04 October, 2012

Finally...there's a radio station which carries Glenn Beck which "gets it..." at least partially: KYKN Salem, OR. First, I'd like to relate what they don't understand, so I can end on a positive note: people are usually adult enough to be able to choose whether they want new windows, new tabs, or the same window; DON'T use window.open(), it is EVIL. Now, what they "get" which other radio stations don't seem to have the faintest idea of how to grasp: IT'S RADIO, WE DON'T "WATCH" IT.

Sooooooo many stations offer a stream, for which I am actually really grateful. Glenn is not carried live locally, and the semi-local station (WHAM-AM) which does carry him delays him 14 hours (2300 local time), and then only carries the first two hours until Coast to Coast AM. BUT...the vast majority of these streaming stations wrap their stream in Flash, or Silverlight, or...well, use your imagination...as well as JavaScript. Leo Laporte recently explained this to a caller on "The Tech Guy" radio show. This is ostensibly to show ads along with the program. To the radio station execs, programmers/PDs, and Web programmers: knock, knock, knock, McFly? You in there? It's radio, not TV. We throw it up on the tablet, iPod, phone, or desktop, and we (here's a shock) LISTEN.  We don't see the ads.  In fact, it's common practice for Android apps (such as IHeartRadio, TuneIn, PSA Stream Media Player, etc.) to allow the audio to keep flowing even though the app does not have focus, and I'm looking at my launcher/home screen (or any other app for that matter).  Your ads are therefore virtually useless.

KYKN on the other hand seems to understand this, and simply provides 4 links directly to their streaming provider (for 4 different formats: MP3, Windows Media, RealPlayer, and QuickTime).  Finally and at last...I can automate starting  the stream, with a simple
mplayer -playlist http://panel7.serverhostingcenter.com/tunein.php/jsktech/playlist.pls
I'm sick of most streamers (e.g., radio stations) making me pull up Wireshark to analyze the net traffic interaction with their "players," many times which lead to unusable results (such as inability of MPlayer to handle their stream).  What would be even worse if is they choose to encrypt (HTTPS) their interactions, but I'm not sure I ran across too many of these.

It's just evil, and many times quite pointless.  Get rid of the Flash, or at the very least, also provide direct links to playlists, or even better, the compressed stream itself.  Besides...even Adobe has basically told the world, Flash is being phased out.  Also, there's nothing like telling a couple million customers (who have Apple products, which never supported nor never will support Flash) to go pound sand.

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English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when the speaker or writer chooses not to follow those rules.

"Jeopardy!" replies and randomcaps really suck!

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