The great thing about radio is that, depending on the station, it can play new music or a favorite genre of music. Unlike an iPod, where you end up hearing the same songs over and over again (don’t kid yourself—you may claim you’re always updating your music, but you’re still skipping the same songs), radio has the potential to
play music you would have otherwise not listened to.
The downside? Sometimes you hear the same song over and over (like “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen), while that cool song your favorite station played last week goes unheard.
Eastern Michigan University’s Eagle Radio understands these dilemmas and has decided to put you in control, through the “Make the Switch!” request-a-thon. Eagle Radio, typically located in Halle Library, will be stationed in the Student Center Nov. 7-8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the stage in the food court. During this time, students are welcome to watch the live radio show and make requests for their favorite music to be broadcast over the station’s website.
The event is free, but Megan Gore from the Electronic Media and Film Studies Department asks for donations from students.
“A dollar a song; it’s just peanuts compared to [what money we need] but every bit counts. We’ll play songs through YouTube, so pretty much anything goes,” Gore said.
All donations will go to the EMFS Department, which allows students who are interested in careers in television, webcasting, video production, radio, editing, scriptwriting and filmmaking to gain real-world experience at EMU. It does this through opportunities like E-TV and Eagle Radio, as well as providing the cameras, sound and editing tools necessary to get filmmaking experience.
Part of the equipment EMU is able to provide for its broadcasting students will soon be the Granite 5000, which is a two mix/effect system that accesses both video and film-based content to set up powerful looks.
According to Gore, the switch costs $95,000, which is why they are hoping to raise money at the “Make the Switch!” event.
The EMFS Department has another reason for wanting to reach out to students through the “Make the Switch!” request-a-thon.
“We really want to get our name out there,” Gore said. “We’re just an internet radio station, so we really want to get noticed.”
Gore said part of the problem of getting noticed is they don’t specifically have a frequency to broadcast from.
“We used to just broadcast through the cable network on TV. From there we decided this is our fourth year now and we are an Internet radio,” she said.
However, just because EMU commuters can’t simply turn on their car radios and hear Eagle Radio doesn’t mean the station is unsuccessful.
“You can listen to all sorts of stations on the radio. It has worked out really well for us,” Gore said.
Part of being an internet radio station is being cohesive with all other technology.
“The reason why they’re calling it ‘Make the Switch!’ is because they’re switching from analogue to digital,” Gore said. “It’s important for our department to contribute to that. We want to contribute because it’s important for us to stay current. The technology changes so quickly and the people in our department need to stay current so they can go out there in the real world and get jobs.”