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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “Stop and Smell the Roses.”

July 8, 2008

Dear Michael,

First of all I (would not only like to but) am saying that I very much appreciate Pipedreams online audio. In times of severe sickness I’ve been able to listen to broadcast after broadcast of the finest instruments that have ever existed and will ever exist.
I will not waste your time with yet another request for Podcasts. I would however like to broach the subject. I know it has been requested many times before, and I understand the financial and legal burden of undertaking such a project. I feel however, that you are somehow perplexed by the requests for Podcasts and the seemingly inavailability of so many people to take the time to listen to the online media. I’ve based this conclusion on your response to a question posted several months back.
I’m sure you will agree that not everybody is (or can be) available to listen to the radio broadcast of Pipedreams based on their local listing times. So, it would seem that by having the broadcasts available online that listeners could choose their own broadcast times, and I have to agree that this is a very logical and flexible way of presenting Pipedreams. What I believe the other listener was alluding to was the fact that since the broadcast is in fact a streaming broadcast, a listener must be on their computer and within ear-shot in order to listen to the entire broadcast. The pause button is very handy for bathroom breaks, telephone calls, etc. However, I personally rarely have 30mins to just sit down and enjoy the broadcast. As I write this message, I am listening to the latest broadcast (with much pleasure), but typically I only have a few minutes or rest here or there between which I must take care of my house, drive back and forth to work, mow the grass, participate in my own church’s television broadcast, etc. I would love to listen at work, but as you might know businesses increasingly frown upon the use of the company broadband connection for streaming media. For most part, streaming media is blocked from access inside most companies.
Ok, with all that being said, the best times for me to listen to pipedreams is on my way to work (impossible), during programming sessions at work (also impossible), and in the waning moments of my day during which I try to relax and go to sleep (since I don’t have a PC in my bedroom, nor do I have a whole house entertainment system; also impossible).
Podcasts (or more simply mp3 downloads) allow us, the listeners, to choose the time without broadband access restrictions. If I could “take-it-with-me”, then I could listen anywhere and anytime. Currently I can listen anytime, but only if I’m at a PC (or Mac) connected to internet through a high speed connection that is not restricted by proxy servers or internet filters.
There is a way to create one’s own recording, which works the same as the old days when one could record a radio show broadcast over the airwaves onto a tape recorder. In windows it is as simple as using the built-in sound recorder (there are literally thousands of versions of these recorders available for free on the internet) and recording the pipedreams broadcast as it is played through the speakers on the PC. This works pretty well. Sometimes there are hiccups, but for the most part a decent recording can be made and converted into a file compatible for Podcast (mp3) players. Most folks are simply too lazy (or inept) to invest their time into making these recordings.
I support Pipedreams method of webcasting. It is convenient enough that with a little effort on my part, I can listen anywhere/anytime I want to. I feel that nobody is entitled to anything without at the very least some effort on their part. So come on people, deal with it. Do your part or start giving bookoo dollars so Pipedreams can “add a rank” so to speak. (hardy-har-har)
Please keep up the great work, and if you ever plan a trip to the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, I would hope that you might visit Hickory and discover the fine instruments and musicians that we are blessed with in this small town (First Baptist Church, St Stephens Lutheran, Corinth Reformed Church of Christ, and several others).



Eric ,

Thanks for your comments. If PIPEDREAMS were only available as a broadcast, people either would listen or they wouldn’t. And, generally given the times that the show airs, they probably would be at home listening. How attentively they listened is another matter.
Having the program available on the website no only makes the show accessible to listeners in areas where the program is not on the air, it allow people to listen at convenient times (the actual broadcast times...often either early in the morning or late at night...are not necessarily convenient).
Yes, a podcast would be the ultimate convenience, but sometimes one needs to ‘stretch’ to embrace those things that are important.
As you indicate, just as with recording the off-air broadcasts, it is not impossible to figure out how to record our live-stream or our archived audio. This is not something I can endorse, but neither can I prevent it.
When the ‘BooKoo Dollars’ come in, we’ll explore the podcast route...but I am not holding my breath. :-)





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