Friday, April 03, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Wanda's Picks

Today was a studio session from hell. I tried multiple times to get into the on-line studio. I tried different phones and the program did not recognize it. I started calling in about 20 minutes till showtime and at 5 till 8, I still wasn't on the air. I switched screen names and my land line was finally recognized, but my notes were in another screen name, so I quickly switched back to the other screen name and then couldn't see the phone numbers of guests once I patched them in.

They disappeared and it looked like I was alone in the studio but when I spoke to them they were still there. I was like: Oh my goddess! How will I know anyone is there if their numbers don't appear?!

OK, so I'm trying to be cool as I see a blocked number appears sort of out of the blue. I think it's Margo, but it's Ajuan and I'm so happy to hear from her, but in all the uploading of music this morning beginning at 5 a.m. and then the scrambling to find a way to get into the studio, I wasn't able to look up her bio. So I put on one of Tammy Hall's songs from Blue Divine, by the way, a lovely CD, while I do a quick search for a rudimentary something--I am totally winging it now....Oh how I wish I could fly?

No, not really, but I find enough to talk intelligently about this scholar/artist who was one of a few people scheduled to speak today on the air and she went from ancillary to prime time.

Yeah! I am screaming in my mind while my voice stays calm.

I mispronounce her title and well, she is an interesting and engaging guest so I don't know if she knows I am trying to do three things at once, locate my other guests: Margo and James Gayles, while paying attention to our conversation, but I think it went very well.

Margo told me in a later email that she was in the wings...another form of that word, trying to get on, but the program was not having it. She was frustrated too. I had a feeling she was there. I just couldn't see her--talk about Invisible woMan.

I've got to talk to the tech person at I sent them a message a few months ago about getting kicked off the air arbitrarily, and have yet to receive a response.

After Ajuan and finished I spoke to Jetaun, who'd called in a bit early, as she should and then called back a few minutes later, but her phone was echoing. When she asked, "Should I call back," I was kind of spooked. Should she? What if I couldn't hear her once she did and I was all alone in the studio?

She did and I saw the number and it all worked well.

I have this system of not letting my guests go until I see the next guest in the queue. No one from the cast of Ain't Nothing But the Blues was there at 9 a.m. so Jetaun and I continued our conversation and she was great!

I was having so much trouble this morning that when Tammy Hall didn't call in at 9:30 I just kept talking to Mississippi. Normally, I put on a song or hope my current guest keeps talking while I put the phone on mute and use my cell phone to call guests who are late arrivals, but this time I was so exhausted from the stress and so happy everything was proceeding smoothly now that the show was winding up, plus he was such a fantastic interview, simply fantastic-- His bio doesn't do him justice, I decided to leave it alone and reschedule Tammy. Ajuan was also fantastic as was Jetaun, who didn't get to talk about her graduate work in healing arts at JFK and her mission as "Womb Woman."

Okay, so for the past 45 minutes the show has been going well and as the hour grows closer to 10 a.m., I am trying not to get kicked off, so I call into the show on my cell phone so I can continue playing music and the darn system kicks me off anyway after I put on my "Odun De." I'd wanted to play Walkin' Blues and the piece from Invisible Womb but the time ran out.

Other problems this morning were file uploads: I had 4 songs already uploaded and then the program told me I already had music by that name in the file, so I quit the program, look and it wasn't there, so I'd try it again. I did this for over an hour. There were some lovely pieces from Tammy Hall's CD with healing music, Rejuve, the program would not let me add. I also discovered this morning that there is a limit to how many files you can have at one time. I must have reached the max because I couldn't add any more until I deleted some.

I like the autonomy of the cyber-studio but sometimes it helps when one can talk to a human being rather than a machine. No matter how well-programmed, they can't catch everything.

It was, as stated above, a radio experience from hell. The phone recognition problem happens every show, but never this bad. It usually recognizes my cell number, but this time- neither.

If there are other techie folk out there who have had similar problems and resolved them, please share.


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