Being old enough to have run my computer all night to rip a CD into MP3 format, I remember the genesis of Internet radio. When iwas first released onto the world, now anyone could be a radio host.
And holy shit do a lot of people have terrible music taste.
But this was also the genesis of the live stream. Of the democratization of content. And helped emphasize how sometimes, a curated feed is exactly what we want. Sorta like how Netflix is in fact a paradox of choice.
Similarly, with music, especially if you have a streaming package like Apple Music, you have at your fingertips a library of music that you will likely never be able to finish in its entirety.
But what do you listen to? At least Apple provides some guidance and recommendations. Along with radio shows where someone curates the content for you.
But sometimes, an aimless radio station is exactly what’s needed.
I’m glad to see that SomaFM continues to be a thing. The local NPR station, WAMU, is often streaming as well in the household. But I’m slowly poking around, seeing what is out there still. With a fairly decent sound system sitting with me at my desk now, what better time to rediscover serendipity in music?
For my setup, I’m using my trusty Airplay Express with my NAD C350 integrated amplifier which are driving two Klipsch R-15Ms that I picked up on a whim at Best Buy. Driving audio to this setup, I have forked-daapd running in a docker container (courtesy of the fine people at linuxserver.io). I’ve created a custom playlist that links directly to my favorite streams, including:
- WAMU (Local NPR)
- WETA (Classical)
- C-SPAN Radio (for real-time political drama)
- Soma FM Streams (for ambient background music)
Because it is forked-daapd, it works well with the Apple Remote app on the phone and is therefore wife approved. And works well with Apple Music on our individual devices. The Marantz receiver in the living room purportedly supports Airplay as well, and usually performs well. But for reliability, you cannot beat the Airplay Express even though it was released in 2012. With a firmware update from 2018, it supports Airplay 2 and is more than sufficient for my needs for the time being.