Back in early 2008 myself and Eoghan O’Brien ran RagRadio. The setup consisted of a PC for playing music, two CD decks, 3 stage mics and a mixing desk. We took the mixer output and ran it into a laptop which encoded it, shipped it off to Icecast and broadcast our little radio station to the Internet. It was during Rag week and we interviewed a few bands who were floating around; Fred, The Saw Doctor’s and Messiah J.
We peaked at about 24 concurrent listeners and averaged 6 if memory serves.
I fell in love, ian was born. That summer I went to the US on a J1. Armed with my iRiver and a borrowed SM-57 I took off on an interview hunt. With the ian domain registered and a stack of business cards I attended HOPE and DEFCON, as a member of the press. Through sheer brass neck I landed a few interviews, including the only press interview at DEFCON that year with the team captain of the winning capture the flag team.
When I came back to Limerick I bought a Zoom H4 for ian. I traveled to 25c3 and FOSDEM ‘09 on a determined content hunt. The game was on.
Last summer the semblance of a website came together and a podcast started: ITFreely. It was recorded over Skype with Gareth, Joe and Patrick. We had no idea what we were doing but had one rule: keep it under half an hour. The first two shows were an amazing shambles, they’re not going public (maybe for a year anniversary or Christmas Special bonus show).
While all this tech oriented content chasing was going on a second itch presented itself to me – the music business. I set out to find musicians to interview.
My interest here was in the future of the music industry, how piracy is really affecting music, and what an upcoming artist should brace themselves for. I got into the VIP area of Oxegen, was at the debut single launch of an Irish pop band, traveled to London to interview an Israeli outfit in the Ministry of Sound, and had a smattering of back-stage chat’s. Neck and business cards.
As I was coming to NUIG in September I contacted the local campus radio station – FlirtFM. I secured two half hour FM shows, off the back of the content I had put online. ITFreely ported from a collection of bedroom’s to a modern studio broadcast over the FM (at 12:30pm on Wednesdays, just so you know). Joe took a work related sabbatical and Gareth started a night course in Law, so myself and Patrick were joined by Shane Tuohy, Niall Campbell and Andy Regan.
Niall joins me on the second show to talk about rights, lawsuits and piracy from a Music point of view, we call the show Talk Like A Pirate. Unfortunately as we include copy-righted music in the show we can’t freely distribute it online, or Podcast it, but you can tune into the web-stream live (Tuesdays at 12:30pm).
In the last few week’s we’ve really started to settle into a groove with ITFreely. We’ve tried to concentrate less on opinion and comment, and more on original research. We’ve had Lecturers on the show, representatives from companies and organisation’s, started to do live streaming of the pre-record sessions, set up IRC channels for live feedback during the show, got onto iTunes, and set up a Facebook group and Twitter feed to keep in contact with you. We even got some intro music.
We’re learning production values the hard way, through trial and error. We’re getting there, but we’re a long way off before ITFreely become’s the show it could be. We want to bring you a thought provoking and interesting weekly show about some aspect of Irish or Global Tech.
This is where we need your help. We need you to let us know when the show is dull and what just isn’t working. We’ll post a laptop sticker to anyone who give us some feedback, leaves us a comment or sends us a mail (any good economist will tell you that humans are incentive driven).
We’re out of our public Alpha, it’s time for our public Beta. Hop on board!