Religious Groups Launch FM Translator Invasion

The FCC has received a deluge of applications for new FM translator stations. Figures released today indicate a total of 13,306 applications were filed for new translator stations during a filing window in March.
This is an unprecedented demand for new translator stations, and it represents a real threat to the expansion of the fledgling LPFM service. While the FCC expects to license only a few hundred new 100-watt community stations from the first batch of applicants, longer-term plans call for future LPFM license filing windows.
As there are only a finite number of open channels available, it appears that this mass filing is designed to snap up the vast majority of open frequencies nationwide where translator or LPFM stations might be sited. If the plan were to succeed, it would be as if someone slammed the door on any LPFM expansion – the FM dial would be jammed with translator stations. Continue reading “Religious Groups Launch FM Translator Invasion”

Madonna's File Share Screed Rebounds

On the collage beat, Madonna is getting whupped pretty nicely.
Seems about a week or so ago, Warner Music Group (corporate parent of Madonna’s Maverick Records) uploaded dummy “preview” versions of songs from her new album onto several popular music file sharing services. But instead of hearing the songs themselves, listeners got a tongue-lashing from pop music’s queen mother for participating in music piracy: “What the f*ck do you think you’re doing,” says Madonna (the rest of the dummy MP3 is silent).
What began as Madonna’s wry attempt to humiliate file sharers has since turned into a creative catalyst for several audio artists, who have remixed the quip as a reverse zinger. Warner Music might get some publicity mileage out of the sonic counterattack for Madonna’s new album, but methinks those most interested in the remix project aren’t big Madonna fans to begin with. Continue reading “Madonna's File Share Screed Rebounds”

Introducing Amendment One

Don Schellhardt, the attorney extraordinaire who co-wrote the first LPFM petition and has been coordinating the resistance campaign against IBOC digital audio broadcasting, is hankering for some writing experience. He’s now writing a monthly column called Amendment One, featuring various pontifications on issues of media and media reform.
The March and April columns are up now. Don’s latest work, “The Kahn Connection,” will bring you up to speed on the latest happenings with radio’s transition to digital. One must wonder, though, if the proposed alternative arrived too late in the game to change the FCC’s mind on what digital standard to officially adopt (IBOC stations are on the air now, and the FCC recently relaxed the transition rules allowing stations to convert immediately and go digital before notifying Washington).

When Viacom Attacks

My “day job,” so to speak, is an anchor/producer gig with WINS – the Workers Independent News Service. WINS is a syndicated radio news program that features stories of, by and for working people: we like to think of ourselves as an antidote for what passes as “business news” on the radio today. Where the corporate media tells you which stocks are up or down, we tell you who got screwed behind the stock moves.
Five days a week we produce one ‘headline-style’ newscast (three minutes in length), with a 30-second economic report (a little factoid capsule called the “Dow Bob”), and longer-form feature stories, many of which we get from independent stringer-reporters around the globe.
WINS programming is distributed via the internet in MP3 format through our web site, and in the 14 months or so that we’ve been in production we’ve built up an affiliate list of about 80 radio stations around the United States. We charge between $20-$40 a month for stations to subscribe, which gives them access to everything we do, to use as they see fit. Continue reading “When Viacom Attacks”

Partytown Mediajammers At It Again

Back in January, the one-man media-busting army that is Brad Johnson confronted a pack of journalists who’d camped themselves out in front of the home of a man whose pregnant wife has been missing since the winter holiday season. Brad and his wife Sandy live in Modesto, California, which for some ungodly reason seems to attract packs of journalists to tabloid-style stories unlike any other community in America.
The Johnsons also run the Partytown Streaming Network, which provides several free channels of music and news online, including one feed completely dedicated to independent journalism and special IMC protest coverage. Brad was once the broadcast engineer for Clear Channel’s Modesto cluster.
After watching throngs of cameras hover around the scandal of a former congressman a couple of years ago the Johnsons decided they’d seen enough. When this new salacious story broke involving the mystery disappearance of a pregnant woman, the Johnsons were ready for the hordes of cameras. Continue reading “Partytown Mediajammers At It Again”

Dunifer Publishes New Version of Micropower Broadcasting: A Technical Primer

Free Radio Berkeley founder Stephen Dunifer updates his easy-to-read handbook with information on digital audio production and webcasting and the new realities of operating a microradio station in post-millenial America. Download it here (632K, .pdf format).
Its 25 pages are packed with useful information that thoroughly describes what you need to operate your basic microradio station and the general science behind FM broadcasting. It also includes schematics and circuit board layouts for most major components.
After moving his workshop last year, Dunifer is now also offering the use of his facilities for anyone interested in building their own rigs. It sounds like the 3-5 day project is a more detailed version of the transmitter-building workshops Dunifer and his crew have frequently run in the past.

Collage Files Restored, Expanded

The temporary hiatus of the media collage and Mbanna Kantako file archives turned into an unexpected server demise, but all affected files have now been restored. I took the opportunity to catch up on new additions to the Truthful Translations of Political Speech collage galleries: there are several new collages sprinkled throughout, both audio and video.
Not surprisingly, the majority of them have something to do with George W. Bush, who is now the subject of 30 translations. Choice bits from the latest batch include submissions from The Mentally Ill, Skidmark Bob, Muckrakor Media, and Warp Records. Continue reading “Collage Files Restored, Expanded”

Unexpected Trip to San Francisco

Work on re-starting regular content updates remains suspended, as I still don’t have online access from home yet. Additionally, I’ll be away from home for most of the weekend, on the campus of Stanford University for a one-day conference Saturday on broadband, digital media technologies, and the future control of it all.
If you happen to attend, I’ll be speaking on two panels: the morning one will involve labor and the media, while the afternoon panel involves “wireless, wi-fi and microradio,” and will also feature members of Berkeley Liberation Radio and San Francisco Liberation Radio. Continue reading “Unexpected Trip to San Francisco”