Tyler is a technology and music enthusiast, so this is a collection of items related to tech and music.

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On Music Discovery

What is music discovery

At its most basic level music discovery is as simple as turning on the radio or sitting in Starbucks. Music is all around us, all the time. It doesn’t take much effort to hear a song you’ve never heard before. It takes a little more work, however, to find a song you’ve never heard before that you love.

I think music discovery can be broken down into two categories: active and passive. Sitting in Starbucks and hearing a song you like is passive discovery. It’s the same for watching TV and hearing a song you like in a commercial. In this way, music is coming to you and you’re accepting it.

Active music discovery takes some effort on the part of the listener. You click on the curated playlist section in Spotify. You ask someone what the last new song they liked was. Active music discovery doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be intentional. You are...

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New Music Newsletter

The genesis of Liisten was music discovery and it’s returning in the form of a newsletter.

Sign up to receive weekly emails featuring new artists and album releases


In addition to just new music, the Liisten newsletter will feature artist interviews, playlists, and other music related items.

The goal is to put out two issues each week.

  • A shorter one early Friday morning, highlighting the best new music released each week.

  • And the main issue on Monday, featuring undiscovered artists, interviews, playlists, and other features.

For now, all issues will be free. Try it out and see what you think. In the future there will be a paid level for $5/month or $50/year. The Friday issue will remain free, while the lengthier Monday issue will go to paid subscribers only.

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Tesla Surfboard Is Now A Thing

Is surfboard a code name for some kind of new vehicle from the electric automaker? Nope. It’s a literal surfboard for the water.

From the description, there are only 200 of these $1500 surfboards available so you might want to jump on it if this is a product calling your name.




The Limited Edition Tesla Surfboard features a mix of the same high-quality matte and gloss finishes used on all our cars. The deck is reinforced with light-weight “Black Dart” carbon fiber, inspired by the interiors in our cars, and featuring tonal logos in subtle contrast gloss.

Model S, X and 3 can comfortably accommodate this surfboard on either the inside or outside of the vehicle.

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What Owning A Tesla (Model 3) Is Really Like

Owning a Tesla comes with a fair bit of curiosity and questions from people. After a few months and plenty of miles with a Model 3, here’s an overview of what owning an electric car is really like and explanations of Tesla features for those not familiar.

Electric car

The foundation of Tesla is its electric motor and battery power. This is what gives the car its quick start (referred to as torque) and quiet drive. There’s not a typical combustion engine in the front of the car, so there is no spark plug, timing belt, and other mechanical parts.


The electric motor is really small and sits behind the rear passenger seats. (There’s a second, small motor in the front for all wheel drive versions.) This creates more available space than other vehicles and lets Tesla add a front truck, or a Frunk as people like to call it. The rear trunk also has plenty of space.

Lots of people...

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Meural Review: Forget What You Knew About Digital Frames

It’s not the same kind of exhilaration you feel while speeding down the highway at high speeds, but having a wall frame that instantly shows new art on a whim is definitely exciting and kind of addicting.

Meural’s digital canvas is a digital frame, but there are a few things that separate it from others. First it’s pretty big, with a 27-inch anti-glare display and second, it’s framed and made to look like realistic art, hung and displayed on a wall.

In my mind, and probably others as well, digital frames have this bad rap from the last decade of cheap 7-inch frames which were low resolution and hard to use. These were the commoditized ones trying to capitalize on holiday shoppers and the random gift idea. Meural is bucking those stereotypes.


Set up

From opening the box to getting a selected image on the screen, it was about 20 minutes, half of which was due to hidden and slightly...

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Here’s Why HomePod Is Amazing

The smart/connected home speaker war is underway. While eventually some of these companies battling might have to concede, consumers are currently the ones winning with a swath of fantastic choices for home audio.


If you’re interested, you can read about how the Google Home Max and Sonos Play:5 compare to each other.

In terms of the HomePod, consensus from early reviews is that it sounds good, but Siri is lacking. In practice I think the reviews are over thinking this home audio space a little bit. After trying nearly every Sonos speaker, Google Home Max, Echo, and now a HomePod, I think Apple has a one of the most compelling offerings.

Big Picture

  • HomePod is compact, but has really loud, amazing sounding audio quality
  • Siri covers all the basics for people getting into voice assistants

The HomePod doesn’t look like a speaker in the way Home Max and Play:5 do, giving it more...

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Tesla Model 3 Wireless Charging

Tesla’s new Model 3 may not come with a wireless Qi charger that new phones like iPhone 8 and iPhone X can utilize, but there will soon be a way to add one.

Tesla Wireless Pad is a rubber mat, made to fit in the existing phone section of the Model 3, where currently Tesla provides two charging connectors. (There should be a Model S version of the Tesla Wireless Pad coming as well.)

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While the Tesla Wireless Pad looks fantastic and price shouldn’t be an issue for Model 3 owners, one of the biggest questions is how effective any Qi charger will be. The USB ports for the rear seats in the Model 3 appear to be 2.4A, while the front media console USB ports appear to only output 1A, which will limit the speed of charging–likely to 5W. (Translation: slow.)

Still, if you’re looking for an easy way to throw your capable phone down, have it charge some, this is a good looking option. You can...

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Google Home Max vs. Sonos Play:5

These two speakers aren’t going to cannibalize each other at this point in time, but the realities are, anyone looking at a Google Home Max wants to know how it compares to Sonos Play:5 and vice versa. They are too similar in form, price, and function, not to be an obvious choice for someone who wants this type of speaker.


On their own, each is an awesome home stereo system replacement, capable of annoying next door neighbors. Directly compared, however, neither one is the clear cut winner on all aspects—sound and capabilities.


Both of these speakers sound great. The main differentiation for most people likely won’t be the sound, but the capabilities and how each functions as an internet connected speaker.

In broad strokes, the Google Play Max has more distinct bass and present treble out of the box. It makes an impact to play a song, slide the volume up as loud as your ears...

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The Best Music, TV Shows, and Movies of 2017

What were the best songs, albums, and shows? Here’s my take on dissecting 2017’s media and ranking this year’s best. Hopefully you’ll discover something new.


10 - Mutemath - Play Dead
An album which marks a continued evolution of the band’s sound, but might turn out to be their last.

9 - John Mark McMillan - Mercury & Lightning
A slightly unexpected release which authentically connects through McMillan’s own flavor of pop.

8 - The War On Drug - A Deeper Understanding
Rock ’n roll circa 2017

7 - The Lighthouse And The Whaler - Paths
Spunky and raw, The Lighthouse And The Whaler walk a fine line that continues to work beautifully.

6 - Phoenix - Ti Amo
After hearing the first single, I was hoping Phoenix would put out a summer album and they did. It is perfectly breezy.

5 - Haim - Something To Tell You
Nearly every song has incredibly tight hooks which makes them hard not...

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Gift Guide - Music, Tech, EDC

This actually isn’t so much a “gift guide” as it is a list of items that I’ve enjoyed, products that are interesting, and ideas for the hard to shop for person who’s into tech, media, and EDC.

  • Baron Fig - Squire $55 Once you hold this pen in your hand, the fuss about it begins to make more sense. It feels great and writes well.


  • Moviepass $9.99/month or $89/year

If you were going to go to a movie every couple of months anyway, this makes a lot of financial sense, but it’s really awesome to be able to take a chance on a new movie without feeling disappointed when it turns out to be a dud.

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  • Aer - Flightpack $150

This will not be the last backpack I own or try, but I am a fan of the 3-way style (backpack and messenger) and this one does both really well.


  • Allbirds - Loungers $95

I like the standard Allbirds, but didn’t love the style. I really like the slip-ons.


  • A...

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