Live Radio Station Catalog Browser Idea
As Live Radio is currently implemented, it is hard to browse the more than 8000 stations in the Internet radio universe. Some means of organizing them for browsing is needed that allows a Roon subscriber to explore this space.
There are a couple of starts out there
- Internet Radio has some organized at https://www.internet-radio.com/
- Radio Garden has an app designed to browse the universe, https://www.npr.org/2016/12/18/506045527/jonathan-puckey-s-radio-garden-knows-no-borders
- Https://tunein.com/ is a commercial service that makes money by cataloging Internet radio among other services.
In thinking about the problem I realized that Roon’s Focus on category criteria might work. Can we assign categories to radio stations like we do with records? Then we could use the Focus on criteria logic to filter stations. Focus would have 2 lists, categories to include and categories to exclude (owner=iHeart) Here in the US, we might want filter on the following.
- Ownership (national service, public, commercial group, religious, etc)
- Genre (music, sports, news, talk, etc)
- Sub-genre (jazz, classical, popular, folk and singer-songwriter)
- Language for Roon’s multi-lingual users
- Location by country and region (US northeast, US California, UK midlands, Germany,etc)
Some thought is needed to keep the categories orthogonal (non-overlapping) and to allow multiple categories if they are applicable. For example WHRV-FM is a publicly owned NPR news, talk, and music station playing jazz (Sinnett in Session), new release popular (Out of the Box program), and singer-songwriter traditional and contemporary music (Fiona Ritchie’s Thistle and Shamrock). Oh and BBC World Service over night, and locally produced news and public affairs. And Live from Here. This would be a hard station to bin. This lead to the categories and focus on idea.
From programing point of view, the radio categories would be a set attribute of the station that contains standardized category tags. Search would be for set includes and set excludes. Similar logic is used to bin music.
Somehow classification must happen. Can we let station listeners do the tagging in the UI, collect user tags, and distill down, say taking the top 5 for a station? I can’t see the development staff tagging 8000+ stations.