Sunday, February 20, 2005

Listener Supported Radio Paradise

Since I set up my nifty Hauppage MediaMVP, a digital media router that connects my computer/Internet with my home theater/television, I have been quite satisfied. One of the nice things about this device is that it supports Internet Radio, and adds features like DivX support through firmware updates, which has meant much scouring of websites like Shoutcast to find good stations.

Pretty much any radio station with a static web URL can be added to the list of bookmarks. KCRW.com is a favorite, as is Radio Paradise - a phenomenal radio station run by Bill and Rebecca Goldsmith.

The website for Radio Paradise is a lesson in good, holistic web design. The constantly updated playlist shows songs played over the last 6 hours, in sets of 5 or 6, related thematically or musically, most of them deep, deep cuts. Each song info page has a host of neat links, including tour schedules, comments, ratings, and what I really like - a tie-in with iTunes that pops open the music store to let you buy the song if you choose. There is also an Amazon store link for the CD itself.

The recent playlist, for example:

11:50 am - Al Stewart - On the Border (live)
11:46 am - Richard Thompson - Sibella
11:43 am - Laurie Anderson - Excellent Birds (w/ Peter Gabriel)
11:39 am - Berlin - Lost My Mind
11:36 am - Moe - New York City
11:32 am - The Smiths - The Boy With the Thorn in His Side (Live)
11:29 am - Mazzy Star - Blue Flower
11:24 am - David Bowie - Panic In Detroit
11:16 am - James McMurtry - Choctaw Bingo
11:09 am - Bob Schneider - Oklahoma
11:05 am - John Hammond - Jockey Full of Bourbon
11:02 am - Cake - Wheels
10:54 am - The Starseeds - Parallel Life
10:50 am - Kate Bush - The Sensual World
10:47 am - Jump Little Children - All Those Days Are Gone
10:44 am - Mary McCaslin - Things We Said Today
10:40 am - Jefferson Airplane - Martha
10:36 am - Hem - The Fire Thief
10:32 am - Procol Harum - Conquistador (live)
10:26 am - Morcheeba - The Sea
10:22 am - Patty Griffin - One Big Love
10:19 am - Sam Phillips - Fighting With Fire
10:15 am - Flunk - Blue Monday
10:12 am - Euphoria - Sweet Rain
10:07 am - Jimi Hendrix - 1983.. (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
10:02 am - Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
9:58 am - Jeff Beck - A Day In The Life
9:54 am - Beatles - All You Need Is Love
9:50 am - Michael Penn - No Myth
9:47 am - Eels - Grace Kelly Blues
9:43 am - Pogues - Summer in Siam
9:38 am - Asian Dub Foundation - 1000 Mirrors (w/ Sinead O Connor)
9:33 am - Tykwer/Klimek/Heil - Running One
9:28 am - Freddy Jones Band - In A Daydream
9:23 am - Lyle Lovett - Private Converstions (Acoustic)
9:20 am - Rufus Wainwright - One Man Guy
9:17 am - REM - We Walk
9:14 am - Cry Cry Cry - Fall On Me
9:10 am - Indigo Girls - Land Of Canaan
9:07 am - Vyktoria Pratt Keating - NY 10-11-91


Listeners can upload songs for the radio DJs to pick and add to the playlist. You can even request a song from their repertoire and it will be added to the playlist sometime soon.

Bill Goldsmith is credited with starting the first full-time Internet Radio broadcast at KPIG in 1995. Rebecca is the music reviewer and business manager for the excellent operation.

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article(DRM-free copy available at mercora.com, referenced in the piece) on the convenience and value of this form of music distribution as an alternative to under-the-radar music sharing, and how the labels are watching, and supporting such operations with interest.

Now(Sunday, 12:44 PM EST) - an interesting mash-up of Green Day vs. Oasis vs. Travis called "Boulevard Of Broken Songs" by Party Ben rocks the house.

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