views-of-kcsbs-technologyThis week in The KCSBeat, Colin Marshall examines how KCSB puts enough technology in the hands of its programmers to enable the most creative uses of radio possible, and how the station intends to encourage more creativity still:

The station’s live transmissions of the Dalai Lama’s April 2009 UCSB lectures, for instance, were pulled off with little more than a laptop, an inexpensive mixer, and an Internet connection. Smart use of the Internet has enabled KCSB to perform beyond its ostensible means in other ways as well, taking full advantage of the infrastructure offered by its university location. The free voice over internet protocol (VOIP) application Skype, for instance, allows No Alibis producer Elizabeth Robinson to near-seamlessly co-host with her associate in Paris. And with the aid of a lowly $800 desktop computer, KCSB streams live around the clock to the entire world.

“Radio, in general, is not an expensive medium,” said [Chief Engineer Bryan] Brown. “What you need to transmit radio nowadays, you probably have in your house! Whereas radio station technology, KCSB’s included, used to be quite complicated and unintuitive to the outsider, it’s now almost the same audio and computer equipment to which new programmers will have already grown accustomed. “It used to be so in-your-face,” Brown remembered, “with all that tape-splicing, carts, and vinyl. Now the goal is to make the technology practically invisible.”

You can read the whole thing here.