authors are with RAG Radio Production.
Scotland — Just over a year ago we started a radio production company, RAG
Radio Production. Our aim was to produce radio programs for other stations from
our own studio. After a few months we decided that the way to move forward was
to establish a radio station of our own as well. After much searching we found a
reliable and affordable streaming company and one that could also offer other
benefits such as the use of own programs for broadcast and also the ability to
play out scheduled programming via a reliable calendar.
was at that time a new software program on the market. It seemed to cover all
the bases we needed at that time: a streamer which was scalable to handle high
or low numbers of listeners and with an easy-to-understand calendar which
allowed repeat programs at the touch of a switch.
When we originally installed the program we
did find it a little bit complicated but that might have been due to our
broadcast inexperience. In order to get fully up and running we had to have a
Skype call with one of the tech lads who stayed with us until the system was
fully up and running. He also ironed out a few problems we had with the way we
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we were up and “on-the-air” we found out that we did not really understand the
different things we would also need in the very near future. It became quickly
apparent we needed a way to log on outside DJs who worked from home or from their
With the introduction of Airtime
2 this became available to us. They added a separate platform for outside DJs
to be able to log-in to the stream with the use of a secure password. They log
in to the stream and at the end of the show log out which allows the calendar
to pick up control and revert it back to the main stream.
You can give DJs one of three levels of
accounts. A DJ’s account allows them to see the calendar but not use it to add
or delete programs. A manager’s account allows them to see and use the calendar
so they can add shows into the calendar or delete shows from it. A full administrator’s
account allows them to do all we can within Airtime environment. Obviously at
that level we only allow trusted people to use that log-in because they can
delete other user’s accounts. In giving others the permission to do these
things it cuts our time down from having to upload shows, place shows in the
It is unfortunate that Airtime
doesn’t have a live module (I am assured this is in the pipeline). In order to
do live broadcasts you need to use an outside program linked to Airtime. This
was a bit hard at the start to work but together with the Airtime technical
folks we got it running.
One of the biggest problems
we have encountered is the calendar playback. Airtime would seem to forget to
stream out from time-to-time. We used to send an email to Airtime within a few
hours if it had not corrected itself. Even when the fault was ours they would
do it in a courteous and friendly way.
If the program has one fault it is that it
does not give average listening figures for your reports at a glance. We
approached them and one of the technicians devised a small program for us which
he sends to us every month in order to do our licencing quarterly report.
As for the cost, the product is like buying
modules to add on as needed. You can run as small or as large as you want, and
if you need something different they are always there to make a program
designed for you and your needs. This makes it a very good value and we can
work out our own budget in advance knowing we can expand or shrink to fit our
have found the whole program to be very stable, with few problems occurring. The
whole time we have used Airtime the servers have always stayed active with no
noticeable offline time. Any problems we have had have mainly been small
glitches to the system and have been corrected speedily.
For information, contact Josh McLain at
Sourcefabric in Ontario at (312) 789-5659 or visit sourcefabric.org/en.