Since it first went on the air in 2003, U of O's FM radio station KUOZ has brought hundreds of hours of listening pleasure to the campus and surrounding community, featuring a wide variety of music genres and news shows created by U of O students. Now the station has moved solidly into the 21st century. Starting this semester, listeners in any corner of the globe can enjoy KUOZ online.
Starting this semester, listeners in any corner of the globe can now enjoy KUOZ through live online streaming.
"This is a project that’s been in the works for awhile," said KUOZ Director of Broadcasting Susan Edens. "It took awhile to set up. We didn’t really have a manual for ‘If you want to go online streaming, here’s how you do that,’ so we had to figure out all the technology. After some trial and error we put it together and it worked. It was a collaborative effort between me, our Director of Information Technology Rick Otto, and University Webmaster. So we’re running now and have our audio signal out. Eventually we’ll also have a data feed so people can see what’s coming up and what they’re listening to. That’s coming a little later."
Edens added exciting developments are underway at KUOZ. "Right now we’re getting stuff ready for my video production class," she said. "We’re going to try to do something with the athletic department. We want to do an ESPN game day kind of thing. It would involve multiple cameras. We’d take our news desk out there, put it on a platform. I believe tennis coach Shaun Wiseman is going to be our talent, plus a couple of students, and we want not only to webcast that, but also to set it all up closed circuit, so we can send the signal to big monitors on the field, then later we’ll broadcast it on Channel 6."
The TV station is in the process of acquiring a portable field video switcher. "Our current switcher is good but 20 years old, and somewhat outdated," Edens said. "This new one, in addition to being extremely portable in comparison to the old one, would allow us to control up to six cameras, and then have a 22-inch monitor where we can see all the output, control the shots, and even put green screen and titles on it."
She has also been in contact with Ozarks Outdoors to discuss the possibility of inviting local musicians to come to campus and play at BaseCamp, Outdoors’ headquarters. "The idea would be for them to perform at the cabin and shoot it for television," Edens said. "Think Austin City Limits, though much much smaller and more intimate. It wouldn’t be difficult to produce. We did a similar project at the old coffee house downtown." The radio station also has a remote radio setup so the shows could be broadcast on the radio live for the community.
Edens also mentioned an ongoing KUOZ effort, the Audio Time Capsule Project. "It’s based on shows like ‘Story Corps,’ ‘Radio Diaries,’ and ‘This I Believe,’" she said. "We’ll take people coming in to do a story about someone in their family, or an essay on something they’ve experienced. It can be about almost anything. Right now the two stories we have up there are one by Katrina Mariswamy about living in Malaysia and the things she misses about home, and Julia Frost about adopting a child."
She added that in addition to recording the stories and making podcasts of them, KUOZ also makes digital copies for the storyteller to take home. "You have to capture these histories while you can," she said.
"So we’re gearing up for these different projects," Edens said. "Students are always excited about radio, but with the streaming I can tell they’re even more into it. We’re adding more music. We want people to come in and be on the radio. It’s a regular thing, you know -- students and staff. The more familiar voices we have, the better. Since the streaming radio went online only recently, we’ve already heard from old students and listeners everywhere: Texas, Malaysia yesterday, Costa Rica the day before."
Edens encourages those interested in doing a radio show to contact her. "Just give us a call," she said. "Don’t be shy. They can call me at (479) 979-1450, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org."
To listen to KUOZ online, go to http://www.ozarks.edu/kuozradio.
Topics: Communication Studies