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October 03, 2007

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Red Kite

According to the DAB multiplex applications for Oxfordshire the proposal is 80KB Mono for JACK on Now Digital and 112KB on Muxco. The reason for the difference I think is because Absolute Radio plan an additional new soft AC/soft alternative music station called MY FM if Now Digital win. I have to be honest though and say that 80 KB mono is poor for a station that will be 90% music. It's because of this that I haven't bought a DAB receiver - the current sound quality for most stations is poorer than FM due to the low bitrates used. The situation should improve with the onset of DAB + but that is at least 3 years away here in the UK (DAB + compatible radios will be available from 2008).

Howie B

If your reception of Jack FM is not so good in Thame, make sure you're on the right wavelength. If you use 106.4 here, all you'll get is a tiny signal from Vibe Fm from darkest east Anglia (yeuk!)
Make sure you're locked on to 106.8. I'm using a battered old JVC boombox with the stubby remains of an aerial and it's coming in clear and free from hiss in glorious stereo!
Oh and if you're going on DAB dont be fobbed off with one of those awful 48kbps mono slots -128kbps stereo please!

Red Kite

Cool - well it's starting to sound like the best thing on the radio even now - it will be truly awesome once it goes on air! :)

Well I'll let you know what I think of the first day and then again in 3 months time once I've had a real chance to hear the station - I'm sure now though that it's immediately going to become my favourite radio station and that of many other people too! :)

sue

thanks for all the feedback guys - the music at the moment is only a small sample of what we have loaded so we can test the transmission etc... there's a lot of playlist tweaking going on inbetween the cabling, painting, designing, writing..and every other word that ends in an 'ing' I can think of... thanks for listening tho!. .

Red Kite

Another suggestion for all the unfortunate would be international listeners who won't be able to listen thanks to PPL. How about putting a download on your site that accurately portrays the sound of the station with short 10-30 second clips sampling the music that you play. The Yanks are particularly interested in hearing what the UK version sounds like and I'm sure that those who are interested in using the JACK FM format in other countries will also want to hear what JACK FM UK is like.

Red Kite

This is going up and up on my JACKometer! Keep this music up and you'll be heading for NO 1 on my radio (- well laptop for now :) ).

Red Kite

Ha ha it clearly depends on which part of Thame you are in then! JACK will be available across Oxfordshire on DAB from next year and I'll be able to get it too! :)
HOWEVER DON'T RUSH AND BUY A DAB RADIO YET! - DAB is being superseded by a new global technology standard called DAB + which offers superior sound quality and up to 4 times the number of stations and current DAB radios are not compatible with it - therefore when the UK converts to DAB + you won't be able to receive the new transmissions. New DAB + radios or DAB radios that can be upgraded to DAB + will be available from next year - MAKE SURE that the manufacturers specifications say DAB + compatible or upgradable - you will still be able to receive the current DAB transmissions on the new radios so your radio will be usable for years to come.

Red

At last, something better than Fox FM. They are crap!!! I will listen with interest Jack but it's sounding good so far.

captain Kev

Interseting so far, more classic rock please, and reception is crap in Thame. I look forward to you going live.

Red Kite

From what I've heard the music's much better tonight BTW guys and I've heard a couple of songs that I haven't heard from any radio station in this country - it's starting to sound more like the Real McCoy now! ;)

Red Kite

It's getting out as far as parts of Shropshire and Bedfordshire and has even been heard in Stoke on Trent (- you can pick up the Irish stations there though so perhaps it's not as surprising as it sounds)

I wonder if anyone has tried to pick it up yet in Wales? Hmmm next time I go hill walking...........

Howie B

Good luck to all at Jack FM 106.8 - Fox FM have had it all their own way for far too long. Oh and don't worry if those nasty people at Ofcom are trying to limit your signal to the Oxford city area. Jack FM is not supposed to reach Thame but you're coming over loud and clear in Thame. I promise i won't tell Ofcom!

Red Kite

O.K. there's one thing I really missing so far - it's the classic rock. Is there any chance that you could make the music during evenings say between 7pm and 10pm a lot more rock based? I realise this isn't Texas and you obviously want to appeal to the Oxfordshire audience, but less people are listening during the evenings and who in Oxfordshire is playing classic rock? Maybe Planet Rock on DAB but that's it. If you want some ideas have a listen to this station from the Netherlands - the rock music on there is absolutely brilliant and it's therefore one of my favourite stations. I like the US version of JACK so much because they play a lot of these tunes too.

http://www.arrow.nl/services (remove gap)

/onlineradio_rock.php

If it could sound musically a bit more like JACK across the pond at least during the evenings then I'd be very happy indeed and I'm sure a lot of people in Oxfordshire would love to hear some real solid classic rock on the radio. You'd be onto a winner because despite being one of the most popular genres hardly anyone else plays it.
So why not make JACK FM the No 1 choice for classic rock during the evenings?

Red Kite

HA HA thanks for the on air mention and the offer of a mug and car sticker! (I'll send you an e-mail tommorrow) Goodness I'd never have thought! I was pretty surprised to suddenly hear about me on the radio - No one's ever dedicated that amount of airtime to me before I'm shocked - it was a good shock nonetheless! :) Thanks guys!

It's a nice walk along the Thames Path between Reading and Wallingford too you know - made all the better with some great music! ;)

Just a bit of constructive comment on what I've heard so far - is there any chance once you go on air it can sound generally a bit more punchy and rocky ? It's sometimes a lot softer than what I'm used to hearing from the States - also when you go on air some more less well known or obvious songs from popular artists and bands would be cool. - A fair bit of what I've heard this evening already gets played all over the place, so it would nice to hear something a bit different more often :)

It's very different from the JACK FM I'm used to hearing from across the pond but so far so good!

Red Kite

Peter it's what's known in the radio industry as a publicity stunt - doing something to grab attention and to get in the news. Rather than just putting out a bog standard press release saying yet again that JACK FM is coming soon, they decided to do something original that would catch people's interest. The whole idea is to raise awareness of the station prior to launch. If it was just silly games, which I doubt anyone at JACK has time for then you certainly wouldn't have read about it in the press!
It's not as if they did something irresponsible as other radio stations have done (remember the sitting on dry ice incident a few years ago?!). No people or animals were hurt in this stunt and I don't think anyone at Fox or their parent company GCap are really worried about what JACK FM are up too - if anything Fox FM will just increase it's playlist meaning that the listener will benefit even more.

andrew

Hahaha. I took a pic of Jack fm's RDS on my car radio - while sitting in a carpark at Clee Hill Common, in Shropshire yesterday afternoon.

sue

Hi Peter,
Sorry to hear you didn't find JACK's birthday wish to Fox amusing.. A lot of people who went to the party got a good laugh out of it, and took it in the fun spirit it was intended. JACK's all about not taking things to seriously and having a bit of harmless fun... and trust me,the whole team at JACK are putting in between 12 to 15 hour days every day to get everything ready for the launch.

If you (or anyone) wants to know anything else about Jack, email me anytime at sue.carter@jackfm.co.uk
x
Cheers!

Peter

I don't thing Jack gate crashing Fox's birthdya party is very funny, shouldn't Jack be paying more attention to the launch and to getting their own radio station going and stop playing silly games?

Red Kite

Well there is one thing even sadder - anoraks who take photos of transmitters with an RDS radio displaying the station name in various positions in the foreground. :) Still it keeps them out of trouble I guess!

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