Advent Calendar – Dec 22nd: The Music of Your Life

“Hey Google, Play Jewel 98.5”

And just like that, our favourite radio station is pulled in from the airwaves, and begins to fill the room with music, and we go about our business, having never even moved from our seat to turn on the radio.

For the millennials reading this article, it used to be that in order to listen to radio stations, we needed a piece of electronics called a radio. With the help of an antenna, it would scan and receive electrical signals being transmitted by local content producers and transform it back into songs and ads into our home.

These radios used to be large furniture items, then gradually were designed to be portable, and eventually designs were refined so that radios became incorporated into other useful household items, such as alarm-clock-radios.

Nowadays, if you want to listen to music, you don’t need this extra equipment because you can stream your favourite station online from any device you have on hand. Better yet, you can streamline your choice of music by era or genre, and within that genre by favourite artists, using handy apps like Spotify, Stingray, YouTube or Apple and Google music.

There is even a handy app called Shazam which I use all the time. The app captures and analyses the music emitted and seeks a match from a database of millions of songs by way of 10-second audio “fingerprints” that were “tagged” by the audio producers.

When I want to share music with others, or set it as background while entertaining, I simply connect my device (phone, tablet, or laptop) to high performing audio players through Bluetooth.

We have become the Disc Jockeys of our life. These apps and devices have allowed us to customize our music into personal playlists, depending on the mood or activity of the moment. You can chose workout playlists or background dinner playlists made for you or create your own so that you have seasonal playlists on hand such as Christmas favourites or summertime patio music. I even have collections organized by themes, so that if I am nostalgic, I can play songs from my days at University.

Playlists are not new. Thirty years ago, wedding guests could receive a CD filled with the Bride and Groom’s favourite love songs and before that, local DJ’s would put them out as “mixed tapes”. The fact that I not only remember using these, but can speak to this dated technology certainly doesn’t make me feel young!

LCBO puts out playlists, and so do many of your entertaining magazine and even my favourite Food Network cook Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) puts out a couple of playlists, that save me the trouble of putting one together. Find a playlist you like? Then just follow it.

Here are some of my favourite compilations, put out by some of the sites I follow. You can also google the title to link to them.

“Ina’s Cooking Playlist: Women Who Rock”

https://www.lcbo.com/content/lcbo/en/food-and-drink/playlists-for-entertaining.html

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/cbc-music-playlists

” Hey Google, play Dean Martin”

“Sure. I found this station that plays Dean Martin and other artists”

Just like that Dino, Frank and all the others are keeping us company with some smooth classics, while we are cooking in the kitchen. Happy Holidays everyone!

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