Jul 13

Podcasts Killed The Radio Song

A while back I tried something a little bit different. Instead of listening to the radio on the way to work, or a CD, I downloaded a few episodes of a podcast on a topic I found interesting and listened to that instead. Wow – what a different experience. I actually tuned into what was playing through the car stereo, my driving frustration (PC term for road rage) disappeared and I may even have learned something. I don’t think I ever had those 3 things happen to me at the same time in the car before in my life.

So how did this happen? On reflection I realised:

  • I controlled the topic I was listening to – so I enjoyed the content
  • No ads – so I didn’t switch off
  • Nothing repetitive – IE. When you get to the end of the track you move to the next episode rather than starting again
  • No annoying talk back or ignorant opinions – don’t they drive you nuts!
  • No news – which tends to cause a low level of anxiety on issues nothing to do with us

Since that day, I pretty much do not listen to the radio anymore. I have found all manner of podcasts I either really enjoy, find relaxing or help with my professional development. Note – the relaxing ones are not the “close your eyes and take some deep breaths” ones – I haven’t tried them while driving yet – rather on topics I find relaxing.

Podcasts, iPhones and bluetooth – what an amazing world we live in. I still remember the days when the tape in my cassettes unravelled, tangled and blocked the cassette deck I was using. Just another phenomenon that will and is changing the way effective marketing and advertising work.

Jul 13

Has iTunes Spoiled Your Favorite Song

No, I’m not talking about your old favorite song, nor your current favorite song. It won’t be iTunes spoiling these for you, it will be your ringtone. (Yes – I strongly recommend you change your ringtone back to something that resembles the sound of a phone) I’m talking about your future favorite song.

I look at the songs I have purchased on iTunes, and there are two categories:

  1. My old favorite songs
  2. My current favorite songs

Now, despite these two categories of song seeming very similar, on review they are actually very different. All my current favorite songs are pretty good songs. They tend to be quite popular, the songs I heard on radio or on a reality tv show that resonated with me. They are the songs I bought on impulse, or if I missed the impulse, they are the songs I bought after radio repetition finally convinced me they were great songs.

I also have to say that already at least 30% of these purchases no longer feature on any of my playlists…

My old favorite songs are very different though. These are those little pearls I found as song number 9, or 13, or 11 on an album. ┬áThe ones I only ever heard because back then, we pretty much had to listen to the whole LP, (remember them…) cassette or CD. Back then we just put them in and let them go so we listened to it all, loving some songs immediately, others being allowed to grow on us over time.

I don’t think any of the popularist songs of these old albums (the ones that made radio and were undoubtedly the reason I purchased the album in the first place) feature in My Old Favorite songs, but despite that, the ones that do never seem to get dropped from my playlists. They are the timeless pieces I take with me forever.

Today though, we don’t buy the whole album do we, we only buy the song. So we will never hear that song #9, 13 or 11. Even if we take time to browse, we certainly won’t get the opportunity to appreciate it enough to purchase it. So we will never get the opportunity to find, appreciate, purchase and favorite our future favorite songs.

How sad – I feel like I’ve just been told I’ll never meet my soulmate.

May 13

Hootie and the Gold Coast

Its no secret that I grew up in Melbourne. This helps to explain why I gravitate to the AFL for my preferred code of football, why I love sport generally as well as many other things that can only be described as “life’s little luxuries”. Good coffee, fine dining, appreciation of literature, art and music – they all have their roots in growing up in Melbourne and the opportunities and exposures I had back then.

Back around 1995 or so (which by the way was the last time Carlton won the AFL grand final) Hootie and the Blowfish were pretty big. I was a fan. Their album Cracked Rear Mirror had some great songs, Let Her Cry, Hold My Hand, I Only Wanna Be With You. I know I still have the CD somewhere – but its packed away in a box. It was almost 20 years ago…

Something happened after 1995 though. 1996. Then 1996 was followed by another 15 years or so. I continued to live in Melbourne till about 2004, then to Sydney till 2006 before relocating to the Gold Coast where I now live. Now unless my memory fails me, as new artists and hits continued to publish their art, the radio stations in Melbourne and Sydney gradually stopped playing Hootie. For better or worse, other songs and artists were more popular and were played more regularly. Its how the world of music moves.

When I moved to the Gold Coast though, I remember hearing Hootie again during my first week here, which as I pointed out above, was in 2006. It was played on Hot Tomato. I was pleasantly surprised – the song was 10 years old and I remember thinking “I haven’t heard that one for ages”. I think I even offended my partners ears by singing along.

Since my reunion with Hootie in 2006 though – I swear I hear a Hootie song every week. What is it with the Gold Coast and our fetish for Hootie and the Blowfish? I hear it on the radio all the time, at cafes and restaurants, everywhere. Is this deliberate, contractual, or do we just love Hootie here?

Perhaps we can get them to play at the opening ceremony at Commonwealth Games – that will give us at least another 5 years to enjoy them week in week out huh!