Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, November 13, 2003

  Rediscovering internet radio

I spent six hours dictating yesterday, flat on my back, talking to my Ipaq...

In recent weeks I've rediscovered Internet radio -- in particular: Radio Paradise.

It's wonderful to have a variety high quality music in my home again. My FM reception is very poor, the only signal here without static is a spanish station. So I finally tuned into shoutcast (also: Icecast) and whammo! Radio! Lots of NetRadio! Radio anywhere in my house. Goood radio.

Like most things, my joy was dampened almost immediately. I can only receive a 64 K feed of any given station using my dual ISDN line - and that bugs me. I would like to get higher quality audio over the internet - 128K stereo, mininum, but that's just a little bit more than my internet connection can do. I'm envious of you T1 and DSL users out there.

Using up my bandwidth while I'm trying to work during the day irks me too. I see no reason why I need to listen to radio as it happens, I should be able to time shift net radio just like a VCR recording. Not only that, but I should be able to song-shift, too, when the current song irks me.

I could download 10 hours of audio at night or when I'm away from home, and then play it back - I could skip a song I don't like or just continue to listen to the random stream - and have all the benefits of radio with all the benefits of mp3 - all day - without impacting my network or my ears.

This hybrid of Internet radio would be ideal, especially in the wake of the post Naspter world. I've been living in a world of pure pull, where I have to choose all the music I listen to. The effort of choosing is too much. I don't always want to choose my song stack.

It's like the problem with google: you always get what you want. You can't just get what you want, how do you know what you want? Certainly you can learn from friends, or remember hits from your past - but having the directed randomness of an expert DJ spewing tunes at you is a delight, especially without commercials!

I don't always want what I get, but our world so filled with music that you can never hear everything you might like. You might never even know what you dislike.

I know one thing - I slept like a rock while listening to some ambient chillout 96kbps stuff - and
I guess my squid web proxy cached a whole lot of it overnight because I'm having no trouble surfing the web this morning. No dropouts, nothing... ahhh.... another day on paradise.


 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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