On a week in which the Nevada City radio station is busy seeking on-air financial donations, KVMR 89.5 FM is publicly unveiling two free gifts in return for its listeners' support: both a simple-to-use online program archive and a phone application to allow easy access to the eclectic programming available from the freeform outlet.
"For the first time, we can now say that we offer a way you can't miss 'can't miss' programming," beamed KVMR Program Director Steve Baker.
Music programming is now available "24/7" for two weeks at archive.kvmr.org, while talk and spoken word programming stays on the site for two months.
"We live in an 'on demand' society," noted KVMR General Manager Julie Chiarelli, who guided the two new listener perks through the station's hoops.
"Very few people watch TV or listen to radio on a particular schedule," she explained. "This gives people the opportunity to listen to their favorite shows when it's convenient for them. And over and over, too, if they like."
Chiarelli is enthused that the archive also gives both current and potential listeners a way to experiment with KVMR's programming.
"It also gives people the opportunity to explore shows they've never heard before," she said. "Maybe they're asleep when we air quality shows at midnight or 4 a.m. Maybe their boss doesn't let them listen to radio at their office desk."
According to Chiarelli, "now they can listen when they can."
"Plus it's an innovative way for those who've never even listened to KVMR to experiment with us," added Baker. "Programming is color-coded to help you find what you might like to hear."
The major breakthrough came when the station used Pacifica Foundation archive software developed by KPFT's Otis Maclay at Pacifica's Houston station.
Chiarelli credits two KVMR volunteer broadcasters, longtime host Mikail Graham and board member Tenali Hrenak, plus KVMR summer intern Ron Baldwin, with adapting the Pacifica program to the station's needs.
"It wasn't just a simple plug in and you're done situation," she noted. "They really had to figure out how to change the archive to manage our needs."
The non-commercial station's manager, who assumed her permanent position in May after four months as an interim GM, noted the explosive growth of on-demand listening as a reason to prioritize the new archives.
"We're finding a growing number of community stations report over half of their listening is from the station archives," Chiarelli revealed. "That's an extraordinary change in listening trends, and now we're ready for it."
In addition, the explosion in radio/audio listening via iPhones and smartphones may have caught KVMR off-guard previously, but Chiarelli cites a kind volunteer contribution by San Francisco tech engineer Matt Harrington who developed a working KVMR application, at least for iPhones. An android version is forthcoming, say station officials. (Update: The Android app is now available in the Google Play Store. Enjoy!)
The free application is available at the Apple apps store. It allows users access to KVMR's signal content, plus has areas for donations and schedule listings.
"We are embracing the future," smiled Baker. "And this is just the beginning, the best is yet to come."
Earth First organizer and musician Darryl Cherney will talk about his exploratory campaign for the Green Party Presidential nomination and the documentary "Who Killed Judi Bari?" in a special Thursday "Talkies" show, 12PM Oct. 29.
Cherney and Bari were bombed in Bari's car in Oakland in 1990. They later won a landmark lawsuit against the FBI as a result of the incident.
DRIVE THRU SUNDAY
KVMR's "Get Freaky" membership drive continues through Sunday, with those rascals Wesley Robertson and Thomas Greener serving up still another "red hot smokin'" Halloween Saturday afternoon special of cannabis-related tunes and a 3-CD anthology available for new or renewing members.