September 29, 2002

What's Going On With SomaFM.com?

I used to listen to a lot of Internet Radio. My favorite station by far was "Groove Salad" from SomaFM.com. The voice of "Big URL" and everything! I even wrote about it right here in this blog back on Feb 1. "Groove Salad" was great music to listen to while working at the computer. I was saddened when the CARP craziness came along and SomaFM like so many others announced at the beginning of the summer that they were shutting down.

Did they shut down, like the "official" recording says they did? Now I'm not so sure.

Over the months I saved a number of "Groove Salad" entries in my iTunes app on my Mac. Yesterday while browsing through my personal music collection I clicked on a Groove Salad link by accident. Almost instantly, my headphones started playing the famliar downbeat chill-out ambient grooves I'd come to love on this station. Wait! Did something happen? Did SomaFM cut a deal? Did they get funding? I raced back to the site and the familiar mourning and announcements of SomaFM's demise were still plastered all over the homepage.

So why is it that Shoutcast shows "35 of 50 users" at the moment I'm writing this? Is this an underground Groove Salad or what?

If this is official SomaFM.com doing something sneaky, I'm concerned because this dampens the argument if on the one hand they shut down to fight the good fight, but on the othe other hand keep playing surreptitiously. They announce they're forced to shut down immediately back in June, citing $180k annuual fees they'd have to pay to CARP. They put a bunch of text up on their homepage saying "Killed by the RIAAi. June 20, 2002" and "SomaFM was forced to end our broadcasts." Well, right at this moment, I'm chillin' to some great grooves and my iTunes says "Groove Salad: a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves." Sounds as great as ever. Hmm.

Ok let's give the SomaFM.com folks the benefit of the doubt and assume it's a lone wolf DJ using Groove Salad's old "broadcasting" servers. Who knows.

The signals seem to bounce around. At times in the past 24 hrs, using iTunes, I've found Groove Salad playing at one or more of these addresses:

If anyone else knows any more URLs (er, "big URLs" :-), please let me know!

Update at 9:59am
If you go to www.shoutcast.com and in the search box type "Groove Salad", it returns showing you that indeed there is a "Groove Salad" radio show playing at that (as I type this) there are now 40 out of 50 listeners listening. Very interesting. And I found another server serving 10 out of 10 users just now. Also at somafm.com. Hmmmm.

Update II at 10:39am
Ok so I'm not the first to discover this. Scroll down the huge guestbook page at SomaFM and you'll see starting in early September, everyone's talking about (and wondering HOW) Groove Salad is back on the air. Yet a quick glance at the homepage would suggest all is still gloom and doom. SomaFM, care to explain? Posted by brian at September 29, 2002 03:04 AM

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