dumb widgets, and you can “poke” people until their brains bleed. Annoying, but awesome too.
  • Picasa
  • Flickr
  • Gmail
  • Google Reader
  • Twitter
    • Like a micro-sized blog. Send “tweets” from your cell phone or via web.
  • Wordpress
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Craigslist
  • BoingBoing
    • “A directory of wonderful things” - weird, cool stuff, plus news you might not hear about elsewhere.
  • Digg
    • Social news site. Most popular submitted stories rise to the top. Addictive, interesting, and easy.
    • Social networking, music-style. Also download their desktop player. With that you can play music tagged with descriptive keywords. For fun, try typing in “unlistenable.”

If you’re ever looking for killer software (or a web site) that does ‘X, Y, and/or Z,’ just let me know and i’ll point you to something good, safe, fun, and useful.

My username is “transmothra” on most sites - if you run into me online be sure to say hello!

Not no news

Nov. 3rd, 2008 12:48 am
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

  • Just got back from the Emergeny Veterinary Clinic in Moraine. I had hit Speck full-force in the eye with his latest favorite toy, a Kong tennis-ball dumbbell. He likes daddy to throw it and bounce it off the wall at the top of the stairs so it goes bouncing all the way downstairs. So i threw it hard, but he’d gotten a head start and i popped him right in the eye. No permanent damage, just blunt trauma to the eye - mainly just discomfort. He seems fine now, but we’re out $164 - which digs into our rent, unfortunately. I feel like such an asshole right now.
  • I’ve just started playing Anarchy Online. It’s pretty cool, and you can play the non-expanded version for free. I’m a froobie.
  • I’ve STILL got that damn cough. It’s just not going away. It’s a little better now, though. And when i take my antibiotics, which i’ve been on for a couple of weeks now, i get nauseated and sleepy. I hate this.
  • And i’ve been depressed as hell lately about my life. I’m trying so hard, but i’m going nowhere. I’ve applied at so many places in the last few months that it’s not even funny. I rarely ever seem to get any response. I’ve had a single interview in the last couple of months. It went well, but it looks as if that employer is going to be extending an offer to an earlier candidate.
  • My voter registration has FINALLY been processed. I’m all set to help Obama get elected to the Presidency of the United States.

And, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the Sarah Palin prank call:

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Harkening back to the legendary days of old, i present to you…

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Martin Sargent (from Unscrewed, Infected, Web Drifter and Internet Superstar, also formerly of TechTV’s The Screen Savers) and Sarah Lane (from popSiren, also formerly of The Screen Savers and later on Attack of the Show) have been canned by evil Revision3 execs, along with their respective shows. Several others were also let go. (Here’s Martin’s heartbreaking Tweet.)

Revision3 just went down to Revision2 in my book, and maybe not even that. Those shows had a lot of heart, a lot of soul. I loved Martin’s shows, and popSiren has no doubt influenced a generation of young women to take up careers in technology, geekology, or to otherwise become visionaries like the bold, talented, and fun women on that show. It’s a sad, sad day for Internets.

But hey - Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht still get to giggle hysterically while drunk and looking at Kevin’s ATM.

For my own records, here are some comments/posts i’ve made about this tragic malarky, most of which are just ranting and whining about this crappy, crappy turn. You can skip them, i just want to go back and see if anyone wants to fight me or anything. (moderated)


Oct. 22nd, 2008 01:06 am
transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Here’s a funny card i sent to my good friend Greg earlier today. I think it’s a minor fucking masterpiece.

It's been too long since we threw up on each other.

Thought about you while on the toilet today, directly after touching myself in an inappropriate and medically questionable manner, and right before i scrambled downstairs to find those pills that i take to help me forget that i am secretly a raging homosexual. Forgetting my prior enterprise, i neglected to wipe and left a warm, gooey trail all the way down the hall, which will henceforward always remind me fondly of you, and your inadvisably unaltered face.

Have decided i’m going to dedicate my life to Jesus. Do you know him? He’s that Mexican guy who lives at the end of my block. I just found out that he was the one who “stole my innocence,” back in my prison days. That’s a euphemism for fist-raping me in the man-twat while wearing rawhide work gloves and strangling me erotically with a bicycle chain his sister sneaked in for him.

Anyway, wishing you a happy whatever-it-is that you people celebrate today. Oh, wait, i forgot - you’re white. In that case, just have a regular, mediocre day. I’m sure you’re used to having nothing much to look forward to by now. Remember, the Bible says that the meek will inherit the Earth, and that the Bible has been all but proven to be completely full of lies. So don’t get your hopes up, lest they be pointlessly dashed against the rocks like so many empty-headed salmon. Fortunately for you, the inevitable Heat Death of the Universe will ultimately render us both paradoxically equals. So you have that going for you anyway.

I sincerely hope your cries for help do not remain unheeded for much longer, especially seeing as i’ve placed a rather large wager that you’ll survive until at least the end of the year. I do try to keep up with whether or not you’ve died; in the future (once my foolish but potentially lucrative bet has paid off), i’ll try to take a more active role in this regard.

See you at the comic book store with all the other clammy, pale losers and underwear-fetishists.

With greatest vague ambivalence or something,
your well-heeled, superior-bred Estonian advocate,

p.s., oh, and give my best to M, and keep whatever’s left over for yourself. I think you deserve it, even if no-one else does.

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Funniest ads i think i’ve seen in a long, long time. I hope they’re actual ads from a real car dealership. (Not enough energy to check right now.) My favorite is the car thief one. Brilliant and hilarious!

The Trunk Monkey

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Want an argument for accessibility?

Here you go! (via


Uber-cool Glenda Watson Hyatt, aka the Left Thumb Blogger, shares her perspective on how WordPress has improved her ability to communicate effectively on the internets.

Whether you are 100% able-bodied or not, accessibility is important. Because no matter who you are, the future is coming. Some day many of us may have devices assisting us, whether we need them or not, and completely removing all barriers between humans and machines will be an important first step in enabling us to proliferate on the digital grid - on a truly level playing field.

I’ve committed to making my upcoming theme be as accessible as possible. You should too, especially if you want to meet the Future head-on. Keeping all variants of humanity and machinery in mind when designing user interfaces of any kind will be important there.

transmothra: (Default)

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

[EDIT: this site no longer supports the features described in this article. Sorry.]

You may have noticed in my sidebar that there are a few elements which are nested in an obvious hierarchical order. For example, at the time of this writing, i have a list of books which i am either reading, planning to read, or have already read, listed under the “now reading” heading.

You may also have noticed that the heading for each of these menu items is highlighted whenever you hover your cursor (pointer) over it.

What you may not have noticed is that the headings for these items’ parent elements is also highlighted when its descendant is hovered over. In other words, when you hover over the “planned books,” “current books,” or “recent books” list, the parent element, “now reading,” is highlighted as well.

(If you’re still not sure just what the hell i’m talking about, check out the demo first, and then come back.)

This is a cool trick that you rarely ever see on the internets, and it’s remarkably simple to do. You don’t need no fancy JavaScripting to do it, either! No server- or client-side scripts are used at all, just good old CSS, and a properly nested hierarchy of elements.

Read the rest of this entry » )

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