Music and community radio

Gary Barling
I confess to preferring CDs over listening to music on gadgets, such as iTunes. Despite the disadvantages of CDs, I like having the physical product. I'm also a fan of community radio. I find it very refreshing compared to commercial radio. I have a lot of fun preparing and doing my radio show "Don't go into that barn". It's a show where I play music not often played on other radio stations. I use music stored on my computer to prepare the show but use CDs at the radio station. I think the show is good because it's different to other shows.
Posted by: 
Gary Barling on 07/08/2012
Two rows of CDs on shelves.

CDs are something I can admire.

I have an uncool preference for CDs over digital music such as the beloved iTunes and MP3 files. There are obvious advantages of digital music over CDs. There is the allure of having all your music compact and available at the click of buttons. I have problems with my motor skills and just finding and taking a CD from its case are difficult. For me, you would think the advantages of digital music would be overwhelming.

I disagree, and I have no digital impairment (other than that in my fingers).


I love having the physical product. A cover and liner notes I can absorb while listening.

CDs are something I can store in alphabetical order and admire. Excessive, maybe, but it's necessary to find stuff in an excessive collection. In my situation, I have to rely on other people to maintain this immaculate organisation.

Awful CDs can be relegated to a drink coaster or frisbee. This happens only on rare occasions though. For example Neil Young's latest album, which had such promise, barely survived it's first listen and was last seen being played with by my cats. The downside of this fragility is that I can accidentally destroy masterpieces under my wheels. I am so sorry Mr Dylan.

CDs are a format where you are encouraged to buy the album, rather than cherry-pick your favourite songs from an online store. And long gone are CD singles, where the devoted fan could find extra songs not available elsewhere.

I confess to owning an MP3 player however. I use it exclusively on trains, but I don't have those funky white ear plugs. My poor hearing requires me to eliminate background noise so I use bulky earphones that look like I'm auditioning for The Voice.

Community radio

I find that, no matter where you go, community radio is more interesting than commercial stations. The people are not so plastic and playlists are not so tailored to a mainstream audience. The DJs are passionate about the songs they select. They play them with enthusiasm, after all, they're not getting paid for it. I have had a slot on community radio in Warrnambool for more than three years.


After a couple of years I was lucky to get a prime-time position for my rock and blues show. I have friends juggling the CDs between players and to cop the blame for any mistakes. It is still essentially my show. I do the minimal talking and select all the music.

I spend a few hours every week meticulously preparing the 90 minute show. My aim is to make it thematic and cohesive, yet diverse and sounding fresh. This is where I must credit iTunes. With my entire collection in iTunes, it's much simpler to make a list of each song, artist and time to fill the show. The show from go to whoa is one of my favourite routines all week.

Don't go into that barn

Is the name of the show, and don't ask me why. If you're ever in Warrnambool at 7pm Tuesday, listen in. Listen to music that is obscure. Music that can be sparse, dreamy, raw, psychedelic, raucous or mysterious. The occasional classic, but no metal. Fine music, but not for everyone.

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