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Ask the Honcho of Internet Radio's SomaFM 145

This week, Rusty, the general manager of Internet Radio's SomaFM, is the subject of the Slashdot Interview Spotlight. Some of you may remember Rusty from a recent Salon interview. Now he's making himself available to Slashdot and I'm sure you all can figure out a few questions to ask that weren't covered before. I'm sure many of you have questions about CARP, the future of Internet Radio, and the technology behind it. So let's get to it! As usual, we'll send off the 10 highest moderated questions on to Rusty, and we hope to have the answers for you sometime next week. <PLUG TYPE=SHAMELESS>BTW - If you haven't checked out the streams available at SomaFM, give it a try. Taste the Groove Salad, and the other 8 commercial free streams available on SomaFM. Ah, if only normal FM radio could be this good!</PLUG>
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Ask the Honcho of Internet Radio's SomaFM

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  • seems that everything internet radio is going down hill. now even good radio programs like Art Bell cant even be heard without paying
    • Actually Art Bell can be heard on at lest one free streaming station. If you're on a Mac it's somewhere in the Talk section of the iTunes radio tuner. I'm not at home to check the exact station but it's there. I'll post it later unless someone beats me to it...
  • RIAA and CARP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jpt.d ( 444929 ) <abfall@r[ ]rs.com ['oge' in gap]> on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:06PM (#3510443)
    How do you see the possibilities of winning against a CARP that smells of RIAA? Because RIAA has a lot of control over what traditional radio plays and control is what this is all about.
  • Money (Score:2, Interesting)

    by punkball ( 240859 )
    I've got to ask, without commercials or any sort of advertising aside from mentioning the station your listening to, how does your company produce income?
    I've listened to squid radio and groove salad for quite sometime and am a big fan so if your main source of income is donations, please make it known so we can help!
    • Re:Money (Score:2, Informative)

      by kwerle ( 39371 )
      Dude, from http://www.somafm.com/ Yeah, the main page:

      "SomaFM is commercial free and supported entirely by our listeners. Bandwidth is expensive! Your donation of any amount helps us stay on the air, providing commercial free music that can't be found anywhere else. Thanks!"

      Right next to the PayPal and Amazon Honor System links...
    • I've listened to squid radio and groove salad for quite sometime and am a big fan so if your main source of income is donations, please make it known so we can help!

      I, on the other hand, had never heard of them until this story, but a quick glance at their site tells me:

      SomaFM is commercial free and supported entirely by our listeners. Bandwidth is expensive! Your donation of any amount helps us stay on the air, providing commercial free music that can't be found anywhere else. Thanks!
      • Alright.. alright.. I get the point.

        I save the pls file and play from there so I don't visit the page very often.
  • by Laplace ( 143876 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:09PM (#3510457)
    I was curious to know how much the recording industry cares about small stations. Do you think that the Recording Industry Association of America is going to come after these tiny internet broadcasters, some of which are run out of someone's bedroom, and actually try to enforce this legislation? Given the bandwidth small stations operate on, their lack of mainstream exposure, and the tiny bang for the (litigious) buck, it seems that the record industry can spend their resources elsewhere with greater effect.

  • Rusty, what advise do you have for those of use interested in starting up a non-commerical station as a hobby. Is this feasible? Where can we obtain the need information?
    • There are a number of online resources to help you set up your own online radio station. A simple google search will provide lots of help.

      But there are many reasons NOT to do it:
      • It's a bandwidth hog. Unless you have T1 speed internet access, or machines at a colo facility, you won't be able to support very many listeners.
      • It's expensive. Even in the absence of the RIAA, T1's and colo's are expensive. Fast servers that can stream to many people are expensive.
      • You don't have the time. There are 168 hours in a week. Are you going to be on the air for all of those? Not likely.

      Fortunately, there is a solution to ALL these problems: OPENdj [opendj.com].

      OK, it's kind of a shameless plug, but here it is: OPENdj is the world's first public-access Internet radio station. Anyone can sign up for a show, and using nothing more than a 56k modem, you can broadcast to the world, from anywhere in the world.

      And for the truly insane, if you don't like streaming through someone elses radio station, and you really want to run your own station, you can: The software that powers OPENdj.com [opendj.com] is open source software - check out OPENdj.org [opendj.org] for info on that.

      Drop me a line if any of this has piqued your interest - I'm always interested in getting feedback on how to improve things.

      Finally, a shameless developer plug: OPENdj is very much in active development. There are a lot of great features in place already (automatic archiving of all broadcasts, etc) and there are a lot of great features yet to be built, so if you're looking for an itch to scratch, this could be it.

      - jonathan.

  • by SPYvSPY ( 166790 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:15PM (#3510492) Homepage
    Given the availability of programs like streamripper [sourceforge.net] (and others like it, I guess), do you have any plans to accomodate the myriad of digital rights management schemes in the pipeline? Which, if any, do you support or intend to implement? Do you think that you have an obligation to do so?

    BTW, keep up the good work. I can say with total sincerity that your stations have introduced me music that I would otherwise never have heard. I thank you, (and so does my iPod). ;)
    • How do Internet radio stations go about paying royalties to the artist for each piece of music they play? Listening to BBC Radio 4 over the web you often hear they can't broadcast the program because they haven't secured the rights to broadcast it over the web. Is this ever a problem for you?
  • Pirate Mythology (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:18PM (#3510501) Homepage
    Right now Internet Radio enjoys a sort of "pirate" image, which I think endears it to many people because they feel like they're supporting independent media.

    However, my guess is that as it grows and becomes more profitable, most Internet radio is bound to end up owned by 2-5 big players, as is the case with most other media. Do you expect internet radio to get bought up like the movie studios, local TV stations and radio stations, or do you think it will be able to stay independent?

    Would mergers and consolidation ruin internet radio, or would it help it?


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:20PM (#3510511)
    The beauty of the Internet is that no single government (or stupid government person) could stop an entire class of service - look at Internet gambling. That said, why not relocate to a co/lo service in India?

    Or, better yet, just run amok of the law? Last I heard, the Library of Congress is a library, not an authorized body to create policy. Since they are attempting to do so, why not block them on the grounds that they are exceeding their charter, and therefore, acting against the constitution?

    Also, the fact that internet based transmissions are treated differently than FM based transmissions is ridiculous. This is the foundation of the "separate but equal" crap that CARP is funnelling.

    128k MP3 (and less) is not a perfect reproduction of sound, as the LoC contends. It is no more perfect than FM, and no less perfect. Both formats mangle stereo separation, both add audio artifacts, and both deduct from clarity and depth of the source's timbre. The only real difference is one is digital, and the other analog.

    And both formats HELP drive record sales. The big difference to the RIAA is that they don't control the channels of distribution for MP3 servers. All SomaFM, or any other internet broadcaster needs is a music library, a fast connection to the net and powerful servers. In order to broadcast on the air, you need to give some slimy FCC official a kickback, and/or be owned by TimeWarnerAOL, Vivendi, or Viacom.

    I can't help but see the future of the RIAA - all the offices burned to the ground and the leadership decapitated. This another one of those infuriating instances where their feeble attempts at limiting distribution channels so that everyone listens to the same, soulless crap that record producers are puking at us.

  • What am I missing? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:22PM (#3510524) Journal
    Radio stations are obliged to respect copyrights on music, right? No one except "Down with intellectual property types!" propose that commercial radio stations should be able to play Britney Spears songs without paying her for it.

    So why should your money-earning radio station be different because it's sending a signal over IP packets instead of radio waves? I'm sympathetic (somewhat) to Joe Cable-Modem who is doing a just-for-fun broadcast, and my understanding of CARP is that is has some retroactive charges that are disturbing, but why should I defend your right to run a radio station for free?

    I keep reading about all this great unrestricted music that's distributed through P2P networks. If that's so, leech off them.

    • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:39PM (#3510612) Journal
      Answering my own question:
      Reading a little more on this, I found a link to this NYT article [nytimes.com], which is a lot more persuasive for being a lot less alarmist and greedy than most of the IP-related stuff that gets linked around here:
      In a 1998 copyright law, Congress gave Webcasters an automatic license to stream copyrighted music so long as they paid a royalty fee to be agreed on later. Like broadcast radio stations, Webcasters already pay about 4 percent of their revenue to compensate composers and music publishers. But American broadcasters have never paid a royalty for using sound recordings, which are typically owned by a record label, successfully arguing that record labels are already compensated by the promotional benefits of having their music played over the air.

      Webcasters argue that the recording industry should recognize that it derives a similar benefit from music that is streamed over the Internet. In an arbitration panel proceeding supervised by the copyright office, the Webcasters proposed a royalty rate about equal to those paid to composers and publishers, 5 percent of revenue. The recording industry asked for 15 percent of revenue, or a comparable per-performance fee.

      In February, the arbitration panel proposed a formula of 0.0014 cent per song, per listener. Conventional broadcasters who stream simultaneously on the Internet would pay half that rate. The rate falls between what the two sides asked for. But because there is no option to pay a percentage of revenue, and because so few Webcasters are making money on advertising, it works out in some cases to far more than a station's total revenue.

      OK, that makes a lot more sense. Editors and submitters -- you'd make better advocates by linking to something like this instead of to rabid, partisan pieces like the CARP link in this story.
    • One point that often gets missed in these arguments:

      Traditional broadcast operations require a significant upfront investment to get started (studio, transmitter, antenna etc), but the cost of 'adding a listener' is nil (the signal floats around in the air for anyone to pick up).

      For Internet broadcasters, the equation is reversed: upfront investment is minimal (PC, internet connection, audio software) but adding listeners increases bandwidth usage (and thus operating costs) by a constant, and not insignificant, factor.
  • yes I am, on this one:
    save internet radio [saveinternetradio.org]
    • by sct ( 28839 )
      Speaking of which... This weekend I got a nice form letter from my Representative in the House explaining that he understands the issues around CARP and Internet Radio, but there is no law pending so he can do nothing about it. It is a fee recommendation that the FCC is considering.

      Yes, that is true. But I think the letter is almost a plea to not get any of the blame, so he can be re-elected and not suffer the penalty on being for CARP. The least he could do is send a letter to the FCC recommending they do not accept CARP because the common man, his constituents don't like it much. It is nice to get the letter, but it could have been so much more.

  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:23PM (#3510535) Homepage
    Something that has been brought up a couple times in other threads, and that i am kind of curious about:

    The CARP is something the RIAA is imposing, correct?
    Does this or does this not mean that if an internet radio station were certain to only play music by non-RIAA artists, it could stay in business?
    It would not be terribly easy to find material for a net radio station that only played independent music, but it would be possible, i think, and at the least i'd listen to it.
    But am i just confused? Would that be feasible from a royalties standpoint? What exactly is the royalties relationship between independent record labels and internet radio, before or after CARP?

    One more small question: the page on CARP on your site says that non-US broadcasters would not be subject to the CARP fees. How would this work out? Would this just mean that anyone in Canada would be able to netcast worldwide without having to pay any fees other than the ones imposed by their government? Or would stations outside the U.S. be barred from netcasting to U.S. citizens? If stations outside the U.S. are allowed to run free, what would the regulations say about a server in the U.S. that is just repeating what is being broadcast by an internet streaming radio station located outside the U.S.-- so that the lag created by the internet links that go across the atlantic ocean are minimized. Could a repeater of this sort be classified as just another router, or would the repeater be subject to the CARP payments?

    Thanks for clarifying things.. just curious. Hopefully, the LoC will see through this blatant attempt by the RIAA to silence internet radio and none of the above questions will ever become an issue. I wish you luck..
  • Business Model (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Everach ( 559166 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:26PM (#3510549)

    How does SomaFM compare fiscally to a traditional FM or AM business?

    Specifically, are there any fiscal advantages to using an internet-only format to outweight the disadvanges (like a lack of big-name advertising)?

  • It's pretty awful that these guys are being shut down, but at least there's always BBC radio 6: BBC's digital radio channel, which is also tranmitted via streaming real audio. Check it out here [bbc.co.uk].
  • real comment (Score:2, Informative)

    by trefoil ( 153310 )
    Internet radio is alive in my local city. For a while, it seemed that it was going to die, due to the regulations being handed down. Advertisers were getting upset and the ilk, so for a while, they stopped broadcasting. Then a few months ago, they came back online, but without the regional advertising. Only the national station advertising was ever on during the commercial breaks, and during the rest, it'd just be silence.
    An example of this is at: http://z100portland.com/ (top 40 station)
  • It's no coincidence that, a few minutes after this story went up, the number of listeners on Groove Salad shot up from the normal number of 100 or so to over 1,400.

    I know this is no surprise-- Slashdot effect and whatnot-- but it's not too often that you get to see the effect measured in number of listeners, updated on the SomaFM.com web page in real time.
  • It has been argued that the deign of the internet will make large scale streaming media basicly impossible. How can you or any steaming media company expect to survive in this kind of condition? When sucess means connection failer.
    • It has been argued that the deign of the internet will make large scale streaming media basicly impossible.

      This is only true if people continue to attempt to use unicast protocols to distribute their content. This issue was solved long ago by multicast. The trouble is, nobody seems to want to support it for the average consumer. In a perfect world that Internet broadcaster would only be sending one feed per upstream provider, their upstream providers would split it off to anyone requesting the feed downstream, and it would continue to split on until it reaches the end customer requesting the stream. It's really pretty efficient, especially when compared to the current notion of broadcasting 10,000 56Kbps streams. You could replace that with a single multicast stream that uses far less bandwidth but reaches a hundred thousand customers.
  • kexp Radio (Score:3, Informative)

    by cheinonen ( 318646 ) <cheinonen@hotmai l . c om> on Monday May 13, 2002 @12:40PM (#3510619)
    If you want commercial free (basically), FM radio, try out kexp.org. Also 90.3 FM up in Seattle, they have multiple streaming options (56k and 96k mp3, Real Audio, and even a 1.4 Mb uncompressed WMA stream), live playlists, and a really diverse music selection.

    They are paid for my sponsorship drives, like public television, but also supported by the Experience Music Project up here (note: EMP is a project of Paul Allen as well, so the station basically exists thanks to all that Microsoft money that Allen has). They also take song requests from people continaully, and it's introduced me to lots of bands that I otherwise never would have heard on most commercial radio, or even most streaming internet radio.

    • (note: EMP is a project of Paul Allen as well, so the station basically exists thanks to all that Microsoft money that Allen has)

      Note: The Portland Trailblazers are a project of Paul Allen as well, so the team basically exists thanks to all that Microsoft money Allen has.

      No dis intended; I just don't want any Slashdot fanatics to assume there's more of a relationship between the Experience Music Project and Microsoft than there really is. Paul Allen is just a really rich guy that likes to spend his money on cool stuff.

      So nobody call for an EMP boycott. Or, for that matter, a Blazers boycott.
  • How does CARP affect the rates broadcasters are already required to pay to ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI?

    Does it replaces those fees, or will those fees be adjusted to match?

    It seems to me that CARP adds to the fees, and means paying twice for the same thing.

  • Two questions.

    What does the "FM" mean when applied to Internet radio?

    Are you the same Rusty as the Rusty who runs kuro5hin?

  • Question is, would this XML validate properly without the shameless contained in quotes?
  • if its pirate radio! Not only is it fun to listen to, it's even more fun to "work" at. I say "work" because no one gets paid, and its more fun than any job I've ever had... Seriously, there is not a single commercial station that could ever compete with the quality of pirate radio. The FCC is not the enemy necessarily, it is merely a tool of corporate radio used to shut down superior channels that take away from their ad revenue.

    Go 97.5 Rice Radio! (Aka Humboldt Free Radio Alliance)
  • Isn't it possible to just broadcast your stream from a server in a country where CARP isn't law? ie. Canada?
  • by Ruger ( 237212 )
    Are there plans for Soma to produce some all talk channel(s)? NPR and AM Radio are the main sources for talk radio fans, but I'd love to be able to tune into TALK on my PC. My local AM station has a variety of talk programs from your typical morning news and traffic, to sports(NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, racin'), to Tech Talk (Mostly PCs), as well as golf and financial news and investing.

  • Bandwidth costs money. Administration costs money. Paying composer royalties for classical composition music (like broadcast radio stations do) costs money.

    So how do you have commercial free streams? Contributions?

  • I'm streaming the Drone Zone [somafm.com] right now. This is some serioulsy good Ambient stuff. I'm a BIG fan of Brian Eno (and other folks along those same lines). I wish I knew about this earlier. It's a shame they're going off the air soon. :-(

    This is quite good, if you like this sort of stuff.
  • Royalties loophole? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dan Crash ( 22904 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:07PM (#3510768) Journal
    The statutory royalty rate for Internet simulcasts of FM radio broadcasts is only half that of Internet-only broadcasts. So couldn't any web station cut their royalties in half by spending $34.95 (plus shipping) to buy a micro-FM transmitter [ramseyelectronics.com]?

    Here's what the law [copyright.gov] says in Title 17, 114. Scope of exclusive rights in sound recordings:
    The performance of a sound recording publicly by means of a digital audio transmission, other than as a part of an interactive service, is not an infringement of section 106(6) if the performance is part of ...a nonsubscription broadcast transmission.
    It doesn't require you to be a licensed or noncommercial broadcaster, simply that your performance is broadcast freely over the airwaves.

    Has the webcasting industry looked into this loophole at all? Seems to me that cutting your operating expenses roughly in half could be the difference between economic life and death for most companies.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer (thank God!), but I am a pirate radio broadcaster.
  • question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tezzery ( 549213 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:19PM (#3510837)
    If the RIAA proposed rates do get approved, where do you see this going in a few years? How will this affect media monsters such as Clearchannel? Do you think commercial stations will begin supporting more independent labels, (or even better) artists will slowly realize who the enemy is and not sign to RIAA labels? (I know it might seem far-fetched but it's wishful thinking). What's your opinion on the bigger outcome of this battle?
  • Why don't you pay royalties? j/k. I AM curious though, as to how the name came about.
  • by E1ven ( 50485 ) <e1ven@e1veBALDWINn.com minus author> on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:53PM (#3511052) Homepage
    What amount do you currently pay in MP3 liscensing, in order to stream SomaFM over the internet?

    With all the threats and attacks to MP3 streaming by Fraunhofer, have you considered moving to streaming OGG Vorbis [vorbis.com] files?

    As Winamp is now shipping with native support, this could be a good way of shaving down some of the fees regarding your business.
  • First, the laws that govern society are only laws because of the mutual consent of the majority of people. Once a law is no longer deemed to be in their best intrest by the people themselves, it becomes little more than words on paper, like a certain tax on tea. It takes very little imagination to see this being the case with internet radio and music in general since nobody that I know of respects either the RIAA, CARP or the politicans backing their measures. Downloading copywrited MP3s is illegle, yet how many of us do it anyway? A law only has the force we, the people subject to the law, give it. Like the US Revolutionary War, the Establishment is looking to maintain it's powerbase at the expense of it's customers, a situation that never remains stable in the long run, either resulting in increased tyranny (judge the effects of the RIAA for yourself) or revolution in some form, normally detrimental to the Establishment. For that reason alone, even if the dreaded crackdown against internet radio should occure, nobody will listen or care about the new laws. It will go underground or beyond the limits of RIAA enforcement like so many other "counter-culture" movements have done. it's a little too late to kill MP3 and it's a little to late to kill net radio.

    And I seem to rememeber that way back when, artists actually paid the station to have their music on the air when radio first started up...
  • I sent my $10 via paypal to SomaFM. [somafm.com]

    If you are a regular listener like me, you should do the same thing.

    To save a little bit of their bandwidth i'm listening to betalounge [betalounge.com] right now :) more tasty live electronic goodness.
  • "ever since I was a little perl script I wanted to be a DJ on somaFM"

    I heard that for the first time about 5 months ago. I got hooked =) Groove Salad helps me sleep at night, thanks! Also, thanks for the free cd sent with my donation to the station. And now on to the question:

    due to the increasing cost per user of centralized streaming, have you been exploring other possibilites? Something like radio relays? Would you even WANT people "rebroadcasting" for you?

  • by Bobzibub ( 20561 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @02:21PM (#3511222)
    ...the RIAA *does* have a lot more money than us...And just look at that farm bill.. Ugh!
    What requirements would a distributed, untracible, pirate* broadcast network have? (besides the obvious)
    I have some thoughts:
    - Java. (fast to write/platform indy)
    - IP/UDP? (less trace-able connections than /w TCP/IP)
    - Ogg. (I like Ogg)
    - Peers can hand off streams to less busy servers. And probably should after a fixed amount of time.
    - use standard clients (xmms, etc) in combination with server (peer) component? Or force use of client/peer?
    - how to initially connect to the network?

    Sounds like a fun project to me!

    luv SomaFM. 'xcept when ./'d. : )

    * I say "Pirate" here in jest, of course...I just don't want the *RIAA* to get any of my money. Artists need better pimps.
  • Contact your representative in Washington!

    The SomaFM page [somafm.com] has the info, as well as Save Internet Radio [saveinternetradio.org].

    It's _really_ easy to do and takes about 60 seconds. Just say something like this:

    "Hello, this is (your_name) from (your_city, state) ... can I speak to the aide responsible for Internet issues?" Then they'll transfer you.

    When the aide picks up, just say: "I'm calling to voice my opposition to the CARP ruling that will negatively affect Internet radio stations. I think it is unfair, and I hate to think that I will lose my favorite internet radio stations soon. Internet radio is one of the best ways I can discover new music to purchase, because the FM broadcast stations in my area don't provide me with any diversity. Please help me out, and put a stop to the CARP ruling so that Internet radio will survive."

    Then they'll say something like "Thanks for calling, I'll pass this on to Representative So-and-so."

    If you don't do anything to help, don't come here and bitch when most of the good internet radio stations are gone. I for one, appreciate new music and diversity.

    Now, go call!

  • What considerations have you given to changing your music format from the current "total crap" to something along the lines of "less than total crap".

    Thank you.

  • This is not a question for the interview (just in case you didn't notice).

    For our company we need to set up a solution that streams audio-files (interviews). This is not supposed to be a continous stream like a radio broadcast for which something like icecast would be great, but a single interview that is supposed to be streamed to the user when he clicks on a link on out webpage.

    Most modern players support streaming MP3 when you send a .M3U (Winamp Playlist) to the web-browser that contains hyperlinks to your files. Unfortunately there is no way to seek in the audio to skip boring parts, you have to listen from the beginning to the end.

    Commercial alternatives like Real or Microsoft support seeking because the implement their own protocol and don't "abuse" HTTP. Is there a free implementation of a similar (or compatible) server? Can Apple's Darwin Streaming Server seek in MP3s (the website is not clear on this subject)?

    bye, toolbar.
  • Streaming a commercial-free radio station, with a tip-jar or donations as the only way to get funding is sure to put you off the air long before CARP.
  • Right now CARP members are arguing in Congress to have the proposed fee of 0.14 cents per song reduced because they feel it is too high and will run almost everybody out of the internet radio industry.

    However, even with a reduced fee, most internet radio stations will be paying more than they can probably afford. As it is, bandwidth costs are running them out of business, and they're not paying a dime in royalty fees.

    So, my question is whether you see most internet radio stations switching over to subscription fees to stay in business, rather than having to close shop? Or do you think that some stations will continue to run as "pirate radio stations", not paying the royalty fees?
  • Why did you have to go and post a link to Groove Salad? It's hard enough to get an open server as it is.. now you've opened it up to all of /.!

    As long as nobody finds out about my other favorite thing...

  • Hello, I've been following this closely. I've donated money to Rusty at Soma FM and written a letter to my congressman. My question is:

    How do we know when we've won?

    I understand that some California congressmen are calling for a review of CARP, but where will that lead? I keep checking www.saveinternetradio.com but I never see any news about progress being made.

    I for one intend to set up my own internet radio station in formal civil disobediance if the CARP bill passes. If I can talk enough other people into the same thing, we can at the very least show them that their efforts will backfire into an explosion of internet radio stations.


  • Here's a question for you, has SomaFM considered providing links to online stores (like amazon.com) who pay referal fees?

    I mean I would have bought loads of these CD's that I'm hearing if all it took was a click and a credit card...

    Or am I missing something important about why that wouldn't work?
  • by Traa ( 158207 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @04:39PM (#3512204) Homepage Journal
    As much as I love internet radio and hope to see it stay I have been wondering why some of the more popular music themes on the internet are not available on commercial radio. I am talking about the sounds of SomaFM's Groove Salad, Digitally Imported and other internet radio stations playing Ambient, Trance or any of the other more mellow versions of Electronic House. What in your opinion is the reason we can't find these styles on commercial radio?

    Best of luck and keep up the good work!
  • by Traa ( 158207 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @04:48PM (#3512264) Homepage Journal
    Internet radio is an all or nothing thing for me. I either find the type of music I want to listen on an unlimited commercial free radio station (SomeFM 24-7 right now :-) or I am not interested at all. Say you can't fight the upcoming legislation, do you see youself survive as a (semi-)commercial internet station, or is this the end?

    Good luck and keep up the good work!
    Where do you track your artists down? Do you have a personal relationship with any of them? And if so so you have any first hand data available describing a benefit for this artist as a result of their exposure through your internet radio broadcast.

    I personally have been listening to Groove Salad (Soma FM) for about two years, and I love it. It exposed me to lots of artists I would never have accessed through the current controlled media. And try to track their cds down and buy them.(there's a tiny success story) I'm sure that is a common pattern, that if stopped will only hurt artists. And those of us who listen to them!
  • I recently chatted with a guy from SomaFM, he said their servers run Linux. I would like to know what are the specs of these machines and maybe what's the longest uptime they've had.
  • Big Earl (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hitchhacker ( 122525 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @09:24PM (#3513983) Homepage
    Hi Rusty, thanks for the beautiful music!

    I wanted to know what you use for Big Earl's voice synthesis. It sounds awfully similar to Dr. Sbaitso from the early 90's.

    Also, I noticed that there are many songs that have disapeared from groove salad's playlist from around last year. (GOOD songs). I wanted to know if this is because you were forced to remove them, and how many other artists/labels are being held back this way. This music is so good it gives me goose-bumps, and I can't stand the thought that there is more that I am missing.

    my letter is off to my controllers^H^H^H^H^Hrepresentatives,

  • laa li la la laa li laa boom boom laa tchak-a tchak-a boom laa laa loo la boom boom groovvvsalad soma eff emm boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim boom djim djim djim tchk-k tchk-k tchk-k tchk-k tchk-k tchk-k

    I'll get modded down for this but, hey, I couldn't resist :)
  • Why not just move out of the US, to someplace with a friendlier regulatory environment? Canada, say, or the UK?
  • What stops Internet Radio from being broadcasted from another country? CARP would have a hard time trying to hunt down stations from around the world... Also, wouldn't it also be just as easy to set Internet Radio up underground? Much as warez sites exist, and mp3 sharing exists, couldn't Internet Radio be a part of that uber-h4x0r community? I hope it doesn't come down to that, but it is an option that should be reviewed since the day is coming... --lpret
  • Assuming that the RIAA win this round (and I really hope they don't), what's to stop you relocating your operations? Is there any overwhelming practical or legal reason why you can't broadcast from say, Britain or Holland?

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.