We all know that content creation is key to any web existence. Without really good, meaningful content, there isn’t really a reason for someone to frequently visit your site. When I think about all the major changes that are happening on social platforms, such as YouTube and (yes), even iTunes and Spotify, it leaves me kind of concerned for the kinds of information we’ll be seeing in the future. Well, let me explain, ’cause we all should be concerned about this. A lot of newspapers have lost a LOT of revenue due to the emergence of both personal blogs, and sites like Yahoo news. Suddenly people realize that they don’t have to pay for news anymore. When you think about it, indirectly it’s a good thing I guess, because it has somewhat forced a significant portion of our society to sort of “Go Green,” without any conscious effort. But, there are a few issues I’m seeing that we all need to have deeper discussions on. As digital technology continue to take over our lives, and although I don’t think paper will ever be obsolete, it will be almost non-existent in comparison to the last 3-4 decades or so (with the exception of mail order). Being able to physically pickup a newspaper somewhat gave me the comfort that whatever I’m reading comes from a legitimate establishment. Now, of course we all know that reading a newspaper doesn’t mean that articles are free from misinformation and or biases, but it can often give you the closest representation of what’s going on in the world, followed by pictorial images.
So, I say this to make people aware that there is a huge competition between the “big boy news,” and the little guys like us, the bloggers, the YouTubers, and the podcasters. Now, I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist, but I’m starting to notice a very serious pattern here. For instance, let’s start with podcasting. iTunes was the go to place to setup a podcasting stream. All of a sudden Apple took away the “Update Feed” feature when we uploaded a video. Then when you wanted to upload channel art, you now have to wait about 3+ weeks before iTunes would even read your XML file. Now, it’s almost impossible for your channel to get indexed inside the iTunes store, I couldn’t find any of the podcasters I used to listen too. Why? iTunes is pushing NPR, CNN, CBS, NBC, and other producer’s of major content. So in other words, Apple has deliberately abandoned small podcasters like you and me who have a right to our voices and opinions. iTunes has forsaken us. Let’s talk about YouTube. Ads were pulled from many videos because the “subject matter was inappropriate.” So, if a new mom wanted to talk about the issues of breast feeding her child in public, that would get flagged. Or if someone wanted to talk about ISIS, that would get flagged, or even taken down, regardless of the context of the video. All of this is happening via YouTube’s automated system. Many YouTubers are moving to other alternative platforms such as Patreon. I’m not sure how I feel about that, because you’ve got to have loyal, long-time followers to convince thousands of people to follow you a new platform just to see you. That’s a big risk. Well, only a big risk if you’re trying to get financial gains. I don’t think YouTube will be the way for YouTubers to make money anymore. Maybe they need to come up with a business model, in the same way the music industry did. Finally we have Spotify. In terms of podcasts, Spotify has chosen to manually hand pick who and what will pass through their system, which to me, is another iTunes. Sometimes I think this is all a systemic attempt to keep public opinion out, so that the “big boys” stay in control. Sounds like they are infringing on free speech if you ask me.
Hi guys, I’d like to draw your attention to an issue that no one appears to be talking about; the growing problem of what I call “Playlist Monopoly,” especially in regards to social media. What is “Playlist Monopoly” you ask? Well, as far as I see it, there are two entirely different issues that creates one problem. Let’s talk about the social media aspect of it, such as sites similar to Facebook (primarily I think). Groups that are dedicated to music streaming on social media, appear to be made up of mostly desperate artists looking to get followers. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the “hustle” to make money for your work, however, I think this is the wrong way to go about it. First issue, lets talk about the content many of these artists are pushing. A lot of the content I see are predominantly badly written hip hop music, while also promoting porn on their album covers. Ninety nine percent of new hip hop circulating on social media would never be in my playlist. So, because we now have an open platform, meaning you no longer need a record label to produce and distribute your content, the quality of music has really gone down hill. Many of these people have had no training, or strong background in making music. In turn, it makes it harder for music lovers like us to find music we like, because new music now are so poorly produced. Quite honestly, I’ve heard hip hop from the Creative Commons platform that sounds better. Now, having said this, there is no emoji for “it sounds ok.” You either give it a thumbs up, or none at all. If I’m nice enough to give you a thumbs up, that’s not a queue for you to bombard me with “follow me and then I’ll follow you” messages. No one is going to make me feel obligated to follow your music, especially if I’m not feeling it. I’m the type of person that ALWAYS skim through profiles before I follow it. You must have something of value before I follow you.
Second issue is, the number of followers on a playlist. If a playlist has thousands and thousands of followers, some artists will even try to contact the playlist creator, and attempt to pay that person to have their music place in said playlists. Yes…. They do that. In fact, I’ve heard people offering to purchase the actual playlist. This is why I am always skeptical of playlist with 20,000+ followers, and over 2,000+ songs. That is a huge red flag people need to watch out for. This is not a playlist created out of love for music, it’s often times a playlist filled with garbage for the expressed purpose to promote. I really don’t understand this approach; what would make you logically think that an indivdual would listen to a singular playlist with several thousand songs? Who has time for that? Are you f**king nuts? It’s entirely possible that maybe some of you feel you just want to “help struggling artists out/give them support.” The problem with that is, the way many algorithms work on streaming services. If you thumbs up, like, save as an album/playlist/follow, or play enough of garbage, it’s going to effect the kinds of music your streaming service will try and help you find in the future (ie, playing radio, featured music, & suggestions, etc). Music discovery is one of the most important features of a true music service; it’s not just about how large their library is (one of the many things YouTube is not good at/designed for). Something that I strongly suggest that you consider. Don’t follow anybody’s playlist you don’t want to follow. It is better to cherry pic the songs you do like, and throw away the rest. Also, don’t listen to a significant amount of music from one particular genre if you don’t like it! If you do, it’s going to take a long time before your service’s algorithms recalculate/realign/readjust (whatever you want to call it) to the kinds of music you really do like. Remember (if you do save/follow) the smaller the playlist, the better. Not only that, you’re not spending hours sifting through a bunch of dead/expired songs, because the playlist is nothing but a dumping place, without any kind of maintenance.
In my opinion, rather than finding music on social media (playlists), I think it would be best to go someplace like Topsify or something like that. Or even personal blogs such as mine. Shit, even former president Obama has a playlist! LOL. There are actually plenty of playlists sites you can go to. Playlists sites consist of music fans (apposed to music promoters) who spend a lot of time and love putting together playlist they feel people would love. Therefor; you’re listening to the best of their taste in music, as well as adding culture to your musical heart. You’ll quickly notice a huge difference between the playlists on social media, and the playlists on private blogs and playlist sites made by fans, for fans. Doesn’t mean it’s not impossible to occasionally find garbage on playlist sites, but, your chances are far greater of finding quality music there.
If you see a playlist name that says “Best songs on the planet,” or “1,000 of the Internet’s biggest hits,” or something to that effect, don’t even bother. Trying to find even 80s playlists can be difficult, because if you’re cultural like I am, you’ll realize most if not all songs I already have. Don’t forget Shazam is a great resource to discovering music too.
I was browsing some google searches, and by accident I happened to discover that the famous amateur radio site, “Live3655” is back in business!! I wonder how this came about? If you recall, I’ve written an article awhile back concerning live365 closing its doors, because licensing fees have become far too expensive to stay in business. In their letter to the public, they talked about how they wanted to focus more on other business that they have, and moving away from streaming. Needless to say, like many millions of live365 fans out there, I was morning the loss of a great service along with them. Now, their back up with a new face and application design! I’m guessing they some how was able to negotiate a “better licensing deal.” For whom tho? I don’t know, because the new price structure for broadcasting has more than doubled since before they’ve made their closing public, and more than triple if you pick a plan without supported ads. However, one huge difference that we didn’t have before was unlimited listeners. Although their offering more, and the music offered by users (broadcasters) are still just as awesome, the new price structure has made the site somewhat elite, in my opinion. The average person will not be able to afford even the lowest price range. This could only mean one thing, they did not underestimate their loyal fans, fans who have a deep connection to music, and fans who want to support artists legally. Despite the site appearing to be somewhat for the “elite,” It seems that everyone has unlimited listening pleasure. Not sure if they still have the Live365 mobile app, if they do it’s probably a small fee to remove the commercials. Visit Live365 to check them out. Looks real nice.
So, I downloaded the mobile app. I didn’t like it to be honest. It wasn’t immediately intuitive, and the player seemed to be separate from the application itself. It is free, but there doesn’t appear to be away for you to log in/sign up. So the site has indeed become elite for broadcaster’s, with the option for listeners to enjoy music for free (without limits, or dealing with “full stations”). You’ll probably find it easier to listen to music directly from their site. Be aware that there isn’t anywhere near as many broadcasters as there were before. As I’ve said because of the significant price increase, I’m sure it will take a while longer for more broadcasters to come on board.
Hi guys, hope my readers are doing well. Great news, I have finally finished importing all my music from Napster to Spotify. I couldn’t believe that sh*t took me more than two weeks to sort out. LOLOL.. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t difficult, it was just the sheer volume of music I have saved. I still need to find time to Shazam my cassettes, but at least I’ve organized my playlist to a manageable level. I have to be honest, among other things, I really miss Napster’s live radio, user music compatibility level, and being able to permanently disable my listening activity 😩😡. However, I’m not sorry I’ve changed to Spotify. I’m blown away by the significant improvements, bug fixes, and features added, within a year+ since I’ve tried it. They must have had a lot of huge investors to be able to triple their customers in such a short period of time. The one thing I really like about Spotify I forgot to mention from before, I can download and mix my non-spotify music via Wi-Fi. I was very happy about that, cause I didn’t need two extra software to make it work, everything was already integrated. I’ve complained about that to Napster during the whole 5 years I was a customer….. Nothing…. Again, I’m almost positive that the record labels wanted more money to do that, and Napster simply said… No… LOL….
So, I’ll start creating hand picked playlists. This will be fun because literally there is a song for every theme you can think of. It’s almost like creating your own compilation CD. The other beautify about playlists is that all the music I select I genuinely love, and have taken the time to share it with my readers. By the way, most other streaming services like iTunes also allow you to share playlists. However, just as a recommendation, if you decide to share playlists, keep it simple…. I’ve seen these mega lists that include upward of 600 songs. I’ve seen one with 1,000 songs. People, this is too much consumption at one time. Don’t be an idiot. When I see a playlist that big, that tells me two things, either that person was high on weed and took absolutely no care in making the playlist, or they were just too damn lazy. My opinion, a playlist should be in the range of 10-20 songs, but don’t exceed 30 (or 3 hours). Other wise, the average person would not bother, unless they are high like you; and if that is the case, they would be too high to actually listening to it anyway. Please make sure you’re telling your friends about my blog. Very few people are doing what I’m doing. So help those who are truly interested find me. Thank you.
Like many old school fans, I still have quite a few old cassettes from back in the day, when I used to tape off the radio. Now that we have such amazing technology today, I’m glad I didn’t actually through away all my old cassettes YET. I’ve been shazaming a LOT of my tapes over the years, which allowed me to get rid of a significant amount of cassettes. Now, I’m not the type of person that would tell a stranger to throw anything away that has sentimental value to them (especially if it’s a vinyl album or something like that). However, I do recommend using Shazam to help you retire those old tapes to make more room for other things. Manly for three important reasons. First, finding a good cassette player has become hard to find. I’ve purchased a number of cassette players and they all sound like crap. In fact, a couple of them ruined a few of my tapes. And I’m not willing to spend upwards of $300 for a “good cassette deck,” when I know I’m only going to use it for the purpose of Shazam’n’. Second good reason to Shazam your cassettes, you don’t have to hear the dj bable anymore.. LOL. I used to hate when they’d talk through the song I liked. But I knew they did it so that we can buy the album. Thirdly, Once you Shazam something, and or save it to your Spotify, it stays there forever! Even if the license on a song expires, it’s still listed! The nice thing about that is, if you can’t find it in any other album, you can just purchase it from Amazon or Google (DRM free). At this point I Spotify will ALWAYS have free accounts, so I really really doubt you have to worry about anything. Oh yeah! One more thing, you don’t have to run around asking friends if they know the name of a song!! 😳
Some of the songs I’ve Shazam’d lately are, “Touch Me (All Night Long) by Cathy Dennis,” “Sweet Love by Anita Baker,” “Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester,” “Don’t Turn Around by Owen Gray,” “Let It Whip by The Dazz Band,” “Jungle Love by The Time,” “What Is Love by Haddaway,” “Broken Wings by Mr. Mister,” “Suavecito by Malo,” and “I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman.” Those were just a few of several thousand Shazams, and tons of tapes 😫 😐; but it was all worth it. If I were to throw them all away, that would have been music I wouldn’t ever hear again. Mainstream radio doesn’t play music from my generation anymore period. One thing you’ll learn, even when it comes to streaming services, hand picked music is not the same as a computer generated playlist based on habits and algorithms. But, it’s good for the young kids who don’t yet have a musical perspective.
While we are enjoying the new movie streaming era of commercial free binge watching, there exist a new issue arising that I haven’t heard anyone address yet. That is the need for a new rating system for TV Shows. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve noticed more and more TV shows (regardless of the subject matter) are showing more and more sex scenes. While many producers have always made the argument that “sex is a part of life, and it should be normalized… bla bla bla” something to that effect. However, my argument to you is, we’re no longer watching video at home anymore as the result of 4G. Half of Internet users spend just as much, or perhaps more time on their mobile devices than their TV, and many of these TV shows are not “mobile/public safe.” Particularly vampire and medieval TV shows appear to be concentrated with the most sex scenes (be it straight or gay now). Sex is being used to the point where in many cases it doesn’t even fit in to the movie, but they put it in there anyway. For instance, a woman is about to be viciously attack by a werewolf, and a guy breaks through a door with silver bullets and saves her. The next thing you know, before you’ve made your next eye blink, they’re already under the sheets. Now, if this was supposed to be “realistic,” this bitch was just attacked by a werewolf, having sex would be the LAST thing on a woman’s mind at that moment. That would be the “reality of it.”
Not only do many of the added sex scenes make absolutely no sense, I’ve noticed these sex scenes are getting longer and longer, and more realistic looking. In fact, some of the sex scenes are better than the rest of their acting ability. In my mind, it’s almost as though these producers are using sex in the event the movie turns out not to be that good. You know? Like if “Basic Instinct” was a bad movie, at least you’ll rent it to see Sharon Stone do her crazy sex thing. New producers must work harder to create better content with good actors, and not use special effects, CGI, and sex as a replacement for a decent script and acting. Is this what we’re reduced to? Regular movies appear to have the correct ratings on most of the movies I’ve rented. Although I do which they would expand rated “R” by adding “sex,” and “sex with violence,” so that I’m not surprised in public. TV shows are NOT marked properly. You can’t blame Netflix or any other streaming service, it’s the movie studios. Streaming companies only provide the content. I remember in the 80s-90s parents have made such a big stink over having TV ratings, so they can better manage their children. Now it seems that sex is soo normalized that no one is saying a word. Yet, these same people worry about who’s gay? Come the f*** on!
It’s been about 4-5 years since the announcement of Shazam and Spotify partnership. This is a partnership that can only be best described in my opinion as “A marriage made in heaven.” Very rare do you find two products that come together, and work nearly flawlessly! As far as I’m concerned, Shazam is truly Spotify’s “companion application.” Also, not only did it make business sense, both companies made the integrated features fully functional to free users. One of the many things that make Spotify unique to Shazam than all the other partnered companies, is that you can actually save Shazam’d songs directly to any of your Spotify playlist. Shazam also allows you to play the full song using Spotify’s player, from within the Shazam application.
Visiting family can’t get any easier. You’re relaxing and all of a sudden, your relative decides to pop on some vinyl on the old spinner. Oh, oh! All of a sudden you hear that favorite song you haven’t heard in 15 years! You’re dancing and grooving…. You feel yourself about to ask that relative the dreaded “let me borrow that album.” Da 🎵 ta 🎵 ta 🎵 da 🎹 !!! LOLOL. Then you catch yourself! “Wait a minute! I got Shazam and Spotify!” Oh great! It found the song! Now I can easily add it on my Spotify playlist! And even better, you’ve just saved yourself from getting that “hell no!!” look from that relative that knows you’re not going to return their album the way they gave it to you (if at all). The world is back to normal. 😀
You know, one of the things I’ve quickly noticed is that when it comes to music on social media; despite members of mixed races and cultures, discussions and music shared are often times almost exclusively American classic music (and even then, people tend to copy and paste the same music). Now, today many people would probably think that I am making too much out of this. However, someone like myself who is extremely eclectic when it comes to music (and movies for that matter), I couldn’t help but to wonder why that is? I mean, I can see a clear difference on the number of likes I get on Facebook with popular American classic music, as apposed to popular Spanish or reggae classics. I find this mind boggling, because as I grew up during the 80’s, reggae and Jamaican music was all the rage. People loved Jamaican music so much that it created a kind of stigma, where I’ve witnessed all kinds of American women trying to court men from the island, this happened a lot in my community. Growing up it was very common to hear Black American women say “my boyfriend is Jamaican, or West-Indian, etc.” Interesting I never heard too many American Black men say they’re dating, or have married a women from the island. Anyway,, it is my opinion that reggae became so popular as the result of the 80s explosion, but reggae quickly shifted from being a political sounding board for education and awareness, to what the call today “dancehall.” Soon reggae became all about finding a good club to dance to some “good reggae.” Now, it appears that people can’t remember half the artist they used to dance to. Am I wrong? I don’t think I am. One thing I know when it comes to the internet, offer a thumbs up/down button, people are going to use it. In this case people are not reacting to music of different cultures… Hardly… In comparison…… Could it be most people have an affinity to American music? ?? ?? I honestly don’t know. I hope not, because Americans need to learn traditional music from different parts of Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, etc as well. You can’t truly say you know about something if we’ve never experienced it. No matter what anybody thinks. The music industry has a huge part in other countries outside of America, wanting to be Americanized. The music industry doesn’t care about our culture, they just want to make money. The culture is OUR RESPONSIBILITY! The record labels don’t give a shit about the art of music. Only the $$$$$ Even if we lose everything.
I guess I’ve been a bit guilty about this myself. I responded towards the lack of enthusiasm for these great foreign music, by hardly posting them on social media (if any). I can’t help but to feel like I am wasting my time, when there is no emotional connection to those that see it. Which also means, it circles back around to the same subject I’ve been blowing up you guys ears off about. The lack of seasoned folks participating on social media. Not only can you really enjoy the plethora of classic music that you’d probably never have heard again otherwise, you can help share and expose the young kids to this too. Any music you want, Spanish, Reggae, African, Haiti, Asian, whatever, in full crisp stereo, free from pops and crackles. Now there is this wide spread trend of posting “birthdays” of celebs. Too many post these celebs/birthday not always because they remember and enjoy the nostalgia, but rather to have something to post to a group. It’s almost like some Black folk have to be cued or something…
I’m going to give it to you guys straight. Music has always been in the blood of almost all people of color since birth. Us seasoned folks are not dead yet, there is still plenty of life in us NOT to let the music we grew up with die. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, Donald Trump wants to cut a billions of dollars from the education system. Which also means that music curriculum will be cut out totally. Music classes that was heavily fought to get by both leaders of the Black and the Latino community back in the day. But in general today’s Black and Latino community is clueless about that. If this happens the responsibility falls on you as a parent, not the teachers. Doesn’t this mean something to you? Damn! Without extra curricular activities, your kids will be roaming the streets doing I don’t know what! Music is one of the very few things that can give children structure. I’m just beside myself about people’s attitude towards music today, just seems that people are interested in very low, low, low quality of music. We’ve gone from writing and listening to music with powerful messages, to only listening to music with a “good beat.” And sometimes not even that. A lot of the music I hear today from the younger generation appears to have no consistent rhythm, just a bunch of chaos.