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RantRadio: January 3, 1999 - January 3, 2019

Started by cimmerian, January 03, 2019, 11:11:54 AM

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RantRadio: January 3, 1999 - January 3, 2019

At 9PM PT on January 3, 2019 the longest running Internet-only radio station, RantRadio, will go silent after 20 years of continuous broadcasting.

In late 1998 I ran across a then recently released piece of software called Shoutcast that allowed you to broadcast multiple mp3 audio streams across the Internet to the audio player Winamp. My mind immediately began racing with possibilities as I've always wanted to run a real world pirate radio station ever since watching the film Pump Up the Volume, but legalities and equipment costs always stood in the way. Now was my chance! I played around with the software over the 1998 holiday season during my time off and got it configured so I could speak into a microphone and also play music from a playlist when I wasn't talking.

On January 3, 1999 I threw the switch into the on position and never turned it off again. RantRadio was on the air! I convinced a couple of friends of mine to have shows on the station including Darcy (Drexoll) who started a show called WhatTheHell?!? I had my own show that followed his called State of the Station where I would sometimes play short audio clips of my friend Sean Kennedy ranting about various topics. After a couple of weeks Darcy and I discovered that doing a show together was much easier and more entertaining than doing them separately. The WhatTheHell?!? grew in popularity by a large amount after this point and we were regularly in the top ten stations on the Shoutcast listings, sometimes coming in the top spot.

The weekly Sunday night show WhatTheHell?!? evolved rapidly after that point as we brought in guests to tell stories, jokes, anecdotes and respond to the daily news. People came and went on the show until a panel of regular guests filled the room and we moved the show from my bedroom, to the livingroom and finally into its own dedicated studio in my apartment! People such as Sean Kennedy, Unkle Dak, Saryet, PVM, Enki, Medic and dozens of others became familiar to the listening audience as they tuned in every week to hear the insanity that would be broadcast from RantRadio.

Other shows were also applying to fill the free airtime throughout the week on RantRadio. Dozens of talented and entertaining DJs helped make RantRadio a go-to place for audio entertainment. Fans of the station and the shows would send in their own Rants for broadcast and submit amazing self made graphics celebrating the station and the people on it. RantRadio really felt like an gathering point and community of like minded people that could come together and have some laughs. The RantRadio discussion forums were filled with plans and ideas of radio shows and topics that they could explore.

After a couple of years the WhatTheHell?!? show aired its last episode and Sean Kennedy and myself moved on to a new show, The Sean Kennedy Radio Show. This new show had interviews, news and commentary on what was happening in the world and of course I can't forget the episode we aired the world premiere of the now legendary post-apocalyptic series Tales from the Afternow. Sean's radio show eventually morphed into a live TV show called the The Sean Kennedy TV Show, which was also broadcast using Shoutcast software. After 20 episodes of the TV show, Sean Kennedy returned to the audio realm of RantRadio to broadcast his long running show NewsReal where I was also a regular guest. NewsReal ran DAILY for a year and then for an additional FIVE years on a weekly basis until hitting the 500th episode where it ended.

It was around that time that a large number of audio and video platforms started emerging such as YouTube and music streaming services. The landscape of media was changing to an on demand style of consumption. You no longer had to tune in at a certain time on a certain day to listen or watch your favourite personalities, you could do it at your convenience. You no longer had to sit by hoping the next song would be your favourite band, you could pick any song from any album in their catalogue to listen to. Streaming tools were readily accessible, even on your phone you could now stream live out to the whole world with a click of a button. This was a good thing and a long time coming. Anybody could make their voice heard now and the era of linear broadcasting was over.

On the 20 year anniversary of RantRadio I thought it would be fitting to retire the audio station that started it all. It's bitter sweet day because it's always sad to say goodbye to something that's been with you for so long but I'm also honouring RantRadio at the same time for helping me on the path towards where I am today. I would rather it be my hand to turn off the switch, just as I turned it on 20 years ago, than have it decay and crash at some point and just never recover.

In the years since Sean's and my voice left the airwaves of RantRadio, we have turned to other media related pursuits. Sean has now penned a number of amazing books that you should definitely read. Seriously, they're amazing, go read them right now! I've moved into the world of filmmaking creating shorts, features, animation and documentaries. You can find a number of links for our projects to investigate at the end of this message.

I think I'll end this all with a quote from the movie that inspired it all but first I want to thank everyone who ever listened to us speak our minds on RantRadio or had the chance to speak their own minds on the station. Thank you so, so much. It meant the world to us. We will never forget you.

James / Cimmerian
RantRadio Station Manager

Pump Up The Volume (1990)

"But why did I bother coming out here tonight and why did you? I mean it's time, it begins with us not with politicians, the experts of the teachers, but with us, with you and with me, the ones who need it most. I believe with everything that's in me that the whole world is begging for healing, even the trees and the earth its self are crying out for it, you can hear it everywhere. It's the same kind of healing I desperately needed and finally feel has begun with you.

Everyone mix it up, it's not game over yet, it's just the beginning, but it's up to you. I'm calling for every kid to seize the air. Steal it, it belongs to you. Speak out, they can't stop you. Find your voice and use it. Keep this going. Pick a name, go on air. It's your life, take charge of it. Do it, try it, try anything. Spill your guts out and say shit and fuck a million times if you want to, but you decide. Fill the air, steal it. Keep the air alive"

Sean Kennedy:

Cyberpunk Is:

James O'Brien:

O'Brien Films:
ZeroPage Homebrew:
A Perfect 14:
Vegan Versus (soon):
James O'Brien (Cimmerian)


here's to rant.

thank you for 20 years worth of lifechanging community

Rant has been instrumental in who I am today. I wouldnt be where I am, have the friends I do, the career I have, or the mindset that is core to my mentality, personality  and personal philosophy
Thank you for all the passion, energy and work you have put into this community Cimmerian
"We are now up against live, hostile targets. So if Little Red Riding Hood shows up with a Bazooka and a bad attitude, I expect you to chin the bitch!"

Sgt. Wells


One more show for the road.  See you at the finale streaming party.
Hmm...  Can't Think Of A Good Signature...  :p


I am glad I had the chance to be changed by Rantradio. I am sure there will be various archives, but its a bit shocking to think about. My only regret will be that I wish I was more involved and less on the fringes. Thats life and I am very grateful for what I experienced.
A gold plated turd is still a turd.


Thank you, Cimmerian,

Thank you everyone that was involved in Rant Radio. 
Weather it be on the air on in the back ground doing all the other stuff!

Rant was a time and a place, 
It united so many people,
Entrained us all.
And made you feel welcome like you belonged somewhere

It was life changing inspirational and I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for rant.
Although I never made a show I always planned too.
I think your right now days with YouTube etc anyone can just broadcast...
Ill get there

First time I heard rant back in 2005 via internode and Australian ISP.
I heard rant speak and news real it was entraining and learnt so much.
Can't remember the episode but purdan called in and smoke house and yourself just ranting.

Nothing like a long drive listing to news real,

Can't remember the amount of recommended media and other things that made me fact check look etc.

Unfortunately all good things come to and end.
Its better to go out with a bang, than fade away to nothing.

Rant was nerd talk back radio on the internet it was awesome something unique
Gald to have found rant listened and sent in a few articles to news real.

Also got a digital baptism 

Thank you.

Intel vs AMD
Microsoft Vs Linux
Black Vs white get over it all out shit is the same colour.


James O'Brien (Cimmerian)