31.12.1988 The day the music died

Radio.ie are setting up a tribute station / site for the 30th anniversary of the pirate radio shut downs in 1988 in Ireland. Simply called PIRATE.IE this radio project aims to be a place to create oral history and share memories of December 1988 and before. The small and the not so small radio ventures. I’m looking for help to put this together. If you can help with tapes or tea or studios get in touch via reception@radio.ie Thanks in advance.

Bill Mitchell: The Man Who Wrestled Pumas… Probably

I grew up listening to Bill Mitchell’s voice overs and jingles – wow – what a voice. A BBC documentary ‘Bill Mitchell: The Man Who Wrestled Pumas… Probably’ is due for rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra July 18th 06:30am. If you listened to radio in the 70s and 80s you can’t have missed this voice on European radio from Ireland to Israel. The best VO voice you’ll ever hear. Probably.

Here is a copy of the broadcast from when it first aired.

*** Correction: The Radio 4 Extra listing refers to a broadcast in 2013.

Miriam Margolyes presents a documentary charting the life and career of her late colleague and friend Bill Mitchell, the voice-over artist who informed us the latest blockbusters would be ‘at cinemas near you from Sunday’, told us ‘Carlsberg was probably the best lager in the world’, and that Denim was ‘for men who didn’t have to try too hard’.

Born in Canada, he admitted that heavy drinking and smoking from his teens helped preserve the voice, and indeed drove his excessive lifestyle. He ‘had to’ abuse his body to maintain the voice and he ‘had to’ be in a Soho pub because it was handy for the recording studios.

Bill’s career spanned acting, voice-over work, plus a brief spell as 1970s pop outfit Yin and Yan with friend Chris Sandford. His remains ranked as one of the greats within the advertising industry.

Featuring contributions from Bill’s daughter Amanda McAllister, musicians and friends Zoot Money and Kenny Clayton, and industry moguls Nick Angell and Rob Townsend.

radio for all

radio listening was a group event. family time. now radio is personal. the broadcaster is thinking of one listener at a time or in total. the chance that 2 or more people will listen to radio together is rare. but we do listen together, just not in the same room or car or building. we all listen to radio alone but together through the radio.

what is radio doing to utilise this power? are we all individual and there is no such thing as community? (was Thatcher right?) or can radio use social to link people (listeners) with people (more listeners) for a greater good? we know radio can do that. who is willing to give it a try.

update 09/05/2018
What can radio do to harness this power. On Saturday night last RTE Radio harnessed the power of radio across the world in a broadcast link up with outside broadcasters in fields and woods and beaches to record and broadcast the dawn chorus of birdsong. This is an annual broadcast that is a feast of audio. What if such radio link ups were used for peoples voices on important topics.

Climate Change / Homelessness / War / Migration / Data Protection / Mental Health (this list could be longer) What if radio stopped taking at its listeners and started listening to the voices of its listeners. A Big Phone In Show. NO. If the Citizens Assembly showed us anything, it is that ordinary people can grapple with tough topics and deliver reasoned understanding and civil discourse that shapes legislation and the constitution in Ireland.

Radio is a platform. We need to remove the top down megaphone mentality and start to hear the listeners. Digital provides the opportunity to listen and hear (and they aren’t always the same thing) what audience has to say on everything. Community / Local / National / Global radio needs to get the hell out of its studio and meet its people.

Why now? The world became a small place – 25 years of world wide web and we are all connected. 2018 was the year Facebook was turning to community (until it got distracted with data leaks), Movements are global #metoo #blacklivesmatter #TakeAKnee spread at the speed of tweets. Worldwide issues need wide access for everyone to input their views and ideas. Radio can capture this and process the throughput.

We need to begin hearing the listeners.

Shining Bright Radio begins

On May 1st in a beam of light Shining Bright Radio launched. Radio.ie teamed up with self help author Kelly Martin in the UK to develop a mindful radio oasis where there is time to think and relax with the radio. We started with 15 programmers from around the world. Tune in here

Radio.ie’s first project is now up and running. The station is collaborative and uses Spacial’s SAM Cloud to distribute programmes. The Qued.tv aggregator updates the station with the latest feeds from RSS polling and WebSub updates keeping programming fresh across the week. There is also an on demand option for each programme behind the tiles on the programme wall below. If linear streaming isn’t your type of radio you can also listen to a quasi stream / demand player at the bottom of this post. If you want to jump to the next latest programme, go ahead.

Qued – podcast platform in the making

Over the last 9 years I have been developing a platform for podcasts and videos where chapter points can be made in media. While it is still in beta development it is getting closer to a future full release. Over the last days I have begun porting the Qued Front End to the mobile age.

A new splash page with functioning cuepoints and mixcloud integration is the result. For more details on the project see Annotating Radio Archive (research 2015).

We are radio.ie

radio.ie is working on podcasting and radio research, working where radio meets social, radio’s oral history with the pirate.ie project, also working on “demand radio on demand” via mental health radio station Shining Bright Radio and last but not least applying some R&D into a new ‘podcast channel’ player over in the radio lab. Following a masters in DCU which explored social media communications and how podcasting is impacting in the radio industry RADIO.IE is experimenting with new methods of radio engagement to harness the power of social and the resonance of radio to bring audience experience closer to the broadcast message.

[25.02.2019] Our newest radio service is called UPˢᵗʳᵉᵃᵐ and is in BETA testing right now. 5 Radio stations are working with radio.ie to road test the new service which takes the pain out of archiving radio programmes by automatically uploading the scheduled programmes to the cloud. Flirt FM, 8Radio, Real FM, GCR Digital Radio and Shining bright radio are all using the service which uses the Mixcloud API to offer the stations a listen again service for all programmes. The service is due to go live in April 2019 and will cost €14.99 per week.