DIG this! ABC launches online radio station

The ABC has re-launched its first exclusively online radio station, DIG Internet Radio, featuring a wide range of music from rock to roots.

The aim of the site is to raise the ABC's appeal to the 30 to 50 age bracket and receive feedback from listeners on a range of music not regularly played in Australia.

The site and station were first launched as a test in June to allow the ABC to establish the look and operation of the station, said manager of ABC Digital Radio, Tony Walker. The site's re-launch coincided with the Queenscliff Music Festival, held in Victoria between 22-24 November.

The first band to play on DIG after the re-launch was the Cruel Sea, who performed live at the Queenscliff festival.

"They were chosen because they are a prominent Australian band that represent the type of music we are playing on DIG Radio," said Walker.

Listeners can also access numerous live recordings of concerts and other specials from the site, located at www.abc.net.au/dig/.

While the site is currently set up for low-end modem connections with a 20Kbps stream, the ABC will soon update its infrastructure for broadband.

"We will introduce a stream for broadband and high-end modems that will run on a 56K or 128K connection in the first quarter of next year," said Walker.

Walker said the station also streams on digital TV's channel 200. And while it only offers continuous music sans vision at the moment, "there are plans to implement a visual aspect to it [channel 200]".

There are no plans to launch DIG on the current AM/FM radio spectrum, as the ABC claims it does not have access to the resources or bandwidth required.

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