Space Dentist TV
I launched spacedentist.tv. Go and watch it! (Only works on computers. Does not work on mobile devices like phones and tablets.)
Music Television Was a Thing Once
I used to be a big fan of the English music tv channel MTV2. It was a great source of interesting bands, and a showcase of remarkable creativity with respect to both the music and the videos. The big indie acts of the time were on heavy rotation, but there was also a variety of specialist programmes. Most notably "120 Minutes", which offered an amazing selection of off-the-mainstream music. The immense loss it meant to me when the programme got axed is documented. After 120 Minutes and all other original programming on MTV2 got axed in early 2009, a general change in style was later accompanied by the rebranding as "MTV ROCKS" in 2010. The channel has become utterly uninspiring and basically unwatchable.
I miss good music television. Even more so because bands and videomakers are still having great ideas. There is still exciting new music around and there are still the creative people who team up with bands and produce the video that often enough are driven by great ideas and near to no budget. Nowadays, in the post-music television era, the place to watch music videos is the world wide web. The good thing about music videos on the web is they are there for you to watch on demand. The bad thing is that it lacks the aspect of curation that radio has and music television used to have. Sometimes you need to get used to the new sound of a new band before you begin to like it. As much as streaming music off the internet is great, is still love listening to the radio. As much as the videos are all there on the net, I still miss my MTV2.
Bringing It Back
I picked Vimeo as streaming source. Vimeo is great! While YouTube is a bit of a video landfill where anyone uploads anything (often with poor image quality and questionable legitimacy), Vimeo is a network of video creatives. People involved in the making of the video upload their works to present them. Vimeo provides this as a service to the video creators: it charges them for serving the videos. But in return Vimeo encourages audiences to share videos. They even offer the tools to embed videos on your own web site. Spacedentist.tv is one application of this official Vimeo interface. I am only using the functionality that is advertised and documented by Vimeo for spacedentist.tv.
Show Me the Videos!
Just go to spacedentist.tv. That is all you need to do. Unfortunately, because of the way it is implemented, spacedentist.tv does not work on mobile devices but only in web browsers running on actual computers, preferrably a recent version of Firefox or Chrome. The spacedentist.tv web site does nothing more than playing videos to you. You can click on the station logo in the upper left corner to see what videos you have been watching (and also see the links to the Vimeo pages of those videos).
Most of the time you will see a mixed selection of new and old videos. I try to follow some common practices of playlisting. So it is not completely random. There is some algorithm I have developed, and which hopefully will be subject to constant improvement in the future.
However, during certain times you will see a special programmes instead of the standard mix. "Nur die Hits!" plays you all the hits that currently are on heavy rotation. "Heiß und neu!" (pronounced "Hice oond Noy") gives you the hot and new stuff: the latest additions to the playlists. And then there is the flagship programme. I am trying hard to recreate something that resembles the famous 120 Minutes. Of course I can't. But I try. And perhaps it is almost like 120 Minutes, so I called it "119 Minutes".
119 Minutes is on every night at 9pm London time/10pm CET, and there are repeats at 1am London/2am CET (this was actually the traditional time slot for 120 Minutes), and again in the morning at 9am London/10am CET.
As of now, the programme scheme is the same every day:
- 5:00-9:00 UK/6:00-10:00 CET: Morning Mix
- 9:00-10:59 UK/10:00-11:59 CET: 119 Minutes (repeat)
- 12:00-12:30 UK/13:00-13:30 CET: Heiß und neu!
- Hourly from 14:45 UK/15:45 CET to 18:45 UK/19:45 CET: Nur die Hits! (15 minutes)
- Hourly from 15:00 UK/16:00 CET to 19:00 UK/20:00 CET: Heiß und neu! (15 minutes --- the final show is 30 minutes)
- 21:00-22:59 UK/22:00-23:59 CET: 119 Minutes
- 1:00-2:59 UK/2:00-3:59 CET: 119 Minutes (repeat)
Discussion and Conclusions
It is a hobby project, I did it for fun. It has been interesting to play with the Vimeo API. Also I could try out a few technologies I have not used before (e.g. Python Tornado for serving playlist items to the clients). Writing playlisting algorithms and devising programme schemes and all that was fun, too. The nice thing about doing a hobby project like this is that you eventually find out that you can do it. So, yes, a thing that imitates linear music tv and is on 24/7 is something I can do in my spare time.
If all that comes out of this is something that I myself enjoy watching I am fine with that. If there are other people who enjoy this, than I am more than happy to share it with you. Obviously the selection of music is strongly biased. I guess you will only enjoy watching spacedentist.tv for a bit if your taste in music and mine share some intersection.
If you do enjoy spacedentist.tv, you can follow @spacedentist_tv on Twitter. Feel free to send me tweets, too.