Experimenting with Pandora since the non-US shutdown

As an avid Pandora.com listener I was quite miffed by the news that pandora would be shutting out non-us users of their service. I was also a bit pissed earlier when I found out that my squeezebox only included 90 days of free pandora and I couln’t get a non-free account because I was living on the wrong side of the big pond (so much for that major selling-point).

But being the computer geek that I am, I wasn’t going to let simple IP-geolocation stop me from listerning to my favorite tunes… First I played around a bit with Pandora to see what filtering happened, and when I would be blocked. Then I tried some publicly available proxy-servers, and some of them would allow access. Most of these proxy servers however are too unreliable, and way to slow for audio-streaming.

The next attempt meant re-enabling Tor, something I’ve used before but didn’t really have a serious need for before. It’s an onion-routing system meant to anonymize/obscure your traffic. This would still block my access to pandora most of the time, as it seems most exit-nodes are germany- and france-based.

I decided to work through the tor nodeslist my server had collected, filtering on nodes in the US by looking at IP-adresses, hostnames and whois info. I came up with a list of .us nodes and fed this list to my tor server.

This allowed me again to load up pandora.com and get music going… but very slowly, too slow for listening. While googling some more for options and alternatives I disabled tor again (proxyswitch plugin for firefox), and clicked a new station in Pandora. Surely enough it started playing, without hickups and delays… It seems audio-data isn’t filtered by the geo-ip filter, only the flash applet and metadata requests.

Hmm… seems I was wrong, as I can’t reproduce it… but it seems I’ve just been getting some better tor exit-nodes… the quest continues…

Rain — Finally

So…it’s been very dry for this time of the year, having seen no raid rain for more then 40 days, but this morning I woke up to the sound of raindrops.

Seems i’m right in the middle of a large downfall 🙂

Lets hope traffic isn’t too bad because of it, they’ve been warning of slipperyness for days (for when rain would finally come and wash away all the muck stuck in the tarmac)

Seems I’m out of luck… looking at the above traffic overview, so far about 500 km of traffic-jams, when a normal monday would have ~180. Don’t expect me in the office before 10 😉

Bevrijdingsdag / Buzzfest

So this weekend was Bevrijdingsdag (liberation day), celebrating the end of world-war II by means of many great festivals all across the country. This coupled with Buzz getting a new house in Wageningen the day before and throwing a housewarming party led me to celebrate bevrijdingsdag in Wageningen this year. Wageningen appears to have one of the biggest festivals, with various stages spread across the small city-center.

I left for Wageningen around noon on Saturday, and after driving for about an hour I got there, circling the city-center for a while (all roads were blocked) till I finally found my way to Buzz’s new place (and a parking-spot). His new house is richt on the edge of the center, so from there it was a 2 minute walk until I arrived at the first festival stage. After a few minutes and phonecalls I managed to find Buzz, Weazle, Moos and the others at Dense Architecture, a stage with a drum’n’bass, electronica, experimental musical theme. We spent quite some time there enjoying the sun and the music (including Nintendo Gameboy generated dance tunes).

After a while Mayo also joined us there. Later in the evening after a few trips back to Buzz’s place for more beers we went to see “Jaya the Cat” on the “Kabaal Am Gemaal” stage and dropped by Racoon on the market-square, but that turned out to be ‘not-quite-it’ for us. On the way back we picked up the last few minutes of Benny Rodrigues. After having re-assembled at Buzz’s house we left for a afterparty playing minimal in some squatted building down the road. The music was nice, but the temperature was rising quickly in the unventilated room (with lots of smoke) so after an hour or so I had enough of it and went back.

After a few hours the rest of the group got back and went to sleep, snoring like madman. Being no longer intoxicated I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to head home (around 7 am) and enjoy a few more hours of silent sleep in my own comfy bed 🙂