Radio Paradise

Radio Paradise faces an existential threat from bureaucrats - namely a bureaucrat who ought to know better! I have copied an open letter by Bill Goldsmith, posted on Facebook:

Radio Paradise
24 January at 15:57 ·

An Open Letter to David Byrne

Hi David,

I've played your music on the radio since a vinyl 45 of "Psycho Killer" crossed my desk back in 1977, and have appreciated your work for decades. But I'm not writing to David Byrne, the composer and performer. I'm writing to David Byrne, board member of Sound Exchange.

For the past 16 years, my wife Rebecca and I have run Radio Paradise, an eclectic Internet radio station with a loyal worldwide following. We've been successful enough to make the station a full-time job, and our sole means of support.

We play what moves us, drawing from a wide variety of genres, eras & textures and weaving the songs together into a musical flow with occasional DJ commentary. We run no advertising and are supported entirely by voluntary payments from our listeners.

If that "business model" sounds familiar, it's because it's really no different than old-school community FM radio. Like a good public FM station, we play artists that no profit-centric lowest-common-denominator commercial station would ever touch. We see radio as an art form, not as an advertising delivery vehicle.

As a New Yorker, you're probably familiar with WFUV and are aware of the role that they, and stations like them, play in the musical ecosystem. It's very similar to the role played by Radio Paradise and our peers.

Imagine if WFUV were required to pay $0.0017 every time one listener heard one song. Let's do the math. If they have 10,000 listeners (they probably have more a good deal of the time) that's $17 per song. At 12 songs per hour, that's $204 per hour, or $4896 per day. I don't need to keep going, do I?

That's exactly what Radio Paradise and other independent Internet radio stations are now expected to pay to Sound Exchange under the new CRB rates. Large operations like Pandora, Apple and Spotify can afford to negotiate private deals with the large music conglomerates. FM broadcasters can afford to lobby Congress to continue paying nothing at all to the artists that Sound Exchange represents. We have none of those options available to us.

We are certainly willing to continue to pay our fair share to the artists we play. Until the end of 2015, we were able to operate under a "small webcaster" provision and pay a percentage of our income to Sound Exchange. We were ready to continue doing that, but when the CRB decision was released in December 2015 we were stunned to learn that no provisions whatsoever were made for stations like ours, and at the new CRB rates our royalty payments would approximately equal — perhaps exceed — our gross income. The same is true for every other independent web radio operator.

We have reached out to Sound Exchange in the hope that some arrangement can be made that will allow stations like Radio Paradise to continue to flourish. As a Sound Exchange board member, we would very much appreciate your support.

Respectfully yours,

Bill Goldsmith
Radio Paradise

Link here: Facebook.

Radio Paradise

I hope this gets sorted as I love this station. I could honestly be free of my music collection and simply enjoy RP' playlists, which are broadcast in 24 bit 320 aac streams.

Please spread the word if you can!


  • All internet radio stations based in the USA are set to be affected, even close down as a result of this disastrous legislation.

    For more information and a chance to sign a petition to the US house of representatives, check the petition page here:

    Thank you.
  • Oh how so many people who you think should have known better get sucked into these kind of roles. 

    Maybe Mr Byrne sees little return from Internet Radio stations playing his material and he thinks this way he'll get some payback.

    Who knows? But give a bureaucrat a task and sooner or later he'll shove it up some poor unsuspecting person's arse.
  • Well, I've been listening to RP since I got to my desk today, and I've been enjoying it.

    I hope they make it through the bloodsuckers' actions.
  • edited March 2016
    Been meaning to check this out. Especially since Alan's recent post.
    So far, I'm enjoying it. Nice music choices - interesting tunes (many from genres that I wouldn't consider) that I would not otherwise have had any access to. and the 320k AAC stream sounds good through JRiver too.
    Thanks Alan.
  • No worries, Compadres.

    You just wait until you catch them on a really good, day, you'll be checking out each and every track they play. It costs a fortune!
  • Alan said:
    No worries, Compadres.

    You just wait until you catch them on a really good, day, you'll be checking out each and every track they play. It costs a fortune!
    Fair doos. They do have a mostly very good taste (by which I mean like my taste in music, obviously B-) ) in music. And as you say Alan, its educative too (does that mean I need to contribute double...?)
    The freeloading part of my brain was hoping that I wouldn't really like it, that I wouldn't listen very long, that I wouldn't experience any commitment to RP, and I so wouldn't feel any obligation to give them any cash or support.
    Fat chance now...I can already feel the "integrity" module of my brain calculating how long I can tolerate listening before I know that I must chuck something in the pot (and I WILL chuck something in the pot :-) ).
  • Radio paradise is sounding better than ever these days, with very usable mobile apps (which allow downloading for offline listening and lossless streams).

    I'm particularly enjoying the lossless flac stream, which Bubble upnp can now put into the big hifi for me.

    This was interesting, I thought: Someone on pfm emailed Bill Goldsmith and asked about the processing RP does prior to streaming, and what format their library is etc. The reply he got is below:

    "Thanks a lot, It's always nice to hear from people who appreciate all of the work we put into quality audio.

    The tech description that someone posted is indeed rather out of date. This is a more current one:

    We're all-FLAC (with a very few exceptions that I haven't been able to track down) & no longer use any overall dynamics compression on the audio in our web player or apps. Audio via the stream links -- including 320k -- is still very lightly processed. I do normalization, a bit of manual gain adjustment on portions of some songs, and a few tricks to try to recover a bit of dynamic range (& improve AAC encoding, especially at lower bitrates) on aggressively-mastered recordings. I also occasionally will do some adjustments on recordings I consider to be poorly mastered -- like 80s/90s CDs that were produced using vinyl masters (an unfortunately common occurrence)."

  • edited May 6
    Very interesting. Must hook it up through Bubble UPnP Server.

    Edit: Now I've failed to set up the thing with Bubble UPbP Server, I see you're using the Android app!
  • Nice that he replied with detail and honesty.
    Out of laziness I often just use the best aac stream for RP that I have programmed in JRiver, but the flac stream just through the RP website on Microsoft Edge sounds miles better to me when I actually use it.
    Last time I looked (ages ago) I couldn’t see a way of getting the flac stream through jriver.
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