By Destiny Diggs
This semester, WCWP has launched a new phone application that enables listeners to stream live music directly from the airwaves of WCWP FM, MY WCWP, and WCWP Talk/Sports. LIU Post alumnus and current employee of the IT department, Panagiotis Sacoulas, created the app. “Throughout, my college career I always found web design to be fun, so one day I decided that I should take things a step further and try to develop an app,” Sacoulas said.
After researching other radio station apps from surrounding areas and seeing what the common standard of what an app should entail, Sacoulas thought that WCWP radio and its listeners could benefit from using an app. “The purpose for the app is to play the radio streams of WCWP,” Sacoulas said. The app currently only offers the audio streams, but will incorporate a ‘now playing’ feature that allows listeners to see the name of the song and artist or display the name of the show that is playing in a few months.
Starting in January 2017 and finishing in May 2017, the new WCWP app took Sacoulas a total of four months to create. Dan Cox, the director of WCWP and other employees at WCWP began to talk about the idea of providing an app for students and Sacoulas stepped up to get the job done. “We started this app project three years ago, but we didn’t have the resources to hire someone to make it so at that time a student volunteered to write the app and it took a while but he did an outstanding job,” Cox said.
Cox explains how he is fortunate that upon graduation, Sacoulas was able to finish the app while working in the IT department. Sacoulas began working on the app while still a student and employee of WCWP. He finished the app months after graduation. “The app was developed as I was still a student towards the end of my senior year, I jokingly compare the app to a thesis paper,” Sacoulas said.
Sacoulas built the application using Android Studio and the iOS application using XCode. Sacoulas created the app with the idea that if made with simplicity, it would accessible to all audiences. “I typed in the station and it was the first one that appeared, it took five seconds to download,” Brie Gittens, a senior public relations major said, about her experience with downloading the app for the first time.
Sacoulas hopes the application will be used by students, LIU Post alumni, residents of the surrounding communities, and faithful listeners. Janine Celauro, who has worked as the secretary at WCWP for 10 years, never imagined an app. “When I first started working here, it was very different, then but I really like the app because it is very important for the students because that is the way of the world right now,” Celauro said.
One week into the spring 2018 semester, students on and off campus have already tried the app. “The app helps me learn more about WCWP radio station because there is a tab for each stream which not only gains more media attention but attracts students who do not live on campus,” Caitlin McNeil, a senior and public relations major, said.
Students have grown fond of the station’s new app rather quickly because of the app’s simple instructions and easy to understand format. “It’s like iHeart radio but for LIU,” Danyell Timothee, a senior film major, said.
Sacoulas has even more in store for the app and its fans. “At WCWP we have a tradition of Alumni returning to the station during homecoming. As I never had a show but was tasked with ensuring all technical aspects of the station, operating and updating the app will be my responsibility during each homecoming,” Sacoulas said.
Sacoulas has faith that WCWP will continue to move in the direction of fresh, fun, and modern advancements such as the app. “My successor [as director of technical operations] is Griffin Ward [a sophomore broadcasting major], who I have full confidence in to push WCWP further into the future. As far as my career, I have plans to continue to create apps for other businesses,” Sacoulas said.
The new WCWP app is available on wcwp.org as well as on both Android and iPhone application stores at no cost.