Archive for the ‘radio’ Category


A DJ is Born

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Ira Glass: an expert storyteller

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Ira Glass has three things you need to be likeable on radio: firstly, a soft, intimate voice that makes you feel like he’s talking directly to you across your kitchen table; secondly, the humility to discuss his own work as something not innately brilliant, but as the culmination of many years of hard graft; and thirdly, a brilliant ear for wonderful, personal stories that make for compelling listening.

This American Life, which I’d never listened to before this week, is a kind of Reader’s Digest on the radio – that is, a sweetshop of tasty morsels, none of which you’d never planned on investigating, but which seem to fascinate nonetheless.

In the episode we were asked to listen to this week, about storytelling, or more specifically, reruns, the framing is classic Ira.  Act one is all about action and the Beaver trilogy, a film in which the film maker became obsessed with returning, over and over, to the same subject.  The story is gripping because we hear the journalist, the film and the film maker, Trent Harris, all narrating slightly different parts of the narrative.  I found the act slightly long-winded, but by the end the effect is that I really wanted a happy ending for hte beaver kid, just as Trent and the jounralist do.  I learned that good radio stories are involved, and take the reader on a journey, using the sequencing that Ira references in his video.

I enjoyed the second episode more, perhaps. about couples rerunning each others’ stories – what do relationships do to you and your stories?  Despite the journalist speaking to a number of spouses who claim to have heard their partner’s stories over and over again, we find that they don’t in fact tell authentic, accurate versions of their stories.  Hearing them realise this is entertaining, and the contrast between the voices is enough of a cue to the listener to expect different angles.  Of course there’s also a lot of work behind the scenes to uncover some wonderful stories – as Ira says, the art of good journalism is as much about knowing what to take out as much as to keep in.

Discussion in Act Three of how often the Rosa Parks story has been evoked to explain revolutionary behaviour in many different contexts is an example of ineffective storytelling – where the simile isn’t really apt.  But it’s a good example of how the collective subconscious that Jung talks about gathers experiences into each of our memories so we feel like Rosa Parks, for example, is an ancestor of ours when we make a stand.  Choosing a person that means something to people can help them find a hook for what you’re telling them.

Android to #ds106radio

Monday, April 30th, 2012

android phones

Have an Android powered phone?  Been looking for a way to broadcast live audio to #ds106radio?

Pocket Transmitter allows you broadcast to #ds106radio in same manner as things are done with Papaya Broadcaster.

There is one small snag … this application requires users to connect to IceCast using Shoutcast-compatibility mode.  Once of the key elements of #ds106radio is the ability to ‘kick’ the /AutoDJ rotations out when someone connects /LIVE.  Shoutcast-compatibility mode users connect via listener sockets – which works fine, but listener socket connections do not support fallback points.  The fallback points are the little magic IceCast2 functionality that allows /LIVE cut-ins to scheduled playlists.

But … by setting up a second server for Android connections using listener sockets, #ds106radio can be configured to effectively listen for any/all activity on any mountpoint and relay broadcasts to /LIVE #ds106radio.  At this point there is about a 40second delay between the relay IceCast server and the main #ds106radio server when someone connects – I’m working on reducing this delay.  Happy to report the sound quality is excellent.  May a thousand Androids bloom.

@draggin has been in the contact with the developer of this application who has indicated that he is considering direct support for IceCast2 – this would eliminate the need for a relay – allowing users to connect directly to #ds106radio from their Android devices … stay tuned … looks like a promising $4.99 option.

Here are your settings for Pocket Transmitter:

Port: 8000
Password: ds106

You can watch for your connection at:

30-40 seconds from connection you will see your /LIVE Android broadcast at #ds106radio at: