Monthly Archives: June 2010

‘Youth’ radio

Digital Radio allows ‘pop-up’ stations to be created, which allows existing networks to try new demographics and experiment with content. Austereo are setting up U20, aimed at under 20’s and apparently encouraging UGC. Under 20 radio is under-represented in the Australian market, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes. The big question: will they play any interesting/different music? I’m guessing not.

Rdio

Rdio launches, another interesting cloud-based music service. Allows you to synch & stream your own collection, as well as share with your friends and listen to their stuff. Like all the rest, it’s region locked (US only) for the foreseeable future. Apple or Google need to get their act together sooner rather than later to provide cloud listening.

ABC complaints

This is a staggering example of some of the difficulties of running a public broadcaster. Following a viewer complaint, an independent panel chaired by a QC needed to be convened to investigate whether the word “ended” was appropriate when discussing a short news report on a ceremony marking 55 years since the Korean War. The 11-page dense-type PDF goes into such detail as whether it was in fact a war, the differences between an armistice and a peace treaty, etc. Time and money well spent, no doubt.

World Cup ‘Simulation’

Have to agree with Tim Bray on the disappointing lack of ethics in the World Cup. It seems strange to be talking about football and ethics, but that is exactly the word that came to mind watching the very professional Italians last night:

Disappointed · In the ethics of the players. This is the fucking World Cup, what’s with the grabbing and clutching and above all the diving?

The Italy/NZ game was full of appalling cynical diving by the Italians, especially in the first half, including one that led to a penalty. The slightest nudge or touch (or even no contact at all) would send the Italian players sprawling on the ground like they’d been shot. The ref seemed to be biased toward or intimidated by the football superpower on all those dodgy appeals. At one point it looked like NZ were going to start an all-in rugby-style brawl they were so peeved - that would have been something to see! 

All the ‘simulation’ makes me wonder if the players are coached to dive. Do they have training sessions where professional divers demonstrate the best method to convince the ref? Surely they must, so universal are the reactions: clutching the side of your head, or clawing at your ankles, and the ubiquitous triple roll along the turf. We need some undercover investigative journalism to find out. 

It also seems to be cultural - some nations have it down to a fine art, milking every opportunity. Others rarely go down, or if they do they hop straight up and get on with it. One of the joys of watching Messi play is that despite being hacked to pieces, and hence having a legitimate reason to go down, he manages to stay on his feet and keep weaving his way to goal. It’s either a personal philosophy of his to stay up, or he’s worked out that by staying up he often ends up in a better position that when going to ground.

The Playlist Survey

Paul Lamere at Music Machinery is trying to work out if a computer can ever match the expert DJ:

Playlists have long been a big part of the music experience.  But making a good playlist is not always easy.  We can spend lots of time crafting the perfect mix, but more often than not, in this iPod age, we are likely to toss on a pre-made playlist (such as an album),  have the computer generate a playlist (with something like iTunes Genius) or (more likely) we’ll just hit the shuffle button and listen to songs at random.   I pine for the old days when Radio DJs would play well-crafted sets - mixes of old favorites and the newest, undiscovered tracks - connected in interesting ways.  These professionally created playlists magnified the listening experience.   The whole was indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

A good DJ is hard to find, that’s for sure. But they are still out there. My favourites, with links to streaming:

  • Stephen Ferris on FBi (mornings Wed-Fri 9-12) is probably the best - he knows his music, doesn’t waffle, and thinks about how it all fits together.
  • Richard Kingsmill on triple j (Sunday night 6-9) is similar, though he’s limited by the format of his show which highlights new music each week. But again, knows his music.
  • Stuart Matchett and Arnold Frolows, triple j alumni who put together the ABC Dig Music, ABC Country, and ABC Jazz services. A lot of curating goes into the playlists, despite their automated playout.

I’m Comic Sans, Asshole

McSweeneys:

Listen up. I know the shit you’ve been saying behind my back. You think I’m stupid. You think I’m immature. You think I’m a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I’m Comic Sans, and I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.