Some changes have occurred at the WTAMU student radio station. After more than a year’s absence, KWTS online streaming is officially up and running once again, but this time they came back with a little different sound.
KWTS now has an app available for anyone to download free on their iPhone or Android smartphones.
“I don’t know if ‘changes’ is a good word,” Randy Ray, director of broadcast engineering and adviser to KWTS, said. “I think just improvements or enhancements because really the radio station itself is not really changing. We’re just delivering it in a better way.”
The app will allow students, parents, faculty members and anyone else to listen to KWTS outside of the limited listening area KWTS previously had access to, which was nine counties in the Texas panhandle.
“When we were doing live streaming before, we had people that were listening in Alaska…Wyoming…Arkansas,” Broadcasting major and KWTS program director Dani Morton said. “All over America we had people that were tuning in and listening to it. Now we have that opportunity again, so I think it’s cool we’re national again.”
The stations’ streaming and app capabilities are thanks to the Internet radio network, Live365. KWTS listeners can go to their smartphone’s app store, download the Live365 radio app and search for KWTS.
Though the app is a new feature for KWTS, streaming online is not.
“We streamed through [Live365] for a year or two,” Ray said. “Then I got to talking to people in the IT department here on campus and they said ‘we can do that ourselves.’ So I let Live365 go and we starting streaming it through the campus servers.”Issues with the servers arose though, and price range for the service was steep. So about two years ago Ray stopped the stream.
“After we cut off our online streaming there was a huge backlash from a lot of our listeners that were out of town,” Morton said. “Especially students’ parents that listen all the time.”
Rebooting online streaming would prove to be stressful work for some KWTS student employees, especially Head Lab Assistant and Webmaster of KWTS Edward Duarte, who attempted to use the old methods of streaming from when KWTS first began streaming online.
“Ultimately what we found out was that the person that helped set up the live streaming the first time…the server that they used was non-existent,” Duarte said. “So we ultimately came to a dead end as far as that route went.”
So Ray decided to go back to Live365 for streaming service.
“I pushed [Duarte] pretty hard to make him get all this going and he’s done a good job,” Ray said. ‘I think it’s stressed him for a while, but I think he feels good about the work that he did on it.”
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