Author Topic: Brokeback Mountain Radio  (Read 25232 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Brokeback Mountain Radio
« on: February 22, 2006, 03:35:23 am »
I hope to have Brokeback Mountain Radio ready for a test launch later Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.  I have been spending time on putting together a playlist that I hope will be complimentary to the mood of the movie score and its soundtrack.  The streaming service will be using the facilities of Live 365, which slaps a bunch of limitations on what I can and cannot program as part of the service's playlists.  Among the limitations includes no more than three instances of one particular artist during a three hour block, as well as limits on the number of tracks from a single album over a period of time.  Without these restrictions, I would simply put the soundtrack in heavy rotation and blend in some music that fits the mood to round it out, but DMCA copyright regulations make it more complicated than that.

Instead, I have broadened the selections out considerably.  I can adjust the playlist and add/delete tracks, and I am working out how to program the ambient instrumental stuff in a way that doesn't jar the listener when one of the more contemporary/country vocal tracks come around.  We'll have to experiment.

Live 365 also inserts advertising periodically into their streams for non-premium members.  It usually runs a few minutes per hour maximum.  The bandwidth is limited to around 64kbps stereo, which still sounds reasonable if you use the service as background listening while at your computer (I've programmed it intentionally this way), and there is a limit of 25 listeners at a time.  Considering this is still a very new site, I don't see a lot of occasions when it will completely fill, but if it does, drop me a note and let me know.  If the service becomes popular, I can upgrade the account to handle more listeners.

If you think a song would be appropriate for Brokeback Mountain Radio, or if you think a song currently on rotation is inappropriate, let me know that as well.  Not all of the songs blend easily between one another, but all carry some message either in the lyrics, sound, or title.  Initially there will be around three hours of unique music which will shuffle in order as the day progresses.

I will inform people of when the playlist changes here.

A link will appear on the site when it launches.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2006, 10:14:42 pm by Phillip »
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2006, 04:01:38 am »
Brokeback Mountain Radio is now in beta mode.  During this beta test period, you will need to click on the link below, which will take you off-site to a "home page" for the station on Live 365.  You will be able to launch their player from that page.  I will be investigating a better linking scheme that hopefully can bypass their player and rely on your own audio player for content.

Once you launch the stream, a player window will pop up and you should hear something in a few seconds.  You can then come back to BetterMost - you don't need to sit on the Live 365 page in order to stream the service.

The first playlist is broken into two segments:

Segment One: A lot of instrumental and ambient songs in the spirit of BBM, including the entire score for the movie.  This is great for background listening.
Segment Two: Primarily vocal tracks, most of them sentimental tinged with a country and western feel.  Listen to the lyrics.

I have made an effort to choose songs that evoke a feel for Brokeback Mountain or speak to the spirits of Jack and Ennis.  Some of the artists you hear that you may have dismissed in your past life may have new relevance once you hear what they have to say.

If you want to order music, you can help support BetterMost by placing orders through us instead of Live 365.  They are already getting paid.  :P  I'll have more info on that shortly as well.

Input Needed

Here is the help I need during the beta:

1) Did you have any problems launching the stream (especially Firefox users)?  If you did, what browser are you using?
2) Did you experience any audio streaming difficulties with the stream?  How is the sound quality of the stream?
3) Were any of the tracks corrupted when you heard them?  If so, which ones?
4) What do you think of the playlist?  Do you enjoy the instrumental or vocal tracks more?  If you have any requests, let me know.  I have access to a large database of music.
5) What is your general impression of the service?  Did you find it enjoyable and meaningful?  Do you plan to listen to it regularly? (The playlists can be updated over time to bring new songs into the service.)

Thanks for helping beta test this service.  I plan to publicize it by the weekend if everything goes well.  There is a limit, by the way, of 25 simultaneous listeners.  Let me know if you find you can't access the service because it is busy as well.

http://www.live365.com/stations/dampier

« Last Edit: February 23, 2006, 04:03:16 am by Phillip »
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Offline Aussie Chris

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2006, 05:24:49 am »
Hey Phillip, been listening now for about an hour, sounds great.

To answer your questions:

1) No problems launching the stream, although is there a limit to the duration because it's a beta?  Seems to go for 15 minutes and then just stops.
2) I have occasional drop-outs, but at the moment that's because my broadband has been reshaped to 64 kbps (over my 10 GB limit), so I guess dialup users will struggle.  Note: The drop-outs normally occur when a new ad is loaded into the player, or just before the change of track (which is the same thing I guess).  If a dedicated lite player is possible, maybe that would help?  Quality is great though.
3) No corruptions noticed yet.
4) I'm loving the playlist so far, particularly the instrumental guitar stuff.  I like your taste (although I'm not sure about Barbra).  As far as potential playlists are concerned, is it possible to post a catalogue, or at least a category list for us to browse?  If in doubt, I think you should follow your BBM inspired heart, it is clearly in the right place.
5) General impression: great idea, good song choices, and I will listen while sitting at work, but my being always over my limit at home will mean that I wont be able to isten from there.

Conclusion, you're an absolute legend - keep doing what you're doing!
Nothing is as common as the wish to be remarkable - William Shakespeare

Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2006, 02:19:16 pm »
1) No problems launching the stream, although is there a limit to the duration because it's a beta?  Seems to go for 15 minutes and then just stops.

It shouldn't stop, except when you were on the forum last night (my time anyway) I was still tweaking the playlist so it may have dumped you out.  Let me know if that happens again.

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2) I have occasional drop-outs, but at the moment that's because my broadband has been reshaped to 64 kbps (over my 10 GB limit), so I guess dialup users will struggle.  Note: The drop-outs normally occur when a new ad is loaded into the player, or just before the change of track (which is the same thing I guess).  If a dedicated lite player is possible, maybe that would help?  Quality is great though.

I suspect that's mostly due to your bandwidth constraints.  I programmed it with broadband connections in mind, mostly because the quality reduction that would be required to make it work for slow dial-up users would make it sound awful.  The player software they use as a pop up window with ads has some useful information, such as tracks, but I prefer to figure out a solution that doesn't involve people having to launch any web-based player.  But I have to investigate further.

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4) I'm loving the playlist so far, particularly the instrumental guitar stuff.  I like your taste (although I'm not sure about Barbra).  As far as potential playlists are concerned, is it possible to post a catalogue, or at least a category list for us to browse?  If in doubt, I think you should follow your BBM inspired heart, it is clearly in the right place.

;D  You found one of two tracks I put in the playlist that really break from the western sound of the rest of the songs, but have lyrics that "fit."  Barbra was one of them.  Kudos in advance to anyone who can identify the other!  I had a difficult time just finding enough music to meet the U.S. DMCA restrictions on legal streaming of music.  I still have room for 5-6 additional songs and can drop off the ones people don't like.  I will give more details about the playlist when it launches officially, perhaps this weekend.

I will have to do a poll on whether people like the segmented music lineup as it is now - most of the instrumentals are kept apart from the vocals except for a few cases.  I didn't like random play mode because there are some aggressive country tunes that would clash seriously with the more ambient instrumentals.

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onclusion, you're an absolute legend - keep doing what you're doing!

Thanks for being a part of BetterMost.  When people like you write messages, it's a major encouragement for me to keep going!
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Offline Phillip Dampier

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 02:59:59 am »
Testing continues on the service.  I have added several tracks to bring the program to about three and half hours of music.  I have dropped Barbra because I found some great slider guitar music to insert in the limited space I have.  The playlist will continue to be refined a bit for launch, and then over time songs will come and go.  You can rate the individual songs on the standalone player Live 365 launches (after the annoying Gospel ad ends).

If you sign up for a free Live 365 account, you can modify what player launches the service under your Live 365 account settings.  You can use an mp3 player like Winamp, Media Media Player, Real Audio, the web-based player, or a Live 365 player application.  I am wary of standalone players, so I wouldn't bother with their player application that you download and install.  The only downside I can see to not using their web-based player is that song title information doesn't seem to pass, so you won't know what you are hearing.

Again, let me hear opinions about the vocal vs. the instrumental tracks and any recommendations for the playlist.
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IdahoLonely

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2006, 10:28:20 pm »
Philip: It sounds like a good project but I am in the library and we cannot listen to online radio. Maybe I will get a computer at home after I get my tax refund money and then I can listen.

Offline BBMGrandma

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 03:36:23 am »
Ooooo Philip....I'm listening now and it's WONDERFUL!!  Of course I just burst into tears again....listening to "No One's gonna love you like me"  The sound is sooo good.  I had NO problem accessing it either.  Thank you PHILIP...you're a GENIUS!!   ;D
"If we never dream....we'll never have a dream come true"   (me...myself...and I)

Offline iristarr

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 08:04:43 pm »
Wonderful!  Thanks, Phillip, for setting this up -- so comforting to listen to this music while reading the heart-felt, sincere posts on here.  They can scratch the "It's So Easy to Fall in Love" track (if it's even on here.)  The only jarring note in the CD, I thought.  I'd like to hear "The Maker Makes" a few thousand times.  I had no trouble getting the stream to flow.  xoxo Iris
Ennis and Jack, the dogs, horses and mules, a thousand ewes and their lambs flowed up the trail like dirty water through the timber and out above the tree line into the great flowering meadows and the endless coursing wind.

Offline BBMGrandma

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2006, 03:01:09 am »
LOL Iris....I agree!!  Linda R just does NOT fit in the CD....!!  I wonder how she snuck in there?  And Philip...I can't believe the sound quality.  It's WONDERFUL!!  Thanks again...
Nancy
"If we never dream....we'll never have a dream come true"   (me...myself...and I)

Offline Impish

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Re: Brokeback Mountain Radio
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2006, 08:29:53 pm »
I'm still unable to access it.  Is it still down?

I have a bunch of suggestions for future playlists, like my recent discovery of Jack Johnson.  Alternative folk singer with lots of acoustic guitar, simple arrangements, and strong lyrics.  He's available at iTunes.  Check out his cut:  "Good People"
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