» 03 November 2003 » In Work »

Last week I made an urgent visit to LA in order to secure a British visa for my upcoming business trip. I drove down (don’t ask) on Thursday night, got the visa on Friday, and spent some time at the Santa Monica Yahoo! LAUNCH office where Michael Radwin also works. I must say that I liked the layout and atmosphere there much better than at the Sunnyvale one, which tends to be more corporate and sterile. LAUNCH office has a feeling of dot-com era emphasized by funky cubicles, exposed brick walls, and nooks and crannies full of old promotional materials.
But the coolest thing about my visit was getting a tour of the recording studio and the media library. Ian Dittbrenner, the senior audio producer, grabbed Michael and me while we were walking around and launched into a very entertaining description of what the studio is for. All kinds of music stars come down to the office to record interviews, performances, and these get broadcast on LAUNCH. This explains the presence of the blue screen on the stage.. The walls of the studio hallway and the recording room are covered with guitars donated by the stars and signed by them, including Led Zeppelin, Jewel, 50 Cents, Poison, and many others. If I came a day earlier, I could have seen Ludacris taping a show, apparently. Some Yahoo! execs were in last week and watched Blink 182 pull the pants off each other. Hmm, I should visit LA office more often.
Normally, the media library is off limits, but somehow we were able to sneak in. This is where all the tapes and recordings that LAUNCH made are stored, in a climate controlled environment. But that’s not all. There are also over 1 million CDs kept in huge, rail-mounted racks. I really wanted to get my fingers into that collection, but there is some sort of silly rule about not letting employees check out CDs. Oh well, there’s always the Internet.

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