I have been a music lover my entire life. I grew up buried in my room with records, and later on cassettes and CDs. I enjoyed DJ small parties and events for my friends. Since I am very shy, it gave me a way to hide behind my table and not need to talk to people.
In 2001, I was recently divorced and searching for a new self. I packed up all my belongings and moved to TN. I moved in with an old high school buddy. A few weeks later I was introduced to a buddy of his named Larry.
Larry was a music fan much like myself. We also loved computers and using the new mp3 format. He told me he and some friends used a video chat program and some tricks with the sound card settings so they could have a radio station for the room. This was still in the days of NetMeeting and some software called CU-SeeME. We used CU-SeeME and called it “Nekkid Radio” it was not about naked people, (though we often were) it was about just raw internet radio without commercials, and truly live requests. We were completely interactive and chatted with the group.
Other rooms were formed and soon there were a dozen little “stations.” This evolved into using RealMedia encoder and then onto Shoutcast. We grew to over 30 Djs and kept the stream going live 24/7. We used ICQ Yahoo and all the other chats to still take requests. We were a family, we had online weddings, we met in real life when possible. But like all families, we also battled and went our own ways. This split caused several other stations to form as some members chose sides. Radio Heart, Radio Active was formed. Soon there were hundreds of similar stations all over and this became the net radio that was popular until Pandora and Spotify caused it all to dry up.
The other role I played in my part of the internet radio was the website. My buddy Ray that I moved in with taught me enough about code and early web applications like PHPNuke. We needed a place for our player files to be downloaded and staff schedules. Since I was the only person on the crew who could do any of this, I became the web guy for all the stations. As my web role grew, my Dj role took a backseat.
This was the beginning of the next chapter in my life, World Webscapes.