How a 'guru' on a mountain-side, a student games studio and one of world's biggest companies changed the face of local radio
A radio 'guru' has teamed up with a group of video games students to invent a piece of technology which is set to revolutionise broadcasting just as transistor radios did in the 1960s.
And at the forefront of this radio revolution is The DerpRadio App
Former BBC technology presenter Eric Wiltsher, who set up a multi-platform radio station in a mountainside village in Slovakia almost a decade ago, said: “It's been obvious to me for years that the internet really is the future of radio.
“People think it's the equivalent to ham radio, a chance for amateurs and geeks to bore the world. But it isn't, it's the place where people who have something real to say can get their voices heard. And there are a lot of very well-known voices who have seen the way ahead – for instance the former Radio One DJ Emperor Rosko who now lives in Los Angeles is broadcasting across the internet.”
It became veteran broadcaster Eric's mission earlier this year to find a way to help small stations to reach a 'guaranteed' massive audience on the world-wide web.
Eric, aged 59, who helps stations all over the world come to terms with new technology, approached a Luton distance teaching college, Train2game, which trains people to enter the burgeoning video games industry.
He said yesterday: “Old radio friends of mine come to me for advice on new-tech because of the shows I used to do and I also work with youngsters who are at the cutting edge of technology.
“One morning over coffee in my studio in the Slovak holiday town of Poprad, it clicked that a lot of people need an easy way to jump on the internet radio revolution bandwagon and these students have all the knowledge we needed to pull it together – they are whizzes with new technology, the cream of the industry.”
Immediately, the Luton-based training school helped a group of students to set up a studio, called Derp Studios, and they went to work on creating an App which was affordable for community, campus and start-up stations which need to focus on the internet.
Within weeks the job was done and Eric, who presents a major news and views show Postcard from Poprad on RTI.fm, with ex-Fleet Street journalist Leigh G Banks and Former Prisoner Cell Block H star Rachel Brunsden, took the new App to Microsoft.
In fact Microsoft liked it so much they offered a range of support tools to speed up its publication on both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Mobile Store
Emperor Rosko, who began broadcasting on the pirate ship Radio Caroline and went on to BBC Radio 1 in the early 1960s and now appears on numerous internet stations said: “When I took to the airwaves on the rolling ships of the 60s it was those little pocket transistor radios that took us to a new and massive audience – it allowed us to be listened to on the streets – and now the one thing all these stations have in common is the internet and this is evolving in the same way, people can listen in their cars and on their phones. It's an incredible breakthrough.”
Train2game spokesman Michael Head said “This is a brilliant idea and is right on the cutting edge of modern communications. We are really pleased that our students were able to be part of it all – and it has been a new and innovative way to generate jobs for our students.”
For more details on the DerpRadio App http://derpstudios.com/