Saturday, 11 June 2011

Radio Websites June 2011

First published in Radio User  http://www.radiouser.co.uk  

Chrissy Brand looks at a wide range of websites with a radio connection. This month she chooses a selection of online radio stations, some interesting radio blogs and picks out a set of must see videos from You Tube.

Rocking all over the world

I have been listening to a variety of online radio stations in the past month and thought I would share some of them with you. Community Radio in Milton Keynes might not sound like your cup of tea but CRMK is a professionally run station and covers music and chat from Christianity to progressive rock (the latter is called “Between Two Worlds” show on Monday evenings at 2000 BST), all spiced with real local news. You can listen online at www.crmk.co.uk  


The World Radio Network is always a reliable way to hear international stations. Especially useful for stations you cannot pick up on the radio in the UK, such as the English language service of Radio Tunis International. If you go to the stations section at www.wrn.org  you can find a list and may be in for a pleasant surprise at just what is available to hear, live online or via the listen again facilities. YLE Finland, Radio Sweden, United Nations Radio and Radio Algeria are amongst the many radio stations there.


Over in Canada I have been enjoying some evenings of summer jazz courtesy of Canada Jazz FM http://www.jazz.fm/ . There are documentaries and archive concerts as well as the listener request shows that you would expect, from Leonard Bernstein to Artie Shaw. The archive is at http://www.canadianjazzarchive.org This not for profit community station has an audience of half a million listeners a week, but why not boost that figure further and give them a try one evening?


WICN is a similar station in that it majors in jazz and folk, from its New England base http://www.wicn.org The time difference in listening to North American stations online can be strange, as our European evenings coincide with their lunch times and so the music may reflect a different mood and time of day. However for me that just adds to the atmosphere of listening to a regional station across a distance of several thousand miles.


Back in the north to Alaska and KMXT is a public radio community station in Kodiak. Once you have heard the varied programmes which include a progressive music show on Tuesday evenings (2100-2300 Alaska Time) you can even buy a coffee mug promoting the self-deprecating station’s “35 years of mostly good radio.” http://www.kmxt.org  


KAMU FM is a station based in a Texas university and offers a good variety. I have heard some very good classical music and they air National Public Radio output in addition to the local programming. Archive programmes that you can hear live or at your leisure include Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin features an in-depth look at classical music and Garden Success with Doug Welsh. This is a phone-in gardening show with very different plants and problems than those discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time! http://kamu.publicbroadcasting.net


Paul River Gibbs has a long history as a musician, spanning punk to blues, jazz to progressive rock. He has played at festivals from Stonehenge and the Isle of Wight to Europe. He has now put together a multimedia network to promote new music and new radio presenters with River Gibbs FM. This London based station is only a click away at http://www.rivergibbsfm.com/  and a myspace page at www.myspace.com/rivergibbsfm  


The Live 365 station I have been listening to a lot lately is Fusion 101, which plays a mixtire of jazz fusion and jazz rock, all the way from the town of Frederick in Maryland. It features such bands as Trace, Frank Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty and Maneige. I have heard lots of music and artistes for the first time here and I recommend you giving it a listen for half an hour or so one evening. www.live365.com/stations/ifuse  


Another Live365 channel worth your time is the Raised on Canadian Radio channel. The easiest way to fins them is to go to their blog, which is updated often and links to the station. http://raisedoncanadianradio.blogspot.com  The Live 365 station profiles Canadian artists that are featured each day in the blog, http://RaisedOnCanadianRadio.blogspot.com . You can follow the Canadian Song of the Day on Twitter www.twitter.com/CanadianRadio  An interesting mix of modern and classics, from Blinker the Star to Martha and the Muffins. Once again, you may not have heard of many of these but that’s the beauty of radio on the internet- the chance to be adventurous and stumble across new sounds and stations that can soon become favourites.


“Echo Beach” was a hit UK single for Martha and the Muffins. It came out when I was working at the BBC Equipment Department, dealing with paperwork for redundant BBC studio equipment that made its way to radio stations in Africa. The Echo Beach song was great in its own right and deserves revisiting, as does their back catalogue (1977 to 2002). The lyrics that used to bounce around my head at my BBC job were apt to me at the time “From 9 to 5 each day I spend the day at work, my job is very boring I’m an office clerk.”


Blogs
There is a nice blog from Samira Ahmed who is a journalist for ITN and Channel 4. Her blog includes postings and ponderings on her work and travels. It’s a rich resource with musings on films she has seen and places she has stayed. A review of her childhood and her mother’s happy days working at the centre of the universe for the BBC is at  http://www.samiraahmed.co.uk/?p=271&preview=tru (or search the blog for the 2 February 2011 entry) is entitled “My secret playground in the Bush House Hindi section.”


“I must confess, there were long stretches, especially when I was only 5, when I was bored. But there were those fabulously exotic English meals to look forward to in the Bush House canteen when it was all over. Fish and chips and spongy things with custard. But over time it came to mean much more. I grew up completely at home with reel-to-reel tape machines; sitting with the Studio Managers, watching them rock the reels and edit with a flick of the china graph pencil and razor blade. Scripts were painstakingly typed and carbon copied. Words in beautifully written Hindi were amplified round the booth. I even got my first broadcast experience there being interviewed for a children’s programme about second generation Indian immigrants growing up in Britain. (And learned that it was never a good idea to drum one’s fingers on the table during a recording).”


Another related and useful website on Indian radio and media is www.medianewsline.com


John Marsyla in Holland writes a blog on TV Dx and transatlantic mw DXing as well, and I often wander over to his website to read about his latest catches. At the time of writing he was listening to stations from the Dominican Republic: “This morning while listening to the overnight recordings of a part of the mediumwave band my first impression was that there were again very bad TA conditions. But I was surprised to hear two Dominican Republic radiostations in the X-band around 0400 UTC. On 1640 kHz Radio Juventud Don Bosco from Santo Domingo and on 1680 kHz Radio Senda from San Pedro de Macoris. Both of them are personal firsts.” http://johnmarsyla.blogspot.com/


Stuart Pinfold is a freelance audio engineer at the BBC and his website is a good read to find out what a working day behind the scenes in televisions and radio can be like. http://www.stuart-pinfold.co.uk/broadcast/


You Tube
You Tube- where do you start? So much to view and an awful lot of decisions to make unless you want to fritter away your evenings in a frustrating haze. Millions of videos to sift through so the best way is to set up your own account and subscribe to the channels that catch your eye. Then you can return to those subscriptions and have some method in your madness on future occasions. You don’t have to ever upload videos yourself to have an account. For the record my own is at http://www.youtube.com/user/chrissylb100  and my subscriptions that will be most of interest to readers include friends’ music videos, tram journeys in Europe and, of course, plenty of radio catches from DXers around the world.


Channels I recommend this month are http://www.youtube.com/user/senderjaeger  This features all kinds of radio goodies, 288 videos worth to be exact. From listening to SW Africa outdoors in Germany to Radio Nacional da Amazonia.


How about a glimpse of an actual machine that generated the content for the infernal numbers stations or spy stations? Watch in amazement at the six part video at http://www.youtube.com/user/PeterStaal01  


Another entertaining channel is that of Radio Ham guy at http://www.youtube.com/user/RadioHamGu y It’s very American with amateur radio call ups and conferences, equipment guides, tornado and storm watches.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Adventist World Radio Annual DX Contest - runs throughout June 2011

"Choose a Channel" - AWR 40th Anniversary DX Contest


To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Adventist World Radio, our DX program "Wavescan" is conducting a big worldwide DX contest, "Choose a Channel". It was back on October 1, 1971, that AWR made its first broadcast on shortwave in a service originating out of Portugal and beamed towards various countries in Europe.


Here are the details of the 2011 "Choose a Channel" DX Contest:-

A. Choose a Channel
We invite you to choose any shortwave channel, just one channel, anywhere in the world upon which Adventist World Radio is broadcasting, during the month of June 2011.

B. Prepare Reception Reports
You are invited to listen to the shortwave channel that you have chosen at any time, day and/or night, during the month of June 2011, and see how many different stations, including Adventist World Radio, that you can hear on that one specific channel. You are invited to prepare a standard reception report for each station, one sheet of paper for each station.


C. Photocopies
You are invited to search your QSL collection, and where possible, provide a photocopy of a QSL that you already hold in your collection from each of the shortwave stations that you hear on that one channel. These photocopies should be in color if possible, but black & white is also acceptable. If you do not already have a QSL from any of the stations you select, then you should state so in your contest entry.


D. Three Radio Cards
Where possible, you are invited to include three radio cards for the Indianapolis Heritage Collection with your contest entry. These cards may be old or new, and they may be QSL cards, reception report cards, or picture cards of radio stations, etc. (Not valid for this contest are amateur cards nor CB cards.)


E. Assemble Your Contest Entry
Post your entry with all items to Adventist World Radio in Indianapolis, remembering that the total number of stations you hear on the channel, and neatness and preparation, will all feature in the judging procedure. Remember also, that we will then post your reception reports to the other shortwave stations involved, requesting them to issue QSL cards to you in response.


Other Contest Details


Well, there you have it, the details for our Wavescan 2011 "Choose a Channel DX Contest". This contest will run through the month of June 2011, and all contest entries should be postmarked at your local post office anywhere in the world on any date up to the end of the month of June, and they should be received at the AWR post office address in Indianapolis no later than the end of the month of July 2011. Return postage in the form of currency notes in an international currency, or mint postage stamps, or IRC coupons would be welcome. Where possible, a self addressed return envelope, business size or half quarto size, would also be welcome.

The awards for this year's contest will be similar to all previous contests. There will be a special award for the world winner, one of the Jerry Berg radio history books; and World Radio TV Handbook 2012 for each continental winner. In addition, there will be other special awards as well as AWR souvenirs and radio curios for many participants.


You can remember that all AWR reception reports will be verified with a specially endorsed AWR QSL card. Please remember that it will take a period of many months, well into the new year 2112, to process all of the contest entries and reception reports, but each will in due course be processed.


The only address for the AWR "Choose a Channel" 2011 DX Contest is:-
Choose a Channel DX Contest
Box 29235
Indianapolis
Indiana 46229
USA

(Dr.Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio)