September Content Advisory Committee Minutes

September Content Advisory Committee Minutes

I Meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm in Studio 5.

Crystal and Mason were in attendance from staff. Mike Milligan, Michael Cyrs, and Sam Jasmine were in attendance from the CAC. Volunteer Grandpa Joe was in attendance as well with specific questions.

II Problems with broken links on the website and mobile app

While Sam was trying to review programs, there were some broken links while trying to stream the shows. As it were, “about two weeks ago” Mason was having problems with the software that checks if new programs are ready to upload and subsequently uploads them.

webteam@kfai.org is an email address any volunteer can query if there are archive playback problems. “Mason, I think it was three weeks ago that I was trying to listen to Desert Islands,” said Sam of one of the programs that is under review. “There are also problems with the iOS version of our webapp since they were still signed up for it in Leah’s name,” said Mason. He’s also been looking into that.

“Is there a small group dedicated to technical problems at KFAI?” There are people that are interested in being on this kind of team that Mason has a shortlist of. In lieu of having a paid engineer, this kind of team is necessary. Crystal mentioned that she could easily draw up a team of this nature that could be trained by engineering@kfai.org on the engineering side and Mason and the Web Team for internet/streaming problems.

This brought up the issue of malfunctioning CD players in the studio in recent weeks. In real time, Mason began putting in an official ticket to alert engineering of the problem. It was mentioned that using CDs is essential to almost everyone’s program, and that there already aren’t players in studios 2 and 3; so malfunctioning ones in 1 and 4 are doubly problematic.

III Streaming platforms on the air

“There’s many reasons not to do it,” said Mason. The KFAI network doesn’t support lots of streaming devices. The end user agreement for most services includes a section on “personal use only.” To boot, the quality of music on platforms like YouTube is terrible, and KFAI could get in a lot of trouble using this as a source of content. “No programmer should ever come in to do their show off of a Spotify stream,” said Mason. We need to be explaining to new programmers how to build their resources.

It’s up to KFAI to provide trainings and coaching on how to build a personal library fit for a DJ. Anyone is free to reach out to labels, promoters, and individual bands asking to share their music digitally for airplay. The internet and publicly posted contacts are a powerful tool – and many of your favorite labels have a specific contact on their website for radio airplay questions. DJs should also be encouraged to comb the library when time permits. Also, many programmers have been doing this for decades, and could provide ideas on how to gather a strong personal database. If you’ve got a mentor at the station, ask how they procure their music!

Naturally the music industry is largely digital, and programmers need to have access to KFAI’s resources in that regard. That being said, the digital and physical adds process isn’t wholly transparent, and the updating of digital adds will take a very long time to catch up to October 2019. Crystal ensured the committee that there are many volunteers who would be willing to help get that digital library up to speed. The CAC then agreed that music library changes can easily be considered part of their duties, and that perhaps one of the next couple of meetings could cover it.

“There are a lot of ways to skin a cat,” explained Mike when discussing the myriad of ways to produce programming.

IV Program Reviews

  • Disability in Progress

With Sam, the program’s host, in attendance, Mason explained that he enjoyed all of the content, but that it felt like the program often felt like it ended early. Sam commented that when you run out of usable questions, it’s useful to shoot the sh** with your guests or fill it with relative music. Sam asked if playing music was inappropriate towards the end of the show. Mason ensured her that that is not the case, but that tone of voice should not suggest that “we’re out of content, so here’s some music.”

People only had minor quibbles about the show at large, and some ideas to help Sam promote the show further.

  • No Stress Express

“What I appreciate about Tony Paul is that he is an active member in the music scene and does a good job promoting it in conjunction with his show – sometimes he comes in with a lot of energy and sometimes he doesn’t.”

There is apparently a problem with posting playlists – leading to some songs getting replayed without there being evidence of it. That being said, Crystal said she hasn’t really heard those repeats as more of a casual listener, but that it’s more picked up when the show is specifically being reviewed. Repeating songs for two weeks in a row is not a problem in and of itself, but it shouldn’t be a pattern.

  • Glorth Radio

It’s a newer show, and it’s important to consider that when reviewing. Crystal likes the way he can go on about a topic, but wants to warn about rambling too much or straying too far from the point, so to speak. Having a filter is important, but Sean’s might still need some calibrating. It will be important to drive home the point that he’s on in the middle of the afternoon. His first official review, which always takes place six months after a show starts, is on the horizon. The CAC agreed that we love having him in that time slot, and that it’s good to have that kind of variety and weirdness in our brand.

  • Catalyst

Michael felt that there were too many long stretches of time where Lydia did not re-identify the station, the name of the show, and the names of the guests and their roles. The guest list in and of itself is usually fabulous with great outreach possibilities for fundraising. That being said, people need to be reminded what they’re listening to and its context more often.

  • Desert Islands

This is KFAI’s most similar show to JackFM, but in a good way – Doc plays a lot of songs that everyone knows. The concept of making guests a mixtape is great but it’s not clear enough to listeners from the talk breaks. The CAC agreed on this critique. We want more talking about the band, talking about the artist, and talking to the artist since there’s usually a great guest. We want to hear a conversation. Doc is plugged into the community, and we want to hear from it in conjunction with the tunes.

  • Conversations with Al MacFarlane

Technically this is a great sounding show, but Al should identify the station more. He is incredible at creating a vibe and reminding people who he is – but the platform is equally if not more worth mentioning. Fundraising is lacking, and it’s transparent that he’s doing it more for the MacFarlane brand and not for KFAI. Self-promotion is not a bad thing at KFAI. That being said, there’s a poor history of pledge rapping and a general lack of presence at the station. The plan is to discuss this with Al and issue a warning.

  • Jazz Diaspora

Jazz Diaspora is musically rich but lacking in discussion, and the reviewers wish there was more information about what was being played. The playlists are exceptional, but the overlong songs feel like a crutch. KFAI is a fantastic platform for volunteers to expound upon why they love this music, and other stations don’t often share this.

V Meeting was adjourned at 9:03 pm

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