flexibeast.space - gemlog - 2024-05-15

Why i'm a member of 3PBS community music radio

As i mention on my “About me” page, i'm an enthusiastic supporter and member of 3PBS, a community-run radio station based here in Naarm/Melbourne. It's primarily music radio, not talk radio - and it's good for my mental health.


PBS has various shows, each on a weekly or fortnightly schedule; shows range from one to four hours. Each show is put together by one or two people who are passionate and knowledgeable about certain music: music from a particular genre (or set of genres), music sharing a particular non-genre characteristic (e.g. music from Africa), or both (e.g. “local and indie”).

PBS FM: Program List

3PBS streams live, but additionally, each episode of a show is available for listening on-demand, typically for months after the show aired.

My current favourite shows are listed in the “Non-commercial music radio” section of my “About me” page.

“About me”

The fact that so many shows are genre-based, and that i can listen to them on-demand, is a boon to me: i can listen to the sort of music i'm in the mood for at any given time. Which, of course, one can already do with music that one owns or has a streaming subscription for. But i enjoying hearing new music and new artists[a], and i find value in curation driven by passionate and genre-knowledgable humans, rather than by corporate record labels and algorithms - the latter of which has brought us such hits as “a steady stream of increasingly unhinged misinformation and conspiracy theories for you”. Spotify, for example, has long been criticised on various grounds, including poor compensation of artists:

Wikipedia: ‘Spotify’ / ‘Criticism’

Importantly for me, unlike commercial music radio, music on PBS isn't played on high rotation. Years ago i worked in a call centre next to someone who was allowed to have commercial music radio on in her workspace. During each eight-hour shift, i would regularly hear the same group of songs played a few times; this significantly contributed to the suicidality i ended up developing around that time.

i also appreciate the lack of constant news bulletins. i've many existing sources of news, typically involving RSS/Atom feeds; i don't need news from music radio as well, particularly given the editorial choices involved (which often involve covering events i don't really care about, yet not covering events i do, including things that impact me directly).

Some other reasons i really like PBS include:

And so i renew my 3PBS membership year after year.

🏷 music,personal


Gemlog Home

[a] By which i don't only mean ‘recent’, but also “that i've not heard before”.