The Next Track

A podcast about how people listen to music today.

About the show

Doug Adams and Kirk McElhearn discuss music and musicians, and how we listen to music, whether it be analog or digital, downloaded or streamed, audio, or video.

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  • Episode #227 - The Crutch Interregnum

    January 19th, 2022  |  36 mins 25 secs

    One of Doug's favorite words is "interregnum," and he uses it here to describe the transitional period when record companies lost control of their product.

  • Episode #226 - Annik Lafarge on Chasing Chopin

    January 5th, 2022  |  38 mins 36 secs

    Annik Lafarge has written a fascinating book about Chopin's well-known 2nd piano sonata (the one with the funeral march), discussing not just the music, but also the social and cultural context of the time.

  • Episode #225 - ABBA's Failure

    December 22nd, 2021  |  30 mins 2 secs

    Neither Doug nor Kirk cares about ABBA very much, but we were interested by a letter from music industry insider Bob Lefsetz about "ABBA's Failure in the Marketplace." Did ABBA really fail? Has Bob Lefsetz missed a few elements in the ABBA story?

  • Episode #224 - Our Christmas Gift Guide

    December 8th, 2021  |  48 mins 4 secs

    We don't do a Christmas gift guide every year, but we decided we'd select some trinkets and tchotchkes that we'd recommend as gifts this year. Our only constraint was that we don't choose music.

  • Episode 227: Episode # 223 - Culling Cruft

    November 24th, 2021  |  33 mins 41 secs

    Doug and Kirk both have large music libraries. They discuss some of the problems of having too much music, and how to wrangle a large library of music files.

  • Episode #222 - TJ Connelly's Streaming Radio Station, UncertainFM

    November 10th, 2021  |  44 mins 40 secs

    We first spoke with TJ Connelly, who scores live sports events for the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots, last year, early in lockdown. He started a project called UncertainFM, which has now expanded to become a full-fledged streaming radio station. And The Next Track will be playing on UncertainFM starting with this episode.

  • Episode #221 - Chris Connaker's Outdoor Audio Project

    October 27th, 2021  |  31 mins 14 secs

    Chris Connaker, our resident audiophile, likes complicated projects. Whether he's putting together a purpose-built audio streaming computer, or building and tuning a listening room, he always wants to go as far as he can. This summer he built an audio system in his backyard and documented it in detail. We discuss the why and how of this project, and ask if his chickens really like Bill Evans.

  • Episode #220 - Headphones, Take 3

    October 13th, 2021  |  24 mins 34 secs

    This is the third time we discuss headphones on The Next Track. Both Doug and Kirk have found that they use fewer headphones, and use headphones differently than in the past.

  • Episode #219 - Reissues, Remixes, and Remasters

    September 29th, 2021  |  26 mins 29 secs

    The recording industry doesn't just make money from new releases, but regularly reissues older releases to exploit their back catalog. Some of these are just repackaged, and others are remixed or remastered. We discuss the issues around these releases, and what all these re- terms mean.

  • Episode #218 - Sholto Kynoch, Pianist and Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival

    September 15th, 2021  |  38 mins 57 secs

    Pianist Sholto Kynoch founded the Oxford Lieder Festival in 2002, and it has become the most important festival for lieder and song in the UK. We discuss the festival, and how listeners around the world can watch nearly 100 concerts via streaming in October.

  • Episode #217 - To Stream or to Own Music Redux

    September 1st, 2021  |  32 mins 32 secs

    In episode #2 of The Next Track, we discussed streaming versus owning music. That was five years ago. We decided to revisit the topic, to see if we've changed our minds.

  • Episode #216 - Blonde on Blonde

    August 18th, 2021  |  31 mins 33 secs

    In a delayed episode celebrating Bob Dylan's 80th birthday, we take a close look at his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.

  • Episode #215 - People Aren't Listening to Much New Music

    August 4th, 2021  |  29 mins 54 secs

    More than two-thirds of music listened to in the US is old music. Music less than 18 months old accounts for only a third of listening, and this share is dropping. We discuss what this means for the future of the music industry.

  • Episode #214 - Chris Connaker on Music with Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio

    July 21st, 2021  |  36 mins 49 secs

    With Apple offering some music with Dolby Atmos and/or Spatial Audio on Apple Music, we talk with Chris Connaker about whether this is a Good Thing for music.

  • Episode #213 - The Grateful Dead's 100 Essential Songs, with Bob Trudeau

    July 7th, 2021  |  33 mins 56 secs

    This week's guest, Bob Trudeau, has co-authored a book, with Barry Barnes, about the Grateful Dead's 100 Essential Songs. Even if you're not a fan of the Grateful Dead, this episode is an interesting discussion of a band's repertoire.

  • Episode #212 - Caoilfhionn Rose's Second Album, Truly

    June 23rd, 2021  |  33 mins 47 secs

    We're happy to welcome back Caoilfhionn Rose to discuss the recording and release of her second album Truly. Caoilfhionn is a young singer from Manchester, and continues the lineage of great music from that city.