Friday 9 November 2007

Radio Websites (Published October 2007 in Radio User, PWP)

Pick of the podcasts
The plethora of podcasts available makes choosing which ones to subscribe to, or even hear one edition of, a tough choice. As you could predict with a technology that enables anyone to produce their own programmes, the quality varies considerably. From unhinged rants to high quality investigative journalism, with a lot falling in between.

If you are of a certain age you may want to listen to the nostalgia of an old night time medium wave favourite, Radio Luxembourg. Podcasts are becoming available from the station’s pop heydays of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the 1980s. There are regular additions from all eras and it is worth at least a listen to two:

For podcasts of modern day international radio favourites, the World Radio Network (‘Seeing the world through radio’) is a good podcast portal. WRN rebroadcast many stations’ output on satellite and the internet, and you can also access podcasts too. Stations on the list include the Voice of Russia, Radio Slovakia and Radio Romania International. The pick of these is the Voice of Russia’s educational and entertaining historical programme ‘Our Homeland’, and the weekly ‘Europe East’ from Radio Polonia.

A selection of varied and interesting podcasts from New Zealand can be heard at the following website:, including Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint Choice, Science Story and the digital technology programme Virtual World, with Hamish MacEwan.

A blog celebrating radio jingles makes for an interesting read at:
The Jingle Network blog has been online since January 2005, and includes podcasts, news and samples of radio jingles from around the world. If you are into jingles you will want to read this, but if you consider them to be anorak territory you should read and listen and be pleasantly surprised. The most recent Jingle Network Podcast offered typical variety and contained: KCFM, Radio Globo, New Reel World jingles for local stations in Portugal, Spain Switzerland, and the USA.

Not a podcast as such, but well worth using the BBC’s brilliant ‘Listen Again ‘ facility for is the following gem from BBC Radio Ulster. John Bennett's Radio Years is a thirty minute weekly programme which goes out on Sunday afternoons. Or of course, whenever you want to hear it if you click on ‘Listen Again’. “Relive the highs and lows of days gone by as they are portrayed in the BBC Northern Ireland Archive. Do memories mature like good wine or go sour as they age?” Recent programmes I have enjoyed featured the years of 1941, which was a fascinating history lesson for me, and 1986, which was a trip back to my youth:

A small Scilly world
Launched on 107.9 FM in early September, Radio Scilly proclaims itself to be the world’s smallest radio station. They broadcast from an attic studio in Porthmellon, with an aerial at the Telegraph coastguard tower: You can contact them by e-mail at:

At the moment the website is more of an illustrated blog, which itself is a nice look behind the scenes at all the work involved in setting up a radio station. Hopefully this will develop and include audio streaming and podcasts at some stage, so that the small voice can shout loud to the world. A webcam at the council website also covered some of the opening events and may link regularly with the station:

Websites by the wayside
The ‘Internet Archive Wayback Machine’ is a very useful website in that it stores old web pages. Many websites come and go, often removed because of hosting costs rather than author fatigue. With millions of websites stored, the ‘Wayback Machine’ is a great resource to turn to when you are faced with that perennial problem of returning to a website that you were sure was there a few months ago, or maybe it was a year or two that you last visited it. I am sure you recognise the scenario along the lines of: ‘Help, where has that site gone, I know it contained some vital information I need right now’. Putting it to the test, I managed to retrieve quite a few pieces of research that I had bookmarked several years back and were on websites that had since fallen by the wayside:

A miscellany of marvels
The technology behind FM radio was developed in the late 1930s, and FM radio itself became a commercial viability in the 1950s. The story behind FM , and pirate radio, is amongst many other fascinating facts and features at the ‘Rewind the Fifties’ website. Type ‘radio’ into the search box at the site:

To end with this time, a reminder of one of the long-running and much loved websites serving the DX community for almost a decade. Dave Kernick’s Interval Signals Online: This is an indispensable treasure trove of interval signals, signature tunes and identification announcements from international, domestic, and clandestine radio stations around the world. Easy and effective to use it contains a massive collection of audio clips of foreign radio stations, with identification announcements in various languages, signature tunes and jingles, and of course, interval signals.The website undergoes regular development, with new sound-clips beingadded to the collection and existing ones modified. You simply click on a country name from the menu on the left of the site, then click on a station name to play the MP3 sound clip.

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