Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

My DJ Is In A Frisco Basement: Great Ad-Free Indie Music Online 24/7/365


This is one of the most pleasurable discoveries I have made since I have a decent broadband connection available at my office.

Internet radio.

You may say: "Hey Robin, it took you a while to realize there was radio also on the Internet".

But my answer would be:

"My dear, I have long been aware of it, but so far, what I had been tuning in was just a bad copy of the radio stations I already know from the physical world. Nothing new under the sun!".

So what the heck did I discover?




As I was just saying, while my past initial experiences had been marred by low quality, lots of advertising and overall by the impression of listening to a bad copy of what we have in the physical world, the independent set of channels I have just discovered provides for a great mini-set of radio stations, completely ad-free, and for unique, hard-to-find elsewhere music tracks.

Transmitting out of a San Francisco basement here comes SomaFM (South of Market) a great Internet radio broadcasting station offering six different channels of great indie music.


My three favourites channels from SomaFM are Groove Salad and BeatBlender and the uniquely characteristic Secret Agent. The first offers "A tasty plate of ambient beats and grooves. Takes the edge off work". BeatBlender is instead "A late night blend of deep-house, downtempo and fuzed jazz" and Secret Agent is defined as "The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and P.I.'s too!".


Each SomaFM station broadcasts multiple feeds of the same music channel as to offer access to individuals both on broadband connection, as well as to those on ISDN, 56K or even 28.8 old dial-up modems.

Music is non-stop 24 hours a day with absolutely no ads or interruptions. Nothing to pay. (To listen you need a standard music player or better yet the free WinAmp. For Mac users the player is iTunes)

I strongly suggest you give a good donation to SomaFM to keep it alive as long as possible. Here is what I wrote to SomaFM after a few weeks of having discovered them.

"Dear Rusty at SomaFM,

let me say that you are doing a great job and I intend to give you more exposure and visibility (for what I can) as my personal thank you.

I have been myself a long-time radio DJ as well as radio station program and music director. As such I still follow very closely the evolution of this media and I am also enthused by the great format Shoutcast makes available and then groovy stations like yours that are available there.

I have basically discovered radio on the Internet a few months ago as I have finally landed a high-bandwidth connection to the Internet that is rock solid. By accident I explored Shoutcast and then it was love at first sight. All the times that I had seen and heard radio before on the Internet, it was a bad copy of the physical counterpart.

Here instead I find what I care the most:

*Peace and no interruptions.
*Great music I have never heard before.
*Info about each song.
*Great people behind your station working for a Good cause.

This is indeed beautiful and I am so very sorry that we have to deal with the RIAA and other organizations like that to make music MORE available. It is indeed a political war being staged and I would be very willing to support the ideas and motives that have pushed you through the difficulties and obstacles you have encountered.

If you feel that I could give you a personal voice through the Communication Agents Initiative please do not hesitate in talking to me about it. I want people like you with great spirit and vision and who are ALREADY offering something great to many of us.

In all cases I will promote your channels (please list for me all the ones available) and make you a permanent link on my site home page as part of my self-selected toolkit of solutions. You are the music solution.

Robin Good

Readers' Comments    
2004-08-11 09:34:09


Keep up the good work!

2003-08-14 16:49:59


I also like and just discovered, which also seems decent.

2003-08-14 09:14:33


Kudos to Rusty. Beatblender helped me survive a couple of months of boring report writing.

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, August 12 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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