Thank you for your recent survey submissions. We appreciate you and in an effort to respond to some common questions and concerns, we have put together this webpage of information. If you have further questions, please contact Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific issues. And thank you for all you do for GaRRS!
Feedback: The biggest request we had in the survey was for feedback. We know that you would love to hear from us, but producers are often recording missing programs these days and we have less time than ever for feedback. We do want to try to meet your request for feedback. Please sign up here and we will provide detailed feedback as our schedule allows. Please be patient with us – it may take us a bit to get to feedback for your program! Also, if you are interested in providing feedback for us on a volunteer basis, please let Rachel know.
Switching Programs: If you would like to switch to another program, please let Rachel know and she will put you on a waiting list and let you know when your preferred program needs a reader. Or she can let you know what else is available. If you would like to fill in, please visit here to see what programs are open. You can bookmark that page as Rachel keeps it updated on a rolling basis.
Recording from home: Information on recording from home can be found on this page. We update this page whenever we get new information, so be sure to check it if you have questions or could use different ideas for creating and sending your recordings.
Hard Copies: Reading online can be difficult. Let us know if you need us to mail the hard copies of magazines to you. If we are already doing that, then no need to notify us. If you plan to read from home long-term, we can also switch the address to yours though it usually takes a few months to update.
Want to read a book? Many of our book readers are unable to read from home. If you are interested in reading a book, we would welcome it -- just contact Rachel. But please consider reading a book in addition to your news program. We are still struggling to get our news out daily. Books are not aired until they are completely finished, so you can read a book as you are able to fit it in your schedule.
GaRRS has a new skill for the Alexa. If you have an Echo Dot and would like to try out the skill, let us know and we will send you instructions. This will enable you to listen to programs on demand. Contact email@example.com or call 404-685-2824 to get credentials to log into the app on your smartphone. You only need to do this one time! You will need to give us your email address and phone number. The link for instructions is here: How to enable the GaRRS Alexa Skill.pdf
Who Is Listening to Me? Another big question that is hard for us to answer. We have general numbers of our listenership and we can see who visits programs on our website. Using the web listener numbers, we can extrapolate likely listening numbers.
- Number of radios sent out over the last 10 years: 1,646
- Number of web listeners on garrs.org last month: 426 listeners (45% female and 54% male) with 62% between the ages of 18 and 34, 27% between 35 and 54, and 11% over the age of 55.
- Number of listeners on Tune In: 312 individuals with 8,655 listening hours
- Number of telephone listeners: 40
- There are many listeners who are uncounted: people who received radios prior to 10 years ago, people who use the GPB web link to listen, people who use Sero or the Echo Dot
Most popular website on-demand programs: The garrs.org program library reports there are usually 25-30 listeners who vary for each program. All other programs have between 7-20 listeners. This is just for the website, so multiply across other platforms to get an idea of listeners. The most-visited programs on the website in October included:
- Mystery Story Hour
- Wall Street Journal
- Books (various titles)
- Out and About
- Savannah Morning News
- At Your Service
- Dixie Living
- Food Ads
- Columbus News
- Augusta News
Why don't we hear from listeners? We really only hear from our listeners if there is an issue. For instance, we have been subbing a Women's magazine program for our Martha Stewart program and a listener contacted us to tell us she wants to hear Martha Stewart specifically. We do feature a "Listener of the Month" in our monthly newsletter, so look for favorite readers and programs there. Once in a while we get a nice message from a listener we share with our volunteers such as the one from Marty Stahlman last month: "Dear Friends at GaRRS, I want to thank the staff and all the volunteers for all of the information you have provided me in the last 23 years. When I first received my radio, I was working and only listened to the Atlanta Journal Constitution in the morning. I retired 19 years ago and discovered so many programs to enjoy. I love the books and many magazines including The Economist, New Yorker, The Week, Newsweek, and The New York Times Book Review. I am better informed than many of my friends." People are listening, we just don't hear from them often. We hope these words and statistics help you to realize that your hard work is very much heard and appreciated!
How much time do producers spend editing? Here is a video that outlines the steps our producers follow when processing a file for broadcast. As you can see, the producers do not have time for much editing--just a listen to the beginning and ending, a visual scan, and limiting the volume. That’s why we depend on our volunteers to edit their programs as they go and to give us as clean a file as possible! We hope you find this helpful in understanding what happens when we receive your file.
Breathing Better: We had some requests for breathing tips. Here is an interesting video with tips on proper breathing techniques. And here is an interesting video from a voice over person talking about reducing mouth noises. You can also find lots of other tips and techniques on the website.
Local News: When recording local news programs, please focus on the local news first. However, in many cases we realize that will not be enough to fill the 28 minutes, so it’s fine to include national news as well.
Exporting and Sending Files
Saving Your File Correctly:
- Be sure that you are saving your file in mono not stereo.
- Export your file at 16000 Hz (16 bit) rather than 44,100 Hz. This results in a smaller file which is easier to transfer.
- Although you can send us either .wav or .mp3 files, we prefer mp3 files as they are easier to download. Just download the file as an mp3 at the end of your recording. If you save as you go, save it as a .wav file and then download it as an mp3 at the end. Saving as an mp3 as you go tends to make the recording distorted.
- When reading numbers or spelling out websites please be sure to distinguish between a zero and the letter O.
WeTransfer: If your file is 2 GB or less, the easiest method is to use We Transfer. You can use the free version to send files 2 GB or less. There is a quick video here to show you how to use it. Please email the file to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A note about Dropbox: When sharing files with us via Dropbox, please use the name of the program for both the folder and the file. We have lots of shared folders and files named “GaRRS” which makes it easy to lose programs. Think about renaming those files. Also, please be sure to share the file with us either inside of Dropbox or an email. Otherwise we may not know that it’s there. For example, someone shared a folder with us and started reading a book and placing episodes in the folder. He was done with his book before we realized he was recording as he did not share the episodes in the folder. We just happened to click on the folder and see all of the episodes. We would hate to lose programming this way!
We need additional volunteers to help us fill in for the holidays. Please share the appeal below for new volunteers with friends and on your social media outlets.
Volunteers Needed for Georgia Reading Radio Service
Friends, we need more volunteers for the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS). We are a radio station that broadcasts 24/7 to people who are visually impaired or print impaired. Volunteers record magazines, newspapers, and books for our listeners. No broadcast experience needed.
Before Covid-19, most volunteers came into our recording booths located in the GPB Building. However, now our office and booths are closed to everyone except essential employees. Therefore, we are now seeking volunteers who are willing to learn to record remotely. We provide training.
The volunteer commitment is either one or two hours weekly. We also have a few opportunities that require two hours at a time 2 or 3 times a month.
Readers must successfully complete an audio reading audition which takes about 20 minutes. The audition includes a 100-word pronunciation test, a short newspaper article, and a short fictional excerpt.
If interested please fill out a volunteer application here: https://garrs.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer/
If you need additional help, email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call a producer on duty at 404-685-2825.