Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

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Radio New Zealand Internet Revamp

Well, Radio New Zealand has revamped its internet presence with a relaunched web site. Now there are live audio streams, archives of some programs for seven days and RSS feeds (text only) for news and programming (National & ConcertFM). No podcasting explicitly and it’s still a few steps behind larger media providers like ABC radio in Australia and the BBC in Britain. Still a significant step in the right direction.

Live audio streams are available as Windows Media only (boo hiss!) which means having an extra program running on my iBook, instead of just leaving iTunes running for both radio and local files. But if you click the “Audio” button on the main page the pop-up window has a link to allow you to change the default from Window Media to MP3. Then the programmes come down the wire/wireless as pseudo-streamed MP3s.

Good things about the site – they’ve divided up some of National Radio’s flagship programmes intelligently. So no longer do you only get “Nine to Noon” in 1 hour streamed chunks but now its divide up into segments (say by interview or topic slot). Nice to see the 7 day archive as opposed to the 24 hour one previously. And the site worked well on my Mac and they’re dipping their feet in the RSS waters. Plus recipes and details about books and music talked about are there now.

Not so good – No podcasting (including no RSS feed for audio) – Can’t set my Mac to grab “Morning Report” to listen to at 9am after the kids have gone to school. Many of the programs I like – e.g. At the Movies, The Sampler, Touchstone, Spiritual Outlook, Home Grown aren’t available and possibly won’t be because it often explicitly deals with non-Radio NZ copyrighted material (see their disclaimer “Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions”). See Enz game by Russell Brown | New Zealand Listener for the farce here. I’d like to get my music and movie reviews and “thinking” programmes etc. with a NZ slant but at the moment my iTunes points offshore for all of that.

So I’d give it about 6/10 (up from the 2/10 it had before). Good progress but still a long way to go.

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