Netmix Global House Sessions Podcast Episode 19 mixed by DJ Tony Z featuring music by Alexander Sky and Facewell, Whilk & Misky, Hot Since 82, Dajae & Riva Starr, Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, Caribou, as well as Eric Kupper, Kenny Summit, and Proper.
Alexander Sky, Facewell – A Love Like This feat. Alexander Sky (Marc & Spencer Remix)
Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Omen (Jonas Rathsman Remix)
Whilk & Misky – Clap Your Hands (Solomun Remix)
Guy J – Nirvana (Original Mix)
Jennifer Hudson, Gorgon City – Go All Night (Booka Shade Remix)
Hot Since 82 – Veins (Original Mix)
Dario D’Attis – Do It Right (Original Mix)
Dajae, Riva Starr – The Loft (Original Mix)
Ted Nilsson, Stuart Ojelay – In The Beginning (Original Mix)
ANOTR – Strobe (Original Mix)
Eric Kupper, Kenny Summit, Proper – Over Here (Deeper Mix)
Robert Clivilles f K.Davis – Set Me Free (Robert Clivilles + Eric Kupper Anthem Vocal remix)
Bob Sinclair ft Dawn Tallman – Feel The Vibe (BS and EH Remix)
MK, Milly Pye – Bring Me To Life feat. Milly Pye (Illyus & Barrientos Remix)
Demarkus Lewis – It Never Gets Old (Tribute To Pepe Mix)
One can look as far back as 2001 to a post on Nikki Blight’s blog to see Nikki Blight’s reveal of the Playlist feature of what today has morphed into the Radio Station plugin you may be using. It’s been over 8-years since the idea was formed and features like the Show page creator, Playlists generator, On-Air Host/DJ and Upcoming Show widgets were introduced. Development stopped in 2015, which means for the past four-years, layout issues haven’t been addressed. When we took over the plugin last June, we dug in to learn as much as we could about Radio Station and a few glaring issues revealed themselves.
JetPack Related Posts and Sharing Split Content Sections
We found many sites using Radio Station, where JetPack is active and Related Posts and Sharing are turned on, do insert the respective modules between the Show description and the Playlist and Blog Posts, effectively separating the features of the plugin from each other. We think this may cause confusion as to what the plugin is supposed to cohesively display when JetPack jumps in the middle.
This issue happens because of the way Radio Station loads each of the content sections separately in the code. The original layout was programmed well before JetPack and its associated Related Posts and Sharing features became insanely popular. It has yet to be addressed, so we are updating the layout of Radio Station so that all sections load before these popular JetPack modules. While you can turn off Related Posts per page or post type and you can disable the Sharing bar, for those sites using these tools it will be a welcome change.
Why You Should Not Use the Show Description to Archive Content
Another issue we uncovered is when station websites use the main text field for Show Description to add a continuous stream of content, as shown in the screenshot here.
We understand why site admins are using the Show Description in a similar manner to a blog post. They simply may not know to use Blog > Add New, then attach the post to the Show Page using a meta box inserted into the post editor, as shown in the screenshot below.
Using this method, the blog post will be added under the Blog Posts heading as the last section of the show page.
There are a few things that happen when using just the Show Description for archive content:
First, someone has to scroll the entire page to find the exact archived content they are looking for.
Second, they cannot use the WordPress site search to find the content nor can they use a Google search, because the piece of content is in a long, running stream and not a separate post object unto itself.
Third, you can only share the Page in social media and not each individual archived piece of content. There’s no specific URL to add to a social post, which means it can’t pull any Open Graph metadata for a specific post and display a title, image, and excerpt once the social post is published in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any social network that uses Open Graph to display the post object.
Sure, someone could search Google for the archive content and Google might point you to the Show page, but even then Google might return the page and you’d have to scroll the page to look for the content in the search query. Since it’s mixed in with the other content, it’s difficult to link to.
And, the Featured Image can then also be used with Open Graph if you’re selecting the image in the Open Graph setting using by SEO plugins with Social Meta features like our favorite plugin, All in One SEO PackLastly, say you want to use a Podcast plugin like the Blubrry PowerPress plugin we recommend. You can only have one audio enclosure on a page or post, so you’ll need to use the Posts engine in WordPress to create your archives and then generate your Podcast feed. If all your audio embeds are on a single page, there’s no way to generate a Podcast feed as your shows archive. That’s a missed opportunity to publish your show archives to Apple Podcasts,Google Podcasts,Stitcher, and other Podcasting aggregators, as well as having each individual archive show found in search.
Given all the above issues we’ve uncovered, there’s yet another issue we found with page builders like Divi Builder.
When you want to use the plugin with modern page builders like Divi or it’s popular competitor, Elementor, the way the plugin is set up now, it’s based on the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme. We’ve found that when using a page builder, only the Show Description is included in the Divi page when you use the method to rename a Divi page template to “show.php.” The other elements are then left off the page and there’s no workaround. It makes Radio Station difficult to use with modern page builders, so we’re working on improving the way the plugin loads its content, which should resolve this issue.
And, since Radio Station’s layout hasn’t been improved since it’s inception, it’s really time for a facelift. The following screenshot is a wireframe of what Radio Station might look like in version 2.3.0, which we are working on now.
The purpose of this new layout is to help reorganize the content in a way that works for any mobile responsive theme.
Here’s a list of additional fixes we’re going to make:
1. Featured Image is currently being used for Show Logo, when it really should be used as a banner. Maybe it’s a photo of the hosts in the studio or a large banner. You decide, but Featured Image should have never been used for a Logo, so we’re adding a function to keep Featured Image and have it load the image the width of the page below the Show Title. Then, we’re going to have a Show Logo, just like you have an avatar on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network. You’re featured image then becomes your page’s “Cover” banner and there’s a separate area for your show’s logo.
2. I’ll mention this here now, but it’s not coming in the Free version, but will be in a future PRO version. We’ll be adding support for the following utility and social links with icons representing each. There are already fields for Email and Website, but you’ll now see icons on the Show page next to the Description and under the new logo area. I mention it because it’s displayed in the screenshot below.
3. Instead of a link for most recent broadcast, we’re turning that into a button, which will site under the Show Logo.
4. We’re adding a new user role of Editor / Producer, so that the station manager or show host / DJ does not have to give their login to an editor or producer to login and updated content. Any activity log for WordPress can track what users to, so setting up a new role will help delineate who is logging in to update content. All users designated as Editor / Producer will now be listed on the Show Page, which will give credit not only to the hosts and DJs, but also to the team members working on the show.
5. We’re adding two tabs: Posts and Playlists that the user can toggle between on the Show page, so that content is not pushed down the page making the scroll longer than it need be.
6. We’re adding an admin Settings screen, where you will be able to set the master calendar to Grid or List View. On the front end page for your master schedule, the user will be able to toggle Grid or List view, as well.
7. We’re reorganizing the show information at the top of the Show page for desktop and mobile. The Show Description will now have a heading, “About.” Underneath, Schedule will be reworked to make it fit in the center column and we’ll add a designation today for Eastern Standard Time and in a future PRO version, you’ll be able to designate your local Time Zone for display. We’re also planning a Time Zone switcher, so users can switch to their own local time zone. Show Start and End time display is being reworked and a “Repeat” icon will designate shows that are “encore presentations.”
Here’s a look at a wireframe of what we’re planning.
For those who are using the Show description content area, this is going to impact the way you’re publishing your archive content today. This may be a pain point, so we urge you to go back and take all that archived content you added to your show description and create individual blog posts. We think you’ll have two to three weeks before 2.3.0 is ready, so it’s best to get started now.
If you’re not ready to do this, that’s okay. But we think you may wait to upgrade to 2.3.0 until you’ve moved that content to Posts, where the content is supposed to be. This will be great for your SEO and provide you with long-tail Posts that will get incremental traffic. Because when you post all that archive content into the Show Description, you can’t manipulate the SEO like you can with individual Posts.Show Info, Logos, and Featured Image.
We Need Your Feedback
We would love your feedback to better understand your radio station or Internet broadcast outlet. You can also add Feature Requests to the POLL, or you can add your Feature Requests to the Netmix Github page.
The Netmix website is a work in progress. We’re in transition from a blog into a plugin maintainer website. Please don’t mind the mess. We’re working to clean it up, add new content, remove and redirect old content, and otherwise make it pretty.
Here are some ways you can help Radio Station by Netmix grow!
1. Translate the plugin to your language. Currently, Radio Station is translated into 8 languages (we know the translation page says 3 and we’re working to fix that). We’re specifically looking for translations in Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Hindi (and other popular languages spoken in India), Arabic, and Swahili. For Radio Station to be truly global.
2. Help develop Netmix. Join the Netmix team on Github to help developer the FREE version of Netmix. We’re seeking volunteer contributors in the radio and Internet broadcasting communities to help generate new ideas and further developer Radio Station as the best plugin to manage your radio station for WordPress.
3. Become a Patron through Patreon. Have $1, $5, or $10 to spare each month? Support open-lsource plugin development with your monthly contribution through the Patreon website.
4. Help with Graphic Design – We need some new, modern graphics as you might see at WPMUDEV. We could use your help. We’d also love some help with T-shirt design so that we can sell T-Shirts on our website to raise money for open source development. Get in touch through our contact form.
There are more ways you can help, but this is just the start. If you want to help out in some way, we’d love to hear from you. Just contact us.
Radio Station Website Design & Development, Digital Marketing
If you’re a radio station or Internet broadcaster in need of WordPress web design, web development, or digital marketing services, please let us know. Our partner, Digital Strategy Works, provides WordPress website design, web development, and digital marketing for a number of established clients. Need help?
It is with our sincere gratitude to Nikki Blight, the original developer of Radio Station, who handed us the keys to the car. We could not do this without the support of our friends, families, partners, colleagues, and most of all, or clients. We understand if you’re not interested in receiving communications from Netmix given our pivot, so please do unsubscribe using the link below if receiving news and special offers from Netmix is no longer of interest to you.
On Friday, October 4th, we released Radio Station 2.2.8. This version was a bug fix release to solve for an issue introduced in 2.2.7. When one of our developers updated the plugin’s code to reflect new WordPress coding standards, which hadn’t been implemented since the plugin ceased development in 2015, he applied a “strict” setting for in_array that when active affected some users whereas the assigned Host/DJ could no longer edit a Show page, blog posts were not being posted to the Show’s blog, day and times would not print to the x/y of the master calendar. All have been resolved. We also had a report that when using a language pack, days of the week were not displaying. This was fixed, as well.
Outside of the plugin, we also changed the demo site link to http://radiostationdemo.com, so that we could showcase the plugin with the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme, instead of the Make theme, which we use for this site. Some users were experiencing a 522 error, so we updated the DNS configuration, which caused unnecessary redirects and intermittent access.
When we were handed the keys to Radio Station this past June, the plugin hadn’t been updated since 2015. We set to work identifying pressing issues, fixing bugs, introducing a few new features, and updating the plugin to WordPress coding standards. Over the past three months, we’ve stabilized the plugin, which has helped many of our users who reported bugs or requested feature enhancements. We know there is much more to do and one of those tasks is to ensure that Radio Station works with page builders like Divi,Elementor,Avada Theme Fusion, or other popular platforms. We also know the plugin should be Gutenberg compliant, which is on our roadmap.
For anyone using Radio Station today, you’re aware the plugin creates three custom post types: one for Shows, another for Playlists, and lastly for Show Overrides. But let’s talk about Shows and Playlists for a moment using a standard WordPress theme without a page builder or even with a page builder, but keeping the WordPress layout intact and not switching the to page builder’s version of a page layout, which many page builders allow you to do.
When Nikki Blight created the plugin, page builders were not yet all the rage they are today. She created a method when using a theme of your choice to copy the radio-station/templates/single-show.php file into your theme directory, and modify the template as needed. All of the original templates for the plugin are based on the WordPress TwentyEleven theme, which was 8-years ago. But it still works as we’ve observed many sites using Radio Station in WordPress themes and the plugin is outputting the information correctly.
For those using page builders, if you drop the file into your child theme of your page builder framework, we found that it only outputs the Show Description and not any other element. We noticed this when working on a radio station website that we applied Divi to. When we dropped the single-show.php file into the theme, we found that it only outputs the Show description into a text module and left Show Times, DJ/Host, and Playlists out. So, what to do about this?
First, it would be awesome if we were able to provide a template for the most popular page builders and then module-level controls to style the content, but we’re going to leave that for a PRO version when we have the resources to commit to adding support for the page builders. We’ll most likely offer an Add-On for each one so that you can add the template to the page builders we support and voila, all the elements will be pulled and added accordingly to the page.
In the meantime, we have to come up with a way to ensure that if you want to use a page builder because you want some level of control over styling without having to code. Our team is getting together to think this through.
The first option is to leave things as they are and possibly create shortcodes for each Radio Station module so that you can simply drop the various shortcodes into a page builder code or text module and that will help Radio Station users to be able to switch to a page builder and customize the content layout. But the fail is that with shortcodes, you’ll still have to style Radio Station’s outputs with CSS and not with the page builder styling controls.
The second option is to find a way to modify the Show page template to include all the elements and output them somehow into only the post body content, but that’s most likely not a viable option and it would break all site’s templates that have styled Radio Station, because the CSS classes might change. And, it may not even be doable.
The final option is to create specific layout templates for each page builder, which has a time and cost factor associated. But that’s an expensive proposition and we’re going to have to leave that for future paid Add-ons in a Pro version unless someone is interested and asks us to build it for them.
Either way, we just wanted to let our users know that we are starting to think through this conundrum and figure out which way is the best path forward. We’ve scheduled a meeting for next week to discuss how to resolve this issue, so that anyone who wants to use a page builder will not be left out of the party, so to speak.
Expertly curated and mixed by DJ Tony Z, the Netmix Global House Sessions Podcast Episode 18 features music from Calvin Harris, Disclosure ft. Gregory Porter, Roger Sanchez, and Miguel Migsand hot remixes from Armand Van Helden,Erick Morillo,StoneBridge, and Harry Romero.
Calvin Harris – How Deep Is Your Love (Extended Mix)
Disclosure feat. Gregory Porter – Holding On (Armand Van Helden Dub Mix)
Majestic/Jungle 70 – Creeping In The Dark (Zinc & Colin Francis Remix)
Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Sorry I Am Late (Original Mix)
Markus Homm – Clear Cut (Joris Voorn Edit)
Raumakustik – Raider (Original Mix)
Gorgon City feat. Jennifer Hudson – Go All Night (Erick Morillo Club Mix)
Robert Clivilles feat. K.Davis – Set Me Free (Harry Romero + Robert Clivilles Remix)
In December of 1996, Netmix.com first appeared online as the world’s first DJ mix-show website hosting streaming mixes by the world’s most sought after DJs. In the March 20, 1996 issue of Billboard Magazine, Netmix was cited by former Dance Trax columnist, Larry Flick, as the “innovation and advancement of dance music on the Internet.”
Born out of my bedroom in a four-story walk up at 726 Washington Street, just outside of Washington Square in Brookline, MA, I would move Netmix from Boston to New York City in September of 1996 to partner with a dance music promotion company, with the goal of converging promotion and marketing with online streaming and distribution. While the partnership didn’t work out in the long run, Netmix survived in the dotcom 1.0 economy until it entered a purchase and sale agreement on June 1, 2000 with Polyverse, a youth-culture startup funded by investors in the gold rush of the early Internet era, which saw companies like CDNOW, MP3.com, and Psuedo Networks valued in the many hundreds of millions of dollars.
While I was negotiating with Polyverse, the Internet bubble started to burst. Fast forward to October of 2000 and Polyverse was out of cash. No one could raise money. The doors closed on new capital and thousands of startups on both coasts and around the world failed. It was, in no uncertain terms, one of the most difficult periods for founders and employees of these companies who saw their hopes and dreams fall apart when the Internet economy collapsed.
Over the next 19-years, I would hold onto the Netmix.com domain and keep the website active. In the late 2000s I launched the Netmix Global House Sessions Podcast, which is still ingrained into this site today (and for the foreseeable future). The podcast features my alter ego, DJ Tony Z, in the mix. But Netmix became a side hobby while I focused on working for various corporations and startups in New York City until 2010, when I asked my wife to move to Chapel Hill, NC for a job at the University of North Carolina.
In North Carolina for 9-years now, we skipped across the state; from Chapel Hill to Winston-Salem and now Asheville, NC. My wife and I adopted a baby boy at birth who was born in the Asheville area. My family became the priority while I also ran my WordPress consulting company, Digital Strategy Works. I had ideas for Netmix, but life’s priorities simply got in the way.
A few years ago, I got it in mind to host a radio mix-show on a Low Power FM here in Asheville, AshevilleFM. My friend, Phillip and I created the Asheville House Music Society and hosted the show on the station for about a year, but we had to put the show on hiatus. In September of 2018, we brought the show back on the air on another LPFM in Asheville, WPVMFM.org, where I volunteer as the station’s webmaster. While working on the station’s website, I noticed they were using a WordPress plugin, Radio Station, which was originally created by a developer in Colorado, Nikki Blight. The plugin hadn’t been updated on the site in a while, so I checked in on the WordPress codex to review the plugin and its status. When I learned Nikki was no longer actively developing the plugin and saw that there was an installed user base, I contacted her to inquire about it and let her know that I’d consider taking it over.
After a brief conversation, Nikki passed along the car keys to the plugin in early June (2019) and wished me luck. After 16-years of working with WordPress, I am now an official manager and committer of a plugin listed in the WordPress repository. But, I’m not a developer myself. I’m a product manager and entrepreneur with deep experience managing WordPress projects, so I needed help bringing the plugin up to speed. I put the word out in the WordPress universe and the universe returned Tony Hayes, an experienced WordPress developer living about two-hours south of Brisbane, Australia. Tony’s work includes http://wpmedic.tech and other plugins that check on the health of WordPress websites.
For the past three months, Tony and I have been working together on the open-source, free version of the plugin. We’ve also had a contribution from another developer working at a radio station in Virginia, who helped bring the plugin up to WordPress coding standards. We’ve made some improvements to the plugin and are actively working on building a PRO version with an audio player, time zone switcher, and a few other neat features. But for now, we’re tightening up the plugin and its core feature set.
We’re also looking at integrating the plugin with a few popular radio station automation software packages, like AirTime and LibreTime.
After 19-years of controlling the Netmix domain name and website, I decided on merging Radio Station with Netmix, which is why the plugin is now hosted here on this site and it will carry the Netmix brand going forward, along with all the bells and whistles we hope to add to it.
We’re always looking for contributions from the community. If you’d like to join in the fun, please do visit the Radio Station project on Github and take a stab at fixing something or adding something, then issuing a pull request. We’d love to get contributions from the radio station community supporting open-source projects.
I’m so excited I finally found and merged a worthy WordPress project with the Netmix brand. Over the next couple of months, you’ll see some changes to this website. It’s a work in progress and slow going, but we’re committed to advancing the plugin, building out a PRO version with additional awesome features, and figuring it all out as we go along. We’d love to know what you think of the plugin, so leave a comment on this post below. And, please do share this plugin in your networks, so we can grow participation and installs – that’s how this is going to succeed.
Expertly curated and mixed by DJ Tony Z, the Netmix Global House Sessions Podcast Episode 17 features music from Guy Gerber & Puff Daddy, Huxley, Dusky, and hot remixes from Hot Since 82 and Nicole Moudaber.
Guy Gerber, Puff Daddy – Tourist Trap (Jamie Jones ‘For Ryan’ Remix)
Expertly curated and mixed by DJ Tony Z, the Netmix Global House Sessions Podcast Episode 16 features new music from Calvin Harris, Basement Jaxx and Duke Dumont. We’ve also go the remix of the classic, “Everybody Be Somebody” by Ruffnex and a remix of Terrence Parker “When Loves The Feeling” by Kenny Summit and Lenny RX. This mix starts off uptempo and fun and then ends up a little deeper with a sexy vibe.
Cajmere, Gene Farris – O’Darlin
Basement Jaxx – Never Say Never (Extended Mix)
Duke Dumont – Won’t Look Back
Ruffneck – Everybody Be Somebody feat. Yavahn (Lucas & Steve Remix)
Calvin Harris, Ayah Marar – Thinking About You feat. Ayah Marar (Original Mix)
Kiesza – Hideaway (Zac Samuel Remix)
Eric Prydz – Liberate (Lane 8 Remix)
Pj D’arpino, Krisy, Liz Hill – Wake Up (Gianni Bini Rootsy Mix)
Ferreck Dawn, Redondo – Love To Deep (Original Mix)
Samuele Sartini, Andy Tee, DJ Lora, Dave Hunter – LoveLight (Original Mix)
Terrence Parker – When Loves The Feeling (Kenny Summit & Lenny RX Remix)
From time to time, renowned DJ and Producer, Mark Farina, drops into Asheville for DJ gigs at local venues. On March 2, 2019, Mark was in town and DJ Tony Z was able to schedule him for an in-person interview on the Asheville House Music Society mix-show. Check out this edited interview with Mark. We’re sorry for the technical issues with the audio, so we hope you can make out the full interview, as best as possible.