My life as FBi Radio’s Web Developer

I have worked as the primary web developer with FBi Radio here in Sydney for just under 10 years. I am very proud of what I have accomplished at FBi and I very much look forward to our future projects.

Radio Ondemand and Custom Podcast Server

FBi Radio use a custom built CRM which houses audio recordings from their live broadcast along with a bespoke podcasting server.

The server automates the process of getting their audio online and available as on-demand content from their website. In order to work with the AMRAP Pages system they use to manage their program grid, it needed to be accessible via an API.

It was a lot of fun building this system. Watching it be used by thousands of listeners every day is very rewarding. To check one of the recordings out yourself, head to FBi Radio’s website here, select a program and pick a previous episode.

Digital Library

Another custom built CRM used in-house at the station to organise and broadcast from any web browser.

When I first began working with FBi Radio (around 2011) they had a stack of Network Hard Drives left over from an unfinished project with Seagate and some PC magazine at the time (I forget which one). They had planned on building a system for the station to digitise their immense catalogue of CD’s. There was a few articles written on the intent of the project. At the end of the day, I think it was meant to be a marketing tool for Seagate to show off their latest NAS hardware. While the presenters and management were very excited about the idea, things went quiet and the project never went anywhere.

I was tasked with seeing what could be done.

The first issue was their catalogue, it was a very old Microsoft access file which was only available from an old Windows XP machine. It was slow, available from a single machine in office, and prone to corrupting. You would often see a line of presenters waiting for their turn to search the library. So regular backups was a must! I converter the database to MYSQL and began working on a better way to search through it.

Before long I had a secure interface where the station administrators could manage their catalogue using unique logins. It also offered presenters a fast and easy way to search for CD’s. The main difference thus far was the ability to access the database from any web browser by multiple users at a time. Everyone who use it, loved it. It was adopted right away, good bye clumsy MS Access file!

Now it was time to get these large hard drives to work and add some digital audio functionality. I began upgrading the system to allow for digital audio to be added to the database and built an interface to replicate their current CD setup in the studio – with one difference – it was all from a web browser! With a handful of brave presenters, we tested and reworked it over the coming months before we finally settled on a design.

They still use this system to this day.

Head to fbiradio.com to listen online now.

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