Building my own radio station

Sitting at work for hours on end behind a desk can be tough, even if you have a job you love and work with great people who keep you going.  Music is one of the only things that can really keep people’s spirits up even as the clock ticks ever more slowly towards hometime.  But that only rings true if the music is good.

Over the last few weeks at work I’ve been sat and stuck listening to Moray Firth Radio.  To say that its music is not my cup of tea is to put it very, very mildly.  Sitting through repeats of the same pop songs that you’ve heard several times that day, often in the same order, can get tiresome – and as a means of temporary blissful escape from work it was worse than useless.  It was then that I decided that things didn’t need to be this way and that I needed to get a better selection of songs on for work.

Sitting with your iPod in doesn’t work as it’s anti-social at best and anti-work at worst, but there’s no other option at work, is there?  Turns out there is.

In searching how to build an online radio station I stumbled across a service called Radionomy.  This site lets you build your own radio station from scratch online and stream it to anywhere in the world.  It’s incredible.

It took perhaps 3 days of work to create the radio station, mainly with adding as many of the songs from my iTunes library as I could find.  Radionomy works off several different levels which determine what tunes are going to come on.  First you search for tracks in its’ impressively large database and add them to what are called Boxes.  These boxes can then be combined in different combinations into Clocks.  These in turn are placed onto Day Planners, which are general templates that can be used as many times as you want on the final piece of the puzzle – the Planner.  Here you can choose what template to use on a given date and it will automagically generate a playlist for the whole day.  Despite the work that’s gone into it for now, I can now schedule up to a month’s worth of streaming music for myself in an instant – which I think is incredibly cool.

The beauty of Radionomy is that it is so customisable.  I’ve gone for a general work/radio feel to most of the scheduling – so that songs between 9am and 6pm each weekday are generally typical “radio-friendly” numbers with some other golden ones thrown in.  Then I’ve gone for different decades to be played at different times of nights, as well as party playlists to go on for Friday and Saturday nights.  But this is just my starting point, which I can branch off from at any point and anyone else can copy or change if they create their own.

And did I mention that all of this is free and with only the odd advert track (a song that Radionomy picks to play for you in lieu of an actual advert) thrown in here and there – which typically fit the tone of your music quite well anyway.  I’m astounded by how good this website is and that people don’t use it more often.

Update: There is a catch.  To continue using the site after three months the radio station needs to have been listened to for an average of 12 hours per day.  While this seems more than achievable and the moment, over the six months after that it needs to be listened to for a whopping 130 hours per day.  That might be a struggle, but either through marketing efforts or creating a new station I’m determined to keep it going!

So here is my finished product, what I’ve dubbed Kellow Miscellany FM – broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with all the songs being approved by yours truly.  It might not be all you are looking for in a radio station, and if it’s not I’d urge you to create your own, but as an alternative to the usual radio fare then it’s definitely a better option.

I hope you enjoy!


Update 1.01 – Now features a Javascript now playing icon!

Update 1.02 – Now  features a link to recently played songs through Twitter!

Update 1.03 – Site updated to load faster with consolidated Javascript and CSS files

Update 1.04 – Now features a jquery AJAX now playing feature that loads more smoothly and also shows album artwork!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *