Thursday, January 29, 2009

Idea : Creating commercial free radio channel...

Are you music lover & hate commercials on the radio channel? then... read on, have an idea to build a product to solve this!

Solution:
Add-on channel on radio, that would buffer songs / music from all other channels & deliver a commercial free music, with ability to use "next", if you do not like a particular song!

What we will need?
  1. Multi-Channel Tuner component
  2. In-memory buffer to store last 10mins of music from each channel
  3. Music analyzer that can differentiate between commercial & music / song
  4. Pick next random song / music, after the current song completes

Process / Implementation
Using the multi-channel tuner component, tune into all available radio frequency music channels in the region & buffer the streaming music from each of the channel for a duration of at least 10minutes. Build a music analyzer component that can differentiate between commercials & actual song / music, this would be a core logic on the backend.

User tunes into this new commercial free channel, then we pick one of the random channels content, pass it through analyzer & skip to the beginning of the song... if a commercial break comes after this song, then we repeat the process & pick any other random channel for the song... you might have guessed by now, it would be live FM transmission played by this channel, but delayed by 5 or 10mins, which is ok... we don't really listen to LIVE music on Radio!


Next Steps?
Several next steps... to make this idea into reality... below are some of the top few, if you are interested in this - drop in your comments or send me an email!
  1. Review, if this is better to be done as complete software on backend & broadcast another commercial free channel on FM? or create a custom physical add-on that can be attached to any radio?
  2. Research about any other similar real FM mash-ups like this already?
  3. Legal angle / issues with this? would FM channels object for content being buffered & re-broadcasted? they really don't own the content... should be fine?

-Bhaskara

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The astronauts of NASA had a problem writing in space as the ink in their ball point pens used to flow backwards in zero gravity conditions. So NASA spent a million bucks and created the ZeroG pen which could work flawlessly in space. WOW - Great. Russian Astronauts had the same problem - so they were given pencils.

If you don’t want commercials, play your ipod / cd collections or pay for radio (something like worldspace which is available in car too in other countries – but failed in India as we don’t like to pay for anything).

BTW there have been similar products - several years ago which implemented similar idea. Panasonic had a version of car radio in the 90's which would automatically reduce volume when commercials came on. Much to the relief of the radio industry, this idea did not catch on and died a timely and well deserved death. Companies spend money on advertisements. That is why radio stations do such great programs for us. If such ideas would have succeeded, we would not have had any free radio channels by now. There is no free lunch bro, someone has to pay. Its either you or the company who advertises. Which do you prefer?

11:02 PM  
Blogger Housie said...

A new idea...But i don't think it has a strong reason to sustain in market...

Good thinking bro.. :)

4:39 PM  
Blogger Sreevathsa said...

Have you thought about any revenue channels to sustain your 'free radio channel' with this model? On one hand, you filter out commercials and air only non-commercial content - which keeps the listeners happy. On the other hand, you need to have capital to maintain the entire infrastructure - which is possible by someone else advertising on your channel (unless you already have another successful business with enough profit to fund this all by yourself).

10:13 PM  
Blogger Ankush Samant said...

Hey Bhaskar.....Did u know about Worldspace??? Excellent digital radio, promoted well, tied up with nig corporate houses, good customer base, no ads!
Do you know where it is now? It has closed down its shop! I asked WHY??? I found that it was not able to sustain without the advertisers...so I guess we can't circumvent advertisers instead find innovative wasys to make advertisers gel well in a radio format! :D

10:12 PM  

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