Friday, April 11, 2008

Live and Around The World With Computers - by Michael Godin

I first became involved with computers back in the mid-80s when I was still working at A&M Records as V.P. of A&R (Artist and Repertoire). Computers first became introduced there with a big main frame for all of the financial aspects of the company, sales, inventory, recording budgets, etc., and then personal computers for the various departments. Over the subsequent years, I became involved with computers, but for mainly office type functions.

However in 1997, I came of age with computers and the Internet when I started an online oldies radio show, Treasure Island Oldies. In those days, listening to music on the Internet with a 28.8 kbps modem was almost the equivalent of having to hold two tin cans attached end to end by a piece of string. If you spoke into one can and both ends were held to keep the string taut, the person at the other end would hear that other person's voice. However, dialup was susceptible to the 'loose string' syndrome, and you often lost the signal. Since those days in the last century, my show has grown with the technology of better audio streaming technology, higher bandwidth and much greater stability.

I host the occasional video feed of the show live from the studio; a chance for the listener to play voyeur into a radio studio and watch the dj putting on the show. The show is available in stereo in high speed broadband in both Real Media and Windows Media formats, and is heard all over the world with listeners in the far reaches of the Earth. I receive a lot of email from those listeners and I am also able to see the various countries where listeners and visitors are from who come to the website. Another cool aspect is that the live show is archived for later listening on demand. As the show is live from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific time Sunday evenings, many international listeners can hear the show at a more convenient time for them.

The show is extremely interactive, with a library of over 12,000 titles (so not many repeats of Pretty Woman and Unchained Melody every 20 minutes), a live chat room where the "nuts in the hut" hang out together every week for four hours of music and sharing the live show together. There are instant email requests and a 24/7 voicemail request line.

May 4th marks the 11th Anniversary of Treasure Island Oldies, a passion of mine for all these years, and a labour of love, with the odd bit of income from text ads from AdBrite and Google Ads, and a handful of listeners who "subscribe" to the show for $4.95 a month via PayPal. But I don't and have never doine this show for the money. If that were the cae, it would have ceased years ago. I do it because I must, need to, am driven to do it - I love it. It's my artistic release. I love sharing great music and the memories that go along with it.

What I am most proud of is how this show remains my prime creative passion and outlet, and the fact that it is now one of the longest running oldies radio shows in the world on the Internet. Do a Google search for any number of phrases like oldies radio show, oldies blogs, rare oldies, lost treasures oldies, etc. You'll be surprised with the results.

Since September of 2007, I got tired of either no replies or negative responses from networks to carry my show, so I established my own private syndication network and apart from being online on the mediaontap network, the show is now also heard on FM, AM and other Online radio stations across the USA in Georgia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Washington State, Massachusetts, Texas, and New York; in the UK in Manchester and London, and in Sweden in Gothenberg. This week I have a brand new station joining the network, 102.7 FM CIWS Whistle Radio in Whitchurch-Stoufville, just north of Toronto. They only launched a few weeks ago and they are now my first radio station in my own country, Canada!

So yes, I sure have come of age since computers and in particular, the Internet.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for contributing your story, Michael. It strikes me that you have also been right in the middle of the profound change of the music industry from Big Record Company vinyl to No Record Company downloading. Also what a good example of the capacity of the Internet to allow an individual to just do it anyway and on their own, if they can't get somebody to sponsor or pay them to do what they love.