Monday, 20 May 2019

Dear Listener

A MESSAGE TO THE LISTENER

This is a message to all listeners of internet radio stations (not just ours).

Over the past few years, us internet radio broadcasters have been under
pressure from a whole onslaught of other music providing sources.

We like our other broadcasters have been trying our hardest to make out output compete and fill in a gap in this market. Stations come and go more rapidly than before as some folks think it is easy to grab your attention. This is definitely not the case.

COMMUNICATE

We have some die hard listeners who also from time to time communicate with us for which we are grateful. We also have those who also listen regularly but never communicate with us. This we know and accept, we change shows around and seek new program content on a regular basis but have little feedback from you the LISTENER. All stations will appreciate your feedback and it may be the difference between them improving or giving up. You the LISTENER have an ideal opportunity to have an impact, don't waste it.

GET IN TOUCH

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I ask you to consider maybe taking a few minutes to visit your favorite internet radio's website and say hello. Without you we would not be doing this, with your help and feedback we can prevail against all the odds stacked against us by the big boys (Itunes, Spotify, Deezer etc.)

Dave Kelly
Affinity Radio

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Tips for Radio Show production

RECORDING YOUR CONTENT

Here are a few tips on recording


  1. Whatever your show's content make sure you always check your LEVELS!. You would be surprised the number of programmes we sometimes get at Affinity where music to voice levels are drastically different. Always check these. One quick way is to use waveform view on your recording software. The example below is from Audacity. You will be able to see at a glance if levels differ too much.
  2. Find out what is the best BIT RATE to record your shows. Bear in mind that some stations have upload limits for their content. Always record to the highest bitrate acceptable to your end user /station. Example: Station broadcasts at 128 kbps, anything above this level will not increase sound quality but will increase upload time for the station as higher bit rate = increased file size. We had an example once of a show being submitted that was 365 kbps and size of 6.5 MB, we had a maximum upload file size of 2.0 MB to our old Cloud Server....we had to down scale this to fit...not good for a station. Example below shows the set up for bit rate for broadcast software. Generally stations normally broadcast between 96 - 192 Kbps Bit rate.  
  3. What file type or CODEC should you record in?. This can be complicated but from our experience the good old MP3 format works for most radio stations.  Find out more here CODEC's

NAMING YOUR SHOW FILE

Here at Affinity, we generally have around 30 shows submitted for broadcast per week. This is very time consuming so anything the show provider can do to assist us is a bonus. Here are a few tips to consider.
  1. Save your shows file name in the following format: Presenters Name - Show Name - Date or other detail. This ensures that (most) broadcast software will show the correct details in the right order on the audio player that your listeners will see. The example to the right shows the correct formatted file as uploaded to our server. This shows the detail fills out the correct fields on our broadcast software. This saves time for us as we don't have to update these details so that they display correctly on our player and on any other players broadcasting the show via our TuneIn, or other on line directories. The picture below shows how the above data looks on our player. All this is (or can be) done at the recording stage.
     
  2. File METADATA may also help to show your show is professionally produced and you are helping the poor overworked station manager. You can edit the metadata using Windows 10 file explorer by doing the following: 
    1. Open File Explorer (Windows key + E).
    2. Browse the location of the songs  or audio file you want to edit.
    3. Right-click a song or audio file, and select Properties.
    4. Click the Details tab.

We hope this has helped you to present the data and sound quality at the right level and to demonstrate to the station who may be wanting to broadcast your show that you are a serious broadcasting professional. We will cover more topics on this subject soon.


Saturday, 26 January 2019

What's In A Name?

Naming your internet radio station

So you have been following some of our other blogs on how to set up an internet radio station?


Choose carefully

Hopefully you have. One of the crucial things you need to consider is your station name. Make sure it fits your music genre you intend to play.

Your station name will be used on websites, social media, business cards, station promos etc so once you have done all the hard work and spent time and money, you don't want to find out that your new Internet radio station has the same name as another one, particularly if its in the same country too.

A true tale of woe!

All Affinity Radio blogs try to make sure you don't fall foul of a number of things, exploitation, paying too much and generally sharing our experiences with others. This blog is no different.

We did our homework checking out our chosen name  (Affinity Radio) using goggle, yahoo, MSN etc as a name check. Results were good so off we went. 

After six months  after starting 24/7 broadcasting we started getting a few emails for requests to presenters who were not on our station! Lucky for us these requests were by email so we were able to get back to the sender to find out what was happening. We found out that another FM and Internet station had stared up in Cambridge and had changed their name to ours! The requests were from a few confused listeners, listening to us on the Internet and the other "Affinity Radio" one on FM.
This also caused problems when registering the station with on line Internet radio directories and also iTunes, Microsoft, Tune In etc.

The other station decided to go for a DAB license and also decided to try and register our name as their trade mark legally! This meant we had to legally object and produce evidence of our counter claim.

We were successful and a year after the other radio station closed down.

Legacy issues

As with things Internet, there are still some issues still haunting us on the above issue, so think carefully and even if YOU do the legwork, keep vigilant as someone else won't.

Friday, 11 January 2019

How To Start Your Own Internet Radio Station For Minimum Cost

Broadcast on the cheap


Hi again from Affinity Radio - Kent's Favorite Internet Radio Station.

We have been broadcasting now for nearly 9 years. We started using very basic equipment and we often see blogs on how to start up in internet broadcasting but they all seem to be selling something more than required. and at massive cost.
Affinity Radio Studio 2010
Affinity Radio Studio 2010

Here are a few tips on how to begin broadcasting on a small budget.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  1. Identify your music genre
  2. Create a name for your station - check no one else has it already
  3. Choose how you want to play your music - we started with WINAMP which is FREE and has lots of great addons. You can compile playlists, adjust fade in and out of tracks, connect a microphone and lots more. There is also a large amount of help on the internet.
  4. Choose how you want to "broadcast" your station? We started using our PC as a server with free software download. We first tested this and managed 7 listener connections max! Ideally you can consider free (with restrictions) servers or a whole range of paid for options for as little as £5 per month to get more listeners. We currently use a Cloud based broadcast management system for £30 per month. We also broadcast 24/7 as this gets more listeners.
  5. You need to tell the world you are there! Once you get your music broadcasting, register your station with as many on line internet directories as possible.
  6. WEBSITE? - get a free website by registering with Google Business to push your station. Make sure you include a player so that the listener can "tune in".
  7. SOCIAL MEDIA? - Sometimes this requires too much work for little return, give it a go, Start TWITTER and FACEBOOK pages but keep them updated.
So if you already have a PC/Laptop and have downloaded WINAMP and found a FREE server, all you need then is a microphone and microphone stand with compatible input for your PC/Laptop (USB or other). General costs are as follows:

Microphone = £20 - £150
Microphone Stand = £8 - £25
Mixer (when using extra microphones = £19 - £150
Music £££££££££

One other thing.....

STAYING LEGAL

Remember to pay the licence fees to stay legal. Links to UK licensing bodies are as follows:

Affinity Radio Studio 1
Affinity Radio Studio 2017

FINALLY

Check out our other blogs for more information on making an internet radio station.

RESOURCES ON THE NET

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Another year - 8 years in internet broadcasting

Happy Birthday To Us

Well would you believe it, another year and we are still here doing our thing. We started the station way back in August 2010 using a PC as the broadcast server, boy have things moved on in the last 8 years. Much more competition now from other styles of music services has made it a hard slog to keep listeners.

We have noticed an increase in listener traffic again this year as we think listeners like the "surprise" of presented music, especially as an alternative to the established "terrestrial" stations who are financially driven to a limited and very repetitive playlist.  

We think we provide a wide and varied selection of programmes that should suit listeners within the 35- to what ever age range. Listeners are surprised by some of the little heard tracks we and our presenters play . We are continuing this formula and adjusting the content to still engage with some of our "younger" listeners too.

If you would like to find out more about us and maybe join us for the next 8 years, then drop by and see us at Affinity Radio or maybe listen to us direct at Affinity pop up radio player

Sunday, 12 November 2017

What Is The Best Microphone for Internet Radio

Questions?

We get asked  by folks starting out in internet radio about what is the best microphone to use on an internet radio station.

To be honest, our answer is get the best you can afford! That simple.


Top of the range

There are a number of exceptional microphones available including the iconic Electrovoice RE20 (£420) and the Neumann BCM 705 (£497)  which is a lot of cash!.

The real world

What do we use on Affinity Radio you may ask.  Well our main studio microphone in both of our studios is a Behringer B-1 Single Diaphragm Condenser Microphone which is currently retailing at a very reasonable £80. 

We also use as guest / outside broadcast microphones a brace of Behringer XM1800S Ultravoice dynamic microphones now at a bargain price of £35 for a set of 3. We also use a Shure SM58 (£95) and to be honest you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the Shure and the XM1899S.

Ultimately the choice is yours and the size of your budget. Always make sure you use a shock mount and pop guard to as this stops a lot of the noise transmitted from your broadcast desk and your slobbering presenter.

Feedback please.

Well I hope this has been of use, please let me know via studio@affinityradio.net.

Also drop by our website at http://www.affinityradio.net and our Face book and Twitter accounts and give us a Like if you are feeling generous. 

Thanks,

Dave Kelly
Presenter and Technical Manager
Affinity Radio

Monday, 17 April 2017

Listener Feedback

Don't Hold Your Breath

So you have just started your very own internet radio station and the listeners are (maybe) flooding in. You have a chat bar on the station web page, you also give out your contact email address during programs and jingles.

Silence?.....well sometimes it happens. Not all listeners want to get involved in your station, they may love the music you play but that's as far as it goes with most. From my last 7 years experience it can be depressing, but don't take my word for it.

Niche is good

One way to attract feedback is through specialist (niche) programs that have a distinct following. Listeners seam to be more passionate about their particular type of music, a good example is  Northern Soul

Social Media 

Facebook 

Got a page? get lots of followers, tell them about your shows, station details and how to get in touch. Keep the content fresh and updated. look for people with interests that align with your station or show content, invite them to your page. Also make a "contact us" button to your page to make it easy for people to get in touch. In reality, it is a must, but can be time consuming for little or no increase in actual listeners. Here is a link to our station  Affinity Radio Facebook Page


Twitter

Using a similar strategy as Facebook, also set up automated twitter feeds of what track you are playing on your station. Get those followers and you will get lot's of likes, again time consuming and generally from an internet radio station viewpoint, a necessity but again 4,000 plus followers does not equate to listeners! Check out our Affinity twitter page



Blogging

So did you find Blog this interesting? Are you going to comment? Has anybody commented? ...............what do you think?

 YouTube

Now this one is something I have dabbled in but must admit to not having much success in generating much interest. It is an area that I will be investigating in more detail soon so will let you know how I get on soon. Here is one video we produced on the missing "radio" button on iTunes

 Website

You need one, this is your shop front and communication hub. It's also a guide to how many interested people are out there by looking at "hits" on your site. Today it's quite easy to set up a website and can be free, check out Wix for a good example. We use a paid for software option from Serif. Check out our website here 



Internet Presence

And finally.... all the above will build your stations presence on the internet. Search for your station name to see how many times it pops up in your favourite search engine. All of the discussed topics will increase your chances of being found on the web. Your website enables people to contact you, but beware, most contacts will be spammers, Russian Brides, etc... so be warned.

References

Well I hope this little rant (blog) has helped some of you. 

Here are a few links to other resources you may find useful.
Top-10-internet-marketing-strategies
how-to-gain-more-listeners-for-your-internet-radio-station
radio.co - blog
5-directories you should list your station with

Cheers for now
Dave
Affinity Radio 

Dear Listener

A MESSAGE TO THE LISTENER This is a message to all listeners of internet radio stations (not just ours). Over the past few years, us...