Knightcast listeners no longer have to sit in front of a computer to listen to UCF’s nonprofit, student-run radio station because, thanks to Michael Seifollahi, there’s an app for that.
Seifollahi, who graduated this summer with a bachelor’s degree in digital media, created the free app, which is available for the iPhone and the iPad, under the tutelage of Jon Friskics, an instructor in the digital media department.
“One of the biggest problems [Knightcast] had was that people weren’t sitting at their computer long enough to listen to it,” Friskics said. “We thought it would just be friends and family downloading it at first, [but] within the first week, [Seifollahi] had a couple hundred downloads with no advertising.”
Seifollahi first became involved with Knightcast when the Internet-based radio station asked the Office of Student Involvement for help redesigning the website.
“Knightcast asked for a fresh redesign of the site, and I ended up creating a mobile platform as well,” Seifollahi said.
Although a plan for mobile applications was not originally involved in the Knightcast redesign, Seifollahi proposed that they be developed as well.
“I was excited to create a mobile player that has the same look and feel as the Knightcast website,” he said.
According to Knightcast’s website, an app will soon be available on the Android market.
Friskics said the success of the Knightcast app is a good sign for anyone who wants to develop within that platform, but Seifollahi did make the process easier.
“It was nice because he came in knowing what he wanted to do,” Friskics said.
Seifollahi and Friskics would meet for about three hours each week for what became an independent study and go over basic programming.
“He kind of took off and hit the ground running,” said Friskics, who felt he was just there to act as a mentor by the middle of the summer semester.
Seifollahi said that though the project was quite expansive and included programming in three different programming languages, he found the project rewarding and, more importantly, fun.
For Seifollahi, one of the most rewarding parts of working on the project was learning more about how programming fundamentals were applicable across different platforms.
“Some of the things I learned in one programming language actually applied really well to the others,” he said.
The most rewarding moments for Seifollahi and Friskics was receiving the confirmation e-mail from Apple letting them know that the Knightcast app was available in Apple’s App Store.
Seifollahi and Friskics aren’t the only two members of the UCF community who are excited for the new developments.
Schuyler Kerby, a junior English major and co-host on the Feminist Agenda, one of
Knightcast’s programs, said he likes that the station has gone mobile.
“It’s really cool that that’s happening,” Kerby said.
Also happening this fall semester is another independent study for mobile app development that Friskics is working on with three students.
He said he hopes a mobile app development course will be available sometime next year.
Source: Central Florida Future, Aug. 22, 2010, Student’s App Makes Knightcast Mobile, by Katie Kustura and Timothy McCormack