Sunday, 3 October 2010

Update and about time too!

I suddenly thought yesterday; we've got a blog and I've not posted for ages. Well, there has just been so much going on around here - been really busy with one thing or another and I completely forgot about updating the poor old blog! Anyway, we have been getting some very positive feedback from listeners which is much appreciated making it all worthwhile and we've also had a couple of donations to help with our running costs, thank you very much. We are aware from the stats that our audience figures are increasing nicely too, brilliant!

Now - radio broadcasting! In particular small independent specialist stations like ours; you have little chance of setting up such a terrestrial station in the UK. We would dearly love to have OKay fm broadcasting on FM in our area; a hot spot of northern soul lovers and in fact we thought the introduction of community radio (which we'd being helping to lobby for since the early eighties) was the answer - but no! I was involved in two licence applications locally; each had to include a non-refundable payment of £600 - both were rejected. It transpires that the ethos of community radio is 90% community and 10% radio - fair enough, but as radio and music lovers we feel that we could have done a lot of good for our community. Now - pop across to the other side of the world; New Zealand. There you are positively encouraged by the government to set up a low powered radio station in your area, the stations are completely unregulated, as they're automatically entitled to a GURL (General Users Radio Licence) so long as they meet technical regulations. You are not allocated a frequency - you choose your own! Many other countries have similar schemes. We would love to see that here but there is no breath being held! We could, of course, set up a transmitter and antenna and become pirate broadcasters, or as in our case unlicenced broadcasters as we are self funded and not commercial, but I don't think so - we have the internet and I believe that this is the future. However, one big problem - listening in your car, all the preceding waffle is intended to lead up to what I hope will be some useful information. I have been given a second hand smartphone, a very interesting bit of kit it is as well - I downloaded a code to unlock it and got a free sim card from giffgaff which runs on the O2 network and features free unlimited internet access at the moment. I've been on a learning curve with this phone having no previous interest or experience with anything other than an old Nokia on Orange PAYG. This new one is a mini computer able to access the internet so I thought it might be possible to get a programme to receive internet radio. I tried a couple of apps but the inbuilt browser wouldn't play the files and after a lot of faffing about I was getting ready to give up when I discovered Wunder Radio. This uses the Radiotime directory and we are in there. I don't know whether it uses its own browser but OKay fm now plays beautifully on my phone. As the phone has an audio out jack, I thought if I get one of those gizmos that lets you transmit your mp3 player to your car radio I should be able to listen in the car. That would be brilliant and make a change from Classic FM. In theory this should give nationwide coverage. I'll let you know how I get on....