[linux-audio-user] IUPUI Student Radio Station should be based on Linux

Nicholas J Humfrey njh at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Sat Mar 12 16:03:54 EST 2005


I am Systems Manager for a student radio station in the UK called SURGE 
- although it doesn't really answer your questions, I hope my little 
history is of use/interest to you. We are quite a low-budget station, 
so most things we done on the cheap.

Before I came to the station, there were no Linux boxen at all, but I 
have been trying to go all Linux :-)

Originally there was:
  - A studio PC (win 2k) running WaveCart
  - An office PC (win 2k) for MS Office and production -  CoolEdit

I created an Automation System (which we call TotalRequest), which is 
based on a mixture of perl scripts, mysql and mpg123. It has the master 
copy of our Music Library - which is rsynced on to the Studio PC which 
WaveCart uses. It can accept requests automatically via the website, 
phone and SMS text messages.

Then we managed to get decent Internet access to the station over a 
fibre optic link, and added a machine to do website (apache2), mail 
server (qmail) and NFS filestore.

Next came a server to record station output. We are required to keep a 
copy of the past 1000 hours/42 days by the uk government. I run 
darkice/icecast on the server, along with a simple perl HTTP client to 
record an hours audio at a time to disc. The server is completely 
independent from our streaming server, in case of failure.

Finally is our streaming server, which also runs darkice/icecast. 
Pretty standard setup, with encoding to high and low quality MP3 and 

For historical reasons, all the music is stored in the format that 
WaveCart likes - which is MPEG Audio inside a Broadcast Wave file. The 
metadata is stored in the wave file too (including segue and intro 
times), which is extracted and loaded into MySQL.

Most of the scripts that the station runs on are custom written 
scripts, much of which are very SURGE specific and hard for other 
stations to use. It would be less effort to write them again, than try 
and make them usable by other people.

However I have an upcoming project to develop a JACK/OSC based studio 
playout system to replace WaveCart. We plan to make it very 
client/server based, so the you can have multiple front ends 
controlling a backend that plays the audio out.


> ----- Forwarded message from ben racher <bracher at iupui.edu> -----
>> Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:03:07 -0500
>> From: ben racher <bracher at iupui.edu>
>> Subject: [linux-audio-user] IUPUI Student Radio Station should be 
>> based on
>> 	Linux
>> To: linux-audio-user at music.columbia.edu, 
>> linux-audio-dev at music.columbia.edu,
>>    Michael Schultheiss <schultmc at cinlug.org>, Matt Beal 
>> <mbeal at biosound.com>
>> Cc:
>> Hello,
>> I'm starting a student radio station at IUPUI in Indianapolis, Indiana
>> and I want our entire audio infrastructure to be based on Linux. I've
>> got a rough sense of all the apps we need and what apps to setup on
>> which computers, but I thought I'd run the blueprints by you guys to 
>> see
>> if you could give me any feedback.
>> Streaming/Web Server: Runs apache and icecast or the icecast mod for 
>> Apache.
>> Automation Computer: Runs some sort of playback program, I've been
>> keeping my eyes on LiveSupport http://www.campware.org/ to schedule 
>> and
>> automate the station when DJs aren't present.
>> Audio Archive: File Server for our digital library, probably all FLAC
>> files, maybe Ogg, but I think we want FLAC in case we want to burn 
>> CDs.
>> And this is the part that I need help on...
>> Production Computer... so I've been tooling around with JACK and 
>> Ardour
>> and MusE (not to be confused with MuSE) and other JACK apps and its 
>> all
>> really cool and exciting. I never got the sound input to even really
>> work in linux until a couple weeks ago. Yay for the 2.6.8+ kernels. So
>> here are my thoughts on setting up a workstation, and I don't even 
>> know
>> if this is possible, but that's why I'm mailing you guys. One 
>> department
>> has kindly donated a brand new Dell Poweredge Dual Xeon 2.4 ghz 
>> somethin
>> or other. The rest of our computers are from the university junkyard 
>> of
>> midgrade PowerPC G4s and Pentium 3s. So the Poweredge is our gem
>> computer out of all the other crappy computers. Is there any way for 
>> me
>> to set up the speedy new poweredge as some kind of audio production
>> renderfarm, and get the PPCs and the Pentium 3s to connect to it as
>> production terminals? Cause, although multi-tracking on the G4s and
>> Pentium 3s is possible, doing extensive work with FX plugins is 
>> probably
>> out of the question.
>> See what I'm getting at? Also, the Poweredge also has about a 500gb 
>> raid
>> system with it, which would be nice to use for storing our audio on 
>> and
>> maybe even using as our digital archive as well, but that might be
>> pushing it if we are doing audio production work on it as well? I'd
>> imagine this might be the case, but I don't see why ftping flac files 
>> on
>> a local network would be too much of a burden on the raid drive or 
>> dual
>> processors. Another reason why it would be nice to be able to connect 
>> to
>> a poweredge remotely to do audio work, is that it the poweredge makes
>> about as much noise as a 747. So... its not exactly an audio 
>> production
>> friendly unit.
>> So these are my thoughts. Am I crazy... or is there some magical way 
>> to
>> make this happen?
>> - Ben Racher
>> bracher at iupui.edu
> ----- End forwarded message -----

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