Wednesday, April 21st
Musical memories of the Bay Area...
Located in Paradise, California, a little town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Radio Paradise is run by the husband and wife team of Bill and Rebecca Goldsmith. Theyre justifiably proud of the way they program their playlists, carefully blending different musical styles & genres together so they flow smoothly.
The playlist for the last six hours as I write this gives a good impression of the Goldsmiths' eclectic and if it isnt too non-PC or at least too subjective for me to say so good taste. Bill and Rebecca are pictured below. It runs the gamut from Doves and Traffic through Los Lobos and Peter Gabriel to Porcupine Tree and Van Morrison. Regular readers of this column know that, when it comes to choosing an Internet radio stream for music, I tend to plump for one of two of my favourite genres folk and jazz. Radio Paradise provides a great solution to get me out of my cultural rut.
It also reminds me of the variety and quality of music programming I got used to in the eighties when I was running the European business of an electronic music instrument manufacturer based in San Jose, California, where on the station's servers is located. On my frequent stays in the Bay Area I often used to listen to KFAT (San Jose) and KPIG (Santa Cruz), so it came as no surprise when I discovered that Bill Goldsmith used to work as a programme director and DJ at these stations.
The site is comparatively sophisticated, allowing listeners to click the song title on the playlist or in a mini-browser window to post a comment. They welcome CD submissions from artists & record labels, but their playlist also includes many established artists of many kinds. They also welcome requests for artists not currently being played from listeners who think they would fit in to their music mix.
A wide range of listening options is on offer. The 192k MP3 stream that can be played via iTunes is my favourite, although it's limited to 450 listeners maximum, so it's often only available when most of America is asleep. They also offer a 128k streams in AAC, MP3 and RealPlayer, which are still really good quality.
If youd like to add a stream to your players favourites that brings back the much-missed category of progressive music without being an oldies station, I can heartily recommend tuning your Internet radio dial to Radio Paradise. Two weeks ago they optimized their website to work seamlessly on the iPad. While I'm still having to wait as patiently as possible for Apple to launch the iPad in the Netherlands, I can recommend other iPhone users to download their free and excellent iPhone app (see on my phone above). It allows you to stream the music at your choice of three different bandwidth rates, and shows you what song is currently playing. When you touch the album cover, you are taken to the mobile-optimized web page for the current song. Radio Paradise just gets better and better.
Friday, April 16th
World Press Photo 2010 opens in Amsterdam next week
The World Press Photo contest was founded in Amsterdam in 1955, and still has its headquarters here, on the Jacob Obrechtstraat. This office acts as the hub for a network of professional contacts worldwide, making possible the organization of the contest, exhibitions and other activities on a global scale.
World Press Photo has become the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. Prize-winning photographs are assembled into a travelling exhibition that is visited by over two million people in some 45 countries worldwide. And luckily for us in Amsterdam, each year's exhibition tour begins here.
The winners of the awards for the best press photos taken in 2009 - which will be featured in the new exhibition, were announced two months ago. Pietro Masturzo's photograph of a group of women shouting from a Tehran rooftop in protest at the Iranian presidential results took Photo of the Year. You can see his winning photo, along with all the other winners, on the World Press Photo website. The 2010 Award Days take place at the Felix Meritis on May 1st and 2nd, with the award ceremony closing them at the Muziekgebouw, but the exhibition opens at the Oude Kerk on April 23rd. It will start its international tour next month, but will also remain at the Oude Kerk until June 20th.
Monday, April 12th
A choice of 11 free newsletters for creatives
Brand Republic has traditionally been the online presence for Haymarkets prestigious stable of UK marketing communications publications. Haymarket publishes scores of leading consumer and trade magazines however, and its extending its brands into electronic form in the UK and overseas. Its marcomms titles used to include Revolution, Marketing Direct, Media Week and Promotions & Incentives, so along with its flagship publications in this area of Marketing, Campaign and PR Week, the Brand Republic site had plenty of material to work in the creative sector alone. Times have changed in the publishing industry of course. They now only feature the 'big three' plus Event magazine on the creative side, so the Brand Channel site also features and promotes all the Haymarket titles.
The Brand Republic website has been online since 2001, and the Periodical Publishers Association gave it their best business website award for its relaunch four years ago. As well as providing news stories from journalists on all four remaining Haymarket marketing/creative titles, it features appointments, research, blogs, agency showcases and multimedia content.
While the website is an excellent free-to-access information source in its own right, Im recommending Brand Republic today for another of its key offerings. You can sign up on the site for eleven really useful free marketing news bulletins they send to you by e-mail. I know many of our clients and partners here in Holland subscribe to newsletters from Adformatie and Communicatie; theyll find these will complement them with a more international focus. They range from daily news from multiple sources to a number of more specialist weekly bulletins, focusing on areas like creative, design, the data sector, direct marketing, media and market research. My favourite is Campaign's 'Creative Fix'. You can preview latest issues of each on the site before deciding which to subscribe to. Click on 'email bulletins' at the top of the home page.