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Realtime Audio Conversion And Serving

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the universalizationism dept.

Hardware Hacking 153

Hobadee writes "First of all, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year! This year for Christmas, my dad and I decided to give my mom a Linksys WMLS11B. (Radio which can play MP3 streams) Since my mom listens to a lot of international news radio on the Internet, we figured this would be great so that she wouldn't have to sit at the computer all the time. The problem is that most of the stations she listens to are either RealMedia or Windows Audio streams, while the player only supports MP3 streams. (It claims to support WMA, but we haven't had any luck in our fiddling yet.) So here is the question: Would it be possible to get other types of files to play on the device? My idea is to have an intermediate server download, convert to MP3, and re-stream the files, but I'm not sure of the implementation. Would this be easily do-able with something like Icecast and Lame?"

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Easy as pie (5, Informative)

perlionex (703104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183073)

I did something like this for my office, streaming Christmas music using Icecast, Lame, and Shout. Here's one possible installation:

1) Setup Icecast as usual. Take note of the encoding password.
2) Install the Shout Perl libraries.
3) Use the example2.pl that comes with Shout.

For the example2.pl, I think it comes with the basic Perl library installation). By default it takes it the MP3 files specified on the command line, uses LAME to convert them to a bitrate you specify, and sends them to a mountpoint on the LAME server. I modified mine so that it loops indefinitely, and of course I hardcoded my Icecast IP address, mount point, and encoder password. You'll probably need to tweak it a bit to convert OGG / WMA / RM streams as well, but it should be fairly straightforward.

Re:Easy as pie (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183178)

You'll probably need to tweak it a bit to convert OGG / WMA / RM streams as well, but it should be fairly straightforward.

Uh, no. AFAICS that's the hard part the guy wants answering.

Re:Easy as pie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183413)

/. moderators suck.
At least RTFA before modding
The parent isn't trying to be funny, the article states that the problem is with streaming anything other than mp3.

Good suggestion (3, Insightful)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183340)

The parent poster is correct; that solution will work and is straightforward.

But one has to ask: Why didnt the original article poster (Hobadee) investigate what product would have suited his mother's needs better?

As they say a problem avoided is a problem solved, that is the geek way.

Re:Good suggestion (3, Insightful)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183751)

Yes, but the smart business person knows that a problem created and then solved tends to make one look like a hero.

Re:Easy as pie (1)

Forget4it (530598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183899)

I would do this if LAME could give good low bit rate results such as are obtained using the Windows *ACM* Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer 3 Codec (Professional) at 24 kBit/s, 12,000 Hz , Stereo For radio speech/drama produces fine audio with minimum disk space. At thesame rates LAME is poor. Another thing to consider is how long it takes to download a non-live real stream. On Windows there is some abandonware StreamBox-VCR-1.0 Beta 3.1 that does it in much less than real time for broadband at bbc ListenAgain real resources.

Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (5, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183074)

SlimServer / Squeezebox [slimdevices.com] does precisely what you're asking for.

You might be able to get it to work with the WMLS11B if that device is capable of playing an arbitrary mp3 stream by URL, as SlimServer can convert and rebroadcast streams in
various formats.

But if you have the Squeezebox it will work so much better, because it's designed to do all of this, and you can choose the stations (or your own music collection) from the display.

SlimServer is also open source, so it supports just about every file format and radio format in existence. There is a free emulator included, SoftSqueeze, that you can use to try it
out.

PS I work for Slim. Mod up if you want me to answer questions in this thread; mod down if you don't care for self-promotion.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (2, Insightful)

phr1 (211689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183208)

Source code for codecs included? What codecs? Winamp? Realaudio? I thought that this was the hard part, and difficult to get or release source code for.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (4, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183230)

Source code for codecs included?

Generally no, except for free (FLAC) [sourceforge.net] or trivial (WAV/AIFF) encodings, which are built-in.

SlimServer's trick is to take advantage of thrid-party codecs which are installed on your computer. This allows us to support Apple Lossless, for example, by leveraging Quicktime (Windows or Mac). The same goes for WMA. MP3 encoding is automatically enabled if a lame installation is detected.

It's all quite automatic - nearly always, if someone has Apple Lossless or WMA files, then they'll have Quicktime or Windows Media, respectively, installed. So whichever formats you're using will "just work" with SlimServer.

If we wanted to pay Fraunhofer "per anum" then we could distribute Lame, but it's easy enough to install separately.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183260)

Fair enough.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183278)


If we wanted to pay Fraunhofer "per anum" then we could distribute Lame, but it's easy enough to install separately.


Uh... I think you mean "per annum".

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183313)

No, he means "per anal" - i.e., pay them to fuck you up the ass.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (4, Funny)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183314)

Uh... I think you mean "per annum".

No, it's "per anum". Obviously you haven't seen their fee schedule. Much worse than "through the nose".

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (2, Funny)

clayton_dsp (733322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183821)

MP3 encoding is automatically enabled if a lame installation is detected.
Why do you have to install WinME to get MP3 encoding?

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183213)

Looks neat -

Your site says it supports WMA but the submitter also mentions RA. Does it support RA radio streams? (You say you're open source so I guess this depends on Helix?)

Some devices with WMA support don't do the rights management stuff whereas the DRM is exactly WMA's big draw to online publishers. I don't listen to WMA radio - are there any DRM issues listening to WMA radio with your box?

Thanks!

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (4, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183249)

Your site says it supports WMA but the submitter also mentions RA.

WMA definitely; RA "no, but possible". Real's software is quite closed and inextensible (yes, even compared to MSFT), and I don't think there's a solution for this yet. All it would take though is a decoder app, and you could hook it in in five seconds using SlimServer's transcoding logic [slimdevices.com] . Take a look to see specifically which formats are supported.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (2, Informative)

apdt (575306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183416)

Would it be possible with something like this [linux-speakup.org] ? I've not played with either, so I don't know if this is a stupid question or not, just thought it was worth asking.

RA Support (1)

jtmas83 (794264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183432)

I was googling and just came across this SlimServer plugin [dur.ac.uk] that claims to be able to add support for RealAudio streams to SlimServer. Haven't tried it, but it looks promising.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183713)

I thought the codecs were all open in helix.
Was I fooled?

mplayer (3, Informative)

dspeyer (531333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183721)

IIRC, mplayer can read realaudio format (using a free-as-in-beer binary x86/PPC/Alpha plugin [mplayerhq.hu] ) and output WAV. If you tell it to use a named FIFO as its output file, you should be able to use it as a conversion filter in front of the broadcasting software with a minor (<1sec) time lag.

For that matter, mplayer with FIFOs and a little CGI may make an adequate ad-hoc solution, though I suspect real-time MP3 encoding is a lot trickier, and a package designed for that might be a good idea.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183397)

the squeezebox definitely kicks the ass of this linksys toy... highly recommended.

The Airport Express is cool too, and it will be even cooler once Slipstream is released by rogue amoeba. If you use Mac OS X that is. If you don't, I'm very sorry!

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (5, Interesting)

jtmas83 (794264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183408)

I would also recommend SlimServer [slimdevices.com] ...and I'm not a Slim employee!

I've been using SlimServer for at least 6 months now and I absolutely love it. I have it installed on one of my spare linux servers and can access my entire music library anywhere that has internet access and an mp3 player (I'm currently away for the Holidays and as I'm typing this very message I'm listening to my music stored hundreds of miles away). However, the beauty of it is that it should be able to do exactly what you want: it can connect to internet streams and do conversion on the fly. There are also a number of plugins available (for example, here [rtfm.info] )

I should mention that I only use their software, SlimServer (which is free), and not their hardware unit, SqueezeBox. This is not because I'm a cheap bastard, but because I'm a college student living in a dorm room...you can't *not* be next to your computer in a dorm, so I have no use for something like SqueezeBox. However, once I move out next year, one of my first pruchases will be a SqueezeBox.

Re:Dude, you're gettin a Squeezebox! (4, Funny)

tahii (758556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183742)

...and I'm not a Slim employee!

So, you're more of the chubby kind?

Poll Troll Toll (1)

PollTroll (764214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183076)

What's better...

.mp3 [calcgames.org]
.wma [calcgames.org]
.rm [calcgames.org]
.ogg [calcgames.org]
.swam [calcgames.org]

Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 4.5).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 4.5).Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 4.5).

Re:Poll Troll Toll (0, Troll)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183125)

wow... windows's audio format is killing the others... too bad for .swam...

Re:Poll Troll Toll (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183735)

Somebody's been h4xing the poll-ahurtz!
Either that or somebody's been stealing all the vote-ahurtz.

Re:Poll Troll Toll (1)

benna (614220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183428)

Where's my sex-with-a-mare option?

Re:Poll Troll Toll (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183468)

Wow, you're blind.

Hint: that last one is not Shockwave.

Possible (4, Informative)

respite (320388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183077)

It is definitely doable, but would require a time offset. Transcoding the streams would cause a loss of quality and could not be done entirely realtime.

Re:Possible (2, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183115)

Yes, well, since the audio isn't syncing to anything, and is already delayed from the on-air broadcast, I can't imagine it would be too harmful to have a 20-second buffer to help out anyway.

Re:Possible (1)

elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183229)

I can't imagine that there would be that much of a loss in quality, either, if it's done at high bitrates.

Re:Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183781)

And given that she likes to listen to talk radio, it's probably not going to be even 128kbps RA or WMA, and it'g going to sound like a tin can direct from their server.

Re-encoding to mp3 should be a no-brainer. Hell, even if it requires going digita-to-analog-to-digital (playing the stream through one card, recording from the analog in from another card, and encode to mp3 with icecast, the loss of quality will be negligible, and voila, super easy.

Re:Possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183242)

Sure it can be done in realtime. How do you think radio stations encode live streams? Encoding RealAudio, WMA, MP3, Ogg or almost any old format in real-time is dead simple on even a remotly fast machine. Hell a three year old Athlon could do it.

I like to convert Fugazi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183083)

SONG #1 IS NOT A F--- YOU SONG!

Reason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many capsReason: Don't use so many caps

Darkice (5, Informative)

meekjt (94667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183089)

Check out http://darkice.sourceforge.net/ You should be able to get it to do what you want.

I have an idea (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183095)

Whats better?

1. Asking thousands of slashdot pundits who have no clue how to help you, hope that your question gets posted somehow, wait for it to get posted, wade through the hundreds of sarcastic replies in a hopeless effort to try to find some inkling of an answer to lead you in the right direction

or

2. Do a google search

You decide!

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183124)

There are already lots of helpful suggestions. You sir are an idiot.

Re:I have an idea (2, Insightful)

Tonetheman (173530) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183198)

It is called ask slashdot for a reason moron. Maybe this dude did not even know what to search for to start with! I have not heard of DarIce or Slim Devices and I would not have known what either was based on the name. Take a chill. Have a merry fuckin Christmas.

Re:I have an idea (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183420)

Good on ya, and a Merry Christmas to you.

Sera

Re:I have an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183493)

"wade through hundreds of sarcastic replies"

That sure sounds like You !

Yep, this sounds like the problem.... (-1, Offtopic)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183098)

The problem is that most of the stations she listens to are either RealMedia or Windows Audio streams

Re:Yep, this sounds like the problem.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183837)

Fucktards
The parent is supposed to be modded troll, not off-topic.
Major morons

Hello? Standards? (-1, Troll)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183099)

Why not just stick with a standard format like MP3 or OGG?

Re:Hello? Standards? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183107)

Ogg is not worthwhile to implement. It's only "free" if Linksys engineers' time is worthless.

Sincerely,
Joe Sixpack
VP, Engineering
Linksys

Re:Hello? Standards? (2, Insightful)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183580)

Linksys isn't giving their product away. That point won't work here. I didn't say free anywhere.

Re:Hello? Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183817)

The point is there's a lot more involved than just saying "support OGG". It's a significant investment for the company to make.

Re:Hello? Standards? (1)

LeslieH8 (809172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183111)

I'd imagine it's a result of listening to internation broadcasts that are already using the WMA or streaming RA formats. Jeez.

Because there's no DRM (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183113)

Publishers of commercial streams want to exclude people from downloading their streams. Unlike Windows Media Player and RealPlayer, MPEG-1 and Ogg (the most common containers for MP3 and Vorbis respectively) do not define a digital restrictions management layer. Thus, commercial publishers tend to shy away from MP3 and Ogg Vorbis. In addition, it is claimed that the MP3 royalty is greater than the Windows Media Player or RealPlayer royalty, and Ogg Vorbis doesn't have enough of an install base to be worth technicians' time.

Re:Because there's no DRM (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183585)

Publishers of commercial streams want to exclude people from downloading their streams. Unlike Windows Media Player and RealPlayer, MPEG-1 and Ogg (the most common containers for MP3 and Vorbis respectively) do not define a digital restrictions management layer. Thus, commercial publishers tend to shy away from MP3 and Ogg Vorbis. In addition, it is claimed that the MP3 royalty is greater than the Windows Media Player or RealPlayer royalty, and Ogg Vorbis doesn't have enough of an install base to be worth technicians' time.

I'm glad to see someone else using the correct expansion for DRM (hint for the rest: it's not about rights, it's about restrictions). But that doesn't stop me from recording any WM or RA stream that I want (though I have yet to find an RA stream worth the trouble). I can't believe that MP3 encoding would cost more than the others, though.

Oh, and can someone check the grandparent? It seems some clueless mods decided I was a troll. Thanks.

ogg (1)

none980 (656663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183594)

for ogg i guess they dont relize how many people have winamp installed

Fuck OGG and all it stands for. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183122)

I am so sick of you and your fellow OGG zealots. OGG IS NOT A FUCKING STANDARD. Outside of a few fanatics (also manic Linux users I bet), NOBODY has heard of OGG. NOBODY USES IT. MP3 is the de facto standard, as is WMA, MIDI, and .WAV.

Consumers simply don't care about OGG. Manufactures will not support it, except to perhaps win over a few fellow OGG wankers. Netcraft Confirms: OGG is Dying.

Go back into your hole, you filthy GNU/Hippy.

Simple. (5, Informative)

seinman (463076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183114)

One of the default options in Winamp's Shoutcast plugin is to broadcast from the sound card mixer. Wether it's microphone, line in, or WAV, it encodes and broadcasts it. Install the server, install the plugin, start streaming, then play whatever station you want to hear through whatever player you need to use. Shoutcast/Winamp handles the rest.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183788)

You deserve a gold star, pal. Grade A KISS solution.

Sorry, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183118)

First of all, Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

Sorry, not to be pedantic, but here in the US the "joy-wishing" adjectives are switched. Merry Christmas!

I think it should work (3, Interesting)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183132)

IIRC (I don't have the computer I use for this handy), the magic piece of the puzzle is xine or mplayer and the 12 MBish windows codec pack. One or the other of these can read realaudio streams and transcode them to mp3 files. From there it's a matter of pushing the mp3 files out over shoutcast, or whatever the relevant stream format is, which will hopefully be fairly easy if the Linksys box plays shoutcast streams.

Re:I think it should work (3, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183205)

To convert realaudio, I use mplayer -vo null -ao pcm -hardframedrop filename.wav To convrert the realaudio to a wav, then oggenc to convert to vorbis. Not sure how well it'd work from a live stream though, as I usually download archived episodes of radio shows.

ffmpeg (2, Informative)

GiMP (10923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183140)

FFmpeg may do what you want. It will take a file and convert it in realtime to various other formats (and stream them).

Another options would be any media streamer like icecast.

If none of these let you specify a media stream as a source input, you can convert it by a line-out -> line-in hack.

Winamp (5, Informative)

n17ikh (750948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183145)

If you have a random Windows box sitting around doing nothing, you can setup Winamp along with Shoutcast to achieve exactly what you want. Use WA to listen to your streams/play songs and just have Shoutcast rebroadcasting all the time as a high-quality MP3 stream. So simple any idiot can do it, even me.

Re:Winamp (1)

AgentPhunk (571249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183488)

Aren't there issues with the setup you describe, specifically with Shoutcast and the bitrate the freeware version can (re)broadcast at?

Re:Winamp (1)

n17ikh (750948) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183623)

I don't think so, I have a version of Shoutcast from Back in the Day before winamp had a pro version, and there's no limitation. I didn't think shoutcast was pay software now anyways...
Also, it shouldn't matter what version (paid or free) of Winamp you run shoutcast on, it's just a plugin

Blogmatrix Sparks (2, Informative)

ratpack91 (698171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183151)

Just started using it this week. Records stations to MP3 using a schedule. Pretty good and has loads of stations preset like all the bbc ones by show.
"Use BlogMatrix Sparks! to record streaming Internet radio feeds and download podcasts and store them in your media player (iTunes or Windows Media Player). Sparks! uses an interactive directory of radio stations and podcasts to help you find content. Sparks! runs on Windows, Macintosh OS 10.3 and Linux and is open source software."

http://sparks.blogmatrix.com/ [blogmatrix.com]

It's quite simple. (3, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183159)

All you need is a copy of Winamp and the Shoutcast server/DSP. Have Winamp tune into whatever source you want (In the case of proprietary stuff like Real Audio you'd have to have the realaudio player to play, and set Winamp to record off "wave"), then use that same copy of Winamp to just stream via shoutcast.

WMP is the problem, not the reencoding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183167)

encoding something that you have captured into mp3 will be easy---compared to decoding a windows media radio stream. as far as I know, you have no chance here, for the same reason that linux cannot play these streams. (if it were possible, someone would have hacked together a windows media stream listener for linux a long time ago.)

big pity /ac

I just .... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183179)

dicked my girlfriends anus... She thought it would be a great Christmas present for me...!! I couldn't believe that she would let me shove my cock in her tight ass, and it was a total surprise... She just come up to me, dropped her pants... Bent over.... And then she told me to go for it... Of course I had to lube my wanker up before she let me pop my cock in her ass... But once I got it in... And started humping her butt like crazy.. I can't tell you how good it felt... I thought about donkey punching her, but... Well I didn't want to get to naughty.... But I did blow my load way up in her ass!!! I have to say this was the best Christmas present ever....!!!

Re:I just .... (0, Offtopic)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183192)

totaly OT; but I wish I had mod points for this

Re:I just .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183224)

Starting your comment with the phrase
"totaly(sic) OT; but" does not make your
comment any less OT.

Linux-based firmware (1)

rgammon_real (738651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183182)

There's a free software linux-based firmware for this device here:
http://www.turtlehead.co.uk/downloads/Wmamp-0.3.zi p [turtlehead.co.uk]
Great hacking potential for putting something like helix [helixcommunity.org] on it, and taking the pc out of the picture altogether :)
wmamp.img: Linux Compressed ROM File System data

Re:Linux-based firmware (1)

mk500 (652220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183419)

You are a bit mixed up. The hack you link to is for the WMA11B, but the original poster has a WMLS11B, which is quite different.

If anyone finds a replacement firmware for a WMLS11B, that would be great, as it seems very buggy with the default firmware.

Re:Linux-based firmware (1)

rgammon_real (738651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183427)

oops, my mistake.

Re:Linux-based firmware (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183443)

And the user interface is crap. If you point to a folder and press play, it only plays the first tune in the folder. DOH! Software should always do the obvious thing that you ask it to do.
-russ

record as mp3 off sound card (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183187)

a litle program called totall recorder will record any sound you hear on a sound card it will do it in mp3 format if that helps it cost about $12 us

http://www.mp3-converter.com/total_recorder.htm

Low Tech (5, Informative)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183228)

I would have gone for a low tech solution by pluging the computer's audio line-out into a FM wireless mic/transmitter. It's not as fancy, without remote control and bells and whistles, but costs less and could be listened to by any FM radio in the house. (And neighbouring houses depending on your power and antenna.)

Re:Low Tech (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183276)

Oh, forgot to mention that most worries about format , player, DRM or OS go away. (If you can hear it at the computer, you can hear on the radio.) Also, any "you've got mail" or "you have a conference call in five minutes" sounds or speech will heard too -- which may or may not be a good thing.

Re:Low Tech (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183752)

I have been thinking about getting this FM Transmitter from the C Crane Company [ccrane.com] . Yes, everyone's favorite radio manufacturer and sponsor of Art Bell and Drug Limbug.

C Crane makes one whose best feature is that you can set the retransmission frequency. I've bought the cheap ones to find that the four frequencies they choose are often already used in the cities I am in.

It's currently, uh, $69.95 but comes with free shipping.

FM Transmitter features:

* Full stereo on any FM frequency of your choice.
* Exceptionally clean and stable digital tuning for drift-free accurate transfer.
* Selectable Power-Off Timer.
* Approximate line-of-sight range of 70 ft. Walls and metal objects will reduce this range.
* Runs on included AC Adapter or (2) optional "AA" batteries.
* Portable, fits in the palm of your hand.
* Weighs just 5.8 ozs.
* Size: 3.1" W x 3.5" H x 1.1" /End C Crane Plug.

Re:Low Tech (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183846)

The downside of this approach is that its signal is so weak you may not be able to hear it in another room. On my Neuros player, which is far from a good example, I have to place it right next to a receiver to get it to catch its little FM broadcast. The FCC limits broadcast power pretty severly.

This is a great suggestion if it works. Of course you can roll your own or buy a kit. You can even raise the power and install a nice antenna and I doubt the FCC will come looking for you. Your device will no longer be in FCC Part 15 compliance, though.

Re:Low Tech (1)

littlekosh (96306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183898)

This would work assuming he's not in a major radio market where the FM band is saturated with stations.

ReStreaming RealMedia/Windows Media as Ogg... (1)

strredwolf (532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183239)

Hard, very hard. You need to do alot of work.

First, you need to install MPlayer (1.0-preX), so you can play most of those streams. I'm not sure about RealMedia files, but Windows Media it should play 99% of.

Then, you need to set up MPlayer to shoot out raw audio and pipe it into LAME, and then IceS. The latter two you may want to try coding up a script with Icecast's Shout perl module, which should do the job roughtly.

Re:ReStreaming RealMedia/Windows Media as Ogg... (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183853)

#!/bin/bash
#
#

STATION=kfbk
PROGRAM=$( echo $STATION | tr '[[:lower:]]' '[[:upper:]]' )

[ "$2" ] && PROGRAM=$2
[ $( basename $0 ) == reckste ] && STATION=kste

LENGTH=`printf "%d" $1`
TARGETFILE="$PROGRAM - "$(date +"%m.%d.%y %a %R")".mp3"

[ $LENGTH == 0 ] && echo "Must specify a time in hours or seconds" && exit 1

[ $LENGTH -lt 10 ] && LENGTH=$(( $LENGTH * 3600 ))

printf "Recording for %d seconds ( %d:%02d )\n" $LENGTH $(( $LENGTH / 3600 )) $(( $(( $LENGTH % 3600 )) / 60 ))

cd ~evan/tmp/stream || echo "Error!"

lame -f -mm -b16 - - >"$TARGETFILE" <$STATION.pipe &
sleep 1
mplayer -quiet -cache 256 -ao pcm -aofile $STATION.pipe http://ccdig.liquidviewer.com/$STATION &

sleep $LENGTH
KPID=$(ps ax | grep mplayer | grep -v grep |grep $STATION | gawk '{ print $1 }')
kill -9 $KPID

In the meantime, write a letter (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183268)

Perhaps it's the my old crotchityness (if that is a word), but I've taken to writing parties that broadcast in the Real format. It usually starts out with "I'm not sure how you got swindled into broadcasting in the Real format, but..." and providing some links to show how really terrible the real client is to the user's computers.

I know this won't help your situation now, but gosh I can't wait until otherwise credible media producers--such as NPR or the BBC--drop Real for good. As far as I can tell the only benifit Real gives its customers is the claim that the streams can't easily be copied (though I understand that can 'easily' be circumvented).

Good luck with your device, and hopefully somebody can help you with an easy WMA or Real to MP3 conversion.

Re:In the meantime, write a letter (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183339)

and providing some links to show how really terrible the real client is to the user's computers.

Is the windows player really still that bad with the real player 10 release? It seems like not all, but most of the complaints I've heard were cleaned up there. And the linux version actually seems pretty nice.

VideoLAN Client Stream Output (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183270)

VLC Stream output:

http://www.videolan.org/streaming/features.html [videolan.org]

Re:VideoLAN Client Stream Output (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183858)

To expand on that a bit, here's what I run on my server to convert the WMA feed from KQED (San Francisco public radio station) to a 30Kbps Ogg Vorbis stream I can listen to on my cellphone:

vlc -I dummy http://www.kqed.org/w/streamingfiles/kqed_wmp.asx --sout '#transcode{acodec=vorb,ab=30}:standard{access=htt p,mux=ogg,url=my.server.com:8031/kqed.ogg}'

Remove the space in front of the "p" if you're cutting and pasting that (Slashdot put it in there, not me.)

Wireless Heaphone (1)

happymark (699734) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183325)

Use Wireless Headphone. Mission Accomplised?
Either FM based, infrared or bluetooth.

search froogle for "wireless headphone"

If you have a Mac handy... (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183326)

If you have a Mac, I believe you can use a product called Nicecast, from Rogue Amoeba. It'll take the audio from any running application and turn it into an MP3 stream.

So, you could set up RealPlayer, with the BBC world service running, and stream the audio to anything that can consume an MP3 stream.

It costs $40 and a free demo is available.

I just confirmed on my Mac that I could use it to stream RealAudio to iTunes (which doesn't do Real natively. I did have a problem connecting from other computers, which may be a networking problem peculiar to my setup.

Partial Answer... (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183351)

I spent several hours today trying to figure out how I could take NPR's All Music Considered programs which are in Real Media and convert them to MP3 to download to my MP3 player.

I wasn't terribly successful. Nothing said it could do streaming media and restream it. Several products claim to be able to take streams and record them, and then convert them for you to play back later.

I didn't find anything GPL'd.

Non GPL'd products can apparently be found at:

totalrecorder.com
replay-music.com
wmrecorder. com (look for rm recorder)

Just tell her... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183354)

...that she's not using it right! Show her how to use it (secretly switching to a MP3 stream station), then hand it back to her. You'll be off the hook and she will soon put it in the closet. Then you grab it and sell it to some other sucker. Done and done!

Re:Just tell her... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183367)

Just in case...

I, Homer Simpson, did not write the above post. There! Are you happy Marge?

Recording Realaudio, WMF, OGG & MP3 Radio stre (5, Informative)

t482 (193197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183385)

From a blog entry I wrote a few weeks ago:

I wanted to record a couple of radio shows so that I can listen to them later on my linux machine. Basically I would like to listen to a mix of realplayer, Windows Media, Ogg and MP3 streams and save them as mp3 or ogg files so I can listen to them later on my computer or iriver ogg/mp3 player.

First I tried mplayer's dumpstream command

1) mplayer -dumpfile cores -dumpstream http://wm.warnermusic.com/France/the_corrs/summer_ sunshine/video/Summer_Sunshine_video_458.wmv
(thi s will give you a file called "cores" in your home-directory)

2) mplayer -vo null -vc null -ao pcm -aofile audio.wav cores
(this will convert the videofile to a wav audiofile)

3) lame audio.wav cores.mp3
(this will convert the file from wav to mp3)

However this process core dumped on realplayer recorder over 10 minutes. Also it doesn't know about ram files so you have to download them first (wget filename) and then open them to file the real link to the rm file. So I went on to look for some other tools.

Most of the tools seem to be wrappers around vsound and/or sox and lame/oggenc. Another tool I looked at is streamripper, which works for mp3 or ogg streams.

First I grabbed realcap which is a shell script front end to those tools. Downloaded, compiled and installed vsound.

Trick one - you have to ensure that realplayer is using OSS drivers
http://www.osl.iu.edu/~tveldhui/radio/ [iu.edu]

After that seemed to work I tried directly with vsound. vsound acts as a kind of virtual audio loopback cable ... it allows you to record the output audio stream of ... and line out jacks on the sound card.

vsound --timing -f myfile.wav realplay http://www.radio.org/ra/show.ram
oggenc myfile.wav

I also checked out the trplayer - which is a command line wrapper to realplayer. http://www.linux-speakup.org/trplayer.html [linux-speakup.org]

Got the error:
Failed to load rmacore.so.6.0: /usr/lib/RealPlayer8/Common/rmacore.so.6.0: Cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Well I figured out that they must be looking for the real player in /usr/lib when it was in /usr/local/ so I copied the directories over to where it wanted to find them and everything worked ok.

Also I tried out streamripper
http://streamripper.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] , which seemed to work fine ripping various streams. It didn't seem to be able to read the .m3u file so I had to download the m3u file with wget and look at it and then use streamripper http://url.ogg for it to work. Cool - now I can listen to the BBC and CBC and ABC (Australian Broadcasting) and Netherlands Broadcasting when I want to and where I want to.

Finally I had a look at mp3record - a bash shell wrapper for lame and sox
Basically it does this:
(sox -r $strFreqRate -t ossdsp -w -s /dev/dsp -t raw -c 2 -
| lame -s 44.1 -x -b $strBitRate -m s - $strFileName) &

Things to get working...
1) streaming directly to ogg with no intermediary wav step.
2) see if I can get this running from a cron job...

Re:Recording Realaudio, WMF, OGG & MP3 Radio s (0, Offtopic)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183536)


Ah, another Corrs fan!

Which one are you in love with - Andrea, Sharon, Caroline - or Jim? (Or all three - or four - or any two?)

swap (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183436)

Merry Xmas and Happy new year

music file server for WMLS? (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183451)

Does anybody know of a music file server for the WMLS other than twonkyvision-musicserver? It "works" but the combination of it and the WMLS are not terribly reliable.
-russ

ur a dumbass (-1, Troll)

fitteschleiker (742917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183494)

for christs sake why did you even buy the damn thing! surely you knew that the streams were not mp3 streams in the first place, so why set yourself up for a lot of hassle and wasting slashdot subscribers time. dumbass...

Cheaper solution (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183496)


There is a much cheaper way of doing this. Just get a FM transmitter (Bestbuy, Radioshack or any electronics store should have it) that has power adapter and hook it to the speaker output. Then listen to this music on your favorite Radio/Music system that has FM radio. As far as not being able to read the song/artist title information goes, you already mentioned that you don't want your mom to sit in front of computer (or your linksys radio).
Maybe you still have time to return it and get something that will cost less (like the FM transmitter I mentioned) and give you more and with the remaining money, you can take your mom out for dinner.

Re:Cheaper solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183507)


I meant speaker output of the computer... and your mom will be able to listen to every song that she can listen to on the PC.

Why not... (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183584)

Why not get her a real radio that can pick those up?

Such as this one [ccrane.com] or maybe these [ccrane.com] .

Or maybe go XM Radio [ccrane.com] ?

I don't think any of these radio/internet things are ready for primetime yet........

Be Patient Grasshopper.... (2, Insightful)

Basehart (633304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183632)

Maybe, shoulda, woulda waited until the Jan 2005 Macworld where I hear there may be an announcement that Apple is making the iPod compatible with Sirius. Much better than listening to the crap pumped out by Clearchannel.

Clear Channel NO LONGER HAS ANY PART OF XM.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11183707)

stop the urban myth, check the latest FTC filings. Clear Channel NO LONGER OWNS ANY XM STOCK.

Zero.

Zip.

Nada.

None.

Neyt.

Another easy at pi solution (1)

AnalogDog (756238) | more than 9 years ago | (#11183749)

I have copied Realplayer files using Gramofile. All you need to do is set up Gramofile to start recoring to a wav, then get realplayer on the station. And yes, you will want to adjust your mixer settings so the sound is good. I suggest running a test segment. I am not sure if this could be scripted, as I don't know if Realplayer or Gramofile takes command line options, but I do know they can be passed through aumix to the mixer. Rob
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