We've had some really nice weather, house guests, my
daughter's dance academy had their big production.
All of the school activities are wrapping up as
Summer takes over.
You know, life.
I've now cooked up full broadcast support for my music
system, and am handling the music
programming for late night on our local
station (KVSH), all the way through to 6AM.
Starting tomorrow, that extends to 8AM, with two
hours of Pop. (Hoo boy, I sure hope I got all
the radio edits right!)
Give it a listen: Voice of Vashon
But part of the reason I was willing to add radio edits,
broadcast log merging, and 96k audio was that these
were things I always planned for Radio Vashon. Over on
my Beta development server, I have the media loaded
to handle all combinations of 96k/48k radio-edit/original-track.
And I'm putting the finishing touches on letting you choose
the lower or higher data rate, and at what threshold you'd
prefer the cleaned-up version of the track (or if it's
not clean enough and there's no edit, the track will be
I hand crafted Radio Vashon's 48k format so it was
the best possible intersection of efficient and
listenable. That said, when the extra data usage
is OK (unlimited data plan, or over home broadband),
it's nice to be able to select the extra fidelity
you get with a higher data rate. I hope you
All this, and I still try to stay abreast of the music
industry. Who would've thought Billy Ray Cyrus (Mr. "Achy
Breaky Heart") would be back? I've put his remix of
Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" into rotation. It pops
up at 7:12AM on Tuesday, the first time the track plays
on Vashon FM radio!
The Pop world bubbles along;
K.Flay has what I'm calling a rock track with "Sister", and
Sabrina Carpenter is back with "In My Bed". Ms. Carpenter
had a number of hits off her 2016 EVOLution album, looks like
she's now building towards her next album.
On a sad note, I've discovered the artist "Christina Grimmie",
who was a victim of violence a few years ago. I'm very
pleased to add her track "Hold Your Head Up" to
Radio Vashon's rotation.
I've been pretty quiet on the blog, but not because nothing's
happening–quite the contrary.
But first, I did want to put up some photos. We had
grey weather for a while, and house guests, and in general
life interfered. But today is quite nice, with just a little
And then I took a 1/2 hour walk down the hill to the
All you listeners have certainly noticed an influx of
Springtime tracks arriving from the industry! I would
say that Carly Rae Jepsen's "Dedicated" is the biggest
event of the season. I also really enjoyed P!nk's
"Hustle", and her "Hurts 2B Human" album in general.
Radio Vashon gathered some attention in the local
community, certainly with folks at our local radio
station. The chief engineer there shepherded a few
meetings between me and their Program Director, and
the result is the Radio Vashon music programming system
is going to be providing a bunch of their automation
content. And I now am wearing the Music Director
hat at the station.
I always intended Radio Vashon's underlying music software
to handle broadcast stations, and I've certainly done music
for FM broadcasting. But when you're streaming, it's just
not quite that critical to catch every single fleeting
expletive, nor cower far back from that "decency" line they've
drawn in the sand.
So another reason for my silence is that I got to revisit
every single track in my system, and detect if it had an
FCC issue, and either flag it to be avoided on FCC airwaves,
or else find or create what's known as a "radio edit" of
the track. Plus code up the software to put my music tracks
into their broadcast system (known as "log merging").
Quite a host of details.
I'll certainly post a note here when the content goes live
on the station. The plan is to start with 10-midnight rock,
and make sure everything is working OK.
Then add on midnight-6AM mellow, verify again.
And finally add Top 40 from 6AM until their
live morning shows take over.
(Somebody asked if it was going to be a simulcast of Radio Vashon?
No; it'll be a completely distinct stream of tracks. So I guess
you can try one, and the other, and see which one you like
better at a given point in time!)
In response to a couple requests,
I was going to post some nice pictures of Vashon.
I even mentioned it in my last post.
So, of course, the weather went grey/wet/cold and hasn't
let up since. I'll do those photos when I can!
I had my second promo run in the local paper,
The Loop. I cribbed a bit from the free software
movement, of course:
I have a new Kelly Clarkson track in rotation, and also
folded in an artist I've been following for quite a while,
Gabrielle Aplin. My new favorite video is from
Carly Rae Jepsen,
Now That I Found You,
a fun twist on a love song.
(I started writing this on April 1st, but decided to skip
any sort of prank.)
I just took care of
my first music licensing report required since Radio Vashon
went live. BMI wants it to cover the part of February that
RV was active, along with March. The report isn't terribly
detailed, but it does include a streamed track count, so for
the first time I had to roll it up.
And was pleasantly surprised. I have listeners! Not enough
to worry a local radio station, but it's still nice that Radio Vashon
has started building an audience of people who like some or all of
the music selection. Thank you!
I also had to do a music usage report to Sound Exchange. This is
the sort of report where you tell them what you played, and to
how many people you played it.
written the scripts a while ago, and they needed a little tweaking,
but generated what looked like sane results. I put it into Sound
system, and it came back to tell me that about half my entries
were "new tracks"–please check if you screwed up. I checked.
I don't think I have! We'll see what Sound Exchange thinks.
Maybe I just play tracks that nobody else does?
On other fronts,
I tweaked a bunch of the RV login screens based on my own
observations and also some listener feedback. You should
be faced with that whole "log in" screen much less often,
and in most cases see a screen with useful links (including
a button to just get back to the music).
A previous post documented my losing firstname.lastname@example.org
(thanks, Google). Just recently they also blew my mother's
account out of the water. She's in memory care (if you
know what that means) and I've been minding her gmail
account for her. But apparently that's not OK with Google,
because her account is now permanently locked.
To celebrate, I bit the bullet and closed my own Google
account. Yes, I'm just going to deal with not having Google
for my texts, emails, photos, music, .... I feel almost
like a digital Amish person! But the stench of their evil is
just too strong for me to ignore any longer.
On a happier note, I've received some questions about Vashon.
I'll try to grab a few pictures from our own place and the
neighborhood, and put them in my next posting. Vashon is
not Camelot, but it is a lot better than most places
you could pick to live.
One of my friends here on Vashon is a very experienced broadcast
engineer, Steve Allen. We have a number of AM transmitter sites
on the island, and he's one of the main guys who keeps them on the
air. As I developed Radio Vashon, his questions and comments
were very helpful in guiding the design.
As if that wasn't enough, Steve is also the owner and editor
of one of our local papers,
So of course Radio Vashon will be showing up in its
pages shortly! Many thanks, Steve.
A beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest, and I found a little
time to bring in some new tracks:
Karen O (she of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame) has done an album with
electronica DJ Danger Mouse. I was a little surprised that my
favorite track was a downtempo ballad!
New to the station are pop artists Freya Ridings and Sofia Reyes.
The latter is over in the Latin Pop world, and it seems like
more than 75% of Latin Pop sounds exactly the same (including, alas,
Shakira's last album). Tracks like Sofia's "R.I.P." are well worth
digging through all the rest.
Speaking of ballads, somehow Beyonce's "Daddy Lessons" (from her second
album back) never made it into the station. I've fixed that mistake.
If you're on YouTube, a version she did with Dixie Chicks is the only
one you'll probably find–but I like the album version better.
Finally, a report from a couple iOS users that the label for the
music style always stayed at "Morning Drive". I fixed that, and also
included an extra visual confirmation during the wait while skipping tracks.
Sorry about the slowness of skipping, it's a consequence of limitations
Apple has baked into the audio elements of iOS Safari.
Hope you're having a great weekend!
My mother-in-law is visiting (yes, yes, break out
all the usual jokes), a warming trend is heading
towards us, and I've just submitted my fourth
graphic for next week's Beachcomber.
With one of my other hats on, I had sponsored a
table for our Vashon Wilderness Program fundraiser,
"WILD". It was a lot of work for our own family,
and just an astonishing amount of work for our
unstoppable Executive Director. But she made it look
easy, and the event was quite a success.
I'll be returning to the Beachcomber presently,
and I also owe them an interview. (I asked them
to hold off so I could get enough of Radio Vashon
on its legs to have some actual information for them.)
Our other major Vashon paper is The Loop, and
coincidentally, its publisher reached out to me
today. With any luck, I'll have Radio Vashon showing
up on its pages soon.
Here's the promo you should be seeing in a week:
With a beautiful sunset after a wonderfully sunny
day here on Vashon, it seems appropriate that I've just deployed
a bunch of player appearance updates based on the
aesthetic input from my two daughters–with a special
"thank you!" to my older daughter, who really seems
to have a feel for this sort of thing.
All of my graphics are based on SVG ("Scalable Vector Graphics"),
which means they look perfect no matter how large or
small your screen. The "Ready to Play" button also
uses SMIL ("Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language",
ouch) to do that pretty fade-in of the background
The more I use SVG, the more I appreciate
what a brilliant technology it is. I neven use it for
my promo material, with Inkscape turning it into PNG
graphic files when needed.
Here we are with our clocks springing forward!
6 months ago I had to scramble when my scheduling
software broke. I had never really appreciated
that because of daylight savings nonsense,
my broadcast day–usually 24 hours–would be
25 hours when the clock moved back (two
2AM's!). And today I have a 23 hour broadcast
day (no 2AM at all).
Oh, side note. I put up my 3rd listing, so here's
the actual second listing from the local paper:
I plan on changing up the message each week,
so here's the latest text. I also tweaked
the icon and geometry of the ad to better fit
what the paper's format.