Ormgas is a Stockholm, Sweden-based internet radio station which streams all the OC ReMixes available from OverClocked ReMix. Ormgas's playlist also contains most of the episodes from an Atlanta, Georgia-based radio show called VG Frequency hosted by Larry Oji (also known as "Liontamer").
Ormgas was initially founded sometime in winter 2002 by Marco "ravon" Alanen, with the intention of providing the stream for himself and his co-workers. At that time, Ormgas consisted solely of the radio stream (powered by Icecast) and the status page provided by the software, containing the currently playing song, listener account and some other miscellaneous information.
On 15 January 2004, ravon switched from this status page to the e107 content management system (CMS). This new website contained common website features including a chatbox, a forum], and the ability to post news. More importantly, it provided a platform upon which the administrators of Ormgas could implement new features for the website: most importantly allowing a voting mechanism that has become central to Ormgas.
In August 2004, OC ReMix founder djpretzel added a live advertisement for Ormgas on the front page of OverClocked ReMix, dubbing Ormgas its unofficial (but endorsed) radio station. In September 2006, the live advertisement was removed, but the Ormgas link was moved to the new "Projects" section, making Ormgas the official OC ReMix radio station.
During each cycle of the Ormgas playlist, the stream plays every OC ReMix once, in a random order. ReMixes that are new to the cycle are inserted into the playlist three times, so that users will be exposed to them quickly and have a greater chance to rate them. At the end of each cycle of the playlist, an old episode of VG Frequency is played.
There are currently three streams, all of which are encoded in Ogg Vorbis. The 32 kbit/s stream and the 56 kbit/s stream are hosted in ravon's apartment. The 80 kbit/s stream is hosted on Mediacast1 in North America. All user donations go to paying Mediacast1 for this relay.
From the beginning, ravon wanted Ormgas to have something OverClocked ReMix itself was lacking—the ability to vote on the ReMixes. All logged-in users have the ability to vote on the currently-playing piece. As users vote more and more, they gain the ability to vote on previous and upcoming ReMixes, and, after 400 votes, they are allowed to vote on any OC ReMix. Votes are processed by a secret formula, and every ReMix is assigned a score based on the outcome of this formula. The Ormgas Top 100 shows the ReMixes with the top 100 scores.
Users can rate songs from 1 to 5. While 5 is the best vote and 1 is the worst, no official guidelines have ever been issued to help a user differentiate between the different votes. Many users, unable to decide between two votes, have proposed a 1-10 voting system, or suggested that one should be able to issue "in-between" votes (e.g. 2.5 or 3.5). The administration has always denied these requests. Along the same lines, users have requested that they be allowed to rate a limited number of tracks "6" or "gold star"—a rating that would be above and beyond all others. The administration has denied these requests as well.
The IRC channels #ormgas and #ormgas.chat were created on the EnterTheGame network in early April 2004. #ormgas.chat is a live feed from the main page's chatbox so users can read and respond quickly and easily to posts made there. Ville "w-ber" Koskinen concocted wormgas, an IRC bot, to provide basic site functionality within the IRC channel. Using wormgas, users can check the currently playing song, check what is coming up in the stream queue or what recently played, and vote on the songs, among many other functions. wormgas can also interact with users using the MegaHAL software; as such, wormgas has a "personality" that makes him as much a character of Ormgas as any of the site's administration.
The Ormgas staff is a relatively small group. They can roughly be divided into two groups:
- ravon (Marco Alanen): Founded Ormgas, handles all website coding, and has the final say in any administrative request.
- w-ber (Ville Koskinen): Wrote wormgas (the Ormgas IRC bot), the playlist handler, and built the Ogg Vorbis support into IceCast. Also writes most of the polls.
- Liontamer (Larry Oji): Forum and chatbox moderator, and the official connection with OC ReMix and the rest of the scene.
- Tanaric (Cory Petosky): Deals with internal community issues, such as moderation of the IRC channel, chatbox, and forums, and the maintenance of the FAQ.