Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"The Cloudy Future of Recorded Music"

I wrote a new article for Invisible Oranges about the cloud and what it means for the average music consumer. It's in the vein of the technology-related stuff I've been writing on this blog, but I pepper in music references IO readers will find relevant throughout. I had been planning on writing a similar, lengthier post for this blog, but having a deadline for a specific website really helps focus my writing.

The Cloud itself is a myth borne of advertising. We've been storing and streaming data to and from faraway servers for about as long as the internet has been around. Only recently have we installed the infrastructure in America to be able to deal with the bandwidth demands these cloud services make. The cloud is suddenly relevant to the modern iConsumer.

Additionally, the reason these services can gain any foothold at all is because people have more internet-connected gadgets than they used to. Gone are the days when your desktop and your phone shared a wire. Both of my parents have laptops and smart phones, and I'm not sure they even know how to use them correctly (I'm kidding, mommy). To the consumer that's always connected to the internet, the cloud will look much more appealing than it will to somebody like me, who has no smartphone (for my birthday, mommy?).

I also made an appeal to support local, independent radio stations in that article. Here are links to the Austin radio stations I recommended: KVRX, KOOP, KAOS. KVRX is the station I work at, KOOP is the station we share a frequency with, and KAOS used to be a pirate radio station on the FM that got shut down by the FCC (or similar) not too long ago. They still broadcast online and it's high-quality content.

In my iTunes, I downloaded each radio station's streaming file and put them in a playlist. Doing so lets me listen to the radio like I would in the car, easily flipping between stations.

I wish I did have a smartphone so I could test and recommend apps for listening to internet radio. If anybody knows of any apps that let you save internet audio streaming files and actually stream them, let me know. You'd think they'd just build a simple tuner into these devices, it's gotta cost about a buck.

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