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David Klann Talks About Using Open Source Software in Broadcast Radio (Video)

Roblimo posted about a month ago | from the broadcasting-to-everyone-on-land-and-to-all-the-ships-at-sea dept.

Open Source 35

David Klann works with Driftless Radio, call letters WDRT, in Wisconsin. This is community radio, with no huge advertisers or morning shock jocks with names like Bobba the Fet Sponge. They use open source software for just about everything except accounting, and that includes processing their audio for both OTA (Over the Air) and online streaming. Their transmitter runs a "stripped down" version of Debian, and David is proud that they had 3 1/2 years of uptime -- that only ended when David did a kernel upgrade that forced a reboot. (Alternate Video Link)

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First broadcast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47810339)

This is AC This is AC please come in

Re:First broadcast (2)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a month ago | (#47810387)

Linus, come here. I need you.

Boasting about uptime ... (3, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a month ago | (#47810415)

... means just asking to get hacked due to not keeping up-to-date with patches.

This is the '90's anymore.

Re:Boasting about uptime ... (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a month ago | (#47810679)

You are thinking of Windows. With Linux most updates happen without the need for a reboot. The only kernel vulnerabilities you are likely to be exposed to are privilege escalations, in which case they have already hacked in to the system. I'm not saying it isn't a good idea to keep current, but using an older kernel is far from the same as not applying updates for three years as you seem to be assuming it does.

Re:Boasting about uptime ... (2)

jandrese (485) | about a month ago | (#47810693)

Nothing is more 90s then having to reboot just because you applied a patch to an application. The only thing you should need to reboot for is kernel upgrades, and it seems like that is exactly what happened here.

Re:Boasting about uptime ... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a month ago | (#47810723)

... means just asking to get hacked due to not keeping up-to-date with patches.

This is the '90's anymore.

To be fair he was talking about the embedded debian installation built into the transmitter hardware, not some general purpose surf the internet type thing.

Re:Boasting about uptime ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47810765)

How does it get hacked if it's NOT ON THE INTERNET! In his case the studio gear is run via Linux based systems using open source software, he never states that the server with the high uptime was ever connected to the Internet. I have direct knowledge of one Slackware based server that runs a CNC punch press that has an uptime of over 3 years. Guess what, it sits in the corner of the shop and servers the CNC "tapes" to the controller and is not networked in any way! So people can boast high uptimes and NOT be "Hacker Bait"

Artists vs programmers (0)

Pro923 (1447307) | about a month ago | (#47810455)

So, artists who create music get paid because they created something... But engineers who create the software don't deserve anything because software shouldn't have a monetary value associated with it? With all due respect, I still don't get it.

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a month ago | (#47810613)

I'm all for people getting paid for their work. It's usually called a job... sometimes you have to be an entrepreneur.
I do frown on people doing something once (I just had this brilliant idea - patent; I just thought of a tune - song; I wrote this neat software - copyright; etc.) and expecting to sit on their couch for the rest of their lives and have people sending them money. I call these people "the takers". They are leaches on society.

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47810795)

I'm all for people getting paid for their work. It's usually called a job... sometimes you have to be an entrepreneur.
I do frown on people doing something once (I just had this brilliant idea - patent; I just thought of a tune - song; I wrote this neat software - copyright; etc.) and expecting to sit on their couch for the rest of their lives and have people sending them money. I call these people "the takers". They are leaches on society.

What would you call the people who create nothing of value, but demand that they have a right to steal everything of value your "the takers" group creates?

Re:Artists vs programmers (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month ago | (#47810863)

Democrats.

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

Roblimo (357) | about a month ago | (#47812307)

I think you meant "rich people." Every Democrat I know works for a living or is retired after a lifetime of work.

Re:Artists vs programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47813941)

Red states?

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a month ago | (#47812543)

I do frown on people doing something once (I just had this brilliant idea - patent; I just thought of a tune - song; I wrote this neat software - copyright; etc.) and expecting to sit on their couch for the rest of their lives and have people sending them money.

The return on the investment of producing a song or software or whatever is amortized over a number of people because rarely can one person afford to pay for all of that upfront by themselves. Sometimes that investment doesn't pay off because the result is sub-par (in terms of popularity) and sometimes the return is greater than the investment because the result is very popular.

Re:Artists vs programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47810697)

Why would you think artists who create music should get paid? This seems pretty cut and dry to me.

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47810815)

Why would you think artists who create music should get paid?

Because you find value in the product, duh.

If you don't care for music in general (which I've never met a human with that mentality), then no, there's no value in the music artists create.

If you do care for music, and in fact enjoy listening to it in any capacity, then you in fact do understand the value, and why they should get paid, and you're just being an troll.

Hmm... "impossible human" or troll... gee, what a tough determination to make...

Re:Artists vs programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47812407)

Why would you think artists who create music should get paid?

Because they spent time and money creating something, duh. Do you get paid to do work or do you just do everything for free?

Royalties vs. wages (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47815703)

I earn an hourly wage. Perhaps the disagreement is over whether recording artists should continue to rest on laurels while collecting royalties or whether they should be paid for their time like the rest of us.

Re:Royalties vs. wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47821767)

I earn an hourly wage.

Irrelevant, but perhaps that makes you biased.

Perhaps the disagreement is over whether recording artists should continue to rest on laurels while collecting royalties or whether they should be paid for their time like the rest of us.

"The rest of us"? I invest time in producing products, who should pay me for that time? If it is not a success I don't get paid, if it is a success I do get paid and the how successful it is dictates how much I get paid. Whether I "rest on laurels" or not has absolutely nothing to do with you except perhaps your own jealousy that you haven't created something so successful that you can afford to take some time off.

Re:Royalties vs. wages (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47821965)

Why 70 years after you're dead though?

Re:Artists vs programmers (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a month ago | (#47810853)

Key difference: the engineers who created the software aren't expecting to be paid. They did the work (maybe for pay, maybe for other reasons) and stipulated that people can use it for free.

Re:Artists vs programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47811803)

One could argue that the programmer who gives his software away for free is doing it for a more pure reason than the artist who demands payment for his work. You are missing the point that open source programmers give away their work, WILLINGLY.

Why?? Because they can, because they want to help their fellow humans, because they feel that not all knowledge need to have a dollar value put on it.

"Repeat after me, money is not our god!"

Bobba the Fet Spounge? PLEASE GROW UP (1)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a month ago | (#47810867)

If you want to use a real world example but don't want to say Bubba the love Sponge, there's always Howard Stern or Mancow or Bob and Tom or a host of other clean shockjock names...don't just make stuff up, it takes away from an otherwise interesting summary.

Re:Bobba the Fet Spounge? PLEASE GROW UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47811069)

In his defense, he was really close:

http://shirtoid.com/34321/spongeboba-fett/

Salute (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a month ago | (#47810869)

To David Klann for using Open Source, for keeping huge advertisers at bay, and for servicing his community. There's a clear signal there in Wisconsin.

MT Radio.Net (1)

lannocc (568669) | about a month ago | (#47811081)

It's great to see how others utilize open source software. Last year myself and some friends started MT Radio.Net [mtradio.net] . We are Community Internet Broadcasting, showcasing Montana talent and more. Staying away from FM/AM transmission allows us to operate uncensored with material that is sometimes explicit. Importantly, it has allowed us to begin broadcasting with very little overhead or financial investment. With donated microphones and mixing consoles and many hours programming, our NEW Player (beta) [mtradio.net] is now up and running!

With this new custom player we rotate band images as their music plays. Next feature to add is chat room for the live shows. However, though I have much help running the station I am the sole developer here, so these things take time. I'm using software such as ICECast, MPD, and Tomcat with custom code all running on Gentoo Linux. JACK is used on the input PC and I use Audacity for editing. WordPress is also used (with integrated automated posting). I wrote a BASH-like "web" shell language called IOVAR [iovar.com] that is the foundation for the MT Radio.Net operations dashboard and player.

If any other developers want to help work on any of this stuff let me know (reply here), it'd be great to collaborate!

Transmitter manufacturer (1)

lowen (10529) | about a month ago | (#47811535)

Hmm, the transcript says 'Nortel' but it's actually 'Nautel'. They make good transmitters, and have for a very long time.

Re:Transmitter manufacturer (1)

Roblimo (357) | about a month ago | (#47812423)

Corrected. Thanks for noticing.

OpenSource Accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47814395)

You can always try Odoo. This is an opensource, completely webbased..

Used a lot around the world, mainly in Europe (Belgium/Netherlands), but they also have an office in San Francisco..

Streaming to iOS devices with free software? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a month ago | (#47815773)

I don't see how a radio station in the United States can steam over the Internet using exclusively free software. Apple iOS devices play only MPEG codecs subject to royalty-bearing patents, not any free lossy codecs. And HD Radio in the United States uses an iBiquity codec parts of which are patented and parts of which are trade secrets [wikipedia.org] .

Spell check turned iBiquity into Iniquity. Telling?

Re:Streaming to iOS devices with free software? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a month ago | (#47816819)

I don't see how a radio station in the United States can steam over the Internet using exclusively free software. Apple iOS devices play only MPEG codecs subject to royalty-bearing patents, not any free lossy codecs. And HD Radio in the United States uses an iBiquity codec parts of which are patented and parts of which are trade secrets.

There are free software implementations of MPEG4/AAC encoders (faac, for example). It's free software by any means because the user is free to do anything with it. Usage in some jurisdictions may be restricted by local laws, but the software is there and patent licenses can be easily obtained.

And HD radio encoding is typically done inside the exciter (modulator). You feed in the audio into the exciter, it modulates/encodes the audio per the specs, then sends the modulated signal to the power amplifier for transmission. Again, it can be free software in that the controller uses Debian, while the encoding is done typically via a DSP.

There's also a chance on iOS someone wrote an app that uses a free codec as well. There are Vorbis and FLAC apps available, so it's possible the stream is .Vorbis and the app merely plays it back.

Anyhow, reboot Linux after updating is generally good policy - while you can typically get away with it, there are many good reasons to not do so, especially if libraries are replaced and ABIs have changed (which leads to situations where an app compiled to the old ABI tries communicating with an app using the new ABI and library and hilarity ensues. Or even if you run multiple copies since an app running before the update uses the old libraries, while the new instance typically uses the updated library).

And always, there's always the risk that the system won't come up - perhaps some essential boot library got replaced with a non-working copy, something you won't find out until it's way later and the app tries to use the new version and fails.

Kudos to David! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47815783)

I worked with David about 15 years ago at a company in Wisconsin that is now owned by CDW. David is a very bright fellow who, at that time, was an IT security specialist for the company. Glad to see him doing well and working with Debian!

-Bryan

Internet Radio - via open source software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47819181)

You can do the Internet portion too, using nothing but Open Source software and become a Internet DJ. For the steam server, use IceCast http://icecast.org
and to broadcast use Mixxx http://mixxx.org I have a good friend that does this. He pays a small fee for a hosted IceCast server (the same company can host you via ShoutCast as well) but originally had his own server at home running on Linux (Slackware) until he got too many listeners and bandwidth became an issue. For broadcasting/DJ work he uses Mixxx, originally he used SAM and Virtual DJ, but moved to Mixxx as it was both free and is Beer and Open Source. He streams original music with commentary.

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