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2003 Our Presenting Stars and Backstage Information

Radio Heatherwood Backstage 2003

Whilst there was a very public side to the promotion of the radio service, behind the scenes a number of other events and changes were taking place to the working practices of the radio station.

MP3 Sampling Problem

When we first started converting our cd's to mp3 there was no indication our services later would be heard in stereo,plus cost of hard disk space was also an issue. We therefore only sampled the discs at 80k. This was more than adequate for the sound quality, if heard in mono or via our am service.

Over the Xmas and new year whilst installing the music on the rhapsody computer the professional soundcard was not able to cope with this low sampling rate very well. 8000 items were not going to be able to be used satisfactorily.

The professional standard which was emerging to be used would be 128k, we tried some songs at this new high rate and the card was ok.

Whilst we launched the service with the old files, From May until October work was in hand to resample all the songs again but at the new higher rate.

The improvement in quality of the sound is quite noticeable.

Email to staff advises of changes:-

What's in the new library ?

The new library is made up of 12144 items of various types. All cd's from the library were ripped but not every track or cd made it onto the final database. In addition cd's were supplied by individuals and these have also been added in. You will find that songs which appear on the computer will not be found on any other medium in the studio. When searching for requests looking on the library computers should include a search on the studio machines as you may be surprised.

Additional comedy items have been added to the library as well as new categories.

Why have you not put all the songs from the cd's on the computer ?

It has been decided to limit the songs from artists and Cd's to a representation of that artist or that classic cd so as to allow for further additions to the computer. What you won't be aware of is that in the new year a copyright bill which will become law in the spring will mean that all songs held on computers by hospital radio stations will be liable for a fee to the PPL. In our case a library of 12,000 records means that we might have to find £4000.

How did you decide what category a song will appear in ?

All songs which made the British pop charts will be a 99% be included in the decade in which it was a hit. Additional songs from an artist which would be classed as Heatherwood listeners choice will end up in the miscellaneous category ( Say middle of the road ) orchestra's and bands and Traditional. Other songs like Country and western are easy to define. The children's category is in fact all those comedy favourites from over the years.

Eva Cassidy for instance will have her chart hits in the 2000 category but because of her popularity a number of her songs will appear in Miscellaneous.

1940's Category

Be aware the 1940's can include items which were actually hit's before the forties.

All other decade categories have had their songs checked and with confidence you should be able to rely on the fact that it is a 50's.60's.70's.etc hit.

Films and Shows can actually include hits from a decade as well as being a hit from a film. If the song is recognizable as the film theme etc it will be in films and shows and not the decade it was chart hit.

What do I do if I find a song that doesn't play or sounds noisy etc ?

As you can imagine we don't have the time to listen to every song all the way through after it was converted. we only listen to the first part of the intro and the end of the song. If you select an item and it sounds a problem, mark it on your playlists and leave a note in my tray and I will investigate.

When will Rhapsody Be Broadcasting the new library ?

Before we can ask Rhapsody to play from the new songs we have to construct the new daily playlists geared around our program schedule. These are not ready yet, I am working on them and the six week rotational schedule will I hope be ready for an upload during the second week of November. The new daily playlists will consist of 70% of fixed material every time the show airs the balance will change every time. Anyone who was unfortunate enough to be here beyond 6 weeks would still find it hard to detect that we were repeating an output.

The Rhapsody part of the update has had an enormous amount of time spent on it to change the way the items are delivered. The launch program was very much a manual operation with any changes to the output having to be changed individually.

Any material which is produced by staff can be entered into a cart and will immediately appear in all programs which might choose that kart. This is vitally important if we are to improve on our local events and news sections.

The further development of the program output on Rhapsody and the move to voice tracked programs in total is very much dependant on individuals training and development.

October 2003

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Welcome to our Picture board

Some captured moments of our volunteers,during this year.

Our Stars of 2003

  • Dave Smith
    Voluntary Service:- 1979 to 2016
    37 Years
    Dave Smith Saturdays. Click to Enlarge:-
  • John Murphy
    Voluntary Service:- 2000 to 2013
    13 Years
    John Murphy Saturdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
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  • PJ Davidson-Smith
    Voluntary Service:- 1980 to 2016
    36 Years
    PJ Saturdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Sylvia Dungate
    Voluntary Service:- 1996 to 2008
    11.9 Years
    Sylvia Dungate Tuesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
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  • Alan Holder
    Voluntary Service:- 1989 to 2008
    19 Years
    Alan Holder Tuesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Bernie Duffield
    Voluntary Service:- 2002 to 2003
    1.3 Years
    Bernie Duffield Mondays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Kirsty Whalley
    Voluntary Service:- 2002 to 2004
    2 Years
    Kirsty Whalley Wednesdays
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Roger Hawkes
    Voluntary Service:- 1988 to 2008
    19.5 Years
    Roger Hawkes Ticket selling Ascot High Street.
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Laraine Bridges
    Voluntary Service:- 1999 to 2003
    4.5 Years
    Laraine Bridges Wednesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
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  • Matthew Robinson
    Voluntary Service:- 1996 to 2005
    8.3 Years
    Matthew Robinson Wednesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
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  • Sarah Bishton
    Voluntary Service:- 1997 to 2004
    7.1 Years
    Sarah Bishton Wednesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Barry Moor
    Voluntary Service:- 2002 to 2005 2.8
    Barry Moor Saturdays.
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  • Sarah Foot
    Voluntary Service:- 2002 to 2007
    4.5 Years
    Sarah Foot Tuesdays.
    Click to Enlarge:-
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  • Elizabeth Scott
    Voluntary Service:- 2002 to 2005
    2.3 Years
    Elizabeth Scott( Whizz )Wednesdays.
    No Picture

    Click to Enlarge:-
  • Stan Slupek
    Voluntary Service:- 2001 to 2004
    3.3 Years
    Stan Slupek Wednesdays.
    No Picture

    Click to Enlarge:-
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2003 Year Twenty Seven Story Unfolds

2003 was a very busy year for the station management and as the year unfolded there was much to do and organise

For further information about this year:- Follow the links

And in the End

The year 2003 was an incredibly busy time for yours truly dealing with all the technical aspects of implementing the Rhapsody service. It felt I was permanently chained to one pc or another as we wrestled with all the issues.

It's only now looking back, do I realize how much of a cost this was to my own life at the time.

Rhapsody did get underway despite all the problems and issues and overall writing this now has convinced me, that had we not pushed as much as we did to get this off the ground, the radio service would have died some years ago.

This year saw the increased use of email requests from around the world which was nice.

When a presenter calls it a day it's always sad as you loose a good friend and colleague and the departure of Laraine this year, was a blow to us as she was a good influence on the staff and a natural broadcaster.

Low spot in the year has got to be the underlying problems with the patient power company and the lack of commitment by the trust to respond to our concerns. Members of staff were being hounded by patients about the new system and even ladies on the league trolley shop were picking up comments.

This was a technically challenging time for everyone. Our presenters rose to the challenge and together we all made the grade.

From the introduction of the first computer for the library in 1989, 14 years later the computer has become the major contributor to the output of the station.

The vinyl library including singles LP's and cd's still has a part to play. Patient requests still call for items, which will never be added to the wave database(Rhapsody).

2003 Rhapsody On-Air, ends the sound of silence.

P Davidson-Smith Secretary July 2011

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Archive Gems

Just some extra's we found:-

2003 That Was The Year That Was!

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