Radio Web casting – a hybrid technology combining both radio and the Internet – is the main thrust of a new class being offered at GCC.
Radio Web casting (with the properly installed software on a computer) uses the Internet to send an audio “signal” out onto the Web.
Unlike traditional radio stations that use a costly transmitter to send out their signal, radio Web casting reaches listeners by way of computers.
Also, in contrast to traditional radio stations, which require a broadcast license from the Federal Communications Commission, radio Web casting requires no such license. This license-exemption for radio Web casting expedites what can otherwise be a lengthy licensing process.
Mike Petros, instructor of the class, said that the first and main objective is to “give students a professional experience creating programs for radio.”
“We’d like to put together music shows, play music, put together announcements about upcoming campus events, sports and things like that,” he said.
When asked about the opportunity students have to expand their talents in the class, Petros said that as long as it lies within legal bounds of decency and appropriate content according to FCC guidelines, “anything is possible.”
Dan Chicoine, a student in the class said, “If they [students] are interested in broadcasting at all, if they have a good voice or enjoy working with computers, this is a great opportunity.”
The fall semester marks the commencement of the Radio Web Casting class, which is officially known as Media 207 in the college catalog. This semester students are focusing on creating the station itself. So, it’s now in an experimental phase.
The idea for the class began when Petros bought some computer software in the spring and together with a systems administrator experimented with bringing it online. Within a matter of two days, they were technically Web casting. The success of the experiment opened up an avenue of possibilities in which the students themselves could actually create shows.
“For me, one of the best experiences I had when I was in college was working for the Western Illinois University radio station. It was completely run by students,” recalls Petros. Except for an adviser and some technicians, the station at GCC will also be run by students.
The course hopes to put together music shows, news, sports, and weather reports, just like a traditional radio station. This would all be in conjunction with the course’s second objective of functioning as a service to the campus.
Music played on the station will be completely in the hands of the students. However, general standards of decency that apply to professional radio and FCC guidelines would also apply to the station.
The radio station should be fully functional by next semester.
In order to access the site, log on to: http://arts.glendale.cc.ca.us. Follow the prompts to KMAD (the station name that will probably change to KGCC). The station uses the QuickTime media player to send its “signal” out to listeners. Keep in mind though, that the station is a work in progress.