Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal
So what's to allow normal people like me and the "connoisseurs" to use streaming radio? These streamers still need to pay for bandwidth and now (retroactive) royalities on tunes played. These costs are the most significant ones.
The only people I can see that will benefit from Linux hardware and software are the big corporations like Clear Channel or the RIAA members. They can afford the bandwidth and royalty structures. Linux and open source software merely lowers their initial costs (which in all likelihood will be tax deductible anyway as it depreciates).
This merely leaves us back at square one.
What am I missing?
Forget FM or Clear Channel. They will soon be obsolete as wireless broadband begins to blanket metro areas. FM radio is lower quality than the 128 kbit stream I get from radio paradise, plus the songs are terrible. Clear Channel can buy up all the radio bandwidth they want - but they will see a declining listener base in the coming decade. Maybe Clear Channel will get lucky and they can sell off their obsolete bandwidth to some new technology that can make a better use of it.
Another thought I've had:
I hate having to go find music to download - chances are, I could look all day and just find mainstream junk or non mainstream junk. ITunes, while it IS better than the old CD distribution system, is still more work and costs more money than I want to put forth to listen to music I like.
Enter Radio Paradise. Its group of listeners have a very similar taste for music, which allows this station to provide the perfect balance of good new (and old) music. I don't have to pick the songs, like FM radio, but it is a better selection and no wickedly annoying adverts.
Props to Bill G.
You're right that we're at square one. But without Bill Goldsmith we'd be at square zero.
What Bill's put together is good for anybody wanting to run a serious web radio station that makes money. Not a lot of money, necessarily, but enough to cover the costs, which include both bandwidth and royalties. That's what he has with Radio Paradise.
According to Bill, royalties aren't the big issue. Labor is. What he's put together for his station, plus KPIG and SmoothJazz.com, is an easy way to select and play music, keep a record of it, and integrate the station's programming with the Web -- in a way that welcomes and involves listener input, among other things. Nothing in commercial radio comes close, especially where the Web is involved (which it isn't).
What he's hoping is that some hackers with broadcasting ambitions will come forward and pick up the ball he started rolling. I hope they do.
Thank you for the reply. It sounds like a great idea, no doubt about it. I guess my biggest obstacle is believing it is still possible for low-level radio stations to become economically viable for many.
I'd like to discuss this further but I believe that we'd end up agreeing. :)