Global Breakfast Radio is a 24-hour broadcast operation, aggregating programs from more than 250 radio stations around the world. But there's a catch: Each of those stations is only played during its time zone's respective breakfast time slot. As GBR explains in a statement, "The sun is always rising somewhere; breakfast is always just about to happen. In some small way, Global Breakfast Radio hopes to be a way of traveling globally through the medium of radio."
The station was created by two UK-based breakfast radio fans, Seb Emina, a writer, and Daniel Jones, a systems artist, Wired UK reports. The duo combed through hundreds of radio stations worldwide to narrow down the current list of 250. Those stations play on a loop, with music and news following the sunrise. As Wired UK explains, pulling that off required a bit of technical finesse:
Digital music aficionados might notice that the output bears a little resemblance to the algorithmically-generated playlists built by Spotify or Pandora. "The difference is that here the algorithm is mediated by the day-long cycle of the Sun sweeping the globe," says Jones, "tied together with the myriad broadcasters in these far-ﬂung locations."
But with this comes myriad difficulties, explains Jones. "We soon discovered that internet stream URLs seem to decay and disappear extremely quickly, meaning that the database of stations needs to be constantly tended. We seem to have accidentally signed ourselves up for a Sisyphean battle against internet bit-rot."
Once the algorithmic kinks were worked out, the team tried to create a list that is representative of the tremendous diversity around the globe and that captures the feeling of exploring an endless swath of new places, they told Wired. CC-licensed photos of sunrises from the locales in question circulate in the background. A few highlights include Alpenmelodie, which plays traditional oompah music from Germany; Voice of Palau, the government-run station of that island nation; and Radio Wassoulou Internationale, playing traditional tunes from South Mali and Guinea.