My blabbering in the TARDIS

Deep within the bowels of the ABC studios at Southbank…

ABC Southbank (Melbourne) studios

…there is a Triple J studio called “TARDIS”.

TARDIS studio, ABC

Well, recording booths. I discovered that they’re not bigger on the inside.

I was there the other day at lunchtime. My blabbering has shown up as part of a Triple J “Hack” story on the costs of public transport vs cars.

What was yesterday?

Yesterday was the 5th of April.

It was Easter Monday, a public holiday in Victoria.

Most businesses were closed. When it comes to the shops, it looked like a Sunday: most smaller ones closed, most bigger ones open. (Not like Good Friday and Easter Sunday when everything’s closed.)

Schools were all closed, but they’re in the middle of school holidays anyway. Universities seemed to be closed.

The roads were generally quieter than a weekday. But as far as the reversible lane in Queens Road was concerned, it was a weekday, as in the morning it was operating city-bound. (Outside weekday mornings, it always operates outbound.)

Would a weekday parking restriction count on a weekday public holiday? I don’t know. Anybody know?

As far as the trains were concerned, it was a Saturday, with a Saturday timetable running, but without the two late-night after-midnight trains on each line. V/Line trains and coaches also ran to a Saturday timetable.

As far as the trams were concerned, it was a Saturday but with trams starting an hour earlier than the usual Saturday timetable. On a lot of public holidays they run a Sunday timetable but with trams starting at weekday times. I’m not sure why they don’t just fix the Sunday timetable so the trams regularly start a bit earlier.

Buses? All over the shop. Some routes ran Saturday timetables, some Sunday timetables.

If you travelled with a Metcard, it was a weekday. They don’t do public holidays. If you travelled on trains with a Myki, it knew it was a public holiday and should have charged a maximum of $3 for the day. (There you go, there’s an actual tangible benefit from it.) V/Line charged off-peak fares.

On TV, it appeared to be a normal Monday. Radio seemed a bit different — ABC 774 was doing its holiday thing of networking all the ABC Local Radio stations around the country together, with a host in some far-flung town broadcasting to the nation.

And me? I spent a fair bit of time at home, spending time with loved ones, and relaxing, so to me, it was closest to a Sunday.

ABC web site useable again

I noticed the other day that the ABC Local web sites were down for maintenance.

They got a revamp in mid-2008 that left it incredibly messy. Apart from the garish green and black colours, it was impossible to find things.

It’s like they forgot that they’re most often promoted via the ABC Local Radio stations; finding programme information and clips was really difficult, lost in a sea of links.

Happily they’ve given it another facelift, and not only are the colours a bit easier on the eyes, it’s a easier to find things again.

ABC web site late-2008 ABC web site early 2010

Progress, definitely progress.

Digital radio

Digital radio was launched today.

Interesting, and they’re crowing about a number of new funky features. But the bottom line for me is:

Q: Will AM and FM radio be switched off soon?

There are no plans at this stage to switch off AM and FM radio services. As there is an estimated five radio devices per home, listeners must be given time to change over all of their radio devices before any discussion of switch off of analogue services. In addition, planning needs to continue for the switch on of digital services to the rest of Australia outside of the five launch cities.

Digital Radio FAQ

I listen to radio a bit, but the new features like clearer sound and extra channels aren’t grabbing me. I’ll only upgrade if I’m dragged kicking and screaming off conventional radio. $150 for a set? No way.

Maybe the serious radio-heads will take it up?

Podcasting mogul Cameron Reilly has a post comparing Digital Radio to podcasts and notes that podcasts already have most of the features. True.

But then, I listen to radio for its immediacy. You don’t get breaking news on podcasts.

Oh, boy am I glad I missed the mind-numbing four-minute-long “road-block” (all stations) segment at 7:40am.

Something for your Pod

I don’t have a post for you this morning, so here’s something I prepared earlier.

This morning I had a chat to the people at 3CR about PT issues, and it reminded me of this recording from Joy FM back in April. I think they’d been intending to post the podcast themselves, but haven’t… so I’ll do it myself.

There’s a couple of spots where it seems to skip very slightly (though nothing that really causes an issue listening) — sorry about that, it was recorded off a slightly dodgy stream. When recording it I rabbited on and on… they’ve chopped it down to just over 8 minutes.

By the way, to clarify on the anecdote of Frank Casey, he wasn’t a disruptive passenger — he got cranky because the train he was on was said to be out of service and terminated, then once all the passengers had alighted, it left and continued on its journey, empty.

Hope it’s not too boring — happy listening!