Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Radio Silence

As I look over at my music collection, I can see the impact the Internet has had on my musical selection. I see CDs where I looked up an artist based on a song. I certainly never would have picked up The Wrecker's debut or Anna Nalick's CD (which has become a favorite) without the shady ability to get a full listen to the disk before putting money down. But it's Internet radio that has pointed me to some of the most off-the-beaten-path music that I have. I never would have heard of Flogging Molly if I hadn't got addicted to "Drunken Lullabies" thanks to a long defunct internet stream. I would never have known to ask my resident metal-head about Nightwish's brand of operatic rock. Pandora is a seriously powerful tool for finding stuff to listen to that you would never have expected. Radio Paradise is eclectic in a way you can never find on the dial. SomaFM provides a very unique set of sounds that play especially well as headphone fodder in the cubicle lands of the office.

But all of this could be coming to an end very soon thanks to legislation that will send the royalty fees unnecessarily through the roof. All of the stations I have linked above, and many more, are participating in a "day of silence" to call the attention of those that use them. It is hoped that there is still time to get congress to change course. One way or the other, we will know by the end of next month. And if something doesn't change, the Internet will be a quieter and much less interesting place.

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