Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The long tail of radio


Contributor Antoine Leboyer writes this piece in praise of the Radeo internet player which I featured here recently, and which can be downloaded here:

My last weeks have been hectic. Travels, airport delays, long days with evenings alone in anonymous hotel rooms away from my family. All more reasons to try Radeo. Here is a summary of my experience and basically why I am really starting to get hooked. There are several reasons for this:

Live Performances: Artists are always better in live performances than in the studio. My primary appeal in trying Radeo was to have access to a large variety of concert broadcasts around the world. A couple of days ago, I was able to compare on the same evening two very different performances of Brahms First Piano Concerto, one from Paris with Ax and Chung followed by one from Munich by Barenboim and Jansons. Fascinating comparisons in terms of tempis, orchestral colors and balance.

Quality: The sound is on most stations as acceptable as sound from my Ipod. I am using the same ear phones I use with my Ipod and the music stream has good sampling quality.

Listening when no Radio is available: Hotel rooms have radio in bad sound from a TV set and very little to no choice. As we speak, my plane is YAD (Frequent travellers acronym for Yet Again Delayed …). As I write, I am listening to a Tanglewood Festival reply of Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony with the Boston Symphony under Haitink. It may not be an ideal soothing music but what a performance …

Choice, Choice, Choice, … I was not aware before Radeo of the wide variety of radio stations available on the web. I could have tried here and there but Radeo’s search engine is so easy to use. Just look for Berlin stations or type in classical … I was not aware that there were so many offerings available. It will take me several months to explore the world.

Favorites: Too early to tell but I have preset BBC Radio 3, Bayern
4
, France Musique, Radio Classique (they should cover the Aix Festival …) and WGBH from Boston. Could readers tell what they have found ?

Simplicity of use: The Radeo designers have made a smart interface. Search capabilities, the ability to preset some stations (think of your car radio system …), a very cool feature to “visit” the radio site and hence be able to the day program … This is smart product marketing and design here.

Have you read The Long Tail ? This is a book by Wired editor Chris Anderson which does a revealing analysis of Amazon’s success and unique positioning. Anderson found that Amazon made its revenue and profit not thanks to the books blockbusters à la Harry Potter but by selling a large amount of books read by a small number of people. Instead of being a mass-marketplace, Amazon is more a mass of tiny small markets. This is of course a big simplification of what is a fascinating book. Anderson explores after how other industries could exploit this concept. Radeo is doing it for the Radio world. Its system enables classical music lovers to easily find where to listen to Moscow broadcasts just as it could enable Korean Hard Rocks fans to discover and tune in to their favourite stations.

There is a need for Radeo. It works and it is of great value for us, classical music lovers.


Now read another contributor on These moments are rare in radio
Image credit Langaitis Zenotas' Old Radio Collection from Lithuania. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

4 comments:

Prent Rodgers said...

The problem with Radeo is that the listener is tethered to the computer. If you are away from the computer, you can't use it. Most of the shows that Radeo offers are actually podcasts, which one can listen to while away from the computer.

That said, the interface is wonderful, and the choices terrific. I found some podcasts that I created show up in the search on Radeo. Neat. But it is podcasting that provides the underlying proliferation of free content. They just add a search and listen on the computer interface.

Pliable said...

Prent, thanks for dropping by. Tools like Squeezebox can untether the listener from their computer.

Agreed that Radeo just adds a search and listen on the computer interface. But Google and others triggered a step change in web use by adding data searches to the computer interface. Radeo does the same thing by facilitating searches across 10,277 radio stations.

De Profundis said...

Thanks for for excellent post on Antoine Leboyer's piece about the Long Tail and classical music as well as the information on www.radeo.net. The Long Tail can have a significant impact on the economics of classical music if it's understood and leveraged by the musical community.
Here are a couple of other posts on this topic that may interest your readers:
http://deproblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/classical-music-and-long-tail.html
http://deproblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/embarrassment-of-riches.html

I look forward to reading more from you on this topic.

M said...

To "Artists are always better in live performances than in the studio", there is, at least, an example to the contrary, that of Glenn Gould. His best interpretations were those 'delivered' in a recording studio.
He disliked the concert hall, and especially the applauding live audience (his GPAADAK 'doctrine' - the Gould Plan for the Abolition of Applause and Demonstrations of All Kinds says it all).
Still, there are always ways to live-'spoil' the audience, I've read Zenph® Studios takes Gould's audio recordings and turns them back into 'live performances'.