Media Arts Launches KGCC

Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

GCC has once again incorporated Web radio into its educational curriculum this fall by offering Media Arts 207, a class that deals with the production of the college’s online radio station KGCC.

The concept of the class is to allow students to have a professional radio experience. “One of the best experiences I had in school was working for the campus station,” said Mike Petros, adviser for the Web radio class. “It was a very valuable experience and I’m trying to emulate and recreate that here.”

Web radio is a program that plays music or audio through the Web instead of through a radio. The radio can be listened to by logging onto a Web site rather than tuning into a radio station.

The concept for Web radio has been in the works for almost two years. “We purchased some software just on an experimental basis, and within two days we were Web casting,” said Petros.

The process for playing music online is called streaming, in which music can be heard online instantly and continuously rather than going through a process where downloading is involved.

The course was first offered in the fall of 2001; however, it was cut from the spring semester due to scheduling conflicts. However, when all issues were resolved, another roadblock stood in the radio program’s way.

Copyright issues threatened imposition of royalty fees that could be expensive for nonprofit stations. But the ruling imposed lower fees on non-commercial Web casters, while requiring them to log all songs played.
A loophole in the law allows GCC to be exempt from paying any fees because the songs will be used in an educational institution and the use of the materials are an essential part of the course. However, KGCC will only be allowed to broadcast on campus. This also serves as a security reason to prevent people from hacking into the system.

Students must be enrolled in order to participate in the Web radio production class.

The station is currently in its experimental stages. As the course progresses, designated positions will be available to students in all aspects of the production process. “I want to be there for the students to spend time with them,” said Petros. “But I want it to be their station and I’m just helping them do it.”
Media Arts 107 is a prerequisite for Media Arts 207.

“I want to establish a presence on campus, to get students and staff listening, to build an [audience] and an infrastructure,” said Petros.

For more information about Web radio, log on to http://arts.glendale.edu.