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I want Airtime to exceed the EU Standard - and work well anywhere - for FM Radio/Webradio/DAB
  • This is NOT the engine in my other post of today.

    Anybody else want to join me to FORK AIRTIME INTO LEGALITY? Is there any other honorable course?.
    • Whole radio station sample source available from the EU.
    • It will be a steep learning curve. IQ in double figures may be an advantage.
    • Coding competency across the team:. Python (moderate), C (competent), PHP (competent), Bash (competent), Liquid soap (trivial) but not all by the same good folks.
    • Please form an orderly queue and book early to avoid the rush!
    • I can and will acheive it myself - I have the track record - but with help - it will greatly shorten the process.
    Anyone in here want to run an illegal station? Not me.
    I am john_chewter on Skype.
    Fortune favors the bold (Pliny)

    Post edited by John Chewter at 2015-03-22 21:38:10
    No longer using Airtime or Libretime.
  • 11 Comments sorted by
  • I guess that's @RogerWilco and me.

    Post edited by John Chewter at 2015-03-22 21:20:55
    No longer using Airtime or Libretime.
  • Airtime is one big Kludge -- it's full of bugs, poor install/uninstall scripts, poor documentation, relies on poorly coded FOSS software (like Liquid Soap), unoptimized, slow as molasses, has idiotic implementation ideas and is very limiting, almost zero support, an unenthusiastic user base, and the list goes on. 2.5.2 after "a year's worth of work" is the latest disaster. I would support a fork. Sourcefabric has all these other projects going, and I guarantee that Airtime is near the bottom or at the bottom of their priority list and will most likely eventually be killed off. I don't see how they could make much money off it, considering that it barely works and only runs without compiling it yourself on a few platforms. We asked for other platforms, but Sourcefabric remains staunch and sticks to their guns about Debian and Ubuntu being the only supported platforms. Aptitude is old, slow, only has a heuristic scanner (no SAT solver), and there are other package managers like zypper and DNF that blow it out of the water, and there's no debate there. Since Airtime is such a disaster as software, only a minuscule percentage of people would be interested in developing it. I have to say, getting involved in the amount of time and effort it would take to actually make Airtime usable and reliable enough for a "real" radio station, not some little hobby station like mine when there are other, better alternatives like SAM, proppfrexx, Station Playlist, etc., would take an insane person. And let's not forget that even SAM itself is a piece of shit, just like Windows is.

    I love Stallman's ideas and agree with him on his views about not withholding generally technical useful information. The problem is, that this isn't the world we live in. Only big FOSS projects like the Linux kernel and the like get that extra polish, because big companies like IBM are pouring millions of dollars into it and get back what they put into it and then some. FOSS works excellent for large software products. For small ones, and I'm sorry to say it, FOSS software is usually buggy, looks like it's from 1995, and doesn't have that extra "zing" which consumers are looking for. How many Linux filesystems are there, like 2000? How many do consumers want? There's one main one on Windows: NTFS. Yeah, there's ReFS but that's really NTFS with a different name.

    In this world we live in, there's no free lunch. My gut feeling is that a fork could be good or bad, as stations are fine using Station Playlist (or other software) with Windows. Just because Linux is a superior platform doesn't mean anything, as a Windows box can still be up for months/years at a time (without updating it) and is good enough for people to use all the different titles of radio automation software available for the platform. Many I.T. people at radio stations only know Windows anyway. That's where Sourfabric's cloud solution comes in, yet, how many other competitors are they up against that have a similar offering? I believe there are a few.

    I'm sorry to be such a negative nancy, but I'm not somebody that sees something then denies it in my head, and acts like everything is fine. Everything with Airtime is not fine, and I'm 50/50 about the fork idea. It would be a different story if Sourcefabric supported people in the forums longer than 24 hours after a shit release.
    Post edited by Bob Larson at 2015-03-23 06:31:57
  • #fun !! 

    Where to begin??

    Totally understand the frustration guys but what good is a fork? Talk about jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Going from mediocre support to none at all.

    All we'd like is some roadmap transparency and accountability. The SF/Airtime mission is indeed noble and the source is in fact open, so what's with all the dev secrecy? Competition? From who?

    Maybe it's a trick out of the old  playbook! Maybe the competition is actually an epic "3.0" release with liquidsoap and a completely redesigned front/back end? Maybe dreams do come true!

    Seriously though, we still have faith that things will eventually get better -- some day. It's just too bad that day looks closer to 2017 than 2015.

    As for the current saas...

    4,500 airtime.pro users (estimated)
    x $20/mo (estimated average pkg uptake)
    x 12 months

    So is this a million dollar project yet or not? And what's the average cost of a kWh in Berlin? :)
  • Yeah, forking it would not be easy. But I am doing my own support anyway. At the moment, I cannot easily be legal in Europe and to be able to prove it.

    However, there is a little known open source project that was funded by the EU, that is fully legal, uses the internationally agreed data protocols and will also connect to FM and DAB hardware as well.

    This may be a better base to start from.
    Post edited by John Chewter at 2015-03-23 13:26:59
    No longer using Airtime or Libretime.
  • Does it use FDK-AAC?
  • Not out of the box, as far as I can see.

    No longer using Airtime or Libretime.
  • rodger wilco I like the way you think.. epic "3.0" release!! hmm howabout HHVM & mariadb!! *thumbs up* one can dream =) 
  • easy integration with other broadcast platforms like justintv/livestream/live365 etc would be nice too =) 
  • interesting - I have literally only just started doing a bit of coding again (first time since high school) and successfully wrote a basic but useful python app for work; but as a European citizen who actually gets the EBU magazine sent to my house every quarter I'd be interested in knowing more and be willing to test any app.

    I've not found an an "EU standard" for online radio stations and its only very recently there's been any harmonisation for the tech side of traditional broadcasting and that is mostly around the wireless side of it (transmittters large and small).

    in my country at least (UK) the only way a onlne station could be "illegal" would be if it started advocating crime/political extremism/terrorism or was being used as a feed to an unlicensed radio transmitter.

    Not being able to send the exact correct data to some copyright authorities is a civil dispute and having a flaky playout won't get Ofcom / Agentschap Telecom / BNetzA to your studio door ; if anything they let things go even on community broadcasters and small commercial stations as they know times are hard and if they get too hard on certain folk we (or the younger generations) will be up on other peoples roofs again (unless you are in the Netherlands where the older people run the pirates :D)

    That said Airtime in its current form still isn't usable for most community broadcasters; as Bob said not everyone is familiar with Linux and is just about tolerable for those online broadcasters who don't or can't run a studio 24/7 so any improvements will be welcome (I'd be most interested to know what this EU project is..)

    Alex The Engineer @ rtn VFRmedia - Ipswich, UK
  • Airtime is giving lots of problems at our station that make no sense. Updates are, lets say, rare, and I don't know if we should switch to Rivendell or burn the building now.

    If there's something I can do (with a basic but continously improving python competency, and daily use of my knowledge of redhat/debian/ubuntu/centos sysadmin), I'm in.
  • TBH if I were running a traditional station with a studio and transmitter I would not use airtime for main playout; sourcefabric devs themselves have admitted the focus is more on internet-based stations.

    if you know Linux then Rivendell may be a good bet; it looks "old" but is still under active development. Incidentally I had a look on their mailing list and their users often run into problems if running an internet station as it isn't geared towards online streaming!

    be aware that Rivendell doesn't like accented characters and this can cause scheduling confusion (it would for instance struggle with some of my content which is techno mixes from Germany with German titles).

    Depending on how much of your content is live and how much might be prerecorded and if Windows is more commonly used you might even be better off with some of the Windows apps (there are even some decent free or low cost ones).

    I've never even used Airtime with a soundcard; my server is in the Netherlands and I am based in the UK!

    Alex The Engineer @ rtn VFRmedia - Ipswich, UK