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=> Topic started by: Betty on February 06, 2015, 04:39:24 PM

Title: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on February 06, 2015, 04:39:24 PM
I'm not talking about your favorite songs or band. What's your favorite style for background music while surfing the net, doing chores, the dishes, chilling with something low playing in the background, or out of the background stuff playing in some stores & elevators?
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: ace on February 18, 2015, 12:12:03 AM
Hey Betty,

1st time you did one of these you had "none" but it's not on the list this time  ???

It's not that I don't like music, it's just that I suffer severe tinnitus, so anything in the background tends to distract me from what I am doing. I almost always have the sound muted unless there is a specific need for it. Like I said, nothing wrong with music, just ain't for me ...  :)
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on March 14, 2015, 11:27:58 AM
There was no none option, because the player has a pause/stop, mute & volume option. It's also only on the front page so as soon as they click on a section of the boards the music stops within a couple seconds. One must actually leave the front index page open, & visit the other sections in a new window or tab for the music to continue to play.
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: andyg0404 on August 26, 2015, 06:03:45 PM
Hi Betty,

None of those work for me either. Every morning at my office I play an hour of old time radio. I worked my way through the 250 some odd radio programs of Burns and Allen and I currently rotate between Fred Allen, Jack Benny and Al Jolson. I find these immensely entertaining. I found an old time radio website with 20,000 programs and when I finish with my current rotation there's lots of others that I will listen to. After the radio programs are over I've been listening to the Blues Hour from WBGO radio out of Newark but the player I'm using is going to pay and I don't want to pay for it so I've found other streaming radio stations that are devoted to the blues. And on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, if there's a Mets baseball game being played and I'm at the computer, I turn on my transistor radio and listen to that.

Andy G.
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: andyg0404 on August 26, 2015, 06:07:11 PM

I just noticed that I scanned the list too quickly as one of the choices is old radio.

Andy G.
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on August 26, 2015, 11:10:32 PM
Our friends who archive our pages at the web archive/wayback site also have a goldmine of archives of music & video. That even includes old time radio & music. Many are downloadable/saveable by clicking "save link as" or with your downloadhelper (in it's options add the option to scan for mp3, wav, wma, & flac). You don't have to worry about illegal downloading because most of them had their copyrights expired long ago, or there's nobody alive who can legally claim the royalties for them - although many copyright crooks will try to claim copyrights to them to extort money anyway.

You can't even post a video of randomly tapping on a piano or musical keyboard on youtube, without a 1/2 dozen royalty crooks claiming ownership to the sound within 24 hours.

They even have image archives

They or their posters dug up some 78rmp or old cylinder recordings in good condition, or with some noise reduction & enhancements made them sound almost as good as some modern recordings if they were recorded well in the first place. Since the invention of the vacuum tube, many recordings were recorded on some pretty sophisticated electronics, equipment, & microphones for it's day, where others were recorded in some backroom or garage on "table top" disc & cylinder recorders/cutters that cost no more than the price of a set of car tires.

Many of the tabletop recording units had no electronics at all. One gathered around it to perform loudly in front of a large cone that cut into the disc directly from the sound going into the cone & had wind-up clockwork powered turntables. Just like many of the first & cheapest record players of the era, the cheaper or older ones had no electronics, but worked in reverse, picking the vibrations directly off the record, to vibrate a diaphragm inside the cone.

There was also carbon-microphone type amplification before vacuum tubes, borrowed from the telephone industry. The sound was picked up by a diaphragm full of carbon particles which fluctuated the DC current to drive an electromagnetic speaker. They could pick up fainter sounds, & play louder but the fidelity & background noise of carbon technology was terrible. Carbon based microphones, & amplification was still commonly used in the telephones through the 1960s, because it was less bulky & more efficient than scalding hot vacuum tubes, & was still considered more reliable for phones or abuse than transistors. Bulky relays handled all the switching at the phone company. Relay arching, & static charge buildup on the lines fried transistors.

Up until around 1960 one could still buy cheaper or children's small mechanical cone or carbon driven record players, if you didn't want to spend too much on a tube player, or electricity wasn't easily available. In 1960 many rural areas, farms, & small towns weren't on an electrical grid yet, or weren't completely wired for it.
Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on August 29, 2015, 05:20:44 PM
I couldn't find a nice efficient, low resource hungry html5 player code to randomly play 83, 40-minute mp3s. So our soundtracks were manually loaded one at a time into each site, & changed manually every few hours.

Now that summer is almost over, & we're back into "listening season", I didn't want to go through that pain of manually rotating the audio feeds every few hours again (it actually requires writing in a new audio URL right into the player code), or feeling guilty if I didn't. I knew there must be a way to get it all automated, but still efficient for my servers, your browsers, bandwidth, & speed.

One again, like most of Betty's, today I took bits of other coding, then combined, chopped & edited them my way to make it work.

When you land on the front page of here or stories, you are randomly served one out of 83 mixes of music around 40 minutes long now. As long as you keep that front page open while surfing elsewhere it will continue to play to the end, or you can pause, rewind, forward it, or continue it later. But if you leave the front page & come back later, or refresh the front page you will be randomly served another mix.

No longer will you be stuck with the same 2 mixes for hours. But it's not no-repeat, random. If you hear a mix you just recently heard or don't like, just refresh the page to get another.

Don't go crazy or get too choosy. It's background music, not for big speakers at a big party. Give a mix a chance. If the opening number or first few seconds isn't to you're liking, it will change to something else within a few minutes. Besides, most websites, including us, will temporarily or permanently block people who press reload/refresh a whole lot of times in a row. So do not reload/refresh like crazy. But a few times to skip over something won't be a problem.

There's currently 54 hours of 40 minute mixes I made myself since January on a random play feed from here & stories. Don't worry if you're on a slow connection, have bandwidth caps, or monthly data limits. All mixes are under 5mb in file size, & only require 16kbs to stream! Yes, I know that sounds impossible, but it's true. It's an exclusive at Betty's that I made myself. Absolutely nobody else is making 16kbs sound this good.

Although the music is a html5 mp3 feed, some browsers won't play it with flash disabled, even though flash is not required. In Firefox, & Pale Moon browsers they play with flash, HTML5, & Silverlight disabled fine. Opera doesn't support streaming mp3 or cached mp3s. Perhaps a VLC player plugin or extension will work for browsers that can't play it or play it well.

The most popular tracks are also available on our unclegadget site to click on or save rather than random play them. All our audio feeds come from it's server too, because I like to balance out the workload between all 3 hybrid servers.

Being on random play, it would be very rare that any 2 users would be listening to the same song at the same time. Every person gets their own random selection. We're all listening to something different. Over the winter I was cranking out the mixes so fast, I've forgotten what some of them sound like except my favorites. I'm listening to this right now: from our random player. Wow, I'm really loving this one. It starts out like typical "ambient" background, but at around 22:00 it gets real interesting. I don't know why it wasn't on my favorite list. No wonder it got a lot of hits/views. Nice stuff!


Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on January 03, 2016, 03:28:39 AM
Currently playing at Betty's are 22, 40 minute progressive rock mixes on random play. According to the poll, many like oldies, so I included progressive rock from all years. I just made all these mixes during the past week.

Don't worry about it bogging down your connection or if you have bandwidth caps. Just like all our 40 minute mixes, they're all under 5mb in size! They'll even stream at only 16kbs so would not even work an old dialup internet connection hard.

Of course at these exclusive extremely low file sizes (I invented the method of compression we use here), these were meant for background music, or to be played small computer speakers or portable devices. They were never intended to be played loud in super hi-fi quality on big speakers or an audiophile system, but they will do in a pinch. At only a 16kbs bitrate they sound amazingly well, I've heard worse at 128-196kbs. But don't expect even FM radio quality. It's a little better than AM radio quality.

If you want super hi-fi, I suggest you just buy your favorite tunes in high quality. These are mixtapes to demonstrate DJ skills, software, & my exclusive compression. To deliver them in any other form or a better quality would require too much legal paperwork, licensing & copyright fees. Keeping it down to 16kbs in true mixtape form, keeps it within legal demo, experimental, & fair use rights.

My goal was to get a full hour of music at under 5mb. But it wasn't possible. 40 minutes per 5mb or less was the best I can do for music, & still have it sound pleasant enough for background music. That's why all the mixes are around 40 minutes... just about the time of an old fashioned vinyl record album would be, or an hour long American TV show would be after you remove the commercials. Believe me, it took a lot of tricks, software writing, experimentation, & processing to get 16kbs to sound this good.

I've got 90 minute talk shows & talk radio down to 5mb, but music would sound like crap that way.

Don't forget to take the poll at the top to let us know what you like.

Title: Re: Favorite "background" music?
Post by: Betty on July 23, 2017, 06:12:57 PM
Did you vote for your favorite background music yet? We're currently running a wide variety of popular styles.

You can't complain if you didn't vote.

Mixes have changed to 11-90 minutes long, but are only 3-10mb in file sizes. Some of the longest ones are still streaming in mono at only 16kbs, but they sound as good as many other site's 90kbs mp3s. Many of these are streaming in stereo at 64kbs, but believe me... our very unique, special, custom stereo 64kbs mp3s sound as good as most 190kbs AAC elsewhere.

We didn't get a lot of votes. But well over 90% of our users don't register to join, or never post anything. Clearly, especially among our huge bulk of mobile visitors, they feel Betty's is like an online TV, radio, or media station to tune into, rather than something where they can or want to be involved & interact with.

It's probably my own fault. By regularly making Betty's increasingly more mobile friendly, we're attracting tons of them. They do get us a lot of legitimate traffic & hits, but the bulk of mobile users just don't interact much, without an app for that. Without an app, many of them are lost on the internet, or miss most of it.

I see Oldies is way ahead, followed by Classical. Ambient, New Age, & Hippie music seems somewhat popular. It looks like not many like Opera, Top 40, Heavy Metal, & Pop music at all.