Friday, 21 January 2011

Radio Websites February 2011


Published in Radio User Feb 2011 http://www.radiouser.co.uk/

Chrissy Brand looks at websites with a radio connection from vintage DX to modern technology and explores a miscellany of internet radio stations.




DX programmes past and present
We start off by continuing a look at DX programmes past and present that have an online presence. This is in response to a request from RadioUser reader Bradley Allen in Kent. We are spoilt for choice really, as there is so much out there.


DX Partyline was a favourite programme of many a DXer in the 1970s. It used to air on HCJB in Ecuador but these days can be heard on WWCR from Nashville http://www.wwcr.com/  and WRMI from Miami: http://www.wrmi.net/  . There is a link to audio and information at www.hcjb.org/dxpl/audio.php  


Doing a little research I found that long time host Allen Graham also presents a weekly version of 15 minutes on European Gospel Radio: http://origin.egradio.org/  which airs via Nexus International Broadcasting in Milan at http://www.nexus.org/  It is all less confusing than it sounds!


Looking back at how the shortwave bands used to be is very much the concern of an excellent new blog at http://www.coldwarradios.blogspot.com/  Run by Richard H Cummings who is a published author on the subject, being the director of security for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for 15 years beginning in 1980. It is packed with insight into how Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia operated in their heyday. Richard has written "Cold War Radio: The Dangerous History of American Broadcasting in Europe, 1950-1989" (2009) and "Radio Free Europe's 'Crusade for Freedom': Rallying Americans Behind Cold War Broadcasting, 1950-1960" (2010). Both published by McFarland & Company, North Carolina in the USA.

DXing with Cumbre is another long running DX show with a website which includes an online forum and polls at http://www.cumbredx.net/  Some of the links are out of date but there is plenty top read and an audio archive to explore. You can also tune to the programme when it airs on World Harvest Radio at http://www.whri.com/  


Polish Radio has a media programme called Multi-touch which can be accessed at www.thenews.pl/radio/multitouch  which covers all aspects of our multimedia world, from shortwave to e-banking. Radio New Zealand have their long running mailbag programme
with Myra Oh, Bryan Clark and John Durham who provide DX Reviews. Kevin Hand reviews the Utility Bands. There are occasional features on Pacific Radio from David Riquish, and Chris Makerell reports on digital radio DRM. Frequency Manager Adrian Sainsbury, answers technical questions http://www.rnzi.com/pages/features.php  


If you want to read a free book on Radio Monitoring then go to the North American Shortwave Association (NASWA) website at http://naswa.net/  and once you have read all the information on what they do, navigate to http://naswa.net/areybook.html  
where you will find a 6mb download of this excellent book by Skip Arey, first published in 1997.

NASWA “have been active in the business of sharing information about shortwave radio since 1961. We focus on domestic and international broadcasts on shortwave frequencies between 2 and 30 MHz. We are the premiere organization in North America for shortwave listeners and DXers. We sponsor the popular yearly Winter SWL Fest, where monitoring hobbyists of all stripes, from DC to daylight, gather for a weekend of cameraderie and talk about radio. Our club motto is Unity and Friendship”. For details on the 2011 Winter SWLfest, which is in Pennsylvania on 4th and 5th March, go to http://www.swlfest.com/  




The Global Net blog is a useful technical place for the 21st century, with information on computers and television, including the new Lookee TV which is actually a Wi-Fi connected Internet TV and radio Player: http://globalnetmt.blogspot.com/  


In the UK there is a weekly show called the Gadget Detective with a website at http://www.gadgetdetective.com/  There are audio archives of some shows that were aired on BBC Radio Berkshire and TalkSport, but rather ironically for a site with such subject matter I find it rather confusing clunky and not at all user friendly. There are many other examples of DX type shows online but it is time to move on for now.


Internet Radio stations
Time now to visit some internet radio stations that have been recommended to me. Gerard Omasta-Milsom in London writes that “Radio 365 Saucy Jack is an internet based radio station, run by my friend Bernard Gibbons. It plays an interesting eclectic collection of old blues, reggae, Ethiopian, South African and other African music, and some more mainstream stuff.” As with much of Live 365 it is free and can be accessed at: http://www.live365.com/stations/bernardgibbons?site=web&play=2  Or go to http://www.live365.com/index.live  and search for Saucy Jack. Other Live 365 stations I have been tuning to of late include African Jazz Spotlight Radio, Radio Free Wales and Mary Ann Radio who broadcasts a range of classic rock music, talk radio and opinions from Walnut Creek in California “from real estate to real life.” Mary Ann can also be found at http://maryannradio.com/  Robot Radio is an innovative 365 channel which has robot DJs who give their solutions to global warming and other social and global problems, in between playing a esoteric mix of tunes.


Just use the search facility at Live 365 and you will be in for hours of audio pleasure, whatever your tastes in music.
There is a website full of vintage clips from Australian radio, including BBC classics that were aired in Oz, at http://www.bluehaze.com.au/mmedia/radio_shows.html  Packed with history and photos as well as programmes, the website was set up and maintained by the late Tony Sanderson. It is kept going in his memory by friends. From here I clicked to an interesting Australian band called Ben Rogers’ instrumental Asylum at http://www.benrogers.com.au/  They are a “high energy surf-style trio dedicated to reverb surf/gypsy/Tarantino guitar.” Gaining popularity in the USA and the UK as well as in Australia they play real guitar music for guitar nuts. Worth listening to some samples of their sounds at the website.
An ambient music portal from the USA is Echoes at http://www.echoes.org/inside.html  which should help you relax at any time of day and night. It has interviews as well as music and the introduction to the site describes it better than I could: “Echoes is a daily two-hour music soundscape, distributed by Public Radio International and broadcast on 130 radio stations from Maine to California. With host John Dilberto it brings together a wide array of styles, from acoustic to electronic, jazz to space music, the avant-garde to rock. Echoes is a sound that is cross-cultural and trans-millennial, merging cultures and forms, technology and tradition, the ancient past and the possible future.”



Finally this month, if you want to have the BBC World Service news signature tune Lilliburlero as a mobile ring tone go to Jingle Mad at http://www.jinglemad.com/  and http://www.jinglemad.com/e107_files/public/bbc_ws_lillibullero_stereo.mp3

For the history of the tune and the BBC’s use of it there is a full explanation at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/faq/news/story/2005/08/050810_wssigtune.shtml  Rather than typing that into your browser it is easier to google “Lilliburlero.”