Sunday, September 18, 2005

Radio on the Internet

I began to listen to public radio in high school, when I began to become serious about my musical training. I appreciated Erie's local public radio station (WQLN-FM), and its classical music programming. I never saw the programming as simply entertainment; radio was also for discovery, contemplation, and examination. Listening led me to classical works and composers that I had never heard of before. It even guided my choice of interpretations of certain works that I played or sang. In college I began to appreciate traditional musical forms and the performers who brought them to life. And this was because of a local public radio station (WKSU-FM) and Jim Blum's weekend folk music program). I have always sought out my local public radio station as the first place to look for this kind of programming. When I came to work for a public radio station, I became an advocate for the voices on the air. I had many "driveway moments" right at my desk at work.

Now the station that I worked for no longer features the music that birthed my radio listening habits. (Thankfully Mary Cliff still has her Saturday evening folk show, Traditions.) That is how I came to be pulled into the modern world of Internet radio, along with specific program streams. It's not just them--I have developed many musical interests, and I like to explore new music in various genres. And it's not fair to expect one radio station to be all things to all people--and the ones that try are not satisfying anybody, in my opinion.

I think one of the values of mediated programming (at least outside of commerical radio) is that you are often pulled out of your comfort zone and have the opportunity to experience sounds, music, and stories that you might never have discovered on your own. And I believe there is value in professionals crafting these experiences believe.

The downside: No Internet radio in cars yet. Until then I'll just have to take a selection of CDs when I go out. (I don't have an I-Pod or satellite radio, maybe someday).

I've started a section for Online Audio Streams. It's small, because it's only the ones I regularly listen to. I'm not including specific programs or stations of which I only listen to a small percentage of their programming. If you want to suggest a stream, I'll take a listen and let you know. I'll talk about why I've selected the ones that are listed on the right another day.

Current listening: "Wade in the Water" sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock (on Traditions with Mary Cliff, WETA-FM)


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