However, JAR also have serious financial problems. The station is bankrolled by the personal finances of the founder and they burn about $3K a month just in server fees. The rumors are that licensing fees are brutal as well, and with 600 to 800 listeners every night they run into difficulties. Apparently, the revenue they get is not scaling with the number of listeners. I am not going to search who to blame among RIAA, Congress, VCs, JAR's management, or whatever. The fact is, they are in trouble.
Kawaii Radio seems to be exactly at the point where JAR was 3 years ago. They hover at about 200..250 listeners, which is about 2/3 of what JAR had back then. They stream 128kbit/s mp3, which JAR deprecated last year due to bandwidth constraints. Kawaii also let to select the play URL, which is notable. JAR used to do that, but they deprecated it as well, because their licensing agreements required a specific way of tracking listeners, and that was linked to URL loads, not actual listening. So, RIAA are a bunch of evil jerks with no clue, what else is new?
Anyway, the first impression of Kawaii is positive, although they lean into J-[c]rap as well. I guess it's unavoidable. One thing they have (which JAR never did), is a sensible website design. Dunno how long they will be able to keep it up. So far I haven't heard a single ad.
Oh BTW... Apparently musicians are not happy with RIAA as well, according to anecdotical evidence. Weird, huh. Imagine auto workers unhappy with UAW.
And another BTW. I'm using VLC now. It's superior to Rhythmbox in every respect, except: no way copy-paste the stream tag, which Rhythmbox does naturally. I mean, come on people. Am I supposed to take a screenshot with GIMP and run OCR on it just to save the name of the tune I liked?