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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Episodes

  • Episode #169 - The Environmental Impact of Vinyl Records, CDs, and Data

    February 12th, 2020  |  40 mins 58 secs

    We talk with Kyle Devine, author of a new book about the environmental impact of music recordings, which raises a number of issues that we had never previously considered.

  • Episode #168 - L'Affaire Sonos and Obsolescence in Audio Equipment

    January 29th, 2020  |  36 mins 46 secs

    Andy Doe joins us again to discuss the perils of having software-controlled audio equipment. After the Affaire Sonos, when the company announced that a lot of its older products would become "obsolete," perhaps it's time to think more carefully about how long hardware we buy will last, when it depends on software.

  • Episode #167 - Tuning the Perfect Music Listening Room

    January 15th, 2020  |  35 mins 2 secs

    Chris Connaker of Audiophile Style renovated the attic of his house and turned it into the ultimate listening room. He then tuned it using amazing speakers, acoustic treatment, and DSP (digital signal processing). He explains how he went about this, and how the room itself is perhaps the most important element in an audio system.

  • Episode #166 - Our Year in Music

    January 2nd, 2020  |  34 mins 53 secs

    For the first episode of the new decade - the last one recorded in the previous decade - Doug and Kirk look back on their year in music.

  • Episode #165 - Christmas Is in the Air

    December 18th, 2019  |  34 mins 33 secs

    As Christmas approaches, we have decided to re-run our Christmas episode of two years ago. Because it was so good. And because it took a long time to collate the show notes.

  • Episode #164 - Sid Smith on the Life and Times of King Crimson

    December 4th, 2019  |  39 mins 20 secs

    Sid Smith is the official biographer of King Crimson. He recently updated his book, In The Court Of King Crimson - An Observation Over 50 Years, that tells the tale of this seminal band. We talk with Sid about everything Crimson.

  • Episode #163 - Lewis Shiner on His Novel Outside the Gates of Eden

    November 20th, 2019  |  32 mins 32 secs

    Lewis Shiner's latest novel Outside the Gates of Eden is a saga that begins at a Dylan concert in 1965, then follows a musician and his friends as they age, up to the present. This novel has a huge scope, with moving scenes about music, and about a generation growing up. (Apologies for the sketchy Skype audio quality.)

  • Episode #162 - Apple's New Improved macOS Media Apps

    November 6th, 2019  |  32 mins 47 secs

    Doug and Kirk spend a half hour or so discussing Apple's new apps that replace iTunes on the Mac. They rant, they praise, they shrug, they laugh, and they reminisce on what was, while imaging what could have been. It was a very good year.

  • Episode #161 - Philip Thomas on Morton Feldman's Piano Music

    October 23rd, 2019  |  34 mins 32 secs

    Philip Thomas has recorded a 5-CD set of all of Morton Feldman's music for solo piano. We discuss with him one of the most interesting of 20th century composers and the unique nature of sound in Feldman's works.

  • Episode #160 - Golden Years

    October 9th, 2019  |  28 mins

    Ginger Baker has died, and we reflect on older musicians and how they keep on performing, even without any new material, until their golden years.

  • Episode #159 - Has Lossless and High-Resolution Audio Finally Come to the Masses?

    September 25th, 2019  |  33 mins 9 secs

    Amazon announced a new lossless and high-resolution music streaming service. Has high-res music finally come to everyone? We talk with Chris Connaker, of Audiophile Style, to try to understand Amazon's logic.

  • Episode #158 - What We Did this Summer

    September 12th, 2019  |  29 mins 34 secs

    Doug and Kirk discuss some audio-related projects they carried out this summer, new Sonos gear, streaming audio in the home, the iTunes visualizer, and more.

  • Episode #157 - Fake Fur-Covered Streams: Everything About CD Packaging

    August 28th, 2019  |  36 mins 52 secs

    Andy Doe joins us to discuss CD packaging. The types of packages used, such as jewel cases and digipacks, and the marketing behind those Big Classical Box Sets.

  • Episode #156 - 10 Ideas About the Future of the Music Business

    August 14th, 2019  |  35 mins 30 secs

    We discuss the future of the music business, and come up with at last 10 ideas about how things will change in the next 10 years. Because 10 is a good number.

  • Episode #155 - Running a Small Record Label: Another Timbre

    July 31st, 2019  |  36 mins 46 secs

    We welcome Simon Reynell, who runs Another Timbre, a one-man record label that releases experimental and contemporary music. Simon tells us how he started the label, and what it's like to run a record label in a niche of this kind.

  • Episode #154 - Remembering the Walkman and Cassettes

    July 18th, 2019  |  25 mins 43 secs

    The Sony Walkman was introduced 40 years ago. When it first came out, it was the biggest change in musical listening since the record player. It ushered in an era of personal listening, and, with the popularity of cassette tapes, changed the music industry.