Hanna's Bluegrass Show

Thu, 2008-10-09 18:24 by Birgit

For all you Bluegrass fans out there:

Hanna is on the air from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST. Klick on http://kdic.grinnell.edu:8000/

Fuer alle, die mal Bluegrass Musik hoeren wollen, Hanna hat eine Grinnell College Radio Show, jeden Donnerstag von 20:00 bis 22:00 Uhr (Deutsche Zeit). Ihr koennt am Internet zuhoeren (siehe oben)!!

Country rocks, but Bluegrass rules!! So hat sie heute ihre Show begonnen. Ich hoere gerade zu.


Hans-Georg's picture

Dead today

Thu, 2008-12-04 19:09 by Hans-Georg

The server responds with an empty web page and does not send anything. Perhaps a technical failure? Or extended holidays?

Technical difficulties

Thu, 2008-12-04 19:13 by hanna

Yes, I called the station manager and she said she'd work on it. It's very annoying; hopefully they can fix whatever's wrong before 3 over here!

back up again

Thu, 2008-12-04 19:32 by hanna

Ok, well, someone came in and restarted a computer and it's working, I think. If I had known which computer was handling the stream I could have done it myself, which is silly...but oh well.

Hans-Georg's picture

No recording

Fri, 2008-12-05 09:45 by Hans-Georg

I missed it, because there is no way to set up the recording when the server and its stream are not there. So we have no recording for this week.

Missed Show

Fri, 2008-12-05 19:26 by Birgit

Hanna finally came on at about 1:30 her time, so the show online was half an hour short. I hope she will be able to put it up here, because I was not able to listen to it much. I had visitors for a game of Carcassonne.

Hans-Georg's picture

Broke the record

Thu, 2008-11-06 20:43 by Hans-Georg

Now 11 simultaneous listeners, which breaks last week's record of 10.

By the way, I have meanwhile installed a real stream recorder and am now recording every bit of today's transmission, just in case Hanna's recording doesn't work.

p.s. Have appended the new recording, gently edited to make some long, silent pauses shorter, to her Week 6 posting. And here is the Week 5 2008-10-16 download again.

Hans-Georg's picture

From my American MVP friends

Wed, 2008-10-22 17:59 by Hans-Georg

A few of them listened to your last Bluegrass session. Some reactions:

I *really* enjoy what I call "The Hillbilly Hour" (mostly to get the reaction from my kids) here, when the local station puts on "Music from the True Vine" on Saturday mornings. It'd be early afternoon where Hanna is, if she's interested, and it streams...


[The top right blue box has the live stream feeds.]

Hey, kid's got good taste! She pick that up over there, or this side? :-)


Sat, 2008-10-18 16:18 by daniel michna

Hallo Hanna, sehr schön - bist ein echtes Talent. Ich habe mir das mp.3 File angehört. Bei der Musik sieht man förmlich die Pferde durch die Prärie reiten.

........weiter so Gruß Daniel und Claudia.

Hans-Georg's picture

Neuer Rekord

Fri, 2008-10-17 21:01 by Hans-Georg

Hanna hatte gestern einen neuen Rekord: 10 Zuhörer. Die höchste Zahl war früher 9 gewesen.

Ich habe die Sendung aufgenommen und oben angehängt. Die gesamte Sendung ist allerdings über 2 Stunden lang, und entsprechend groß ist die Datei.

Hanna, if you happen to read this, ask the people who do the Internet stream why they use a 44 kHz sampling rate when the music has only a bandwidth of 10 kHz and the stream has only 64 kBit/s. I think there is something wrong, and it wastes a lot of sound quality. Another problem is a background hiss at -40 dB, which is difficult to explain in a digital transmission. There must be some unwanted conversion to analog and back to digital along the way. Clueless dabblers at the university? Mucking up your wonderful Bluegrass music? (:-)

While listening to your transmission, Georg and I pondered how the music tastes of America and Europe are once again drifting apart, with the European Metal stuff differing more and more from the American equivalent. We could put up a few examples for you to download and listen to if you were interested. Of course that stuff cannot possibly be played in your Bluegrass transmissions, unless you wanted to shed most of your listeners. Not only is it no Bluegrass, it is also about the opposite. If Bluegrass is lightweight country music, then Metal is heavyweight city music. (:-) Could be an idea for an entirely different radio program though, something like a comparison between American and European Metal. One of those ideas again …

I don't know many of the

Mon, 2008-10-27 01:57 by hanna

I don't know many of the technical details of the station. How can you tell the sampling rate of the music is 10khz? The music I play are all mp3s ripped from CDs, which I thought were sampled at around 40khz. The bitrate on the audio stream is a little low for my taste, too, but I suspect it's set that way because of limited resources. I don't know much about how that all works, though. Would it make sense to limit the stream's bitrate in order to conserve resources on the radio station's end, or would upping it to 96kbit/s (the rate on other online stations I listen to, like di.fm) or something not be that much of a burden? All I know about the digital to analog to digital conversion is that there's one big console to which everything is connected, ha ha, which I realize isn't much useful information at all. There's an 1/8 inch audio connector I plug in to my laptop which goes to the console...and then I don't know what happens. I can ask about all these things.

Thanks for listening and for recording, by the way. I shared the link with friends who can never listen to my show because they have class. If it's not hard to do, could you record this week's show as well? I have a station ripper on my computer, but as I play the music through my laptop, it makes it impossible to also record at the same time. I could probably figure something out, though. It'd be nice to have an archive to share with other people.

Metal is a genre I know almost nothing about, but I will give the songs you posted in the other thread a listen.

Hans-Georg's picture

Sampling rate vs. bandwidth

Mon, 2008-10-27 08:56 by Hans-Georg

Hi Hanna, re-read my previous comment. The sampling rate is 44 kHz, not 10 kHz, but the actually transmitted spectrum by KDIC is only 10 kHz. The sampling rate is needlessly and wastefully high. The sampling rate has to be at least a little above twice the highest frequency actually transmitted (according to the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem), so 22 kHz is the ideal sampling rate for the current music spectrum.

I can see the spectrum in my software. Any wave editor can do that.

In fact, normal FM stations don't send much above 10 kHz either, they may get up to 12 kHz, but to my knowledge not higher.

I don't know where the higher frequencies are cut off, but somewhere on the way from your laptop to the Internet everything above 10 kHz gets removed. The engineers call this a low-pass filter.

Of course it would be better to stream at 96 kbit/s than at 64; that would increase the quality. But the problems at KDIC are deeper. One problem is that there is a switch to analog, which introduces an extremely strong hiss at less than -40 dB. For comparison, the sound system in my living room has a noise level near -120 dB, which is completely inaudible. And digital sound, particularly low-bandwidth sound like the one from KDIC, shouldn't have any hiss at all. I suspect that the analog levels are wrong, probably far too low, but ideally there shouldn't be any analog conversion at all.

Unless you want to become an engineer, I don't expect you to understand all the details, which are a bit difficult to grasp, but the people running the technical side of the station should know and understand all this very well. However, they obviously don't or they don't care. What they should do is this:

  1. Lower the sampling rate to 22 kHz.
  2. Check and raise the analog levels and the entire analog side to remove the hiss. This is very important, because it is now the biggest quality hit. Get hold of one of those people and tell them to remove the hiss. With a little luck this requires no more than turning a few knobs and perhaps raising the volume setting on your laptop.
  3. Check whether there is any way to avoid the digital – analog – digital conversions altogether. That would probably require to have a digital output on your laptop or, more likely, to copy the files you play to the computer that drives KDIC.
  4. Raise the data rate to 96 kHz.

Good luck! I'll try to record again on Thursday. I currently record through an analog conversion, because I have no software that can directly record the digital stream. Will look for better software.

Hans-Georg's picture

Die letzte Minute

Thu, 2008-10-09 20:09 by Hans-Georg

Oh, schade! Ich hab's zu spät gelesen und hörte nur noch ihre Absage, aber immerhin!

Hanna, falls du das liest und immer noch Bluegrass-Musik magst, dann könntest du dir mal spaßenshalber die Sci-Fi-Fernsehserie "Firefly" ansehen. Die hat so einen Wild-West-Touch und auch entsprechende Musik.

Der Kinofilm, der die Serie abschließt, heißt "Serenity". Das ist der Name des Raumschiffs, mit dem die Mannschaft am Rande des Imperiums zwischen allerhand zwielichtigen Planeten und Gestalten herumfliegt und den imperialen Polizeieinheiten Widerstand leistet.

Na ja, es ist nur etwas für Sci-Fi-Fans.

Inzwischen lausche ich immer noch auf KDIC. Da läuft jetzt so eine Art Techno-Pop-Hintergrundmusik.

Übrigens wird in Europa Ende Oktober, in Amerika aber Anfang November die Sommerzeit abgestellt (eine Woche Unterschied). Daher nehme ich mal an, dass wir in Europe Hannas Musiksendung am 30. Oktober ausnahmsweise schon von 19 bis 21 Uhr hören werden und danach wieder zur normalen Zeit ab 20 Uhr.

Und hier der direkte Link zum Audio-Stream: http://kdic.grinnell.edu:8000/kdic.m3u

Wer hier klickt, aber keine Musik hört, der muss sich vielleicht erst einen Player installieren. Ich benutze dafür WinAMP lite. Hier ganz unten gibt es z.B. auch eine deutschsprachige Version.

I have, indeed, heard the

Thu, 2008-10-09 22:06 by hanna

I have, indeed, heard the Firefly opening theme. I really like the TV series, though the film not as much. The music you heard was the background stream I put on after my show, because there's not another DJ on until four or so hours after my show ends. I'll be on next week at the same time!

Hans-Georg's picture


Fri, 2008-10-10 09:17 by Hans-Georg

Ah, nice to meet you here again, Hanna! Congratulations to your Internet radio time!

I guess you know the story of how Fox broke off the "Firefly" TV series, although it was reasonably popular. Here's what Wikipedia writes about it:

Firefly premiered in the United States and Canada on the FOX network on September 20, 2002. It was canceled after only eleven of the fourteen produced episodes were aired. Despite the series' relatively short life span, it received strong sales when it was released on DVD, and has impressive fan support.

I wonder why they did that, but perhaps Fox has a rather conservative audience, and maybe some of their viewers didn't like the profession of Inara Serra—who knows?

You could dedicate a part of one of your radio sessions to Firefly, if you can get the sound track, tell a bit of the story, play some sound bites and some of the background music. Just one of those ideas …

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