Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Year of Internet Radio is Here

I love internet radio. Being an expatriot person I rely on global media for information and entertainment, art and education. So, I was pleased to see this article today;

After years of being out there and talked about, but not much more, internet radio may finally go from an interesting idea to a stand-alone commercial medium.

And that promise is pretty grand in the view of some analysts. "In 2009, internet radio may not just reinvigorate the medium of radio. It may reinvent it,” predicts Deloitte, the consulting outfit.

What will allow that to happen is what spawned internet radio in the first place: technology that untethers internet radio from the computer, making it far more portable. Enter the WiFi radio set, which uses wireless technology to access the internet and play internet radio stations and podcasts.

WiFi radio offers features not available through traditional radio, such as allowing users to search electronic programming guides, and in time the devices will offer DVR features as well. Media Life Magazine

To accompany the idea that 2009 is the year that Net Radio breaks out of the mass of stupid broadcatsing rules and local media monopolies that restrict it in some parts of the world, here are my six top Net Radio stations at the moment:

Hard to choose the best, in my mind it is between WFMU and number two. WFMU is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station based in Jersey City, New Jersey, broadcasting at 91.1 MHz FM using a freeform radio format (and on the net). It is currently the longest running free-form radio station in the United States

2. Resonance FM

Excellent broadcaster of arts, ideas, music, sound and opinions. Resonance 104.4 FM is a London based non-profit community radio station run by the London Musicians' Collective (LMC), with a licence to cover "practising artists and engaged consumers and persons standing outside mainstream media". The coverage area is designated as a 5km radius from the transmitter in London Bridge. The station is based on Borough High Street, having completed a move from Denmark Street in September 2007.

3. SR Radio Välrden
Swedish net radio playing global music; mostly African, Middle Eastern and South American with a little Asian sounds. It is the soundtrack to my thesis writing. Almost no chat so it speaks the langauge of the world; Music!

4. 2SER

The dark underbelly of Sydney when I lived there in the 1990s has become more mainstream, but still inovative and creative. 2SER (which stands for Sydney Educational Radio) had its origins in the burgeoning community broadcasting movement of the early 1970’s when it was proposed that an educational radio station be established based on a consortium of Sydney universities. 2SER made its broadcasting debut on October 1, 1979, with the support of many hundreds of groups and individuals.

Today, 2SER operates as a company limited by guarantee and is jointly owned by Macquarie University and the University of Technology, Sydney. Both institutions contribute an annual grant to 2SER, however the station is largely self-supporting, relying upon revenue raised through programming, sponsorship, fund-raising events and listener subscriptions.

2SER holds a community broadcasting license with a special interest defined as educational broadcasting. Through its programs, and the making of programs, 2SER aims to stimulate learning and educate its listeners and is committed to social change, access and diversity.

3RRR (pronounced "Three Triple R", or simply "Triple R") is a popular Australian community radio station, based in Melbourne. It is the largest per capita subscribed radio station in the world.

3RRR first commenced broadcasting in 1976 from the studios of 3ST, the student radio station of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (now RMIT University), on an educational licence with the name 3RMT. In 1979 it relocated to Fitzroy, and adopted its present name. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, it became synonymous with the post punk and new wave subcultures. It has developed a devoted listener base, many of whom donate their time or money to keep the station going; either as volunteers or through the annual "Radiothon". In late 2004 supporters raised enough money for the station to purchase and move into new premises on the corner of Blyth and Nicholson Streets in Brunswick East after the 20 year lease on their previous studios, in Victoria St., Fitzroy, expired.

3RRR's mission statement was defined in 1990 as "To educate, inform and entertain by drawing upon appropriate community resources. To develop a critical approach to contemporary culture." Triple R's programming is split roughly 70% specialist music and 30% talk-based shows. Hosts have complete autonomy over content and the station does not have playlists. As such, the nature of 3RRR broadcasts vary wildly depending on time of week. 3RRR is funded entirely by community sponsorships and public subscribers (currently around 12,000), which, by removing standard commercial pressures, allows this diverse programming.

6. Radio Patapoe 88.3 FM Amsterdam
When I lived in the Dam it was Radio 100 that all the interesting people listened to. Alas Radio 100 went under in 2004. But Radio Patapoe lives on. At once stage the squat I lived in housed the transmitter for Patapoe but one day the police came and took it away, so we built another :-)

I wish Radio 4ZZZ in Brisbane had a Net broadcast, truly a great station but one I have not listened to for years.


alex said...

hey internet radio...great always :)...although the 3RRR link dosent seem to be working...anyhoo brother hope all is well with ben and your family...take care...alex

((((((((ö)))))))) said...

Thanks Alex, the link was empty and now it is full.

Ben is well. I hope the great brown land is being generous to you and your family. Once I have finsihed this thesis thing Ill pop round for a cup of tea.