What was AeschTunes all about?
After looking through our charts and our station rotation, one might wonder what the idea behind this site was. How did we select the songs, why did we select particular songs, et cetera.
First and foremost, we wanted the station to focus on what we considered to be “good music.” One of the important things to understand about this statement is that “good music” is not necessarily synonymous with “popular music” – at least, when looking at “popular music” on a national scale, such as through the Radio & Records or Billboard charts. “Good” music is a subjective statement, while “popular” music is objective – almost any two people can agree (regardless of their personal tastes) whether a song is popular or not (as long as they are using the same approach for assessment – obviously, rapper 50 Cent is not going to be as popular on the country format as he is in the urban formats, and Toby Keith can say the same thing with the formats being reversed). However, when the question of whether or not a song is “good” comes up, people that enjoy the same styles of music can have drastically different opinions about particular tracks. Even fans of the same bands and artists can have drastically different opinions. Ultimately, this station was based off of our opinions, because a song that we sincerely dislike would never make it onto the station, regardless of how popular it may be on a national level.
However, it was also important to listen to the responses of our listeners. We openly solicited input on the material on the station. While listening to the station, we asked our listeners to provide their honest opinions about the songs that they heard – when using the Live365 player software, there are “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” icons they could click on that were tabulated by Live365’s server to help rate each track. The information we gathered from these ratings helped influence how the songs moved on the chart – the more input we received, the more accurately the chart reflected our listeners’ likes and dislikes.
One of the most important places our listeners could log their opinions was our New Music Showcase. The opinions we received about the material on this program helped decide which songs actually made it into the chart and the main rotation for the station.
Obviously not all of the material that was played on the station was restricted to just material on the chart; we played songs from our past charts, in addition to songs that predate our chart that helped influence our tastes in music over the years. We also appreciated input on this material, as it helped us to know the kinds of things that our listeners enjoyed so we could select things more to their liking from our library.
We also had several specialty programs designed to highlight aspects of music that are of particular interest to us. In addition to the aforementioned New Music Showcase, we had Synthscape (a showcase of electronic music in its myriad of forms), AeschTunes Revisited (a showcase for alternate mixes and performances of songs), AeschRock (a showcase of rock music), AeschDance (a showcase for dance music), and a weekly “sneak peak” of the AeschTunes Top 40 chart.
Another thing that should be noted about our feelings in regards to “good” music – it isn’t found in just one style of music. We have both been disappointed in the trend that commercial broadcast radio has followed over the last ten years to segment itself into more and more stations playing a narrower list of musical styles; commercial hit radio has gone from playing a variety of tracks from rock, dance, urban, adult contemporary, country, and other formats to a very narrow cross section of rock and urban with the occasional dance track. We fully believed in having a more balanced playlist between formats (though you would only rarely see a country song make it on the station), and therefore freely mixed various forms of rock music with commercial pop and dance music and independent electronic pop and dance and more. We wanted to broaden horizons – not narrow them – and this meant placing together material that many people wouldn’t normally consider together.
We wanted to see the station reflect the tastes of our listeners just as much as it reflected our own tastes. We thank all of our listeners for all their input and assistance to help build the station and chart and what we believe in.