This story has made me so angry I feel like… getting angry. For years I’ve been able to tune into Singapore radio from here in Adelaide to keep myself up to date with what’s going on over there while I’m over here through their internet radio feeds. Because of the negligible time zone difference, it meant I could enjoy the always hilarious Glenn Ong and The Flying Dutchman in the mornings on Class 95 [Wikipedia] and sometimes listen to Nights with Brian on Gold 90.5 [Wikipedia] in the evenings.
ASIDE: In one funny circumstance I was able to warn my dad about traffic problems near our house through text messages because I’d heard the news from Traffic Watch on Singaporean radio in Adelaide. Good times!
These feeds stopped working recently though, because the companies that run these stations have had to stop re-broadcasting their radio feeds online. ChannelNewsAsia.com has a depressingly titled article on it: Is it RIP for Singapore internet radio for which I took the title for this post.
Why is Singaporean internet radio dead or close to it? I’m going to be blunt, it’s for the same reason why internet radio has been stifled so many times in the US: arrogant old media authorities who pretend to be working in the interests of artists and the public when in fact they’re trying to milk their dying cash cows for all they’re worth and crush new technologies that could be perceived as a threat. I say "perceived" as a threat because clearly re-broadcasting a radio stream isn’t a threat, but they think it is. Or they’re just greedy as heck and want ridiculous sums of money. Probably a combination of the two.
Common sense is the least common of the senses. And media executives are arses. Two things we probably all already knew, but sometimes we need reminding.
I’m really starting to finally understand the motivation behind Whole Wheat Radio; for the longest time I thought it was a nice "stick it to the man!" kind of site and radio station that just happened to not need commercial music to operate, but now that I’ve seen the reality is even harsher and more ridiculous than I thought, I can now appreciate even more WWR’s mix of pragmatic and idealistic founding principals. In a similar way to Creative Commons and the lunacy of copyright law, Jim Kloss and the community has shown that if you can’t change stupid laws, you can just work around them and in doing so prove that they’re stupid laws.
In the meantime, to get my Singapore fix I might have to live with just listening to the podcast. Provided they don’t get killed either. Oh wait, they have been. Where’s my Seroquel?