Short answer: RadioDAVE is an Internet music stream I’m providing for my friends and family.
Way longer answer!
Prior to my life as a full-time geek, I used to work in broadcasting. For over a decade I worked in commercial radio and the Armed Forces Radio and Television Services (AFRTS). Radio was definitely my first love; I gave it up more money and my secondary love – computing. Radio appealed to my love of music and my heart to bring joy to others. I really miss it!
Some old school friends have been occasionally streaming bootleg music recordings and rare rock recordings. I enjoyed their shows and was intrigued by the idea of sharing music across the Internet. So, I decided to dig into myself, although my musical choices would be predictably more pedestrian.
It turns out that there is a significantly high entry cost for the legal licensing fees to stream music through the Internet. Initially I was concerned that the fees would block me from sharing my musical stream. I discovered that there are several companies for people just like me. These companies log the songs being played and make sure that the license fees are paid. Since they service a large pool of streams, the entry fees are spread across many people – making the fees more affordable.
My streaming music connection will support five listeners at the same time. Since I have friends and families scattered across multiple time zones, and with different listening habits, I haven’t found the five-listener limit to be a problem. If the stream becomes more popular, I can increase the listener limit easily. The cost in tolerable!
The music library is eclectic. Many of the songs are “Top 40” hits from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Sprinkled among the hits are album tracks from popular LPs, as well as occasional personal favorites. During one set I heard an AC/DC song followed by “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.” You never know what might come up next. There are about 1,300 songs in the current playlist. I wrote a customer C# program to shuffle the songs. It does a pretty good job of creating a listing that is well jumbled.
One of my goals was to provide a stream that had a “radio” sound – the volume levels were very even and could be enjoyed in an office environment. Achieving this goal required that I strictly control the music, rather than relying upon a service to store the music, then play it without any processing.
All of the music is stored on my home computer. The computer uses local programs to process the sound of the music, and then send it to the hosting service in the Internet. The host service streams the result to the listeners. This allows me to tweak the processing to get the sound I feel will work best for my listeners. I know that most folks are listening through either laptop computer speakers, or inexpensive computer speakers. I will continue to tweak the sound to get the best sound from the typical speakers – people listening with nicer systems should find the stream to be similar to a good FM radio station.
Around the “top” of each hour, there is a “bumper” that announces the station. I’ve created a fistful of different bumpers to keep it interesting. A friend from my last radio station continues to do voice-work for broadcast and he has volunteered to make some custom bumpers – those should be amazing.
If you have ideas for the stream, please let me know. I’m adding a few new songs each week and regularly reshuffling the list.
You can never what RadioDAVE might play next – you’ll just need to listen!