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RP Frequently Asked Questions

1. RP Station & Contact Info
2. Website Registration
3. Financial Concerns & Questions
4. Forums & Journals
5. Webcast (Listening) Problems
6. Mobile Listening, Podcasting & Song Downloads
7. Is RP on XM or Sirius?
8. Why doesn't RP play my request?
9. Music Submissions
10. Security Concerns
11. How do the artists you play get paid?
12. Do you mind if I stream RP in my store/shop?
13. How can I advertise on your station?
14. Ongoing Support Questions
15. Radio Paradise HD

RP Station & Contact Info
Who are you and how do I contact you?
Click here for information about RP and for our email & snail-mail addresses.
Website Registration
Do I need to be registered in order to listen?
No. All you have to do to listen is to click one of the Listen Links on the front page. For more options, and for some help in choosing the right one, you can click Listen on the menu bar. If you're still having problems, check the "Webcast (Listening) Problems" section below.
Why should I register?
We encourage all RP listeners to give us feedback in the form of ratings and comments on the songs, and to join their fellow listeners in the Listener Forum. You need to be registered in order to rate songs or post in the forum.
Will you sell or give away my information?
That's an easy one. No. Not under any circumstances.

We hate spam as much - if not more - than you do. We do send out rare (2-3 times per year) mass mailings to all registered listeners. You can opt out of those if you wish by clicking "Your Settings".

Why didn't I get the activation email you said you'd send?
Some email providers (such as AOL) have very aggressive spam filters that block the activation email sent from our server. Many of you also use services that block email from unknown sources until the sender responds to an authentication message. In these cases you may not get the activation email. If you can't find it in your "Spam" or "Blocked" folder, email bill@radioparadise.com and we'll activate your account manually.
Financial Concerns & Questions
Is RP A Non-Profit Foundation?
No. That's why contributions to RP are not tax-deductible. RP is a for-profit business, and as such doesn't qualify for the 501(c)(3) status that a volunteer-run public FM station would.

RP is a full-time job (and then some!) for us, so we run it just like any other business - paying state and local income taxes on all of our income, investing in equipment and services to keep the business going, paying salaries, and providing benefits such as health insurance and a 401(k) plan.
So We Pay For Your Salary With Our Contributions?
Yes. Like we said, RP is our full-time job. We don't expect to get rich doing this, but we do need to pay our bills. If we needed to have outside jobs to cover our day to day expenses, then the quality of our programming would definitely suffer.
Isn't Internet Radio Pretty Cheap To Run?
While it's possible to start an Internet radio station as a hobby, using just a home computer, a few MP3 files, and a cheap DSL connection, that's not how we do things here. We use professional-grade audio equipment and computer automation software and have redundant systems and Internet connections to reduce downtime and outages.

We maintain clusters of servers in several locations: our audio stream sources and control systems are located at a data center in San Diego, CA; our stream distribution, web & database database servers are in New York City; we have a fully redundant library backup & backup stream source in Santa Cruz, CA; the "master control system" for the station (aka Bill's Macbook Pro) is here in Paradise, CA (or wherever we happen to be); and we maintain stream servers in New York, Dallas, San Diego, Washington, DC and London.

In addition, we pay a significant amount of money in royalty fees to music copyright holders (click here for more info), pay income & business taxes, cover a hefty utility bill, utilize professional accounting & technical services, and all of the other expenses that go along with running a business.
How Do We Know You're Not Scamming Us Here?
It's hard to see how a business based on asking you to pay what you think the service you receive is worth could be considered a scam. If at any point you feel like we're asking you to give us more than what our service is worth, then please feel free to adjust your contribution downward.

Our business model is unusual, which is probably what prompts these kinds of questions. Traditionally it's been the business - not the customer - who assigns a value to a product or service. Or a non-profit foundation provides a service to you or to others and then tries to convince you that they're worthy of your support.

We don't fit neatly into either category, so a certain amount of confusion is understandable. But it's really pretty simple: we're asking you to evaluate what you think our service is worth to you, and - if you can afford to do so - pay us that much.
Forums & Journals
I'm a terrible spellur. Does RP have a spell checker in the forums area?
No. The RP forums do not have a spell checker. However, reputable web browser add-ons exist that can provide a spell check function for your posts. One example is the Google Toolbar.
Webcast (Listening) Problems
What players work with RP?
If you prefer not to use our web player (top of the page), we recommend the following players. Windows Media Player or RealPlayer will also work in many cases, but we think you'll like one of these better:

Windows: WinAmp
MacOS: iTunes
Multiple Platforms (incl. Linux & Mac): VLC

I need/want a direct server link. Where are those?
You'll find direct links here: RP "Listen" tab.
The sound cuts in and out a lot. What do I do?

This means that either there's a lot of net congestion between you & the server, or that your connection bandwidth isn't high enough. Try selecting a lower bitrate on the web player (the bitrate selector is to the immediate right of the volume slider).

In some cases (especially if you're on a very slow modem or satellite connection), you may get better results using a player like Winamp or VLC. Click here for more information on the various options.

The sound is distorted. It sounds like your level is too high.
I'll bet you're using Winamp, and you have one or more of the EQ sliders turned up fairly high. Am I right? Try turning the EQ off. The problem will most likely disappear. If you really need radical EQ settings, turn down the 'Preamp' slider (next to the EQ) to compensate. If you have EQ-related distortion in other players that lack a 'Preamp' control, try turning the sliders for the frequency bands that you don't want emphasized down instead of turning up the ones you do want more of. It accomplishes the same thing.
I'm still having problems. Help!
If all else fails, drop a line to the webmaster.

Windows Users: Don't forget the Windows Mantra - "if it don't work, reboot"

I can no longer find RP in the iTunes radio directory.
RP is now listed under the "Eclectic" category only (formerly we were also listed under "Alternative"). If iTunes is your default MP3 player (as it is on most Macs) you can also open RP in iTunes by clicking one of the MP3 listen links (on the "Listen" tab that you can access from the home page).

Sorry for the confusion. It was their choice, not ours.

Help! I no longer see the list of Internet radio stations in iTunes
Check this from Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12132.
Mobile Listening, Podcasting & Song Downloads
Does RP offer a Podcast?
No. Unfortunately, copyright regulations prevent us from doing a podcast at this time. However, there are a number of programs out there that enable you to record MP3 streams and save them to an iPod or other portable player. Unfortunately, the nicest one (Griffin's iFill) appears to have been discontinued.

The most popular is a freeware program called StreamRipper. It is oriented more towards building a library of individual songs (which we don't encourage) rather than towards pure time-shifting (which is entirely legal and appropriate). However, Streamripper has a "single stream" mode that records a specified amount of programming all in one file that you can load onto an iPod or burn to a MP3 CD.

On Linux (& probably in an OS X terminal window) you can use a command like this:

streamripper http://www.radioparadise.com/musiclinks/rp_128.m3u -A -a -d [file path] -M 650

That will record a 650 MB (CD-sized) chunk of RP to a file located wherever you specify. You could automatically set your system to record a file like that every night (via cron) and then have a approx. 11 hour segment of RP programming ready to burn to a CD each morning.

We welcome more user-friendly suggestions on how to accomplish this same task. Most modern car radios will play MP3 CDs, making this a very cool way to listen to RP in your car.
Do you allow downloading of songs?
No. But you can buy a lot of what we play through the iTunes music store. Be sure to use one of our links (like the one on our front page) when you do, so that we get a commission.
Mobile Streaming on Smartphones, etc.
Is RP on XM or Sirius?
Is RP available on either XM or Sirius satellite radio?
No, we're not. Both US satellite radio companies are very committed to doing their own music programming in-house and neither is carrying any "outside" programming. We'll keep an eye on the situation and if that changes, we'll be ready to talk to them (as long as we can retain our independence & creative control).
What about other ways to listen in my car?
You can access RP on just about any smartphone on a modern (3G or 4G) cell network. Most newer model cars either will connect to your phone via Bluetooth or have an "aux" input (a headphone-type plug) that you can connect your phone to.

We have apps for Android, iPhone, & Windows Phone 7. They're all free. In most cases you can also listen via your phone's built-in web browser. RP is also available via the free TuneIn Radio app (very nice), Shoutcast, WunderRadio, and just about any other radio app.

Why doesn't RP play my request?
Why doesn't RP play my request?
Here's the deal: while we do have the "Request This Song" links on the song info pages, and do actually play requests at least some of the time, you'll find that RP is much less request-focused than some other Internet stations. There are various reasons for this:

1. During most of the day, we're playing music sets that have been previously assembled. We're very careful about the flow of the music from one song to another, and it's not always possible to fit requests into that flow - even if we're not asleep or otherwise occupied (it's just the 2 of us here).

2. Keep in mind that a request you make at 9pm or 3am our time (GMT-7) won't reach us until around 8am. Unless a request that comes in more than a couple of hours before we see it strikes a "wow - we haven't played that for ages, that'd be cool" chord, it probably won't be played.

3. At any given time, we have as many as 10,000 - 12,000 people listening to RP. That means that we get a steady flow of requests, and the only way we could accomodate a reasonable percentage of them would be to do an "all-request" format - which is just not what RP is about.

Even if we don't play your request, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have an impact. If we see a pattern of requests for a particular song from a variety of different listeners, that will tend to make us play it more often overall.
Music Submissions
Can I send you my CD?
Please don't. We are no longer accepting new music submissions on CDs. All that plastic & carbon-spewing transportation is sooooo 20th Century.

Instead, please pick the two or three best songs from your CD and upload them to our Listener Review Channel (see below for instructions).

We will give them a quick listen, and if we think they might be suitable for RP we'll add them to the LRC stream to gather feedback from listeners. The three song per artist limit is strictly enforced. Uploading more than three songs will result in an automatic rejection. After those songs have completed the review process, then you can upload more.
Did you like my songs? Huh, did ya, did ya??
We get thousands music submissions every month so unfortunately, we don't have time to give feedback. In a few weeks, you could take a look in the RP library to see if anything's been added. Click the Music link, and fill in the artist name in the search box.
Will you listen to my songs on MySpace?
No. Our time is very limited, and the LRC upload method is much more efficient for us.
Can I just email you my songs?
No. Our time is very limited, and the LRC upload method is much more efficient for us.
How do I upload songs to you?
First, you'll need a CBR (constant bit rate, as opposed to VBR) MP3 file, ripped directly from the CD or master recording at 320kbps. There is no way to convert a lower bitrate MP3 file or a WMA file so that it will work for us. Please don't waste our time (& yours) by trying to do that.

You will also need to register on our website if you haven't already. After logging in, click "Music & Artists", then "LRC/Upload", then "Upload Songs or Check Upload Status". This is where you can see the review status of songs you have previously uploaded. To upload a song, click the "Upload A File" link, and follow the directions in the popup window carefully.

Again, the three song per artist limit is strictly enforced. Uploading more than three songs will result in an automatic rejection. Once your songs have completed the review process (ie they are no longer shown as "new" or "reviewing" on your upload list), then feel free to send more.

Please DO NOT upload music to the LRC to get "the reaction of other listeners" or "just for a joke" or "just for fun". It's a daunting task for us to sift through the many uploads. Please, we implore you to only upload music that you believe would be truly fitting for the station.

How long does the upload review process take?
It can take anywhere from six hours to six months. If a song is added to the LRC stream (it will show on your list as "reviewing") it will probably take at least a month or so before a final decision is made. Pestering us will not speed up this process.
How do I check the status of my uploaded songs?
You can see the status of your song uploads by clicking "LRC/Upload" (in the Music/Artists section), then click the link labeled "Upload Songs or Check Your Upload Status".
  • New: the song has not yet been reviewed by Rebecca
  • Reviewing: the song has been reviewed briefly and added to the Listener Review Channel
  • Added: the song has been added to the RP library for airplay
  • Sorry: we have decided not to add the song to our library
  • Bad Upload: there is something wrong with the file that was sent
  • Already Have: we already have the song in our library or in the reviewing queue
Security Concerns
Hey, nice operation here. I'd like to send my support but is it really safe?
As for security, when sending & receiving your credit card information online we use the standard https protocol that all online commerce sites (Amazon, banks, brokerage houses, etc) use. We do not store your credit card number unless you ask us to save it to make it easy to donate in the future, or for automatic recurring payments.

If we do store credit card information on our server (which is fanatically hacker-proofed) at your request, it's stored in an encrypted form that can only be read by the software that handles the transaction with our online banking service. We have no way to access that data ourselves, even if we wanted to, nor would anyone else who managed to break into our system.
Do you sell email addresses or other user info?
That's an easy one. Absolutely not. Not under any circumstances. No way. Not if they hired Jack Bauer to break our fingers. Well, maybe then - but otherwise no.
How do the artists you play get paid?
How do the artists you play get paid?
We pay fees to the industry groups ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC (who represent songwriters & publishers) in very much the same way that an FM station does. These fees are distributed to songwriters & publishers based on periodic airplay surveys & reports.

In addition, Internet radio stations are subject to additional copyright fees (performance royalties), paid to yet another industry group called SoundExchange. They represent performers and record companies - mostly the latter, since they are a de-facto arm of the infamous Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). RP pays a surprisingly hefty fee to SoundExchange each year, which is distributed to artists and record labels.

FM & AM Broadcast stations in the US are not required to pay performance royalties at all (though they do in Europe & elsewhere). Satellite broadcasters like XM & Sirius pay them, but at a significantly lower rate than Internet stations like RP. Due primarily to our lack of clout with the US Congress and the Copyright Office, legally operated Internet stations like RP pay the highest royalty rates - by far - of any class of broadcaster in the US.
Do you mind if I stream RP in my store/shop?
Do you mind if I stream RP in my store/shop?
At one point, even playing FM radio in a store or other public establishment required you to get a "public performance license" from the music licensing agencies - and our previous answer here to this question reflected that.

However, the rules changed a while back. This is from the ASCAP web site: "Permission for radio and television transmissions in your business is not needed if the performance is by means of public communication of TV or radio transmissions by eating, drinking, retail or certain other establishments of a certain size which use a limited number of speakers or TVs, and if the reception is not further transmitted (for example, from one room to another) from the place in which it is received, and there is no admission charge."

We have absolutely no reason to think that Internet radio would be an exception to that policy - and we certainly don't have a problem with anyone playing RP in their place of business.

Here are the exact rules, as per ASCAP's website:

Exemptions from fees:

A food service or drinking establishment is eligible for the exemption if it (1) has less than 3750 gross square feet of space (in measuring the space, the amount of space used for customer parking only is always excludable); or (2) has 3750 gross square feet of space or more and (a) uses no more than 6 loudspeakers of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space; and (b) if television sets are used, there are no more than 4 televisions, of which not more than 1 is located in any 1 room and none has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches.

An other establishment is eligible for the exemption if it (1) has less than 2000 gross square feet of space; or (2) has 2000 or more gross square feet of space and satisfies the same loudspeaker and television set requirements as for food service or drinking establishments.
How can I advertise on your station?
How can I advertise on your station?
Advertising? What's that?

Oh, yeah. It's that stuff that used to clutter up radio broadcasts back before Internet & satellite radio - and which still defaces a lot of websites. Sorry, but we don't believe in the stuff.

If you feel like you have a product or service of sufficient interest to the RP audience that we might be willing to endorse it (like we do with the Roku player, for instance), contact rebecca@radioparadise.com.

RP also has affiliate-sales relationships with a select group of companies (like Amazon.com, CDBaby & iTunes). If you'd like to talk to us about that, contact rebecca@radioparadise.com.
Ongoing Support Questions
How do I change the settings for my ongoing support?
If you have a monthly, quarterly, or annual payment set up through our site, using a Visa or Mastercard, then you can do this:

Log into our site (if you're not logged in already), click "Your Settings" (upper right, below the now playing display), then scroll down to the "Support Settings" section.

What if I don't have an account on your site?
It is possible to set up a recurring payment without having a user account. The problem is that you can't manage your support settings online. You have two options:

1. Email Bill and ask him to make the changes.

2. Create an account (it's quick & free), then email Bill and have your existing support payment info transferred to your new account. Then you can make any needed changes yourself.

If you're just canceling support, and don't plan to start it up again, #1 is a perfectly fine choice, otherwise #2 is probably better.

What if I'm sending support via Paypal?
Unfortunately — due to Paypal's security restrictions — you can't manage the settings on recurring Paypal support payments through our site. To make changes, you'll first need to cancel the existing payment (on Paypal's site) then enter a new one here on our site.

To cancel an existing Paypal payment, you'll need to log into your Paypal account, search their Help FAQ for "cancel subscription", then folow those instructions.

Radio Paradise HD
How can I access RPHD on my big-screen TV?
Currently we support the Roku Video Player (add our free Radio Paradise Channel in the Roku channel store) and GoogleTV (just go to radioparadise.com in the Chrome browser). More devices are coming soon.

You can also access RPHD on your computer. There's a link on our front page (or click here).

How can I upload my images for RPHD?
Just click here.