Thursday, June 18, 2009
A couple of bits and pieces, nothing substantial enough by itself to mandate its own post.
You'll find the "Dreamtime Podcast Episode Guide" and the "Expecting Rain Theme Time Forum" links over in the right-hand column and in the FAQ broken for the moment and possibly for the next several weeks. The Expecting Rain administrators abruptly shut down all the forums yesterday for "maintenance."
Reading between the lines, it's obvious that some of the ER forums are suffering from that disease that all online forums seem to eventually succumb to. Human self-interest always seems to triumph, even when you know you're destroying something.
It's unfortunate, we hope the ER admins. can work something out, and we wish Karl Erik the best. Expecting Rain is probably one of the best examples of why labors of love are so much better than labors for money. But this incident is also a good reminder about why you shouldn't put your trust in on-line reference sources, which have a tendency to disappear without warning. Over the past three years, I've lost valuable TTRH facts and trivia that were posted by various people at the "White Man Stew" forums (the first, and for a time, the best, on-line forum about the show) and Expecting Rain. At times when I'm doing research I think, "I should download and archive this." And, of course, I never do.
On a happier note, Sirius XM has released its long-promised application for the iPhone/iTouch, and if you're a user of either you can download it now, for free, at the iTunes Store. If you're an internet subscriber, either standalone or as an add-on to your Sirius XM radio subscription, the app gives you access to what the press release claims are 120 channels on your iPhone.
Ironically, the press release trumpets, "SIRIUS and XM subscribers can also listen to 100% commercial-free music featuring exclusive shows from SIRIUS XM's satellite radio service such as Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour" as well as shows including Tom Petty's Buried Treasure, Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, The Grateful Dead Channel, Eminem's Shade 45, Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville, "Little Steven" Van Zandt's Underground Garage and Outlaw Country channels, B.B. King's Bluesville, Willie Nelson's Willie's Place, Elvis Radio, Siriusly Sinatra, and Metropolitan Opera Radio.
I haven't tried the application yet, but comments on its page at the iTunes Store indicates most people are satisfied with it, the major complaint being that the odious Howard Stern, as well as MLB, NFL, and NASCAR programming are all unavailable, probably because of licensing issues.
Ironic, as I said, as the application probably would have opened up a whole new audience for Theme Time Radio Hour, which was, at its peak, the top music show at XM Radio according to my sources. But I guess the re-runs still will attract new listeners, probably many of whom won't even realize they are listening to repeats. The shows are in many ways timeless, designed, as one of the people I interviewed for my book said, "to live forever."