Remote hosting a live AM radio show from Europe via the Internet.
January 6, 2004 7:55 PM   Subscribe

I have a friend who hosts a radio show on a local AM radio station. She's going on a tour of Europe in April and would like to continue hosting the show from there, live via the Internet. What are some (cheap, easy, and portable) ways for her to do that?
posted by skoosh to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: I don't know if you'll find anything cheap, easy and portable. I'm thinking something along these lines;

(1) A laptop, packed with her music, a microphone to plug in, SAM Broadcaster, and an Icecast server.
(2) A cheap client at the AM station, running Linux, with the audio-out hooked into the station's console.
(3) A reasonably stable internet connection. It needn't be super fast, but it will need to carry at least a 32kbps upstream with no skipping. 32kbps mono OGG streams are plenty good enough for rebroadcast on AM. A dial-up modem probably wouldn't be good enough - they can allegedly do 32kps upstream, but in reality you will get skipping.
(4) Someone back at the station to point XMMS towards the IP address of the laptop she's broadcasting on during her show. Alternatively, if there's a PC already hooked into the console it will do nicely, if it's running software that can play OGG streams. Winamp or XMMS are both suitable.

It won't necessarily be that cheap though. If she already has a Windows laptop, and there's already a PC with an OGG-stream player at the studio, then the only real costs are SAM broadcaster (not strictly necessary, but it's a great piece of software) and the internet connection. And while the set up has the potential to be very stable and efficient, it will require some testing beforehand to make sure it works nicely.
posted by Jimbob at 4:48 AM on January 7, 2004

By the way, I'm assuming you meant that she wants to send her show back to her AM studio via the internet. If she just wants to broadcast over the net: skip the whole studio computer part, but she will need to have lots of bandwidth on the laptop end to handle all the internet listeners.
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 AM on January 7, 2004

Best answer: Your requirements of cheap, easy, and portable may not be very realistic for what your friend is trying to do. Jimbob describes one method of achieving your goal. You might also want to look into a piece of software called Audio TX Communicator. It's an ISDN codec as well as the world's first IP audio codec, so if your friend has a stable and fast Internet connection where she's travelling, she should be in good shape. I'm assuming that your friend will need two-way communication since she'll likely be taking calls or at least getting cues from her engineer. Make sure whatever solution you look at has that ability.
posted by marcusb at 9:05 AM on January 7, 2004

Response by poster: Good answers, thanks to both Jimbob and marcusb. My friend is willing to get a laptop; I was just wondering what additional costs there would be. Just in case anyone is still paying attention, could this be done using Internet cafes or public WiFi networks? Would upload bandwidth (or something else) be a problem in these places? Other than those options, is there such a thing as a portable broadband connection? She is, after all, going on a tour, and therefore will be in various cities across the continent over a period of several weeks.
posted by skoosh at 12:03 PM on January 10, 2004

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