Acecast #010. 28 December 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast #010 Dec 2005 Acecast #010 Dec 2005 (MP3, 112Kbps, 28.5MB, 35m:29s).

Download the MP3 file using the link or icon above.

If you have an MP3 player you might want to use a “podcatching” application to subscribe to Acecast (RSS 2.0).

You can also subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes (4.9 or later) — use “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and in the pop-up window enter .

Acecast and Marvin Suicide open some MP3s and port for yuletide.

lady sovereign mc
© MC Lady Sovereign,
Master of Yule-Ceremonies.

A midwinter treat this time from Marvin Suicide and Acecast DJ Hal. I tracked down a list of 30 or so tunes and Marvin cut the list down to Yule-size for the second Acecast hook-up with Maverick-Marvin. What more could you want for a late Christmas gift?

This first Acecast/Marvin Suicide Christmas spectacular contains strong language and fortified wine, burps, noise, electronic music, a new version of an old new-romantic track, folk and grime.

No stuffing, just a fine list of alternative crimbo-songs.

External credits.

T-Polar found via the hyperactive Gutterbreakz.

Production notes.

No idea what kit Marvin was using for the final mix; but my voice parts were recorded on my trusty MXL V67 condenser microphone via a Behringer UB802 mixer.


All tracks played are free and legal downloads and were available at the time of production of the podcast. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast #010, 28 December 2005.

Brief playlist for Acecast #010.

Previous Acecast podcasts.

Initial post: Wed, 28 Dec 2005.

Thu, 29 Dec 2005

Playlist Acecast #010. The second Acecast/Marvin Suicide Spectacular.

diana darby
© Diana Darby
Nashville based singer-songwriter.

The show also known as Marvin Suicide Show 48. A Christmas Spectacular December 2005.

  • Intermission — T-Polar
  • Abelmelan — T-Polar
  • Ferry — Diana Darby
  • 14 Zero Zero — Console
  • Hats Off 2 The Hatters — Jansky Noise
  • Fade To Grey — Teliaroboten
  • Blah Blah Blah (Cadence Weapon Remix) — Lady Sovereign
  • The Beamer — Spacer
  • Amen! A Neat Joint Anal Phase — Speedranch Jansky Noise

Full details and MP3 download for the second Acecast/Marvin Suicide spectacular (Acecast #010).

Initial post, Wed 28 Dec 2005.

Wed, 28 Dec 2005

The Fat Planet MP3 blog.

Just discovered the Fat Planet MP3 blog this minute, another MP3 blog tracking free and legal MP3s. A quick glance reveals that it might be worthwile firing up FlashGot at irregular intervals on this site.

Fat Planet lists The Grates (my fair podcasting CD choice for June 2005), Jose Gonzalez (my CD for October 2005) and the brilliant Melodium (not yet played on Acecast, but in the everlong backlog of stuff to be podcasted).

No points to Fat Planet for bigging up Albert Kuvezin’s awful version of Love Will Tear Us Apart though. If the song was that precious to Albert he should have left it alone and so should Jose Gonzalez.

Fri, 23 Dec 2005

Acecast #009. 30 November 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast #009 Nov 2005 Acecast #009 Nov 2005 (MP3, 112Kbps, 20.6MB, 25m:49s). You can download the MP3 file by clicking the podcast icon or link above. You can also use a podcasting application to subscribe to the Acecast RSS-feed. To subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes (4.9 or later) use “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and enter in the pop-up window.

Acecast goes a bit dreamy.

elizabeth fraser cocteau twins
Elizabeth Fraser
© Cocteau Twins.

Apologies for the lateness of these notes, but the combination of no broadband and changing jobs has kept me busy elsewhere.

This show contains strong language, nu-soul, electronica, noisy electronic music, two dreampop tracks, an old “reefer” tune, punk-blues, acoustic and a bit of phonography.

On the playlist an underrated nu-soul track from Sa-Ra (literally: Second Time Around is currently rated 2 of 5 — it’s 5 stars in my book), some fiery rock by The Hells (just found out that the late John Peel played this Hells track in 2003) and plasmatic electronica (Ecoplan). Noise merchant Steve Touchton (aka Snowsuit) comes around to Acecast for the second time courtesy of Warbler.

I’ve written earlier that I am no big fan of dreampop; categories aside - I am very pleased with the dreampop sequence on show nine. New band Phillip Eno (drum sound from the Martin Hannet school of production) gleaming and teaming nicely with the Cocteau Twins.

At the tail end of the show I play a 1927 blues recording you might recognise. I finish the show with a track from Jose Gonzalez (from his Veneer album, my fair podcasting CD for October 2005).

The background sounds on the show is a field recording by Planktone.

External credits.

Ecoplan found via the strong-going Marvin Suicide, Sa-Ra picked up by a Woebot recommendation and Jose Gonzalez via 3hive.

Production notes.

Kit: MXL V67 condenser microphone, Behringer UB802 mixer, Hercules DJ Console sound card. Applications: Audacity, iTunes, MP3Gain, MP3tag.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast #009, 30 November 2005.

Brief playlist for Acecast #009.

Previous Acecast podcasts.

Initial post: Wed, 30 Nov 2005.

Thu, 22 Dec 2005

Erik Markus on “podjacking”.

If someone is stealing your enclosures and using them to promote their own site in an RSS-feed it’s called “podjacking”. Eric Markus has written an article on “podjacking” worth reading.

I have no problems with podcast directories linking and pointing directly to MP3 files; but if someone were to hijack my shows I would react. Note to hijackers — I mention the Acecast name a couple of times on my shows, so you would have a hard time pretending it’s your show. Another reason to speak on your podcasts, rather then just do a mix.

Here’s a snip from the beginning of Erik’s article,

My first shows got barely a hundred listeners. But by last month, my audience was approaching 1500 people. Those may not be huge numbers, but I was proud of the relatively rapid growth in my audience. It came from a lot of hard work.

Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, my audience collapsed overnight - it dropped by some 75 percent. My podcast had been “podjacked”.

If you’re involved in podcasting, you need to know about podjacking. This article will tell you what podjacking is, how to avoid becoming a victim, and how to take action if it happens to you.

Erik later states that,

As a podcaster, the URL you create for your RSS feed becomes the doorway through which your entire listenership arrives. Every single one of your listeners will come in through this doorway.

This is not entirely true for Acecast. I get around 10-15% of my downloads through the latest full mp3 podcast (mp3) link on the sidemenu (that link is not in my RSS feed). Give your listeners a chance to download your latest show directly from a prominent place on your website if you are a podcaster.

Thu, 22 Dec 2005

Playlist Acecast #009. Produced 28 November 2005.

  • Second Time Around — Sa-Ra
  • Restored — Ecoplan
  • Track 06 — Warbler
  • Could’ve Been — Phillip Eno
  • Violaine — Cocteau Twins
  • Willie the Chimney Sweeper — Ernest Rodgers
  • Daddy’s Soul Doughnut — The Hells
  • Stay in the Shade — Jose Gonzalez

Full details and MP3 download Acecast #009.

Initial post, Wed 30 Nov 2005.

Wed, 30 Nov 2005

Nineteen sites with free Celtic music.

Bard Marc Gunn has put together a list of Celtic music sites with free music. I used to get a free catalogue from Green Linnet in the pre-web days and have CDs from the likes of Sileas and Ingrid Karklins. Seems like Marc is not too impressed with Green Linnet tough, I list them way down, because their accounting practices and lack of payment to artists make me a bit unhappy with them.

Chivalry looks to be another interesting site in Marc’s list, with traditional songs like Spencer the Rover and Mattie Groves.

Marc’s site is “to be investigated”.

Sat, 26 Nov 2005

The Cylinder Preservation Project at the University of California.

Cylinder recordings … are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

… a digital collection of over 5,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.

… find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound.

The site carries a CC-licence and a short rundown on state vs common-law copyrights. Fresh site. Over 5000 tracks converted from cylinder to digital so far (not all to MP3 yet). Via Creative Commons weblog.

Wed, 23 Nov 2005

The Radio Plus John Peel show free MP3s.

Radio Plus features

free and legal mp3 downloads of songs that John Peel has featured on his Radio 1 show recently. All these tracks have been made available by the bands or record labels themselves, they don’t involve Kazaa or anonymous postings to alt.binaries.sounds or anything like that. The idea is that if you like the track, you’ll buy some of their records, which seems pretty sound to me.

Seems pretty sound to me as well, I call it fair podcasting.

I have played a few of these acts (Laura Cantrell, Noxagt, Mogwai) and have given Cornelius’s (matadorrecords) Point of View a four star rating for later inclusion on an Acecast. Marvin beat me to it though; Cornelius is on his playlist for Marvin Suicide’s show number 42.

Fri, 18 Nov 2005

Sub Pop Records.

sub pop records

Sub Pop Records has a few dozen free&legal MP3s available in their download section.

Sub Pop is one of the few labels to mention podcasting on their site; this is from the Sub Pop FAQ,

While we’re unable to give you blanket permission to use any ole song you want from our catalog, you may incorporate any of the songs that are freely available as MP3s in the multimedia section of this website into your podcasts. HOWEVER, we do reserve the right to change our mind about the availability of any song for any reason at any time. Fickle, no?

The Sub Pop site is on my backburner. I’ve already played Low’s Monkey and had plans for Sleater-Kinney’s Entertain (both available from as well).

Via this ole post from Podcastingnews.

Fri, 18 Nov 2005

The Bates Motel Norwegian MP3 blog.

The Bates Motel blog is tracking Norwegian music. The motel is looked after by Sindre Ness. Sindre writes in the dying “new-Norwegian” written language. General news, links to MP3s, streams and videos. Sindre seems to be more of a reporter than a critic. Not that it matters — I normally use something like Free Download Manager or LeechGet to scan these sites anyway.

A recent addition to my arsenal of sites, so no tracks checked out from the Bates Motel yet. But do download Hurra Torpedo’s version of Total eclipse of the Heart (video). Hurra Torpedo use white goods like cookers and freezers as their instruments. Nice.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

The large Tonspion MP3 site.

tonspion mp3 site

Berlin based MP3 music magazine rates itself as

one of the finest sources for free and legal mp3 downloads on the net for high quality music.

There are hundreds of thousands free MP3 files on the Internet! Most are published legally by artists and labels, with the aim of promoting new albums.

Tonspion reviews the best free mp3 tracks on the net, linking to the source of the download (the artist or the label) and thereby offering access to thousands of mp3s.

Even if you don’t understand our reviews, you can download the music, just by giving it a try. Klick on “Download MP3” at the end of each review and check out the MP3 on the label or artist websites.

A couple of tracks found through Tonspion will be coming up here at Acecast.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Electromancer is a resource for free electronic music.

Electromancer is a

community of unsigned electronic musicians and a resource where they can make their music available to visitors and other musicians. It provides a friendly and easy-to-use place on the world wide web where visitors, fans of electronic music and musicians alike can come to knowing that all the music will be electronic.

The site is run by Marvey Mills who wants to provide a good quality site for as little cost to the artist as possible.

I haven’t downloaded any tracks from Electromancer so far, so no recommendations yet. Via Podcastingnews.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Fingertips’ list of free and legal download sites.

The Fingertips Site Guide is another metasite listing free and legal music sites.

Several of these sites I knew about (like and the German Tonspion), the rest is “to be investigated”.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Dave Holmes’ list of “podsafe” music.

Dave Holmes lists dozens of both obscure and well-known podsafe music resources at Dave’s Imaginary Sound Space.

Unfortunately it becomes extremely time consuming for podcasters to source available music and listen to it.

The sites I refer to here represent a tiny fraction but even so it’s clear to see the potential pool of music podcasters can draw from. It shows there’s a strong cultural movement that is rapidly taking advantage of new media technologies and confirms podcasting’s role as an important music delivery component.

Time consuming? Yeah — you could say that. I have been through over 4000 tracks over the last year. Around ten percent I have kept and only two percent have been given a 4+ rating in iTunes. Via the Creative Commons blog.

Sun, 13 Nov 2005

Acecast #008. 31 October 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast #008 Oct 2005 Acecast #008 Oct 2005 (MP3, 112Kbps, 24.2MB, 30m:11s). You can download the MP3 file by clicking the podcast icon or link above. You can also use a podcasting application to subscribe to the Acecast RSS-feed. To subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes (4.9 or later) use “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and enter in the pop-up window.

Show contains discographical error and phonography.

matthead on the decks
Mathhead removing getting Skyjacker ready.

Dance, bluegrass, dubstep, electronic and acoustic music — yes it is Acecast number eighth.

The electronics are provided by a couple of tunes from the nice Ghostbox label and by a dubstep track from Mathhead (picked up via the excellent Gutterbreakz FM).

The Scandinavian quota is filled by Annie, there’s some Canadian British-sounding slick rock from The Dears and some rough blues-punk from The Black Keys. The acoustics are made up by the late bluegrass artist Jimmy Martin and newer act Po’ Girl.

I also use a field recording (phonography) for this show, as does Po’ Girl on their City Song (the rain at the end).

One mistake to correct: No Cities Left is not the first album from The Dears as I say on the podcast, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story was their debut.

The Annie track is via Eardrums mixtape #7.

Production notes.

Kit: MXL V67 condenser microphone, Behringer UB802 mixer, Hercules DJ Console sound card. Applications: Audacity, iTunes, MP3Gain, MP3tag.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast #008, 10 October 2005.

Brief playlist for Acecast #008.

Previous Acecast podcasts.

Initial post: Mon, 31 Oct 2005.

Sat, 05 Nov 2005

Playlist For Acecast #008. Produced 31 October 2005.

  • Wedding (Big Edit) — Annie
  • Ocean of Diamonds — Jimmy Martin
  • Threshold — Eric Zann
  • Nuclear Substation (Public Information Film) — The Advisory Circle
  • Lost in the Plot — The Dears
  • Skyjacker — Mathhead
  • Set You Free — The Black Keys
  • City Song — Po’ Girl

Full details and MP3 download Acecast #008.

Initial post: Mon, 31 Oct 2005.

Tue, 01 Nov 2005

Acecast #007. 10 October 2005. A Marvin Suicide/Acecast Spectacular.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast #007 Oct 2005 Acecast #007 Oct 2005 (MP3, 128Kbps, 28.9MB, 30m:04s). You can download the MP3 file by clicking the podcast icon or link above. You can also use a podcasting application to subscribe to the Acecast RSS-feed. To subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes (4.9 or later) use “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and enter in the pop-up window.

The first Marvin Suicide/Acecast show.

rose polenzani
Rose Polenzani
photo © Chris Yeager

Half Man Half Biscuit? Not quite, it’s Half Acecast Half MarvinSuicide, aka “the first Acecast/Marvin Suicide spectacular”. This is a show co-curated by Marvin and myself. Some 20 tracks were tracked down by me and then Marvin cut the playlist down to a lucky seven. Five superb electronic tracks from Lomov, ML, Daigoro, The Focus Group and Belbury Poly (the last two on the Ghostbox imprint). The synth-sounds are broken up by female voices from Sweden’s Hello Saferide (the Acecast Scandinavian quota) and American singer/songwriter Rose Polenzani.

Marvin does the presentation with various degrees of voice distortion (Hello Cher?) and he opens the show with I could swear at any time. Well Marvin could, but he doesn’t. This is unacceptable and I will bring back Marvin for some serious swearing on a later explicit show. But there is a bit of bickering on this podcast, thanks to a guest spot from “Ed and Ethel” from Chub Creek.

The background noises are courtesy of Marvin’s adventures in field recording.

A top-notch podcast featuring many voices, double-filtered electronica (as in tracks both quality controlled by Marvin and myself). Download now and enjoy it on your commute or on your computer.

The post about Acecast number seven aka Marvin Suicide show 37.

Production notes.

None this time around since I have no idea what sort of kit Marvin is using. Here is Marvin’s listing for his show 37/my show seven.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast #007, 10 October 2005.

Brief playlist for Acecast #007.

Initial post: Sun, 16 Oct 2005.

Mon, 17 Oct 2005

Playlist for Acecast #007, the first Acecast/Marvin Suicide Spectacular.

The show also known as Marvin Suicide Show 37. Produced 10 October 2005.

  • Highschool Stalker — Hello Saferide
  • Etch Geometry — ML
  • Don Famato — Lomov
  • Activity and Scales — The Focus Group
  • Sleepy Fish — Daigoro
  • Marylee — Rose Polenzani

Full details and MP3 download for the first Acecast/Marvin Suicide spectacular (Acecast #007).

Initial post: Sun, 16 Oct 2005.

Sun, 16 Oct 2005

Cactus Killer Radio podcasts and free legal mp3 files.

cactus killer radio

Cactus Killer Radio is playing indie music from dreampop to rock to gothic to new wave to folk to electronic from its own catalogue. I am not a huge fan of dreampop, but some tunes in these casts are breaking through my barrier of dreampop-resistance. The Phillip Eno project has also made some MP3s available. Why not start with

Sun, 25 Sep 2005

MXL DRK condenser mic with battery, cables and stand.

I wish this MXL DRK set (link to Millennium Music, do a google to find local suppliers or have a look at eBay for some great deals from the US) existed when I started to get my kit together. A decent condenser microphone, powered by a normal 9V battery (so need for “phantom power” from a mixer or preamp), a desktop stand and cables. All packed in a neat suitcase and ready to connect directly to your computer.

Looks like good value to me and expect to see more of these packages as podcasting takes (further) off.

Wed, 21 Sep 2005

Acecast Podcast Number 6. 16 September 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast #006 Sep 2005 Acecast #006 Sep 2005 (MP3, 112Kbps, 26.6MB, 33m:11s). You can download the MP3 file by clicking the podcast icon or link above. You can also use a podcasting application to subscribe to the Acecast RSS-feed. To subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes (4.9 or later) use “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and enter in the pop-up window.

The Podcastcon 2005 issue.

There’s nothing like a deadline to get things done. I am going to Podcastcon 2005 tomorrow so I thought I would get some fresh Acecast content uploaded before I go.

The first track is from my fair podcasting” CD for August, Saul Williams’ self-titled second album. I play some snake-hipped rock’n’roll from The Rattlesnakes, some bad-ass-jazz from Acoustic Ladyland (sounding like Ian Dury’s Blockheads mixed with Morphine) and some grime from London’s Dizzee Rascal.

I have been poking around a bit on the Internet Archive ( for out-of-copyright music, so a Jimmie Rodgers tune (aka “The Father of Country”) from 1930 is featured. Jolie Holland gives us some more acoustic goodness with Old Fashion Morphine.

The Scandinavian quota is made up of a demo from Monomen (sounds like 1981 postpunk) and a dance track from Finland’s Viola (the suitably titled Sad Eyed Disco Dancers). Both tracks via the Eardrums blog.

There are a couple of noisy tracks from Snowsuit* (aka Steve Touchton). One tune is an MP3-download; the second track is from his Cred EP. A CD I bought directly from Steve after a seeing Snowsuit* warm up for Gin Palace (featured on Acecast #3). I asked Steve for permission to use a track from the EP and he agreed.

Stillman has the Afterword with the finest track from his debut EP (although the title track of his Weightless EP is a good Magnet-like pop-song).

Production notes.

Kit: MXL V67 condenser microphone, Behringer UB802 mixer, Hercules DJ Console sound card. Applications: Audacity, iTunes, MP3Gain, MP3tag.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 6, 16 September 2005.

Brief playlist for the sixth podcast.

Initial post: Fri, 16 Sep 2005.

Mon, 19 Sep 2005

Playlist For The Sixth Acecast podcast. Produced 16 September 2005.

  • List of Demands — Saul Williams.
  • Radio Dead — The Rattlesnakes.
  • Hobo Bill’s Last Ride — Jimmie Rodgers.
  • Old Fashion Morphine — Jolie Holland.
  • Iggy — Acoustic Ladyland.
  • Pretty Dirty Houses — Monomen .
  • Sad Eyed Disco Dancers — Viola.
  • Fix Up,Look Sharp — Dizzee Rascal.
  • The Sun — Snowsuit*.
  • It’s Totally for Real — Snowsuit*.
  • Afterword — Stillman.

Full details and MP3 download for the sixth Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Fri, 16 Sep 2005.

Fri, 16 Sep 2005

Are Acecast podcasts “podsafe”?

The Wikipedia definition of “podsafe” is,

a track that is legally permissibly to play on a podcast, usually because the band or artist is not signed to a major label or the recording was made under the Creative Commons license.

Strictly speaking only music that has been explicitly licensed as free-to-play (ie a CC-licence or direct permission from an artist who owns the complete work) or where the copyright has run out (ie old recordings from can be labelled 100% podsafe. Playing tracks from your own CD-collection and then providing links to iTunes or Amazon for the song is not podsafe; but plenty of (high-profile) podcasters do this.

So what about Acecast? Well, I only play free and legal MP3s. Does that make my shows “podsafe”? I really don’t know or care. But I do know that you can safely download the MP3s I play for free in the knowledge that you are not breaking any laws.

New Acecast coming soon.

Wed, 24 Aug 2005

Warren Ellis is giving up his Mixtapes.

Warren has just announced that his 25th Superburst Mixtape will be the last. Shame. Even if Warren did not speak, it was one of the best casts out there and it did introduce me to Penny Broadhurst.

Acecast first mentioned the Superburst Mixtapes in March 2005.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

Indie Podcasters vs Big Radio (Slashdot).

I think I’ve never linked to Slashdot on (everyone reads Slashdot anyway), but here at Acecast things are different. So this piece on podcasters vs big radio from Slashdot might be worth keeping in the list of resources.

Not for the usual bunch of foolish comments (podcasting is not audio-streaming or “internet radio”), but for this comment,

Unlike mainstream radio, there is room for indies to compete with the big boys (read the article). But there needs to be more growth in podcasting as a medium. The podcast I listed earlier is a good example.

Bitz of Brin is a podcast by a 13 year old girl. She doesn’t talk about sex or tech. She doesn’t play electronica or alternative music. She wants to be a singer and features a cover of mainstream pop/country stars each podcast. Her podcast doesn’t appeal to geeks interested in tech. Her music doesn’t appeal to the thousands of alternative music fans turning to podcasts for their anti-*IA fix. Her main audience, frankly, isn’t listening to podcasts. Yet her voice is unique and part of the whole underground podcast movement.

Being single-minded and unique is the point of Acecast as well. Unlike certain podcasters I have never chased the silly “vote for me” races on different podcasting sites, I am not envious of the podcasts being listed in iTunes, the fools competing to come top of the iTunes listing (with silly names like “— …. topcaster …. —”).

Acecast is simply an experiment in playing the best free legal MP3s. And looking at the number of downloads of each show it is a success already — without any iTunes listing.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

John Gruber of Daring Fireball on podcasting and Apple.

This lengthy piece from John Gruber on podcasting is worth keeping as a podcasting resource. Among other things John writes,

And consider poor Odeo, a startup (co-founded by Blogger co-founder Evan Williams) based solely on podcasting. It’s downright amazing that Odeo — the first serious podcasting startup — was beaten to market by Apple. It’s not because Odeo moved slowly; it’s because Apple moved fast.

I never understood the point of Odeo anyway. Recording audio over the net seems a particularly bad idea.

The other bit of good fortune is the name: podcasting. Good fortune for Apple, at least. Clearly the “pod” in “podcasting” is about the iPod. Apple couldn’t have come up with a better name for this phenomenon if they’d gotten to choose it themselves.

True. When I decided on naming my podcasting experiment Acecast, I thought long and hard about finding a name that did not have the “pod” as part of the site name. My thinking last winter was that the term “podcast” might later be replaced with something else, and if I then used “pod” as part of the name the site would look dated [it does anyway. Ed]. I was wrong about the durability of the “podcasting” term — but I am still happy with the Acecast name.

There is some other goodness in there as well — on Apple’s strange RSS, support of podcasting in iTunes and the broken 3.1 iPod firmware (my advice is to stay with 3.0.2 if you want smart playlists to work).

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

38 tracks worth downloading from the SXSW 2005 showcase MP3s.

All links point to the 2005 SXSW Showcasing Artist page for the artist mentioned, except in the cases where I could not find a page (which probably means that the MP3 is located in the “add-on” batch of 20 songs).

The music ranges from bluegrass (Runaway Planet), dub (Sub Oslo), Americana, pure pop, punk and loads of decent acoustic tracks. There are also a small handful of bands seeking to revive the glam-punk of The Boys (Ends, Bones, Real Heroes) and some good electronica tracks. If you have been listening to my podcasts you will have already have heard a third of these tracks; I recommend you get the rest as well while you can (this batch of MP3s will probably be taken offline when the 2006 festival comes along).

A dozen or so artists are not listed simply because I already had the songs. So no Jawbone or Kings of Convenience in the list.

Sturgeons Law applies; this is the top 5%.

I listened to every one of the 750+ tracks and brought the list down to those below. Should you prefer to download all 750 tracks there is a couple of torrent feeds at SXSW’s Fest4Pod.

I’ll see if I can get time later to include direct links for the MP3s; but for now you will have to go each SXSW artist page to get the MP3s.

Mon, 25 Jul 2005

The John Tracy Show podcasts.

John Tracy is podcasting using free legal MP3s over at the John Tracy Show. My recommended track from his latest show is

Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Staccato podcasts feature music that won’t get you sued.

I should have listed this resource ages ago, as it was one of the first podcasts using legit MP3s only. Matt May is using mostly Creative Commons licensed music in his Staccato podcasts. Matt’s track listings have been a little bit sparse lately, but do download

Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Acecast podcast number 5. 12 July 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast podcast #005 July 2005 Acecast podcast number five (MP3, 112Kbps, 24.9MB, 30m:57s). You can download the MP3 file by clicking the podcast icon or link above. You can also use a podcasting application to subscribe to the Acecast RSS-feed, and it is now possible to subscribe to Acecast podcasts in iTunes 4.9 by using “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” and entering in the pop-up window.

Five is for fine SXSW-festival music.

These are the results of the Norwegian jury … Well, sort of anyway. These are the results of listening to every single one of the 750+ South by Southwest 2005 showcase MP3s (free and legal MP3s as always here on Acecast). Around 40 tunes were found good enough to podcast, but in the end, I had to choose ten. Some of the missing tunes will probably be used in later podcasts. All my recommended tracks from the 2005 SXSW showcase will soon be listed with download links in a separate posting.

I open this podcast with the rockin’ swagger and raspy vocals of the Heartless Bastards. I also play The Bones from Sweden (the Scandinavian choice) — one of the better glam-punk bands in the showcase (The Boys ca 1978).

There is place for a couple of really good synth-pop tracks from Cubiky and Aero Wave (who sounds a bit like Martha and the Muffins).

I play a tune from the latest “fair podcasting” CD by The Grates, 50 seconds of flat out hardcore from Some Girls, and some fine English lounge-rock from the Nightingales.

Female atmospherics is provided by Liz Durrett and Tywanna Jo Baskette. I finish with an acoustic track from Keren Ann.

Normal service will resume with the next show.

Production notes.

Kit: MXL V67 condenser microphone, Behringer UB802 mixer, Hercules DJ Console sound card. Applications: Audacity, iTunes, MP3Gain, MP3tag.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 5, 12 July 2005.

All tracks and links below point to the 2005 SXSW-festival artist showcase.

Brief playlist for the fifth podcast.

Initial post: Tue, 12 Jul 2005.

Thu, 14 Jul 2005

Playlist For The Fifth Acecast podcast. Produced 12 July 2005.

  • Pass and Fail — Heartless Bastards.
  • s2sg2 — Aero Wave.
  • Some Girls — Some Girls.
  • Workshy Wunderkind — Nightingales.
  • Happiness and Misery — Tywanna Jo Baskette.
  • Do You Wanna — The Bones.
  • Trampoline — The Grates.
  • Ablaze — Liz Durrett.
  • Erotik Platonik — Cubiky.
  • Not Going Anywhere — Keren Ann.

Full details and MP3 download for the fifth Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Tue, 12 Jul 2005.

Wed, 13 Jul 2005

Site news: pre-listen feature removed.

I have removed the 10-second preview clips of tracks played on the shows and the “pre-listen” option. The option was not that widely used, iTunes 4.9 makes the feature somewhat redundant and it takes too much time on my part.

Apologies to those who used it. It’s gone and it’s not coming back.

Tue, 12 Jul 2005

Canadian Broadcasting Indie Podsafe Podcast.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has started a music podcast featuring unsigned/independent Canadian artists only (iloveradio). I have listened to the first one. I will give it one more try before giving up (it’s professionally produced and all, but the DJ’s choice of podsafe music in the first show was not my cup of tea).

Wed, 08 Jun 2005

Acecast podcast number 4. 4 June 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast podcast #004 June 2005 Acecast podcast number four (MP3, 128Kbps, 14.7MB, 16m:05s) (you can download the MP3 file using the podcast icon/link if you are not using a podcasting application).

Four is for sinister electronic music.

This is a show I have wanted to do for some time. After Acecast’s new signature tune and a short intro comes a 15 minute long mix of five dark electronic tracks. All tracks from Northern Europe: England, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Norway. A mix of well-known (and previously played) acts like Delia Derbyshire and Biosphere, and some lesser known (unless you are heavily into industrial music) artists as Lomov, Haare and TeKstomp. The tracks are mixed and cut some more than on a normal Acecast production (the show could probably have been double length if I played the complete tracks), but I think it works quite well.

The show is also the first Acecast to feature the Acecast signature tune, Wildspot by Belbury Poly (on the fine Ghostbox label).

Even if you are no big fan of electronic music give it a try with headphones on. Enjoy (?).

The next show will be my SXSW 2005 special, before I resume with a couple of “normal” podcasts.

Production notes.

This will move to its own page soon as the notes are the same from show to show now. Kit: MXL V67 condenser microphone, Behringer UB802 mixer, Hercules DJ Console sound card. Applications: Audacity, iTunes, MP3Gain, MP3tag.

Just the mix.

If you like the show, but would prefer to have the 15 minute mix of music only, you can download the MP3 mix only of Acecast #4. The “no voiceover/no intro” variants will only be available for “mix-shows” like this.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers. All tracks on this show are excerpts.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 4, 4 June 2005.

Brief playlist for the fourth podcast.

Initial post: Sun, 5 Jun 2005.

Mon, 06 Jun 2005

The Acecast signature tune is courtesy of Belbury Poly.

I am pleased to announce that Acecast now has a signature tune. The piece of uplifting and timeless electronica to head each show from now on is Wildspot by Belbury Poly.

Thanks to the fine people at Ghostbox for the permission to use. Wildspot is available on both of Belbury Poly’s releases, the version I am using is the one which is currently available for download from the Farmer’s Angle EP.

The track is also on The Willows, my fair podcasting CD for May 2005. Belbury Poly discovered via Blissblog (Simon Reynolds).

Mon, 06 Jun 2005

Playlist For The Fourth Acecast podcast. Produced 4 June 2005.

  • Music of Spheres — Delia Derbyshire.
  • The Temple — Haare.
  • Sommersumpf — Lomov.
  • Dop — TeKstomp.
  • Rachel’s Dance — Biosphere.

Full details and MP3 download for the fourth Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Sun, 05 Jun 2005.

Mon, 06 Jun 2005

How I rate music for Acecast.

I use a system for rating music similar to that of After downloading the track, I edit the MP3-tag so it contains the site where the track is from (this is crucial now that I have been through around 2000 tunes). I then put the newly downloaded songs in my “download” category in iTunes, give one star to uninteresting songs, three stars for good tracks (one smart playlist; exactly three stars and in my “download” category) and four/five star tunes are put in another smart playlist. Rating is mostly done while on the move with the iPod. This way I went through all of the 750+ tracks of the SXSW showcasing artist roster in a couple of weeks.

I also have “download fresh” category which only contains tracks downloaded over the last 14 days, this to give new songs a second chance to pass quality control.

One star tracks are simply deleted. I do not keep track of them. I might run the risk of downloading them again (the free and legal tracks have a tendency to turn up on several sites), but that’s not a real problem.

The next show (after my dark electronic special) will be based on SXSW 2005 tracks only (10 tracks or so, but I will also be sharing my complete list of tracks worth downloading from the showcase).

Sun, 05 Jun 2005

Marvin Suicide podcasts with podsafe electronic music.

A bit of reciprocal linkage for you (as Acecast is listed as recommended listening) — Marvin Suicide is doing podcasts featuring free and legal MP3s only (just like Acecast).

Mainly electronic music is played, but there is the odd non-electronic tune as well. What is really odd though is Marvin’s (not real name I suspect) voice — it is treated with a vocoder effect so Marvin sounds a bit like Cher mixed with Future Pilot AKA. There’s a fair bit of swearing on Marvin’s shows, so PG certified.

My recommended artist found via Marvin is Ecoplan.

Sun, 05 Jun 2005

Rex Hammock on Apple and podcasting.

Rex is doing some long and frequently updated articles on the impact of Apple’s announcement on podcasting support in iTunes over at rexblog. He writes about Microsoft now joining in (“playsafecatching” anyone?), Sirius satellite radio and the iPod, advertising and micro-payments and more.

One thing is for sure — when Apple release the next version of iTunes, podcasters are going to get a bigger audience. And there are hard times ahead for companies and individuals charging money for their turbo-charged RSS-readers (with enclosure support).

Thu, 02 Jun 2005

Tod Maffin’s Podcasting 101.

Tod’s Podcasting 101: Illustrated Tips for Newbie Podcasters is a good resource for podcasters-to-be. Written back in October 2004 (the bronze age of podcasting), it is still valid today.

Tod gives advice on recording, mixing and a few hints about microphones. Since Tod works for a broadcasting corporation he is also in a position to give some tips on interviews.

Tod is now also a podcaster himself, and his frequent “vote for me” appeals are a bit annoying. I guess professional radio people get obsessed with numbers; here at Acecast there is no chase of the big numbers — this will become evident in the next show which will feature some fairly sinister electronic music only. Sorry — I am supposed to be all positive here, so please read Tod’s I Love Radio blog and the Podcasting 101. The “101” contains the following bit of advice which I took to my heart when starting out with Acecast,

Using your natural voice.

Something funny happens to some people when they get in front of a microphone. They suddenly start speaking in what they believe to be “radio voice” — usually coming off sounding like over-the-top newscaster Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore show.

The best voice you can use on the radio is your own. Speak the way you normally do. While you certainly want to speak clearly and perhaps gently emphasize some words, that doesn’t mean you should Punch! Every! Word!

So don’t worry about your voice. Focus on being able to read cold (without practicing first which, paradoxically, comes from lots of practice) and on your ability to find and tell a good story. That’s what matters.

Thu, 02 Jun 2005

Acecast podcast number 3. 4 May 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast podcast #003 May 2005 Acecast podcast number three (MP3, 128Kbps, 27.0MB, 29m:24s) (you can download the MP3 file using the podcast icon/link if you are not using a podcasting application).

Three is the magic number.

I play some blues-punk, a young Canadian MC/producer and some top-shelf electronica. There’s also space for everyone’s favourite Mormons, a bit of dance and Euro-decadence from Sweden, plus I include something which sounds like theme music from the ’70s. I finish the show with a fine acoustic track.

I saw Gin Palace live some weeks ago (after hearing them first online thanks to their free MP3s). I liked it — so I made Gin Palace’s Kicking On my “fair podcasting CD” for April 2005. I’ve also bought their limited edition (75 copies) Live at the Marquee CD. Seems like the live album is sold out, but Kicking On should be easy to get hold of (try Amazon). If you like the sound of punk-blues then the strong brew from Gin Palace is recommended. As is a trip to the pub for “a little one”.

The Biosphere track I play is quite short (and old), but Biosphere’s has a large MP3 section. Dawn at Vara is recommended, as is a purchase of Substrata and Patashnik.

I’ve seen Biosphere, Scanner, Throbbing Gristle and Gin Palace live and I own records from several of the artists on this podcast. This is often how I end up finding free MP3s — think of an artist and check their website (so far very few of the tracks I play have been mentioned on large sites like 3hive).

I last saw Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner, since he uses a frequency-scanner to record conversations from mobile phones, police radio and the like) with Githead, Robin playing guitar. I had no idea Rimbaud could play guitar. He can play OK, but it does not look like Rimbaud can change strings (or tune a guitar?). One of his guitar-strings went during the gig at London’s South Bank some weeks ago and Robin had to whisper “Uncle” Colin Newman (ex-Wire) for some advice. Instead of changing strings, Robin got Colin’s guitar and Colin found another instrument and quickly tuned it. Githead were in all-black, apart from Robin’s red shoes …

The Cadence Weapon track is via MPC - Post Grimeist.

I like all tracks I play (or I wouldn’t play them), but I would like to mention the finishing track — Jeff Klein’s The Hustler. I am soon done with listening to the hundreds of South by Southwest’s free showcasing MP3s. There is a lot of acoustic acts out there. All nice and well-schooled. But for troubadour-type music to appeal to me there must be that little bit extra. And Jeff’s got it; clever production with a bit of texture, some extra noises in the soundscape, a distinct voice and some really nice steel-guitar going up and down with Jeff on The Hustler.

I had around 80 tracks to select from for this show - and (by accident?) I have chosen two from Sweden’s fine Bevlar label. It’s been a few months since I did the downloads (Rasmus and Lindeberg, the labels two first releases) and there are now further tracks for download (including a sampler album). All releases from Bevlar are free and if you want to burn a CD, there are nice covers to print (in PDF-format).

The poet Penny Broadhurst (heard on the previous podcast) kindly introduces this show.

Production notes.

I used an MXL V67 condenser microphone plugged through a Behringer UB802 mixer to do the voice track. Applications used were the same as previously (MP3Gain is a gem). The last two voiceovers was done at a different time than the others and sound slightly different (and metal-boxy, apologies) for some unknown reason. I do not treat the voice after the mixer; I know I could use a compressor or Audacity to compress to get more of a big “radio voice” — but it adds time and complexity.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads. All tracks are copyright the artists and their record labels/music publishers.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 3, 4 May 2005.

If you like the music in my little show (or prefer not to listen to it at all) use the links for each MP3. All MP3-links point to the artist’s own website or record label, unless listed otherwise. All tracks were available at the time when the podcast was recorded (early May 2005).

Brief playlist for the third podcast.

Initial post: Thu, 5 May 2005.

Fri, 06 May 2005

Playlist For The Third Acecast podcast. Produced 4 May 2005.

  • Intro — Penny Broadhurst.
  • Kicking On — Gin Palace.
  • Heart of Glass — Daniel Lindeberg with Greta Rootstein.
  • Sharks — Cadence Weapon.
  • Inspector 071 — Jackson 170.
  • Hollywood (Radio Edit) — Rasmus.
  • Som Evige Stjerner — Biosphere.
  • Branded and Soldered — Scanner/Throbbing Gristle.
  • Monkey — Low.
  • The Hustler — Jeff Klein.

Full details and MP3 download for the third Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Wed, 04 May 2005.

Fri, 06 May 2005

A note about the Acecast playlists.

Just a short blurb on my set-lists. I try to make the shows around 30-35 minutes so the whole show can be listened to on a typical commute.

All tracks played are free and legal downloads available at the time of the recording of the podcast. So you can sleep tight after downloading them, without having to fear “Auntie RIAA” knocking on your door. All tunes are in the MP3 format.

I play anything in any genre as long as I like it. At least one Scandinavian track is featured on each podcast; preferably Norwegian, and I use the term “Scandinavian” the way the English use it — ie I include Finland and Iceland. This is good for two reasons: there is an abundance of good music coming from Northern shores and I like to Support the local punks (as we said in the ’70s).

I avoid sites requiring registration (they might be mentioned as resources though). I also try to give credit if I know where I first found a track; although most of the time the music I play is found through my own “research”.

There will be the odd exception to the rules; I might point you to a registration site or I might play tracks not available on the internet (but where I have direct permission from the artists, Snowsuit will appear on a show soon).

All copyright to the music played belong to the artists and their record labels/publishing companies. I thank them for providing tracks for free — not all downloading is illegal.

And if you think this is all about free music — have a look at my updated list of CDs bought under my “fair podcasting” scheme (for every month I do a podcast I will buy a CD from one of the acts played).

Thu, 05 May 2005

Acecast podcast frequency.

So far I have been doing podcasts once a month. I am getting used to the kit and I do also have quite a backlog of tracks; so I will try to double the frequency of my shows. This means that from now on there will be anything from one to four [you optimist, Ed] “Acecasts” a month, with the average around two shows a month.

Thu, 05 May 2005

Opsound — free copyleft music downloads.

I discovered Opsound when it was mentioned over at Creative Commons. There was nothing more than an invitation to participate at Opsound for a long time; but the site is now filling up with free and legal MP3s. I have not listened to any of it yet though.

Opsound is a record label and sound pool using an open source, copyleft model, an experiment in practical gift economics, a laboratory for new ways of releasing music. Visit the Opsound Open Pool for free copyleft music downloads. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the pool.

… you are free (and encouraged) to download works, make copies, share them, include them in other works, remix and rearrange them, and even sell them.

Mon, 18 Apr 2005

Posistron Records releases some of its music under a CC-licence.

Positron Records

Positron Records

believe that today’s independents release today’s music, while today’s corportate conglomerates release cross-promotional marketing campaigns that package artists with hamburgers. To them, artist is product, and product is disposable. To us, artist is label, and our aim is to make a contribution to the soundtrack of your life without picking your pocket in the process.

An audio stream is available. The music is mostly electronic.

Mon, 18 Apr 2005

Disquiet tracks free electronica and ambient music.

Not just MP3s at Disquiet, but also audiostreams and videos. I will probably track down their recommendations at one stage. Free ambient/electronica is not exactly hard to find, one for the backlog.

Mon, 18 Apr 2005

SXSW 2005. 2.6 gigabytes worth of free legal MP3s.

The South by Southwest Music festival is in Austin, Texas every March. “Fest4Pod” is a massive 2.6GB/750+ tracks of free and legal SXSW 2005 tracks made available as a BitTorrent feed (or individual tracks). I am in the process of listening through it all.

I have made a fairly complete SXSW 2005 tracklisting available over at Halvorsen. If you like pop, listen to Bonnie Pink (sxsw) or try the latino-funk-hop of Cartel de Santa (sxsw) (as you can tell I have just made it to “D” in the alphabet).

Mon, 18 Apr 2005

Acecast podcast number 2. 3 April 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast podcast #002 April 2005 Acecast podcast number two (MP3, 128Kbps, 30.2MB, 32m:57s) (you can download the MP3 file using the podcast link if you are not using a podcasting application).

The second coming.

I play two artists who have emailed me over at, some ’60s-style garage/surf, electronica, a handful of fine vocal songs and a spoken word track.

Mogwai’s Government Commissions is my “fair podcasting CD” for March 2005. Artists give us free MP3s so we can hear new music. Some do it in the hope that we might buy the music, others because they have no other outlet for their music. I will buy (at least) one CD a month from artists I play on my show. It’s not a lot, it will not make anyone rich — but at least it proves that free&legal MP3 tracks can lead to the purchase of a physical product (I still prefer to buy my music on CD or vinyl).

Finding free and legal UK grime/dubstep is a challenge. I played Kode 9 on the first show, on this podcast I include DJ Dynamat. Analogue is available from a site which requires registration; don’t despair use BugMeNot to find a user for registration sites. If you like Dynamat’s track and decide to download it, please vote for his music. Hopefully this will be the first and last time I use a track from a registration site.

Penny Broadhurst’s poetry is via Warren Ellis.

I did not find Sweet Billy Pilgrim and Largo02; they found me over at Halvorsen.

Largo02 is the alias of Fred Scellier (alias Ulric Cel? or is it the other way around?) from France. Ulric played in the new-wave band Newropeans, he plays jazz and also makes some good electronic music. The tracks available from his website are from the period 1998-2002, but recently remixed. Do also get Track 8 from Past and Hopes (mp3). Disconnected was recorded years ago, it reminds me of ShelleyDevoto’s Buzzkunst.

Sweet Billy Pilgrim is a British band. So British they record in a shed. Tim, Al and Anthony got some rave reviews for their remix of David Sylvian’s The Heart Knows Better, and their own music is also subtle. Don’t know if they are religious, but there is a God/Jesus-thing going on in their titles. Religious or not, you might as well download Ain’t No Jesus In Here (mp3). If you like Sweet Billy Pilgrim, try The Blue Nile’s A Walk Across The Rooftops. The Pilgrim also run a sweet blog.

Production notes.

The microphone situation has been sorted out, so I should be more audible from now on.

I finally got to use my MXL V67 condenser microphone. The mic was plugged through a small mixer (Behringer UB802) to do the voice track. Applications used were the same as the last time. The overall production should be an improvement from the initial podcast (I know I sound a bit tired at the end of the podcast. I was).

All tracks played are free and legal downloads.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 2, 3 April 2005.

If you like the music in my little show (or prefer not to listen to it at all) use the links for each MP3. All MP3-links point to the artist’s own website, unless listed otherwise. All tracks were available at the time when the podcast was recorded (early April 2005).

Brief playlist for the second podcast.

Initial post: Sun, 3 Apr 2005.

Mon, 04 Apr 2005

Playlist For The Second Acecast podcast. Produced 3 Apr 2005.

  • Intro — Carl from the Gub.
  • I’m a Man — Double Fudge.
  • Hunted by a Freak — Mogwai.
  • Analogue — DJ Dynamat.
  • Bus Park — Penny Broadhurst.
  • Heaviest Heart — Magnet.
  • Banquet (Phones Disco Edit) — Bloc Party.
  • Disconnected (original hard mix) — Largo02 .
  • God in the Details — Sweet Billy Pilgrim.
  • NY 79 — Laika and the Cosmonauts.

Full details and MP3 download for the second Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Sun, 03 Apr 2005.

Mon, 04 Apr 2005

*sixeyes MP3 blog (aka *6ize).

sixeyes mp3 blog

You all probably already know about Sixeyes (one half of the legit resources on iPodlounge). A fine site promoting what seems to be (mostly) legal MP3s. No streaming prelisten, and I would have liked alphabetical archives. But the site is frequently updated and the content is clearly written.

Sun, 03 Apr 2005

The Warren Ellis’ Superburst MP3 Mixtapes.

The author Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan) is releasing Superburst Mixtapes,

Songs made freely available for download on the internet by the artists, put into a single file and released as a podcast mixtape for several hundred of my closest friends.

Warren curates his podcasts, but he does not speak. The mixes are short (10-15 minutes), so it makes for a fairly quick download.

I’ve listened to five of Warren’s mixtapes (1,8,9,10,11). Mostly modern “lo-fi” music. My favourites from the Superbursts were all opening tracks,

Warren Ellis bio (wikipedia).

Superburst link via Splinters weblog (literature/music).

[I thought the phrase “several hundred of my closest friends” was reserved for big, posh or celebrity weddings — how can you have that many close friends? Only cyberpunks and celebrities, I guess. Ed.]

Tue, 29 Mar 2005

Dragnet Records.

dragnet records
Dragnet Records

Dragnet Records is the home of the A-Frames (now signed to Sub Pop), The Dipers, The Vulvettes and a handful of other bands. Seven MP3 files are available. Dragnet Records is not a “real” label. All that means is we don’t want to release your demo. Although I came for the A-Frames, I fell for

  • I’m A Man — Double Fudge. 60s garage rock (Kinks/Who) with handclapping, clocking in at under one minute! The opener for my next podcast.

Tue, 29 Mar 2005

Creative Commons Mixter.

CC Mixter

I have been through the winners of the Creative Common’s Fine Art of Sampling Contest, as well as the Mixter’s editorial picks.

The CC Mixter site is a little bit lacking in navigation (missing menu entry for the editorial picks), but thankfully there is a streaming prelisten for all songs. A big part of the music is ambient/electronica and there are plenty of remixes (no surprise).

Sun, 27 Mar 2005

Acecast podcast number 1. 16 March 2005.

Download podcast MP3 file.

acecast podcast #001 March 2005 Acecast podcast number one (MP3, 128Kbps, 35.3MB, 38m:28s) (you can download the MP3 file using the podcast link if you are not using a podcasting application).

Hey ho, let’s go.

Finally, the first proper podcast from Acecast. Bring It On! Another show is planned before the end of March. I’ve been through some 500-600 tracks and about 10% have passed “quality control”. All tracks played are free and legal downloads.

Some of the individual artist websites are substandard (Flash-usage, bad layout, no updates etc) but on this site I have decided to let it be about the good music only. I’ll try to reserve my ranting for

I have also decided against providing background information for each artist (like the fine people at 3hive sometimes do). It takes too much time, I’ve got dozens of more tracks I want to play. So I will focus on getting the shows out and getting the site right. If an artist deserves special mention (for ie use of legal MP3s) I might put up a short entry.

The initial Acecast is dedicated to the great John Peel, champion of good music. The Delia Derbyshire site has a fine John Peel mashup done for the Top Gear programme in 1969 and the Laura Cantrell track I play contains John’s voice at the end (you have to download the track to hear Peelie’s voice, it is not on the podcast. Since Peelie was God, would including his voice be blasphemy?).

Production notes.

I used a cheap dynamic microphone, the Hitachi HMP-606 (as tested), for this show. There is bit of hiss, but it will hopefully be less on the next show (for the next podcast I hope to have my condenser microphone and tube pre-amp working). I know a couple of my fades are not of the finest standard for the debut, but this will improve.

Applications used: Audacity for the main production, MP3tag for tagging the MP3 file and the very useful MP3Gain to do lossless normalization of each track before importing to Audacity. Listening tests were done, using iTunes and Windows Media player. Heavily field tested on my iPod and the old Rio 600. Thanks to my “beta-tester” Carl.

Extended tracklisting for Acecast number 1, 16 March 2005.

If you like the music in my little show (or prefer not to listen to it at all) use the links for each MP3. All MP3-links point to the artist’s own website, unless listed otherwise. All tracks were available at the time when the podcast was recorded (16 March 2005).

Brief playlist for first podcast.

Lydia Lunch’s Hangover Hotel was to feature, but the song has been removed from her site since I did the original tracklisting (and I haven’t had the time to listen to the three MP3s Lydia currently has available).

Initial post: Thu, 17 Mar 2005.

Mon, 21 Mar 2005

Playlist For The First Proper Acecast podcast. Produced 16 Mar 2005.

  • Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: Bring It On
  • Delia Derbyshire: Delia’s Theme
  • Kode 9: Fat Larry’s Skank (excerpt)
  • Gub: I Love the Sunshine
  • Joy Zipper: Out of the Sun
  • Alog: As Complicated and As Beautiful As Always
  • David Sylvian: Late Night Shopping (Tweaking the Tweaker remix)
  • Milk for the Morning Cake: Faint Star (demo)
  • Noxagt: The Hebbex
  • Laura Cantrell: New Years Resolution (live)

Full details and MP3 download for the first Acecast podcast.

Initial post: Thu, 17 Mar 2005.

Mon, 21 Mar 2005

Acecast is hosted by Dreamhost (“advert”).

The Acecast site is hosted by Dreamhost because:

  • I found a recommendation through a fellow Blosxom user.
  • I get ssh access: critical for my own Blosxom, rsync and shell hacking.
  • A solid amount (120 GB/month) of bandwidth and diskspace (2.4 GB) is needed for podcasting.
  • The price is low — $8/month (this is a private podcasting experiment).
  • I can host three domains for that price if I want to.

Three minor issues so far:

  • the control panel is not as slick as others
  • standard output from Analog is all you get in terms of web server logs
  • the account is not chroot’ed. That might be an issue if you are slightly paranoid.

The two major problems I’ve faced so far (performance and disk space) have been resolved.

If you do follow the Dreamhost link and sign up, I will get a referral fee. Bear in mind I have only been with Dreamhost since late 2004, and check what other people has to say about them.

Initial post: Tue, 08 Feb 2005.

Thu, 17 Mar 2005

How the Acecast web site is created.

All text entries are written in Vim as flat text files.

Blosxom creates the static web pages from the text files, with some help of SSIs (server side includes).

The layout is a customized version of Iztsu theme for Blosxom. I have unwrapped the theme to a Blosxom flavour and tidied up some of the code.

The RSS 2.0 feed is created by a couple of home rolled Blosxom flavours. One to produce valid RSS 2.0 with enclosures; another to point to something which looks nice in your RSS viewer (no menus, just the entry).

I use very few graphic elements on purpose. The MP3/Podcast logos are by Tim Madden.

The colour schemes were created with help from Wellstyled (F00, Triad, almost max angle) and Eric Meyer’s colour blender.

Thu, 03 Mar 2005

DJ Friendly plays free mp3 electronica (but not very often,

dj friendly

DJ Friendly occasionally plays electronica shows based purely on free and legal mp3s (Norwegian Broadcasting). I discovered him today and will give him a listen (he just played tracks from the Chemical Brothers’ new album). There’s bound to be some gems on his playlists (electronic music being one of Norway’s strongholds; Røyksopp and Biosphere the top of our iceberg).

His show-page is in Norwegian only (advantage me), but DJ Friendly’s top-25 electronica legal MP3s for 2004 is understandable in any language.

The radio player does not find DJ Friendly when I search for “friendly” (but I find the archives when searching for “DJ”). The playlists are a month out of date. A bit unfriendly, so a resource for hardcore electronica fans with lots of time on their hands.

This is where I hit my first taxonomy problem: where do I put DJ Friendly’s page? Is he an artist? He probably is (as a DJ), but this programme does not fall in the artist category. Is this an “mp3 site”? Not really. But to avoid navigation nigthmare I’ll stick to just “artists” and “mp3sites” for mp3 links. DJ Friendly goes into “mp3sites”.

Update 20050219: DJ Friendly’s February 2005 mp3 playlist. Some of the music seems to be in that grey legal area though; mashups and unauthorised remixes are included.

Initial post: Tue, 11 Jan 2005.

Sat, 19 Feb 2005 — for Rancid, NOFX and more punk.


Download Punk — as it says on the tin. Albums containing free MP3s are clearly marked and so are the tracks themselves. No streaming preview (prelisten?). Find minor and major American punk bands (NOFX, Rancid) here.

Mon, 07 Feb 2005

Anti - real artists creating great recordings on their own terms.

anti record label

Anti seems to be the choice of the old guard of leftfield artists: Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Tricky and Marianne Faithful are all on this label. A new act like the Black Keys is also on Anti. This is one of the better label-sites I have come across: clear presentation, running news, tour dates and you can listen to each artist. One major miss though: no way to buy the complete releases from the site.

Link via Spikemagazine’s weblog (splinters).

Mon, 07 Feb 2005

Betterpropaganda can do better.

better propaganda mp3 site

I struggle a bit with betterPropaganda. There is no hint of the quality of the MP3s (bitrate) are before you start the download and I can’t get the site to work with Firefox (the .asp file extension is the giveaway). But worst of all: around half of the time I hit the “Free MP3” button there is no free MP3. Usability score zero for this annoyance:

Sorry, but this song is stream only. You can click the ‘Listen’ button to hear the song, but you can’t save the file on your computer.

Expect to find artists like Low, DJ Dangermouse, Quincy Jones, loads of unknown bands and speeches by Noam Chomsky. The focus is on rock, electronic and hip-hop.

A site with a decent concept, but lots of room for improvement on the usability side (shame).

Fri, 04 Feb 2005’s “Best of 2004” free MP3 tracks.
© has a huge selection of pointers to legal MP3s, and their staff have chosen their picks for 2004. I will go through the tracks to see if I find anything I like for a later podcast (even if one guy mentions Queen; open ears, open ears).

Download breaks the genre-puzzle into real fine pieces, so there are 28 genres just in “Metal”, some of them with several sub-genres (“Metal/Stoner Metal/Symphonic Black Metal” anyone?). A good resource, but no prelisten.

Thu, 13 Jan 2005

Comfort Stand Recordings — provides free music only (MP3s with artwork).

comfortstand recordings free mp3s

Comfort Stand Recordings is a community-driven label where all releases are free with artwork and liner notes. We strive to bring you recordings that we find interesting, compelling and downright enjoyable.

Thu, 06 Jan 2005

Static layout of (detailed sitemap).

This is not only useful, but both the the html and css is valid. It’s a complete site map for Acecast. Useful as a reference for viewing how the site is built up internally.

Thu, 06 Jan 2005