WTTU to launch online streaming in March

Have you ever tried to tune into WTTU 88.5 radio but had problems? Well here is some good news for you. WTTU is now going to be accessible online through the Tech Web site. It is estimated to be up and running by the first or second week of March.

According to Beth Rupe, director of WTTU public affairs, staff members are often asked why the radio station does not have a Web stream because most people do not have radios, just MP3 players or online music. People have also stated that if WTTU was online, they would tune in and listen a lot more.

“I feel it will really help our listenership,” Rupe said, “I think by word of mouth, Facebook and flyers it will inform people and make them listen a lot more than now.”

The Web stream will be available 24/7 so that the consistency will be convenient for listeners. The format of the music will be the current daytime college rock. Evenings will consist of different varieties of anything from electronica, hip-hop, classic rock, and more.

The stream will be available 365 days a year, which means you will never have a problem tuning in to listen even during breaks.

“It’s automated,” said WTTU program director Kyle Prince, “We’ll be using the same system as we currently use if there is not a DJ in the booth. The playlist is 99 percent music with some brief station IDs voiced by local and national celebrities.”

Once the web streaming is up and running, it can be accessed through the main Tech Web site. But also there will be a button on WTTU Web site which you can click that will say “Listen Live.” After clicking that button it should start. The stream will play through Windows RealPlayer or iTunes.

Eva Dingwall, student media secretary, said, “Online will be live. Exactly what you hear on the radio will be exactly what you hear online.”

The only setbacks that have been detected so far with the testing is that if you are using an older computer or slower Internet access, you may experience some skipping throughout the program.

Earl Hutchison, WTTU station adviser, said, “This is a student-run organization. Students have wanted the streaming for two years, but we did not find it feasible.”

Dave Dickerson, music director, and Kyle Prince, program director, collaborated to figure out a way to make streaming possible. Finally, after talking to Hutchison about what they wanted, Hutchison checked with WTTU’s station engineer, Austin Stinett, and found out that streaming was actually affordable.

After checking with multiple providers, Stinett recommended a streaming provider called DRS 2006, which is used by local JWC-Broadcasting stations. WTTU is the fifth radio station to use the provider.

WTTU actually saved $700 with this stream provider. Through DRS 2006 there will initially be 30 listeners who can access the stream at one time. WTTU is able to upgrade the number of listeners if WTTU staff thinks the Web stream is constantly full, which will affect the cost. Compared to the most expensive provider, which costs $1070 a year, the noticeably lower price tag got WTTU’s attention.

Be sure to listen for additional information about WTTU’s Web stream and tune in once it is available.

For additional information about the Web stream, tune in to WTTU or contact WTTU Program Director, Kyle Prince, at mkprince21@tntech.edu, or WTTU Music Director, Dave Dickerson, at davewttu@gmail.com