Well, I couldn’t believe I got myself in trouble on Reddit for announcing that iTunes is Gone! They’ve downvoted the shit out of me! LOLOLOL. For real, I realized that many who downloaded me live in the past. Just because your iTunes still works in your old Windows Vista, doesn’t mean iTunes is still supported. I am a Windows PC user, and I’ve discovered that Apple has dropped their MAC version of iTunes software more than 2 years ago. So, anyone who is using Windows 11 and above, iTunes no longer works!
I don’t believe in telling people what to do. However, this is an exception…. I know that for some people may not have the finances to get a new computer, but AT LEAST try to upgrade your operating system! I think people may not realize that people running very old or unsupported operating systems makes you vulnerable to hacks, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU USE WI-FI! So, while you’re making fun of someone dropping real knowledge, you’re the one who’s clueless!
I will miss iTunes, as I still believe it was the best music organizer ever! However, it also proves what I have been saying off and on (all over my blog), and that is, absolutely no one is buying music anymore!! Although Apple has a “preview” version of AM, it’s still buggy, and it’s been buggy for a long time (at least for me as a Windows 11 user). It’s possible it’s been that way for so long because (I’m guessing most people use the mobile version of Apple Music). I’ve discovered an AM player called CIDER. Cider is still in its developmental stage, but so far I really like it. The company states that it’s mission is to eventually work with all major streaming services, and will allow us to have everything under a single app. Check it out.
I’ve been reading a number of interesting articles lately, about a subject matter that I never thought I’d be reading. That is ad supported freemium services actually being more profitable than “for pay” music streaming subscription services. As crazy as it may sound, this makes a lot of sense. Yet, it shouldn’t be surprising at all. This not only proves, but illustrates that the new generation of music consumers (most anyway), does not feel beholden or obligated to any record label to buy music anymore. I was shocked to find out that even Tidal decided to offer its members a freemium tare.
This could explain why I’ve been seeing more commercial breaks while streaming music.
This is a very unusual situation where, the final nail in the coffin, the realization streaming companies had, the greed of the industry has caused music fans to see no value in buying music. I’m sure the economy bares some relevance as well. What’s so unusual about this situation is that if it were not for the internet being structured the way it is today, a significant amount of the music industry would have died. I’m sure music would have continued, but, we would not be able to access old music, and there is no doubt that many people would have once again be forced to piracy.
I just wanted to quickly share something with you I couldn’t foresee until now (in regards to both streaming and the music charts. As I’ve explained in a previous article I’ve written called “The Death Of Genres” (I think unless you’re a heavy user of various streaming services, it may be kind of difficult to understand where I’m coming from); I talked about the over reliance of algorithms could make it impossible to zero in on the genres we’re in the mood to listen to at a particular moment in time. But there appears to be a new benefit I wasn’t seeing. OK.. Allow me to go into deeper detail here.
Shazam (music discovery app) just may be the one piece of technology that can bring our classics back to the surface!
So, in the same article link above, I’ve also explained how different music sites will have different song rankings according to the service you use. Be it Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, etc, etc. However, there is one service that should be in its own category. That service is Shazam. Technically Shazam isn’t a music service, in the same way Spotify and iTunes are. However, Shazam does keep track of the music you discover while you’re out and about. Why this is a huge difference? Well, I didn’t realize that songs such as “The Logical Song,” by Supertramp was released in 1979, yet, it is in the number 6th top position on Shazam for my local area. This is truly amazing! Classic music can literally start to recirculate organically! Now, again, results change depending on how you have your settings setup on Shazam, but this is super awesome! Another song is “Isn’t She Lovely,” by Stevie Wonder, which ranked #7. But, I know this ranked high locally because it was Stevie’s birthday not too long ago. Therefor it triggered a lot of Stevie fans to Shazam his music 💚💚
Are you still asking this of your “friends,” and relatives? As a music collector and musicophile, the one thing I don’t miss from back in the day, is being incredibly annoyed by friends and family asking to “borrow your record to make a copy.” Now, you know that the word “borrow,” was actually code for saying “can I have it?” Whether that family member or friend had the money to buy that same album or not, you know that there was an eighty percent chance you’ll never see that record again. EVER! 🤣 If you did get your record back, it is almost guaranteed that 90% of the time you will not get it back in the same condition it was given. Sometimes you’ve waited so long to get your album back, that some people even try to tell you that you gave that “friend” in already faulty condition.
When I was growing up, very few respected your personal belongings enough give back your stuff in mint condition. But in the age of music streaming, these issues practically don’t exist anymore! Unless of course, you still have people in your surroundings who refuse to learn computers, and they’re still awkwardly asking you to make them a “mixed tape.” Man………. I’ve been using streaming for so long, I don’t even remember how to burn a CD. In fact, I don’t even see my local stores sell blank DVDs or BluRays anymore. 🤣 OMG!!
Yet, at the same time how strange and interesting that when we hear those pops and crackles from our favorite mishandled records, they somehow appear to enhance that emotional and sometimes psychological nostalgia. In fact, there were times that I actually preferred it. It’s also though the pops triggers something in my brain to instantly go back in time as I listen to those albums.
You know, I’m very happy that Ed Sheeran won his court battle. It seems that the Marvin Gaye estate has a habit of waiting until a song becomes really popular to accuse someone of alleged “copyright infringement.” Too bad Robin Thicke wasn’t so lucky. That goes to show you, despite the fact that technically no one is really buying music anymore as a result of streaming, yet, there is now enough money within music streaming to now make money buy accusing others of copyright infringement. It’s impossible in the age of streaming, not to hear a song that sounds like someone else. You really need concrete proof, other than “his song sounds like mine.” Don’t get me wrong, I understand the music business is a dirty business. But, someone who has no relation to each other, or who have never even cross paths with each other, should not be made a target for accusations. Hopefully Sheeran’s court case would make someone think twice about trying to make money from an artist by lying.
Is anybody else confused by today’s music charts like me? For the purpose of blogging, I decided to dive in the new era of digital “top hits.” You know, obviously I am very pro music streaming, but the way we find music now has become so unnecessarily challenging in some ways. Now, I guess people can make the argument that it’s my age that gets in the way of understanding or even accepting the new concepts of music streaming. However, I doubt it has anything to do with my age (as that would be the first thing a young person would point out). I am one of the very few my age that not only understands, but actually use the technology more than 80% of most people in my age group (on a consistent basis). Having said that, my reality is that many of these “Top Hits” charts are just not efficient in my opinion.
Genres appeared to have been completely removed from streaming music charts!This appears to be inline with many streaming services.
I am very saddened that websites that keep track of digital song hits have abandoned genres. I feel genres are very important, because they allow us to zero in on the type of music we like. Now we’re forced to listen through music genres we really may not like. This can be not only tedious, but unnecessary work. Streaming services may get away with not having genres because of the heavy reliance on algorithms, but in my opinion, you can’t apply that to music charts, because our reasons for goin’ there are slightly different. Another complication is that many of these “Top Charts” come from different places. So, in other words, one song may be #1 on Spotify, but #9 on Youtube. I think we need someone to build a site that combines all the streaming counts from various streaming services, and spit out a single average for each song, that would tell us what the hits are.
You know, I know the title of today’s post may seem a little odd. I had an interesting conversation with someone on reddit. I wanted to get a sense of how people find new music; and whether or not people still use Facebook or even Tumblr to find new music. I mentioned a very popular site called Pitchfork. Pitchfork is a very well known site that writes about new, and often times eccentric artists. Personally, the kinds of music Pitchfork writes about really wasn’t my type of music (to tell you the truth), and I still considered myself a pretty musically open minded person. The fellow reddit user shared that he doesn’t read Pitchfork anymore because (I get a sense that) in essence they’ve changed focus on the kinds of artists they now write about.
Finding new (whether an old vinyl, or fresh hot off the radio) music still requires a lot of soul searching. People take for granted just how hard it is!
I guess a bloggers focus can change, yes… But, understand that the whole purpose of having a blog is to share your journal of personal interest and make them public. Having a blog is similar to having a personal diary. So, as your interest change, so will your favorite blog. On the other hand, we have to remember that, it is also true that growing up, music was always filtered on the radio. In other words, we were fed music we were supposed to listen to. Today, we’re exposed to more music than we’d like to deal with. Perhaps this is the perfect case for the importance of just listening to your favorite streaming service, and allowing the algorithms to do its job and learn your taste. I don’t have a complete understanding of how scientifically the algorithms work, but it’s pretty mind-blowing how over time the streaming services actually recommends music along the lines of my taste. it’s frightening how what boils down to AI (artificial intelligence) could learn me and my tastes like that!
What’s the secret to making a good playlist? Well, in my opinion, let me start off by writing what it should NOT be! Today, the reality is for a significant part of our global population has been affected as a result of social media. And I’m sure more than others depending on whether or not you have a site to promote. Having said that, a playlist should not be created for the purpose of getting likes or thumbs up. Now, I don’t mean to stereotype anyone. I’m pretty sure that a lot of my thoughts come from the fact that I came from a different generation when it comes to music. However, if you’ve listened to as much music as I have throughout my life, you can not only judge the quality of music (based on my preferred genres), but you can tell what songs belong together or blend well within a playlist. When creating a playlist, these things should be taken in to consideration. It’s too easy for someone who has a little technical ability, or ssshoo, no technical ability at all, that can through up a website. There a lot of free or low cost services that will allow you to drag and drop a few elements on a page and voila! You’ve got a website!
It’s important that a playlist have a theme
You know, in this era, it appears that no matter who you are, or what you are, people frown on advice. Not only that, it seems that good advice from life experience, is now seen as being synonymous with “someone tryin’ to tell you what to do.” People are so offended by, or even threatened by new information today, that almost anything can be seen as an insult at will. You’re then scanned up and down, given you the signal you’re about to be paid back with a barrage of insults to your character, or even the way you write. “It is said that music is supposed to sooth the savage beast,” yet, it doesn’t seem to do anything for some of today’s “music lovers” behavior. Hmm. But I’ll digress on that one.
The fact of the matter is, we all don’t have the same taste in music. It is important to give clues as to what the playlist may contain. It’s the same idea when you’re trying to find a good movie to watch. This is why many of us still search for movie genres. Unfortunately, many streaming services, including Spotify has moved away from music categories. Perhaps this is due to AI becoming so sophisticated, they’ve mastered your listening habits. I can respect that. However, when it comes to playlists, notice that there still exist basic categories to help users find the type of music their looking for. Don’t name your playlist “the best-est playlist in the entire world,” and plop 9,000 random songs, or dump whole albums in it and expect followers. Unless you’re one of those people that payed for bulk followers. Those aren’t real people! The one thing that hasn’t changed in the music digital age is that, it still takes heart and lots of thought to put together a playlist for your audience! In the seventies or even the eighties, when you met someone new, you’d never dump anything random on a cassette tape to give your crush/valentines. Why would you do that for your fans you’re trying to build?
Recently, I’ve written about my decision to use what I call “link aggregators,” to help pull songs/playlists from various streaming services, such as YouTube and iTunes. Well, I’ve discovered that there are great disparities in content between services. I think it’s time that we as music bloggers start to talk/write about what I now realize is still a problem. It also shows which are the streaming services that are truly worth using.
*GASP* iHeart Radio is the worst when it comes to missing content.<2h2>
One of the biggest disappointments I’ve discovered is iHeart Radio! They are one of the biggest supporters of artists and artists events. Yet matching songs against YouTube, Spotify, and even iTunes is a nightmare. It’s so bad that, at one time, Amazon Prime music started off with around 2 million songs. Now Amazon has more music than iHeart (it appears). At least in terms of music matches. I will most likely drop iHeart radio from my playlist making, because they just don’t have enough music licenses to match the music I have among other streaming services. At the same time, I guess I can’t complain or blame them. Because the reality is, Spotify is at the top of paid and free active users! YouTube is close to second, and although iTunes is way low on their music streaming user base, they’re still better than iHeart and Pandora in terms of music licensing.
You know, I’ve written a few times about my struggle as to whether to continue blogging or not. Now, please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying as me not having faith in what I’m doing. Believe me, I spent a lot of time building my blog from scratch, and I’m proud of my end result. So, it’s not about insecurity or anything like that. But, the reality is, social media has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. Bloggers like myself rely on social media; and when the algorithms are rigged in such away that it’s almost impossible to promote yourself without spending a tone of money on ads, that is a discouragement. In other words, it clear that there is a lot of suppression in social media; it’s not just about politics. I remember when podcasting was about the people; the “nobodies” made podcasting what it is now. Today, we almost can’t find any of the original podcasters from back in the day, because the news media has taken it over, and the people no longer have a voice.
Took a hard look at some stats, and I discovered quite a few things that changed my view about my own bloggingMy revelation made for some good cyber-life experience!
So, I started to take a much closer look at the tools I have available to me, in terms of SEO, and I was surprised to discover a few things I hadn’t realized. Well, let me first share a few myths. I don’t remember if I’ve written about this before, but, with the exception of YouTube, there appears to be a clear anti-streaming services on some social media sites like Facebook. They hate Spotify, and they hate iTunes. The only thing FB wants to see on FB is YouTube. On some level, I see that on Twitter too. But, many are just artist promoting numbers to get people to listen to their music. Which is different from music fans sharing music they like. This was one of the reasons that caused me to stop blogging for a while. There is no real discussion about this on the net, and I didn’t know how to proceed. Until I found some recent legitimate numbers of streaming uses. Spotify has more than 450+ million users (including paid and freemium users). This really shocked me, because the attitudes on FB almost made me a shamed of starting a Spotify site. I mean, they would literally delete my posts. That is really a turn off. A lot of these music groups owners are assholes really. I was also shocked to find out that Spotify beat iTunes; Spotify has almost 4x more subscribers than iTunes, what I used to call the king of music content. This really reshaped my view of things.
The next thing I’ve learned is that, I was reading a lot of articles on how people are using their mobile phones to do more and more things such as shopping. So, since that made logical sense to me, I designed my blog for mobile use (really). Then after taking a closer look at my stats, it turns out that more than 70% of people who are using Windows computer systems are accessing my site via Firefox & Chrome. Another interesting fact that those who ARE using their mobiles to access my blog are mostly Apple iPhone users. While it’s true (relatively speaking), I have a small fan base of over a thousand+ monthly, they’re not only returning visits, I also discovered that people from all over the world. It’s frustrating when you’re doing something unique and you don’t have enough data/or articles written to help you with decisions about our web projects. I feel happy tho, because I can clearly see that my hard work is being appreciated.
Welp, it happened! When we think of inflation, we think of food, gas prices, cloths, etc. We never think of business that function almost exclusively on digital technology would be affected by inflation. Well, I guess they can. Many business such as Apple, was one of the first to increase their prices on their music platform as of last month. You can bet your ass that other platforms will ensue. Sometimes I think, was this really about inflation? Or is it because of smaller and lesser known artists have been fighting for years for bigger payouts? Perhaps the current inflation was a hidden excuse to make this happen?
Bottom line is, streaming payouts are complicated in my opinion
I don’t know if music fans are aware of it or not, but there still is very much a payout war when it comes to music streaming. And in my opinion it’s really complicated depending on various conditions; such as licensing, how large the streaming service is; publicity; your fan base; how many of your fans use said service; how many of your fans use freemium services appose to paid; etc, etc. Another important fact is, we’re exposed to a lot more music than we ever had been before. The market is wider than it ever was before. So, it may not be a matter of an artist getting “paid enough,” but rather are you talented enough to make the money you’re demanding a streaming service to pay you! Well, don’t want to get into my soapbox. for now, I’m ok with it, because growing up, I know how much I paid for music, and if I think of things from that standpoint, I know the $1 extra I spend is still a great deal to have access to more music I’ll ever have time to listen to.
I just want to remind my readers that music streaming (even from YouTube (I’m grudgingly admitting)), is still important. I’ve shockingly encountered some people who are anti-streaming; however, seriously understand that the millions and millions and millions of people that are using streaming right now, would be pirating your music if it wasn’t for streaming. So I really think it’s counter productive to try and convince people NOT to use streaming, because you’re living in the past. What you may consider a little chump change, is better than making nothing at all!!!
You know, Being a blogger is so wonderful, because when you think about a subject matter no one else is really talking about, we as bloggers have the power to write it, and get our ideas out to the masses! We all know how important playlists are today; whether you’re using an actual streaming service or YouTube; playlist helps us to find new likable content, or new old content you’ve never heard before. Believe it or not, I still use several streaming services other than Spotify. You might be asking yourself, why does he do that? Well, the answer is fairly simple. Different streaming services have different customized algorithms, that give different results in terms of the music it recommends. If you learn anything from my blog, please remember this (and I’ve written about this before), it takes quite some time for a good streaming service to learn the type of music you listen to. It is absolutely ridiculous for anyone to think that can listen to a service such as Spotify , for about two days, and think Spotify is going to give you amazing music you’ve never heard before! Why would you even think that? When I started off using Spotify, it took about 3 months of almost daily use before I noticed a difference in Spotify’s music selection for me. It took another 3 months before I considered Spotify’s recommendations to me were perfect for my individual tastes.
Be aware that there are different unique algorithms for all the major music streaming platforms!
Having said this, there is an issue that sometimes arises when you listen to too much of the same music with a certain tempo (or perhaps genre?). On occasion, some auto generated playlists can contain too much of the same artist, or sometimes too many songs from the same album in a single playlist. I’m not exactly sure what causes this. I’m gonna assume that it’s because if we’re listening to really old and obscure music, the algorithms for the service you’re listening to has trouble matching previous songs with another (or artist). This is were listening to other streaming services can be beneficial. Now, I’m NOT suggesting that you should spend $10 for all the major streaming services. You may be surprised that there are a couple of services that offer “freemium” services as well as Spotify. I think Spotify should be the first on your list of freemium services because they’re very pro-playlist; and you can easily create them by choosing any song or album and right-click and choose “create station.”
Another freemium service is Deezer, you can’t create “playlistable radio stations” like with Spotify. However, Deezer supply several daily playlists for you (just like Spotify). There is also YouTube Music & iHeartRadio. Again, you can’t auto-create playlists like you can for Spotify, but both offers a wealth of pre-made playlists created by both the service and their users. If you already subscribe to a streaming service, and you don’t want to listen to commercials, you can use a free service called Soundiiz, and transfer all your playlist (interchangeably) to different services! However, keep in mind, I do recommend you listen to the commercials every once in a while, as that’s how the algorithms build your profile & taste. Look it up!! 🤣
I was actually inspired by this question because of a rude facebook comment I got a while back, of a song I posted. To be honest, I don’t remember the song I posted. However, I was kind of shocked at the person’s comment, saying something to the effect that the song was garbage, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now, I wasn’t emotionally distraught, as we all know a troll when we see one. But, that brought up an issue that I never really heard anyone talk about. that is, a “hit song” really depends on not only the city you’re living in, but the radio stations you actually have access to. Now, in today’s streaming era, I don’t think this is a huge factor as it was back in the day. Or maybe it still is, as we still have many men and women of my generation who are still scared to touch a computer, damn it!
I think this really brings home the importance of having an open mind when it comes to music. Especially in regard to younger people. This lack of open mindedness is one of the many reasons a significant amount of our people now have no music culture.
I think this really brings home the importance of having an open mind when it comes to music. Especially in regard to younger people. This lack of open mindedness is one of the many reasons a significant amount of our people now have no music culture.
The fact that people are so closed minded to consume other genres, is one of the many reasons I started this blog in the first place. We need more musicophiles who actually posses diverse musical tastes, that can blog examples of good music outside of today’s genre norms. One of the most beautiful things about having a personal blog, is that you have total control of your own creative content! If anyone tries to judge you and say a song you post is crap, assume that idiot has absolutely no culture of their own! Sometimes even within cities themselves, can have several entirely different demographics within them! Let’s stop being so snobbish, and open your mind to something different for a change. A hit song should not be defined by record sales, but the spirit and the soul of a song itself.
Believe it or not, this is a very difficult subject matter for me to write about. Because as music streaming permanently cements itself firmly into our culture, and after more than a decade, I can truly see how the quality of playlists has declined. There is literally no care that is put into most playlists that are being promoted today! As a die-hard music fan and musicophile, it kind of makes me feel bad for saying that, as it could be misconstrued as me saying everyone’s musical tastes sucks ass, and my taste is better than everybody else! However, anybody who followed my blog for a long time know that’s not where I’m coming from! The reality is today, over the years I think we now have three (unexpected) major problems we have within the music streaming industry, in regards to it’s use:
- First, in the context of classic music, we still have huge problem of not enough of the older generation are interested in learning how to use music streaming, or choose to stay in their comfort zone by being comfortably computer ignorant. Please don’t react in a negative way to my statement. It’s NOT an attack on the character of older people. But, the fact that we all know how expensive music is, and that most older folk are on fixed incomes, why are some of you still waiting for stores like Target to get that CD you wanted since 50 years ago, when you can listen to it on YouTube? At this point, the only reason why an older person would get mad at reading my prior statement, is because they actually have no idea the plethora of of musical enjoyment you can experience by using streaming services. And to stay being offended is just stupid and silly. If people of my generation would make the effort to use streaming services, we’d have more playlists created by us, and for us. Perhaps our classic culture would not be as forgotten as it is now. Oh f&ck it, what’s the sense of our classic music being on these services, if our memories of them are wiped clean from memory? Because we don’t listen to them anymore?
- Playlists have now become a racket. I saw someone on twitter mention something I didn’t even think of. That was huge streaming service paying musicians to create music for the expressed purpose of putting them on playlists, and misguiding the public by making them appear as being the hottest tracks. Now, on the surface, they’re not breaking any laws, or breaking any sort of moral conduct (technically). However, we can look at this in two ways. The first way is services like Spotify could potentially make more money by putting together a team to write and produce their own songs and make money. I guess there is nothing wrong with that either, however, that also means that well known professional veterans in the business would be cut off from making money if their music are not on promotional playlists. Realize that any playlist that are created by services like Spotify, will be immediately followed by several thousand people in a matter of days, just because it’s Spotify.
- The last problem I think are many of the most popular music blogs. Many of them (if not most of them) are not musically diverse, or lack articles of classic music (regardless of the genre). If someone were to ask me how would I describe the music coming from some of these music blogs today, I wouldn’t know how. Honestly. Many of these artists/bands I hear from these music sites such as BandCamp, sound like they were in a drug induced creative moment (for lack of a better term). The nerve of those artists at BandCamp to think that music fans should be paying upwards of $15 for some of their work. While the internet has leveled the playing field for artist, and made them “equal opportunity,” on the other hand, it opened the flood gates for people who have absolutely zero professional talent. Don’t let me even get started on the rap genre.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of talent out there, they’re just incredibly hard to find now. Not only that, with the changes in algorithms in both search engines and social media, I’ve noticed that a few legitimate music blogs are no longer easily found either! The truth of the matter is, unless you’ve been using streaming since its inception, a lot of people wouldn’t even know where to go! I think my old self rule still applies today. Depending on where you’re getting your playlists from; if a playlist has more than 75 songs in it, its more than likely not worth listening. Playlists needs to be manageable, and easily consumable. No one has the time to listen to a 5,000 song playlists. It’s more than likely that playlist is just a marijuana fueled album dump. In fact, do you realize that even services that allow you to create stations from songs you’re listening to, don’t put that many songs on a playlist (unless you have unlimited or infinity turned on). Bottom line, I guess playlist are still a vital way to find new music on the scene. Just remember to be selective and diversify the sites you visit, unless you really dig the site you’re on. Like mine!! 🤣
As a child, over several decades ago, I used to love, LOVE listening to the radio. The music culture was so different back in the seventies and eighties. It was such a wonderful time because the type of music culture we had really allowed us to discover new and interesting music every day. But today, a feral cat can literally put up a music video on YouTube and become a viral hit! Don’t get me the wrong way; I’m not one of those old farts that thumbs down every single music past year 2000. I’ve heard some darn good music recently. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the internet has changed the quality of music in so many ways unbeknown to the average music listener. Of course, our individual tastes has a LOT to do with it. On the other hand, back in the day, a lot of artists with potential where coached, trained and groomed to be that performer/band that we knew and perhaps still love today. I think this is one of the reasons that so many “old timers,” such as myself, that’s been listening to music for so long we’ve developed an ear for music quality. People like me have come from an era where music truly was about art; but today music is about shock value, and doin’ anything to get attention. Regardless if you’re talented, or even like music. Although it is common knowledge that the music industry had a hand in destroying music culture as we knew it; however, their greed for “that money maker” filtered the airwaves and prevented us from hearing music that would be less desired by the general public. I do believe that like it or not, there was a formula to what the labels were doing. It’s just their unchecked greed fucked it up for everybody.
The radio used to be essential when it came to discovering new music
When I was growing up, there were only two real ways of finding new music we loved. Listening to the radio, and or, going directly to the music store and listening to what they were playing. Music was so serious when I was growing up, that most record stores would play portions of an album for you, so that it would help you make your decision as to whether you wanted to by a record or not. But, today most record stores I grew up with are not defunct. The radio stations are now practically on repeat. Repeat because most stations are now fully playlisted. Even if a studio has a live DJ, they’re still using pre-selected playlists. I’ve mentioned this before…. A playlist (at least in the context of radio), is not the same thing as hand-selected music. There is a difference!! Most, if not all playlists that come from radio are automated, based on algorithms that pullout songs by record sales; and do not take into consideration the various music culture, neighborhoods, or even emotion. Music today are selected by robots.
Automated Playlists Hinders Further Music discovery!
Now we have a new problem with playlists. That problem is what I call cycling. See, I realized that there are only a set number of songs per given time frame or radio segment. In other words, if you’re listening to Internet radio, the selected playlist will play again usually in a 2 hour time span. On a “live radio station,” a playlist will get replayed about every 6 to 8 hours. Some times they’ll even shuffle the same playlist. What’s bad about that is, it’s become harder to find new oldies, because there is no effort to use a human DJ. A seasoned DJ. This brings up an important point, on how interesting it is (if feel) that now music streaming services (not youtube) are more important than ever! Why? Because huge streaming services such as Spotify and Apple/iTunes have complex algorithms that really do learn the type of music you like, therefor now becoming the best ways of finding new music (customized to your tastes).
Hey guys! I’d like to quickly write about something you may or may not be aware of. It’s about converting your albums and playlists from one streaming service to another. Awhile back, I’ve written a little bit about a site called soundiiz. Soundiiz is a site that allows you to convert all your playlist and albums from one popular streaming service to another. Example, converting all your Spotify playlist to your new Apple account; or all your playlists from Youtube to Pandora; or iHeartRadio to Amazon; etc, etc. It’s important that streaming users be aware of sites like soundiiz, because streaming is here to stay, and from time to time it may be necessary to change back and forth between services. You don’t have to be chained, or obligated to stay with a particular service any longer.
There are also a number of conversion sites that convert specifically song and album links for use with social media. One of them is called SongWhip. This will convert any streaming link (including YouTube) and convert it into several services to be shared on social media, such as Twitter & Facebook. Very easy to use. In fact, I’m contemplating using SongWhip instead of direct Spotify links. Using sites like these truly makes music universal. I encourage other bloggers to use sites like SongWhip, because not only is it free to use, but it puts all streaming users on the same page.
Man….. It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. A lot has happened in my personal life in the last 6 months. I had (and still have) many personal challenges to deal with, and it has caused me to leave blogging for awhile. Don’t worry, my passion for blogging music has not left me ( despite the occasional need to take a break every once in a while). The good thing is, my financial circumstance has changed a little bit, and looks like I’ll be able to afford to keep my blog active! YAY!! 🤠 I really hated having to deal with the very real possibility of shutting down my blog. I’ve done so much bloody work designing, coding, and writing my own content. However, those worries are no more. At least for awhile. Interesting enough, I see I still get what I consider a sizeable amount of visitors, given the fact I haven’t written anything or advertised in quite a bit. I even removed my link from twitter. It’s nice to know there still exist people of my generation who not only are thirsty for nostalgia, but are savvy enough to know how to use technology to find the music they desire. No need to be pissed off at your brother for not returning favorite coveted album 30 years ago. Or mad at your sister in-law who accidentally sat on your only copy of James Brown album, and cracked it 100 pieces. You can just look it up on YouTube, or use your favorite streaming service. We may be old, but we’re not incapable of learning something new. Especially when it comes to finding music. It’s fun!!
In truth, this blog wasn’t just about preserving music history; or about saving our lost Black music culture that most parents have failed to introduce many of their children. Not all music is “devil music.” If you knew the kinds of truly vulgar music that would be coming, I bet a lot of you would have tried harder. Anyway, it’s also about me feeling technologically relevant, while using this same technology to revitalize our ethnically musical past! I spent (I don’t know how many) hours on my computer researching better ways of having a healthier relationship with social media in relation to my blogging. If you can’t see or feel the massive change within internet culture, you must be out of your mind. Those of us trying to do something positive online has to now figure out new ways to tell our story, as the cancel culture still continues to push on with vengeance. I’m trying not to let this discourage me, but I also know bloggers shouldn’t have to be working so damn hard to do what we love. If you’ve started on social media from 2010 and earlier, you’re one lucky bastard! It was so much easier for us then. The algorithms were fair, and chances are you got followers galore! Now, everything is entirely different if you’re a blogger or a public personality. Speak to you guys again soon.
I have something important to say that is weighing on my heart. However, the problem is, I’m not sure how to convey what I feel in order that my readers can understand what I’m talking about fully. I will try to explain as best I can without rambling. I think the cancel culture continues to affect us in ways that even I couldn’t imagine. It has gotten to the point where social media influencers are now looking for new platforms to create their content. Before I move on, I would like to make one thing clear; my blog is not about politics at all; my blog is strictly about music history. However, at the same time, I could not foresee the troubles bloggers like myself would endure indirectly as a clear result of this new political climate.
Understand That Even The Innocent Are Being Cancelled!
I realized the new “cancel culture” has became a problem when various social media platforms started giving me warnings about “inappropriate language” on my own website (a site I pay for). This didn’t matter if I typed special characters such as the @ sign in order to replace other letters. Some ads were even taken down. All of these things were happening, and my blog is not even political. I was really, really perplexed. And what confused me more than anything else is that, social media is inundated with hip hop media. Over 70% of hip hop media has foul language in it. Therefor, I couldn’t understand why small music bloggers were all included in this new world-wind of “disinformation.” There was a time when the first thing someone would say was “what makes you an authority?” “What are your credentials?” It’s funny, if big tech companies would sensor and block religious blogs and websites they way they do others, there would literally be bloody hell to pay.
How Is It That People Are Losing Our Voices? How Big Tech is responsible?
In the simplest and easiest way I can explain how big tech is responsible for America losing our voices— Our own ignorance. Without turning this post in to a 400 page book, I’m gonna say that I estimate our problems emerged shortly after the popularity of “podcasting” back in early c. 1980s. If I’m correct, Apple pioneered in the world podcasting. In fact, I’m pretty sure that podcasting was probably the one thing that attracted many people to use Apple products. Podcasting was that one tool that anyone can use to make known issues going on in their communities. People got on the mic and talked about everything known to man. That included sports, music, movies, etc. Even various kinds of therapists created their own podcasts to discuss a wide range of issues from children with “attention deficit disorders,” to sex education. There were tons of websites that specialized on giving you advice on what kinds of mics to use for podcasting, software, etc. There were even hosting services that were purely dedicated to storing your podcasts online. Podcasting was a way for regular people like you and I, who had no political attachments, to speak their voice.
This Was The Moment We Lost Our Voice!
The moment I pinpointed when we started losing our voice was when business took notice of not only how popular podcasting got, but the heavy following podcasters accumulated. All of a sudden, CNN had a podcast, CBS had a podcast, NPR had a podcast, etc. All of a sudden, I could no longer find independent podcasters in Apple’s search box. They’ve been all “shadowed,” or almost completely removed from their index. It was then I knew that it was a rap. Big business has taken over. Same was true for blogging. The meaning of the word “blog,” meant a personal journal. A blog is almost like a public diary. Today you hear companies like MSNBC say “visit us on our blog!” A blog was never about business or “news” for that matter. Blogging was about having a personal journal. Now, Big tech has effectively taken that over too. Don’t let me get started on corrupt YouTube! I hate YouTube with a passion. You can write a paragraph long response to someone, and YouTube will delete your entire post in less than a second, if it contains a word YouTube set as a flag. Regardless of how you felt (and still feel) about our former commander and chief, for the love of our country, you must understand that if a company such as twitter can make a decision to shutdown a former commander and chief’s account that is a very very serious problem, and is unthinkable. And if you think that’s ok, then you obviously don’t understand what democracy is, and how it’s supposed to function.
I sincerely hope that all my readers and first time visitors are doing well during this crazy pandemic. I apologize for the long, long hiatus. I really needed that time to think some things through in regards to my blog. I really struggled deciding whether to keep my blog or not. In the midst of trying to decide the future of my blog, I was having what they call “blogger’s burnout.” I learned the hard way that blogging everyday is not healthy! Regardless of what other opinionated bloggers say. It’s just too much work for a single person to do. Now, that’s not a complaint, it’s just a fact that the brain needs rest, and blogging everyday consecutively is just not reasonable for a single blogger. But, unfortunately, every single blogger that recommend this as a way of gaining followers is an utter lie. Especially when you consider the fact that we are all bombarded by so many different images and links everyday on the net. In fact, I learned for myself, it’s important NOT to blog everyday, so that you don’t completely lose interest in your blog projects.
There is bullshit lies everywhere, as far as tips from how to design and build a blog, to how exactly we should blog. Now, I’m not saying everything out there isn’t useful information, but I think we should be asking ourselves, is the advice realistic? Then again, I guess we wouldn’t know whether or not something is realistic unless we do some of these suggestions. As I’ve mentioned before, I still love what I do, so it’s not a matter of self insecurity, but more about the frustrations of dealing with social media and how they now operate.
It really can be frustrating when you’re doin’ something unique, and you literally can’t find anyone to model after, or at least use as some sort of guide. But, what I do know, I still think that blogs that focus on classic culture is incredibly important. Not just from the standpoint of keeping history alive. I realized that if other people didn’t make content available on social media, I would never find 90% of the news I curate for twitter. That brought a new realization for me. Although, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t a whole lot of obstacles that a blog owner face trying to get seen on social media.
I was inspired by another classic music blogger, who had his blog online for a long time too. Although he hadn’t made a blog post for a few years, his blog was still available for others to see, and his twitter followers still interact with him. I sent him a short message thinking him for in essence reigniting my interest in continuing to blog. I once again felt proud I’m a site owner/and technically a writer. However, I think I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself, and I needed to step back and do some analyzing.
So, I decided to keep my blog around a little longer. To save money on storage and SSL features, I changed my server. I hope you’ve noticed my blog is a little faster now ?! Also, because my blog is a personal blog, I decided to add an option for my readers to donate. I hate asking for donations, but the reality is server costs are expensive. With cancel culture in full force, I think personal blogs are more important than ever, as our voices should not be stifled (especially by a nonhuman computer algorithm)! I’ve had music ads removed because of an innocent word blocked by algorithms. Algorithms cannot account for context, and this is why it means our free speech is and has been violated. So, this is why it is necessary that bloggers have our own platforms. I have chosen to use BitCoin as a way for you to donate to my blog. Any little bit helps. I don’t require any personal information, in addition, cryptocurrencies are decentralized.
Now, I’m not sure just how frequent I will blog, I’m still figuring that out. However, at least you can look forward to new oldies content in the near future. I’m usually very active on twitter. So, as always, follow me on twitter to get my latest blog pins. Thanks everyone for your understanding and support. Remember, America is really going through a tough time, but don’t let that cause you to forget our American music history!
Just wanted to share some very positive energies and wishes to Olivia Newton-John who is fighting stage 4 breast cancer. I am so shocked by this news. But it’s a constant reminder that no matter how much money you have, it doesn’t always buy you your health. And mind you, Olivia is practically a vegetarian! Not saying you shouldn’t eat healthy, but, sometimes a carrot is not always enough to heal. Keep fighting Olivia!! We believe in Magic.
Genre: Streaming News
It’s been a really long time since I’ve written about any streaming news. I wanted to share something I discovered a couple of days ago. Occasionally, one of the things I liked to do is use built-in radio from various free streaming applications, such as iHeartRadio & Slacker. They all have different algorithms that offer the chance to hear even more diverse music. Well, I hadn’t done this for a while until a couple of days ago. I decided to login to YouTube music. Oh boy, has it changed! It changed a LOT, and for the better.
YouTube Music Has Become Very Spotify Like!!
First off, I must say that YouTube Music has become very “Spotify Like.” As much as these streaming services want to be unique, at the end of the day, they all windup looking very much the same (if not aesthetically, at least have many of the same elements). I still maintain the belief that when it comes to music, there isn’t too much you can do differently to attract new customers/free users. Users either like your service or they don’t.
So, in essence Google has replaced GooglePlay with YouTube Music. If you still have GooglePlay installed on your phone, Google gives you the opportunity to download all your old uploaded music. You can also transfer your uploaded music to your new YouTube Music account. I have to say I’m really impressed, yet, I’m not surprised either. I’ve predicted this many times in the past before. It’s not gonna matter what service you use, it will all be a matter of preference. However, I’m not gonna lie, I think YouTube has one up on all the other services (including Spotify), and that is the licensing. I’ve been noticing this for quite some time. I think YouTube is the only giant entity where music licenses don’t expire! Come to think about it, they’re probably the only large entity that is literally almost immune to all and any music licenses. No other company can get away with that! In terms of the artist themselves, this has got to feel kind of f*cked up, as real legitimate streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn Pandora, etc, all must adhere to a different set of rules, and additional set of sub-rules within those rules. But, as messed up as that sounds, it’s a benefit to music fans, as this means access to music content is truly unlimited. No other streaming services (including Spotify) can match that.
One of the biggest complaints I used to have with YouTube was that, as a music fan (especially of classic music), there was no access to original albums. Music was just sloppily spread all over the place. That was a huge problem for me, because I realized we were dealing with two entirely different music cultures. I’m not talking about the issue of old music and the new music either. The new breed of young music listeners are only interested in the “single hit song of the week.” Young music listeners are not really interested in albums (I think). I am confident this is true, since a significant majority of them has never seen an actual 12 inch vinyl before.
Kids and Teenagers Are Not Interested In Albums!!
This made it difficult for older folk like me, because we remember good music on old albums that did not hit the music charts. This is one of the reasons I make it a point to post original album covers, because it adds to the whole nostalgic experience. But, I’m not gonna lie, if YouTube NOW was the same as when I started streaming (6-7 years ago I think), I’d probably be using YouTube instead of Spotify. But, I still don’t think YouTube’s algorithms are as good as Spotify tho. YouTube Music (specifically) knows how to match up similar music, whereas Spotify’s algorithm learns the listener’s listening habits. I’ve also noticed that both free version of YouTube and Spotify are pushing less ads/less intrusive. My complaints among these services are becoming less and less. My only pet peeve now seems to be I can’t use all of the services to tweet, as they are often missing the album cover when tweeted. That’s annoying ?. Hey guys, just as a reminder, if you ever want to convert my Spotify playlist to your YouTube Music account, you can simply use Soundiiz for free! I encourage you to try out other free music services.
Just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a safe and healthy New Year. I’ve already made major changes before the New Year, and probably one of the biggest decisions was to leave Facebook. For various reasons, Facebook was no longer practical for me as a blogger. In fact, it became more of a hindrance than a useful tool. Luckily for us, Facebook isn’t the only social media tool.
A New Year In Classics!
Although we’ve entered a New year in 2020, remember that any old classics you don’t know of, is actually new music to you! Old doesn’t necessarily mean a throwaway, or no longer valuable, not by any means. Neither does playing classic music means you’re stuck in the past. Playing the classics means we’re paying homage to real artists of the past, perhaps reconnecting with who you were as a young person, or maybe you’re a young person just looking for something different to listen to.
Remember That Most People Are Multifaceted! There Should Be No Shame In Listening To Old School Music!
Relatively speaking, there are only a handful of true classic bloggers. And when I say “true classic bloggers,” I mean websites that don’t only post YouTube links of the same Motown performers, or YouTube links of the same blonde rockers breaking their guitars (and no text around or under the post). Our music culture is so rich and diverse, I don’t think the average person really understands that, regardless of the age.
We’re Here, So Come & Find Us!
All I can say is, although there are few of us true classic bloggers, we’re still out here! I guess that makes us specialists in a way, doesn’t it? Come and find us! With every new year, there should be at least some effort to find good classic music. With the major shift in American culture, major changes in the music streaming world, the massive heavy push of hip hop, it has removed much interest for not only classic Black music, but music of all kinds other than hip hop and pop. A message to parents and other adults: The excuse of not having any money to buy music no longer applies. Music is practically free. As much as I’d like my readers to use ANY paid streaming service like Spotify to support your artists, you still have free YouTube!