[Noisebridge-discuss] seeking help setting up minimal shoutcast source laptop

John Menerick ponies at mayhemiclabs.com
Thu Nov 3 05:24:22 PDT 2011


Damn small linux?

Sent from my HTC EVO


On Nov 3, 2011, at 3:57 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> I want to put together a laptop for streaming audio, to put at OccupySF 
> and other occupations.  I have the hardware, but i want someone else to 
> figure out how to cram the software onto it.  It turns out that older IBM 
> laptops are ideal because they can run straight from a car battery without 
> an inverter or brick of any kind - very efficient.
> 
> I know that people have been streaming live video from their phones, so it 
> may seem strange to want to stream mp3/ogg audio to a shoutcast server 
> from a laptop, but hear me out.
> 
> it's one thing to be able to sit at home and chew your nails while 
> watching the line of riot-cops advance on the black block.. because you 
> saw someones livestream link on the twitter feed.  riot porn is great.
> 
> but if people can stream audio every single day, on the same channel, from 
> the same place, it's a radio station.  People can tune in at work, every 
> day.  People at the "station" figure out how to entertain listeners, get 
> them to call in and be on the air, and get them to tell their co-workers 
> or other people what the movement is all about.
> 
> Some people might even set up FM transmitters to repeat the signal...
> 
> but a radio station depends on hardware.  I know a lot about this. 
> Fortunately, the hardware for an internet radio station is minimal. 
> Literally all you need is a standard PC.  Laptops have a built-in 
> microphone, an external microphone jack, and some even have a line-in 
> jack, which can be faded separately from the microphone - and of course 
> you can play recordings and mp3s from the hard drive.. but most content 
> will come in through the line-in jack from people's iPord or whatever.
> This machine is just there for the radio station, not for facebook.
> 
> unfortunately, after trying a bunch of different options, i have settled 
> on IBM thinkpads as the perfect hardware for this, in the context of the 
> occupation.  They are ubiquitous (we have several at noisebridge) and they 
> have the very helpful Line-in jack, and most importantly, they can run 
> straight from a car battery, like at the occupations.
> 
> I know how to set up Ubuntu on a laptop, and install Darkice, and 
> configure it to stream audio to a server.  That's fine.  What I can't do 
> is get that to work on a PII running at 366 MHz.. it doesn't fit.  I think 
> many of the thinkpads I can get ahold of are faster than this, but i don't 
> know how much faster.  I think we can do it.
> 
> We also have to make sure that the user interface makes it easy to join 
> and select wireless networks, and to control the laptop's built-in mixer, 
> and to start and retry the streaming MP3/ogg encoder.  It's fine if there 
> is no browser, this is a dedicated-purpose machine.
> 
> Note: some of these thinkpads don't even have wifi.  I have USB wifi 
> devices, but in some instances it may be better to connect via Ethernet to 
> stationary wifi hardware, so that this computer moving around doesn't 
> affect its connection to the internet, and cause streaming dropouts.
> 
> If we develop a recipe for making a streaming source on an old thinkpad, I 
> will build the hardware for OccupySF, and for OccupyOakland, and for 
> OccupyWallStreet.
> 
> If you want to help make the software side happen, or if you have 
> an IBM thinkpad to donate, or a wifi bridge like WRT54G, please email me.
> 
> -jake
> 
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