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What You Think

User Opinion Story
9 February 2020 - 1:41am
If you want more money for the ABC/SBS to pay for investigative reporting etc then;
1. Switch off their 38 AM/FM transmitters in capital cities. DAB+ has been transmitting in state capitals for 10 years and now the other capitals have been added. Only one high powered DAB+ transmitter for ABC/SBS is in each city with a few very low powered repeaters. Norway did this with their government network and ratings returned to their previous values within 12 months.
Commercial stations can also make savings in a similar way.

2. Convert ABC/SBS in regional areas to VHF band 1 (the vacant TV channels 0 -2) DRM to transmit the same number of government channels as DAB+ does in the capital cities. The frequency is a quarter of DAB+ which will greatly extend the coverage areas. One high powered transmitter per TV transmitter site.

3. Transmit high frequency (Short Wave) at high power DRM from the geographic centre of Australia to cover all of Australia with Newsradio and Grandstand, with the ability to transmit Emergency Warning System. This is to cover the 400,000 Australians who cannot receive mobile phone or radio whilst mobile.

The current transmission system is very wasteful in money, electricity and causes lots of carbon dioxide to be produced at power stations.

Radio New Zealand Pacific has been transmitting high powered high frequency program to the Pacific for 14 years. Pity they don't transmit DRM+ domestically as well for the same reasons.
Radio New Zealand under review
Anthony The Koala
8 February 2020 - 6:58pm
I wish add to the comments based on those of Mr Williams. These are the positioning of a slogan, terminating agreements before being fulfilled, automation and identifying the station by its heritage-listed callsign other than "Magic".

Positioning slogan.
Slogans should be as simple and sharp. Radio 2CH serves an example. When it was known as "The Snob Mob" the slogan 'eked' of being "up themselves" and flopped. 2CH was successfully known as either "Good Music", "Beautiful Music". Simple two words.

The description of the "Adult Hits format's" slogan as "We play everything" is too long. A suitable and simple two word slogan is "great music". It's better than complicated slogans "all time hits all the time" or "the music of your life". "Great music" is a reflection of the music from any era.

Terminating current agreements on broadcasting of sports:
Clearly this is not about a breach of contractual terms such that damages/restitution is awarded for breach. Nor is it about factors beyond the parties' control frustrating the performance of a contract.

Rather, instead of the contract running to completion can sporting coverage be terminated early? I'm not privy to the contractual terms between Nine Media and the particular cricketing body administering the particular cricket code that is being broadcast.

An agreement between the parties must be reached for early termination of the contract. A very cursory look at different kinds of termination of contract may assist, https://www.business.gov.au/Products-and-services/Contracts-and-tenders/Ways-a-contract-can-end, BUT proper legal advice is needed if Nine Media wishes to 'remove' cricket broadcasting on the Magic, 2UE and 4BH stations. Unless the terms specify that cricket be broadcast on Magic, 2UE and 4BH, why not move the coverage to 2GB and/or DAB station NTS?

Automation not running smoothly on 2UE (for example).
Rather than playing out a song to its completion delaying the news, there may well be the case that people want to hear the news "on the hour, every hour".

Common sense would dictate that every song is on a file with duration information. The computer would pick say 15 to 20 tracks. Add the total duration of the selected tracks, then factor in the durations for advertisements, news, weather, traffic reports and station ID/stings. If duration is more than an hour, drop the music tracks until the final duration is under 60 minutes. Add a sting or ID for a 'snug' fit.

Identifying the "Magic" station by its original callsign 3EE or 3XY?

Restoring the original callsign of "Magic" 1278. According to the ACMA's Excel spreadsheet of AM, FM, DRB, DTV transmitter sites at https://www.acma.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-02/BroadcastTransmitterExcel.zip click on the "AM" tab and move the cursor to between lines 189 and 208. You will find the 'heritage' listed call signs associated with the radio station.

The "Magic" branded station’s callsign is 3EE. Its original callsign was 3XY until AWA changed it to 3EE in 1991. 3EE swapped its 1278kHz frequency with 3AW’s 693kHz frequency. At the same time, the 1422kHz frequency was available and subsequently occupied in 1994 by "Radio Hellas" a LOTE (language other than English) group adopted the 3XY callsign

An aside: the 1278kHz was 3AW's frequency from November 1978. In 2006, 3EE's frequency of 693kHz was swapped with 3AW's 1278kHz.

Another aside: the 1422kHz LOTE station can be picked up in Sydney during the evenings and overnight.

Anyway the issue becomes whether Magic can use its heritage callsigns 3XY or 3EE.

According to the ACMA's spreadsheet at line 206 as at February 2020, there is NO callsign associated with the 1422kHz LOTE station.
Nevertheless, the 3XY callsign has been adopted by "Radio Hellas". Despite the absence of a callsign on the ACMA spreadsheet, does "Radio Hellas" continually use the callsign 3XY as a 'common law trademark' rather than a callsign.

According to IP Australia, 3XY's trademarks have lapsed when it was an English Language station. Under TM application 637965, "3XY Radio Hellas Media" was unable to be officially registered.

BUT "3XY" may well be used as a common law trademark provided that the entity has evidence of common law usage on a continuing basis not only on air but in other aspects of running the business.

If the owners of "Magic" can use the name "3XY" it will have to apply to the ACMA to have the callsign identified with the frequency 1278kHz changed to "3XY".

Otherwise, the owners can use 3EE. Blame that on AWA the owners of 3XY who relinquished the name "3XY" in 1991!

Thank you,
Anthony of researching Belfield
Not 2UE's finest hour
Anthony The Koala
7 February 2020 - 8:36pm
Two points, one on song title/artist and the other is audience metrics.

First, in another posting, I raised the issue of lack of song title/artist on the scrolling DAB text display. It appears that as of 07-02-2020, the song title/artist information is on display.

Second, while DAB+ like AM and FM a one-way communication, it may well be be difficult to implement an instantaneous feedback on the song information.

However, may I suggest that with IP streaming apps, it would not be difficult to provide feedback to the streaming provider such as 2UE in regards the information on the song title/artist, the time, date and location of the listener. You may include other demographic information such as age group and gender.

During the song, a simple like/"thumbs up" dislike/"thumbs down" could be displayed on the user's app interface such as a mobile phone. For example, "Ace of Base's" The Sign may be played in the morning, afternoon and evening. A user may well like the song in the evening, but not in the afternoon or morning. Another user may not like the song at all.

The information collected by the IP stream provider such as 2UE could be analysed along with the metrics of the previous and next song.

In addition, the 'key' signature and 'rhythm' of a particular song can be computed with software. Despite music coming from a particular decade, the theme and variations may vary significantly. Through research using the existing data, the playlist may well be more harmonious rather than a clash of juxtaposed songs. Muzak may well have had a 'manual' system of 'key signature' and 'rhythm'.

But it does not have to apply to 'elevator music'. In this application, the data is dictated by IP streaming service's or radio station's source of music and the results are instantaneous.

However, this system of metrics could only come from an app that sends information back to the IP streaming service or radio station. Unfortunately it may not apply to DAB+ receivers which are a one way communication.

Thank you,
Anthony of innovative Belfield
Not 2UE's finest hour
Tim Williams
7 February 2020 - 10:12am
Listening regularly during their first week back as 2UE 954, there are several comments I would make.

Firstly, the format they seem to be adopting is one known in the United States as "Adult Hits". Stations with an "Adult Hits" format (which has been described recently on an industry news item on radioinfo as "the new hot format") often use a positioning statement of "we play everything"), so the statement that "their automation system has been loaded with a few compilation CD's and set to random play" fails to understand that format.

The other statement, that the format does not position 2UE well against its main AM opposition station 2CH, presumes that that would be who they are attempting to position themselves against. In this day and age, where so much listening is not by conventional radio but rather by streaming, listening choices are not necessarily determined by whether a station is on AM or FM. If 2UE can attract enough listeners from each of WSFM, Smooth, Triple M and 2CH, they could have a very worthwhile audience.

In relation to them seeing out their commitments as Macquarie Sports Radio, would it not be a better idea to simply terminate those agreements and launch properly as a dedicated music station? The cut across to various sports coverages over the past week has been extremely annoying.

Now, the automation problems. I could name community radio stations where automation is being handled on a much more professional basis than the current 2UE system. The time-outs to news would be much better handled by taking their bulletins on FTP rather than live exactly on the hour. People listening would, I believe, much prefer to hear their song completed and the news bulletin be 15/30 seconds late (or early) than what is happening at present.

I mentioned earlier the "Adult Hits" format. Many stations in the U.S. with this format have either no announcers (relying totally on branding pointers and positioning statements) or perhaps an announcer at Breakfast, and less frequently on Drive. The cost savings would be an obvious attraction to 2UE, but they would perhaps need to highlight song titles/artists on their website to compensate.

Clunky so far, yes. But the format of "we play everything" could be an attraction in the Sydney market if they ditch any remnant of the "Macquarie Sports Radio" branding.

And ditto with 4BH in Brisbane. A real heritage call sign in Melbourne would be nice though.
Not 2UE's finest hour
7 February 2020 - 9:53am
Just like to know which Podcasts are just that fresh podcasts and not edited Breakfast/Mornings/Drive radio show.
Because all the non-radio shows need more space to grow without the clutter of radio shows repackaged!
Hamish & Andy still at the top: Australian Podcast Ranker
Nic Nolan
7 February 2020 - 3:45am
The rankings are interesting...but where can we see how many people listen to these podcasts?

EDITOR: Thanks for the question, we asked this of Triton and CRA recently. The answer is that the actual listening numbers are not published. Each podcaster can see their own numbers and other info in their dashboard. It is up to them whether they publish them or not.
Hamish & Andy still at the top: Australian Podcast Ranker
Anthony The Koala
3 February 2020 - 3:31am
Dear Darren Moss,
Thank you for your reply regarding that 2SM's wideband signal "....above statement which is technically impossible."

It is and was technically possible to broadcast a wideband AM stereo signal. I know what I am talking about having worked in television and radio broadcasting where amongst my time at these broadcasters, was to observe the technical quality of radio and television signals.

First thing to note is that channel spacing of 9kHz has nothing to do with the bandwidth of the audio signal transmitted by the radio station. Signals greater than 9kHz have been transmitted by AM radio stations.

If you are talking about the minimum standards of broadcasting an AM Stereo signal the minimum standard is +-7.5kHz per channel. That is the minimum.

Secondly, the reason for the poor quality sound of AM receivers has to do with the bandwidth of the receiver. In the US there are over 4000 AM radio stations and there is a high likelihood of co-channel interference with the intended received station. Suppose the intended received station is broadcasting at 1000kHz. There is a distant station broadcasting at 990kHz and its baseband signal is 10kHz. On the upper sideband, the 990kHz station is transmitting at 1000kHz. A radio tuned to 1000kHz will have its signal interfered by the 990kHz signal transmitting 10kHz. By limiting the bandwidth of the receiver to +-3kHz reduces the chances of the effect of co-channel interference.

Thirdly, the two main determining factors of bandwidth in an AM receiver are due to the Q factor of the coils and the bandwidth of the ceramic filter in the IF (intermediate frequency) stages of a superheterodyne receiver.

For ceramic filters operating at an IF of either 455kHz or 450kHz or in rare instances at 469kHz (eg the Panasonic RXED50 sold in Australia), they can have a bandwidth of 5kHz, 6kHz, 7.5kHz, 10kHz, 20kHz and 30kHz. The respective bandwidths are 2.5kHz, 3kHz, 3.75kHz, 5kHz, 10kHz and 15kHz. The main manufacturer is Murata and most ceramic filters sold on the market are those of the 6kHz bandwidth.

With some research I have secured a purchase of several 30kHz bandwidth ceramic filters. The resulting bandwidth is 15kHz at -3dB.

Fourthly, in the few years preceding the official introduction of AM stereo in Australia there were articles in the Electronics Australia and Electronics Today International about AM stereo.

I wished I had copies of these articles with me to get the year, month and page numbers. There were many references to the quality of Australian AM stations broadcasting beyond 9kHz up to 15kHz. These were mentioned a number of times in the electronics journals of the time without anybody writing to the editors of these magazines that it was "....technically impossible.." as Mr Moss said.

This was in the 1980s analogue technology not the today's cloud computing, server, networks and datacentric applications.

2SM was no exception and it was technically not impossible.

I wished there was a member of the engineering staff from 2SM in the period between 1985 and 1998 who could verify that their signal was high bandwidth. I stress 2SM only and no other station for verification.

I can only rely on a chat I had with a non-engineering person such as the presenter of the request program on 2SM in 1988. We both agreed that 2SM was the best sounding of all the AM stations.

Fifthly, 2SM's signal "rivalling FM quality" meant rivalling not matching FM. To achieve this "rivalling quality" either meant either boosting higher frequencies and/or allowing a baseband signal to be broadcast up to 15kHz. Remember this is analogue radio. But 2SM's signal sounded very close to an FM station's signal quality, hence the term "rivalling" NOT matching.

In addition, when experiments on FM broadcasting were conducted in Austrlaia in the late 1940s, people could not perceive the difference in audio quality between the simulcast AM and FM signal.

Sixthly, there were wide bandwidth AM radios available on the market in Australia during the 1980s. These were the Australian-made Audiosound wide bandwidth radio http://www.audiosoundlabs.com.au/myweb/about.htm pay attention to the years 1969, 1971, 1977 and 1978. It appears that
What was missing from the webpage was discussion in the Electronics Australia in 1980s. Again I regret not having a copy to indicate the year, month and page. Nevertheless, the radio receiver's bandwidth achieved a bandwidth of 15kHz with a 10kHz/9kHz notch filter. I remember the frequency response with the notch filter engaged.

Audiosound have ceased manufacturing their wideband AM receivers as indicated by the lack of an wideband AM receiver in their product range

By the way Audiosound made broadcast quality monitoring amplifiers such as the LD40. The output stages had to have matching 2N3055 output transistors whose betas (the DC gain) were very close.

The other wideband AM radio was the Sony STJX220A wideband AM stereo/FM stereo receiver. It is this receiver that I have been listening to 2SM. Note the term I said "rivalling" FM stations NOT matching. The bandwidth at -3dB was 10kHz, NOT 15kHz. Nevertheless 2SM's signal was a pleasure to listen to between 1985 and 1998 until their CQUAM exciter malfunctioned/was destroyed after a severe thunderstorm in late 1998.

Yes, AM Stereo is passe. But the purpose was that in order to listen to a particular radio station requires broadcasting the highest possible quality of signal. At the time 2SM had the best quality signal for an AM station at the time and was a pleasure to listen on my STJX220A receiver, even if the playlist was on a high rotation.

The quality of a signal applies to today's DAB transmissions. Low bit rates at 48kbs and below produces observable metallic sounds especially the timbre of the high frequency components of the baseband signal. This has been the concerns of UK listeners where there are more stations crammed into a particular multiplex.

For 2UE and 2CH, one does not hear these tinny metallic sounds because they are broadcasting at bitrates of 80kbs and 128kbs respectively. For stations owned by the ARN, SCA and Nova networks, their main stations are broadcasting at 48kbs. In this situation, I prefer their FM signal.

In summary, there was wideband transmission of signals on the AM band in Australia during the 1980s. There are wideband ceramic IF filters up to 30kHz (15kHz per sideband) and there were wideband AM radio receivers on the market during the 1980s with the Audiosound wideband receiver having a better bandwidth (15kHz with a 10kHz/9kHz notch filter) than the Sony STJX220A receiver (10kHz). With the latter receiver, the sound of 2SM rivalled an FM station BUT not matched an FM station.

The result is that a station has to transmit their baseband signal at the highest possible quality even on DAB. 2CH and 2UE are the only stations in Sydney doing this. 2CH promotes their DAB transmission over their AM frequency of 1170kHz. 2UE are only promoting only their radio app and not their DAB.

Indeed Darren I am a koala, because I live on branch at the top of the tree observing the trees rather than the forest below. Thank you for reading my comments.

In addition I don't apologise if you think my other points are rants. Perhaps there is some 'anger' at the state of radio programming and my comments are reasoned. If you read my 'rant' about Australian content and comtemporary artists, that a classic-hits/hits-and-memories/golden-oldies format may exclude newer talent outside the 70s,80s and 90s. Even if artists emerged in the 1990s, would they be included in 2UE's playlist? I mentioned "Eskimo Joe" and "Pseudo Echo" to name a few. How about "The Rockmelons" and "Kate Cerebrano" or contemporary artists such as "Ruel", "Jessica Mauboy", "Guy Sebastian", "Nathaniel" and "Isiah Firebrace"?

Services such as Spotify are offering customised audio streams delivering to the customer a wider choice of music in what she/he wants compared to the narrow repertoire of high rotation predictable formats such as the hits-and-memories/golden oldies/classic hits. The very nature of evidence-based research methods used to determine a radio station's format may be "put on its head". The customised audio streams are satisfying the customer and providing user data to the streaming provider instantaneously and more accurately.

With Spotify aiming their customised streaming service with local news to the motorist and possibly the daily commuter, https://radioinfo.com.au/news/spotify-are-taking-radio-fortress-car, there may well be a serious DISRUPTION to incumbent broadcasters whose largest audience may well be the motorist and/or commuter. This may be so if faster IP streaming services are available and data plans getting cheaper. Let's not forget a plethora of other streaming services such as Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube and Deezer. Then the thousands of other radio stations interstate and outside Australia.

Remember that motorists form a large proportion of the radio audience and if this reduces the market share of incumbent radio stations especially music stations of the hits-and-memories/classic hits/golden oldies type then these stations do so at their peril.

I would regret that our historic "institutions" such as 2UE, 2CH and even the higher rating FM stations should fall by the wayside.

Thank you,
Anthony from thinking Belfield
We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH
2 February 2020 - 9:16pm
Just wanted to let you know that I think the logo is no good for the new magic 1278 radio station in Melbourne which was launched on 1/2/20.The reason for this is because the logo says "Playing the Best Music and More of it". I think this is too much like the Gold 104.3 FM station in melbourne which has the logo,"Better music and More of it". I don't want Magic 1278 to get in trouble for this and I think they should change their logo to "Best Easy listening Music". This is because the new Magic 1278 is playing great easy listening music and I really hope they keep this up and don't start playing more current day chart music like what so many other radio stations do today. We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH
Darren Moss
2 February 2020 - 7:06pm
Quoted from Anthony the Koala:
"Between 1985 and 1998, 2SM broadcast the highest quality signal I have ever heard... 2SM's signal quality rivalled FM stereo."

Confirmation you are indeed a Koala.

I often read your posts but geez mate there's 3 massive rants and then the above statement which is technically impossible.

We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH
1 February 2020 - 10:53pm
Hi All,
I'm really excited about the relaunch of Magic 1278 in Melbourne and I was listening to it today on 1/2/20.The music that they're playing on it is great,lots of excellent easy listening tracks that I love.However,I was very disappointed to hear that for now they are still going to play live sports broadcasts on it like AFL and the cricket.i think there's already plenty of live sport being broadcast on the radio and I really hope that when the current sports rights contracts end with Magic 1278,this new station will go back to what the old Magic 1278 used to be like and return to playing music only.I hope Magic 1278 eventually returns to playing jukebox Saturday night and not cricket or football.
I also hope that this station starts playing my favourite song regularly which is a great easy listening song from the 90s called "High" by Lighthouse Family.From Jono and Ben
P.S. If people want to listen to sport I think they should do this on the SEN radio station.
We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH


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