Music? There's an algorithm for that!

I was reading the latest "issue" or "edition" or whatever you would call the latest the collected ahp newsletter and this part got stuck in my head and relates a bit to what I talked about on the latest episode of Up In This Brain.
I’ve written before about spending more time hanging out with your own mind, and this was a perfect mix of that and just listening to music without distraction, which is something I’ve found myself doing less and less — a product of the rise of podcasts, I think, and the decline of “organized” music ownership. (Infinite music, it turns out, somehow doesn’t encourage infinite listening).
Bam! This is exactly what I have been thinking about lately and it is what prompted me last week to pack my laptop backpack not with a laptop but with my Sony cassette player and my case of cassettes.

 I bet there's a laptop in there!


This is the case I had in my car in high school and college. It's been pretty much unchanged since 1994 and I kept it that way on purpose as sort of a time capsule.

The real kicker, the epiphany I had while reading what Anne wrote, is that I get so upset with Twitter for their stupid Home view that is generated by an algorithm yet I let Pandora or Spotify spoon-feed me my music based on, wait for it, an algorithm!!!!

Isn't music far more important than tweets?

The cassettes above are in that case twenty-five plus years later because they were either recommended by a friend or were championed by a disc jockey or program director - actual human beings. Of course, as commercial radio has gotten more automated, I've drifted away from it and now I do most of my listening online to stations like WFUVKEXP, WBAA Jazz and KBEM.

I rarely open Spotify anymore but I do have a soft place in my heart for Pandora's Autumn Jazz playlist which I hope (fingers-crossed) was put together by a human and not a program.

Right now as I type this out, I am listening to smooth jazz on the HD 2 channel of a local station, WUBT. The reason I bought an HD radio was so I could listen to that station and jazz on WMOT HD 2. Most of the good music has been pushed down to the HD channels while "regular" FM is filled with the same 20 to 30 songs over and over plus commercials, regardless of format.

I don't know. I guess I'm getting old. I just miss real human interaction and involvement and I keep searching out and finding them where I can while trying to step back a bit from the artificial intelligence and data streams which seem to be taking over every aspect of our lives and it's getting harder and harder to do so.