This week I am once again messing around with Rivendell Radio Automation with a view to using it for the student radio station I work on. The current setup is a combination of Airtime and some Liquidsoap hacks but this is all server side and we are potentially going FM this year which needs something local.
I’ve used Xubuntu 12.04 as a base. It’s a custom ISO I made with a more Windows XP setup and the college logo in places. Installing the packages from the Tryphon debian repo was pretty easy this time around and they have just updated to the latest release (2.7.0). I was using 2.5.5 when I set up so I’ve pinned it for now until the new release is a bit more mature.
One problem I came across was a problem with the default engine MySQL uses. Rivendell has a problem with InnoDB when setting up the schedule grids so I had to set the default to the older MyISAM. It can be fixed after the database has been built by just backing it up and doing a find and replace on the backup file.
We haven’t got microphones or a mixer set up yet but I have a machine with an on board 5.1 soundcard which, through the miracle of JACK, you can route audio to each port pretty easily. The idea could be that I have different ports for music, spot sound effects and audition cues and these can be mixed by the external mixer before going on the air.
I worked out I could use Liquidsoap as an Icecast client which runs in the background and just shows up as a JACK input. Right now I have jack_mixer doing the job of an external mixer and the output of that goes into the stream. But it could just as easily use the straight input from the line in.
I’m ashamed to say I installed php5 purely because I knew how to write scripts for it to pipe the currently playing details into the stream metadata.
I’m unsure of how to organise the playlists in Rivendell. The log generator is pretty powerful but in practice it always seems to overstock the playlist. I guess the setup I’m using needs some fine tuning.
More thoughts once I get this into production.