This is part one of an article I wrote for Country Tune Weekly. The link for part two is at the bottom of this page.
Three essential apps for air personalities
By: Buzz Jackson, KIIM-FM Tucson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The internet is a wonderful tool for those of us in radio. Between smart phones, web apps, and cloud storage, there's plenty of ways to be better prepared for your show, no matter the format. Here are some of my favorites:
1) Evernote. An elephant never forgets. That’s the premise behind an app called Evernote (http://www.evernote.com). Evernote is available for your mobile device and desktop computer. Data is stored in the “cloud” and synced among all your devices, so you can look up whatever you need, wherever you can get on the internet.
Evernote is like a big binder notebook in the sky. You add content into “notebooks” on Evernote, which are then searchable (even PDFs and handwritten notes can be searched). I have Evernote notebooks for Show Prep, work emails that I need to save, ideas that I’m saving for later brainstorming, station imaging, etc. If I need an idea for “Christmas,” I can instantly search all the ideas I’ve saved and come up with a bunch of ideas right away. It’s all available to be searched on all your devices.
Besides show prep, I use Evernote for travel itineraries and confirmations, instruction manuals, and more. More cool ideas for Evernote are here: http://blog.evernote.com/.
2) Google Voice. Does your morning show need it's own phone number? Google Voice, at http://www.google.com/voice, gives you a free virtual phone number that you can control. You can have it ring any phones you specify, you can set up different voice messages for different recipients (your wife might get one voicemail greeting while your boss might get a different message), you can send a receive text messages, and save incoming voice messages. Here are a couple of scenarios you might use Google Voice for in your show:
- your station doesn’t have a company that you can do texting with. Give out your Google Voice number on the air and let listeners send you text messages that way. You can set it to not forward the texts to your phone, and then just check them in the studio computer’s web browser at your convenience.
- You want to be able to record callers giving you feedback at times when you’re not in the studio. Give out the Google Voice number. Callers can then leave you a message which you can then playback on the air, if you want, or play in the production room and save the audio for later.
3) Google Docs, http://docs.google.com. Google Docs allows you to store your music library in the “cloud,” and stream to your portable device or to a web browser. But you’re in radio, and you can probably find a song in the office if you really need it. So why not use Google Docs to store your music beds, drops, listener comments, etc.? You can play your content from a web browser. If you have a computer in the studio that’s wired to the on-air console, try Google Docs. Now you have all your listener drops, special contest beds, workparts, etc, all at the click of a button. And it’s all searchable, which means no more fumbling through a pile of CDs, or trying to figure out which button to press on the Instant Replay.
Try some of these services and over time, you’ll be better prepared for every show! Got a great service or app you use for your show? Drop me a note at email@example.com.
Part two of this article is located here.