Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Amusecast demo

Anyone who has read this will know how much importance I used to place on a good mixtape, and how much effort I put into them back in the day. And I miss those days. MP3 playlists are fine, I guess, but they're no substitute, for this boy at least.

Imagine my intrigue, then, on discovering Spreaker, courtesy of the always-excellent (New) Vinyl Villain and his Radio 236 experiment. Maybe I could create podcasts without words (no-one wants to listen to me), and in that way spoof the mixtapes of yore.

That was the idea, anyway. I dutifully downloaded the Spreaker software last night, but it's designed for large screens and I was working on a netbook, so that got ditched quite quickly. Instead, I just grabbed a handful of MP3s off the FiiO, fired up Audacity and stitched them together, as neatly as I could. In my defence, I was doing this between the hours of 1.15 and 1.45am, so I didn't spend any time at all trying to cross-fade tracks, and listening back to it this morning the outro/intro between tracks one and two is too long and quiet, unless you've got good headphones. More importantly, I didn't spend very long at all choosing or sequencing the tracks, so the result is not something I'd enter into my mixtape hall of fame. It's okay though, I think, and it nicely meets my target of being "one side of a C90". More than anything though, it's a technology test - this is my demo, if you like.

Anyway, that's the self-deprecation and excuses out of the way. Here's the podcast. I don't know if you're the sort of person who "does" podcasts. Maybe you are, and maybe you'll like this. If there's interest and/or positive feedback, I might take the time to do more, maybe one a month, and maybe loosely themed. We'll see.

If it helps you decide whether to listen, the track listing is:

  1. Atoms For Peace - Default
  2. The Stone Roses - Begging You
  3. Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box
  4. Pixies - Bagboy
  5. P J Harvey - Good Fortune
  6. Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To?
  7. The Killers - Read My Mind
  8. I Am Kloot - Proof
  9. The Replacements - Skyway
  10. Paul Weller - Why Walk When You Can Run?
  11. Morrissey - Now My Heart Is Full

If you like the sound of that lot, here's the download.


  1. If I can find myself a spare 45 minutes (a spare 45 seconds at the moment would be a miracle!) I'll give it a whirl. However, I'm intrigued by the possibilities of Spreaker... it could be just what I've been waiting for.

    1. Can we look forward to a "Top Ten" podcast then?

  2. You're so right about "how much importance I used to place on a good mixtape, and how much effort I put into them back in the day. And I miss those days." I miss them too. I used to swap tapes, then home-made CDs, with a particularly special friend for years, but circumstances have changed and they've dwindled to nothing now and I miss it. I still hear songs which I think they'd like and I want to do the whole thing and make up a lovely cover and give it a silly title and all that - it was such an art, and it was done with love and care... and I enjoyed the tangibility of a CD in its personalised case (and prior to that the good old cassette). So now I'm looking back with great fondness and just a whiff of nostalgia ;-)
    It's great that you do these. I will have to set aside the time to have a proper listen.

    1. Thanks, C. Yes, this is good fun, and I've done one or two a year for a while... but it's no substitute for labouring over a proper compilation tape. As you say, the title, the sequencing, the inlay card artwork... all such personal endeavours, especially if giving the tape to someone else. Like you, I used to exchange tapes (by post, across the Atlantic!) with a special friend but technology, and the pressures of life/time, have robbed us of that now. A shame.

      Something you might notice if you listen to all these Amusecasts is that I haven't digitised many of my CDs yet, so I'm drawing tracks from quite a small musical pool. Oh well...