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 #173 - Pianist Angela Hewitt

    March 31st, 2020  |  35 mins 21 secs

    In the first of a number of out-of-band episodes that we're planning to release in the coming weeks, we talk with pianist Angela Hewitt, best known for her extraordinary recordings of all of Bach's keyboard works.

  • Episode #172 - Social Isolation and Music

    March 25th, 2020  |  30 mins 37 secs

    These are difficult times for many people, who are now required to stay at home. Music can help us get through this. In this "two guys not in a pub" episode, Doug and Kirk reflect on social isolation and music.

  • Episode #171 - Vintage Audio Gear

    March 11th, 2020  |  27 mins 41 secs

    While there are lots of reasons to opt for minimal audio equipment, for some people there is an enduring allure for vintage stereo amps and receivers from the hi-fi heydays of the 1970s. The time when audio gear had knobs and dials and VU meters, like the fins and grilles on 1950s cars. We discuss our lust for those baroque audio devices of yore.

  • Episode #170 - Miles Davis's Landmark Album Kind of Blue

    February 26th, 2020  |  35 mins 43 secs

    Ashley Kahn wrote the book on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, the jazz album everyone owns if they one at least one jazz album. We talk with Ashley about the recording of Kind of Blue, and about its legacy. (Apologies for the audio issues.)

  • 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.