Cybertainment: Global jukebox is coming

February 26, 2012 12:00 am

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Starting in the 1930s, Alan Lomax traveled extensively, recording music in the Deep South, the Caribbean, Britain, Ireland and elsewhere. Over the years, he built an extensive collection of field recordings -- folk, blues and traditional music -- that has become a national treasure now housed at the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress. Much of it could have been lost to the ages, and much of it influenced later folk and blues performers.

The ethnomusicologist dreamed of what he called a "global jukebox" -- an organized, classified database of world music -- where these songs would be available to anyone who wanted to hear them.

The Web has finally caught up with Mr. Lomax's vision. Soon, more than 17,000 of Mr. Lomax's field recordings will be available to stream online, giving listeners access to a huge library of field recordings from this country and elsewhere.

The archive will be available through The Association for Cultural Equity's website. The Association for Cultural Equity is the custodian for the Lomax collection and oversees the Global Jukebox and other Lomax projects.

The organization also has launched the Alan Lomax Archive Channel on YouTube, featuring videos of performances and interviews recorded in the South and Southwest between 1978-85.

See also

NPR Music has launched an iPad app that brings live performances, video, music programming and more music-related content to iPad users.

Programs available on demand include "All Songs Considered," "Live at the Village Vanguard," "Song of the Day, "World Cafe" and more.

The app includes live video streaming of NPR Music concerts, and live studio performances like NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts series. Listeners also will be able to hear live concert streams from festivals like South by Southwest.

Users can explore content by genre, create playlists and use a music recommendation feature based on those playlists.

The app also offers a choice of live streams from more than 100 public radio stations.

NPR will present an exclusive in-app concert with The Shins on March 7 at 10 p.m. The live concert will stream on the iPad app, and will be archived for other listeners on NPR's website starting March 8.

First Published 2012-02-25 23:24:24

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