A good start…

Posted: 23-02-2022

As you’re reading this, you’re joining me on my journey to turn Sound Of Faz Radio into a 24/7, one stop shop for the best and the most unique music. If we imagine this whole project was a percentage you’re joining me around 10% into it as I’ve already done some groundwork. Or you could say we are 2 rungs up a ladder, 2.6 miles into a marathon or, as many may say, 2 sandwiches short of a picnic but you get the jist.

There’ve been a lot of initial decisions to make:

– Use a platform that covers licensing? (so every artist that should be paid does get paid) – Or get my own licenses with PPL and PRS?

Decision – Use a platform. After thinking about how much time submitting reports to PPL and PRS would take, and for me personally, this was a no brainer. Given the only real platform that includes licensing for the USA, UK and Canada is Live365 (and given after using this in the past I loved it) then Live365 it is! Besides all this, even with my own licenses I would still need some sort of radio server to stream the music from. Yes I have access to web servers to host websites but I’m not taking on the responsibility of looking after this on my own, I’d rather leave it to the experts that specialize in this area.

So platform sorted, what’s next?

– Do I have a package that has adverts automatically added in (which makes it cheaper)

Decision – No, I opted for a package without ads. Ultimately I will be working with businesses to offer advertising services and there’ll be all sorts of other opportunities to bring in revenue plus ads that are added automatically could be anything as I have no control over them and the ads I would be offering will be fully produced and generally sound awesome so for now, it’s worth it.

Jumping forward to yesterday morning I was disgruntled (that’s me being polite, I was pissed off with myself) after finding out I hadn’t read all the documentation and that all music uploaded to the Live365 library has to be encoded at 128kbps (to the layman, this is just the quality of the audio) When you listen to any BBC radio station for example, they stream all music at 320kbps and indeed this is very good quality. That said, if you listen to Spotify on their web player the quality is 128kbps like mine will be so yes, there is a difference but in general it’s not hugely noticeable. Besides which, Live365 only supports a maximum of 128kbps so that’s all I can do currently. Once my setup is the size of the BBC or Mixcloud or when Live365 offer the option of higher quality then I will look at it again. This whole thing is very much step 1 of a bigger picture so things will change over time.

Anyway, I digress… The reason I was pissed off was because I had already uploaded a good 300 or so tracks to my library with a quality between 192 – 320kbps so they all had to be removed, converted (I can do that in bulk, thank goodness) and re-uploaded.

The current situation is I am having to manually update the metadata of those tracks as, naively, I didn’t think the album name was that important in the metadata but as Live365 automatically inserts ‘Untitled Album’ when that field is left blank, that does cause a lot of issues as the metadata is hugely important in recognising the tracks so the artists and labels can be paid so it is a big deal for licensing. In addition, the free software I used to scan all files to grab cover art from various online sources seems to be obsessed with Vevo leaving a lot of my cover art with a big ‘Vevo’ logo which just looks a bit crap. Only way around this is to go in manually and amend which is fine as I’m going in anyway to fix the album names.

So that is today’s task.

Stay tuned…