Apple Music: Bringing the DJ Back In

The natural next step in the evolution of Internet music services


Yesterday, Apple unveiled its upcoming new music service:

Why did they record this in mono? No, wait, it's just that one of my ears is missing.
Apple Music

Apple Music takes the human-curation element of Beats Music, the subscription service Apple got in its $3 billion Beats Electronics purchase last year, and adds Beats1, a live DJ-helmed radio station aimed at giving music a cultural center that has been diluted since the digital revolution rocked the music industry landscape.

"It's all the ways you love music, all in one place," [Apple's Jimmy] Iovine said. "Algorithms can't do it all. You need the human touch."

Will the new service compete capably with Spotify,, and the rest? Beats me. But I'm not surprised to see a company offering this kind of pitch. Back in 1999, when Internet radio was in its infancy, I wrote a Reason article that did a fairly decent job of forecasting the future of music streaming. Apple's move fits what I wrote pretty well. 

"Commercial radio today is less concerned with finding music that will draw listeners in than with eliminating music that might drive listeners out," my '99 piece said. "The result is numbing repetition." But an alternative was emerging from within the belly of the beast:

And then I made the same argument at the end of this book. Click 'n' buy!
NYU Press

Increasingly, program directors are using computer programs to choose the records their stations will play. The most popular such program is called Selector. Once everything in the music library has been entered—not a terribly onerous task, since the typical station has a library of only 500 to 1,000 songs, the vast majority of which are rarely played—the director can give Selector a series of instructions and let the program produce a playlist. Those parameters might be broad genre restrictions ("no rap"), general patterns ("two upbeat songs, followed by one ballad, then repeat"), or more narrow rules ("no more than three songs with female vocalists per hour"). Selector then chooses which songs will be played, and in what order, for the next 24 hours, seven days, or however far a horizon the program director requests….

For decades, each radio station has been trying to figure out the formula that will generate the perfect series of songs for its audience. Now some bright computer programmers have created a tool that will turn its preferences into a playlist. But what happens if its listeners have access to that same program—and to a much larger library of music on the World Wide Web? What if a Web site let listeners select their own parameters and then followed them to the letter, with no commercial interruptions and no DJ schtick?

The upshot was that services whose playlists were aimed at the preferences of each individual consumer should be able to take listeners from stations whose playlists were aimed at broad demographic groups. And we've seen exactly that happen. But, I added, traditional outlets could do one thing

that an automated, Web-based system can't. Like the old freeform stations, they can hire skilled knowledgeable hosts who understand how to put disparate songs together in creative sets that no scheduling engine could conceive….

Then program directors could stop playing super-DJ, and take on the larger visionary role of shaping the station's personality, of figuring out the boundaries of what it will play and finding the right staff to play it.

And if the old stations don't do that, surely there are Web-based stations that will.

Sixteen years later, those personalized "radio" streams are a familiar part of the landscape. Now Apple is adding something both old and new to the stream market: old-fashioned DJs who choose what songs they play. I have no idea whether Apple's streams, be they DJ-driven or algorithm-driven, will be good enough to outcompete the other options out there. But this certainly does seem like the natural next step to take.

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  1. Good. Because I just bought stock in Apple and honestly, I’m really nervous about this whole ‘apple watch’ thing. I do think Apple is still a good long term position.

    1. Watches are still big in the yuppie crowd. An Apple watch is basically a two-for-one, displaying affluence and hipness at the same time.

    2. I’m pretty skeptical about this one. When you listen to the pitch for Apple’s good products, you quickly get a sense of why people would want to buy one and what it does. The pitch for this itunes radio product read like a lot of buzzwords such as enhanced listener experience, connecting the artist and the listener, etc.

      1. The pitch for this itunes radio product read like a lot of buzzwords such as enhanced listener experience, connecting the artist and the listener, etc.

        Look, if a commenting forum that allows user-created content requires a CEO when in my opinion it should be a guy running a linux box in his mom’s basement… the world is changing. Buzzwords and Buzzfeeds is where it’s at!

    3. We are on opposite sides of the aisle. May the better man win.

      1. Are you short selling me? You short selling me?

        No wonder I’m already in the red.

      2. Hey, you mess around in the market, what’s a good mid-term stock buy in your opinion? I’ve got to start offsetting some of my recent losses.

        1. I’d go with a healthcare mutual fund. Be ready to dump if the political environment changes, which means ETF if you have to. My primary is Vanguard Healthcare. Good capital gains (unrealized), good dividends.

          I cleaned up on some Chinese and Indian funds this year, but I think all of the getting is got, and I’m moving on.

          1. I gotta be honest, healthcare makes me nervous because of the uncertainty. I’ve never been laid off from a job– including the dotcom crash of 2000 and the Great Recession. It took Obamacare to do that.

        2. I’d go with a low expenses index mutual fund that mirrors the stock market, and quit trying to beat the market, because you can’t. I go with Vanguard’s Total Stock Market fund.

          1. I’m not trying to beat the market, I’m trying to beat poverty!

    4. The watch thing is the beginning salvo in a set of ideas about how to make our phones, which are increasingly becoming our all-purpose contact to the world, more accessible on one’s person.

      For people who are constantly, constantly on their phones (texting, calling, looking shit up on the internet, ordering stuff through apps, listening to music, etc)–which is a fair amount of people–there are times when the phone (as a device) is ungainly/a problem. For instance, if you–like many people–keep your phone in your pocket, you’re constantly having to take it out every time it chirps if you want to see why it chirped.

      The watch is an attempt to have an extension to your phone where several of the things you might have to take the phone out for can be accomplished on the watch without having to mess with the phone. I have a friend with an Android compatible watch and I’ve noticed that he now receives all his texts and notifications on the watch. A significant amount of the time where he would have been rummaging around in his pocket, pulling out the phone, and then looking at why it chirped, he instead just quickly checks the watch.

      I don’t think the watch is necessarily going to be the solution, but it’s an attempt to get to the next stage of our personal devices: where it’s more fully integrated with our bodies and the the way we move around. Google Glass is a similar attempt. Expect more of these, with the initial ones being likely failures. But more will come.

      1. We are becoming the borg.

      2. I’m not completely negative on the Apple watch- pretty much for all the reasons you stated.

        Where I am negative is mostly in the aesthetic realm. Wearable technology is always a touchy proposition.

        I’m a long-time watch guy– from the old days. As Sarcasmic notes above, watches have come back in a big way, and many watch people (me included) have a collection of watches. We wear different watches for different occasions. As the apple watch augments your phone functionality (again, I agree 100% with everything you said about what the technology is supposed to do) that limits your ability to have watch(es) as both a functional and fashionable item.

        I won’t to into a long treatise on watch collecting, because it would be long, and detailed, and full of opinions which aren’t exactly relevant here.

        Going back to the Apple watch, I do believe it’s going to require a V2.0 to get right, because as one industry watcher noted, all the good reviews were bad– if you read between the lines.

        But still, going back to the wearable point, many people are still somewhat image and fashion conscious, despite going to the store in their pajamas. A wearable piece of tech can interfere with that and may not even be appropriate for every occasion. Then you’re kind of back to where you started.

        1. I think wearable tech is a sub-optimal compromise that is trying to fill a space that will eventually be owned by implants/wetwiring. That’s why it kind of sucks, but you can see what it’s *trying* to do. I think most wearable tech will be made obsolete by implants, but there will be a few things that survive just because people like them.

          I mean, there’s no reason that you couldn’t have several watches, all for different occasions, that were all wearable tech and allowed for your fashion needs. But once you have an implant, the watch goes back to being nothing but a fashion accessory anyway. Because you don’t need it as tech.

          1. The biotech Luddites are going to crap their pants over augs.

            1. Yes they are.

              I’m guessing by the use of “aug”, you’re a Neal Asher fan?

              1. Yep. The Polity future is really positive. Too bad it relies on AI and runcible tech. Our future is probably more in line with his Owner series.

                1. Yeah, sadly, I agree. Have you read Dark Intelligence yet? I just finished it. It was…over much more quickly than I expected, and too pat. Penny Royal is getting dangerously close to being a god.

                  1. Yes. I did not appreciate Penny Royal’s redemption. I prefer my black AIs like I prefer my women: psychotic and unaccountable

                    Cowl OTOH was a runaway freight train loaded with nuclear warheads that left me with a headache. I loved it.

                    1. Cowl is very good. I like the Spatterjay subseries of the Polity series a lot too. Though Asher’s writing style has been subtly evolving the last few years and I’m not sure if I like the direction.

                    2. The Skinner might be my favorite book of his. Spatterjay’s lifeforms and backstory with human coring/thralling is just so damn sick.

            2. I think it may be more than traditional Luddites that are going to look askance at implants. It may seem counter-intuitive since so many people have so radically embraced the diminishing privacy of the tech revolution, but putting an implant inside one seems a next level step that will raise some legitimate concerns among many. Watch Black Mirror episode “The Entire History of You” for reference.

              Although if it’s properly labeled as a step towards transhumanism, it may catch on for fear of being considered transphobic.

          2. Wearable tech is pointless. iPhones are more firmly cemented in young women’s hands than my fashion accessory Invicta watch will ever be on my wrist. The iwatch is an invention entirely marketable to a very narrow band of male (note the deliberate use of male rather than man) millennials whose tech purchases are largely social signaling and status driven as opposed to any functional benefit.

            1. You know, it’s a shame when a perfectly interesting discussion about wearable and implantable tech gets diverted down completely predictable and tedious lines of gender partisanship, generational collectivism, and personal dislike of certain big companies.

              1. The point is that, even if it provides some great functionality, it’s market acceptance will be limited due to its aesthetics.

                1. Where exactly did you make that point?


            2. Someone who proudly wears an Invicta watch has no room to pan an iwatch.

          3. Well, technically contact lenses are wearable tech. Whatever you start out with can get miniaturized until it is barely visible.

            1. I for one can’t wait until wearable tech becomes barely usable.

      3. All of these devices will suck until we have direct visual cortex implants. I don’t see how a watch or a pair of glasses is any less shitty than a stupid phone.

        1. That’s because you have sausage fingers. What’s the matter, steroids make you retain water?

        2. I can’t wait until your cortex implants get infected with Pakistani bootleg ED-drug spam.

          1. Bootleg??? You disgusting pervert.

      4. Let’s stop calling it “wearable tech” and call it what it really is: “wearable connectivity”. There’s centuries of wearable tech – cosmetics, silicone tits, codpieces, etc.

    5. You got in at the wrong time. Sorry.

  2. Now Apple is adding something both old and new to the stream market: old-fashioned DJs who choose what songs they play.

    Wha? I’ve been listening to college/independent radio streams for quite a while now.

    1. I’ve been listening to college/independent radio streams for quite a while now.

      So have I. I’m letting “both old and new” do a lot of work in that sentence.

      1. Ah. I was interpreting “new” to mean that someone hadn’t been continuing to do it all along from when it was “old”.

  3. Love my Spotify. I don’t use the radio functions, though. I listen to albums.

    And very nice article from ’99, Jesse. Spot on.

    1. Me too albums and sometimes artist radio’s.

    2. Spotify is amazing. I use the radio function to go down the rabbit hole and find artists I haven’t listened to in years (or ever). You still need to hop artists or you’ll occasionally get stuck in a loop of the same dozen bands though.

      1. Oh yeah. I follow the “Associated Acts” and I visit a lot of music review websites to find new stuff. Tiny Mix Tapes, Drowned in Sound, The Big Takeover are my go to websites. Also, I really like to listen to new stuff so definitely only listen to my “same dozen bands” when I’m jogging.

        The awesome thing about the web is that I can read a review for some obscure noise band in Orlando, FL and check Spotify, and BOOM! there it is. So I get fresh sounds for the afternoon with ease and economy. When I was young, I had to read the reviews in MaximumRockNRoll or Flipside. I grew up in rural Indiana, so getting to a decent record store was tough. So you’d take a gamble and mail-order the LP. And prey to God that after waiting six weeks to arrive, it didn’t suck.

        1. Speaking of Drowned In Sound, they have an excellent column about the new Apple streaming service.


          1. Nice. Danke!

        2. We had one or two independent record stores (and a few of the chains) but CDs were all twenty bucks a pop (prior to that tapes weren’t much cheaper). The bizarre thing was that around my sophomore year in high school, Circuit City of all places started carrying a lot of different stuff for about $10 a CD (I think they sold at a loss to get people into the stereo section). It’s kind of pathetic that I grew up 15 miles from DC and Circuit City was what got me listening to Fugazi and Bad Brains. Everything from Liz Phair to Biohazard…I’d either never heard of them or never had the cash to take a flyer until Circuit effing City.

      2. You still need to hop artists or you’ll occasionally get stuck in a loop of the same dozen bands though.

        This is the #1 problem that is not being solved, going on 12 years. (The DMCA is part of the problem.)

    3. Yeah. I won’t pay for anything that doesn’t let me stream exactly what I want to hear. Don’t like internet radio. I want to hear what I like, not things that someone I don’t know decided are like things I like.

  4. OT (sorry, Jesse)…..-portugal/

    Among Portuguese adults, there are 3 drug overdose deaths for every 1,000,000 citizens. Comparable numbers in other countries range from 10.2 per million in the Netherlands to 44.6 per million in the U.K., all the way up to 126.8 per million in Estonia. The E.U. average is 17.3 per million.

    Perhaps more significantly, the report notes that the use of “legal highs” — like so-called “synthetic” marijuana, “bath salts” and the like — is lower in Portugal than in any of the other countries for which reliable data exists. This makes a lot of intuitive sense: why bother with fake weed or dangerous designer drugs when you can get the real stuff?

  5. DJ John Henry vs. the Machine in the radio ratings battle?

    1. My money’s on the robot.

  6. I am entirely neutral on this subject.

    1. I am very glad I no longer have opinions. It’s very liberating.

      1. Our benevolent overlords have shown you the righteousness of their cause.

        1. *finally loves Big Brother*

  7. Not gonna work. The nice thing about the streaming services is that I can filter out crap I don’t like. A DJ doesn’t do that.

    1. True, but real, old-school DJs (as opposed to people hired to fill in with banter around music) could turn you on to stuff you’d never heard of, and put together (as noted) eclectic mixes that might not come together via program. Some of us do have Social Distortion, Hank Williams, and Pink Floyd all on the same iPod.

      1. Meshuggah and Mozart!

        1. Ol’ Dirty Bastard makes a delightful chaser for Joni Mitchell!

      2. And that is NOT what Apple’s DJ’s are going to be doing. They may at the start, but when they find that nobody is listening, they’ll go back to radio-by-numbers.

  8. Pimping your book through Alt-Text? New. Low. /sarc

  9. a live DJ-helmed radio station aimed at giving music a cultural center that has been diluted since the digital revolution rocked the music industry landscape.

    This alone makes it entirely contemptible. The variety and artistic merit of music is enhanced by decentralization and market segmentation but is stifled by “cultural centers.”

    1. I disagree. A good DJ is value added. But it better be someone who really knows music. I would hope Apple is going to get top DJ acts like say; Kruder + Dorfmeister, the Groove Armada guys, maybe the dude from Flaming Lips, Henry Rollins, to “curate” music. Then it would be quality.

      If you read Jesse’s linked article from 1999, he examines a computerized radio programming service called Selector. So if Apple is just going to turn on Selector it will suck.

      1. So the same company that put U2 on everyone’s phone is going to make tasteful selections for its cultural vanguards? Color me skeptical.

        1. Oh, I’m skeptical, too. They could do it right and really create value to Beats. Or they could fuck it up. As a shareholder, hopefully they don’t fuck it up.

  10. a live DJ-helmed radio station aimed at giving music a cultural center that has been diluted since the digital revolution rocked the music industry landscape.

    So, Shoutcast.

    1. There are a few music streaming sites that incorporate the DJ thing. But Apple appeals to people who don’t want to find out about it on their own. They’ll try it if Apple markets it to them.

    2. Shoutcast lets you set up your own outlet; this is Apple developing a station of its own.

      I’m personally more interested in browsing the operations that use services like Shoutcast than in listening to Apple-branded radio. But it’s notable, I think, that this is being put at the center of an attempt to compete with Spotify.

      1. Mostly because JImmy Iovine won’t let go of his failed idea. They’ll give it some ad play, then it will fade away when no one uses it.

        Let me put tracks into an iTunes playlist for a monthly subscription rather than purchase each track and they will compete with Spotify. Hell, they purchased LaLa about 10 years ago which was capable of doing the same thing but they bought it just to close it down.

  11. Will the new service compete capably with Spotify,, and the rest? Beats me.

    Somewhere, Swiss is narrowing his gaze.

  12. Sounds like a good move for them. Their customers want to be told what to like.

  13. Will Wolfman Jack be a featured DJ?

  14. I was a record collector for years… and then a CD collector… and then back to LP. I’ve only recently started listening to Spotify at work instead of using my PC MP3 collection.

    One thing I’ve noticed – as a collector – that Spotify and music streaming has a tendency to make me lazy about selection – and a little disinterested in music in general Maybe one could attribute this to middle age; my intense love of music dissipating due to being so damn jaded.

    Or – speaking as a collector – when I can easily get a product, it becomes “less valuable” to me.

    1. humongous =

      I think you mentioned once you’ve collected Funk & Soul?

      same here, more or less. we should converse at some point. at the very least i’d like to see if you’ve got any recommendations of recently-unearthed stuff. I stopped hunting years ago.

      1. example of the only sort of things i peruse any more

        connoisseur reissuers. very good stuff though.

        1. I’ve got the Yellow Pills: Prefill stuff from Numero. Their newsletter emails are fantastic.

          And I want their board game.

      2. Don’t collect too much soul these days – Numero Uno – as you said, is great.

        For the older 70s stuff that wasn’t Motown, I like Geater Davis, Don Covay, Tyrone Davis, Earl Gaines, James Carr, O.V. Wright

        Recent: Cody ChesnuTT came out with a great album recently –

        1. Thanks

          When I was in my peak-digging mode, I met Aaron Fuchs at a record-store in New Orleans… and he was releasing re-issues under the label “Funky Delicacies“, which was enormously helpful for me in the early years to get copies of things like Eddie Bo that i could use to DJ at gigs without burning the living fuck out of my few rare 45s

          I later found out his (Aarons) whole story in the music biz which is sort of fascinating. He was the guy who found out some rappers had sampled the Honeydrippers, so he ran out, bought the copyright, then sued the fuck out people. Interesting guy, very nice. He pointed me to a single by the Fabulous Fantoms*, which he later reissued himself on that label.

          (*search youtube)

          I got into the soul/funk thing sort of by way of DJ-music, which is to say, “‘breaks’ digging”. But it quickly branched far from that and I was mostly doing Dj sets of Soul/Funk stuff instead of modern music after a while. There was a fad there for a minute in the early 2000s when showing up to gigs with nothing but 45s was very much ‘in fashion’.

    2. Or – speaking as a collectormillennial hipster – when I can easily get a product, it becomes “less valuable” to me.

      That makes more sense.

      1. Artisanal Mayonnaise?

      2. If you spent half the 1990s digging through dusty crates in small record stores in crime-ridden areas of cities to find that one elusive copy of “Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse“… and paid $20, knowing it goes for $500 or more on Ebay….

        ….it is sort of a buzzkill when they start selling reissues of it to “millenial hipsters” for $5 on Amazon

    3. I’m still largely attached to the physical media as well. I find mp3s and streaming music lessens the musical experience for me. I like to put on an album (cd or vinyl) and listen to it. And I’m into high fidelity sound, which I don’t get from my computer (yes, I know I could buy a better sound device).

      A question for you people who still collet LPs. Do you have any suggestions on where to find high quality, new pressings of a wide variety of music? I have lots of old LPs, but only a few pristine, high quality ones and I absolutely love them since I got a decent cartridge and some fantastic new speakers. It’s fiddly and delicate and expensive, but I really do think the sound can’t be beat.


          1. Also


            for more “conventional” genres (Dustygroove is very DJ-centric)

  15. The old free-form stations? How about the current (or still-extant) ones? Or the ones to come?

    Streaming is growing exponentially (& I don’t mean that as “fast”, I mean literally dx/dt = kx). DJs are being spawned by the current free-form incubators, & some of them are forming such incubators of their own.

    Meanwhile if you want to assemble your own set lists, why use Apple when there’s SoundCloud, YouTube, the Free Music Archive…?

    1. The old free-form stations? How about the current (or still-extant) ones?

      In the context of the article, I was referring to the commercial freeform stations of the ’60s and ’70s. Those had died out virtually entirely by 1999, though noncommercial freeform remained a vibrant niche.

    2. How about the current (or still-extant) ones? Or the ones to come?

      Do people in flyover country have those as a choice? Those of us in urban areas will probably always have the one ‘rebel’ indy station because there’s enough grassroots support for it.

      But that leaves a lot of people without that choice who aren’t lucky enough to live in a place where that’s possible.

      1. Sure we have a choice, Country AND Wes..

        but seriously they do have Indie stations outside of the important cities

        1. Do they? That’s cool if they do. I just know that we have several, the biggest of which is essentially supported by microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen. You don’t always have those deep pockets and vanity moguls in the far-flung places.

  16. I used to go to a lot of “Transformation of Music Industry” conferences back in the late 1990s early-2000s to see if i could find an angle on what was going to happen in the “digital revolution” that would stick… and maybe get in early on it in some fashion.

    I was endlessly disappointed.

    Ubiquitous at these events were people like Steve Kuhn (who wrote “This Business of Music”, sort of a industry legal bible) were omnipresent at these events… as was J. Scott Dinsdale… who roamed around the top “digital strategy” jobs for MPAA, Sony, BMG etc, for the last 15 years. There were a few others i can’t remember.

    these characters were largely responsible for the 5-8 year delay that the music industry spent trying to impose DRM technologies and create ‘working groups’ and ‘consortiums’ trying to control how the industry would adapt to a digital distribution model without handing over huge slices of the profits to @#*$@ technology companies.

    Which, naturally, resulted in *just that*.

    Apple was really the only company that *adapted itself* to the changes rather than impose them on consumers.

    People sometimes forget that Apple originally did try to control DRM with the Ipod, and iTunes, and meddled with trying to impose its own format-compromises…

    as for this thing… i have low expectations. but then I was always wrong before

  17. they can hire skilled knowledgeable hosts who understand how to put disparate songs together in creative sets that no scheduling engine could conceive….

    One problem with that concept: a terrestrial radio station still needs to sell advertising. I think it’s been pretty well proven over the last 50 years that less than 2% of the audience actually wants that.

    Even “free-form lite” doesn’t work well. Think AOR stations in the late 70’s early 80’s. Part of the problem is the stations need to sell enough advertising to cover the ginormous debt loads the ownerships are carrying. With no debt loads, a station owner not looking to take home a million himself and carry a staff to do the dj’ing, ad selling, engineering, etc. could operate that way. But the debt loads require enough income to pay down that debt which means the audience simply isn’t large enough to operate that way. Heck, the debt loads are so large they won’t even pay live hosts after 10pm anymore.

    1. the debt loads are so large they won’t even pay live hosts after 10pm anymore.

      That explains how George Noory keeps his job. He must be one of the few willing to work for peanuts at that hour.

  18. One thing i’m too lazy to look into =

    is there any confluence between Apple’s “push” radio model… and their own distribution business?

    meaning, do they intend to play lots of stuff by artists whose stuff they want to *sell*?

  19. I like college radio. The thing I like the most is that I get introduced to all kinds of tunes that I have never heard before, as opposed to hearing the same tired shit I’ve heard a million times before.

    1. For example this is one of my favorite programs. Here is a playlist from the show. Interesting stuff.

    2. What? Not an Eagles fan? *runs out of room*

      1. What? Not an Eagles fan? *runs out of room**hops out of cab*

        Do I have to fix everything LH?

        1. Humungus has a peaceful, easy feelin’.

          Cause life in the fast lane is everything, all the time.

          He’s a Desperado, all right.

        2. I’m pretty sure that One of These Nights, one of these crazy, lonely nights, Humungus is gonna Take it to the Limit, one more time.

    3. A guy I work with listens to some morning morons show and the radio station is often left to play for a while after it is over. They literally play the same fucking songs every day. I am so sick that shitty Red Hot Chili Peppers song.

      1. ” I am so sick that shitty Red Hot Chili Peppers song.”

        You could have said this at any point between ~1994 and 2014 and you would have had a good point.

        1. Yeah, pretty much. Freaky Stiley is the only one worth listening to anymore if you ask me.

      2. I’ve got WMPG playing on my iPhone right now. They just wrapped up a James Brown tune.
        Here’s the playlist. Funky.

  20. Don’t own any Apple products. Don’t foresee a day when I will.

    Still listen to land-based and satellite radio. Both of which you can pry from my cold, dead fingers when the day arrives.

    /returns to cave

  21. Speaking of Jesse Walker and music, are there any albums with the feel of Paris 1919? I’ve looked into Colin Blunstone’s early stuff, and Cale’s other solo work has a nice, vocal-driven sound. But that album is perfect.

  22. So I’m on the way back from lunch listening to the radio. Some guy sitting in for Rush Limbaugh is on he mention He mentions the fact that the DOJ is subpoenaing Reason for the names of commentators who commented on their Silk Road coverage. Has anyone heard anything about this?

    1. It’s Mark Steyn, “your undocumented guest host”. I was listening a bit earlier.

      1. Aha!!! Buttplug was right!! We all listen to Right Wing Talk Radio and get our marching orders from Rush, Beck, and Hannity!

        1. lol:)

          1. ^^this 🙂


    3. Oh, and


      1. Just found this

        Department Of Justice Uses Grand Jury Subpoena To Identify Anonymous Commenters on a Silk Road Post at…..eason-com/

        1. That is the source, pretty much. Must not discuss on

    4. We’ve been instructed not to discuss it, JB. Check Volokh Conspiracy for a breakdown and links.

      1. Thanks

        1. No sweat. I’m pretty torn about the “no talking” thing but don’t want to cause any more headaches than Reason and some of our commentariat have already been given.

    5. What’s their position? That Silk Road was railroaded, therefore the DOJ’s subpoena us a witch hunt? Or that we wrecking glibertarians are getting what Rand Paul deserves?

  23. I use Spotify, and I’ve found that tapping into other listeners has been the best way to find new music. The record labels have some nice playlists, but they’re too interested in promotion. My problem with radio is that it’s too often pushing what’s “new” as in “recent”, rather than older stuff that’s been buried. There’s seems to be an endless trove of power pop from the mid-70’s that I’m much more interested in hearing than the latest electronica attempt.

    As for punk, there are some great compilations for Cherry Red and Stiff, among others, that have surfaced, and those present a nice landscape of rabbit holes to disappear down.

    1. Thanks for the heads up on Cherry Red and Stiff compilations.

      1. The Soul Jazz Punk 45’s are off the chain too. Great first wave stuff.

  24. the director can give Selector a series of instructions and let the program produce a playlist. Those parameters might be broad genre restrictions (“no rap”), general patterns (“two upbeat songs, followed by one ballad, then repeat”), or more narrow rules (“no more than three songs with female vocalists per hour”). Selector then chooses which songs will be played, and in what order, for …however far a horizon the program director requests.

    Anyone can do this already with iTunes. Once you discover smart playlist recursion the possibilities really open up. I can replicate the music rotation of any commercial radio station rather easily this way as long as I have the music on my hard drive. This is pretty easy to do for oldies as most oldies/classic rock stations limit their library to 1000 tracks or less anyway. Even CHR is easy to do as a typical CHR rarely adds more than 2 songs per week which is a cost of $2.50 a week at most. (There’s your $10 a month right there.)

    What I would pay for, and Apple isn’t offering this as far as I can tell, is the ability to do this with ANY available song in Apple’s store rather than having to purchase tracks separately in order to get them into a playlist. I would pay a monthly fee to put tracks into a playlist and then do the curating myself with smart playlist recursion.

    Instead, Apple still wants to curate me AND charge me for a crummy job of doing so.

  25. All music fans should check out this website. This guy spends heaven knows how much time reconstructing albums that were never released, by assembling and sometimes remastering individual tracks from released albums and singles and bootlegs. Amazing labors of love, and apparently there are others who do the same thing. E.g.:

    This reconstruction attempts to create a cohesive Get Back album that finds the balance between Glyn Johns underproduced Get Back and Phil Spector’s overproduced Let It Be, while offering the very best band performances of the sessions.

  26. RoI, baby!

    Radio on the Internet.

  27. Probably every professional DJ on the planet has his own weekly radio show or podcast.

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