A Real Rhapsody playlist blog of questionable quality

Friday, May 13, 2005

Custom Radio Station Alchemy

OK, so mere hours after my faux research post on Pavement filler distillation, I did in fact make a Rhapsody research breakthrough. Call me a philistine, but I had no idea that tracks that are forbidden on-demand may be available via a radio station, and that by creative selection you can make a custom radio station to open up whole new vistas of superior listening.

The story: This afternoon, for kicks, I created my first custom radio station with ten oddball artists. The first track that came up on this custom radio station was the song "Message Understood" from the Sandie Shaw album Nothing Less Than Brilliant. Now, according to the Music Guide, not only is this track not available on Rhapsody, but not a single recorded moment of Sandie Shaw is available. Something's up here.

I decided to create a new custom radio station with five bands glaringly absent from the on-demand aspect of Rhapsody.

Within minutes I was listening to all the bands I'd been missing: Minutemen, Black Flag, Mick Ronson, Crass, Suzi Quatro, AC-Fucking-DC, Minor Threat, the Housemartins, and previously unhearable deep cuts from Prince Far I. Why is this strategy not made obvious in every single help file on Rhapsody?

I gotta say it's made it a whole new service for me, and I personally prescribe an SST custom station consisting of Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minutemen, and Husker Du for anyone who actually bothers to read this. In addition to those four bands you may be forced to listen to songs by the Descendents, Mission of Burma, or the Pixies. If that's the worst thing that happens to you today, believe me you're doing alright.

One side note: despite these glorious machinations, I still can't get Rhapsody to play a single Nina Hagen song. Even on a dedicated Nina Hagen Radio station. Come on RealPeoples. You know as well as I that New York City is the hottest place for a honeymoon, in a hotel room...

Another side note: Via radio, the Built to Spill record "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" is available. I think I've waited long enough to be able to hear Big Dipper whenever the mood strikes. Once again, come on, RealPeoples. Give it up. Make it happen.


Blogger Amanda said...

Now you think nobody's reading? tsk, tsk.

You can even hear the Beatles on Rhapsody radio. Why isn't there a good abbreviation we can use for 'Rhapsody'? Somebody needs to get on that.

I never even thought of putting just one artist in as a custom station. Brilliant.

5/13/2005 10:37 AM

Blogger J Shifty said...

Oh my. Did I mar my research results with a little whining? Violated my own 'no whining on a Friday' rule. Thanks for the tsks.

On the experiments: a one-artist custom station will still play tracks by 'similar' acts, so it may be no different from the 'XXX Radio' button on every artist's main page. But, I found I got a good percentage of target artist tracks if I kept the total bands in the custom station to a minimum.

5/13/2005 3:42 PM

Blogger Robert 0f The Radish said...

WHEN IS RHP (how's that Amanda?)


5/13/2005 4:05 PM

Anonymous mark said...

I like to add in a comedy artist to spice things up with a little humor in my custom stations!

Through a 'Chris Rock' in there and have some fun!

5/15/2005 2:36 PM


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