The New, Old Radio Friend
It has been over 2 years since the freeform webradio experiment #ds106radio poked its head up on the internet. It has been a fast, loose, out of control experiment in audio held together by chewing gum, duct tape, and a whole lotta awesome people.
I was never quite crazy about the /AutoDJ element of CentovaCast and have always been looking for a a better (and more fun) alternative and found one in Airtime – I absolutely love their slogan “Find a way, or make one”.
The live #opened12 live audio streams were powered by an army of mic wielding volunteers and Airtime. It worked great and served up live audio from mobiles over 3 concurrent conference streams. See here for listener #s over stream 1, stream 2, stream 3.
So taking inspiration from TeamDTLT and their great Domain of Ones Own ethos I figured it was high time #ds106radio gets its own domain and start exploring some interesting ways to further freeform and distribute the audio experiment.
So, introducing the new digs:
The link above is a placeholder for what will morph into an HTML5 friendly mobile player. For now, you’ll see links to 128k and 64k streams along with a widget the shows what is playing now and what is scheduled up next.
Much of the functionality of #ds106radio remains the same (e.g. mobile broadcasting, scheduled rotations of audio collections) but there are a few new pieces that I am jazzed about.
ds106rad.io will will have it’s own dropbox coming soon – goodbye http://dropitto.me/ds106 . Airtime’s ‘Smart Playlists’ will allow blocks of programming to be scheduled that will only play tracks submitted to ds106rad.io according to a wide range of criteria. These playlists will be generated dynamically, so essentially if you wanted a show called ‘Listener’s Choice’ you could create daily Smart Playlists that only play submissions made that day/week. Each day/week in that slot you will hear a different mix.
There is a long tradition of #ds106radio XCasts – essentially taking a live audio stream from your computer or terrestrial station, broadcasting it to #ds106radio and narrating over the top. Airtime supports the ability to dial in any online stream and syndicate it with a given time period. For example, in the North American witching hours on ds106rad.io listeners will hear UbuWebRadio syndicated. This sort of radio syndication is something public broadcasters have been doing for decades – tune into NPR, BBC, or CBC in wee hours and you are likely to hear programming from PRI and other such groups – now #ds106radio can play with this too. At present I am only syndicating WFMU (Tues thru Thurs 9-11 EST) and UbuWebRadio (Every day – Midnight-5AM EST).
If you have any other live programs you think are a good fit for ds106rad.io which have a live online stream please let me know in the comments – would love to fill out weekly roster with some scheduled XCasts.
Now despite all the new fun stuff like smart playlists and AutoXCasts you can all still broadcast live – cause that’s where the magic happens. The live settings are:
Bitrate: 128 (or less)
Stereo: Yes (or no .. as you like)
Will put the above settings for /LIVE broadcasts in play starting tomorrow. I will be posting some details on how everyone can turn their hand to station manager hijinx soon – stay tuned. Looking forward to playing with the new digs.