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West Central, Michigan

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Keeping the (AM Stereo) Stream Flowing...


Technology is a wonderful thing.  It's something we expect to evolve and change, yet...as it does, it often throws a virtual monkey-wrench into the "stream" of events.

Take WION's streaming for instance.  We started streaming AM stereo quite a few years back, and had two very basic apps, one for Android one for Apple (I-phone) users.  Simple, right?

Well, it was...but...times change. The Apple forces operating system updates to phones, and old apps get outdated.  Then, the app submission people slow things down, and demand certain things of their designers.  Meanwhile, on the android side, the old, original WION app from a company called "Viastreaming" continues to work if you have it from Google Play, but it won't be there long. It may even read, "Incompatible" with your devices" while it really works fine if downloaded.

Enter today's streaming environment. The station is so thankful and fortunate to have the City of Ionia and the Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce paying for our streaming licensing and bandwidth!  Not only do we pay to play the music on the air as many of you know (thanks to my ranting on the morning show)...but also we pay extra fees to have it on the web!  Every song's artist and title are logged, and a company called "Streamlicensing dot com" which then takes our monthly subscription fee, and,  in turn,  pays our (online only) royalties to BMI, ASCAP SESAC, and Soundexchange. 

All sources of listening to WION originate from the Streamlicensing source, so all types of listening are accounted-for in keeping our royalties paid. We even have one extra stream, the mp3 kind, hosted by satelliteguys.us which is also monitored for use and royalties. This one serves many internet appliances like radios and other tabletop devices that do not support the newer AAC+ streaming technology.

So, fast forward to now. As of the writing of this, our online apps are changing.  The original app for WION on Android co-exists with the brand-new Android app, but for how long we don't know, so look for the newer one in Google Play. It's very simple, and the video ads are controlled by the company which doesn't charge for their services. That keeps our cost down.  The app includes basic contact us abilities through your phone's own e-mail app and shows you what has been played.

The new I-phone app is pending.  Apple is waiting for the old (yet recent) app to be pulled so the newer version, built basically the same as the Android one, can be populated.  During this wait time, (and there will probably be a wait for Apple to approve the new WION app even after it's submitted) if you're an Apple iPhone user, your option to continue with listening online is to use the app called, "Tune-In Radio." It's the same people that have an app on your smart TV to enjoy audio through your home theatre system.  So, please, if you're an iPhone user, don't abandon us, Grab Tune-In, and continue to enjoy WION while you wait.

It's easy at home to enjoy us!  If you have an Amazon Echo device, just ask it to play WION Radio!  It may also respond under "America's Biggest Little Radio Station" or sometimes, "I-1430!"  The same applies to the Google Home devices for enjoying WION whenever you want.

There may come a time when we need a dedicated "skill" developed for the Amazon world, we're discussing that now...but...for the moment, a little persistence in learning what phrase works for YOUR ALEXA will pay off in great music and information delivered to you free as always, from WION.

Confused?  Don't be. We're working hard to keep ahead of the required changes, laws, licensing, and technology so that we truly are available on almost any device, almost anywhere!

By the way, all of our streams are 100 percent duplicates of the on-air product. You hear all our shows, all our local announcers, and all our local advertisers who help keep WION growing! 

There is one thing you can do to help us.  Today's streaming would not be possible without the help of a dear friend to the station, owner of www.satelliteguys.us and all-around good guy, Scott  Greczkowski. He adopted WION many years ago as a favorite radio station when I first joined the site.  Check out his site, enjoy the topics of technology, but also cooking, sports, TV shows, local radio, and so much more.  We also couldn't afford to stream without our Premier Sponsors:  The City of Ionia and the Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce. Please thank them with an e-mail or a note in a bill you're paying.  We also are welcoming "Day Sponsors" like Golden PC to help take up the slack of increased costs to develop and maintain our audio online services to you.

Some GREAT people make it possible for this little radio station, WION to do what some big ones don't:  Keep up with technology, remain local, and serve you with the best sound and best availability possible.

Rest assured, if your app is not working, we're an e-mail or Facebook post, or Skype text message, or even a call away!  All our contact info is on our website at www.i1430.com. 

With our steam, we are bringing WION to the world.  Because of our unique AM Stereo sound people from around the world tune in to hear what AM Stereo sounds like and they get hooked on our music variety and information updates.  Many from around the world make us part of their daily routine, and I am proud to say that some even make WION a destination while on their vacations just because of WION. Yes folks, WION really is putting Ionia on the map!

The technology will always be changing and we will do our best to keep everything up to date for you. So, now...go download the app which suits you best, and we'll keep bringing you great radio...from America's Biggest Little Radio Station.