Saturday, 28 March 2015


Stream URL:

Few stations demonstrate the power of Internet radio better than Cameroonvoice: it's a West African station, addressing a West African audience, on West African time, but located in… Montréal. There, with the benefit of political stability, economically-secure benefactors, and reliable infrastructure, it can deliver a consistent product to a listenership that may not enjoy all – or any – of those advantages. In the past, such a service would have had to resort to the shortwave band, with all the legal, financial, and technical constraints that entails. But here on the new frontier, it's accessible to anyone who's determined to do it.

Cameroonvoice is essentially two services. For most of the week it streams a rich and provocative selection of music; most times it's Afropop, in its infectious, interminable classic form. But we've also logged soca; salsa; big band; Motown; Anglo-American folk of the 50s and 60s; Latin oldies, reggae; hip-hop; Desi pop; club dance mixes; and even Appalachian mountain music on scratchy old 78s. Apparently the CV audience is uniquely eclectic and sophisticated in its musical tastes. (Or maybe they're just nudging them that way! If so, it's the kind of nudge we all could use.)

Spoken word dominates local weekend evenings and is often live. Most is in French, with an occasional English programme. (French is Cameroon's main business language, though it's officially bilingual; a fact reflected in the station's name.) Themes run to news, West African politics, the arts, and public interest, with a pronounced nationalist bent. (Station schedule here; all days and times West Africa time zone: GMT + 1).

The CV website includes a respectable listen page with clickable playlist files in four formats, as well as an embedded player in three bit rates, with song ID. In the six-odd months we've been listening the stream has frozen up twice, playing the same few minutes of programming over and over for more than a week. In both cases, a message to station management resolved the issue.

Cameroonvoice is a great station to include in a scan list; at any given time, a random stop here is likely to pipe something interesting into your speakers.

The Gouge:

Genre: West African radio, French language radio, Canadian radio
Location: Montréal (programme schedule on West Africa Time)
Time zone: GMT + 1 (West Africa Time)
Stream URL access: Excellent
Bouncer: No
Type of radio: Net-only
Mic presence: Local weekend evenings for the most part; some live
Stream reliability: Fair
Format selection: Winamp, iTunes, Real Player, Windows Media Player; embedded player (24k, 48k, 128k)
Song ID: Embedded player only
Found it on: Virtual Radio playlist

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