IRIS – The Interchangeable Radio Ingest System

Well, wow. After nearly forgetting to actually submit it and only writing the entry a few hours before the deadline, it turns out that the system I made while at Insanity Radio 1287AM has been nominated for the Best Technical Achievement award at the Student Radio Awards. So, I figured it would be worth actually writing up a little bit about what it is and what it does. And why you can use it, too, if you’re involved with a student radio station.

IRIS was written to replace MACIS, a system I bodged up out of necessity. At Insanity, we had a computer failure weeks before we went on air at the start of the first term, and lost all the data- including the entire playout system. Lessons have been learned (I made sure we replaced that machine with a box that had RAID, for starters) since, but we had the unenviable challenge of repopulating a student radio playout system from scratch with little to no staff. Enter MACIS!

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Rivendell 2.0.2 on Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS

Yup, it’s another guide to installing Rivendell. This time, the fancy new 2.0.2 release, complete with all sorts of fantastic goodies. Let’s get started!

I’m not moving any of my Ubuntu stuff forward to 11.04 just yet; probably won’t for a while, given the situation with desktop managers and stability particularly on older hardware like the stuff we use at Insanity. So, 10.04.02 LTS it is. It’s still supported for a while and has no realtime issues like 10.10.

However, there’s one snag; in my last guide we used a Rivendell package provided by the guys at Tryphon. No such package currently exists for 2.0.x, so we’ll be rolling our own from source. This is far from ideal (and I am working to get 2.0.x packages for Debian made) but it’s a good start, and will work fine- upgrades are just a bit of a pain.

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Interfacing Rivendell with the real world on a budget

So, you’ve got this lovely, expensive broadcast console your previous engineers have left for you sitting in your studio. And you’re using all of 3 microphone inputs and a few line inputs.

And, of course, the logic facilities of the console are entirely ignored. It’s a shame, isn’t it? A microphone live light is a wonderful thing to have, and there’s so much you can do with a little bit of GPI. But the cards that provide you with general purpose inputs tend to be expensive, odd and awkward little bits of kit to work with. Let’s fix that! Continue reading Interfacing Rivendell with the real world on a budget