EMILY GREENBERG

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Metadata Radio is temporarily undergoing maintenance.

Metadata Radio 2015
internet radio station via radionomy.com
Voice actor: Andrew Kagen

It's never been more convenient to listen to music online. Without paying a dime, music listeners can access thousands of songs through radio streaming websites like Pandora and Spotify that, even more conveniently, tailor their music recommendations and mixes using powerful algorithms and user feedback. And yet, the marriage of big data and internet radio is not benign. As these sites have figured out, the metadata users provide about their musical preferences can help predict a number of important demographic markers (like age, gender, race, income level, sexual activity levels and orientation, political affiliation, recreational drug usage, future delinquency, and basic personality makeup just to name a few), and they're only too willing to sell this information to the highest corporate or governmental bidder.

Featuring a curated collection of songs about privacy and surveillance, Metadata Radio is a fully functional internet radio station dedicated to reclaiming music listening from Big Brother. It's a pre-programmed site, meaning it doesn't rely on user input or personal information. In fact, the only personal information revealed is that of our curmudgeonly radio announcer -- who divulges a bit too much about his personal life while educating listeners about music surveillance.

Sources and further reading:
Cooper, Belle Beth. "The Surprising Science Behind What Music Does to Our Brains," fastcompany.com. 6 Dec. 2013.
Dwoskin, Elizabeth. "Pandora Thinks It Knows if You Are a Republican," wsj.com. 13 Feb. 2014.
Griffith, Virgil. "musicthatmakseyoudumb," musicthatmakesyoudumb.virgil.gr.
Leonard, Andrew. "Big Brother is in your Spotify: How music became the surveillance state's Trojan horse," Salon.com. 28 Mar. 2014.
Marx, Gary T. "Soul Trai: The New Surveillance in Popular Music," Lessons From Identity Trail. Eds. Kerr, Steeves, Lucock. Oxford, 2008.
"New University of Leicester Study Identifies Links Between Musical Tastes and Lifestyle," University of Leicester.
Ter Bogt, Tom F.M. et al. "Early Adolescent Music Preferences and Minor Delinquency," pediatrics.aappublications.org. 12 Oct. 2012.

©Emily Greenberg. All rights reserved.