Yes, remember us?
We've been limping along on limited bandwidth and resources for 12 years now. That's right, we've been online since 1996 which makes us 12 years old this year. We were the first project of it's kind on the internet and our model of open media inspired the developers of the original Seattle Indymedia, as well as other participatory media projects on the internet.
Yes, we've had spotty service in recent years and (as the main administrator of the project) allow me to apologize for that. However, our new site has been designed to remedy many of the problems that plagued our project in the past. This isn't to say that we will now be prompt about responding to people's e-mails -- after all, there are three people working on this project for free and we all have lives -- what I am saying is the new site will be vastly more reliable and give people less cause to contact us.
Now for the good news: We have new powerful servers! Tim Pozar (http://www.lns.com/
) of Bay Area Wireless Network fame has helped provide us with ridiculous amounts of bandwidth from one of the most reliable network providers in the country! And I have spent the last couple months finishing a completely rewritten update to the software that runs www.radio4all.net! This all means that the A-Infos Radio Project is getting a new lease on life.
Special thanks are due to David Josephson (http://www.josephson.com/
) for setting up our new equipment, and for making contact with Tim Pozar and negotiating for our new internet connection.
The New Software:
I will not get into excessive technical details regarding the new software, but I will tell you that this version of the Radio Project software is a complete rewrite from the ground up. It is faster and more efficient. It is more secure and extensive measures have been taken to protect the site from spammers and e-mail harvesters while not inconveniencing our users with captchas and other annoying anti-spam devices. The site's security has been designed to be effective against actual security threats while being transparent to legitimate users.
Searching and browsing for programs has been much improved, with new ways to find programs: by popularity (top 300 downloads), by license, and by content advisory. The latter is particularly useful for radio stations in light of the draconian measures taken by the FCC against U.S. stations who violate the "7 dirty words" or "safe-harbor" rules. Browsing programs by content advisory should make finding programs suitable for radio more convenient.
Other improvements include a better topic directory and easier topic categorization, the addition of creative commons license support (including public domain dedication, and sampling-specific licenses), better support for international characters, and many other improvements.
One issue in particular that I wanted to elaborate on is our past statements that Archive.org would be mirroring our audio archive. Well, when we made those statements we were getting repeated promises from people at Archive.org, who will remain nameless, that they would do just that. They were "very excited" to mirror our archive, and it seemed like every other week they would promise to begin downloading our archive to their servers "soon". I sent them a copy of our program database, I sent them a schema of the filesystem layout on each of our archive servers, I contacted them repeatedly over several months, and nothing happened. I don't know why they made promises and did not follow through and I will not speculate because I never found out why, so that's the end of that story. All this is not to say that Archive.org isn't good project that should be supported -- we would still be delighted to have them mirror our audio archive. If anyone has contacts at Archive.org who might be more responsive, please let us know.
In closing, we're looking forward to a long future for the A-Infos Radio Project and we hope you will continue to support us and, most importantly, use our project. And I want to remind you to support us financially or in other ways if you can. This is a free service that has been maintained by volunteer labor for over a decade, but we still need your help to pay the bills. So, please visit our support page to find out how you can help: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/support/
The A-Infos Radio Project Collective