Your input requested: what can we do better?

Specials, interviews, marathons. Hear it hear first!

Your input requested: what can we do better?

Postby elliot » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:46 pm

Hi, everyone,

I am in the process of redoing the default stream playlist. I suspect that the current playlist contains too much obscure and not-great music for many listeners' tastes. I keep an eye on the number of listeners, and I see that that number has been slowly dropping over the past year.

Because of the nature of progressive music's various sub-genres, we can never play music 100% of the listeners will like 100% of the time. But I suspect we're missing the mark.

So, if you wouldn't mind, please reply to this post -- or send me a private message -- and tell us what you like and dislike about what we play.
For example:

- What you like about DA;
- What you would like to see changed, i.e. what bands we should play more of, and what we should less -- or none -- of;
- Under what conditions you stop listening to DA (i.e. a band you don't like, or some really long song -- again!);
- What do you listen to when you aren't listening to DA, like a different internet station -- maybe everyone is just flocking to Pandora.

Frankly, we would continue doing this for even a handful of listeners. In the early days, we were lucky to get 10 or 15 listeners, and many stations get only 2 or 3 listeners at a time. But, we like the idea of community and and we're open to suggestions and improvements.

Thanks for your time, and keep on progging!

--Elliot
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Postby cavalier » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:13 pm

Let me tell you, this space-station is already sending out the ultimate best. When then a chaos piece appears (weallknowthesecandidates) i simply start chasing my own shadow. One could change'em with more catchy heavy-riffs charged melodies. Other listeners might post a wish and if not getting immediately airplay, then maybe in the following hours.

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Postby mondstar » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:28 pm

Highly esteemed friends,

sometimes one knows or senses for sure that a thing is the very and so i'm absolutely certain to have tuned in to the high-flyers of quality amusement, you should be too. Why not tell some friends, musicians and acquaintances? Spread the wings and a few words.

All other surprising happenings will follow, yours, EtherSprite.
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Great Prog!

Postby MaxMusic390 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:14 pm

I've newly discovered your station on the net and it is #1 out of the few that are there, For Sure!

Improvements????

Not sure if you could make any.

The only shortcoming that I have noticed, is a lack of progressive folk.
ie: Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle and the like.
Some call it folk-rock, but whatever. I like the fact you stretch the limits of a definition. It provides for more variety!

BTW there is a great band out of San Fran CA called Tempest that is extremely good in this genre. (12 CD's to their credit)
They get some play on another progressive net station.
I used to play them shamelessly when I was involved with a "community" radio station.

Great bunch of guys too. Had a chance to talk with them when they were touring Canada.
http://www.tempestmusic.com/

I greatly enjoy the variety of material you provide that I wouldn't have categorized as "prog", but fits VERY nicely into the genre.

About the only other thing you could do to make the station more palatable to the masses, would be to remove some of the more "abstract" material from the playlist. This does not mean the "obscure" stuff (I like the obscure treats), just the stuff that may require hallucinogens to enjoy. (I'm getting too old for that)

Otherwise...KEEP UP THE GREAT JOB!!!

Oh ya, you could change the name (Delicious Agony???) to something that more accurately represents the station, but it's probably a little late in the game to do something like that.

Max
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Postby MaxMusic390 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:43 pm

Just so you know, Pandora doesn't work outside the US. So that reduces the number of potential losses to them.
I didn't even know it existed until you said something...Shussshhh!
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Postby TrevorPrinn » Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:14 am

One reason the numbers are down might be that the station is no longer listed on Shoutcast. When did that happen? I only noticed it yesterday when I tried to tune in through Shoutcast on a Squeezebox. The only way I could tune in was to use a PC to give the Squeezebox the http url for the stream. I suspect a lot of people using domestic streaming devices like Squeezeboxes and Rokus might not know how to do that.
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Postby cavalier » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:35 am

In lieu of Pamela, i would make a crunching appearance on MysPace. This could peradventure become great gaming.
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Postby ianmitchell » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:18 am

I think on the whole you're doing a good job. As you said, the sheer diversity of music means that no one will like every single song, but hopefully most listeners still find a lot that they do like, and are open-minding enough to be exposed to new stuff they haven't heard before.

Part of the reduced audience may be a function of normal attrition, without any major events to draw new listeners. For example, I recall that Dream Theater marathons in the past drew a bunch of new listeners to the station. You may just need to come up with some ways to get the word out further.

A few possible pointers (take them or leave them):
- I don't seem to hear a lot of the "current" popular prog bands, particularly bands that have an audience that extends beyond the traditional prog market like Porcupine Tree, Muse, Radiohead, or even Dream Theater. Tapping the audiences for these bands could increase your listeners. Maybe even a 1-hour show devoted to bands in the vein of those mentioned, along with similar bands like Riverside, Wolverine, etc., could be used to draw these audiences.

- You also don't seem to play much of the so-called "neo" prog groups - while some purists look down on them, at least they have some catchy tunes. People listening during the weekday probably aren't looking for music that requires their full attention to appreciate, so a proggy song with a catchy melody is sometimes nice.

- I agree with what some others have said - anything that requires mind-altering chemicals to appreciate probably isn't going to draw much of an audience, and if it goes on too long will have people turning off the station.

I do think you're doing a good job though, and as I mentioned at the beginning the biggest thing to keep the audience numbers up is to keep drawing new listeners.
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Postby Giloeada » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:11 pm

Alright, I must admit that I have discovered Pandora, and it has pulled me away recently. However, there seems to be a lot of repetition there, and you don't get the sense of community.

- What you like about DA; Garden of Dreams, SSoTS, great variety of music throughout the day.
- What you would like to see changed, i.e. what bands we should play more of, and what we should less -- or none -- of; For my taste, I don't like anything that is more jazz than prog. Same goes for metal. I would like to see a request feature. Also, a shoutbox on the main page would be nice. I know you have the chatbox, but entries seem to fly too fast and furious to follow, or there is no one there at all. It is great to read different opinions about what is currently playing.
- Under what conditions you stop listening to DA (i.e. a band you don't like, or some really long song -- again!); same as above
- What do you listen to when you aren't listening to DA, like a different internet station -- maybe everyone is just flocking to Pandora. Other than Pandora, it is mostly A.M. (don't want to advertise the competition here.) due to the ability to request, and the shoutbox.
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Postby ianmitchell » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:21 pm

One more thing further to my earlier post - despite one of my suggestions being for a new show, I'm much more likely to turn off the station for a show I don't like than for a song I don't like (unless it's a really long song). If I don't like a song, I can always wait a few minutes, while if I don't like a show I know that it will be going on for at least an hour. Most of your shows are pretty good though. I'm not much of a Zappa fan, but don't really listen in evenings anyhow; I also get bored of some of the 70's-oriented shows after a while (e.g. Friday afternoons), but I suspect other listeners like them.
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Postby wood57 » Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:52 pm

Are you sure you want us listing all the other prog stations out there? I listen to DA first until some bizarre song comes on that I can't sit through or Zappa comes on then I switch to a station out of France. But I come back after a while. I usually turn off Pappy J too. I can only take so much of his rambling. I was happy when you added Sonic Fuel and started putting more fusion in the rotation. But being on Sun. mornings means I never hear the the show. I like the Classical Connection too. But the same problem, I can't listen during the day. I know I haven't been listening as much in the last year but its not your fault. You are blocked at work now and I don't sit at the computer as much at night as I did. I think DA is awesome! I've been listening since 2005.
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Postby Gerd » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:27 pm

- What you like about DA

My favorite are probably the shows. A rather nice mix of topics. Even if there is an occasional show I dont like, I am still glad it is there. I even like classic connection, great way to broden ones horizon. I miss Bilbo's show, is he OK?

I Also like (with some exceptions) the mix of music. No other medium has caused me to discover (and purchase!) as much great music as DA.

- What you would like to see changed

For music I don't like, see below. What I would love to see is same forum or similar, preferably with RSS feed, where ProgRock-related tour dates are collected. It is so easy to miss one of those rare occasion when a great progressive act comes to the neighborhood. I try my best to scan the various band home pages, but things might slip through, or there might be that great band playing nearby that just has escaped my radar.

I wouldn't mind more coverage of contemporary (as in currently active) prog rockers, some of which I only know about due to a show or other. Examples: Sylvan (thanks for that "grab the setlist show", never heard of them before), Knight Area, Salem Hill), especially in the time following a show that highlighted them (interview, setlist etc).

- Under what conditions you stop listening to DA

I hate non-fusion jazz and experimental stuff. Some of the names that come to mind that make me switch stations immediately: Amy X Neuberger (sp?), SoftMachine, most of Miles Davis and Frank Zappa, Kraftwerk (to repetitive), Tangerine dream (just plain boring). And at least for a while there was just way to much Yes (though I am a big fan), appears to have gotten better (coincidentally just now a Yes song plays...). And stay away from folk too. The occasional more folksy Jethro Tull is about as much as I can take.

- What do you listen to when you aren't listening to DA

As long as I need to have a web page open for it, Pandora is out of the question (need my browser too much, and that window gets in the way). I switch to Aural Moon on occasion, but lately they seem to play a lot of downright obnoxious stuff.

If neither works for me, I go to my personal playlist containing a few thousand songs.

But it is quite different to listen to a station with the occasional live (or prerecorded) show of someone talking about and playing music he or she likes.

To all of you who make DA possible, a big, big thank you!
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Postby Gerd » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:53 pm

Another one that makes me switch DA off instantaneously: Henry Cow. That isn't even music.
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Postby pazu7 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:15 pm

I have no complaints but a suggestion that you could get some revenue by offering CD quality streams for a monthly fee, like Sky FM. I think they charge about $5/month for hq streams. But unlike them, you actually have something worth subscribing to.
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Postby pazu7 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:21 pm

BTW, IMO Pandora is overrated. I like hearing the unexpected and being exposed to something I've never heard before and on top of that Pandora's feed will stop after a period of activity/refreshing etc... I like to stream all night, so that's out. As far hearing songs/groups I do not like, I think DA plays a wide gamut of progressive music and that just part of the mix. If a song comes on that I don't like, BFD. It'll be over soon enough.
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