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I don't have to open my music player. Setup mpd so my music is "always on", connect to it with Cantata, vlc, sonata, mocp, my Android, etc. Pretty much anything that can connect/output the stream. Use conky on the desktop to show what's playing.
Britney Spears was a 21st century human singer. Her song "Toxic", a "traditional ballad," was played on Lady Cassandra's "iPod". The "iPod" is really a Jukebox and no one knows the lyrics to the song. The Music "Industry" destroyed said lyrics in a veiled attempt to prevent paying customers from knowing what the artist was singing. The effect was actually destruction of their own markets...
Fools I tell you. They know not what they do.
Here are some alternatives: Jamendo, Free Music Archive, Magnatune
Personally, I want my OS to respond in realtime and compute in such a manner. Fixed time intervals? Ok. I get that, but put this way:
Would you rather have a figher jet running a realtime OS or die via BSOD? Yeah, that last letter really means Death in this case.