Tuesday, 27 November 2012

school radio station update

When the seniors are away, I will play...
I have been working on getting the radio station more up and going as time has allowed me, since the room is locked and I don't have a key, I managed to obtain one for a brief period of time, enough to patch a network cable in, setup remote desktop and turn everything on.

This has worked extremely well. Until 3am this morning, when windows updates restarted the computer. Have now turned off install updates.

I have also got two programs running, itunes is currently on random selection and playing, also windows media player has a 20 minute look where it does what is required under the broadcasting act, in which it puts out the radio station ID.

I have been modifying a number of things, but what has me at the moment is the computer only have 512Meg of RAM, we need to put more in and that we have an issue that the devices that students bring into school don't have fm receivers on them.

Now, why operate a radio station then... Well we do have outdoor speakers that we have running during lunchtimes, we do have a 2km broadcast radius, we do have a number of students that live around the area, in one case I want the students to go out and tell me where the fringes are and map these, we are not broadcasting on the internet, this is at the moment going to be only through the school wifi that students will be able to connect.
Now this has been the biggest hiccup, how... 
How does one broadcast a stream of the radio show?
Looking around I came across a radio station in auckland, called 95bfm, they have links on there page which allow a user to connect to there stream and listen. Something useful, looking at there .m3u file in notepad, I was pointed to http://streams.95bfm.com/stream32 which allowed me to listen to there 32kbps stream. Now going back a directory http://streams.95bfm.com I came across a bit more information... an IceCast 2 status screen.
Now going back a bit, I had come across a icecast server before, but thought that I needed to access it through a webhosting server, and then I stopped investigating. However, I can do this on an internal server setup, yay. 
So looking at there setup, I can see four streams
32k, 95k, 128k and 112k with a mixture of aac and mpeg.
It also gives me the number of people listening to each stream.
Administration looks as it is done through a web interface?
And it gives me a icecast version...
Now why am I going through this? I tested it earlier today using my itouch and it started playing through the safari, this allows me to broadcast within the school :)

Do I need another computer to encode all of the data?

I see icecast, but what is it an how do I get a copy of the XP version,or do I push a linux box?

http://www.cricketmx.com/articles/read/how-to-set-up-an-online-radio-broadcast-stream-using-icecast-and-edcast/ or http://www.fastserv.com/kb/article/edcast_standalone_-_stream_live_audio_to_icecast_or_shoutcast/ however it talks about reading the instructions about the lame_mp3 encoder....

this afternoon, I have been given a computer to setup the encoder and streaming software on, it required  a new windows xp image and at last count 117 updates. But hey, this is a awesome achievement. Using the installs that were downloaded last night for icecast and edcast? they were easy enough to setup and get running.
Setting up the software required some passwords to be changed so the authentication between encoder and streaming could work, and I have renamed the stream from stream.ogg to stream128. However, it seems that I can only encode one stream on the computer.  Also required was changing the name of the stream and details under the YP tab.
Once setup and running, I asked myself a question, should I use port 8000 or change it to port 80, however trying this I encountered a issue that I think maybe related to port 80 but changed it all back to port 8000.
Now thinking about it, I need to run a web server to allow the students to populate information and graphics to allow students easy access to the stream. Now running windows xp, I don't have a webserver running that would be able to do php/mysql.
I am now looking at WAMP being installed. However the computer only has 1 gig of RAM available, so I am in two minds, create a a streaming server only, though I don't know how many streams I can have concurrently. But in the mean time WAMP maybe a good fit.

Now that I have it working through the testing, tomorrow we can put it into its operating environment and hook it into the tape out ports of the mixing desk. 3.5mm to 2 rca will be all that is required, just have to make sure it gets plugged into the correct port on the back of the computer.

It also needs to go through the school wifi, that is the main function of this, so a static port maybe needed, this will require the student to request a static IP from the tech.  This maybe why I may have to put the web server and the streaming server on one computer, as I am only going to get one IP.

Now that I know it can be done... it is certainly a credible project, be its one component of a bigger project next year.

1 comment:

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