The next-best option for cubicle-bound movie fans

John
John Gushue
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Watching a movie at work, I would argue, is a big no-no. But what about listening to one? That's the premise of the first of the sites involved in this week's hopscotch-jump around the Internet.

Listen to a Movie

http://power.listentoamovie.com

"For the cubicle workers of the world," boasts the tagline for Listen to a Movie, which plays audio tracks of movies (and a few "Seinfeld" and "Simpsons" episodes). As I type this, I'm listening to the soundtrack - literally - of "1941," the not-that-funny Steven Spielberg movie about fear and paranoia in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour. (It was actually intended to be a comedy, for those of you not familiar with it.) I can safely say this: listening to the movie is no replacement for the real thing, especially during an opening set piece that plays on one of Spielberg's preceding blockbusters, "Jaws."

Watching a movie at work, I would argue, is a big no-no. But what about listening to one? That's the premise of the first of the sites involved in this week's hopscotch-jump around the Internet.

Listen to a Movie

http://power.listentoamovie.com

"For the cubicle workers of the world," boasts the tagline for Listen to a Movie, which plays audio tracks of movies (and a few "Seinfeld" and "Simpsons" episodes). As I type this, I'm listening to the soundtrack - literally - of "1941," the not-that-funny Steven Spielberg movie about fear and paranoia in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour. (It was actually intended to be a comedy, for those of you not familiar with it.) I can safely say this: listening to the movie is no replacement for the real thing, especially during an opening set piece that plays on one of Spielberg's preceding blockbusters, "Jaws."

Moreover, I doubt I would get that much work done (the real stuff, at an office, as opposed to the doodling I do here at home, at night) if this was an ongoing feature. The distraction to just sit and listen would be pretty intense.

At the same time, Listen to a Movie could be a useful complement for your headset. Browse around and check it out; there's true variety in the offerings (including, to my surprise, a number of directors' commentaries to films), but not an all-encompassing amount of choice.

Elsewhere this week

Midomi

http://www.midomi.com

Know a song that has a good beat and you can dance to it ... but otherwise is unknown to you? Your options include a) stewing in misery; b) calling up your buddy with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music; or c) giving Midomi a try.

This a Web service in which you hum into a microphone (which, naturally, has to be hooked up to your computer) and the program attempts to, well, name that tune, by comparing the structure of what is hummed against the music in its database.

I cannot offer any first-person experiences with Midomi, since I don't have a Web-compatible microphone at my disposal, but I sure would be curious to hear what other people find. Meanwhile, one caveat: your crooning may become public. As Midomi advises users, "The next time anyone searches for that song, your performance might be the top result!" For me, that is not an incentive!

Shorpy

http://www.shorpy.com

I'm easily lured to archival photos. Maybe it's because I've worked in the past on documentaries and on history-oriented features for newspapers and magazines, but put me in a room with shelves filled with decades-old pictures, and I'm a happy man. Shorpy is a site that's hard to resist, even if you're not much of a history buff. Shorpy (named for a child photographed at a mine in 1910 - click on the button on the right-hand side to learn more) dubs itself the "100-year-old photo blog," which is apt. Addictive stuff.

Reader's Digest jokes, etc.

http://www.rd.com/games-and-humor/

It's not difficult to find a joke on the Internet, but let's be blunt: it's more than likely that such a joke would not - ummm - be the kind you could take home to mother, as it were. Reader's Digest, the magazine that no doctor's office can do without, has earned a reputation for having a sense of humour that may not be cutting-edge, but at least is clean and funny enough to pass muster for younger and older readers alike.

Clipland

http://www.clipland.com

You won't find full-length movies or the like on Clipland; as the title suggests, it's all about the clips. There are several streams: short films, movie trailers, music videos and commercials. Personally, I find the design to be a bit of a dog's breakfast, and the interface seems clunky compared with YouTube and its competitors, but it does offer quite a bit of stuff, much of it geared to the youngsters driving online video these days. (Curiously enough, some of the most popular material is advertising, which must be putting a smile on some marketers' faces.)

John Gushue is a news writer for CBC.ca in St. John's. E-mail: surf@thetelegram.com. Read past Surf's Up columns and daily updates at his blog: http://johngushue.typepad.com.

Organizations: Reader's Digest

Geographic location: St. John's

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments