Monday, March 16, 2009

IBS Recap Part 5 - Streaming, Webcasting and Archiving

Trudi Schifter, Andrew Budd, Denis McNamara, Anthony Zaragoza, George Capalbo, and Ken Freedman gear up for the
"Streaming, Webcasting and Archiving" Panel on March 7, 2009

The final presentation that I attended at the IBS College Radio conference in New York City last week was "Streaming, Webcasting and Archiving." I was eagerly anticipating this panel, as I'm personally very confused about all of the rules and regulations surrounding archiving in particular. In my travels I've run across the gamut: stations who only have webcasts or podcasts (and no terrestrial signals), stations who are only terrestrial, and those who are on FM, stream, and offer archives or podcasts. Some, like KSJS (as mentioned in my recent field trip report), have decided to turn off their webstream due to concerns about complex reporting rules.

Ken Freedman, Station Manager of WFMU, moderated the panel and had a lot of great insights to share. First of all he pointed out that due to streaming, WFMU has more listeners online than over their FM signal.

The first discussion topic related to formats used by stations to stream and archive programming. Most said that they archived or did podcasts using mp3. Some were experimenting with Flash and AAC+ for streaming.

In terms of rules and regulations, Ken Freedman told the group that IBS member stations should take advantage of the fact that IBS is taking care of some of the SoundExchange and RIAA requirements through 2011. He was very encouraging, saying, "this is a very good start archiving...and streaming" since SoundExchange recently struck a deal with IBS. He said, "For the first time in many years...[there's an] agreeement in place." If your station has been reluctant to go online, be sure to contact IBS to find out the details.

Ken also mentioned that at WFMU they've worked out their own deals with artists and record labels, asking for waivers so that the station can stream and archive their material. He pointed out the myriad of webcasting rules, such as not being able to pre-announce what one is playing or play 3 tracks in a row by the same artist. He added that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has some "odd restrictions," and gave the example that according to the law, you can't say, "here's the new Radiohead record." He said that there are many laws on the books related to webcasting that haven't been enforced, although he relayed a story about David Byrne getting a "cease and desist" letter for palying an hour of Missy Elliott on his online radio show.

Others pointed out that their stations have agreements in place with SoundExchange and are paying the appropriate royalty fees. Andrew Budd, a software developer who builds archiving solutions for college stations, talked about his work for WRTC, saying that by creating an archive, they've doubled the amount of time that people listen to the station.

There was also a discussion about stations using mobile platforms to broadcast to cell phones. George Capalbo from Backbone (which has created an IBS College Radio Tuner application) made the observation that the iPhone is akin to the "advent of the transistor radio." He told a story about his 93-year-old neighbor spotting him with an iPhone to his ear thinking it was a radio.

Ken Freedman added that WFMU created the first iPhone stream. He said that before the iPhone, their mobile page had very little response. He added that the iPhone stream "just works really well" and it changed everything.

Someone in the audience said that the iPod Touch also has a college radio tuner.

In terms of copyright issues, another audience member asked about the legality of doing mp3 podcasts of radio shows. Andrew Budd suggested that playing an archived stream that cannot be downloaded is much safer and "avoids the rights issues." Ken Freedman added, "it is illegal to podcast your [music] shows" and that show archives can only be posted for 2 weeks. Additionally, he said that archives are required to be stored in 5-hour increments. He said that if a station does decide to do podcasts, that it's important to use open-source music from websites such as FreeMusicArchive, CCMixter or The Internet Archive (where you can search for some open source music).

Live performances were also discussed and if a station is planning to podcast a performance, it's important to get a signed waiver from the artist. It was also pointed out that if the band does a cover of a song they didn't write, then you cannot podcast it.

It was an informative weekend in New York. There were so many panels that I only caught a small slice of the conference, so if I missed any vital IBS highlights, let me know.

Previous IBS Conference Posts:

IBS Conference Recap Part 1 - Tom Moon's Plea for Musical Exploration
IBS Recap Part 2 - The Future of Music and Radio
IBS Recap Part 3 - Community Radio and Low Power FM
IBS Recap Part 4 - Independent Labels, Local Music and Program Director Sessions

1 comment:

Thurston Hunger said...

C'mon KFJC let your Freq Flag fly with public archives for two-week periods. If you can't beat a dead horse, might as well ride one!