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How do you do....it? Thread, Been asked to setup a School Radio Station in Technical; I've been tasked with setting up a school radio station. I've been given some advice from a member of staff's ...
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    Been asked to setup a School Radio Station

    I've been tasked with setting up a school radio station. I've been given some advice from a member of staff's friend who runs an internet radio station. I need to do some costing for it so want to check a few things and wondered if anyone could help.

    • Would we need 1 or 2 computers, ive been told to get 2 but unsure what each would actually do.
    • Licenses, ive been told about PRS and PPL licenses but been told by this contact that we could buy a license from swcast.net for $10 a month. Also once you have the licenses, do we need to download music and pay for it or what?
    • This guy also reccomended software called samsbroadcaster which im told is 200. I thought we would be able to get all software for free, is this the case?
    • Finally when it comes to hosting, instead of paying for this service would it be feasible to host it in school, especially as to begin with it would only be students listening.


    It is worth noting we are just setting this up to start with as a basic trial so we just want to be able to queue up some songs, podcasts etc and then also broadcast live as well. To begin with the idea is to have the link embedded into a player on our VLE.

    Will this be easy to setup?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    right, BUY a fully licenced version of SAM Broadcaster, excellent program, you can add in your own adverts and such like, and an entire playlist for it to go through, and you can pause the music, live talking etc. Its great!

    The free version of SAM broadcaster throws in adverts between songs (every 5 songs I believe) which you CANNOT stop.

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    ok but with us just starting out, can we not achieve anything at all similar through a combination of winamp/shoutcast etc which are free?

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    sister_annex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    Would we need 1 or 2 computers, ive been told to get 2 but unsure what each would actually do.
    1 would be for the actual radio playout system (the box that stores your music) the other would be a more beafy box that would provide your hosting (i presume)

    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    Licenses, ive been told about PRS and PPL licenses but been told by this contact that we could buy a license from swcast.net for $10 a month. Also once you have the licenses, do we need to download music and pay for it or what?
    Most schools have a PRS/PPL License - I would speak to whoever would looks after that (our finance bod does ours) as for music... it is up to you to provide, the license gives you right to publicly broadcast the music only. No music will be proivded.

    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    This guy also reccomended software called samsbroadcaster which im told is 200. I thought we would be able to get all software for free, is this the case?
    Sams is an all in one solution that provides a playout system and internet hosting more detail is here SpacialAudio Solutions, LLC - SAM Broadcaster - Internet Radio Automation Software

    Free software for radio is few and far between and somewhat less advanced than the paid for software and services. that is not to say that it would not be of use but I do not know of any...

    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    Finally when it comes to hosting, instead of paying for this service would it be feasible to host it in school, especially as to begin with it would only be students listening.
    I have little knowledge of Internet radio i have only ever setup hardwired (100v line) and Broadcast (am/fm) but i can imagine one thing that would need to be checked would be the load that streaming audio would place on your network infrastructure.

    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    It is worth noting we are just setting this up to start with as a basic trial so we just want to be able to queue up some songs, podcasts etc and then also broadcast live as well. To begin with the idea is to have the link embedded into a player on our VLE.

    Will this be easy to setup?
    In short a trial may be best carried out with a company that would be will ing to set one up for you - I have dealt with the following Synergy School Radio - School radio manufacture, installation and support and Welcome To Schoolradio.co.uk

    HTH

    Mark

  5. Thanks to sister_annex from:

    StudyUnitedFC (22nd June 2010)

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    thanks Mark.

    We did look at having an external company come in but the money they quoted was a little too much so we decided that between me (I.T) the music tech and a member of staffs contact who has his own internet radio, that we could get it setup oursevles for a fraction of the cost. So i was just hoping to get some advice really.

    I was hoping someone who has done this already would be able to advise what spec computers we'd need in order to host it in school and whether it would be realistic or not when considering bandwith consumption etc.

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    sister_annex's Avatar
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    In terms of PCs the more HD Space the better - and the usual lots of RAM and a chunky CPU. I would go for XP Pro over win7 mainly due to the lower resource usage between the two.

    For streaming your man may be able to tell more, i know it can be quite intensive on RAM and processor E.G 25/30 simultaneous connections per 1Gb Ram (not including OS)

    as for bandwidth as long as you dont start streaming High Quality i.e. > 128Kbps (or even 96Kbps) Audio and you're not doing other network intensive jobs such as ghosting I doubt it would be a majore impact unless you're expecting 100's of simultaneous streams

    Have you considered getting the students to record their segments having the music Tech edit them into a 'show' or multi topic piece and then just making the files available for download from your VLE??

    M

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    We have a load of old Dell GX60's which are 2ghz Celerons with 512mb RAM in them. So was hoping to use those rather than the better pc's we have in school which we are running low on. I do have a couple of spare dual Xeon CPU servers though which could be used for hosting i guess if it really needed something that powerful?

    The teacher whose idea this is wants it as a "Radio Station" so just uploading pod casts to the VLE wont float his boat. He wants people to tune in and out through the day with a continous stream of music or learning material being broadcast during the day.

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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    it's not a fully 24/7 streaming service but it might be interesting to look at;

    School Video | School Radio | Free School Websites | Radiowaves

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    The teacher whose idea this is wants it as a "Radio Station"
    We had a discussion about this a couple of years ago - you could actually make a low-power FM-broadcast station, just around your school, by placing lots of small FM transmitters around the place - the kind of things that are used to play the output of car stereos to people's personal radios. Then you could transmit a show at lunchtime or whenever.

    If you're not transmitting live, but are just streaming pre-recorded material, then that's pretty pointless and you should do a podcast instead. The whole point of the Internet is that it enables point-to-point communication, shoe-horning last century's broadcast model into it is rather missing the point.

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    Sam is way to complicated for a school radio. I've used rsplayer its much easier and cheaper.

    Radio Server Player 2 - Simple. Professional. Affordable.

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    sister_annex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farquea View Post
    We have a load of old Dell GX60's which are 2ghz Celerons with 512mb RAM in them. So was hoping to use those rather than the better pc's we have in school which we are running low on. I do have a couple of spare dual Xeon CPU servers though which could be used for hosting i guess if it really needed something that powerful?
    Sounds Good, i would up the Dells to 1Gb RAM though

    Low power FM Transmitters wont work - sorry i'll rephrase it will work but you will have to pay OFCOM a ridiculous amount of money (and go through reams of paperwork) just to get licensed - even the low power ones, in enough quantity require a license.

    The link from @rlweb looks like it will do what you need - and it's cheap

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    I've been doing some research recently and found 2 possible playout/automation systems - one created by the Student Radio station at Warwick Uni Radio Warwick - Digital Playout Software, and the other a quite sophisticated one called Rivendell Rivendell Project Home Page. Both are either opensource or free. I've been trying to work out the best input/output path to reduce the chances of silence being broadcast for long periods of time (with the Rivendell software you can route the output to an input on the soundcard, which would mean that you could use the input as a source for your external broadcast taking input from a desk, and when a certain amount of silence is detected you could force it to switch the stream to the output of the playout system [ie if a student forgets to put the computer fader up on the desk before leaving]). Seems that school radio is something being considered by a lot of schools currently.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sister_annex View Post
    it will work but you will have to pay OFCOM a ridiculous amount of money (and go through reams of paperwork) just to get licensed - even the low power ones, in enough quantity require a license.
    Drat - what, even the 5 a time ones offf eBay? I thought (from the thread a couple of years ago) the legislation covering FM licensing was being reviewed - did that just never get done?

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    One of my primary schools in Coventry has a radio station which streams to the internet and also over their wifi network to wifi radio receivers.
    They use an Apple Mac and software I think called DeeJay (although I would have looked for FreeBSD/Linux/MS Windows based solution, but they had a grant and external help from creative partnerships) , they also needed a licence of some description I think to cover the music rights.
    I'm at that school again on Thursday so will find out the full spec and what licences were required and PM you the details at the end of the week if you are interested.
    Here is a link to their blog and podcasts Super Star Radio
    Andy

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    @dhicks; it was, and as far as i know the personal ones can be used, but as a school is classed as a commercial building even the smaller ones require a license.

    It does seem that grants and funding are the way to go, we had one company in who wanted nearly 15,000 for the priviledge of setting up a school radio. Lets just say that the idea was soon put on the back burner surely to be forgotten at some later date...

  17. Thanks to sister_annex from:

    dhicks (22nd June 2010)

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