WTLX Puts Online Plans on Hold

by Josh Travis

The transition to an online format of Transylvania University’s student-run campus radio station, WTLX, has been postponed because of technological hurdles that student volunteers ran into during the process.

The conversion, which was originally planned to be completed at some point last fall, has been pushed to an unknown date in the future.

“While our students and staff are working hard, what’s crucial to understand is that all of the people involved are stretched quite thin and do this as a service, rather than a career or as part of a job,” said Dr. Scott Whiddon, WTLX’s adviser and assistant professor of writing, rhetoric and communication.

“When you’re doing things volunteer-wise, sometimes they take more time than expected,” said senior Alex Keys, the general manager for WTLX.

According to both Whiddon and Keys, the number of technological issues the radio station has to consider makes for a slower process, especially given the tight schedules of the people involved.

“The technology … is difficult: building a site that’s active, rather than passive, that can work at a high quality with different types of audio … and fits with the aesthetic of other Transy Web material,” Whiddon said.

WTLX hopes to run a radio website that displays music in the same fashion as popular radio sites, such as Pandora. Keys stressed that this is more difficult to program than they first expected. Members of Transy’s technology department have been recruited to help with the issues.

According to Keys, an online format for WTLX has been the idea since the radio station was resurrected four years ago, and steps in that direction began last school year.

While there is still work to be done, large strides have been completed that will allow this change to take place. WTLX was granted funds by Transy’s Student Government Association at the end of the 2009-10 school year, which went to pay licensing fees that were required in order to be an online broadcaster, Keys said.

“We have the appropriate licensing,” Whiddon said, “thanks to the hard work of folks like Sarah Emmons and others.”

According to Whiddon, Emmons, Transy’s associate vice president for communications and public relations, “helped provide the support to bring in a local attorney to help with the incredibly complex details of online broadcasting.”

The website that the online stream will play through is nearing completion as well.

The final date for the completion of the transition is yet to be determined, but Keys hopes to see the project at least close to completion before he graduates in May.

“I’m assuming I will at least get to see a test broadcast,” Keys said.

It may be taking longer than expected, but WTLX believes that once the switch is finally made, it will mean great things for the radio station.

“I think it could be something that, at least in Lexington, is listened to a lot,” Keys said.

For now, the Transy community will just have to wait patiently.

“Yes, we all hoped for an online presence by this point, but I think we all realize that it is a huge move, and requires care, not just in terms of technology, but also more training for our staffers. This is a privilege that cannot be abused,” Whiddon said.


One Response to WTLX Puts Online Plans on Hold

  1. Pingback: Radio Daze | Professor Mondo

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