Since virtually everyone agrees that broadband, like plumbing, is a means to flow things in, around and out of the house, we've been asking readers to share their experiences with some applications that drive their use of broadband. Here are a couple of the responses we got on reader experiences with compelling applications.
Craig Slawson wrote: "Fresh content like IP traffic cams before I commit to a commute. Diverse content like heavy.com, sputnik7. Jazz from France…digital radio, there is nothing like it. " This despite his note that "we are still in a bb ghetto" so he gets his broadband at work, not at home.
Mike O'Connor is an audio entertainment fan. He wrote: "Most of the applications I use that require a Broadband connection relate to audio entertainment. Last year I installed a Turtle Beach Audiotron Internet Receiver. In order to listen to streaming audio at anything close to CD quality requires a Broadband connection. Unfortunately due to the unfavorable US Patent Office decision regarding royalty payments from Internet based radio stations I have found many of my favorite stations "off-the-air." I built and installed a media center PC which functions as a DVD player, DVR (using an ATI AIW video card) and a streaming audio player which I now use to receive content from Rhapsody (Listen.com). Of course Rhapsody charges a monthly subscription fee for their service but I am particularly fond of the "build-your-own-radio-station" feature that is offered. As the "free" Internet radio stations dry up it looks like "pay to play" will eventually become the standard for Internet distribution of audio and video content. That is if the RIAA and MPAA ever join the rest of us in the 21st century."
Editors Note: We've heard quite a bit from readers about music and games as two of their most compelling applications. This affinity hasn't been lost on service providers as they promote adoption of their services. For example, In September, Speakeasy, an independent US broadband service provider, ran a promotion giving new subscribers the choice of a free Sony PlayStation 2 or Microsoft Xbox gaming console when ordering one of Speakeasy's DSL broadband gaming packages. The packages start at $59.99 a month, and offer a number of features, including the ability to run a personal gaming server and online gaming tournaments. ( www.speakeasy.net )
Yahoo is going after gamers too, but their target seems to be the casual gamer. Their new Yahoo! Games on Demand streams games to a user's computer via broadband. There are multiple plans with different price points and an expanding library of titles. ( www.gamesondemand.yahoo.com/play )
It's not too late to share your experiences, particluarly if there are some applications you love that have not yet been mentioned.