About Ravishal


KONA Stream is proud to be a participant in the 2011 Second Life Home, Garden & Patio Expo. Our stream is piped through all 10 sims this year and will also be heard in the entertainment venues between performances. Look for myself or GoSpeed Racer to be wandering about the expo exploring the sights. Feel free to request a tune too!

We also are proud to announce we have our own standalone client for the Windows Desktop. From Win 98 to Win 7 you can now tune into KONA Stream using a very small, but efficient client that also has a 10 band equalizer and 3 layouts. You must have .NET 2.0 to use it which can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/net/download.aspx

The client can be downloaded here: http://www.konastream.com/files/KONA%20Stream%20Player.zip

Just unzip to the desired location, run the executable and a shortcut will be placed on your desktop.

Rav

As I’ve written about before I have been streaming online for a little over 4 years now. From humble beginnings at East End Radio and a fledgling KONA Radio  my station saw slow and steady growth to where it became the most listened to SL based radio station. The inclusion into the iTunes Radio listings helped tremendously also. But success came at a price. As my listenership increased so did my costs. The Licensing fees were $45.00 a month, the Shoutcast server was $18.00, and my SL tier was $8.00.  On a good month I would have enough in sponsorships, advertising, and DJ tips to cover the costs. As time went buy it started to become a burden, a hassle to scrounge for the money. While it felt good knowing that thousands of people around the world liked my station enough to tune in at least once a week it just didn’t pay the bills. I do have a few hardcore fans who tune in everyday and perhaps my best fans were my sponsors. They forked over the money knowing well that their contribution did more to keep me broadcasting than it ever helped their bottom line.

As many of my predecessors and current colleagues will tell you, you ain’t going to get rich broadcasting online. Count yourself lucky if you can break even. The current royalty scheme is very much leveled against the little guy. There is simply no way they can get ahead. It’s like we pay them the privilege to broadcast their music. For those who can’t find a sugar daddy to cover our costs or have enough disposable income to cover the costs we all reach a point where we fold up and move on once our drive to share is spent.

So, where to now? I have already dropped my listing on iTunes which contributed to about %60 of my listener hours. I will also drop my current Shoutcast server in favor of a cheaper Icecast server. This will also shed a number of my SL and web based listeners. I’ll be using .OGG format which will give me a superior sound for the same bit rate. There will also be no advertising and station breaks will be less frequent. The station name will also change to “KONA Stream” to match the station website name. If you wish to listen or continue listening to email me at ravishal@konastream.com or look my profile up in SL.

Rav
Ready or Not

If you think your connection is bad imagine if your country/ISP implements overly broad measures to discourage pirating digital content. The below email is from a KONA Radio fan who can no longer listen because a constant 64Kbps stream is detected as a peer to peer bit torrent stream and throttled down to zero.

Also important is that Thai gamers are affected and you can imagine that video content and possibly VOIP is getting killed too.

Are any Thai Second Lifers feeling this pinch too?

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KONA is throttled to a STOP, and its not your fault!


The ISPs in Thailand are throttling torrent bit streams and KONA comes on-and-off every minute or so.  Man, it is so irritating.    Here’s an answer I got on a forum:
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What throttling does is constantly drop peer to seed or seed to peer connections. It can also disrupt any longer term outside connection originating outside Thailand that it suspects is engaging in file transferring.

This is why even online gaming is being effected.
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I am forced to listen to my own music.   Argggh!    Just wanted to let you know why you’re not seeing me signed on lately.   Not sure what the policy is going to be moving forward, but right now I am throttled to a stop on listening to KONA, and I don’t do any torrents at all……

Take Care,

Toivo

Ravishal Bentham at the Studio

KONA Radio will be participating at the Second Life 7th Birthday festivities this summer. The theme this year is “Unexpected Collaborations” and our exhibit will highlight some of the people who we’ve collaborated with the past 3 years. We will have a few live events planned to include a Motown night hosted by GoSpeed Racer and other themes. Real Life will keep us busy for most of the upcoming week but expect us be around early evenings and on the weekends.

Our location at SL7B

The doors open Monday the 21st at 10AM SLT. If you’re exploring on foot just look for a tall radio tower with a flashing red light on top.

Ready or Not

It’s been a while since my last meaningful post and there have been a lot of things I’d like to write about. This post should address some of those things.

There.com . Kinda sad to see it go. I had an account there and visited on occasion but there just wasn’t much to keep me there. The avatars were cartoonish (yet strangely more appealing than the noob avatars for SL) and the choices for clothing and gear was severely limited. It was also a strictly enforced PG zone as children as young as 12 were logged on. And I tell you, nothing feels more creepy than a 12 year old girl asking if you wanted to be her boyfriend. Yikes! Run away! Run Away! But it served the needs of many of its users. It had plenty of games like dune buggy races and hover-boards as many of the fun activities. You could also run There.com on a 56K dial-up connection and on computers with built in graphic chips (like those crummy Intel ones). I suspect most of the users will take a pass on SL or Blue Mars and head for the likes of Free Realms or Toon Town. Both can be played for free, are PG and have many task oriented activities to participate in.

Kissy faced in Coke land

Socializing: I’ve pretty much cut down on my activities in world the past year. Work has been a bit more demanding of my time and attention. I’m mostly concerned with station business when I do get online. But that’s not to say I didn’t have any fun. 🙂
Sunset at Cocololo - 2Hanging around

Hanging with Ladi on the patio

Running a radio station in Second Life: If you think you’re going to make it rich or become wildly popular with a streaming station,you’re sadly mistaken. If you stream you’re in it to share the music, period. If your music has a lot of appeal, you have a somewhat professional sound, and you are a business savvy, then you can probably cover your expenses. What are those expenses? Let’s assume you’re going to be legit, pay your royalties and run advertising. Stream costs : $15-30 a month (100 slots), Music Royalties (assuming a monthly Total Listener Hours of 10,000) $50, and SESAC License (for advertising) $20+ .  You’re looking at an outlay of $85-$100 a month. Land tier, that’s up to you if you want an in world studio or home office.

Can you make this money back? Maybe. Who is going to hear it and can you generate traffic for your advertisers? Probably not in most cases. Here’s the ugly truth about media and advertising in SL. It doesn’t work that well. SL is a very fractured market and it’s hard to get the word out. While I may in fact have the most successful and listened to SL radio station getting a wide audience to listen is difficult. Hell, a lot of people can’t place a media URL on their land. Also, most people who are in SL simply do not bother to listen to the parcel media unless someone or something tells them too. I’m not saying that getting the word out over the air is worthless, it’s just not as effective as written or graphic media.

How do I stay afloat? I have a more restrictive license that prohibits me from advertising but I can have sponsors. Prices, services, and comparisons are verboten.  Business names and websites are OK to mention and it is in a way a soft sell. Repeated often enough and it becomes a form or mild advertising. I am always up front with every sponsor of mine and tell them this will not boost your sales through the roof. Most if not all of my current and past sponsors have contributed to keep the station online because they love the music as much as I do. In the nearly 3 years KONA Radio has been online I’ve always met my budget. Any extra money went into music purchases, web hosting and equipment upgrades for the radio station.

Pirates: Let’s just say that if you encounter a station that’s not licensed and is running advertising, stay away. Unlicensed streams are a dime a dozen and typically don’t get caught if they maintain a low profile, but if they try to make money off their stream it can get pretty ugly. If caught they can expect some very hefty fines and possibly confiscation of their computer gear. You do not want to associate your good business name with criminal activity.

To close out this post I’d like to thank some of my Sponsors and supporters for all their contributions:

Sponsors: Kevin Ludwig,Nikki Brennan, Brookston Holiday, Izabella Bentham, Tasha Kostolany, Yxes Delacroix, Banana Stein, Cynthia Maine, Viola Bentham, Stuart Warf, Razzap Snookums, Chatnoir Tangerine, Gayle Cabaret, Gorgeous Yongho, and many more

Supporters: Trill Lomu, LaDonna Upshaw,Crap Mariner, Grizzy Griswold, Marianne McCann, and many more also.

Home page: www.konastream.com

Parcel Media: http://gold.slserver.com:8030

We can also be found on iTunes in the “Retro 70s” category of the radio listings. We actually play 60s 70s and 80s but that’s where we got placed.

Rav

This video pretty much represents what I feel about Facebook. On the SL side it’s pretty useless as I get spammed constantly with invites, games, and whatever. My RL Facebook is a bit better as the friends list is much smaller and the friends I do have are a bit more mature and restrained than my SL brethren.  Can’t say I’ll miss FB very much if the axe on avatar accounts comes to fruition. Oh, I wouldn’t hold your breath to see if I’ll get an account on Avatars United. I’ve heard quite enough to know I don’t want to bother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4De7wdnuuII

Saturday from Noon til 2pm SLT I’ll be spinning music for the grand opening of LaDonna Upshaw’s grand re-opening of her newer, bigger store on South Sea Isle. LaDonna makes high quality furniture with many poses, colors and forms. I’ll be playing quality rock and pop from the 60s,70s and 80s for your listening / dancing pleasure. See the SLURL below for a landing point.

 

http://slurl.com/secondlife/South%20Sea%20Isle/195/182/27

 

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