Fiddling an iNob
You all know how much we love the aptly named, foamy streaming music services like Spotify and friends.With a selection less comprehensive and interesting than a provincial airport CD stand, offering fewer financial benefits to artists than a dirty cup left outside a Tube station and more likely to lead to bad listening habits than an addiction to One Direction, anything that hurts them only helps the groovy.And the iCon that is Apple has just blowtorched the business model of these jokers in a very amusing way.Going all the way back to the first iMac with a CD burner and Apple's record company baiting "Rip. Mix. Burn." adverts, the iLot have used and abused the carcass of the mainstream industry in ways it still does not understand. And it is wonderful. If you love vinyl, if you adore a well priced CD from your favourite record shop and have a soul then every breezeblock chucked at the pigopoly trough of the mainstream music industry is your friend.Apple does not run the iTunes Store to make a penny of profit on music, most think it runs at a loss. It is about selling computers and gadgets via which the abuse of music is just another application.iTunes Radio recognises that most people quite like music they already own or know, and as a result could do with a free way to have it streamed free when they like - along with things their library means they are likely to dig. No more fiddling through dodgy comps to find that Neil Young track, or wondering why the Swedish shysters behind Spotify somehow have not made The Velvet Underground or 97% of the world's best Reggae and Dance music available. This will do delicious damage to the streaming subscription lot, and accelerate the demise of the zombietard pop ploppy majors. Bravo.But what about real radio? As in FM - the ability to tune in for free to somewhere that grooves you, surprises and sustains your soul? It is long gone, but not for the reasons you might assume. On the BBC side, the need to dumb down means that the fact Radio 1 has a few listeners that miss the likes of Peel and Hobbs is seen as a major barrier to Niki Minaj based, ratings destroying "accessibility". On the Crapital commercial side, the way that radio advertising is priced means that playlists are always shorter than a prison shower encounter. Why? Most sheeples get very confused or upset when they hear something they do not know, and tend to change the station when they do. The handful of oafs who report back on what they are listening to when change stations a lot, so that means when you hear the same Extended Fucking Blingtone again and again you're meant to change the station.I once met a top bod in radio advertising who told me why the original, Fiction and Fat Bob endorsed XFM failed and was bought out by Crapital. Trouble was they played album tracks, B-sides and maybe even a band or track you'd not heard before sometimes, and that pushed the value of radio ads right down into cheapo country.All this was bad enough, but wouldn't you know it but HMG had to come and make it worse. The people who make sure you can buy Kestrel Super everywhere but His Majesty's Herbs are a crime, and that banning smoking in pubs is rather more emotive than any kind of social justice, or even train fares you can afford to pay in cash, thrust a stinking spike into the heart of UK radio called DAB. DAB is a silly dream of the late 70s. Digital RADIO where you get EVEN MORE STATIONS. It was trialled in the early 80s and in the classic pathetic British style percolated around the power structure as an obscene dream until it was imposed on everyone.DAB's audio compression is so loveless and crude it makes an MP3 sound like 180gram virgin vinyl played by Gods on a perfectly tuned Linn LP12 Sondek. And there is no way to upgrade it. And it uses parts of the radio spectrum less reliable than the WiFi in a Third World brothel. Oh, and did we mention the way it is engineered means that unlike most tech it cannot get much cheaper than it is today? Plus, it is not an international standard. It's not in cars and no other country uses it. This is not a great recipe for tech to go mainstream.All the radio world were told that FM would be banned before now, and they needed to spend millions on this nonsense. From the BBC to Heart, this drained the budgets of the radio world and made them even less likely to experiment or do anything cool than anything before. Loads of pointless stations aimed at retirees or faux folk Celticness or handball were launched and fizzled out like a sparkler in a stream of dog urine. There was this thing called the internet, and no-one had ever woken up thinking FM, which you can transmit with little more than a stolen hanger, was not good enough.They rarely deserve anything like credit, but the current HMG are desperately trying to find ways to say sorry and let the whole DAB fart blow away like a bad smell on a bus. In the meantime, Pirate still is vital, especially down South. Any time you are driving around on the weekend, tickle the tuning especially below 100 mhz and you will still find beauty and magic.Beauty and magic will abound in our New In, of course! We have Gang Green, All, Descendents, Conflict, Chumbawumba, Television, Stranglers, Gang Of Four, Doors, StonesSlave, Pleasure, Parliament, O'Jays, Joe Simon, Stephanuie Mills, Charles Earland, Roy Ayers, Dollar Brand, Eddie Russ, Flora Purim...and more.Feel it there.