Author: Tony Zeoli

Tony Zeoli is Founder and CEO of Netmix.com and Radio Station by netmix.® Originally launched in 1995, Netmix was was considered by Billboard Magazine to be the "innovation and advancement of dance music on the Internet." Tony had launched the world's first Internet mix show website featuring the most influential DJs from around the globe. After two-and-a-half decades, Netmix has since evolved into an online station directory and powerful WordPress plugin, Radio Station, for broadcasters and webcasters to manage their statioon's show schedule in WordPress. Tony has been an innovator at the intersection of music and the Internet for the past thirty years in project management, product development, and digital strategy,. He is also the founder and CEO of Digital Strategy Works, a WordPress web design and digital marketing agency. And, Executive Producer of the Asheville House Music Society, an online House Music mix show. Tony is located in Asheville, NC where he loves to mountain bike, hike, and play golf with his son.

Tony Zeoli DJing at Dirty Jacks Brew Pub in Asheville, NC

The next update to Radio Station will be a game changer!

For those who don’t know me already, I’m Tony Zeoli,  CEO of netmix®, a company I relaunched last year to support the development of the free and open-source WordPress plugin, Radio Station, which you know as the best plugin for radio stations, streamers, and drop-in audio moderators to build, manage, and display your show schedule on a WordPress website.

Since being passed the baton In June of 2019 by Radio Station’s original creator, Nikki Blight, we’ve worked to update and improve Radio Station considerably. That effort has resulted in doubling our installed user base in 16 months. With such an extraordinary uptick in usage, we learned from stations like yours what would make Radio Station the best WordPress solution for creators of live radio and other forms of scheduled audio content.

That being said, I’m excited to fill you in on what’s happening here at netmix® with Radio Station. I’ve got some fantastic news for you!

But first, let’s dive into a bit of background, shall we?

The reason you’re receiving these emails from netmix® and viewing the connection to Radio Station on our netmix.com website is simply that I’ve owned the netmix.com domain since late 1995, when I launched the first streaming DJ mix show website in the world and featured global superstar DJs “in the mix.

Yes, you read that right! Back when online streaming audio first started and there were no DJ sets to be found (unless you count those terrible modem connection handshakes as techno!), netmix® was a pioneering online music service deemed the “innovation and advancement of dance music online” by former Billboard Dance Trax columnist, Larry Flick.

Here’s how netmix® got started…

In 1993, I was working the Boston nightclub circuit as a DJ by night. By day, I served as both A&R Coordinator and Worldwide Sales Director for X-Mix Remix and Management, which managed world-renowned producers, Armand Van Helden and DJ Sneak among others.  Around the same time, a woman I was dating introduced me to a friend who worked in Harvard University’s IT department. One night, she took me to meet him at his apartment in Cambridge, which coincidentally was just a mile or so from Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, the company that created the ARPANET network for the U.S. military, in partnership with MIT, from which the Internet we know today was derived. He showed me web technologies like Telnet and Compuserve, all of which got me thinking about the future of information technology. But I didn’t quite yet see how that would lead to DJIng online. That revelation would come later that year.

Shortly thereafter, AOL (aka America Online, an early Internet service provider) allowed anyone with a computer modem to dial up and get on the web. I signed up and began connecting with other DJs in chatrooms and newsgroups. I began to see the true potential of the web and how DJs and radio stations might one day benefit from the Internet. However, AOL didn’t stream much audio and there was no video to speak of, so it wasn’t until I learned about the cutting edge of audio streaming at the time, RealAudio by Real Networks, I finally made the connection that one day we would broadcast DJ sets, radio shows, and other audio programs online.

In 1994, the World Wide Web was taking off. Early adopters were touting the benefits of Internet connectivity. The Internet World seminar and conference would become the place to be to learn about new web technologies. I attended the Boston edition with the goal of meeting the Real Audio team who had announced their plans to set up a booth where they would demonstrate the live streaming of a major league baseball game on the web. I stopped by the table and after asking some questions and experiencing what Real Audio was truly capable of, a light bulb in my head flicked on and confirmed my idea to build netmix® and showcase DJ mixes on the web. [See the first version of netmix® in the Internet Archives.]

But let’s step back for a minute from the early 90s to the mid-80s. Before I pursued my major Boston and New York City nightclub DJ career and launched X-Mix as a member of its founding team, I made early inroads at radio. First, as a high school intern at a local Boston-area Urban format radio station, WCAS (now WJIB), and then as a college student studying Radio and Television broadcasting in New York City. I had always been interested in broadcasting in some way, shape, or form. I never imagined I would be at the crossroads of the Internet at its inception.

Over the next 6-years, my life-long interest in Radio and DJ culture, combined with what I had learned about the Internet and streaming audio, drove the development of netmix®. In 1996, I partnered with an NYC-based dance music promotion company and moved netmix® operations from Boston to their office in New York City’s Soho district. To go from local Boston nightclub DJ to an innovative Internet music pioneer was one of the hardest, but most rewarding accomplishments of my life. While it sounds awesome, it was fraught with the trials and tribulations of a startup. I would experience incredible highs and very depressing lows throughout the journey, but I persisted as best I could, armed only with a vision and the energy to see it through, which is similar to Radio Station today.

Tony Zeoli, wife Missy, and son Hudson at WPVM FM in Asheville, NC
Tony Zeoli with his wife, Missy, and his son Hudson at WPVM FM in Asheville, NC

So, how did it all end up…?

In many ways, netmix® was successful. We reached 1 million unique visitors in 1999 – a major milestone at the time for a small Internet company – and were subsequently acquired on June 1, 2000, by Polyverse, an aggregator of youth culture websites, for $3.1652 million.

…and then the dot com bubble burst! 

If it weren’t for that tumultuous event, netmix® might be a household name today (like Netflix.) When Polyverse ceased operations, all netmix® assets reverted back to me. I’d love to fill you in on the details of that experience, but I’ll save it for a future blog post.

By now, you must be wondering, “well, what’s this all got to do with Radio Station today?”

That’s a great question. Let me make the connection for you.

In 2019, I’d hosted the Asheville House Music Society mix show with WPVM 103.7-FM LP, a small LPFM (low power FM) here in Asheville, NC. As a volunteer at the station, I helped with their WordPress website, which is how I first stumbled across the Radio Station plugin. But I noticed the plugin hadn’t been updated in some time and it was not working properly with Divi and other page builders. Because the station needed a working version that wouldn’t break their site in a new theme, I felt the urge to fix it myself or find a way to get it fixed for the station and for others using the plugin.

As a WordPress veteran (I started working with WordPress in 2005), I knew to contact the plugin developer through the WordPress.org plugin page, so I could learn if the plugin was under active development or if it had been orphaned. After tracking down Nikki Blight through Facebook, she let me know she had gotten a full-time job and was no longer actively developing the plugin. We chatted a bit and she asked if I wanted to take it over.

Given my background with WordPress, my media industry experience, and my work in product development and project management, I knew I could take it over and make something out of what was already established, but sorely in need of an update. Understanding that there was a theme marketplace for radio themes and opensource automation systems like LibreTime and Azuracast, I could see Radio Station’s amazing potential and wanted to take it to the next level, which we’ve now done and done well. But I had to figure out how to find a qualified developer with WordPress plugin experience who could help me with it since I’m not a WordPress developer.

While I’ve worked with numerous plugins and plugin authors, I have never actually developed one myself. Truthfully, I didn’t know the first thing about how to manage a WordPress plugin. I put my faith in my skills and experience and set out to learn. It’s also when I linked netmix® – the brand, with Radio Station – the plugin. Just like The Event Calendar by Modern Tribe, Gravity Forms by Rocket Genius, and All In One SEO by Awesome Motive, netmix® would power Radio Station.

So, this time around, it really is “netmix® 3.0”. While the comeback of netmix® started with picking up the ongoing development of Radio Station, I understood the WordPress plugin marketplace and recognized the need for a more comprehensive version to extend Radio Station and present it as the top plugin for radio stations, Internet streamers, and maybe even Clubhouse moderators who need to post and manage show schedules on their WordPress websites.

But I needed help.

Here’s what I did to solve that problem. I posted an announcement on the WordPress Jobs site and was very lucky to get a response from Tony Hayes, who has since joined on as Lead Developer. A freelance web developer and solopreneur based one hour outside of Brisbane, Australia, Tony initially stepped in to bring Radio Station up to speed with current best practices, bug fixes, and a few new features. In doing so, he also realized the potential of Radio Station and was on board with my vision for the plugin. Like me, he was also ready to move from the agency model of building individual sites for clients to building software that serves a purpose.

And that’s why today, Tony and I want to make this incredible announcement!

Finally…just get to the point!

Well, it’s been a major effort over 18-months of active development while also navigating the Covid crisis and our own personal affairs for us to iterate and present Radio Station Pro as a stable, innovative product that aims to be a leader in its field. We’re also building a new website at https://radiostation.pro (launching soon). And, we’re integrating everything with our radio station directory at https://netmix.com, which will soon be relaunched solely as a directory to showcase stations using our plugin and provide a high-quality backlink to participating stations.

We are very excited to announce Radio Station PRO launch start date has been set for… next week (so close now)! We are confident this is going to be an incredible and transformative WordPress plugin for your radio station website in many respects. From our visual schedule editor to a new, persistent audio player, and more cool schedule layouts, we’re building the future of radio on WordPress. We have more exciting plans ahead, but none of this would be possible without your support in helping us help you by purchasing the PRO version next week. Your purchase of Radio Station PRO will fund ongoing plugin development and potentially save you thousands of dollars on developer costs!

If you haven’t yet signed up for our launch list discount – 30% off the launch week price of your first year’s subscription to Radio Station PRO, just click on the huge button below to sign up to get your launch discount code at the start of launch week. So, keep checking your email for the code, as it’s coming soon!

Sign Up for the 30% OFF Launch Week Discount Code

Having problems with the button? Click here.

Are you still having problems? Copy and paste this link in your browser address bar: 

In relief and excitement,

Tony Zeoli

netmix® CEO

P.S.. Watch out for the launch announcement and soon we’ll reveal our #1 feature request and what we’ve accomplished in making it a reality…

P.P.S. If you missed our email last week asking you to answer a few questions for us, you can still do that now and add yourself at the end of the process by going to https://netmix.com/questions.

Image of Chicago Public Radio Studio

Radio Station 2.3.3.9 has arrived! Here’s what to expect…

We are so excited! Radio Station PRO is going to drop THIS MONTH!

Two Tonys on two continents have been up at all sorts of hours this past year to prep the most innovative enhancements to Radio Station for our forthcoming PRO version. Stay tuned, more scoop is coming on the tale of two Tonys and the PRO version…

While most of our attention has been on PRO, we’ve also added some new fixes and features to the already awesome free version. Fixes are included for the current show highlighting and various minor display bugs. The latest feature additions for this version (2.3.3.9) are:

    • Selective Linking of Overrides to Show data
    • Multiple Schedule Override Date and Times
    • Automatic Visitor Showtime Displays
    • Language Archive Shortcode

So without further ado, let’s do a quick dive into each of these new features to see how they can help you in your Radio Station experience.

Linking of Overrides to Shows

The Schedule Overrides implementation has always been a bit funny (well, that’s how we inherited it.) Over time, we have added more fields back to the Overrides to bring them up to speed with normally scheduled Shows, to the point there is very little difference. The suggestion was made that we could just link them to a Show and be done. But, the purpose of an Override to us is the ability to override any of the Show fields. So this improvement allows for both. It lets you link to an existing Show AND select exactly which fields to override.

Multiple Schedule Override Date and Times

Up until now, if you wanted to set a Schedule Override, you’d have to do so individually for each time and date. With this new feature, you can add as many times to the Override as you like, saving you time in adding all the relevant Override information over and over again. This makes it a lot easier to set up regularly scheduled overrides, or even temporarily set an existing Show as an Override when combined with the new Override to Show linking feature. This improvement also brings AJAX saving to Override Times, and thus up to speed with Show Shifts and Playlist Tracks.

Automatic Visitor Showtime Displays

Timezones really are a pain. We’ve worked hard to take the pain points out for you and your visitors. The timezone clock above your Show schedule already helps your listeners if they are tuning in from another timezone, whether they are a far-off listener or a traveling local tuning into their home station.

Now we’ve taken this one big step further. All of your show times will now automatically convert to the visitor’s timezone and display underneath it. This saves them from having to work out the time difference for themselves. Can you hear the massive sighs of relief? Hey, they might not thank you directly, but it sure makes it easier for them to tune in to their favorite shows.

Language Archive Shortcode

With all the archive shortcodes already in Radio Station, this one was always on the cards. But being able to list shows grouped by language isn’t something everyone is going to use. It hasn’t been a top priority by any means, but it just felt like “plugging a hole” to have this missing shortcode finished. [languages-archive] and the shortcode attributes can be found in the plugin shortcode documentation.

Schedule Editor and Timezone Switching Coming Soon in PRO

The improvements to the Overrides make way for their integration into the Visual Schedule Editor, making it easy to add either Show Shifts or Override Times directly from your Schedule – either from the Admin area or the Frontend of your site! Also in PRO, visitors will be able to switch their timezones via the Radio Clock and see the updated times for all their favorite Shows – very handy for travelers wanting to keep up with their home Station.

 

Radio Station PRO – Just Around The Corner!

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of Radio Station PRO !!! Jam-packed with new features to “level up” your Station’s online presence. During the launch, we are offering a 30% discount to Radio Station users! Sign up to the exclusive launch list to receive your discount code when we go LIVE.

Yes, I’m in!

 

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Radio Station PRO is just around the corner!

Wow!  Spring cruised by and we haven’t had a moment to craft a proper blog update on RadioStation and our planned Radio Station PRO, which takes Radio Station to a new level!

Before I give you some exciting news, let me check in on YOU!?  How have YOU been holding up in, what we hope, are the waning days of the Covid-19 pandemic? Is your community feeling safer? If you are a parent, how is that going for what feels like an eternity? For us, Covid parenting has disrupted our well-laid plans, but we’ve worked through this and continue to make progress.

Hang in there, friends! At least in the U.S, things seem to be progressing. But, we know around the world issues still persist. We wish you, your colleagues, and your family good health and safety in these most difficult of times.

We know you really want to hear about Radio Station PRO. Drumroll, please!

We are squarely in the joyful phase of pre-launch – bug testing time! We’re also working on our new PRO website at https://radiostation.pro, where you can leave your email to receive our special launch offer.

That being said, we are grateful to our advisors and developers who have contributed to the code that are hard at work reviewing for the PRO version and reporting bugs to help ensure a smooth launch. Did you hear me say LAUNCH? You did!It is coming! We intend to set a specific date soon, but we’ll give you a hint; Radio Station PRO’s launch will be in a month that starts with a “J.”

Hmm…really means SOON!

I’ll have more scoop for you in the coming days. You’ll start to seeing more blog posts and if on our email list, emails coming from us. So keep checking your inbox.

Want a sneak peek? You can see some of the new views and additional features here:https://radiostationdemo.com. Others we’ll reveal over the coming days and weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, keep in touch, keep listening to the radio in all its glorious forms, and stay safe! And, be fure to leave a comment about your Covid challenges and opportunities below. We’d love to hear from you!

Tony Zeoli
CEO
Radio Station by Netmix

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Radio Station 2.3.3.5 Bugfix & Enhancements Now Available for Download

There are two versions included in this release. Here are the included fixes and updates for this release:

2.3.3.5

  • Fixed: use schedule based on start_day if specified for Schedule view
  • Fixed: day left/right shifting on Schedule table/tab mobile views
  • Added: past/today/future filter for Schedule Override List
  • Added: filter for Schedule display start day (and to accept today)
  • Added: current playlist (if any) to Broadcast Data endpoint

2.3.3.4

  • Improved: auto-match show description to info height on Show pages
  • Improved: allow multiple Related Show selection for single post
  • Improved: ability to assign Post to relate to multiple Shows
  • Added: Related Show Post List column and Quick Edit field
  • Added: Related Show selection Bulk Edit Action for Post List
  • Added: filters for label texts and title attributes on Show Page
  • Added: filter for label text above Show Player (default empty)

Thanks to Tony Hayes, who led the development of this release.

Thanks also to our users for reporting issues in our Support forum and Gtihub Issues tracker!

View the complete Radio Station changelog here.

If you have any issues, please submit Radio Station support requests here.

For bug reports and feature requests, please submit to our Radio Station Github page here.

Support Radio Station by becoming a Patron. Your monthly contribution supports the ongoing development of the FREE and open source version of Radio Station.

You can also now list your Radio Station or Webcast in our new Netmix Directory. Submit your listing for FREE until the end of July 2020 and get a do-follow backlink from one of the oldest domains related to online music and radio today!

2.3.3.3 Bugfix Now Available for Download

2.3.3.3 Bugfix Update includes:

* Hot Fix for Upcoming Shows in Widgets were not displaying times if show spanned midnight, e.g. started at 11 pm and ended at 1 am.

We did release an interim 2.3.3.2 last week, but did not send out an email regarding that release.

Here are the included fixes and updates for that release:

2.3.3.2
* Update: Freemius SDK (2.4.0)
* Update: Plugin Loader (1.1.4) with weird isset glitch fix
* Fixed: Current Show for Shows ending at midnight
* Fixed: incorrect AJAX Widget plugin setting value
* Fixed: use page-load data for schedules before transients

Thanks to Tony Hayes, who led the development of this release.

Thanks also to the following users for reporting issues in our Support forum and Gtihub Issues tracker:

@tonyzeoli
@astevens93
@Ajames0807
@cbeattie89
@larryl79

View the complete Radio Station changelog here.

If you have any issues, please submit Radio Station support requests here.

For bug reports and feature requests, please submit to our Radio Station Github page here.

Support Radio Station by becoming a Patron. Your monthly contribution supports the ongoing development of the FREE and open source version of Radio Station.

You can also now list your Radio Station or Webcast in our new Netmix Directory. Submit your listing for FREE until the end of July 2020 and get a do-follow backlink from one of the oldest domains related to online music and radio today!

2.3.3.1 Bugfix Now Available for Download

2.3.3.1 Bugfix Update includes:

  • Fix to conflict with plugins using AJAX save_post calls
  • Improved accuracy for responsive table/tab Schedule views
  • Added color improvements to Show Shift interface
  • Fix to calculate Current Show (transient no longer used)

Thanks to Tony Hayes, who led the development of this release.

Thanks also to the following users for reporting issues in our Support forum and Gtihub Issues tracker:

astephens93
larryl79
hyde014
fv4s4e
KerryB1
pozitronios
 

View the complete Radio Station changelog here.

If you have any issues, please submit Radio Station support requests here.

For bug reports and feature requests, please submit to our Radio Station Github page here.

Support Radio Station by becoming a Patron. Your monthly contribution supports the ongoing development of the FREE and open source version of Radio Station.

You can also now list your Radio Station or Webcast in our new Netmix Directory. Submit your listing for FREE until the end of July 2020 and get a do-follow backlink from one of the oldest domains related to online music and radio today!

Radio Station 2.3.1 Now Available for Download

This maintenance and bug fix release is now available for download on the plugin page.

Among the issues fixed in this release was a conflict with Yoast SEO, a fix to ensure shows in quarter-hour increments display on the Master Schedule, and fixed conditions for Schedule Override time calculations. We also add a filter for widget section display order.

2.3.1

  • Update: Plugin Loader (1.1.1) with Freemius first path fix
  • Fixed: conditions for Schedule Override time calculations
  • Fixed: schedule table view – 12 hour format with translations
  • Fixed: schedule table view hour column width style
  • Fixed: javascript table/tab arrows to prevent default click
  • Fixed: undefined index warning when saving show with no shifts
  • Fixed: append not echo override date to shortcode archive list
  • Fixed: compatibility with multiple the_content calls (Yoast)
  • Fixed: reset to showcontinued flag in Schedule (table view)
  • Added: option to clear transients on every page load
  • Added: show avatar and featured image URLs to Data API output
  • Added: option to ping Netmix directory on show updates
  • Added: filters for widget section display order

View the complete Radio Station changelog here.

If you have any issues, please submit Radio Station support requests here.

For bug reports and feature requests, please submit to our Radio Station Github page here.

Support Radio Station by becoming a Patron. Your monthly contribution supports the ongoing development of the FREE and open source version of Radio Station.

You can also now list your Radio Station or Webcast in our new Netmix Directory. Submit your listing for FREE until the end of May 2020 and get a do-follow backlink from one of the oldest domains related to online music and radio today!

Partial Screenshot of Netmix Directory View for Netmix home page promotion

New! List Your Broadcast or Online Radio Station in the Netmix Radio Station Directory

  • Time Sensitive Free Offer

    We are excited to announce that we are offering free Directory listings!
    Including 30 days Dofollow backlink from Netmix.com and listing highlighting.
    Interested in more exposure and listeners for your Radio Station, for free?
    Simply sign up for an account and then click Activate Free listing!

 

When we started down the road of taking over the Radio Station plugin and it’s continuing development, lead developer Tony Hayes came up with a suggestion – “Why don’t we give stations the ability to list themselves in an online directory?” We kicked around the idea a few times and came up with a plan that would give stations (and webcasters and podcasters) this ability, by pulling Schedule and Show data directly from a Station’s website into a new Netmix® Radio Station Directory!

Why is this important? Today, Radio Station by Netmix® continues to be free, and we are committed to keeping it that way. While we hope to launch a Pro version and other Add-Ons in the future, as soon as possible, which can further boost the development of both the free and paid versions, we’ve already put a massive amount of time and energy so far just into updating and improving the free version for everyone.

We know and feel there is a lot of appreciation for these efforts from our community of existing Radio Station users! We think it’s time to ask for that appreciation to be shown financially also, and believe that the best way to do this is not by either restricting features or simply asking for donations, but rather, by doubling up on those efforts and delivering even more value! And so, we are now offering listings on the new Netmix® Radio Station Directory – allowing us to financially support our continued efforts to improve the plugin for everyone.

We arrived at this model by looking at what free plugin developers have done in the past. Often there is a one-time “Donate” button (eg. via Paypal) added to a free plugin, but this strategy has proven drastically ineffective because it is often ignored by users, given there is not much incentive when they already are getting something for free. This results in many free plugins remaining unsupported or not being updated, and often in them being abandoned over time. So we wanted something that would turn around this kind of lose-lose situation into a real win-win!

To do this, we arrived at the conclusion a more sustainable model is to provide a value-add benefit for subscription-based giving by offering a directory listing (and other rewards) as incentives for our supporters, similar to how many community-based radio stations offer benefits to their subscribers. We decided the Patreon platform was well suited for this purpose since it provides the ability to offer rewards in return for different gifting levels. As software creators, this allows us to more easily create the win-win situation we were looking for, where we can both provide further value to our users and receive the support we need.

Thus we have created a Radio Station Directory on the Netmix.com website! By becoming an ongoing Patron for the Radio Station plugin, you can get your Station listed in the Directory (which also means a valuable do-follow backlink!) Read on…

Netmix® Directory Listing

Since the major update to Radio Station to version 2.3.0, the Radio Station plugin now includes an innovative new feature to access all your Show schedule data via a Data API. Once you download the plugin (or update to 2.3.0) and go to the Netmix® site to register your support through Patreon, you’ll be able to list your station in the Directory and we’ll pull all your Schedule and Show data from the activated plugin on your site to publish straight into the Netmix Directory. It’s that easy!

This exciting development means new listeners will not only be able to find your Station (broadcast, webcast, or podcast) via Netmix®, but also discover all of the Shows scheduled on your station’s website! This is a major advantage for listeners in using the Netmix® Directory, for example, users will more easily be able to discover a variety of Shows in all of their favorite genres – not just via single genre-oriented stations as in other radio directories.

And of course, we will also be gradually adding improvements over time to the Directory over time in a similar way to the Radio Station plugin… We’ll be adding more navigation, filters, and search capabilities so listeners can find your Stations and Shows more easily.

Expanded View Screenshot of Netmix Radio Station Directory on the Netmix.com Website
Netmix Radio Station Directory (Expanded View)
How to Claim Your Listing

Become a Radio Station Supporter now by clicking the Become a Patron button below. Choose a Supporter Level. Then you can Signup to Netmix® here, connect your Patreon Account and then add your Listing. Netmix® will automatically detect all your Show information via the plugin’s in-built Data API, and display it in the Netmix® Directory automatically… putting YOU in the mix!

Please note, should you discontinue your Supporter subscription, your Listing will be temporarily deactivated until you resume your patronage. As we roll this feature out, we’ll be sure to have a huge list of stations in our directory, which can direct listeners to your site based on genres, languages, or Show details.

Bonus Listing Value!

Not only are you going to list in an advanced directory that listeners will find, share, and utilize to access all the stations using Radio Station, we also want to highlight that via your listing you’ll also get a shiny do-follow backlink from Netmix.com, a 25-year-old authority domain in the streaming media and online radio space. As you may already know, quality authority backlinks are important to your website’s offsite Search Engine Optimization and thus your website rankings. So adding your station to the Netmix can help drive listeners from searches as well as from the Directory itself.

Featured Listings and Sponsors

Want even more exposure and listeners for your Station? We’ve also added extra reward level options for a Featured Listing and/or Frontpage Sponsor Logo position. Featured Listings will get equally rotated top positions in the main directory as well as in the listing positions for their type. And to keep the Frontpage Logo Sponsors reward high value, we are limiting the placements for those levels, so if you want this option, we recommend getting in sooner to claim your spot so you don’t miss out.

If you’re interested in a Featured Listing or Frontpage Logo Sponsors placements, please let us know and we’ll help walk you through the process to reserve your spot.

Next Steps!

What you should do right now, is after you download the plugin and set up your Shows, signup for a Netmix® account via the Station Listing page. You can then click on the “Connect with Patreon” button. If you are already a Supporter then you can just log in to Patreon here, and if not, you’ll be asked to choose a level and add your credit card details via the Patreon interface. Of course, you’ll be on an honor system with what level you pick, so if we determine your site is Commercial, but you’ve picked Individual, we’ll simply contact you to ask you to change your supporter level.

Giving Levels are as follows:

1. Individual (and podcasters) – $5 per month
2. College (or school/university) – $10 per month
3. Community (not-for-profit / LPFM ) – $15 per month
4. Commercial (for profit) – $25 per month

Once you’ve Connected your Patreon account to your Netmix® account, you will be able to add your Station Name, URL, and other details, and the we’ll handle the rest! If your Station isn’t already added via this awesome WordPress plugin, then now is the time to make it happen!

More Surprises! Pro and Add Ons…

Remember, we are in the midst of developing Radio Station Pro and planning the roll-out of other Add-Ons for Radio Station, which will surely enhance the plugin further and provide new tools to help you run your broadcast, webcast, or podcast on your WordPress website. To get there, we need your support and invite you to become a Patreon supporter today to support Radio Station, helping to continue to make this happen!

Stay tuned to the blog for more!!!

 

Screenshot of Radio Station Main Show Calendar View

Radio Station 2.3.0 Pre-Release Announcement

First Major Update to Radio Station for WordPress

After taking over Radio Station from its creator, Nikki Blight (@kionae) in June of last year, from our first update (2.2.0) we gradually fixed a good deal of bugs and improved existing functionality, while also bringing it up to modern WordPress coding standards. Nikki gave us so much to work with and we spent many hours thinking through enhancements and fixes, but in the back of our minds, we knew we had so much more to do. The last update (2.2.8) brought stability to the plugin and it was finally updated to our liking. It was then decided we would focus on features for a major version (2.3.0), so we skipped a minor release (2.2.9) to get it done. 🙂

The last update (2.2.8) brought stability to the plugin and it was finally updated to our liking. It was then decided we would focus on features for a major version (2.3.0), so we skipped a minor release (2.2.9) to get it done. 🙂 While we have coded everything in a way to as to cause the least disruption, it is recommended you check your (new) plugin settings in the Admin Plugin Options panel we’re adding, as well as the various page layouts on your site after updating.

When you soon see the plugin prompt to upgrade in your Plugins list, we strongly urge you to back up first. If you have a staging environment, upgrade there before you push live to ensure that your site doesn’t break. Test out all of the new features and reformat your site to take advantage of the new Show page template.

What’s Coming Up in Radio Station 2.3.0?

Along with a rewritten codebase, massively cool and interesting features have also been added to 2.3.0, and we are excited at the growing possibilities for usage of this plugin. The full details will have to wait until the release is finalized, but for now, here is a summarized list of what you can expect.

Show Page Layout

Probably one of the most significant improvements we made is to the way single Show pages display. The old method for displaying single Shows was via templates, and yet, this meant having to write your own custom theme-compatible template, or otherwise address possible display conflicts with the legacy plugin templates. To make the plugin more theme independent, the Show Page will use the single Theme template of your choice and instead, filter the content area to display the new Show Layout. Certainly far more robust!

The new template also brings Posts and Playlists closer to the top of the page and uses switchable tabs to navigate between both. In the past, these features fell far below the Show Description. We observed many sites failing to use these features correctly because they weren’t as prevalent on the page. You had to scroll deep to find them and with some page builders, they disappeared altogether. They sort of sat there with no content as just empty header titles with no content filling them in.

And, we added support for Featured Image. You can now use Show Image for the Show avatar (usually a logo) and Featured Image for a large, attractive banner image to promote each show.

You can also raise funds for a Show with the new Patreon feature. Just add your Patreon URL in the Admin Plugin Options field for your Show or Station.

We hope the combination of Show More for the Show Description and the Tabbed access to Posts and Playlists create a better user experience and spur on usage to enhance and bring forward important content on your radio station websites.

Here is a screenshot of the new layout previewed on our Radio Station Demo site.

Radio Station for WordPress Updated Show Page Layout
Radio Station for WordPress Updated Show Page Layout

Because this change is quite significant, be aware this one may require action on your part! In the majority of cases, all that will change is that your single Show pages will look heaps better without needing any action, but realistically we know there are non-standard themes out there so it is worth checking! And, we’ve seen where some stations are using the Show Description field to post episodic content. A new “Show More” function will hide extremely long, unwieldy Show Description content, so other important content is no longer pushed far down and below the fold.

Mobile Responsive Grid View

We architected a mobile-responsive grid view to display in mobile devices, such that the current day and future days display. There is a left to right arrow included to toggle between the viewable days on a mobile device. This will help mobile users view your schedule adjusted to the viewer’s device and browser. It can be either set to “ON” in the Admin Plugin Options or you can use the shortcode displayed to add to any page or post.

Tabbed Schedule View Now Included

Nikki originally included the tabbed view as a developer-centric addition to Radio Station. In the past, to display the tabbed view, you had to add some code retrieved from the FAQ documentation and implement it yourself. In 2.3.0, it’s a simple toggle in the new Admin Plugin Options panel to turn it on. And, the tabbed view is fully responsive, as well.

Admin Plugin Options

It was time!

The need to be able to set new Plugin Settings via a Plugin Options admin page kept coming up. So we did it, based on an existing plugin settings class that we adapted and updated for the purpose. Since these are new settings, we considered it important each one come with a helper description next to the option and all options be placed under relevant tabs and sub-sections. For example, you can now set your station Timezone, streaming URL, and assign automatic pages for displaying your Schedule.

Radio Station Admin Settings Panel
Radio Station Admin Settings Panel

 

Fully Revamped Scheduling

Since the existing schedule calculations were not allowing for more complex, but much-needed improvements to the codebase, they’ve been rewritten in their entirety. No mean feat! But we needed a more solid basis for adding features in the future. Plus this allowed us to add…

Shift Conflict Checker

Radio Station will now let you know automatically in an admin notification bar should you have a Show that overlaps with another one(shown below)

Show Shift Conflict Checker Notification Bar View
Show Shift Conflict Checker Notification Bar View

And, you can also see this information visually highlighted in the Show list view (shown below) and the Show Edit screen view (shown below). And, it will now better handle shift conflicts when you add or edit shifts with overlap.

Show Shift Conflict Checker for Radio Station plugin for WordPress
Show Admin Page Shift Conflict View

REST API Endpoints

You read that right! A full API implementation of data output for your Full Schedule or Show List. We have a great plan for using this that we will be announcing in the near future. Stay tuned! (It also has a fallback to output data via a Feed if you have disabled the REST API for some reason.)

Language Taxonomy Support

Radio Station Show Language Selector
Radio Station Show Language Selector

You can now add assign Language(s) to your Shows (and Schedule Overrides.) Similar to how you can already assign Genres via the Genre Taxonomy. You can set a default language in the new Admin Plugin Options settings, and then assign one or more Languages to Shows, as needed.

New Producer Role

Similar to assigning Hosts and DJs to a Show, you will be able to assign a Producer to a Show. This was done by adding a Producer role, which acts basically the same way as the existing DJ / Host role. The assigned Producer(s) will then be able to log in under their own user account to edit the Show as well as being listed on the Show Page, just like the DJs / Hosts already are.

This was added for security reasons, so WordPress Admins, Hosts, and DJs would not have to unnecessarily pass their login user names and passwords to interns or Producers. And, the Producer role could make changes while being tracked by any plugin with an activity monitor. Giving station employees master admin access is not advisable for security reasons. And, sharing passwords between Hosts and DJs with show Producers is also not advisable. We think this solves that problem.

Plus, the Producer role is added to the Show page frontend display. Producers should get credit on a website for shows they help produce, shouldn’t they? So, here’s to all the Producers around the world that should be credited for their hard work! Cheers!

Updated Widgets and Shortcodes

Since the schedule calculations have changed, all widgets and shortcodes have also been updated to use them. Also added are new Archive shortcodes for displaying Shows, Show Posts, Show Playlists and Shows by Genre. We’ve also added 12 / 24 hour time switchers to widgets and a Showtime countdown clock, as well.

Action Steps

Here are a few action steps you can take right now:

1. View the demo version of 2.3.0 beta right now at http://radiostationdemo.com.

2. Need support? Please visit http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/radio-station/

3. Want to contribute to the development of the open-source and free version of Radio Station, or make a feature request? Dive into the codebase and generate a pull request at http://github.com/netmix/radio-station. Or, add your feature request to our Git repo.

4. We also want to hear from our users. We’d love for you to respond to this email and tell us about your radio station or Internet broadcasting website. We want to know how you’re using the plugin and where in the world you are.

5. Speaking of the world…we need translators for the plugin, especially after 2.3.0 is pushed. Please get in touch with us at http://netmix.com/contact to let us know you are interested in translating the plugin to your language. We’ll get you on your way!

6. Follow us on Twitter: @netmix

7. Like our Netmix page on Facebook and join our Netmix Facebook Group.

8. You can also take our survey.

Lastly…

We’re sure you’ll agree, this update features a slew of great changes and cool new stuff!  Check the Radio Station Demo website for a full preview of beta 2.3.0 before it’s officially released.

While it’s all ready to go, we still need to update and add the relevant documentation to reflect the new version. More details on these changes and features will also be announced once we release Radio Station 2.3.0 in the coming days.

We’re confident you’ll love the new release, so stay tuned for this upcoming release announcement and be ready for the awesome next phase of Radio Station for WordPress! Until then, keep an eye out for the next newsletter announcing the release of Radio Station 2.3.0, coming very soon!

A very special thanks to Tony Hayes, our truly gifted and talented lead developer, who has spent many a day or night down under in Australia to move the ball forward and code-up the best iteration yet!

News about the upcoming release of Radio Station 2.3.0

Here at Netmix, we had a great holiday season. And we hope you did too! While we've been celebrating the New Year, we've also been quite busy with our heads down in our laptops tracking and squashing bugs in the next release, 2.3.0. It's been a while since our last newsletter, so we thought now is as good a time as any to get out an email blast to keep you updated with our progress. We also want to connect with the 50+ new email subscribers who signed up for the newsletter since our last blast!

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