On Thursday I went to a gathering of people interested in online radio. We were brought together by Tim, one of the founders of Pandora. It’s internet radio but you set up station based on your preferences and thanks to the Music Genome Project it knows what you like and plays it. I am setting up stations often but I have only touched a small part of its potential. It’s been even more interesting since I am able to connect with my iPhone.

I appreciated that nearly 60% of the artists represented are independent, unsigned. I look forward to the new music I will be exposed to because of it. I hope you check it out for yourself.

He talked a bit about broadcast radio and I was thinking about how little I have listened to it recently. I have satellite radio, internet radio and my iPod to offer me anything I want, when I want it, and without CENSORSHIP. It seems superficial but I don’t know that I’ve really ever gotten over broadcast radio outlets (ahem Clear Channel even though  they deny it) boycott of the Dixie Chicks. Of course, I have a personal connection to it but I am also deeply connected to the the broader injustice and impact it can and might effect me. That a corporation in one swoop could prevent me from consuming something because of some bureaucratic whim. What if it is something more serious? What happens on the day it’s something I need. It smacks of the very religious and political intolerance that I dislike in this world. It’s not quite up there with Walmart for me but it’s dangerously close. I already avoid advertisers with honking horns and screeching tires that always scare me when I am driving. 

So, when he said it was a goal to obliterate broadcast radio I cheered enthusiastically. I wasn’t alone.

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