Dec 232013

So, the government has once again worked its way around actually setting a date for the digital switchover of radio. I mention this because I’ve been looking into this over the past couple of weeks as it’s relevant to what I’m doing for my dissertation.

I mention this because there’s some quite interesting stuff out there, and – hopefully, although I’ve got a bad track record with this type of thing – I’ll be putting some of what I find out here as I come across it. This isn’t necessarily part of the dissertation itself, but other stuff I’ll likely come across.

My dissertation is looking at small stations – small local stations, community stations and RSL stations – and their plans for what will happen if – or probably when – FM is ‘switched off’. And there’s the first point I’ll make here: unlike when TV went from analogue to digital, I doubt FM will be quite as easy to ‘switch off’. Radio stations can be smaller outfits than a TV station – for an assignment last year, I looked into Dorchester-based station Wessex FM, a station that had less than ten members of staff, most of which were involved in advertising. Community stations could have more as they are volunteer-run. And when it comes to the broadcast, an FM transmitter is a simple thing – you plug an audio source in one end, an aerial in the other, and you’re broadcasting. They can be cheap – a quick eBay search revealed that you can pick up a transmitter for less than £200. A pirate broadcaster could set up for less than £300, and as pretty much everybody has at least one FM receiver, everybody can receive the station (you may not even realise it – many mobile phones have FM tuners, something mentioned in the speech given at the government conference yet the actual technology was missed…). Digital transmission is more expensive.

Conversion isn’t quite so easy or cheap as TV was to do – when that switchover happened, loads of people already had digital TV, by way of satellite, cable, or freeview. New TVs and the like came with digital tuners in them, and even for people who kept hold of their old equipment as long as possible – and possibly still have them – you could pick up a freeview box for about twenty quid. Conversion to digital radio isn’t quite as simple. In fact, it’s probably not even possible.

My dissertation won’t quite be so aggressive. Hopefully.

Sep 302013

I know, I know, I haven’t done anything here since April. Part of that is because my hosting expired in June and, although the site has been kept on a server somewhere, it hasn’t been active.

Welcome to the third year of University, Richard.

Where have the last two years gone? That’s what I want to know. Well, like everybody’s last two years, they started two years ago and ended now. But that’s not the point.

Both loads and not much has happened over the past couple of years, things that are good, things that are not so good, and others that are in the middle.

Life is what you make it though, and through all its ups and downs, there’s always things you hold on to.

Some of those things you should hold on to, some of those things you really shouldn’t. Unfortunately for me, quite often it’s the things that I shouldn’t hold on to that I do. And just when you think you’re moving on and letting go, something happens that makes you hold on even tighter. I will let go though, and then I’ll find out that the ocean that I’m so afraid of dropping into is really just a puddle.

That was a weird mix of analogies, but, you know what? I’m okay with that.

That’s all for now. Not sure what the point of this post was, as with many. Perhaps I should just drop the website and start again…


Apr 252013

Shortly, there will be a new audio piece up on the Radio page. Link here.

Secondly, ages ago you may remember that I did a piece on the spam comments on this site, going through them and just generally laughing at them. I was intending to do this at other points, just for a laugh really, but never got round to it.

I do fairly regularly check through the spam comment folder on this site, mainly because in the past I have missed genuine comments that have been marked as spam. None of them really seemed to be as amusing as they were when I made that first post ages ago, which is possibly why I haven’t bothered keeping up the giggles (not that there really were any). Most are done by an automated system with the idea of making it sound like a proper comment, but actually is just a front to link you to sites that steal your information – one that seems to be the most easy to trick people with is one that says something like ‘good content, but your site is broken in xyz browser’. Anyway, I digress.

The reason for coming up with this now is that in the spam folder this evening, I come across two messages:

Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. However think of if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the greatest in its niche. Very good blog!


Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Ironically, the two posts were on the same entry on the site, both of which were a radio piece with no text. So apparantly, when I post a radio piece (which I will be doing shortly, or have done shortly depending on what the opening paragraph of this post reads), I should include some ‘great images or videos’, but also not ‘waste my intelligence on just posting videos’.

I guess reading and videos is just old hat now. I’ll stick to audio.

Nov 262012

Possibly one of the duller things to do, but definitely the most important, this session covered the compliance aspects of radio. The minimum compliance expectations for broadcast radio in the UK is specified by Ofcom, and cover guidelines for statons dealing with aspects such as content involving children and young people (under 18s), crime, religion, [...]

Nov 122012

Although the lecture in question was one with a specific guest speaker, there have been many guest speakers in, organised by both the course and by Nerve. I will concentrate mostly on Martyn Lee’s lecture, but will touch on others as they all gave good insight into working in the industry. Martyn Lee was the [...]