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- The Home Studio -
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Since Dick's retirement from Michigan State University in 1986, he records
The Radio Reader at his home studio near East Lansing.  Though the
equipment and recording technology have changed, the basics of the
program production has not.  Dick records each book one half-hour at a
time.
Dick's Home Studio
Until recently, Dick hand-delivered episodes of The Radio Reader on
tapes, DATs or mini-discs to WKAR Radio for post-production and
distribution to stations.  Five episodes representing one week of
programs would be stitched together into a single two and a half hour
block.  This block of five episodes was then transmitted to stations by
satellite on Monday afternoons, a week in advance of the scheduled
broadcast date.   Stations were required to set recorders to capture the
feed (always a dicey proposition because if a station missed the Monday
feed, they had to scramble to get the program from another source.)  
With the implementation in 2007 of the ContentDepot
® program
distribution system
, the epsiodes are now automatically delivered in the
span of a few minutes with no station intervention required.

ContentDepot
® utilizes the Interent, e-mail, a web browser, FTP (file
transfer protocol), computer-based digital audio recording and editing
tools, and audio compression software.  Dick now manages production
from beginning to end and distribution of
The Radio Reader without
ever having to leave his home.
Dick Estell
The Radio Reader
Public Radio's Reading Program
Photo: Hal Prentice
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