Monday 20 April 2009

Radio Websites, April 2009 by Chrissy Brand, published in Radio User, PW Publishing

Chrissy Brand looks at a range of websites from Happy Station podcasts to how to make your QSL card collection liveforever, via the best of the BBC and a blockbuster film.

Bits and bobs
A neat little website I recently uncovered at is the UK 250. This has listings of supposedly the top 250 radio stations, television channels, newspapers and entertainment links in the UK. It tends to be 250 random rather than best but is a nice idea and fun if you feel like being a little random. Not all the links are exclusively UK:
The long awaited film The Boat That Rocked goes on general release from 3 April. Its website is full of fun facts and some nice little games and wallpaper downloads. The fictional ship Radio Rock, set in 1966, broadcast on a frequency of 203.6 metres. A comedy but a tribute to the 1960s offshore pirates and a swipe at the out of touch and heavy handed government legislation that followed:

The New Happy Station Show is to be broadcast by Keith Perron. (See also this month’s Broadcast Matters column). Keith is in Taipei and can be contacted at but the show will come via the WRMI transmitter in Florida: More details at the following websites:

Radio Netherlands Happy Station Yahoo Group:
New Happy Station Facebook group:
(Or do a search on Facebook for “The New Happy Station”).

New Happy Station YouTube channel:

A website that has the promotional trailer for the show, and will be hosting the podcasts, is at Radio 4 All:

Some Happy Stations shows are available at the Radio Netherlands Historical Audio Archive. Click “oudere posts” at the foot of the following Radio Netherlands page:

Bytes from the Beeb
It never ceases to amaze me what can be unearthed at the BBC website, away from the regular radio and television programmes and listings. For instance details and photos on the various BBC buildings in London and some of what they term the regions and the nations are catalogued at:

The BBC World Service now issues an online magazine to accompany its programmes. It is called “World Agenda” and is at:

Another relatively recent addition to the World Service has been a programme called “The Strand.” This came about with the amalgamation of its art and culture programmes into one daily dose last autumn. It is an excellent listen and has a podcast version too. A clever title in that it is a strand of all arts and culture running together and the World Service is based in Bush House, on The Strand: The page where you can podcast and use the “Listen Again” facility too, is:

It covers a wide range of arts. I am now knowledgeable on Tectonic dance, an electro dance with specific moves, invented by an investment banker and a ballerina in France. This has spawned clothing, drinks and other merchandise emanating from this French craze, Plus Tectonic hair saloon and boutique in Paris, with a Playstation game and a mobile phone network also about to happen. Tectonic dance website

Another recent item covered Hitler’s library, which contained over 16000 works of literature history and philosophy. Many ended up in Washington DC’s Library of Congress. A book has been written on them and author Timothy Ryback recalled the chilling moment in his research when he found a thick black moustache hair trapped in the pages of one of the volumes. Timothy Ryback “Hitler’s Private Library the books that shaped his life” is the book that came out of the research. A good review of this and many other books, films, and websites can be found at Rick’s Librarian’s blogspot:

Veteran presenter Charlie Gillett fronts a BBC World Service programme called “World of Music”. It is in my opinion, amongst the best music programmes on the web or on the radio show. It certainly is something else, playing music fromr everywhere- last programme I heard music from Hungary-by Lajko Felix on violin and zither, Iranian group Niyaz, Australian aboriginal singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, plus music from artistes in France, Renuion, Guinea Conakry and Mali. There is an excellent blog, plus audio and photos at Charlie’s website: and also a MySpace page at:
You can listen again an podcast at

Save the QSLs
Over in the States Jerry Berg has a wonderful website called On the Shortwaves, which details much history and includes details of his excellent books on the subject
However, skipping over all that for now, I want to draw your attention to the section of the website on the Committee to Preserve Verification Cards (QSLs). Where will your QSL card collection go when you pass to the great radio shack in the sky? Are you are no longer interested in your collection or wish to get rid of it? The Committee has established the Registered Collections programme, whereby it provides hobbyists with stickers to affix to their QSL albums. These stickers contain a message expressing the hobbyist's wish that his or her QSLs be donated to the Committee when the hobbyist is no longer able to enjoy them.

More information on the Registered Collections program can be obtained by sending a business size stamped, self-addressed envelope to: John C. Herkimer, Registered Collections Coordinator, Committee to Preserve Radio Verifications, P.O. Box 54, Caledonia, NY 14423, USA. Tel +1 585 766 7836. Or email Jerry Berg:

“The CPRV collection is part of the Broadcast Pioneers Library of American Broadcasting, located at the University of Maryland…Library contains a wide-ranging collection of audio-visual recordings, books, pamphlets, periodicals, personal collections, photographs, scripts, vertical files ‚ and now QSLs ‚ devoted exclusively to the history of broadcasting. It is staffed by trained and dedicated individuals operating in a professional archival environment. The CPRV collection at the Library includes many thousands of QSLs, principally from shortwave and medium wave broadcast stations. In the collection are QSLs belonging to many well known hobbyists of years past. Some of these QSLs date back to the 1920s and 1930s. A computerized index is maintained, and all QSLs are fully identified with their original owner.”

Wednesday 1 April 2009

BBC i Player now available on a Toaster!

Great news, the BBC Technical website report having ported their i-player to a toaster:

"BBC iPlayer is now available on so many devices that we thought... what next?
We've ported iPlayer to iPhone, Wii, PS3, Nokia N96, Sony Walkman, Virgin Cable and all the other gadgets and devices- what's the next big thing?

Our marketing team identified breakfast television as an emerging market segment for on-demand viewing and asked the iPlayer team to see if we could come up with something new in this space.

After months of top-secret development and testing, and many burned developers, we're finally ready to bring iPlayer Toaster Edition out of labs.

The iPlayer Toaster Edition looks at first glance like a regular toaster, but with the front panel sporting a 7" 1280 x 800 OLED display. "
(Full report at the link above)
I guess the reporter was Loof Lirpa? look at the date...!

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