Thursday, March 15, 2007

Internet Radio

This blog currently has a small, but, I think, respectable readership, for which I am grateful. Let me take advantage of that readership for a moment to mention two things concerning Internet radio, the streaming of audio content over the Internet.

(1) Personally, my favorite radio station, Internet or otherwise, is Radio Paradise. A friend recommended it to me years ago, and I've been hooked ever since. Listening to it started me discovering music that I really liked for the first time in years ... liked enough that my long stagnant CD collection began growing again. So, let me pass along that recommendation to you, just on the off chance that our musical tastes overlap. It's eclectic, running the gamut from classic rock, indie, world and jazz to classical music. There's also music for which there's no good category. I adore some of it, hate some of it, and enjoy most of it. It's free (though I make a monthly contribution), and it's free of commercials. It's 100% legal (they pay higher royalties for the songs they play than do FM radio stations). And it was created by a fellow named Bill Goldsmith who wrote of the thirty years he spent working in FM radio, that he watched the medium he loved "turn from an essential part of the process of connecting those who love making music with those whose lives are touched by it into a mindless background hum of advertising and disposable musical sludge." Even if you don't end-up appreciating Radio Paradise, you can probably appreciate those sentiments.

(2) The U.S. Copyright Board has recently set new, retroactive royalty rates for U.S. based Internet radio stations that, if allowed to take effect, will put most of the stations out of business; my old friend, Radio Paradise, probably included. But forget about any particular radio station. If you find any value in Internet radio stations based in the United States, this is an issue you should be aware of. Bill Goldsmith has written about the situation on his blog, and that's a good place to begin learning more about this issue. If you live in America, and end-up agreeing that these new rates are an unfair burden on U.S. Internet radio, you can find links on the Radio Paradise home page to petition Congress, and to email your representative on this subject.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you get as much from your Internet radio listening as I have from mine.

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