Monday, April 28, 2008

How do I listen to an archived show?

How do I listen to an archived show? My Media Player says it cannot play a file with the extension ".mediaplayer". The extension seems wrong.


[We wrote to Gayle assuming she was trying to listen to our archived local talk shows such as Interconnect, the WMUB Help Desk, Sound Health, Free Advice or WMUB Forum from the home pages of those shows. Those archives are encoded as RealMedia files. The only player for listening to those is RealPlayer, which can be downloaded at no charge from the website located here.

Another option is to use our podcasts, for which we recommend the free iTunes player for Windows or Mac. The podcasts use mp3 files. Find out more about podcasts here.]

Reception problems

I listen to WMUB in the car when I'm on my way to work and then home. I can't pick up the station in the house. Has the station reduced their power, as I can't get the station since Thursday. I know that I'm not close but haven't had any problem and sometimes I can get the station almost to Indianapolis. Any help would be appreciated.

--Margaret, Muncie, IN

[Program Director John Hingsbergen writes:]

Regrettably I have no news to report about what might be affecting your reception of WMUB. We have not changed anything.

There could be environmental (weather) factors involved. Another possibility is that something has changed with another station closer to you. WMUB is obviously not licensed to serve the Muncie area. We are grateful that the signal reaches you and others in the area but it is possible that the FCC has authorized changes to another station (or stations) in the area that would affect reception of our signal. If that is the case, there is probably no recourse for you or us. You would be welcome to file a complaint with the FCC but, since you are outside our "protected coverage" it's not likely to do any good.

We thank you sincerely for continuing to make the effort to listen.]

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You say Lima, I say Lima

In a recent story about National Guard units to Iraq, you mentioned the "LEE-ma" company. Shouldn't that be "LYE-ma"?

--Gene from Oxford

[Cleve Callison replies:
We puzzled about that too, but the Associated Press gave the pronunciation we used. We checked into the matter and found out that the company is from Columbus and has no connection to the Ohio city pronounced LYE-ma. It takes its name from the military alphabet, which uses LEE-ma, the same pronunciation as the capital of Peru (and that's per-OO the country, not PEE-roo Indiana].

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Restricted contests discriminate

We pledged in your Spring drive by phoning in. We don't think it's fair that you had to pledge via the web to enter the "Public Radio Takes You There" contest. That discriminates against people who don't have web access or who just don't want to pledge that way. Everyone who calls you should have an equal chance.

--name withheld by request, via Comment Line (513-529-1280)

[General Manager Cleve Callison replies:

There's certainly nothing unusual about providing an incentive to encourage certain behaviors. For example, we want to encourage credit card use, so we offer Newsweek during the drive to such pledgers. In this case we definitely want to encourage web pledges. And since this was a national contest run by the non-profit group that handles web pledges for many public radio and TV stations, we didn't make the rules, though we did choose to participate. In this case an easy solution is to pledge over the phone and make a Contest Entry Only selection on the web.]

Monday, April 07, 2008

Stream is behind the radio signal

I like to tune all my radios to WMUB while I'm cleaning so no matter where I go in my house I won't miss anything. My issue is that I use my computer to hear the station for one of my rooms, and the stream is always a couple minutes behind the radio. Is that just part of it, or can something be done to sync it with the FM radio signal?

Just wanted to let you know I became a new member of WMUB during this member drive. I decided that if I'm such a loyal listener that I'll listen to a week of pledge drive, that I need to become a loyal member also. I love all the local and national programs throughout the week and on the weekends.

Also, thank you to whatever members added an extra $50 to my pledge this morning.

--Melinda Kennedy

[Program Director John Hingsbergen replies:

Thanks so much for your financial support and welcome aboard as a new member!

Regarding the synchronization of the web signal with the radio, that is not possible due to the process of coding and decoding that happens when a signal is put on the Internet. From my experience the web signal is likely to be at least 30 seconds behind the radio. There’s really nothing you, or we, can do about that. That will vary based on a variety of factors such as speed of your connection and type of computer. I am sure technology will some day change to make such connections faster but they’ll probably never be in sync with the radio. Just too many variables involved.]

How disappointed I am

How disappointed I am! [In] your on-air fundraising campaign, I believe it was Friday morn. you were running an NPR story about an Iranian animated movie. Midway the story, you broke to live fundraising! I was a bit annoyed but decided it must have been a technical error. But on the way home the very same day--you did it again! This time interrupting Stefan Fatsis's story about his baseball glove. Shameful!!!!

I have never known WMUB to resort to such tactics in the past--why in the world would you do such a thing to your loyal listeners? Please, if you want us to continue contributing, don't DO such crummy and disrepectful things to your listeners!

--name withheld by request

[General Manager Cleve Callison replies:

You're quite right that it is not our intention to interrupt stories in progress, though it has been known to happen. And I'm aware of a 3rd instance during the drive that you did not mention. We do try to be as careful as we can to leave the network when we have a "cutaway" -- a point at which we could get in or out without disruption. Sometimes the networks don't provide one; sometimes they don't accurately tell us when those points will be; but I believe the majority of the ones here are due to human error on our end -- i.e. we meant to catch the break but our reaction times were too slow yet we needed the "pitch" time to meet our goals.

I make no apologies for using program time to generate pledges. Anyone who thinks that pledges will come in without our doing so is welcome to come listen to our silent telephones when NPR stories air. But we can, and should, do better about when to pre-empt stories and how to do it in a thoughtful way. Thank you for keeping us on our toes.]