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Today, I’ll be talking with the all-volunteer team from Muzaiko, the new 24-hour Internet radio station completely in Esperanto!
How did you see a need for a 24-hour radio station in Esperanto?
A 24-hour radio station in Esperanto is one way to make the language a daily part of speakers’ lives. It can keep active Esperanto speakers in touch with the culture and happenings of the Esperanto community, even if they are only able to occasionally travel or attend events. For beginners or those interested in the language, it can likewise showcase the diverse culture, and offer plenty of passive exposure to the language. Furthermore, it is a great way for the international Esperanto community to come together and collaborate on a project that everyone can enjoy. A good example of this is the news team – where else can you hear international news from all over the world, as heard by the people living in those places?
How do you manage to get 24 hours of original content everyday? Isn’t that an incredible amount of work?
Our aim is not necessarily to develop 24 hours of new content daily, but to generate about a third of that, and repeat it so that people all over the world in different time zones can enjoy all parts of the program. Currently, Muzaiko is still in the beta stage, so we have not yet reached that goal. The program is currently 3 hours long, and repeats 8 times throughout the day. Music and spoken programs are intermixed, with one spoken program each hour. We have at least one new program per day, and the others are generally from our archives.
I heard that you dealt with some rather difficult issues regarding the copyright for the music. How did you overcome these barriers? Were there any other legal issues you had to tackle?
Initially there were indeed concerns and uncertainties about the legality of the radio station, since laws about copyright and broadcasting differ in depending on country, both the country from which one is broadcasting and the countries to which one is broadcasting. For now, these problems have been solved by using the the services of Radionomy, which takes on the costs of copyright and does its own advertising. Continued research into these issues is ongoing while we set up an independent server. As far as acquiring the rights to use the music itself, Vinilkosmo, Edistudio, and individual artists themselves have been a great resource for us.
How is Muzaiko financed? Do you accept advertising? If so, under what conditions?
Muzaiko is currently financed through donations, and the finances are publicly available on our website. Our operating costs are minimal at this point, but we are always accepting donations of money or equipment, which will be used towards improved sound quality, maintaining our own server, and related costs. We certainly accept advertising, as one of our goals is to improve the flow of information throughout Esperantujo. We accept donations from advertisers if possible, but realize that many are also working as volunteers, so we generally play ads for free. Ads should be relevant to Muzaiko or Esperanto, and about 30 seconds in length.
How many people listen to Muzaiko?
We don’t have an exact number, but we do know that our listener base has been growing. In the last month, using data from Radionomy, we’ve had over 20 people listening at once, but that doesn’t count everyone, since there are several ways one can listen to our station. We hope this number keeps growing, and aim to have more thorough statistics in the future.
What do you see in the future for Muzaiko?
In the future we hope to expand the program in several ways. We would like to add more contributors so we can have voices and ideas from all parts of the world. As stated above, we will be generating more new content on a daily basis and extending the program. On the technical side, we have been working towards gaining independence from radionomy.com and using our own server.
How can my readers get involved in helping the project?
We always welcome new contributors and volunteers! Anyone interested in doing interviews or reports, collecting and reading news, proposing new program segments, compiling the program, helping with computer and technical issues, or anything else is welcome to join our all-volunteer team! If you would like to help, or have any ideas or suggestions for what YOU would like to hear in the future of Muzaiko, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our work is done entirely in Esperanto.
So, I welcome you to listen to the station at Muzaiko.info.