• If you like free radio…

  • New Audio

  • RSS Fabulous Podcasts

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

  • Threadless Tshirts RULE!!!

    the best tshirts on the planet are from Threadless....

Archive for the ‘internet’ Category

Moving Pains

Posted by Molli Fire on Tuesday, 10July07

Thank you for being flexible while we move to the new site.  It’s a difficult thing for me, because I love this site so much, and in many ways this site is better than the new site right now.  But that will change very soon.  The new site has so much potential and opportunities that I can never realize with this site.  Just the fact that I cannot embed most java script like videos from anywhere other than youtube or google can seriously hinder a music journalist.  So, I know this is a pain in the arse, to come here looking for something only to have to click one more time to get the story on the new site, but it will be best in the long run.

Thank you so much for your readership!  Please make the move with us to the new site!

Pretty soon we will have more authors on board, which will bring you more content and variety.  Not to mention cool new features and such!

Don’t forget to change your bookmarks and feeds, the new address is:

Have a fabulous week!

~Molli Fire~

Posted in HearingTest updates, internet, new release, news | Leave a Comment »

HearingTest Has Its Own Home Now!

Posted by Molli Fire on Monday, 9July07

Hello lovely readers!! I have finally returned from my travels, and I have been working so very diligently on the new HearingTest website so that it would be perfect and ready to launch this week. Well, despite shunning the outside world and working on it all weekend, it is not yet perfect, but it is ready to launch. I must admit, I am launching it a bit earlier than I had intended, but I can’t help it. It is SO much easier and more fun to use than this one. Sad but true. I adore wordpress, and if I had used any other blog platform to start this blog, I probably would not have kept it up this long, nor seen a strong future in it. But this blog has truly inspired me, and so I am moving to it to its own domain, and I am bringing the wordpress software with me! I hope you like the new site. It needs work, maybe even a lot of it, so I will be tweaking all kind of things in the next 2 weeks until it is just right. Soon it will be just like this one, with more features to play with. I apologize to everyone who has to switch to the new feed – that is the one real drag about moving. The new address will require new bookmarks and new feeds, so please change the ones that you use. I will continue to add the teaser posts here, until everyone has had a chance to find the new place. I will also be mentioning the new place in every post until I feel that everyone has seen the news. So, sorry about the redundancy.
Get the Early Bird’s view of the new site:

Just don’t forget that it’s in Beta mode for the next 2 weeks! And please let me know if you encounter any problems. Thank Jah I am doing this now, while HearingTest is just a baby! I can’t imagine what a pain in the arse this would be if I had a super well-established blog…

Thank you so much for reading HearingTest! Please keep reading on the new site! It will only get better and better!
Much respect,
~Molli Fire~

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, culture, HearingTest updates, internet, news | Leave a Comment »

Stop The Impending Silence Of Net Radio!

Posted by Molli Fire on Monday, 25June07

This message is so important that I have decided to repost it with some extra information. has declared a Day of Silence for internet radio broadcast on Tuesday June 26th. The stations that participate will give listeners only a taste of what it will be like after July 15th if the increased royalty rate is upheld. Internet Radio Day Of Silence 2007 Stations that go silent will likely include Pandora, Live 365, Yahoo LAUNCHcast, and MTV Online, and NPR member stations. These stations, plus others like AccuRadio, Radioio, Digitally Imported, Rhapsody and many more would be seriously impacted by retroactive royalty increases equal to 50-300% of the station’s current revenue income. In Rhapsody, Pandora and Live365’s cases, the increase would also penalize their multiple channels platform, causing rate increases equal to more than 1000% of their current revenue. 1000%! According to the RAIN (Radio And Internet Newsletter):

Webcasters will be alerting their listeners that “silence” is what Internet radio may sound like on or shortly after July 15th, the day on which 17 months’ worth of retroactive royalty increase payments are due to the SoundExchange collection organization under the terms of a recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision.

Read more about the situation on the RAIN website and check out for more options of what you – the listener, the musician, the dj, the webcaster – can do to help.

Call Your Congress To Save Internet Radio

LINKS To Contact Your Congress

US Senators Home Page
Write Your Representatives Page



Save Net Radio - Internet Radio Day Of Silence


Please spread the word, copy and save this image and use it on your own blog. Tell all your friends. Write to the US Congress using the links above. If you can think of other ways to get involved, please share them in the comments here…


This report has been submitted to DIGG and Reddit. Please add your support to either.








Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, CRB, culture, dj, free, hacktivism, industry, internet, music, music tech, news, radio, social | 4 Comments »

Will Internet Radio Be Silenced For 1 Day Or Forever?

Posted by Molli Fire on Tuesday, 19June07 has declared a Day of Silence for internet radio broadcast on Tuesday June 26th. The stations that participate will give listeners only a taste of what it will be like after July 15th if the increased royalty rate is upheld. Internet Radio Day Of Silence 2007 Stations that go silent will likely include Pandora, Live 365, Yahoo LAUNCHcast, and MTV Online, and NPR member stations. These stations, plus others like AccuRadio, Radioio, Digitally Imported, Rhapsody and many more would be seriously impacted by retroactive royalty increases equal to 50-300% of the station’s current revenue income. In Rhapsody, Pandora and Live365’s cases, the increase would also penalize their multiple channels platform, causing rate increases equal to more than 1000% of their current revenue. 1000%! According to the RAIN (Radio And Internet Newsletter):

Webcasters will be alerting their listeners that “silence” is what Internet radio may sound like on or shortly after July 15th, the day on which 17 months’ worth of retroactive royalty increase payments are due to the SoundExchange collection organization under the terms of a recent Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision.

Read more about the situation on the RAIN website and check out for more options of what you – the listener, the musician, the dj, the webcaster – can do to help.

Call Your Congress To Save Internet Radio

Look at the left sidebar here at HearingTest for 2 links for contacting your Senators and Representatives in Congress. The lins are under the title act!



Save Net Radio - Internet Radio Day Of Silence





Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, CRB, culture, DC, DIY, dj, free, industry, internet, legal, music, music tech, news, radio, social | Leave a Comment »

PassAlong + EMI = DRM-Free

Posted by Molli Fire on Thursday, 14June07

PassAlong, a digital media company based in Tennessee, has announced a deal with EMI to sell the music company’s entire digital catalog DRM-free.

DRM-Free EMI MP3s On PassAlong

The bonus of this agreement with PassAlong, is that its stores will offer the tunes as 320kbps mp3 format – a higher bitrate than the 128 and 192kbps bitrate that is currently offered by many online stores, including iChoons. This means that downloading a 320kbps mp3 that is free of the DRM restrictions will sound nearly as good as a cd and be even more versatile. You can play DRM-free tracks in any portable player, you can move it from one machine to another, regardless of platform, you can burn a cd of it and play it anywhere. Heck, at 320kbps you can even dj that shizzle to a slammin dancefloor and it will probably go over great! Of course, music of any format only sounds as good as the speakers its played on, so many may never hear the difference between a high quality mp3 and a cd or vinyl copy. The bigger/better the soundsystem, the more of a difference you will hear…

iChoons has plans to offer the premium quality downloads for 30 cents more, and Amazon will likely also offer the premium quality tracks when it launches its digital music store this summer. PassAlong passed the buck on how much it will charge for the higher quality tracks, stating that price is decided by the individual retailers.


News from Reuters.
PassAlong music stores
for your entertainment stores – Trans World Entertainment’s audio/DVD/video game store. Part of the PassAlong media company.

More About DRM-Free Music:

All posts about DRM and DRM-free music On HearingTest



Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, culture, dj, DRM, free, industry, internet, mp3, music, music tech, news | 1 Comment »

HearingTest Add-Ons

Posted by Molli Fire on Saturday, 9June07

It is my goal to make HearingTest the best damn site on the WWW for music news and culture. One way is by providing as many resources as possible for obtaining music in a Fair Trade style. Here you find links to DRM-free music, stores that are recommended by the artists themselves and, whenever possible, links to purchase directly from the artist who created the tunes. I am researching more ways to bring the music directly into this site for you to preview. It’s my nature to constantly analyze this site, looking for ways to improve upon it. Currently, my biggest concern is your interaction with the tools here. I want to make this site easy to navigate, with fun things to explore. You can find news from other sources in the sidebars to keep you up to date on more stories than I have time to write about. Every post includes video and streaming audio when available to listen to the music being discussed. There is also the boombox of tunes in the sidebar and the Listen page at the top. My latest satori was to create more regular weekly features in addition to the constant stream of news. To this end, I present –

Hearing Test -REWIND!

This will be a weekly roundup of all the best stories that were reported here during the last week. It seems that there are so many stories that get reported on HearingTest, that many of the best ones get buried quickly to the bottom of the page, then the next page, etc. So to highlight the best news of the week, I will be compiling headlines (with links) into a single post every weekend. This is a pretty common practice in blogging, but I am just starting to get to the place with HearingTest that I can offer this kind of cyclic feature. This will also provide a platform to let you know of any big changes or new toys to fiddle with on site that were implemented during the week.

Well, on that note, I will start compiling this week’s best stories for the first installment. And don’t expect the latest Paris Hilton gossip to make it into the weekly roundup. You can find that anywhere (and everywhere) on the web. Instead, you will find only quality news that maybe got buried underneath the big news. On days that have extra time, I will also try to supplement the week’s stories with additional info, updates, and/or more audio, video to complement what was already posted.

You Have A Voice Here

At the same time, I am thinking about other weekly features that I can start to include. Let me know if you have any ideas, or have thought of something you really wish this site offered. My next bright idea is something along the lines of offering a rotating Best Mix Of The Week which can get refreshed every weekend. I guess we’ll both see what comes next. Hit me up in the comments with any input you have. I LOVE feedback! If you don’t see your comment right away, I will try to wrestle it away from the hungry spam bots that manage the comments sectors. Non-spam comments should show up right away.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the new REWIND!

Molli Fire

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, culture, HearingTest updates, internet, news, wordpress | Leave a Comment »

Beastie Boys Win Webby Award For “I F***ing Shot That”

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 8June07

On Tuesday the Beastie Boys were honored with Artist of the Year at the 11th Annual Webby Awards. They received this award for their innovative idea in 2006 of incorporating user-generated content into their live concert film, notoriously known as Awesome, I F***ing Shot That. The Beastie Boys movie was compiled entirely of footage created by the audience with cameras that were distributed at the concert.

The Webby Award also chose them in part for their work and loud advocation of more flexible copyright laws and a share-alike attitude with their own music. David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards, described the Beastie Boys’ audience interaction enthusiastically when he stated:

“From the Internet to video to music, Beastie Boys have created a totally unique, two-way relationship with their fans… They embody the kind of collaboration and exchange of ideas that the Web is all about.”

It’s true. Just check out their official website with its own page dedicated to making Beastie Boys vocal A Cappellas available for fans to create remixes. Their website also has a tour diary, a studio cam, and a blog where they post the kinds of things that they are getting kicks from, like the fantastic G.I. Joe PSA by Eric Fensler or clips from Sesame Street.

The Webby Awards have a strict 5-word acceptance speech rule, and this is how the Boys worked it:

Can anyone fix my computer?

Hint: go to the blog and watch the G.I. Joe PSA, for reals….

For more fab 1 liners, go to the Webby Awards speeches page. For more BBoys photos from the event, go to this Picture Page. Other Award winners included LonelyGirl15, Halcyon, Ask A Ninja, and many more!


Webby Awards Main Page
More photos from 11th Annual Webby Awards Ceremony
Beastie Boys Main Page
Awesome, I F***ing Shot That


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, Beastie Boys, culture, experimental, free, hip hop, industry, internet, music, news, NYC, shows, skate, social, video | 1 Comment »

Uber-Cool Designs To Wear, Show Your LOVE For HT!!

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 1June07

One of my favorite design communities – Threadless – busted out this week with new contests and new releases as part of their Wear I $pent My Summer Vacation Sale. By the end of the weekend, someone is going to win an ipod and digital camera, and everyone will find great designs by so many fabulous artists- on smooth american apparel shirts for as low as $10! Ten frickin US dollars! And they will be releasing another new design everyday until June 3rd.

I’m particularly fond of this one that I bought on sight (I’m actually wearing it as I write this):

Threadless Design Community Summer Sale

Aww YEAH! Iz gonna be a Beat Street Beat Down!!

That’s not all… By coincidence, I submitted a slogan for a tshirt idea this week. It’s a sweet little philosophical one-liner that I have used for years in conjunction with my solo music project. If you want to make a dedicated music journalist super happy, vote to get it printed as a tshirt. Check-check-check it out y’all:


Robots don’t leave fingerprints

Click the slogan there to vote!

You need to sign in or sign up for a Threadless account, but go ahead, you’ll need one to order anyhow. If you get a chance to tell them who referred you, my Threadless name is robotanist . For those not familiar with the Threadless community, they RULE! Check out the next contest coming up – they are seeking Tshirt design submissions inspired by “awkward love” in celebration of the quirky romance comedy Eagle vs. Shark… The regular contests are located behind the big red heart at the top of the page. If you don’t see it, hover over “Participate” and you will see the heart to the right.So go ahead, find something cool to wear to the show next weekend, and enter to win some cool prizes! Thanks for your support! If I win this slogan contest, I will have some credit to spend on Tshirts, which means HearingTest will definitely be having a contest with Tshirt prizes!!
Enjoy your Threadless Summer Vacation!


Digg This Story here to help get more votes

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, art, culture, design, DIY, internet, new release, news, robots, social | 2 Comments »

First Country Concert In The 2nd Life

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 1June07

Second Life is about to experience its first country concert in the virtual community of 7 million residents. On June 4th, Dierks Bentley will perform live at The Bluebird in Nashville which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. The Bluebird has been streaming songwriter events in the Second Life for the last few weeks, but Bentley’s show will mark the first country concert in streaming 3D reality. Now, you don’t have to go to Nashville to get the full Nashville experience, just log in to Second Life! All proceeds from this concert will benefit the Vanderbilt Childrens’ Hospital.




Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in culture, guitar, industry, internet, music, news, shows | 2 Comments »

HearingTest Gets A New Look!

Posted by Molli Fire on Sunday, 27May07

Those readers who are visiting this page via the homepage can plainly see (i hope!!), that this site has just had a complete renovation. If you are reading this via a reader or email post, please visit the website at your convenience and let me know how it looks. I hope you are able to see everything well enough. I will be making adjustments and improvements constantly until it looks absolutely fantastic on everyone’s computer, so if anything is not working out in your view of this site – please email me! In the meantime, i just wanted to get this up and running. The colour palette is very dark for a very good reason – these colours are intended to save quite a bit of energy and therefore be more environmentally conservative. It takes more energy/electricity to illuminate a monitor screen to make it appear white, it takes half as much energy to appear dark blue, green, and red, and even less to produce black. In fact, black might be the total absence of light in this case. For more information on low-watt web palettes, visit these pages:

Black Google On TreeHugger

EcoIron Uses Emergy-C

I will be posting more very soon about conserving energy on the internet, blogging on wordpress, CSS control, etc…

So Stay Tuned!
And as always, THANKS FOR VISITING!!!

Molli Fire

Posted in activism, design, DIY, HearingTest updates, internet, news, wordpress | Leave a Comment »

Smaller Internet Radio Stations Get Extension On Rate Increase

Posted by Molli Fire on Tuesday, 22May07

Hurray for the dedicated supporters of internet radio broadcasting!!! We have achieved at least a small victory today, and hopefully it will serve as precedent to achieve bigger victories in the near future!

The announcement came down the vine today that SoundExchange (who i thoroughly reported about here) has offered a reduced royalty rate to “smaller” webcasters. We can only hope that this will further translate into no royalty rate for those stations that are able to prove that they do not broadcast music that incurs any royalty at all. You may recall that previous decisions had included a $500 minimum fee for every station plus royalty fees even for strictly talk-based radio. The new decision states that smaller stations on the web will owe 10% of revenues up to $250K and 12% of revenues over $250K. For stations that already pay royalties and fully comply to this system, this will come as a great relief. However, the language of the press release leads one to think that this may be a temporary fix to give smaller net stations a chance to catch up before being hit with the original plan of increased royalty rates. Let’s not even get started on how the government considers this a “subsidy” to small webcasters to help them get their business built up enough to afford the big fees, rather than a free speech or freedom of access to non-commercial music. So, the struggle to keep internet radio accessible to all has not yet been won…

Listeners Can Save Internet Radio

Please read more about the new situation by checking these links as the story progresses:


Radio And Internet Newsletter
Save Net Radio

PBS report on the dynamics of webcasting.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, CRB, DIY, dj, hacktivism, industry, internet, legal, music, music tech, news, piracy, radio, social | Leave a Comment »

Coke + iTunes = Faster Downloads?

Posted by Molli Fire on Thursday, 17May07

Continuing with today’s theme of partnerships that garnish free music:
Apple Coke! 2 Great things that go great together!
Not apple flavored Coke, but Apple Computer has joined up with Coke for a free music promotion that claims to be “the biggest ever in Europe, spans 17 countries and runs from May through the end of August.”

Sorry to the other 170 countries….

It’s simple, buy coke, and redeem the cap code for a free download at iTunes Music Store. You can even win a free ipod or concert tickets.

The promotion will be launched at the Cannes Film Festival in France and will feature a performance by Faithless.



Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in internet, mp3, music, news, pop | Leave a Comment »

Amazon To Launch DRM-Free Digital Music Store

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 16May07

EMI has licensed its entire digital catalog to according to Reuters. Amazon, currently the #1 online retailer of CDs worldwide, will launch a digital music store later in 2007 that will sell DRM-free music. While the Beatles’ music is not included in the DRM-free deal, all of Paul McCartney’s solo work will be released in both digital and physical formats by EMI.
Read more at Reuters.
And for additional *exclusive* information about this deal, see what hypebot has to say….






Technorati Tags: , ,

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, DRM, internet, mp3, music, music tech, news | Leave a Comment »

Rupert Murdoch As Captain America

Posted by Molli Fire on Friday, 11May07

Murdoch Announces That My$pace Will Tackle Global Climate Problems

Rupert Murdoch himself announced that “MySpace has launched a channel dedicated to climate change. -slash- OurPlanet. What better way to enable young people to connect with each other and engage on this issue.”

Murdoch Pledges Carbon Neutrality For The People

RuMur gives such an impassioned speech about alarmist climate changes, and the need for carbon neutrality as well as the transition to alternative energy sources – wind, solar, biofuel – and widespread increase of consumer awareness. He goes on to suggest that when News Corporation is carbon neutral, NuCorp will be … carbon neutral. That said, we need to think of our audience, who has 10K times the carbon footprint of NuCorp. We need to convince our audience that carbon neutrality needs to be adopted immediately! And this is how NuCorp intends to do it :

We cannot do it with gimmicks. We need to reach them in a sustained way. To weave this issue into our content– make it dramatic, make it vivid, even sometimes make it fun. We want to inspire people to change their behavior.

Imagine if we succeed in inspiring our audiences to reduce their own impacts on climate change by just one percent. That would be like turning the State of California off for almost two months.

And imagine if… we were able to take on the carbon footprint of our audience in Asia. Many of the most serious impacts of climate change will be felt there, and China and India’s emissions are rising rapidly. STAR is the number one Hindi-language network in the world. In India alone, we reach 100 million people.

The challenge is to revolutionize the message.

For too long, the threats of climate change have been presented as doom and gloom– because the consequences are so serious.

We need to do what our company does best: make this issue exciting. Tell the story in a new way.

Aaahhh! Why does he sound so like the Ministry of Truth even when speaking about something so Utopian?

Two more snippets, just to arouse your interest enough to get you over to The Australian to read the entire speech. It’s reAlly fasci-nating.

When I look around the world today, I see continued dependence on oil from vulnerable regions… and oil money going to leaders of countries hostile to us. Then there’s accelerating development in China, India and other developing economies that are reliant on fossil fuels. ….

… Climate change and energy use are global problems– News Corp is a global company.

Our operations affect the environment all over the world.

Our audiences– hundreds of millions of people on five continents– care about this issue. Three quarters of the American public believes climate change is a serious problem, and in many other countries, developed and developing, the numbers are even higher.

Ha Ha! He makes it sound like the American public is behind less-developed countries in global awareness, and overall concern about NuCorp’s affection on the whole world! What a well orated dis! Honestly the entire speech raises the hairs on the back of my neck. I wish this were a utopian world and this was really how businesses thought about people, and the world we share. But, coming from RuMur, it sounds so ORWELLIAN!

You can also watch and listen to the entire speech, in his own voice, with this WMV video.

Jack Shafer Doesn’t Trust Rupert Murdoch Either

I’ve never heard of Jack Shafer, the author, before today, but i think i like his style. Well, i’m not actually sure if author is his usual gig, it says Media Critic on his headlines this week. Yesterday he wrote “The Murdoch Street Journal, NOT FOR ME, THANKS.” for Slate Magazine. He is referrencing the fact that Rupert Murdoch is making bold moves (as only a rich tycoon can, with wads of $$) to acquire Dow Jones, and thereby getting the Wall Street Journal as part of the package. How many journalists will quit the Journal in protest to the new aquisition, rather than adopt Murdochian media as a replacement for real news? In 1984, the number was 60 – sixty editors and reporters that jumped ship in the first few weeks of Murdoch’s takeover of the Chicago Sun Times. In 1984, this type of move was akin to a hunger strike, due to the dystopian job market. Rupert Murdoch has been wrangling control of global media since January 1969, using the “laws of the jungle” to win the bid for the News of the World newspaper group after “months of maneuvering”. While not so long ago, it was suggested that his 30 Billion-British-Pound media empire would cause even Citizen Kane to tremble.

Back to Jack – today he followed up his “Murdoch Street Journal” commentary with “Eight More Reasons To Distrust Murdoch, The man has a terrible track record, you know.” where he simply states that despite an honest respect for what the man has accomplished, Jack Shafer actually likes the Wall Street Journal just the way it is. Murdoch’s influence, while positive and negatives are debated, is indisputably a BIG Influence. One that Wall Street Journal is not in need of.

Murdoch Makes Headlines All Over The World Today

Wednesday May 9 2007 On One End, Thursday May 10 2007 On The Other

Just one day in a man’s life, here is how he spent it :

Profit up as News eyes Dow Jones
News Corp aims for carbon neutrality
Aussie Greens Praise Murdoch’s Green Pledge
Murdoch Tumbles Dow Jones Today
Murdoch Was Defending Fairfax

And More RuMurs From The Past Week

NY Times devotes a LOT of online space to this guy’s every move. Read everything, from newspeak to editorials to questions all about Ru P Murda


Free Speech Down Under

Surprisingly, RuMur is not mentioned in this article about Australia’s Media Giants Uniting For Free Speech Fight

Posted in +Greatest Hits+, activism, DIY, internet, news | 1 Comment »

New Colours For Hearing, New Sounds For Viewing

Posted by Molli Fire on Wednesday, 9May07


Please let me know if you prefer this theme/layout/color palette more or less than the previous black and white one. i feel like this one is a little easier to navigate, but i like the style of the other one better. colours on this one are optional. i hope to completely renovate the colour scheme soon, because i want to use an energy-saving palette. that’s where most of the screen is dominated by dark colours, with the text and links in medium-light colours. this significantly reduces the amount of energy used while viewing, because it requires less illumination. so, that will be a big site overhaul, and this one is temporary. i would just like to know what works best for people, and what totally does not work, so i can work those suggestions into the new style…..

and thanks to those who emailed and commented in the last month, your feedback has been delightful!

if you head over to the HearingTest youtube channel, you will get a sneak peak at the videos that i will be posting up soon. they are short little videos taken at the Teen Suicide 002 Record Release Party on April 27, 2007. i will be posting them along with a slideshow of pix as soon as i finish resizing the photos.


Posted in design, HearingTest updates, internet, social, wordpress | Leave a Comment »