Bullshit Detectors Set to Maximum

Just read this article at Ars Technical:

Consumer advocates cheered as New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer took music labels to task last year for allegedly bribing radio stations to play certain artists. The resulting payola scandal managed to dig up incriminating evidence against a host of radio stations and labels, but it hasn’t yet opened the airwaves to more diverse music. In fact, the opposite has happened; radio today is more homogenous than it was a year ago.

The article goes on to say that people are afraid to play non top 40 songs because they may get investigated for going and doing anything unusual.

Grrrr if you had more than a 15 song play list to begin with, sticking in Cake’s Mahna Mahna wouldn’t be suspicious, it would be part of being a useful DJ, instead of a cog in some machine.

For all these reasons I gave up on comercial radio about 6 years ago. In the last year I was introduced to Radio Paradise, a listener supported, online radio station, that has a really good and broad mix of music. Because they are listener supported, there are no comercials, so in a 1 hour block you get 59.5 minutes of music, and .5 minutes of station identification, and “buy our stuff” so the station can stay online.

Before a trip to Vermont, I did about a day of stream capture of Radio Paradise, so that I’d have good music to listen to on the road. Given this representative data set, I decided I’d try to get some ideas about the play list of RP. In this block of time they played 324 songs. There were no repeated songs. The maximum number of songs played by a single artist was 5, the artist being Jonny Cash. It happened to be the week the Jonny Cash movie was coming out, so I’m assuming they had a few requests for that as well. That’s what I call diverse radio, with a useful DJ running it.

I love you Radio Paradise! Especially when you play Cake’s Mahna Mahna. 😉

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