Let me begin by saying, “Sorry for the lack of Updates”—Long story short, NEVER become an Adult (in the sense that your life revolves around bills and constant car repairs, the other “Adult” stuff is OK).
Let’s cut to the chase; I started “TV Tracks” for a few reasons; mostly because I love TV, TV is about to celebrate a major milestone; and as long as Nostalgia for it remains palpable, I figured that it would be just as fun to “Listen” to TV as it is to watch it. We officially began “TV Tracks” on September 16th, 2017. For Nearly 9 months, we’ve been playing TV’s Greatest Hits much to the delight of many people around the world. Since I don’t want to name-drop all the countries that tuned in, I will instead show you a Map—The Blue Countries listened, the REALLY Blue countries was just me leaving the radio on my many devices 24/7 in an effort to keep this thing alive…
And while it seems like a lot of people actually listened to us, some of them only did so for about 5 minutes at a time (or less); so as excited as I was that we could be heard in Azerbaijan, it would be extremely short-lived.
Part of the reason why this could be the case was because the server I use to stream the music has always had issues with a thing called “Geoblocking”—I.e. The inability to hear the channel in certain parts of the world because of stupid technical reasons. This might also explain why if you click on some of our streaming links, you hear a pre-recorded announcement saying “Listen to this Program on Radionomy”. Suffice to say, it was pretty hard to convince people that I actually had a stream going without having to explain the technical behind it. This also explains part of WHY we used Radionomy to broadcast—Money. There are many services that allow you to broadcast a radio station around the world, but 99.9% charge to run them—to say nothing of the additional fees one needs to license the music you need to play as well as trying to advertise yourself with as little budget as possible; and I’ve already got my own bills to pay in the real world. Radionomy is/was/has always been free to use, so they were the most cost effective option, but they were FAR from effective technically. In addition to Geoblocking, I also experienced problems on their end like Mis-Labeled songs, magically replacing songs, songs that go mute, songs that disappear from the library altogether, and sometimes even their servers going down for days on end…Which ESPECIALLY sucks, because they are a Ratings-based system, and we needed to be over a certain threshold in order to keep going.
Which brings us to Today; As of May 21st, 2018, We have an average rating of 53 hours/daily. In order to get picked up for another 6 months of Programming, we need more than Double that (130hrs/daily). I can already tell you that accomplishing that in just 2 weeks would be a miracle akin to either Moses parting the Red Sea, or Luke Null getting a 2nd Season on SNL. So with that, “TV Tracks” looks to be going off the air on June 4th, 2018 at 5AM EST……………but hopefully NOT for good. In fact, because of all the technical problems I (and THOUSANDS of others) have experienced with Radionomy over the years, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they allow an Extension of time to make up for the stoppages, similar to the “Bonus Time” they do at the end of Soccer games (Hey, they’re based out of Europe after all). If that’s not the case though, 6/4 does look to be the sign off…but I DO have a backup plan—and thankfully, this plan won’t be a costly one…or at least financially speaking, ethically, the jury is out.
Through a facebook group of people who have Radionomy based channels, I keep hearing things about a server based out of Toronto, Canada called “SonixCast”—Where for as much as 15 dollars (USD) a month, I can broadcast TV Tracks with 15GB of storage, high quality streaming (320Kbps is the max…all the songs we play are 128kbps, so we can go even cheaper), no ratings requirements as long as I pay the bills, AND the song titles don’t get mutated, muted or dropped, it just plays…BUT there’s a catch. Since this is a Canadian Based Server, I have to adhere by Canadian Music Licensing rules—which, not unlike Radionomy, THEY cover it Free of Charge…BUT since I’m Broadcasting 500+ miles Below the Canadian Border, there may be some gray areas here & there…in fact, I might have to make my website/Social Media pages a little “Extra Canadian” just to be safe. For now though, I’m just glad that there’s a way to keep things going for $11.99/mo + the $40/yr. I need to cover my website fees. Since the payment of all of this is Paypal based, and I also sell TV swag on the side (*AHEM*), we might have enough to cover ourselves for—as of today—at least 5 months if we reboot immediately…but this isn’t something I can just “Jump Into” immediately, so to answer your next question, we’re taking some of Summer off to re-prepare (I also plan on changing this website around a little…as long as I’m paying WordPress the dough to use it, I might as well brush up on my coding skills to make this a more habitable domain).
This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of our dormant Patreon page. For the record, I HATE having to beg strangers for money, especially if it looks like we have enough to at least Re-Launch ourselves for a little while. But I’ve always been a “Worst Case Scenario” kind of person—I never know if things will go Tits up until it looks inevitable. From what I’ve seen with other people, Patreon seems to work for those who have either Podcasts, Net Shows, or other forms of “New Media” that could use a boost. And even though Nobody has donated as of yet, I still believe strongly in it—so If you want us to survive beyond the NEXT 6 months, feel free to throw a few coins our way (We’ll even give you stuff if you want). These donations will also help us Expand ourselves—I know I promised “Shows” the last time I wrote, but Real Life got in the way worse than subway crowds at rush hour. Your donations will at least give me a reason to keep my promises; Hourlong Shows involving Fallen TV Icons, Weekly Podcasts about TV News, the “Countdown” show about TV shows, maybe even doing things Live are all still within the realm of possibility, but NONE of those things can be done without your support. Even if it’s just 10 cents or so, your contribution will be appreciated. As for the rest of the Summer, We’re keeping our Social Media pages open—after all, there’s a lot of New TV on in the Summer too—and we have to let you know when we are officially Re-Launching…I’m also hoping that a Brinks truck’s doors open while I’m driving so I can collect enough money to do some decent Advertising; If Geoblocking was one half of the problem, Minimal Advertising is the other half—after all, how can people know we exist if we don’t say we do…how much does a billboard in Times Square go for these days, anyway?
As David Letterman said when he debuted on CBS “If you think about it, all we’re really doing is taking the summer off”—the network also said “Same Dave, Better Time, New Station”, and that’s what I’d like to see this situation as. So consider June 4th (give or take) as our “Season Finale”, we HOPE to be back before Summer ends; and to the few who actually listened to us, I can’t thank you enough, and I will Always be grateful that you tuned in—whether it was for 5 minutes or 5 hours, at least I know that there’s an audience out there somewhere who likes TV Theme songs as much as I do…I will ALWAYS be grateful for that.
And now, since this is a TV-derived thing, I can’t think of a better way to wrap things up for the year than with a good old fashioned TV Sign Off…
Or, to help appease our soon to be new stream masters…
“Don’t Touch That Dial”