Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Radio Websites - RadioUser November 2008



First published in Radio User, Practical Wireless Publications (PWP) November 2008: http://www.radiouser.co.uk/

We start with some of the best community radio down under, before travelling onto radio webcams, internet tv viewing, legal music downloads before finishing in the Alps.


Down under communities
We start off this month down-under, in Hobart, Tasmania. Hobart Radio International was previously a shortwave radio station but has now moved into podcasting. They state that they continue to provide educational and entertaining programmes for a global audience. “We are the voice for Tasmania, and will always be developing and different. Crossing the borders, telling the unknown and investigating on what's important.” http://www.hriradio.org/
Of particular interest are Hobart Radio International’s professional DX Extra shows, which come out on an irregular broadcast but are and packed with interesting facts and figures: http://dxextra.podomatic.com/

If you are new to the wonderful world of podcasting then the above page links to Juice (which is also my preferred podcast software), which can be downloaded free at: http://juicereceiver.sourceforge.net/

A full list of the regular more traditional style of radio stations broadcasting in Tasmania is at: http://www.ausradiostations.com/fmtas.html There are dozens, from the ABC to Sea FM. This is part of a very good site called Aus Radio.com, or: http://theradio.com.au/

Choose an Australian state from the drop down menu and navigate to your stations of choice. I enjoyed Heart 558 with programmes such as Charles Wooley’s Across Australia; the big issues facing a big country and Dr John D’Arcy’s health matters phone in show on Sunday mornings.

Community Radio in Australia is thriving and a good website hub is http://www.cbonline.org.au/ From here I have unsuccessfully been trying to hear Tasmanian station, Coast FM: http://www.coastfm.org/ “Coast FM is the Northwest Coast of Tasmania's only local radio. Covering local sport, news, politics, artists, events and a potential listening audience of 100 000.”

I had more luck with innovative youth station Edge Radio 99.3 at: http://www.edgeradio.org.au/ A real mix of new sounds and tasteful classics, such as one of the few Elvis songs I like, “In the ghetto.” Programmes such as Grass Roots airs environmental concerns, and The Brink is an attempt to get Hobart’s views heard across the world.

Over to an interesting New Zealand radio website now. Try Wellington Access Radio at: http://www.accessradio.org.nz/ This is Wellington’s medium wave station on 783 KHz with documentaries streamed from around the world. It includes Ireland Calling for the Irish community and 24 other languages each week. You can even make your own programmes for inclusion: “Anyone can apply to make a programme on Access Radio. We give priority to local people whose voices are not always heard, especially ethnic minorities, religious minorities, women, youth, children, people with disabilities, special interest groups, and people with different ethical points of view.”

Mixed goodie bag
The New Zealand tip came from Shaun Geraghty, who also recommends the studio webcam at Belgium’s Radio Donna: http://www.donna.be/ Click on webcam and a small window pops up with a choice of four cameras to choose from. It’s quite nice to have running in the background whilst you work. As for station content, you can listen live too, with a mixture of standard English and US rock plus some more exciting local sounds.

Shaun is himself an accomplished and award wining broadcaster and photographer, with an excellent website covering both of these passions at: http://www.shaungeraghty.co.uk/ Shaun’s voice is a familiar one to listeners of local radio in the Staffordshire area, as well as to listeners to international shortwave radio around Europe and beyond. His photography is as outstanding as his radio programmes are entertaining.

Do you know about the Freecycle networks? If not you should. Freecycle is set up through Yahoo groups and connects people regionally. “A movement of people interested in keeping stuff out of landfills while building a sense of community.”
Through this I have given radio books, video tapes and radios that I no longer require to a good home. (not to mention various household goods). From DVDs to televisions, kitchen cupboards to golf clubs, all kinds of goods come and go, and you get a nice feeling through giving too.

Jamendo is a website worth knowing about as it offers free and legal downloads of songs by many artists. In fact almost 12000 albums by nearly 7000 artists: http://www.jamendo.com/en/ New artists can upload their albums for exposure. Hundreds of formats of music are in there, the well known such as classical and jazz, and lesser known fusions, improvisations and all manner of world music too. In my experimenting with this site, I enjoyed some quality sounds you wouldn’t hear on mainstream radio, such as The Kazoo funk orchestra (a kind of blues meets indie sound), Ti Face (loud metal, punk and French) and the NTA Project’s A Decade of Sadness (electronic and mellow).


If you fancy watching television from around the world but don’t have the set up for TVDX, this website might be a shortcut: http://wwitv.com/portal.htm
WWI TV allows you to tune into television channels from around the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, but with a lot more of interest than those two counties in between. You can also choose by the type of programme. Some links just go to websites rather than streaming, but there is plenty of fun to be had here. Teletop tv, one of 25 Swiss stations available, was what I watched last.

Also in Switzerland, a famous voice is that of that Bob Thomann, ex Swiss Radio International. The Switzerland in Sound website caught up with him and Bob Zanotti recently. I always enjoy the “Letter from Switzerland” programme available in text and audio at: http://www.switzerlandinsound.com/




The Shortwave Report is a Californian based 30 minute review of news stories recorded from a shortwave radio by Dan Roberts. It is available every Friday and is free to rebroadcast, as well as being an enjoyable free listen, at: http://www.outfarpress.com/outfarpress/shortwave.shtml




Craig Martin of The Indie Travel Podcast has asked me to point out that the travel blog and podcasts are not connected with the Independent newspaper. It is a sponsor-free weekly show run by Craig and wife Linda featuring travel ideas and advice for independent travellers, backpackers and anyone with itchy feet. It has been running for 18 months and the pair have been on the road from over 2 and a half years now. They are also open to people submitting ideas for podcasts, which is a chance for any would be broadcasters to become a podcaster and to share their travel stories. Join the one thousand regular loyal listeners at: http://www.indietravelpodcast.com/