8 days to go

As I blogged earlier this week, I’m leaving community radio station NE1fm 102.5.

There’s been some lovely tweets made in response to my announcement. One I liked lots was;

People like this are the backbone of community radio – and comm orgs in general – and we probably don’t say thank you as much as we should.

— Peter Sullivan (@ceemage) May 28, 2013

And the people who do run community projects are the backbone. They sit up at night worrying when others sleep, I know, I’ve been there many times before. So I’ve decided for the next 8 days to blog everything station wise I’ve done to give a minuscule insight into some of the roles management take on.

Last night I popped in to see Rob Davies. Friday’s 8-10pm show. We discussed some station management stuff, I wound him up, he tried to guess why I was leaving, and I tried to access his Twitter. Pretty standard.

I’ve started writing my hand over too. It’s hard to condense knowledge into documentation though and I’m not abandoning the project. I’ll still be at the end of the phone if they really need help. I was one of the backbone amongst a small group and I know intricately all of the wiring, routing and configuration of every single piece of equipment at the radio station. Only one other person comes close to knowing how it all works.

Recently when the station started running in mono I was able within minutes to direct a volunteer to the offending piece of hardware. There’s probably 1km of wiring powering the station and I could draw a picture of every single cable and every single connector. That’s hard to train others who perhaps don’t have the same technical brain. But it is skills and knowledge on offer to people who want to learn it.

I also wonder what I’ll do with my Saturday mornings. Religiously I connect in every Saturday morning to check over our logging system, our music servers and studio computers. At the beginning of every month (ie: today) I tidy up the logger into month folders, and take an older month off to backup at an external FTP location. I also run and save statistics from our website and online streaming services and show these to the volunteers so they get a sense of who’s listening where. I also spent the morning migrating the stations online streaming server to a new location, updating all of the links on the website, the code for the webplayer and then notifying listeners via social media. I finally then scheduled some pre-recorded programming. It’s just dawned on me that this morning was the last time I’ll do a lot of that.

So there’s an insight into one little bit, I’m going to have to take up making cooked breakfasts on Saturday mornings!

New Soundcloud Page

I’ve now got a Soundcloud page, a few friends in radio are using it so ‘network’ and share their work, so I’ve joined the bandwagon. You can listen to stuff by visiting http://soundcloud.com/kevatkinson

Check before you buy!

I’ve been buying products & services online for probably close to 10 years, and one thing I always do before I buy is to shop around to compare pricing, to find out if the price is fair, or to see if I’m being ripped off. Now I don’t do this for every single thing – but if I’m buying electrical items or services online I’ll always look around for reviews and pricing.

I recently received some unsolicited email from a hosting company which was a little odd because their website domain was nothing like their company name. They were offering web hosting and had emailed me most likely via my listing on MediaUK.

To cut a long story short, they were selling a variety of ‘unlimited’ hosting packages, very very underpriced streaming packages, and to top it off, they were even selling stuff I could get for free if I spent 2.36548 seconds Googling what they were selling.

The point of this small blog is to point a few things out.

  1. If a company promises ‘unlimited’ – they can’t deliver it, so what else are they lying about?
  2. They haven’t invented the unlimited hard-drive yet.
  3. Google what you want, you might be able to get it for free.
  4. They still haven’t invented the unlimited hard-drive yet.


Some Podcasts I Like

If you know me, you’ll know I like podcasting. However I like to be the person behind the podcast, and my podcasting hosting company does just that.

So I thought I’d recommend a couple of podcasts who are customers of mine, and that I like listening to!

DJ Play’s 52 Ways Podcast






DJ City USA POdcast






Milkshake Nights Podcast






Paradisco Podcast






Let me know what you think!

Art TubeMP

I do a lot of vocal recording at home, so I bought an Art TubeMP. About 6 months back, I started doing a lot of recording at the radio station so put all my kit away here back in its boxes and in the cupboard.

Today, I got it back out to play with. Everything is working spot on apart from the Tube MP. It has the worst of crackling coming from it through the audio line. Everything else works fine so by elimination (swapping wires/mics) the MP is at fault. It was stored away safely in its box and hasn’t been touched, dropped, damaged, hurt, punched or anything.

Typically, it’s now out of warranty so a waste of nearly £50. So I sent them an email saying I won’t be buying their stuff again. You never know, they might replace it anyway to keep my happy. Here’s hoping.

I’ve launched KA Distribution Services!

Last time I wrote here I was talking about distribution services and how had created a distribution server network for hosting most things audio!

Well, fast forward a little while and you can now view and sign up to services at a dedicated website. http://www.ka-distribution.co.uk manages all things hosting/podcasting and comes with a pretty snazzy Customer Relationship Manager and integrated billing system – nice!

So, if you need something, I can probably help!

Podcasting & Audio Delivery

This year I started looking at services I could help with via my website, and how I could branch out to further provide services around audio and IT. One thing that I looked into was podcasting.

Podcasting has been around for a few years now, but I never really picked up on it or how good it can be. I needed to learn how to podcast, how it works, how it’s powered – and stuff like that. So, working away in Hull and stuck in a lonely hotel room at night I set about reading about podcasting, the background to it, why people do it, and most importantly, how you do it.

A few nights later, I’d launched the Kev and Nixxi podcast so listeners to the radio should could easily listen back to the radio show during the week. But how could I make it better? I looked into ways people get podcasts, and more and more I read that people use their iPods and iPhones to listen to podcasts. Naturally, the progressive route from there was to get Kev and Nixxi onto iTunes listed as a podcast. Again, I had no idea how to do this, so another night of research and it was done.

The podcast took off quickly, reaching around 1000 subscribers within a few months, it was at this point the new service was offered via my website for me to help others, and it didn’t take long.

Working in radio and as a DJ, I’m regularly chatting with ‘fellow deejays’ – and they had the same issue. They wanted a podcast, they want it on iTunes, they want people to listen on iPhones, iPods, and now iPads. It’s a centralised way to deliver podcasts, it integrates with some of the most popular devices out at the moment – so after some networking, some late nights, and more late nights, the first podcast was supplied and hosted via kevatkinson.co.uk.

Fast forward 6 months, and demand is increasing tenfold. A network of audio distribution servers now exist with extremely fast links to the internet and unrestricted bandwidth for fast downloading and distribution of audio. With some extremely influential music promoters and DJ’s on board the future looks bright as demand spreads literally internationally for the services I provide.

If you require help with podcasting, podcast hosting, audio hosting for distribution and most other audio services, do get in touch with me, you’ll find the information you need here.