Happy Summer!! I want to quickly run down a few things I feel are important to mention. First, we had a change in service providers. This shouldn’t mean anything major to you guys and you may not have even noticed. That’s a good thing! However, there are some benefits we’ll see in the near future. One is that a feature offered is listing our station on ShoutCast. ShoutCast is a big hub for internet radio and it used to be limited to those streaming through their own systems. However, lately there’s been some changes that allow others to be listed as well. This is a good thing because more exposure means more of you guys listening to our fantastic music and programming, but also listening to our ads. Because we’re a business, we need to make money to keep things going. We don’t intend to make a lot of money, but at least enough to keep going and maybe upgrade things from time to time. This is why we’re cool with playing two minutes of commercials per break and only four minutes per hour. There are some other neat things about our new provider, like fallback audio files. This protects the streams in case a connection fails somewhere along the line. Audio keeps playing so you don’t lose your connection to us. We’re very happy to be with this new company.
To further our goal of providing the best listening experience, we’ve made some significant upgrades to our audio. You may have noticed over the past couple of months that the sound of America’s Country has changed a bit. We installed a newer audio processing system that has newer and more robust features to make every note ring out loud and clear. Again, the goal is to make it sound great so your ears don’t get tired and you can listen in many different environments and not have to keep reaching for the volume knob. Another very cool feature of this new tool is something that may be boring to some, but if you’ve ever spent time listening to music, whether on a protable device or from a CD or on the FM radio, you know things may not be as clear or dynamic as they have been in the past. To sum it up, basically FM radio has been in a “loudness war” for about 25-30 years. Each station wants to out-do the next and they figure if it’s louder, you’ll stop scanning and listen. Record companies have seen this and wanted in on the action. To do this, they’ve started employing a trick that FM radio folks have been doing called clipping. Basically, this is a way to pump up the volume as high as possible while digitally limiting, or clipping, the sound off at the highest level possible, 0 dB. This accomplishes one thing, ugly, loud and distorted audio. FM radio can get away with it to a degree because of a lot of other things going on between their transmitters and our radios. It hides a lot of the distortion. CDs don’t have that luxury. Back to my point… This new audio processing tool has a miraculous feature called a de-clipper. It mathematically looks at the clipped audio (which is no longer in a normal wavy form, but a flat-line appearance) and predicts what it really should look like. It actually restores the wavy form! Again, this is a lot of techy mumbo-jumbo to many of you. But it’s all in an effort to give you the best sounding audio possible and even better sounding than listening from a CD! if you want to learn more, please comment below and I’ll reach out to you personally.
As always, we’re continually trying to make our station sound better than all the rest of the Country stations out there. It’s not an easy task. But I want to thank each of you for listening! It means the world to me that you are taking part of something I’m creating. And even more so if you actually enjoy it!
Have a fantastic summer!!