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How do you do....it? Thread, Radio Station onto network in Technical; Hi people, been given a good puzzle here. One of our deputys is having a radio station installed. The company ...
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    Radio Station onto network

    Hi people,

    been given a good puzzle here. One of our deputys is having a radio station installed. The company said that it could be run over the computer engtwork but after talking directly to him, it can't. It only uses the cat 5 cable so if it meets a switch thats it for that run.

    The radio station is being installed in a room that has it's own switch so the cable runs are limited to this room only, this switch is connected via fibre to our core switch.

    Now my first thought would be to take the output of the radio station, pipe it into a server and stream it across the network. Does anyone know if this is possible? I know it can be done with mp3's and the like, but an actual live line in source? Also would there be a delay on it? And what kind of costs would we be looking at?

    Also do any of you have a radio station running? and if so what have you got and how does it work? Ours is only going to run at morning registration and breaks and lunch.

    Any other ideas will be greatly appreciated and looked into.

    Thanks,

    Ste

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Radio Station onto network

    I know you can do this with IceCast on Linux. Plug your sound input into the line in on your soundcard. Then take this and pipe it to Icecast via an mp3 encoder of choice. The only issue is having enough CPU power to encode the stream in realtime.

    Also beware of licensing and copyright issues.

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    Re: Radio Station onto network

    Yes get your legal issues sorted first as otherwise wasting your time..

    Still waiting hear back from our lea legal bods in fact will give them a chase on it.

    Russell

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    Re: Radio Station onto network

    What kind of licensing probs could we have? I know we have a license to play audio at performances and the like. Can you give me some pointers on what i need to look for?

    How much CPU power would you think would be needed? We might end up streaming to every classroom, so that could be 50 odd simultaneous connections.

    thanks

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    Re: Radio Station onto network

    @ste_Harve

    That is the question...

    Thing is that license is performence license you not performing you are running radio station which is very different.

    Are you going to play copyrighted music if so need licnese for that, are you converting cds into mp3 format again maybe a license for that.

    Are you planning on streaming to outside your network if so you will need a license for that.

    Once we get stuff back from our lea will let you know but if state school ring lea legal team who will be able to help you.

    Russell

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    Re: Radio Station onto network

    The following info was provided by the Network manager at my school.

    Hope it helps!!!

    Our radio/repro technician wanted to broadcast audio live to PCs around school. I think we've cracked it, so I thought I'd share experience. All of the software mentioned below is free and googleable.

    You need a source content provider on the recording PC, to send the stream to your server. Then you need streaming server software. And on the listening PCs you need an appropriate player.

    We'd had Oddcast (source) and Shoutcast (server) recommended, but it appears that Shoutcast will only work with Winamp (player), and I didn't fancy installing another media player on hundreds of PCs.

    IceS (source) and Icecast (server) do the same job for a wider range of players, but still not Windows Media Player.

    Broadwave (server) works a treat, but will only stream either files or the line-in from the local soundcard - not a live feed from a separate source PC.

    Steamcast sounded promising, but before I followed that up I twigged that Windows already includes a streamer. We went that route: Windows Media Encoder 9 on the source PC, Windows Media Services on the Win2003 server, Windows Media Player on the stations.

    I gave the source PC a static IP address and told it only to accept Pull encoding - ie. the server grabs it from the source PC, which blithely offers it up to all and sundry. I also had to tell the source PC to use fixed bit rates, as multiple bit rates led to an error message at the server: "Unable to establish connection." The Encoder is evidently more advanced than the server component. (Our source PC, by the way, is on the same subnet as the server, but not on the domain, but since it's all IP-based it still works.)

    At the server I created a broadcast profile and entered the IP address and port of the source PC. The 'Announce' tab gives the URL that client stations need to listen to the stream.

    There's a multicast option for minimal bandwidth, but that's only available with the Enterprise and Data Center editions of Win2003. Under unicast broadcasting, the server was providing perfectly acceptable quality at 33kbps per station, which shouldn't do any harm to network traffic unless the number of clients gets into the hundreds.

    Once we ironed out the bumps it worked surprisingly well. Supposedly it works with video streaming too.

    And

    Our radio feller tells me that if you're broadcasting in-school, you don't need licences - so long as you don't play full songs! We'll be more concerned with interviews and stuff like that, done by the kids on their media courses. You're free to punctuate your material with chunks of commercial music, so long as it's incomplete, apparently.

    To broadcast to the wider world you either need to make your server visible somehow , or send your output to one of many streaming websites, some of which are free. However, I'm told that in this case you need a PPL (public performance licence?) and registration with the Performing Rights Society - making you liable to pay royalties on any music played. (I think the Internet broadcast royalty rates are fairly nominal.) You'd also be required to record and keep all your programmes (ROT - Recording Of Transmission) - although not neccesarily at high quality.

    But I suppose if you don't play music, just student-generated material, it could be worthwhile. Gotta ask yourself how many people will actually listen outside of school. We just put recordings of programmes on our school website as MP3s.

    Craig

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