Caught a quick blurb on the news while I was in the lounge waiting for the mechanics to change my oil, and it’s repeated here and probably elsewhere too:
The summary is, big radio prevented a class action with some small record labels who are upset that big radio networks play the same homogeneous junk all the time, every day. Despite the “he did this” and “she did that” stuff that the article writes about, the truth of the matter is that small record labels accuse the radio networks of accepting bribes from the large record labels in order to keep radio boring. I’m sure further investigation may eventually find that this may be true, but for now I think it’s beside the point.
The purpose of the radio, and its accidental invention, the disc jockey, is to play precisely what it wants its audience to hear. Although it is no longer the case, initially, this meant that a disc jockey is to play that which he or she wants to expose us, the audience, to. This is why good DJs do not take requests, and DJs should not take requests, and it’s also why my eyes roll when I’m asked why I don’t try to make extra money playing for weddings. (If it wasn’t deduced, this is because wedding music, live or recorded, is nothing more than a gigantic request that lasts for the length of the reception.)
There are severe economic reasons why big radio have chosen to homogenize our airwaves, and frankly, I don’t see how the agreement suggested in the news article changes this. 8,400 half-hours are to be granted to independent music over three years. Between four networks, that’s 2,100 half-hours per network. Divide that by the number of days in three years (that’s 1,096 because one of those will be a leap year) and you get a decimal number just shy of 2. That is, you get a little less than an hour a day. I’m sure in some places there are already ‘local music hours’ and that pretty much equals that, except… that “just shy of hour” is to be divided by the 200+ stations in each network.
Someone please eventually tell me that this math is wrong.
How will independent acts compete for this paltry amount of time? Watch the preliminary rounds of one of those Idol shows. This is what the entertainment industry thinks of amatuer talent.
In other words, don’t get your hopes up; it’s still a joke.
A lot of the people reading this are on RSS, which means you won’t notice the slight cosmetic changes I made to the page here. Xanga added a clone of Twitter called “Xanga Pulse” which… I don’t know if I want to keep it, but if you look to the right of the written content, in between the big quote marks is supposed to be something I transmitted in via cell phone when I get an odd spark of creativity or whatever. If you click on the quoted message, you’ll be taken to a page where comments can be left on that single statement. Twitter works in much the same way, and while their slogan “What are you doing?” reeks of Orwellianism, nobody seems to use Twitter that way anyhow, and basically, it’s just another higher-speed graffitti for the internet. It isn’t synchronizing with my phone very well, though, so it might go away.
Below it is my last.fm box that shows people what I’ve been listening to through amaroK. Supposedly, Wil Weaton’s blog compared all the different Linux music players and openly declared that amaroK kicks all asses, in fact, he said it’s better than iTunes even though it started out intending to be an iTunes clone. I’m not sure Wil Weaton’s approval is such a big deal, but I like amaroK best of the Linux players too, and often try out the release candidates.
The green little bar below should take you to my Odeo page. I took to making up a few little fragments of music and posted them there, where they can be aggragated via RSS or the podcast listener of your choice. I thought about using Xanga’s own audio, but Odeo accords the listener more power, including letting you download the file outright, which I’d prefer for anyone that wants to hear. The latest entry is an older piece, which I am considering sending to The MOD Archive (http://modarchive.org/) in its originally sequenced form, and I’ve started talking to a lot of the mod tracker crowd on IRC. Last night, I entered my first informal compitition (compo) of the likes that they have there, and came in dead last, but I consider the 22 points I got pretty good since I’ve never done anything like that before.
(I’ve done songwriting circles before in college, but never something where you’re expected to turn in a fully mixed and produced piece in one hour. It’s an interesting experience.)
If I keep it up, there will be much more music available there, but for now, a piece I’ve already shared through this blog can be heard in a flash player here: http://odeo.com/audio/9937193/play or downloaded as a straightforward audio file here: http://odeo.com/show/9937193/4/download/Midnight.mp3. It is also possible to embed the flash players in your own blogs and websites and such, and if you really like any of the work I post enough to do something like that, it would definitely make my day.
There are rumors that Odeo is up for sale, which could be evidenced by its slowness, so if things stay bad or get worse, the work may end up in Xanga Audio after all. If that happens, I’ll try to think of a way to get the audio files shared too.
It’s been a while since I had a day off where I can say I accomplished everything I intended to, and the weather has gone from terrible and rainy to absolutely gorgeous in the past couple days, so I really don’t have much else to complain about. I hope everyone is doing well.
See you next time.