A Search Engine for Radio? - Radio World

A Search Engine for Radio?

Brett Moss tries out RadioSearchEngine.com
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Brett Moss is gear and technology editor.

The irrepressible Michael Robertson, the man behind DAR.fm, has another radio emporium idea — RadioSearchEngine.com.

Currently in beta, the idea is, well, let him speak: “There are other directories of A–Z lists of radio stations, but this is the first search engine where any song or artist can be located on stations playing from anywhere in the world. A universal Web player for the first time connects to and plays nearly every station offering immediate audio satisfaction and unprecedented user control.”

So I took it for a spin; remember it’s mapping songs playing at that moment. I was listening to Radio Swing Worldwide, a streamer on the Loud City platform, so I typed in “Harry James and His Orchestra,” which was playing “Waitin’ for the Train to Come in” at that exact moment. Sure enough, RadioSearchEngine.com immediately spit out the Radio Swing Worldwide link.
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Clearly, the magic of metadata is at work here. I had typed in something relatively obscure and got a hit. Actual popular tunes could kick up bunches of iterations from across the planet.

Typing in “The Who” immediately provided two stations playing “Baba O’Riley” (both misspelled) but no other Who songs playing. None playing anywhere? Hhhhmmmm, but it is a beta.

Robertson says, “Charts track the most played songs broadcast on radio in popular genres all of which are playable. A growing number of Internet-only stations makes every style of music from the billboard hits to the most eclectic easily locatable and playable. Tens of thousands of stations are scanned every 3–5 seconds to get the currently playing song.”

Suggested searches include songs, artists, station names, genres, talk shows or podcasts. There’s a YouTube video for those who need a helping hand.

Further searches coughed up varying results. A search for the “Hugh Hewitt Show” provided a lengthy list. “Adam Carolla” provided two links — one wouldn’t load the built-in RadioSearchEngine.com player but the other launched a recent podcast.

There’s a top-of-the-genre list on the left side of the website. Randomly clicking on an item, “Carolina” by Parmalee, brought the song into the player, live from KEEY(FM) in the Twin Cities. Similar country songs from stations across the U.S. were provided in the main window.

Hey, Darius Rucker has a song called “Radio.” I clicked on that and got a choppy feed from WKAA(FM) in Valdosta, Ga. But I blame the office connection for the chop.

This could be very useful when you have that uncontrollable song-craving … The player generally loaded in a few seconds. But there is a downside, you can often hit the song as it’s nearing the end. Fortunately, RadioSearchEngine does have a panel on the right that notes where else that artist or that song is being played. If it could only peek a little into the future.

Another crack at “The Who” proved better, including a note that the “Who Are You” version available was the “Language edit” version from WWEG(FM) in Frederick, Md. Metadata rocks!

I do have to say the recommendation engine might need a little work but the “Top Oldies” list on the left was solid gold.

Oh, gotta go, “Werewolves of London” is playing on CHMX(FM) out of Regina, Saskatchewan, and since no one is left in the office on this Halloween night, I can howl along.

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