Saturday, August 15, 2009

And It Comes Out Here

The music you're hearing on MusicMaster Oldies comes from a playlist that was scheduled in MusicMaster, the music scheduling system. That playlist is exported to a file which is then imported by WaveMaster, an audio player that is a MusicMaster accessory. The audio output of the Windows computer that is running WaveMaster loops through a four-band CRL audio processor set for slow attack and recovery times. This acts like an automatic equalizer to balance out the sound, which can vary greatly due to the wide range of musical genres and changes in recording techniques and quality over the years. The audio then goes into a streaming encoder which is connected to Live365. MusicMaster Oldies is a PRO Broadcaster on Live365, running in Relay Mode, meaning that we send them a continuous stream of music rather than giving them audio files and letting them play the songs. If you'd like to know more about MusicMaster, or maybe build your own online radio station, we'd love to help you. Send me an e-mail message and I'll get back to you right away.

I've been contemplating some enhancements for the MusicMaster Oldies channel. Right now, it's just a stream of music without any talking. I've been content to let the music do the talking, but now I'm wondering if you might enjoy some of these songs more if you heard a little about them. I wouldn't think of boring you by introducing the familiar hits, but a lot of the songs played here have a very interesting story behind them. Would you like to hear these stories?

I'd also love to do some special programming to memorialize events in the music industry, such as the recent passing of Les Paul and Billy Lee Riley. The anniversary of Elvis Presley's death is a great time to play an All Elvis and Elvis Tribute Song special. The day John Lennon died would be a good time to do all Beatles and Beatles-Related material for a day. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act placed some serious (and stupid) handcuffs on Internet broadcasters. I'm working under restrictions that broadcast radio stations are not forced to obey, and those restrictions keep me from doing creative stuff like that online. Still, I hate to let these special days go by without some kind of tribute. Once I figure out how I can pull these off within the goofy law, I'll start putting these shows together. In the meantime, MusicMaster has a built-in DMCA test that keeps me from breaking the law (and doing something that might be really entertaining).

I'm also looking into options that will allow me to showcase certain pairs of songs, such as the original (non-hit) version of songs that were later covered by someone else to become a smash hit. Another such paring would be hit songs followed by an "answer" song, which was a very common thing in the 1960's. Another nice paring would feature a song that only reached number TWO on the charts, followed by the song that blocked it from being number one. There are other such song-paring specials that are possible, but I think these all need introductions so you can appreciate them more. What do you think? Would you rather I just keep the pure music format, or would you not mind hearing little stories about the music mixed in from time to time?

I'm always looking for feedback. I'd like to thank those of you who have written to tell me how much you like the music. It's especially nice when you offer suggestions for improvement. Thanks to those suggestions, I've updated several songs so the original HIT version is now being played, rather than a later remix or updated version. I've also started playing both the original album and single versions of many hit songs whenever possible when those two versions were very different.

Keep in touch, everyone! Thanks again for listening!

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