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Skipland Redefined – Radio Garden Lets You Listen to Radio Around the World

Those of you old enough to remember AM Radio, will remember when just after nightfall you could get literally hundreds of channels from nearly halfway across the country at night. This was before radio became homogenized and MTV-ized into the same pablum top 40 or so format in every city. So listening to radio from NYC or Philadelphia was totally different from that in Charlotte or Atlanta. As a kid I would sit with my transistor radio and listen to the big hits and latest music from what were then to me far away locations. The ability to do this had to do with AM Radio’s physical property that the radio waves bounced off the Troposphere at night, and based on weather conditions could land hundreds, and in some cases a thousand or more miles away. Sometimes the connection would last for hours – sometimes only a few minutes. We called it “Skipland” because the signals would move around based on weather, and it was unpredictable where they would land. As such you might get a perfect signal at your home, but lose it in a trip to a friends house a few miles away.

A new ap lets you do just that now, only it covers just about the whole world.

The Map That Lets You Listen to the Radio Everywhere

Radio Garden is a meditation on connectedness and what broadcast technology does to local culture.

Radio Garden, which launched today, is a similar concept—a way to know humanity through its sounds, through its music. It’s an interactive map that lets you tune into any one of thousands of radio stations all over the world in real time. Exploring the site is both immersive and a bit disorienting—it offers the sense of lurking near Earth as an outsider. In an instant, you can click to any dot on the map and hear what’s playing on the radio there, from Miami to Lahore to Berlin to Sulaymaniyah and beyond.

The project, created for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision by the interactive design firms Studio Puckey and Moniker, was built using an open-source WebGL globe that draws from thousands of radio stations—terrestrial and online-only streams—overlaid with Bing satellite imagery.

The result is the best kind of internet rabbit hole: Engrossing, perspective shifting, provocative, and delightful.

The Golden Record is now more than 12 billion miles away from Earth, somewhere in interstellar space. Here on Earth, Radio Garden allows you to travel not just through space, but through time—or at least time zones. So when it’s 5:08 a.m. in Nome, Alaska, and the local radio station is playing “Mercy Came Running,”—a song by the Christian trio Phillips, Craig and Dean—it’s also 5:08 p.m. in Moscow, where Haddaway’s 1993 hit “What Is Love” is on the radio.

At the same time—as in literally at the same time—you might find Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” playing in Rome, where it’s 3:08 p.m., and Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” playing in Honolulu, where it’s 4:08 a.m, and The Talking Heads’s “Wild Wild Life” playing in Buenos Aires , where it’s 11:08 a.m. (That’s in addition to all the songs in languages other than English playing everywhere from Ghana to Egypt to Mexico.)

Looking at (and listening to) the planet this way can leave you feeling paradoxically detached while still connected—like an omniscient observer finding familiar sounds in unfamiliar places. For one thing, radio as a medium often has a similar sound. That’s not just because American pop music in particular is a global export, but because of similarities in how radio is produced around the world. Local stations, wherever they are, often broadcast a mix of music, ads, traffic, and weather reports—and deep-voiced announcers adopt a similar tone across cultures. The aesthetic of the Radio Garden site—which uses satellite imagery rather than maps with political borders—helps further promote this feeling of connectedness. That was deliberate: Jonathan Puckey, who runs the interactive design firm Studio Puckey, told me that he and his colleagues wanted to leave people with the sense that “radio knows no borders.” (Besides, he points out, click around enough and you’ll find you can “tune into an Ethiopian spoken station in the middle of Kansas and an American station in the middle of South Korea.”)…

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Drugbo Becomes Irrelevant

Once the biggest name in conservative Talk, Rush Limbaugh, and the Radio Network which spawned and distributed him to all major markets are on the way out.  The former “Clear Channel”, which gobbled up stations across the country to promote and foster conservative talk radio principally on AM Stations is near Bankruptcy.

Going to have to pawn the Gold Mike…And get a plastic one!

Rush Limbaugh hit where it hurts: World’s greatest troll faces steep pay cut

The shock jock inked a whopping $400-million deal in 2008. It will go down as one of the worst contracts in history

One of the favorite pastimes for sports fans is commiserating over the worst contract their home team ever made; guffawing over management’s decision to waste tens of millions of dollars for a player who never justified the huge payday. (See: Gilbert Arenas.)

For talk radio, there’s probably only one contract that enters that realm of notoriety: Rush Limbaugh’s eight-year, $400-million deal, signed in the summer of 2008 with his longtime radio employer Premiere Radio Networks.

Owned by Clear Channel Communications, which has since changed its name to iHeartRadio, Premiere’s Limbaugh deal instantly dwarfed any payout in AM/FM history. (Only Howard Stern’s contract with Sirius was larger.) The contract, which included a staggering $100 million signing bonus, never panned out as the wheels began to come off Limbaugh’s radio empire.

This year, his contract is up and the timing couldn’t be worse. The talker is facing ratings hurdles, aging demographics, and an advertising community that increasingly views him as toxic, thanks in part to his days-long sexist meltdown over Sandra Fluke in 2012. (He’s also stumbling through the GOP primary season.)

Concurrently, iHeartRadio’s parent company, iHeartMedia, is heading to court, teetering on bankruptcy. The once-dominant radio behemoth is saddled with $20 billion in debt, thanks to a misguided leveraged takeover engineered by Bain Capital in 2008, the same year the radio giant inked its disastrous Limbaugh deal.

Today those two defining missteps from the past are crossing paths, which means Limbaugh’s radio future has never looked less bright. This, as Limbaugh passes his 65th birthday, which seems to mirror his audience’s age.

“Who would even want someone whose audience is aging and is considered toxic to many advertisers,” asked RadioInsight last year.

Some industry insiders are wondering if his AM days are over and if Limbaugh’s futures rest with satellite radio, where advertiser indifference wouldn’t penalize him. The problem? His audience is so old. “With the aging and decline of Limbaugh’s audience, Sirius may not be as viable an option as it once was,” Darryl Parks tells Media Matters. A former talk radio host, programmer, and self-identified Republican, Parks writes about the industry at DarrylParksBlog.

Indeed, the conservative talk radio format has morphed into the Classic Rock of talk; super-serving the same aging demo for the last twenty-plus years.

“Everything needs to evolve, but stations, conservative talk hosts and programmers have decided to double down and focus on the aging Baby Boomers,” says Parks. “When a group is no longer appealing to advertisers, that spells the end of any radio format.”

The former Clear Channel network owns 850 radio stations across the country and the syndication rights to right-wing stars such as Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s the company, feasting on the fruits of media deregulation, gorged itself with profits. (It also bullied the music business for years.)

Since then, not so much. And what a brutal ride it’s been for investors:

Clear Channel stock price, January 2000: $90.

Clear Channel stock value, April 2007: $39.

iHeartMedia stock price, July 2011: $8.30.

iHeartMedia stock price at close of yesterday: $1.15.

The company hasn’t reported a profit since 2007. Today, iHeartMedia is busy selling off assets in an effort to shore up its bottom line. “It’s a case of burning your sofa to heat up the house,” Philip Brendel, a credit analyst recently told Bloomberg. “It’s not necessarily a good idea but you’re running out of options.”…More Good News Here

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Faux News

 

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