What You Think | radioinfo

What You Think

User Opinion Story
Anthony The Koala
1 February 2020 - 6:27pm
I wish to make a remark on the advent on internet streaming services and what I do for my own music collection.

A number of people on this site and other sites have remarked since the rebranding of MSR back to its heritage-branded stations 2UE, 3EE and 4BH that its similarly overlapping with formats of other stations including WSFM, WS80s, Gold, Smooth, Smooth-Relax, 2CH, Fun, Zoo, Mix-90s, 2Day-easy and other 'classic-hits'/golden oldies formats. In addition, there are streaming services such as Spotify with its customised streaming service.

Now Spotify is offering a streaming service for people listening in cars to internet streams. The streaming service will interperse the customised stream with news and 'surprise songs'. Given that car listeners are a substantial part of a radio station's audience, Spotify may well be a threat to these stations. The threat may against radio stations may well be present with listeners on their mobiles listening to internet streams while commuting on public transport.

If you are driving a popular brand of motor vehicle, it is likely that the car has an infotainment system. The car's infotainment system may well have the capability of streaming internet directly.

However for Toyota-branded cars made from 2017 its infotainment system is capable of mirroring the driver's mobile phone for both Android and iPhone operating systems. This means for Toyota vehicles, your mobile phone will be streaming the internet stream.

For Camrys made between 2017 and 2019, a software update at the Toyota dealer is required.

Lesson: check if your vehicle's infotainment system supports direct streaming of audio from the internet or whether your car's infotainment supports software mirroring of either your Android or iPhone mobile phone.

An alternative to Spotify: build your own collection of lawful music files.

A customisable collection of mp3 files built from your own CD and vinyl collection may well be more customisable especially if the particular music you like is not available on Spotify.

For budgetary reasons, I don't use internet streaming services such as Spotify. This is especially where streaming media may be in the order of megabytes per hour, depending on the bitrate quality. For me it is more economical for me to purchase CDs and vinyl than to pay for an internet plan. As a bonus I have control on the quality of the mp3 bitrate.

Consequently I make private lawful mp3 backups of these songs and/or albums pursuant to s109A of the Copyright Act (Cth) as amended in 2006.

For vinyl recordings, using a computer and ADC connected to the turntable, I remove the clicks, boost equalisation particularly at the high frequency end and remove any tape hiss. Funnily enough those CDs which are supposedly labelled as "digitally remastered" still have tape hiss. You may be surprised that you may hear harmonics of 50Hz (Australia or UK) or 60Hz (US) on either vinyl or CD recordings.

The resulting mp3 backups are stored at 320kbs stereo instead of the usual 144kbs.

Real variety in my playback. My music tastes are wider than a particular station's radio format, whether it's the ABC and commercial media.

I press "shuffle play" on my on mp3 player and if I'm not in the mood to hear a shuffled song, I skip it. Towards the top the hour I switch off the mp3 player and listen to the news.

I still do the 'channel twiddling' including watching concerts on TV to pick up new ideas for music.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Spotify are taking on radio in the fortress of the car
Anthony The Koala
1 February 2020 - 5:23pm
It appears that 2UE (Sydney) has had its soft launch one day earlier, 01-02-2020. Here are a few remarks:

Signal quality on DAB: excellent at 80kbs. Though every voice over is promoting the 2UE listen anywhere app. Lack of promotion of the DAB signal.

Scrolling text on DAB: BAD! Absence of artist/song AND/OR album information, especially where there are no announcers.

Genre description on the DAB: "Easy Listening".

Format: it is not strictly within the 70s, 80s and 90s. Occasionally can hear music from the 1960s from artists such as Jose Feliciano ("Light My Fire" (1968)), The Righteous Brothers ("Unchained Melody" (1965)).

Why not include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Zombies, Normie Rowe, David Bowie and The Easybeats. For example there are people who weren't born at the time of The Beatles and David Bowie who enjoy their music. I could also say that for The Easybeats.

Good To Hear: Savage Garden ("Moon And Back"), Renee Geyer ("Careless Whisper").

Other Australian Artists: will we hear these artists from the 1970s and 1980s?
* John Williamson, "Under The Bridge", "Unexplored Shadows Of Mine" apart from "True Blue" and "Old Man Emu".
* The Seekers (OK it was the 1960s), in addition there was also in the 1970s The New Seekers, "I like To Teach The World To Sing"
* Hans Poulsen in addition to "Boom Sha-La-La-Lo"
* The Mixtures
* Liv Maessen
* Russell Morris, "Rachel", "The Real Thing"
* Matt Flinders (born Louis Silvan Bonnet) - "Picking Up Pebbles", "All Of A Sudden", "Cup Of Love"
* The Strangers
* Jeff St. John, "Teach Me How To Fly"
* Max Merritt, apart from "Slipping Away", how about "Dirty Work", "Proud Mary" to name a few.
* Kevin Johnson apart from "Rock & Roll I Gave You The Best Years of My Life", try "Kedron Brook", "Child Of Today", "You Never Know Your Luck In A City", "Man of the Twentieth Century". The first song which I like and enjoy is not the only song that Mr Johnson sings. It seems to be the only song that is ever given airplay - A sign of a boring and predictable classic hits format.
* Dragon
* Marc Hunter (solo) eg from the "Communication" album
* Midnight Oil eg "Wedding Cake Island"
* Kandiah Kamelesvaran (known as Kamahl), "Sounds Of Goodbye"
* Pseudo Echo, new wave pop, "Listening" but not "Funky Town"

Why does every song played have to be sung? There are a lack of instrumentals. A break from human voices would be welcome.
* Hank Marvin, "Sacha" (1970)
* Harold Faltemeyer, "Axel F" (1984)
* MSFB & The Three Degrees, "The Sound Of Philedelphia" (1976)
* The Assembled Multitude, "Overture from Tommy" (1970)
* David Foster, "Theme to the Winter Games" 1988. Used as the theme for the Arch Tambakis (RIP) show.
* UB40 mainly instrumental, "My Way Of Thinking" (1980)
* Haysi Fantayzee mainly instrumental "Shiny-Shiny" (1983)

Would I play instrumentals from these artists even sparingly? Yes
* Bert Kaempfert, "A Swinging Safari" and "That Happy Feeling", popular on 2UE in the 1960s and 1970s. I am not relying on the "Kent Reports" but the music was still heard on the air.
* Ray Conniff, for example "S'wonderful" used as a theme song from a former 2UE program.
* Walter Wanderley - probably because going to a private school and frequent visits to the college chapel (a beautiful chapel) listening to lugubrious organ music, popular South American jazz organist Walter Wanderley was an antidote. This wasn't the case in year 5 when hymn singing was enjoyable especially the hymn "My God Is A Fortress And Rock". By year six, the brother (organist) left the order. It was a downhill spiral after that. Interestingly Walter Wanderley was part of 2CH's elevator music playlist in the 1970s and 1980s.

Definition of music played in the 1990s: Would a format covering the 1990s play these popular artists and/or genres:
* Dance music: Alex Party, La Bouche, Corona, DJ Flavours, Maddison Avenue, Livin Joy, Whigfield, Amber, or are we stuck with "Ace of Base"
* New Wave Pop: Eskimo Joe
* Contemporary Vocals: Robbie Williams including Nicole Kidman
* Contemporary vocals: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
* Contemporary vocals: Seal
* Real Classic Hits: The Three Tenors (Plácido Domingo and José Carreras and Italian Luciano Pavarotti) - unknown by the mainstream audience until the 1990 World Cup.
* Considering that 2UE is playing a little music from the 1960s Would 2UE consider playing contemporary music from the 2000s from artists such Gabriela Cilmi, Vanessa Amorosi and Michael Bublé? How about Mark Vincent, Human Nature, Dami Im and Emma Pask & Tom Burlinson?

Predictability: too short a time period to tell. If you are hearing the same songs after a week, that is the format is on high rotation, then it's another boring and predictable classic hits format.

Classification of music - what fits into a format:
When 2SM was known as "Lite And Easy 1269" between 1988 and 1992, after listening to the station for more than a month, I noticed the same songs were played within a week.

Two hits amongst many that were in high rotation on this "Lite & Easy" format were from Womack & Womack's "Tear Drops" and Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody".

The station had a request program and callers requesting songs were pre-recorded that afternoon. I had requested the song "Give It Up" by KC and The Sunshine Band. Having a nice chat with the presenter at the time SM(also ex 3MP), said that he was bound by the rules of the format and could not play the song. The "Lite and Easy 1269" was confined to 1500 songs which on average is about 1500*3 = 4500 minutes = 75 hours. This amounts to a repetition of the whole playlist twice (approximately) in week after adjusting for news, commercials and announcements.

Personally "Give It Up" was easier on the ear and upbeat compared to "Tear Drops" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody".

Amongst the other parts of the conversation between the presenter and I which did not go to air, the presenter did remark about how pointless the request program is when it does not play what the listener wants. I ended up reluctantly choosing the "Womack & Womack" song. This represented an endless circle of what people did not really want to listen to.

Anyway, that station flopped in the ratings replaced by a higher rating automated elevator music format before new management foolishly changed this successful format.

My thoughts on 2UE (and 3EE & 4BH's) new format

Anthony from thinking Belfield
We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH
31 January 2020 - 8:54am
The sooner the better that Community Stations are allowed to get rid of tags to sponsorship announcements e.g. “Coca Cola station commercial sponsor," and just to let blocks of sponsorships flow like commercial radio stations. The presentation would sound far less awkward and irritating to listeners.
ACMA act like Goebbels in the tight reigned and tight fisted control of the obsolete 1992 Broadcasting Act. Because of the limitation and the proper use of the word commercials and allowable commercial time per hour (increase to 8 minutes, commercial radio being unlimited) is it any wonder that community stations go under, even with lucrative sausage sizzles on a Saturday Morning.
ACMA (the government arm of Broadcasting control) engages in an approved Restraint Of Trade. Community Radio Stations are severely limited in their revenue due to the inflexibiIity of the obsolete Broadcasting Act of 1992 an upheaval is over due.
The word “sponsorship” is poison to potential commercial sponsors of Community Radio Stations. The view by business is that sponsorships are viewed as charitable donations are with little value in return. They are right.
3WRB Stereo974 closes its doors after 41 years broadcasting in Sunshine
30 January 2020 - 11:02am
It is a different media world than 22 years ago.
Assuming little operational costs from running the 3 music stations, there could be more financial benefit for Nine by adding the music stations meagre audience stats into their talk-stations' advertising packages, than what Nine would earn on the capital from selling these stations (if buyers could be found).
We're back...Nine resurrects 2UE, Magic and 4BH
30 January 2020 - 10:08am
What happened to Kel Richards? He was excellent. Tim Webster moves onto breakfast at 2CH
Anthony The Koala
30 January 2020 - 9:30am
Could this story could be a blueprint for reform of our ABC and SBS?
Calls to reform the ABC and SBS have been around since the idea to merge the ABC and SBS in the 1980s. My reaction is only but one. Ideas to reform the ABC and SBS will continue.

The relevant issues inspired by this article that could be applied included:

* Merging the ABC and SBS but at the same time mandate multicultural broadcasting.
* Reviewing the charters of the ABC and SBS especially if the ABC and SBS are merged.
* Selling off or closing some of the digital radio and tv stations?
* changing the funding models of the ABC and SBS - continue appropriations from the Parliament, allow advertising on the ABC or the merged entity.

When considering reforms to the ABC and SBS it could involve flattening the hierarchical staffing structures. I person I knew who worked at the ABC said that during the industrial dispute of 1991, more managers were hired than actual workers.

When considering any kind of reform of the ABC and SBS you have to ask whether the following can continue:

When was the last time you have seen or heard any investigative reporting or serious reporting or analysis of current affairs on commercial media? Perhaps the early 1980s 2GB had an investigative program called "Newsfront" and Channel 9 had until the 1990s "The Sunday Program".

We could also remark about the absence of educational material on commercial media. Only on the ABC! It started with schools programming on ABC Radio 2 (for example 2FC which is now RN) and the 1000-1500 timeslot on ABC TV.

With the expansion of the internet, it is only natural that the ABC have a presence on the web. The ABC was a pioneer with podcasts and the dissemination of educational material in topics such as mathematics, English, the humanties and the sciences, for example at https://education.abc.net.au/home#!/games. Show me any commercial broadcaster educating its audience.

Therefore when considering any reform of the ABC and SBS ask yourself whether investigative reporting and educational material will continue under a reformed ABC and SBS.

But then you have to ask whether the ABC and SBS have spread themselves too thin with the expansion of digital radio and tv channels and expanding the ABC's services to include a lifestyle channel on the web, https://www.abc.net.au/life/.

Much of the latter could be regarded as consumer affairs that was once covered on "The Investigators" (1980s ABC-TV) and as recently in "The Checkout". At least it is not sponsored content such as those on other websites or the former "Talking Lifestyle" (2UE, 3EE and 4BH).

The idea of reforming the ABC and SBS has been around since 1980s and will continue.

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
Radio New Zealand under review
Radio Advocate
30 January 2020 - 6:52am
Part of an amazing radio duo, that can have you laughing one moment then to tears with this vulnerability!
A Breakfast show that continues to grow a highly engaged community of listeners with integrity.
Kel McWilliam breaks down on air about his chronic back pain and his mental health
29 January 2020 - 12:32pm
Absolute legend of man, who's worked in commerical and community for 20 years places like Triple M and Fox... one of the good ones! Wonderful to see him reach so many people through his vulnerability on air! And best co host ever :) Kel McWilliam breaks down on air about his chronic back pain and his mental health
27 January 2020 - 11:58am
Ray said :'It’ll be a long day doing the morning shift and then coming back on 2UE
Why come back at night? Surely he would just voice track the 2UE shift.
Rumour has it: Ray Hadley to return to roots at 2UE
Anthony The Koala
25 January 2020 - 11:43am
It is indeed sad that a radio station that has served the community of Sunshine and its surrounds should close. Where SBS may not be able to serve all members of a particular LOTE (language other than English) community, community radio has an important role to fill the gap. My opinion is not a criticism of 3WRB, but rather about the limited resources available to sustain a radio station. Note I don't have any knowledge of its financial operations. My opinion is based on the events depicted on the pages of this website.

Following the story at https://radioinfo.com.au/news/cbf-responds-closure-stereo974 and that the CBF has assessment criteria in order to hand limited resources applies to a station that is on air. The kinds of grants to broadcasters is available at https://cbf.org.au/grants/.

From Mr Chow's statement that the relocation costs as a result of the landlord wanting to redevelop the site was the threshold that put the radio station off air.

According to the CBF site, $2,981,314 was granted to 87 stations. That is on average, each station received approximately $34,268. Relocation costs may well have been greater than $34 268. It may have included searching for new premises, de-installation of equipment, moving and re-installing equipment and lease costs. I'm not privy to 3WRB's profit and loss statement.

Based on the kind of grants offered by the CBF, the the most likely grant available comes under the category of "Quick Response Grants" where the third point says that a grant may be granted where there are "unexpected changes at your studio or transmission site such as a sudden need to relocate" at https://cbf.org.au/grants/grants-available/.

However there are strict criteria, labelled under "Eligibility". Was the landlord's wish to redevelop the site unexpected and was there enough time for the board of the station to have been proactive in the process of relocation. In addition was there enough in the station's reserve and was there an ability of the station making a co-contribution with the granting facility such as the CBF and possibly negotiate a loan with repayment method?

I stress that it is based on the information on these surveyed pages. Keep in mind that if the relocation cost is greater than the average grant of $34,268, is there a limit that the CBF can grant.

What now for community broadcasting in the area covered by 3WRB?
Start from scratch. The various interest groups could come together for a meeting, setup a legal structure such as a incorporated association OR company limited by guarantee as suggested by the CBAA, https://www.cbaa.org.au/constitution-structure. The articles or memoranda of the entity could include the board structure, who's responsible for various duties as well as financial management provisions.

However, the ACMA has determined that the vacant frequency is now a temporary frequency. If the successful applicant to the temporary frequency cannot be converted to a permanent frequency, then the applicant has to do serious lobbying to the Federal Members of Parliament to have change/amend the legislation or regulation.

Learning from history, for example the history of 2RDJ, long before the station went to air, the board lobbied to change provision of the then "Broadcasting And Television" (Cth) to include the provision of a category C community radio station. If the legislation was able to be amended then, the legislation and its regulatory instruments can be amended now.

It's no use having Federal MPs lauding and praising the value of a community station then do nothing about it when a station is in distress only such that the successful applicant exists on a temporary licence.

Similarly, if we learn from 2RDJ's experience, for a nascent community radio station needing accommodation for its studios including offices and transmitter site, it was Burwood Council that provided a permanent home at the Woodstock Community Centre. It beckons the question of any support from the local government areas covered by 3WRB to provide permanent accommodation as in the case of 2RDJ.

Reference http://www.radio2rdj.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/The-History-Of-Radio-2RDJ.pdf

If a local government authority grants the station accommodation, the accommodation space may well be smaller than expected, but that's how all community radio stations' space started, small. One look no further than the history of 2WEB on the passing of May Watkins available on this website.

Starting from scratch: when the ACMA invites applications for a community C licence, such an application may involve submitting feasiblity and engineering studies including why the radio station needs to be established.

The "History-Of-Radio-2RDJ.pdf" does not mention the hard work of how many pages were involved in submitting the licence application, unless I stand corrected, the licence submission was over 80 hand-typed pages. There weren't word processors available.

Finally, a radio station depending on funding cannot exist on grants alone. The radio station may have to rely on more from the particular LOTE community groups it serves. This could include the station charging more per hour of studio air time and charging more for sponsorship announcements and other fund-raising activity by a particular LOTE group especially from LOTE businesses.

As a result, if there is lack of support from a particular LOTE community then that LOTE's group cannot go on air. At the time if a large proportion of the LOTE group's demography is of low income including those with a disibility, the station could put a case to the CBF under the "Development & Operations Grant"'s "building community - engaging the diverse members of your community".

It is indeed sad that 41 years of service to the community goes off air. The station's members may have to reform and start from scratch with the assistance Federal MPs, local government and a greater proportion of financial contribution from the LOTE groups,

Thank you,
Anthony of exciting Belfield
3WRB Stereo974 closes its doors after 41 years broadcasting in Sunshine


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