The History of New Age Christmas Radio
New Age Christmas Radio began as an experiment in Internet streaming in 2002. I had installed a Shoutcast server, and was looking for some good material to test it out with. Armed with my Shoutcast streaming encoder plugin, I loaded up what seemed like the most appropriate music for the time of year, and let it fly. I just wanted to test out how the whole thing worked. What I didn’t realize was that the option to make my stream “public” was checked, and it didn’t take long for folks visiting the Shoutcast website to begin listening.
I quickly maxed out the 32-connection default limit of the Shoutcast server, so I expanded the limit to 100 connections, which also eventually maxed out. Unfortunately, at a bit rate of 96K per stream, it didn’t take long for my ISP to notice me.
In the meantime, I began looking into other endeavors involving streaming audio on the Internet. One day, while having lunch with a musician friend, she began complaining about how difficult it is for independent musicians to get adequate airplay on traditional radio stations, and I knew I had found a “niche” format for a new Internet radio station. Soon afterward, a small group of us formed Magic Mojo Productions, LLC, and KC Cafe Radio first began broadcasting online on May 30, 2008. The basic premise behind KC Cafe Radio is, if you enjoy live music in a coffee shop-style setting, you will enjoy the music you hear on KC Cafe Radio.
I had been operating New Age Christmas Radio as a standalone, 24 hour, 365 day-a-year service for about 4 years, up until January, 2015, when I decided to close the station as a full-time service. While listenership during the holiday season was off the charts, the sporadic listening throughout the rest of the year was not enough to justify the costs of maintaining the streaming and music licensing associated with the service. So, I started a new channel called Peaceful Currents Radio. There, I play a standard rotation of New Age Instrumental music throughout the year, and switch to an all-holiday music rotation using the NACR music library between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Operating a full-time online radio station has taught me a lot about running a business, and even more about things like PHP (a code I still profess to know little about, but just enough to get me in trouble), as well as the technical side of producing and presenting great audio. And, as you can see, I have brought a lot of that knowledge back over to New Age Christmas Radio!
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