ABN Old-Time Radio Antioch Station Journal
April 12, 2016
We reached the halfway point for funding the station for the year. A few weeks ago I helped with that by lowering expenses by bringing our maximum listeners down to 1,200 from 1,500. Only once ever did we exceed 1,200 and I looked at the peak in the past few months to determine the best maximum.
When ionospheric conditions permit I try to get on with ORCATS (Old-time Radio Collectors And Traders Society) on 7.238MHz LSB Sundays at 7AM CT. ORCATS formed in the early 70's and has been meeting on the 40m amateur band since that time. The two founding members (Ken W9ZMR and Larry WA8DDN) are still running it. I first started with them in 2003. It can be a challenge to communicate with conditions that change week to week and minute to minute sometimes. We also compete with an AM broadcast station at 7.235 and also sometimes hams just 2KHz above us so a notch filter and passband filtering or other filtering is often required. I know that maybe as much as 20% of listeners are hams. You are welcome to participate or at least just check-in and say hello. 73 de KC9AYH.
December 31, 2015
With a couple large donations by postal mail that came in today in addition to the several other donations of the past few days and weeks, we completed the funding for 2015 and moved into funding 2016. Wonderful. Today alone $542.00 was donated. Thank you for the full support this year. Happy New Year.
December 12, 2015
We are rather far behind in funds donated this year compared to all other years. In previous years we were fully funded by December 15th. I prefer not to solicit over the air and certainly won't do that this year. New this year, I added a fundraising offer where you can get a discount offers app for your phone for $20 and donate $10 to ABN. This comes from a dedicated listener in Minnesota who wanted to help.
For 2016, I'll look at cutting expenses and see if we can get a better rate. When I moved up to 1,500 allowed from 1,000 we got a much better rate so I'm not sure we'll save all that much by taking it back down to 1,200. But hopefully all of this bandwidth should cost less in 2016 than it did 10 years ago. To all of you who donated this year, thank you. Those small donations are the majority and they absolutely do make the difference. Thanks particularly to those who subscribed to monthly payments.
In 2016 I will make some more moderate schedule changes and add a whole new segment. My idea is a grabbag segment that picks programs that don't fit into our current subgenres. I have a huge inventory of very good quality now. It just requires my time to review it.
The Cinnamon Bear starts today at 3PM & 8:30PM and runs two episodes a day through the 24th. Last year was the first year I listened to the whole thing and even though it is a juvenile serial and sounds a bit hokey with the characters, it is actually quite good with some very creative original music. And Santa even has a ham station revealed near the end of the series.
December 7, 2015
To help us finish off the year, we have a special offer. When you purchase a digital coupon book for $20.00, $10.00 goes to ABN. A card is postal mailed to you which you can scan with your smart phone to use an app that will give discount offers to you based on your location from now until the end of 2016. Visit the Support page for more information.
Ended the poll question today. Out of 332 that responded Nov 17 - Dec 7, 64 said they were amateur radio operators. That's an incredible 19%.
Pearl Harbor day, 74 years ago today.
November 17, 2015
Just completed a behind-the-scenes update to the HTML & CSS to make it more modern. The Recent & Upcoming now has a tabbed interface and some other refinements.
I also just added a poll question: Are you a licensed amateur radio operator? Just 0.2% of the U.S. population can answer "yes" to this question. But the reason I ask is because I've received what seems like an disproportionate number of emails from amateur radio operators.
November 9, 2015
The site now has a mobile version that appears like a mobile app. Just use the web browsers such as Chrome or Safari on your smartphone to go to radio.macinmind.com. On Android you can save to your home screen for easy app-like access. The same can be done for iPhones but unfortunately when launching the site that way it doesn't play in the background whereas Android does. You should have player controls to play and pause on the lock screen. Also for Android users, you can request the desktop site if there's something there not in the mobile that you want to see.This nice part about providing the mobile app this way is there's no version for me to submit to various stores, no updating you need to do. Anything I improve is instantly upgraded for you. By the same token, anything I break will be instantly realized too. I have a few more things I'd like to do for the new mobile site but have a look at it now.
July 13, 2015
Just updated the Antioch Rebroadcaster appIn the past few weeks I've done upgrades and additions to Counterspy, Broadway is My Beat and added The Line-up.
Before that, at the end of May I released the Antioch OTR mobile apps for iOS and Android.
February 28, 2015
Changed the frequency to 1610 KHz so I make no particular claims about getting around town as this frequency is competing with many stations day and night. I moved it to 1610 because I've only ever heard signal reports from amateur radio operators nearby but never from anyone else over the course of 11 years. I hear the kids now don't even know what AM radio is. Also the rules are easier in the true AM broadcast band and my current objective with the terrestrial side of the station is to go back to my original idea of giving content to the antique radios in the house and power the bedside crystal radios. Since the frequency is no longer a big part of the station, I've slowly removed references to AM 1710 and now ID as "Old-Time Radio Antioch".
I released a new version 1.0.4 of the OS X dashboard widget. I'm not sure how much dashboard widgets are used but the new version has some fixes and an updated icon.
I'm considering some small schedule changes after over 5 years since the last change. It will not be very major but it will allow some of the long-time listeners a bit of rotation on the types of shows they hear. There's more in the works but you'll have to wait for that.
February 19, 2015
I'm really late with this kind of feature but I just made it so the main page now dynamically updates without a browser refresh.
January 17, 2015
Classical music was indeed played often in the early days of radio so their use on AM 1710 is not so out-of-place. See here.
November 29, 2014
We'll be running Christmas Serials beginning today @ 3:30PM & 8PM to run through December 24th.
November 18, 2014
Added 211 Escape episodes to Mystery/Thriller this past week. I'll be running the advent/Chrismas series The Cinammon Bear playing two episodes a day starting in mid-December to culminate in the ending near Christmas.
September 11, 2014
Just completed 108 audio upgrades to The Whistler while also adding 21 new episodes.
November 16, 2013
After 12 days, here are the results of the poll:
November 4, 2013
I put a poll up on the left side of the site with the idea of getting some feedback on the idea of making a separate channel for period music of the 30's and 40's.
It's been asked why we don't just play period music in between shows. Some background: AM 1710 pays no royalties for playing OTR. That was challenged by SoundExchange and I hired a lawyer to show we didn't have to but that meant AM 1710 couldn't play anything that has royalties which includes any music from 1928 up. Of course it would be very natural to use period music in between shows but due to the way the laws are setup for collecting royalties, we would be paying royalties for the total number of hours the station plays everything instead of just when the music plays. This would amount to at least $2,000 a year with no clear way to properly report the OTR shows even if we did agree to pay royalties for them.
By running a separate channel, all royalties would be correctly collected for just the music. Also the audio quality of a separate stream would be better suited for this music. How much this would cost would depend on the popularity. For both streaming and royalties it might be somewhere between $900 and $1,200/year for a dedicated server and royalties which I would combine with the amount needed. Thus the question to AM 1710 listeners since this expense would be combined.
October 29, 2013
DSL to Antioch went down at 2AM. I had us on backup through Verizon but as the DSL sputtered on and off it apparently disrupted the backup during the morning as it tried to switch back to the DSL. Everything looks back to normal as of 10:40AM.
October 21, 2013
TuneIn is now properly using the one correct URL which should now solve issues particular with their Android apps. Unfortunately, over two weeks is the norm for very simple support requests with TuneIn as I had a similar wait to get credentials from them for their AIR API in August.
October 8, 2013
TuneIn update: For any users of TuneIn where AM 1710 is not playing, go to Options, then Choose Stream. You may see 3 different streams. Choose one that works. Right now only the top one works for me.
Apparently all TuneIn needs to do is remove the dead wood or program their app so it rolls over to a working stream would be smart. On the Samsung SmartTV it does this as I watch it attempt to make 3 connections quickly before working. This is new since this didn't work before so perhaps not all 3 "streams" were available before. On iOS, all the streams work. Honestly, I don't know why they show 3 streams when as far as I know there's only one. I don't think anyone is relaying right now. Perhaps they are all different URLs to the same stream and iOS is more accommodating than Android.
As for squeezebox, I don't know how that works and whether you have the ability to go to options then choose stream or whether it will auto rollover to a working stream like the SmartTV does now.
October 3, 2013
Here are some tips regarding getting reconnected after our switch to icecast:
I'm told by users that those devices which use reciva as their radio directory have the url corrected to connect to AM 1710 again but that previously created presets will not work again until you redo a search for AM 1710 and play it from the results of that search.
TuneIn is working for their web player and in iOS but is not working on the Android and Samsung Smart TV. I tried entering the stream URL in TuneIn Pro on android and TuneIn will play the stream but we are waiting for TuneIn to make the correction to their directory listing so far for about a day now. This problem could affect any devices that use TuneIn as their directory.
If your device or software used shoutcast as the directory, we are no longer listed there.
If you can manually enter the stream URL for your software or device, the correct address is http://lin2.ash.fast-serv.com:9022
Today we moved from shoutcast to icecast as our streaming server and increased our limit from 1,000 to 1,500 listeners. We've been hitting the ceiling a lot in the past few weeks. We kept the same server address and tried to keep things as compatible as possible to how you connected before. There are some unavoidable changes such as the fact that without running shoutcast, we can no longer be listed at shoutcast.com by the terms of their service. I've changed the supporting code on the website for icecast and changed the flash player as well. I confirmed that the old URL continues to work as does the iTunes listing now in "Internet-->News Talk Radio" in iTunes 11.1 and higher.
If your software or device no longer lists AM 1710, it was probably using shoutcast. If you can manually enter the URL it is http://lin2.ash.fast-serv.com:9022 or if that doesn't work, try http://radio.macinmind.com/listen.m3u
Very shortly I'll update the expenses to reflect the additional costs for this year.
June 16, 2013
Expect a short outage Monday afternoon, Jun 17th. The electrical meter box outside needs to be replaced. UPS probably won't keep things up for the whole length of the replacement time.
April 5, 2013
Last night's outage from about 12:20 AM to about 2:30 AM was due to a networking failure particularly with the OS and DNS that not only wouldn't allow any network connections, it wouldn't allow iTunes to open. I gave up on finding a fix and re-installed the OS which solved the problem.
March 26, 2013
I've removed the TuneIn app referral from the left column. In the free version of the app and on their website player, they are now injecting audio ads which changes the imaging of this station. Listeners don't know that it is not this station that is running and profiting from the advertising, but TuneIn. This station is listener supported and ad-free for that reason. I provide this service so that connections are instant and fast with no re-buffering since we use a burst buffer. TuneIn only provided the app and the radio directory. They don't contribute in anyway to the stream. I think display ads are acceptable for a free app but they go too far by injecting the audio ads. Their pay version doesn't have the ads but we still have better free and pay options.
My other issue with them, which also has to do with imaging, is my long-standing problem with their art selection. In order to avoid TuneIn from showing pornographic art, I've needed to change the artist permanently to "ABN - OTR". Yet they still choose some of their own art and have refused to allow broadcasters to opt-out of the art. Instead they blame stations for not having correct metadata. I hear this from other broadcasters as well. I can't do better with the metadata. This is Old-time Radio and they should give me an option to opt-out of art. This claim is bogus anyway because I run a music station with perfect metadata and TuneIn picks the wrong art 80% of the time. And they do this to other stations as well. I've written them about it several times on behalf of my station and on behalf of customers of my radio playout software Radiologik and they do nothing but blame the stations back. As a developer I've had other issues with them for months so I've notice a long pattern of poor responsiveness from TuneIn.
In conclusion, stop using TuneIn. Pick something else. There are good apps like OneTuner and TuneMark on iOS among others. I don't do as much on Android so if you have a suggestion, feel free to email it to me.
October 5, 2012
Fixed the Superman serial which was playing episodes out-of-order. We reset to start at episode 195 today.
September 21, 2012
Seeing the numbers in the 800s at night doesn't quite give the picture that these listener maps do so I wanted to share what it looks like at the peak hours on a typical weeknight. 95% of the listeners at 3 AM CT are in the U.S. or Canada.
The zoom levels I'm allowed are sparse so this is the best zoom picture I could get of most of the U.S. and Canada. The pattern follows a population map very closely.
And here's the breakdown by countries and players. Wireless devices, which include phones, tablets and iPod touches, have certainly grown over the years.
September 1, 2012
AM 1710 is back on iTunes radio in News / Talk Radio after a 24 day absence. Apple gives no explanation for it so I can only guess. Originally AM 1710 was in News / Talk Radio but was moved to Eclectic with iTunes 9. I never asked for that. There's now a requirement that all streams be a minimum 128kbps mp3 or 64kbps AAC in all genres except News / Talk Radio. Perhaps Apple just removed it from Eclectic for this reason since we are 24kbps. Whatever the reason, I'm disappointed by the lack of communication, explanation or apology for over 3 weeks. That said, the communication with Apple iTunes support was very responsive when I took that route about 3 weeks into this but they were powerless to help. Thank you again to all those who sent Apple feedback during this time.
August 28, 2012Day 20 without AM 1710 in iTunes Radio.
Thanks for your emails and help contacting Apple with iTunes feedback regarding the delisting of AM 1710 from iTunes Radio. There is still no response except automated replies from Apple to my emails. I don't see how this is anything more than a technical or clerical error. I've further emailed the same iTunes radio email address today suggesting that they move AM 1710 to News/Talk Radio if their requirement is that stations have 128kbps streams for the other genres. I've also written Apple support for iTunes and detailed everything there. I just don't understand why Apple won't give me the dignity of an email back after 20 days. I write my customers back in minutes, hours and usually no more than a day depending on the urgency of the email. Why does it have to be such a fight? The bigger the company, the less responsive?
Update 5:30 PM: I received a personal reply quickly from iTunes account support but they were only able to tell me that we are doing the right thing by using the feedback. So go at it folks--Give them feedback!
August 17, 2012
With no notice, AM 1710 was delisted from iTunes radio on Wednesday August 8, 2012. Remarkably, it hardly made a difference in the volume of listeners. We topped 816 last night. I assume the delisting is a mistake as other OTR stations remain listed, even twice sometimes even though Apple says they don't allow that. When it was first pointed out to me by a listener, I immediately emailed Apple through their official email for radio listings and followed all the protocols of how to format the email and the request. Their auto-response says that submissions and updates could take up to 5 days. On Wednesday August 15, 2012, I sent a new station submission email following Apple's protocol to add AM 1710 to News/Talk Radio.
It has been 8 days and 6 business days and no response on the first inquiry email and 2 days on the new station submission email. Now I question if Apple is hearing me at all. For my business, I try to answer my customers the same business day if not within the hour. I was really hoping this would be resolved a little more quickly but at this point I'm welcoming listeners to send their feedback to Apple via the iTunes menu.
April 27, 2012
After hitting the 800 listeners ceiling several times for up to 2 hours at a time this past week, I've moved our maximum up to 1,000.
August 24, 2011
The TuneIn people told me I shouldn't use titles if it isn't music. I disagree. But rather than pick a fight with them I've figured out that if I make the title preceding the dash something that consistently doesn't find art in a search at last.fm, I can have it display the AM 1710 logo all the time. So now all titles start with "ABN OTR -". The Green Hornet can now return without TuneIn listeners having to look at a naked lady carrying a chicken by the legs.
August 23, 2011
Incorrect art on TuneIn app
noticed the problem with very incorrect art that the TuneIn app for iOS
has been trying to grab from Last.fm. But the art for The Green Hornet
has crossed the line from incorrect art to plainly pornographic. I've
contacted the maker of TuneIn but so far their emails have put the
blame on my titling. So until we can come to a more amicable solution,
I'm removing The Green Hornet from our playable library.
Sorry for the Superman episodes that were not fully playing. I've previewed episodes far ahead of what is played and heard none of these problems. In fact they opened fine on other computers and devices. I tried OS updates and iTunes update over the weekend but the problem persisted. I replaced some episodes that were troublesome and that fixed it but the problem kept happening. The actual solution ended up being just removing the tracks from iTunes and just re-adding them.
Flash Player and LionThe Flash Player on this site on the left is not working with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in Safari but it does work with the latest Safari in Snow Leopard and also with Firefox in Lion. I reported this to Apple a month ago but it's not certain who needs to make the fix. I tend to think this is an Apple Lion issue with Safari since two different flash-based players work in Firefox but don't work in Safari.
DSL issues resolved
If you followed my tweets a couple weeks ago, you would have read about both my main and the backup DSL going out at the same time for different reasons. The main went out due to line trouble and the backup was working at that time but when I thought I'd do my own troubleshooting of the in-house wiring to be sure the problem was not in the house, when I tried to reconnect the backup DSL, it wouldn't authenticate. AT&T disconnected my service and couldn't tell me why. After 4 attempts to find out why over a couple days, I asked that all my service on that line be removed. All I could figure is that when I made the request to set me at the speed I ordered, instead of the arbtrary speed they set incorrectly a couple weeks before, they must have disabled authentication and cancelled service. Weirder yet is a couple days after disconnecting phone service and DSL on that line, an AT&T guy shows up to install new service. And he wasn't even installing the correct speed I originally asked for either but the incorect speed I never asked for. Of course I told him the basic story and he said he'd sort it all out. Verizon 3G turned out to be a terrific backup so I will no longer keep an extra DSL line here.
July 23, 2011
I just fixed the Widget so it works again (version 1.0.2). I'm still disappointed that Quicktime gets tripped-up apparently by the streaming metadata so you'll hear skipping every couple minutes. So for the best experience, I don't recommend it. If anyone is not hearing these skips, I'd like to know.
I just fixed the encodings for the playlists so accent characters show properly.
December 8, 2010
I've received a fair number of complaints about the music. The reason we play classical and piano music is to avoid $2,000.00/yr in royalties that would be due to Sound Exchange for our mere 30-45 mins of incidental music if we choose to play music of the period. I need filler for the way this station runs its schedule and this is the best I can do right now.
We received considerably more than our financial needs this year even
with the challenges of legal fees and purchasing a whole new computer.
I've used the extra to help upgrade my audio restoration software and
have already worked on hundreds of episodes in the comedy sections this
month. Starting today, I'll start receiving for 2011. The amount needed
will start out less at $3,000.00 for the year to pay for the streaming
server and a dedicated internet connection here.
If you can advise on a good Android app to play AM 1710, I'd be happy to present that info here. Just write me using my email address at the top of the home page.
November 13, 2010
A listener pointed me to another iPod Touch/iPhone app that I now think is the best. TuneIn Radio is $1.99 and features background play, sleep timer, record, pause and resume or replay, and it offers a nice radio directory, link to our website, and the basic weekday schedule is there as well, although I'm in the process of getting radiotime.com to correct the info for the weekends and serials. It's also perfect for responsive and smooth operation.
November 4, 2010
I finally got myself an iOS device--an iPod Touch 4G. And now I finally got to see what it's like for many of you who have listened on this device. It gave me a chance to try different streaming apps out and I've determined that Tunemark Radio ($0.99) is the best. It has a sleep timer (which many of you use AM 1710 for as do I), it has a link to the home page on this site, it streams in the background and even pauses and keeps a running buffer. You can go back a few seconds or minutes and relisten to a portion if you need to. It allows you to set your own background I choose to use a very nice warm shot of one of my antique radios.
October 12, 2010
I've expanded the Superman from 325 episodes to 983 episodes. The new episodes will span September 1945 through September 1948 and we get to hear Batman and Robin acting in the plots starting in 1945 too. I and my three kids are running through these episodes ahead of the station schedule for a quality check before airing. The run of Superman should go probably to the end of 2011. The Superman that played today and yesterday were not originally meant to play on AM 1710 and we will return to the serial starting with episode 205 in the middle of the Dr. Deutsch and the Radium Mine story starting tomorrow.
September 22, 2010The new Mac Mini with external HD is here and currently running AM 1710 after I decided late last week to go ahead based on donations so far and cash onhand. Over the course of the day yesterday, I cloned the whole setup. I put the new box on the air late last night after I observed the two boxes running in perfect parity for a couple hours. Total downtime was maybe 5 seconds.
The new Mac uses about 1/10 the power as the 2002 G4. This is little enough power that I expect it should easily survive power outages over an hour or more and shut down nicely if the outage is too long. Even with the portable external HDD, it is nearly silent. The only other time this room has sounded this quiet was during a power outage so it's still a bit disconcerting.
This is the first time I've used a brand new Mac for AM 1710 and it was purchased by your donations. Thank you.
August 14, 2010
Our lawyers have determined that we do not owe royalties to Sound Exchange for our playing of old-time radio shows unless Sound Exchange can prove otherwise and now we have answered Sound Exchange's lawyer. There are a few other issues about our content I need to clear up with our side but this challenge did add $1,000.00 to our expenses. Certainly worth it to do the right thing. Had we just paid the default to Sound Exchange, no one at Sound Exchange was able to tell me of any owners who would have been properly paid. This is a battle we are fighting ourselves ultimately on behalf of all old-time radio streaming stations since we are the only ones we know who have been challenged. And this is one of the first good bits of news.
August 2, 2010
I have a lawyer that's agreed to look into the Sound Exchange situation and give us some clarity.
July 26, 2010
Our expenses may be higher that expected due to a requirement to pay royalties to SoundExchange and register with the Copyright Royalty Board of the United States Copyright Office. Should we increase our monetary need, based on the donations so far this year I've decided it's very likely listeners will step up to the challenge and we'll continue on.
I've operated with the assumption that all material presented on this station, in particular the old-time radio shows, were not or are no longer under copyright based on the laws covering material between 1923 and 1963 so long as those copyrights were not renewed. I believe it is possible that this may exempt us from SoundExchange royalties.