Saturday, November 28, 2009

Slacker killed my radio, and i aint mad about it

I'm a music lover, from the Temptations to The Fugees, from Staind to Michael Jackson, from Tupac Shakur to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, I listen to some form of music almost everyday, by way of a podcast, a music video, an old album, or something I pick up from a friend, that much hasn't changed, but what has changed is how I listen.  I find it easier and more enjoyable to listen to music through a streaming audio app such as Slacker,, or Pandora than traditional radio.  I'm guessing the reader knows what I'm talking about and if you don't, where the hell have you been.
I love the old radio, the music is always fresh, the DJ's are insightful, and there are rarely ads interrupting my musical enjoyment.  The problems with radio are: if I listen for an hour straight I can guarantee that at some point the same song will play again and I can't skip it, they don't always play the music I want to hear for example; my local DJ wont play that one song from 1992 that I cant remember the name of but it goes something like......
Here comes streaming radio, with customizable stations, no ads and no repetition, I can choose an artist and listen to just that artists music or choose songs from a genre and listen to similar songs from that same genre.  If I feel like listening to Red Foxx's old stand-up, I can just type in his name.  I get to skip songs that I don't like, and can even tell my radio to never, ever play that again.  I can listen to streams from across the nation or across the world.  If I'm feeling that song, I can buy it right from my device and transfer it to my home collection.  Best of all my music goes everywhere I go.
Of course streaming radio has its limitations, but they are minimal compared to the old radio.  I don't blame the local DJ for the demise of radio, in fact I kind of feel sorry for them, they probably don't like the music they're forced to play.  I put the blame on the music execs who pay program managers millions to get their artist on the hourly rotation.  I also blame myself for allowing my radio, once the medium for educated thought and discussion, to become a whore for advertisers.  Advertisers who in trying to monetize the airwaves destroyed the very essence that made people tune in.
Radio is dead to me but music lives on. The stories of artists like Soldier Boy (though I'm not a fan), Wale, and others rejuvenates my faith in music.  With streaming radio independent musicians worldwide can get mainstream exposure without losing their soul, and the soul is what makes music what it is.  I love music's ability to pass through any barrier (wood, metal, air, water, electricity, political), I love how music is always evolving, I love the fact that a song can be your mother, your doctor, your psychiatrist, and your voice all at the same time.  I'm not sorry to see the old radio go, because its lost its soul.  So as long as I have a data connection and 5% battery left, I'm a stream til the last song fades out.

Some of my favorite streaming radio apps:  Slacker,, iheartradio.


  1. Definitely one of my favorite apps! One thing about SLACKER not only will it let you customize your music but you can click on any genera you chose 2 listen.... anywhere from Comedy, Jazz, to Reggae.