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From Cassettes to Online Music

When everyone seems to be listening to online music radio, it’s tough to remember what it was like to listen to music before “online” had to do with something besides city subways. Mobile internet is merging with on-demand music and personal playlists these days (for a great example, check out our new iPhone app!), and the distinctions between personal and publicly accessible music have been pretty blurry for a long time, but as the online music scene keeps moving forward, it only makes sense that the place to look for clues about where it’s headed is …backward.

The Dark Ages Before Online Music

Let’s start at what, for most of us, counts as the beginning: cassette tapes and stereo music players. Lately, even CD’s seem archaic, but from pre-phonograph recordings up through cassette tapes, music distribution was essentially the same: physical recordings that often had questionable value even when they included good tracks, just because they required the listener to shift around “blind” and muddle through plenty of (often terrible) music just to get to the songs they wanted. Compared to previous media, cassettes offered a little more flexibility via the option to create mix tapes, but in those cases the physical limitations of the medium meant that the whole process was far from fast or easy. Given the fact that repeated illegal re-copying of a cassette tended to degrade the sound quality dramatically, getting together a decent-quality personal playlist could also get prohibitively expensive. Clearly, we needed more versatility and more control.

Barring brief dead-ends with efforts like the A-track, we jumped straight from cassettes to CD’s. At first, these seemed like the indestructible and adaptable solution we all seemed to be looking for, but they turned out to be nothing beyond a slightly more high-tech and adaptable application of the same concept: great sound, generally mixed in with noticeably less-great sound, on a medium that could get destroyed or degraded — eliminating the value of the entire album.

The Digital Breakthrough: Shuffling

The arrival of better, multiple-CD systems and programmable playlists meant that this medium offered (and still offers) us faster and more flexible listening options by comparison to the old-school, linear approach, but in some ways fully-exposed CD’s were easier to damage than case-protected tapes, and even limited damage could mean the destruction of an entire collection of songs.

To give CD’s their due, they did give us the opportunity to develop immensely important technological tools something that became key to the development of great online music radio stations: shuffling.

MP3′s, M4A’s, and the other compressed music formats gave us a new step in the same direction, but by putting music in any kind of digital format, we gave shuffling new power and began to open up our music choices beyond the limited options of the proscribed, album format; the arduously assembled personal mix tape; or the time- and training-intensive “expert DJ” radio mix. Finally, we had managed to develop a portable format that gave us some semblance of ease and speed, and clarified what we may have been looking for the whole time: a perfect, individualized balance between controlling and defining our music choices precisely, and enjoying the freedom of tuning in or tuning out and relaxing while someone else made the tough decision, “which track next?”

What All of This Means for Online Music Radio

From MP3s to today’s high-functioning online radio we had a few more steps to take, but the bottom line priorities along the way are still worth noting: portability, personality, and the choice whether to set our own course or let go and let “someone else” decide in ways that really worked. In the cassette age, reliably portable music was the big problem, and getting out of that rut was a key step in the direction of the great options we have today — but there’s still room for improvement in that respect. 3G internet connections and the popularity of the new “on the go” functions for 977music prove that this is still a top priority for all of us — and a place where improvements are still happening. We’re close to reaching the “options anywhere” stage, but we’re not quite there yet.

Radio Stations Online & Off: An Overview

How Radio Stations Work: The Technical Details

There are basically two types of radio stations; the AM and FM radio stations. There are also some other types like campus radio, hospital radio, commercial and public radio stations. Also, radio owes it discovery from two other inventions; the telephone and the telegraph. It’s discovery came from the discovery of “radio waves” which can transmit pictures, sounds and other data through the air invisibly.

  • The AM stations were the first broadcasting stations to be developed. AM means “amplitude modulation.” The process of AM broadcasting is done by broadcasting radio waves by making the amplitude vary to the carrier signal which responds to the amplitude of the signal to be transmitted. There are lots of countries like the US and Europe who uses AM broadcasting. One of the advantages that AM brings is that a simple equipment can detect its unsophisticated signal. Another advantage it has is that it uses a narrower bandwidth than FM and, you do not need a power source if the signal is strong enough. However, the AM signal is also more susceptible to interference and may fade completely when problems like electrical storms appear.
  • The FM station was invented by Edwin H. Armstrong in the 1930′s with the sole purpose of overcoming the static interference the AM radio experiences. FM means frequency modulation and works on VHF airwaves ranging from 88 to 108 MHz everywhere. The interference in the AM radios was addressed in a way that the available frequencies for FM was far higher that those with the AM.

Radio’s First Uses

The early uses of radio were for sending messages telegraphically with the use of Morse code. The earliest users of it were the Japanese Navy when they were scouting the Russian Fleet in the Battle of Tshushima. Radio became a more common form of military communication during World War I — a far cry from today’s primary purposes of entertaining and informing laypeople via music and news programming. Today, radio is by far most commonly used for entertainment.

Radio, Online & Off, Today

There are now hundreds of radio stations around the world. They are all operating to give listeners music to listen to; news to inform listeners of daily happenings; or sometimes, a comedy or play to entertain listeners. These days, with radio and online radio music playing such an important role in our world, it is difficult to imagine the world without it.

The latest incarnation of radio, online internet radio stations, typically takes one of two forms:

  • The standard-to-online radio format, which translates and relays traditional radio station signals online. Sometimes, the broadcasting station’s ads are switched out for online advertisements that might be more relevant to listeners in a different locale, but in general this format tends to do little more than give one-way, online access to the standard station sounds.
  • Enhanced internet radio, which sometimes involves subscription fees, but high-caliber sites like 977music don’t charge for the extra benefits of features like customized playlists, better options for pop-out players, and more dynamic and widely functional control options.

Sensation White Music Event: Overseas Trance Dance Phenomenon

Outside the US, one outdoor music event called Sensation White has caught on as one of the big music events for fans of offline and online music. It was developed in the Netherlands and was coordinated by ID&T before gaining ground elsewhere, and has now been established in many countries across the globe. For the five consecutive years, this indoor dance event was exclusively organized in the Amsterdam Arena, until the year 2005, but it now draws immense crowds in countries including Spain, Germany, Poland, Chile, Hungary, Latvia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Russia, Brazil and Portugal.

Sensation White Music: Bringing the Online Vibe to Offline Dance Music

iStock 000002812542Small Sensation White Music Event: Overseas Trance Dance PhenomenonBasically, Sensation White is electronic dance music with repetitive hypnotic beats; most commentators classify it as a house or trance music event. Each and every person who attends this Sensation White dance event is required to dress in white only, and the  event’s home, the Arena of Amsterdam, is also decorated in white to match. Sensation White even has its own slogan that promotes dancing in white.

Each event of Sensation White has nearly 40 to 50,000 tickets that are available. Each Sensation White event has run yearly, with no year-to-year gaps, in the Arena of Amsterdam in the month of July on the night of the first Saturday. The German version of this event of Sensation White takes place on the New Year’s Eve in Dusseldorf, and from country to country the dates of the other events may also vary. The original event was organized for the first time in the year 2009 on the two consecutive nights of 3rd and 4th of July in the arena of Amsterdam, but since its beginnings, the event has evolved an established day, time, and vibe that people all over the world seek out.

The DJs: Sensation White’s Big Names

Several prominent DJ’s and artists have made appearances at the Sensation White music event, including:

  • André Tanneberger
  • Tiësto
  • Darren Emerson
  • Armin Buuren
  • Deadmau5
  • David Guetta
  • Ferry Corsten
  • Erick Morillo
  • Johan Gielen
  • Paul Dyk
  • Marco V
  • Fedde Le Grand
  • Sander Kleinenberg
  • Sebastian Ingrosso
  • Laidback Luke
  • Felix Da Housecat
  • Rank 1
  • Steve Angello
  • Tocadisco.

Beyond Genre: Sensation White’s Recent Changes

Although Sensation White was established as a trance dance phenomenon, in recent years it has started to shift away from that identity. The most recent Sensation White event was criticized by several trance dance fans, who felt that the event featured far more DJs who prioritized  electro and house numbers to the exclusion of the traditional trance focus. Partly, this is motivated by money and keeping up with the trends, but fans disagree about whether this change is for the best.

According the organizers of the Sensation White musical event, the demand and popularity of trance has been decreasing for several years. From this perspective, it seems that through their recent changes Sensation White has accepted and acclimated shifts in demand by changing their broadcasting in reasonable ways to include more of the electro and house mixes many fans now expect.

However, despite the larger trends away from trance, European trance fans and DJs still hold a strong portion of the market and the attention for events like these, and Sensation White is paying attention to that fact. The trance/energy segment of the event has more than 30,000 fans and  being sold out more quickly than it ever did before. Surprisingly, the 2008 Sensation White event included just has once primarily-trance DJ in their line of DJs, while techno and house received significant attention. The next year, though, perhaps in response to fan pressure, the Amsterdam Sensation White event in 2009 focused again on the trance roots that had grown the phenomenon in the first place — and attracted the fans that continue to flock to it every year.

New Frontiers in Online Music

The boss may complain that you spend too much time surfing the internet, but a lot of others are happy you’re there. The music industry has become dependent on the connection fans make with new music online. You might not even realize it, but everything about the way we get our music has changed with the popularity of the internet.

Online Music & What It Means

thumbnail New Frontiers in Online MusicIf you spend a lot of time online, you already know that the entire world is available on the internet — and that holds just as true for the music world as for any other aspect of life that shows up online. Things we could never do before are easily available right there on our computer, from instant streaming to trial versions of new songs and make-your-own-mashup programs. We can now communicate with artists all over the world in real time, we can make music purchases from other countries, and we can easily research music topics that would have been out of reach even a few years ago. The internet has opened up doors for millions of people, and it’s changed the face of thousands of industries worldwide.

One obvious change that the internet has created for the music industry is the sheer amount of music options we can choose from. In the past our selection of music was pretty limited. We knew what we heard on the radio, or what our family and friends had on CD, but it was hard to gain exposure to new genres, new artists, new songs. Now that we can access music online, fans can learn about new artists in their favorite genre or learn about new genres all with the click of a button. Furthermore, fans can communicate with other fans about their favorite music online. As the music community grows, artists and listeners are able to explore a variety of music they never would have been able to approach before. Just because a band lives in an area where rock and roll is popular doesn’t mean they can’t be successful in the bluegrass genre, now; they simply need to market their music online so bluegrass fans can find them.

Online Music vs. Online Radio

Radio has taken a new turn since the popularity of the internet has increased. Traditional, non-online music radio stations are shifting to using both off- and online approaches, and making the most of the world-wide web by broadcasting radio programming live online. When listeners are at their desk at work or surfing the internet at home, they can listen to music online right from their computer. Instead of an over the air radio station like those of the past, internet radio stations operate only on the internet, and are not governed by the same laws as traditional radio stations. This setup offers plenty of advantages for listeners because the stations have more freedom in programming. It’s better for the radio stations because they can reach a much wider audience than if they were limited to the local community.

The internet has brought musicians and their fans closer as well. When fans are searching for music online, they often depend on social networking. When fans locate a band on their favorite social networking site, they are able to learn more about their bands, keep up with show dates and band news, and communicate directly with members of the band. Fans love being personally involved with the bands they enjoy, so communicating with them directly makes fans feel much more loyal to the band.

The internet has brought about amazing changes around the world. A few decades ago, few had computers in their homes, and the only internet access was through dial-up service. Now, millions of people search the internet on a high speed connection. This allows them to reach far beyond the limits they used to be bound by. Fans can now listen to music online, communicate with their favorite bands, and expand their musical interests in an entirely new direction, all from their personal computer. For fans and musicians alike, the internet has changed the way we listen to the world.

Jack Johnson and Into The Sea

If you haven’t heard of Jack Johnson yet, you may soon as his sound and name are becoming more mainstream with the release of his new single “To The Sea.”

Johnson, born Jack Hody Johnson, is not only a singer and songwriter, but a filmmaker as well as a surfer. Growing up with a father who was a well-known surfer, Jeff Johnson, young Jack took an interest in the sport and began surfing at the age of 5. By the time he was 17, he became the youngest invitee to make the surfing finals at the Pipeline Masters on Oahu’s north shore. After an accident at the Pipeline that left him with 150 stitches in his forehead, not to mention knocking out a few of his teeth, he ended his surfing.

Jack also learned to play the guitar at a young age. During family gatherings, Jack said his dad’s friends came over and had singalongs. He felt it natural to write songs that anybody could listen to and this is the route he took as an adult.

Jack also attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with a film degree. Now with music and film under his belt, it was just a matter of choosing what route he wanted to take. Johnson said during his college years, songwriting influences included Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead Otis Redding, G. Love and Special Sauce, Nick Drake, Ben Harper, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Neil Young and A Tribe Called Quest.

Jack’s professional career began after G.Love befriended him and would later record his song “Rodeo Clowns” The song would appear on his 1999 album Philadelphonic. In regards to his film career, soon after, Jack co-directed Thicker Than Water, a documentary surf film. He also composed the accompanying soundtrack. The film was released in 2000.

Jack Johnson’s music soon caught musician Ben Harper’s ear. Harper was especially interested in Jack’s debut album Brushfire Fairytales. The album was released in 2001 with Harper making a special appearance with his lap steel guitar.

In 2002, Jack and his wife Kim, created Brushfire Records, a company designed to release soundtracks for surf films.

Jack went on to direct and star in another surf film The September Sessions. The film was released in December of 2002. The soundtrack also featured Jack.

In 2003, Jack Johnson released his second full-length album On and On. It would be the first album to be recorded at Johnson’s Mango Tree Studio in North Shore, Oahu. Johnson said he credits most of the inspiration for the album to a childhood friend, Andrew Brown.

By 2004, Jack was performing at the Austin City Limits Festival and starred in the 2004 surf film A Brokedown Melody. In October of 2004, Jack returned to the Mango Tree Studio along with Zach Gill who played accordion, melodica and piano, to follow-up on his 2003′s On and On with the release of In Between Dreams, which was on the market March 1, 2005.

In 2006, the soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George, was released by Jack Johnson. The album also featured Adam Topol, Ben Harper, G. Love, Kawika Kahiapo, Matt Costa, Merlo Podlewski and Zach Gill. The soundtrack was the first to make No. 1 since the Bad Boys II soundtrack in 2003, and it was the first soundtrack for an animated film to top the Billboard 200 since the Pocahontas soundtrack in 1995.

In February of 2008, Jack Johnson enlisted J.P. Plunier to produce his fourth full-length studio album Sleep Through The Static. The album was made using 100% solar energy at the Solar-Powered Plastic Plant studio in Los Angeles. The album was followed by a live album DVD of Johnson’s 2008 world tour entitled En Concert.

Then in February 2010, Johnson produced Animal Liberation Orchestra’s fifth studio album Man of the World. But it wasn’t until his release of To the Sea followed by a tour that brought him to the forefront. Johnson, not a mainstream performer, achieved No. 15 on USA Today’s alternative airplay chart for his single “You and Your Heart”.

Johnson’s album To the Sea was inspired by his newly founded appreciation for his life on the ocean and everything that entailed. Johnson’s father, who had died of cancer, sent Jack into a writing hiatus and on an introspective roll. The album celebrates his father, his father’s wisdom and passion for the ocean along with his love for his own wife and children.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Country Music Awards

Tonight, the annual country music awards are being held for the 45th year. The music awards are hosted by the music television channel CMT, and are commonly known as the Academy of Country Music Awards and not to be confused with the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs). This year, country legend Reba McEntire is hosting the awards ceremony. The best of the best in country music will be filling the room and awards will be given out to amazingly talented country music singers.

The Academy of Country Music was founded in Los Angeles, California forty six years ago. The academy was founded to promote country music in the western United States, because it was mostly popular in the Midwest. The host, Reba McEntire, has hosted the awards ceremony more times than anyone else has. This will be her twelfth time hosting the star studded night. If you love country music, then you know Reba. She is a legend in the industry and has been recording and producing music since 1975. She has also won the most Academy of Country Music Awards for best female vocalist topping the charts with 7 awards.

There are a lot of awards to be given out at this ceremony. Country music fans are also part of the process because they can vote for their favorite music videos. The genre of music has become very popular over the years because of new influences like country pop stars, online music channels, and Internet radio channels that play top country hits. A lot of country music is also played on pop stations. Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum are two examples of cross over country acts. Country music did not used to get the same hype as pop music, but times have certainly changed and country awards shows and music is listened to by millions across the world.

There are many different awards given out throughout the night. The two most coveted and prestigious awards are the artist of the decade and entertainer of the year awards. George Strait won the artist of the decade award for the 2000s. Last year, Carrie Underwood was awarded entertainer of the year. Other awards that are handed out are: top male and female vocalist, song of the year, album of the year, top vocal group and duo, top new artist and group, vocal event of the year, video of the year, and the triple crown award.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Movie Awards Recap

Last night the 2010 MTV movie awards took place in Hollywood and were hosted by Aziz Ansari. He’s not only a comedian, but also stars in the television show on NBC called Parks and Recreation. He also writes and produces for films. Last year the awards show was hosted by Andy Samberg. He is also a comedian and actor who appears on Saturday Night Live or SNL. Hosting the movie awards takes a lot of work and preparation along with a fun, outgoing, and comedic sense of humor. MTV does not always have a comedian host the awards show, but in the past music starts such as Lindsay Lohan have been the host.

What makes the MTV movie awards so unique is that there is a lot of audience participation online for the awards being handed out. Fans can vote for their favorite actors and actresses as well as movies they loved. It is a star studded night that brings together musicians and actors. You may think that because MTV is a music station that they should not host movie awards. However, the channel has become known for hot television shows and movies as well. A lot of singers are also actors and appear in big box office hits. Beyonce and Eminem are just two examples of music performers that have appeared in starring roles in movies.

The movie awards incorporate singers, bands, actors, and comedians in to the performances to make the awards great! There are live performances by singers and bands who are music video and traditional and Internet radio stars. The night would not be complete without outstanding musical performances. Some singers also appear in spoofs of other movies during the awards. The night would not be complete without outstanding performances by actors and musicians.

Every year there are ten awards that are given out at every movie awards show. The ten awards are: best movie, best WTF moment, best performance by a male and female, best fight, best breakthrough performance by a male and female, best kiss, best villain, and best comedic performance. They also nominate someone for the lifetime achievement award also known as the MTV generation award. In the past, other awards have been handed out for best action sequence or best virtual performance for example.

The 2010 winners for the MTV movie awards took home a gold plated bowl of popcorn. The winners for the awards are (from the MTV official website):

Best Movie – The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Best Comedic Performance – Zack Galifianakis

Global Superstar Winner – Robert Pattinson

Best Male Performance – Robert Pattinson

Biggest Badass Star Winner – Rain

Best Villain – Tom Felton

Best WTF Moment – Ken Jeong

MTV Generation Award – Sandra Bullock

Best Kiss – Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson

Best Scared Performance – Amanda Seyfried

Best Breakout Star – Anna Kendrick

Best Female Performance – Kristin Stewart

Best Fight – Beyonce Knowles vs. Ali Larter

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

 
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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.
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