Epilepsy and Radio XL5


One of the first things we did at Radio XL5 when we put it on the air  was to make some time available each and every hour for public service announcements (PSA). We felt we needed to use our gift of communication to help make the world a little bit better at the end of our broadcast day. So, we looked around at ourselves and people we knew and then we asked ourselves; what issues did we know about that we felt needed to be shared? One of those was the intimate knowledge we had about epilepsy; we knew someone who has had epilepsy since 1998 and lives with it today.

Sure, you have all heard of epilepsy but do you really know about it? Do you know how it affects people’s personal or professional lives? We wanted to make you aware of it, that people who have it are not contagious or, weird or, mentally ill or, unemployable. And we felt the best way was to run a PSA directing you to the Epilepsy Foundation of America as a great center of information on all things related to this disease. (http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/).

So we cut this PSA way back in early 2012. It was one of the first PSAs on Radio XL5. Take a listen (and remember to back space using your browser to continue reading or play the audio last):

https://soundcloud.com/radioxl5/radio-xl5-psa-for-efa-epilepsy

Now for the history and inspiration for this PSA:
Our friend had a seizure back in 1998. It was the kind of seizure that occurred while sleeping. The person whose name we shall refer to as “Riley”  still has issues with epilepsy. Riley first had a seizure while on company travel inside an airplane at 30,000 feet somewhere in-route from Tampa to Boston’s Logan Airport. Numerous co-workers who were also on the same plane witnessed Riley’s grand mal seizure. When Riley came out of the seizure there was nothing that Riley noticed odd except the slouched position in the seat and aching all over. Riley had no recollection of the seizure. There was a medical doctor on-board the flight and was taking Riley’s vital signs and it was fortunate that the doctor and his nurse were on-board since he advised the pilot to keep on going to Boston and not divert the flight. The only other odd observation Riley mentioned were the looks of passengers who had an expression of revulsion on their faces.

Riley was let go by that same company, after 20 years, almost a year to the day we started to play that PSA. In the last year or so of Riley’s employment the epilepsy that Riley had thought was under control made a return.  Riley left knowing  it was a productive year; the tasks Riley were assigned were accomplished successfully, using innovative solutions that garnered further funding. While Riley knew there was something wrong, Riley, had no idea the  current anti-seizure meds were not helping as they once did. It took several MRIs and EEGs to determine what was going on. Riley has been looking for a job since April.

Over a year later after producing that PSA and, witnessing the struggles of Riley, we at Radio XL5 still wonder if there is a lingering misunderstanding of epilepsy.  We wonder if the “healthy” people, whether family, friends, acquaintances, and/ or coworkers/employers, fully understand what  people who suffer from it go through in their daily lives.

We are glad we put that PSA on the air. We will run it until the tape, so to speak, wears out.

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Top Of The Hour Live On Radio XL5


Sixty seconds with GP in the air studio.

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Reflecting on Our First Year With ShoutCastStreaming


When Radio XL5 went live on Tax Day April 2012 we were distributed by a division of LoudCity called LoudCaster. The idea behind LoudCaster was to be a One-Stop-Shop for Internet radio stations. They provided the servers to stream our content but also collected the music royalties. That relationship went pretty well although they would only give us a 32KBS AAC+ stream for technical reasons we were told. Sonically it had it’s “moments”. We were sending LoudCaster a high quality MP3 stream and their equipment would crush it to 32KBS….Oh those  wishy washy audio artifacts! But we lived with it because we were promised that with new servers would come higher bandwidths. Well, that never happened because on Saturday of Labor Day Weekend we received an urgent email blast from LoudCaster; they were going out of business and would shut down Oct 1, 2012!  I (GP, Minister of Music of Radio XL5) was taking my first vacation (2 days, big whoop) of the year having a great time cycling up and down the big hills of New Hampshire. So now a new streaming company would need to be obtained as well as stream monitoring company (for royalties). Not only that, the station web site, still not in the best shape would have to be modified. We were, to put it mildly, in a slow panic! Our selection of ShoutCastStreaming came from recommendations from Bob Perry of Big Sticks Broadcasting, owner of The Penthouse (http://www.thepenthouse.fm/), and on-air personality at WHLI. Radio XL5 has it’s beginnings in the great advice he gave to us. We decided to go with Marvin Glass’ StreamLicensing.com to collect the royalties. So on Oct 1, 2012 Radio XL5 put a new website up that we designed in-house and, with the help of Go-Daddy to host our station website, we went live a few days later, reborn and re-imaged. With ShoutCastStreaming (https://www.shoutcaststreaming.us/) we have had great support from them, in particular their Dennis Fallon. Dennis and Marvin have been great to do business with. We are grateful that we have them on our team. Of course Go-Daddy is great for their help when the website does not work properly which has always been due to  someone at Radio XL5! (who shall remain nameless…shhh!) Since then our stream went from 32 kbps AAC+ in our LoudCaster days to 128K and finally 192 kbs MP3 stream using our ShoutCastStreaming servers. We monitor our stream of course and, what we hear in the air studio you also hear on your end of the stream. That is important to us at Radio XL5. As an Internet station playing today’s hit music back to the 80s) which we call the “new oldies”) we have the ability to deliver a stream to your mobile device and car dashboard that terrestrial FM radio, even HD radio, can not provide. Why is that important? Simple; listener survey after survey show that while the content is what the listener is there for, the listening experience is just as important. This experience is done with the magic of audio processing that allows you to “hear into the music”. What do we mean by “hearing into the music”? It means hearing the pluck of every string of a guitar, the thump and whack of percussion instruments, and bright and clear vocals without sounding over processed. We were doing that back in April 2012 but we were not distributed in a technical format that preserved that hard work. Now, what you hear is what we effectively send. And we have noticed that the dwell time or linger time on our station went up almost immediately when we went to our 192k stream. Our audio signature is consistent for a station that plays music from 1980 to 2013 (at the time of this posting). It is why you as the public will be hearing of the “connected dash”. People want what they can do on their smart phones to be built into their dash boards. Wireless carriers are rolling out 4G and securing new radio spectrum so your Internet radio reception will be as seamless and ubiquitous as terrestrial radio but with few if any commercials, extremely high quality audio and no satellite radio fees. If you have not explored the world of Internet radio get the TuneIn app on your smart phone and have fun! We have regular listeners that make Radio XL5 the place to go for today’s cutting edge hit music  as well as the hits of the 2Ks, the 90s and the new oldies, the 80s.  The music styles, the instruments used and even the recording technology has changed in the over 3 decades of music we play yet our sound is consistent. We are proud of that. So looking back one year we are very happy with Radio XL5. Stay tuned more things are coming. We already have live programming, apps for your smart phones on our station website and lots of great  music. We thank all the people we mentioned but most importantly YOU, the audience!

GP, Minister of Music
Radio XL5
http://www.RadioXL5.com

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Hello from the Radio XL5 Blog!


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Hello from our very first Radio XL5 blog entry!
From Boston, for the USA!
The Nation’s Hit Music Station!

http://www.RADIOXL5.com

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