I’ve said it to a lot and more lot of people, PlanetPootwaddle is near my favorite radio station of all time. Now, I can’t compare the pleasure I get from listening to internet radio station PlanetPootwaddle to the charge I got when listening to WLS/Chicago and WNOE/New Orleans at ages twelve to fifteen. I heard something different, amusing, interesting every time I listened to those stations. Live DJs playing records and saying shit to us with such happiness. Real live guys like Dick Biondi. Great nighttime buddy, he was, sitting up there six hundred and fifty miles north playing music for us kids everywhere.
I could really tell the difference in the sound quality of those two AM stations compared with the few small-town stations I could listen to in and around and between Little Rock and Shreveport where I grew up. WNOE, in particular. In ’60 when mini-me found it on the dial, the station had added reverb to it’s signal. That slight echo and the concurrent audio processing gave a life to the vibrations rolling across those little hairs, the sensing buds deep inside the inner ear. The station sounded sexy before I knew what it was.
Which brings me to this. Most internet radio stations sound like shit. The audio quality is atrocious. I’ve heard about it often from broadcast engineer types, geeks of all stripes and old pros all over. But the thing is, the audience doesn’t seem to care or even notice. I saw a synopsis of a research study that compared listener ratings of the various formats. They played the participants the same songs from .mp3, .wav, vinyl and CD. Of those four, you and me can agree that .mp3 is worst quality, far and away. But in the blind-test, those people rated it the top choice. The researchers surmised that was because .mp3 is what most people are now used to. Tinny and thin is the most familiar sound. So, as long as there’s not static and the stream is 128k or above, I guess it doesn’t make as much difference as some of my tribe believe it it.
But, Tribe, listen here. If you want to hear what the next state-of-the-art in internet radio audio quality sounds like, it is here: PlanetPootwaddle
The station is the creation of Michael Sheehy a big time, big station radio program director who was playing major league radio quarterback back when giants roamed. I got to know him because he uses my scheduling software, Music 1, to it all together. The music he plays is exceptionally diverse, yet it has a cohesion that is impossible to describe. What he puts between the songs tickles the ears and grabs the attention.
Now Michael knows people like Greg Ogonowski one of the co-creators of the Orban Optimod, the greatest broadcast audio processor of all time. Greg’s working on his next evolution in his processor for internet radio…and the test station is Pootwaddle. It went online January 3, 2016.
Listen to this with your headphones, on your desktop speakers, in your earbuds and through the big speakers. The separation is exceptional. The ‘thump’ is a groove. Click the Pootwaddle link on the right side of this page.