I saw a post in another forum recently which mentioned how our audio quality always seems to be so much better than most other internet stations.
It is lovely to see that our hard work to achieve this is appreciated by others.
When we started to put our music library together, all those years ago, it was a real challenge to not only find a very high quality music file of the song we wanted, but also to check it was an original recording.
Over the years, many of the classic hits we love today have been re-recorded by one or more of the original members of the group under the same name.
The music department of All Oldies Radio is part of my day job outside of hosting the Breakfast Of Legends. Personally, I think that I have been able to weed out any dodgy versions that slipped through the net.
We also have very loyal listeners who also let us know if we have missed one. In fact it was only recently that a Tavares track we have been playing since 2016 got picked up by our own Ian Noakes as being incorrect. You could only notice the error, just, but it was there. It is certainly a minefield when it comes to this issue.
Sure, at the start, I could have just loaded all the hits from my huge personal record library, but I wanted us to be extra special. I wanted us to enjoy the hits in fantastic quality.
Going back to the comment I mentioned earlier, it is wonderful to feel that listeners appreciate that effort.
It helps that we have also offered a high quality stream in 320k since day one.
This has been one of our many successes.
High quality audio files, through high quality audio processing, streamed in a high quality bitrate. (We do offer other bitrates as well).
320k is more popular than a lot of stations give it credit for.
There is, and I will call it a myth, that 320k uses up so much of your bandwidth that it is impossible to listen to it without the audio buffering. Nobody is bothered about a stream in that high quality.
My view is this. Listeners that enjoy the music we play come from that certain era. We wanted hi-fi. Heck, even some of the hi-fi stereos we purchased had quadrophonic amps/decoders built in. We loved stereo, quality speakers and quality audio. Although cassette tapes won the battle, we also loved 8-Track carts as they offered even higher quality.
The average online only radio station offers a stereo stream at 128k. These stations usually claim that nobody wants anything higher and that anything higher causes issues, especially on the move.
I would agree that on the move can be a little tricky depending on where you live. What I will add though is that it is no different to a DAB signal breaking up or FM becoming hissy or AM fading in and out. Each bit of tech does something different when you are tuned in and the signal becomes weak.
In the modern world it seems that a younger generation are happy to listen to radio on a mono DAB radio that is found in the Kitchen or on a tinny mobile phone speaker.
Our audience want music in good audio quality. They use the Bluetooth speakers, plug Alexa into a stereo amp or wear good quality headphones.
I am proud to be part of a station that considers the audio quality of the music we play. We will always do so. Sadly DAB multiplex operators charge a fortune for audio that is nowhere near 320k. Online technology allows us to still offer a very popular alternative where you can continue to love the quality.
Much love, Russ.