Radio Paradise is a listener-sponsored Internet radio station that identifies itself as an "eclectic online rock radio" station. The channel differs from most FM channels and other Internet stations in that the music played is not limited to a specific genre, instead representing great variety. Radio Paradise plays different styles of pop and rock music, but occasionally other genres from jazz to classical to electronic music and world music. All of the styles are DJ-mixed, often with passages of several tracks played back-to-back (and faded between each other), chosen for their suitability or thematic relevance as opposed purely to random playlisting. Whilst Radio Paradise is a for-profit business, it does not broadcast commercials but is financially supported through donations from listeners. It is known familiarly as "RP".
Radio Paradise streams are available in MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC-LC (AAC), HE-AAC (AAC+), HE-AAC v2 (AAC++ or eAAC+), WMA and RealAudio in various bitrates, and can be accessed through Apple's iTunes radio tuner service, the SHOUTcast Radio search feature in the Winamp player, the Shoutcast web site, and in the "Cool Streams" playlist built into the Amarok Media Player. It is one of the most popular stations on the Radio Roku service. Available on the Logitech Squeezebox sound system, the station is ranked as a favorite/recommended station by most of their developers and engineers.
The web site offers a real-time "recently played" facility affording listeners the ability to rate and comment on individual songs on the playlist, as well as songs on the Listener Review Channel, consisting of songs uploaded by listeners to be considered for airplay.
Aside from providing a varied selection of music, Radio Paradise also has a lively online community via its song comments, forums, journals, comments section and contests (through donations) on the web site. Radio Paradise has more than 135,000 registered members and hundreds of thousands of listeners from all regions of the world.
The web site and playout systems use Linux and customized open-source software components for most of its sections, a system devised by Goldsmith initially for KPIG's playout system. Some of the technologies currently used include PHP and BBCode.
The station was started in February 2000 by Bill Goldsmith and his wife Rebecca Goldsmith. It is operated from their home in Paradise, California, from which it derives its name. Bill has been a DJ at various stations (including KPIG, KFAT, KLRB, WCAS, and KPOI) since 1971, as well as working as a radio station manager, and a radio & TV engineer. In August 1995 Goldsmith inaugurated the world's first full-time webcast at KPIG using Xing Streamworks software.
April 2006, RP introduced the Listeners World Map, showing the numbers and locations of listeners across the world.
In June 2006 Radio Paradise began trial runs of Octoshape for its 192 kbit/s MP3 stream; currently it is available via standard Shoutcast.
In September 2006, Radio Paradise began a 128 kbit/s AAC stream.
Threat of the 2007 royalty rates increase
On March 6, 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board increased royalty rates, which would have raised the station's royalty fees tenfold. Bill Goldsmith spoke about this as a serious threat to the station and urged his listeners to sign an online petition to save the station. In subsequent negotiations, royalty rates were established that allowed Radio Paradise and other Internet radio stations to continue operations.
- Shevett, Dave (November 27, 2004). "Interview with Bill Goldsmith of RadioParadise.com". Planet Geek!. Retrieved January 18, 2010. "It's radio-as-art, rather than radio-as-marketing"
- Fonda, Daren (April 11, 2004). "The Revolution In Radio". Time Inc. Retrieved January 18, 2010. "He heeds listener feedback and says the only thing he really cares about is 'playing good music'"
- Radio and Internet Newsletter, 13 July, 2007