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Campcaster 1.4

Feature List

This is a detailed list of the features in Campcaster. This list is meant to be useful if you are comparing broadcast automation systems, or trying to determine if Campcaster fits your needs.

Components

  • Studio: a desktop application which enables you to broadcast live shows, or schedule automated playback
  • Web: a HTML interface which allows you to schedule automated playback
  • Scheduler: a daemon which plays songs at their designated time. There is an XML-RPC interface for the Scheduler
  • Storage Server: stores audio files and playlists and allows access to them via XML-RPC

Localization

Campcaster is multi-lingual and supports Unicode. It also is very easy to create new language localizations.

Audio inputs

Import MP3 and OGG audio files through the Desktop GUI, the Web interface, or by using the mass-import command-line script. Audio files can also be downloaded from other installations of Campcaster in a networked fashion.

Audio outputs

Campcaster has three stereo audio outputs: one for live output, one for automated (scheduled) playback, and one for previewing audio (cue).

Network Hub

If you have a community of radio stations, you can optionally set up a Network Hub to which all stations can upload and download audio content. The following features are available once you have the Network Hub set up:

  • Browse or search the Network Hub archives using keywords
  • Download audio files or entire playlists from the Network Hub
  • Transfer files or playlists to the Network Hub by clicking on them
  • Download and upload progress is shown in the Transfers tab

Campcaster Studio functions

Campcaster Studio is mainly targeted at live radio shows, though it is possible to do automated scheduling through this interface as well. Campcaster Web has a better interface for handling automated scheduling and post-import metadata editing. The primary tasks in Campcaster Studio are:

  • Creating live shows: in Live Mode, you can find songs using the search window or the Scratchpad, and then add them to the list in the Live Mode window. The large "play" button at the top of the window begins playback. You can rearrange the songs at any time
  • Creating playlists: creating a playlist is very similar to using Live Mode, except that you have the ability to save the playlist for future use, and set fade in/fade out times between tracks
  • Scheduling playlists: scheduling a playlist allows you to select a date and time for a playlist to being playing
  • Importing audio files from your hard disk using the Upload File button
  • Edit audio metadata in the Upload File dialog

Campcaster Studio windows

  • Master Panel - this is a large window at the top of the screen that shows, from left to right:
    • Station wall clock time
    • Pause button
    • Stop button
    • Currently playing audio file: title, artist, progress bar, elapsed time, remaining time. Current playlist (if any), and whether the playlist is nested inside other playlists
    • Your station logo

A second row of buttons enables access to the:

  • Live Mode window - showing the audio files to be played next
  • Upload File window - import new audio files from your local hard drive, and specify metadata for music (song title, artist, album) or voice content (report date, location, subject)
  • Scratchpad - a list of the most recently used audio files
    • Audio in the scratchpad can be previewed via the cue audio interface
    • Audio files or entire playlists can be uploaded to the Network Hub so they can be shared with other stations
  • Playlist Editor
    • The Edit Playlist window allows you to rearrange the order of the audio files, remove files, and set fade-in and fade-out values between the songs
    • Songs are added to the currently open playlist from the Live Mode window, the Scratchpad, or the Search window
    • Playlists can have playlists inside of them. This is useful for scheduling a block of advertising in between songs, or vice-versa
  • Scheduler window
    • A calendar shows you which days have scheduled content. The Status tab has an emergency Stop button
  • Search window: there are three ways to search your audio archive, plus a Transfers tab:
    • Keyword search: matches anything you type
    • Advanced search: match by title, creator, album etc.
    • Browse: browse by title/creator/album etc. You can choose up to three categories to narrow your search
    • The Transfers tab shows progress when copying files and playlists to the Network Hub
  • Options window
    • Sound: configure which sound cards should be used for live playback and preview
    • Keyboard Shortcuts: most actions in the GUI can be mapped to a keyboard shortcut for quicker access
    • Servers: set the location of authentication, storage and scheduler servers
    • Scheduler: Start or stop the scheduler, or check scheduler status
    • Search-based backup: backup all station archives at the click of a button, or only backup certain files based on search terms. Backup files can be made of only a certain program, or of all files created by a certain user
    • RDS: Configure your RDS hardware over a serial port connection

Campcaster Web interface

The Campcaster Web interface was designed to make automated playout easy. This software allows your broadcasting equipment to be located anywhere with an Internet connection, and you can schedule your playout from a remote office or the comfort of your own home.

The main panel at the top of the web interface shows you the file or playlist that is currently playing and the time elapsed and remaining. Your logo, the station wall clock and a status indicator also appear here. Below the main panel are six menus:

  • Add Audio: upload new files and set their metadata (title, artist, etc). You can also re-broadcast a web stream from here
  • Media library: browse or search for audio files, or edit their metadata. Check on the status of transfers
  • Playlists: create a new empty playlist, or import one from the local computer
  • Scheduler: View schedule by month, week, or day. Day View allows you to automatically put the starting time of a playlist at the end of the previous one, or place the ending time at the beginning of the next scheduled playlist. You can also check on scheduler status
  • Preferences: edit settings for your station, Twitter feed, users and groups, or change passwords
  • Help: access the user manual, the Quickstart guide, or the Campcaster homepage

Hardware Reference Platform

The Hardware Reference Platform has been put together by Radio/TV B92's chief engineer Robert Klajn. Its goal has been to provide a 'recipe' of the hardware known to work well with GNU/Linux and with Campcaster, for stations seeking to build a new PC from scratch.

The hardware used includes:

  • Motherboard: Asus S775 iP965+ Asus P5B CPU Core2 Duo E6300 1.86 Box
  • Memory: DDR2 1024/533 TwinMos *2 pieces (total 2 GB RAM)
  • Hard disc: HDD-SA2 200GB Western Digital Caviar WD2000JS
  • Optical drive: DVR 16/8/16 Pioneer 111 B OEM
  • Video card: VK Pex 256 EN7300GT ST Asus
  • Case: Midi CoolerMaster Centurion 534 B/BG
  • Power: 430W CM Act. iGreen
  • 3 Audio cards: Creative SoundBlaster LIVE

Feel free to share your experiences with GNU/Linux compatible hardware in the Campcaster developer forum at: http://forum.sourcefabric.org/index.php/f/15/

For sound card compatibility, check the extensive list of sound cards with support maintained by the ALSA project: http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Main


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