Admin/ServiceConfig/Streaming

An [WWW] Icecast based setup was used for the 2008 Rag Week Streaming Radio station, [WWW] Rag Radio.

The basic setup for the streaming radio service consists of three parts an encoder application, a streaming application and a player. A thoroughly useful tutorial on icecast based streaming is available [WWW] here.

Encoder

The Encoder takes the live audio feed and encodes it to the desired formats/bitrates in near real time. We were using the laptop Robbie. Initially we tried using ices2, ices0 and darkice on a Ubuntu 7.10 install but got nowhere, the best we got was approximately 45 seconds of audio and then either JACK would kill the virtual device or the sound card would fail and require a reboot. Multiple attempts were made at recompiling LAME from source, downloading new drivers and sourcing new kernel modules but nothing worked.

We eventually gave up and installed [WWW] foobar2000 and [WWW] oddcast on the Windows XP partition. The following Settings were used for the 6 streams:

Mount Point

Format

Bitrate/Quality

Samplerate

Channels

/rag-high.mp3

MP3

128kbps

44.1kHz

Stereo

/rag-low.mp3

MP3

64kbps

44.1kHz

Stereo

/rag-dialup.mp3

MP3

16kpbs

22.05kHz

Mono

/rag-high.ogg

Ogg Vorbis

3

44.1kHz

Stereo

/rag-low.mp3

Ogg Vorbis

32kbps

44.1kHz

Mono

/rag-dialup.mp3

Ogg Vorbis

16kpbs

22.05kHz

Mono

An Archive of the /rag-high.mp3 stream was saved to disk.

Streamer

Icecast2 was used for streaming. Icecast2 is the name of the debian package. The Configuration file used can be found here.

Player

Any standalone player capable of handling streaming audio could have been used. Tested players included XMMS, VLC, WinAmp, WMP and iTunes, all of which handled the stream flawlessly for a minimum of an hour.

To increase usability a Adobe Flash based players were also embedded in the RadRadio webpage. Software used was the [WWW] XSPF Web Music Player. Unfortunately this could only handle the MP3 streams and experienced some issues relating to Flash buffers in IE7 (IE7 wont allow a third party plug in to hand it a file stream unless IE is told how long the stream is, which is rather hard with a live audio stream) and Opera (if the stream was stopped and started again Opera would play from the time the stream was first opened, from the start of the cache, not live audio. As a result if Opera users lost a connection to the stream and hit play they may hear audio that was, say, 20mins old rather than live audio. This is fixed by reloading the webpage).

Stats

A Munin Module was loaded for stats.

last edited 2008-04-15 22:47:57 by flexo-vm06