I had no inkling I’d be doing a morning show simulcast on Strawboss Radio and ds106radio when I went to bed last night. But based upon what I appeared to have said during this recording it seems I’ve signed up do it again tomorrow and beyond.
The only edit made on this 55 minute mp3 file was to remove a couple of minutes at the beginning from Polecat Strut by the Polecats. Moving forward, I don’t plan to release entire shows in this manner. Instead, I’ll work on the reflection and interrogation process described in the final stop set.
Beyond that, I will resist commenting on the content in today’s program and kindly direct your attention to the replies section of this post upon listening.
So long as this remains fun and circumstances allow, I’ll try to continue weekday morning (PDT) shows for the duration. But it will require your help to keep it fun. Can we count you in?
I had a bit of fun in assembling this first recording for what hopefully will be a long-lived project: Azuracast and You. The thing begins with a sign off done during a rehearsal WebDJ set done the night before. Regular listeners, in addtion to not requiring a high-bran diet, will remember that their new old radio friend likes to play free and easy with that good old linear conception of time (scottlo being scottlo). A careful listener might even be able to distinguish between those bits I recorded through a decent quality dynamic microphone through a mixer and those done through WebDJ on a built-in laptop mic.
Essentially, the recording consists of several songs from the Leo Reisman Orch. and a few stop sets recorded along the way or the day before. It’s in those spoken portions that I attempted to say something or other about Azuracast, curating collections of old recordings from the Internet Archive, and chasing the radio dream. In radio terms, and it was played semi-live over ds106radio late last night, it isn’t particularly good radio but then again it might not be particularly bad radio. Fortunately there are a couple delicious musical morsels at the end from Caterina Valente and Radio’s Ace Organist, Elmer Bieck to wash it all down.
This first installment of Azurcast and You is primarily about setting up a scheduled playlist of songs that have been uploaded to any Azuracast station. These pages are found on the station management page (Profile). The Music Files and Playlist pages are where the process described mostly takes place.
In terms of documenting the process, I’d kindly direct your attention to a tweet storm that took place over 72 hour span this past weekend. The steps listed below were drawn from the text and images in those tweets. Also in the tweet storm but not in the below list are a few wrong turns and diversions encountered along the way.
Gather a collection of mp3 files from the internet archive
Edit the ID3 tags so that Artist and Song Title are included
Create a scheduled playlist on the Playlist page for the music to be uploaded
Upload mp3s to a directory you’ve created on the Music Files page this can be done through the Azurcast web interface or via SFTP
Associate the uploaded files to the playlist on the Music Files page
Tell someone when the playlist is scheduled to play and send them a link to listen
Enjoy the pleasant sensation of having done radio like a straw boss
It’s a simple process though quite tedious at times especially when editing metadata on a large collection of songs as was done here. Based on this weekend’s work, Strawboss radio now draws music from four separate playlists around the clock. So the Shlock Around the Clock daily circular schedule has been adjusted accordingly. And hopefully it will continue to evolve as more straw bosses join the fray to make some fun radio – all are welcome, none are turned away.
And if this and future installments of Azuracast and You encourage others to program their own playlists as schedule blocks on Strawboss, this whole effort will have been worth every moment spent these past four days.
During the past month’s time of earnest experimentation and wild-eyed play over Strawboss Radio and ds106radio with Azuracast through Reclaim Cloud, I’ve developed a great affection for this tool and what it makes possible. I believe that the more people we get on board with their own Azuracast station to do radio as they see fit, the better. And that’s precisely why I’m here trying to write a blog post to accompany this little bit of recorded audio.
As stated on last night’s show on ds106radio, the plan moving forward is to explore and share music and other digital media from the Internet Archive (IA). I’m intrigued by the vastness of the IA’s holdings and the efforts being made to build a library of cultural artifacts in digital form. Sometimes that vastness can be overwhelming. But with a bit of thoughtful curation and some radio magic, I believe it’s possible to create a pleasant listening experience from that huge collection.
Last night’s show is posted here for a couple of reasons. First, the sixty minute recording might be of interest to those who were unable to listen live. Also, I’m finding the process of planning and presenting shows on ds106radio serves as a welcome diversion from the troubling realities of the current moment. Perhaps a similar momentary diversion can be found while listening.
Ordinarily, according to the ds106 ethos, a blog post such as this should document the process by which the work was created. Well sir, that would be one long and ponderous turkey of a post to write up. Besides, I’ve been asked to write a DIY radio manifesto/tutorial as a guest post for one of the thought leaders in educational technology. So let’s put documenting of process aside for the moment – a link to the influencer’s blog will be made available in due course. Rather, I’d like to briefly touch on a few points that were raised in the recording and which will guide Reporting for Duty in the days ahead.
Clearly not everything that gets uploaded to the IA is in the public domain. The IA team are responsive to copyright claims and will take down content when requested to do so. I’ve wondered about my own level of responsibility and liability in linking to or playing something that is not in the public domain. I might have found a way through in the below disclaimer.
Reporting for Duty is an educational project. It will explore and interrogate the random assortment of found artifacts to highlight curious anomalies, oddities and coincidences that might be of social, political or cultural concern. A case could also be made that certain aspects of this project provide therapeutic benefit for your new old radio friend. It is hoped that this fair use claim (as also made in the recording) will provide some level of indemnification if and when the takedown notices come.
The ds106radio experience has always been enhanced by the interaction between hosts and listeners over the Twitter. These exchanges can be lively, caring, informative, bawdy and sometimes even cry-baby in nature. These threaded Twitter exchanges can also serve as an artifact of the fleeting radio moment. They show that at a certain moment in time, a small and special group were gathered around the ds106radio campfire – enjoying the shared experience.
I’ve also noticed several hosts on ds106radio use Twitter to promote upcoming shows or to augment the program with commentary, artwork or reference links. It is this second use of the Twitter that I hope to explore more fully in upcoming Reporting for Duty installments.
This particular playlist was derived from a compilation by an IA user named M3. I’ve come across more than 70 such compilations from M3 (previously known as Memory 3) dating back to 2017. I want to know how and why these compilations came into being. I have a suspicion that they were automatically generated with computer software.
So in one instance a playlist from a single compilation can be used to put a radio show together. But there’s also the possibility of creating a playlist that draws from files in different compilations or collections in the Internet Archive. I’ve done a few such experiments and the results are promising. More too will be said about this matter in that guest blog post.
The Gentle Listener
Perhaps you will attempt to listen to this hour long recording. If so, I hope you find it a a pleasant experience. Any feedback would be appreciated.
This is not sort of thing I had in mind when I decided to do a podcast called Tokyo Calling Returns. ds106 radio has suddenly erupted into my attention and takes a place of prominence in this podcast episode. It appears that others too are drawn back to those curious months through most of 2011 when so much seemed possible. And all that possibility was fueled by ds106 radio.
The six-minute introduction was recorded through a good microphone and mixer into an edirol mp3 recorder in a closet. The 21-minute recording that follows was transmitted live over ds106 radio with the Pocket Streamer. The incidental music is Bye Bye Blues by Eddie Piano Miller.