Tag Archives: CUNYcast

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THE CUNYCAST COMMONS GROUP IS NOW OPEN TO ALL

Welcome to our world. The CUNYcast Commons Group is now open to all!
Shout it out. #CUNYcast

We started this project in earnest weeks ago. But, looking back to March 1st when we posted our second process report for the DHpraxis class (after we went from a four person team to a three person team), we have definitely made headway. (Bad Shark. Go Away).

We are ready to start opening up the group to others who may be interested: 1. in signing up to produce future CUNYcasts, 2. techie-types who may want to submit their opinions as we build out this platform (Speak now or forever hold your peace). We are currently working in Bootstrap to configure our WordPress site and hope to launch by the week of April 1st.

Yesterday our site template went from this (see below) to next slide. Julia and Joy worked in tandem (get it; ha.. ha- we luv you classmates :)) on several agenda items:

Web_Page

To this:

unnamed

Next we have to wrestle with remedying the code for the header on the new pages. Go to our CUNYcast Commons Group to view this daunting (and hysterical) code.
[or you can download FULL DOCUMENT w/HTML CODE HERE]

James configured widgets and generally dove into Icecast and airtime.

Widgets

We have a custom icon now too:

CUNY_cast_Logo_2

We got a little blog action goin’ on by way of a shout out here too.

Next up, we gotta get the website uploaded to the server, make some adjustments to the pages, and get the flow between airtime and our site ironed out. These are our major goals right now.

CUNYcast Update week 5

SHOUT IT OUT WITH CUNYcast!

CUNYcast is moving forward and expanding our knowledge of the technical requirements involved in online radio broadcast. This week major strides were taken in outreach and development.

  • Contact was made with support and specialty knowledge in online radio broadcast technology (Mikhail Gershovich)
  • Reclaim hosting server space was finalized
  • Icecast and Artime were uploaded to server space.

THE MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT (MVP)

CUNYcast is a live online radio website offering students an opportunity to stream audio using original content from classes, lectures, and projects. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH guerrilla broadcast community.

CUNYcast will reach out to the GC through an academic commons page that will link users, listeners, and curious DHers to our CUNYcast web presence. The CUNYcast web page will have a space for listeners to listen to the live streaming CUNYcast content. It will have a space where users may learn how to access the CUNYcast live stream and upload their own content. CUNYcast is designed to inform and inspire its users, to facilitate this experience CUNYcast’s web page will house a manual that will empower user’s to add their own content to the CUNYcast live streaming radio and inform them on how they could create their very own digital live stream radio channel. A portion of the manual will help users learn how to create their own audio content if the wish to explore a more polished radio stream format.

As an added bonus the CUNYcast website will have links to educational audio content and pedagogy surrounding teaching practices that utilize audio creation as mode of production.

Technical specifications for MVP

The technical map of CUNYcast lays in the Icecast media server and the Airtime client used to manage media on the media server. This back end structure will be given its public face on our website and our cuny commons presence.projectmap03-02-2015

Outreach: Report of activities to date

How To Succeed Even When You Fail

Spring semester 2015. Our Digital Humanities class broke into teams. We were only mildly anxious. Like the television show, “Shark Tank” which features new pitches for products and services each week, we were convinced our ideas were sound and that we could excel. The thing was, within just a few days we started to drown. Instead of devouring the material and spitting it back out for human consumption, we started sinking in a sea of possibilities. No tech geeks on our team. Just dreamers. That didn’t stop us from grabbing at every idea that seemed to float.

But, wait, our group of four people diminished to only three by week two. Man down. He disappeared and dropped the class (we wished him well). The three of us had to take a good hard look at the CUNYcast concept and decide what would assure our chances of survival. (Think of the music to Jaws playing underneath these words).

We took our overblown idea of a RSS-feed calendar linked into the CUNY system, that would record remotely via an app, after two afternoons of staring at code and realizing that by the time the project was due, we’d maybe have gotten through a couple of introductory tutorials. There was no way any of us would be coding experts in 12 weeks.

We trimmed the fat. Bit back with strength and vigor, and began on the current instantiation of CUNYcast: a live online radio website offering students an opportunity to stream audio using original content from classes, lectures, and projects. Our professors urged us to aim outside the box and empower an entire DH guerrilla broadcast community at the Graduate Center. Reporting in on week 4 and things are going swimmingly. We’ve gelled as a team and we’re optimistic.

We are not afraid anymore We are not afraid anymore – even if we should be.

Development:

This week, the goal was to configure an Icecast Media server in a local environment.Airtime and Icecast were configured on our server when we received the server configuration thanks to Reclaim hosting.

Icecast is (again) a media server. When you have an online radio station, the media server is where the audio/video lives for the duration of the stream, sort of an intermediary between the streamer (host machine) and the watcher (listener). Airtime is sort of a GUI that gives a face to the media server. Not only does it make the media server friendlier, it also makes it prettier. Airtime comes with a calendar that allows shows to be planned in advance.

One interesting thing about media servers, is that if someone has the access information to an Icecast server (ds106 allows their’s to be public, as will we, that’s kind of the point) they can use broadcasting programs to take over the station. If another person tries to take over the station when a show is going on, they’ll be met with an error. Airtime simplifies this with the above-mentioned calendar feature, as it allows users to see when shows are planned, and as such, schedule their planned broadcasts around that. Of course, this also allows for anarchy…

Bugs! The Icecast Server worked perfectly. We were able to access it via broadcasting software (Mixxx) and pick up that broadcast via VLC and browser (the address currently being cunycast.net:8000/live, kind of ugly) . However, Airtime specifically had some trouble connecting to our Icecast server, even after multiple troubleshooting attempts. When transmitting via Airtime, a connection could be established to the Icecast server for roughly ~10 seconds before falling flat, despite Airtime claiming the show was still airing. I hate it when machines lie to me. Anyway, after doing some GoogleFu I came across a thread on the SourceFabric forums (SourceFabric developed Airtime) about this exact problem. The fix stated in the thread claimed that  I needed to restart certain Airtime services via commandline using the “sudo” command. Sounds scary. Because Airtime was installed for us, I was a little worried about messing it up, fearing that I would have to reinstall things that I do not understand. However, we were able to fix the bug more easily, by switching the broadcasting format from OGG Vorbis to simpler MP3 format.

development goals include:

  • Figure out how to interact with Airtime via command line (need help from Digital Fellows here)
  • Bring the backend media server to the front ASAP such that we have a simpler/prettier way for users to tune in.
  • Implement an AutoDJ to play over the station and maintain it when no broadcasts are coming in (this is where we may need to talk to a ds106 person).
  • Determine how incoming users will be able to manipulate/interact with Airtime.

Design:

Slow progress is being made constructing the structure and elements to the CUNYcast web presence using Bootstrap. The pre organized Java and CSS allows for immediate product but there is still a bit to understand about the addition of and linking to media.

The CUNYcast Academic commons site is being designed to mirror the CUNYcast website.

CUNYcast

The guide on how to create websites is being updated to make sure that the CUNYcast manual evolves as the project evolves.

Process Report CUNYcast

CUNYCast is an online experimental broadcast in the Digital Humanities. The CUNYcast site will model Ds106 Radio. It will also document the process, and create a “how to” manual for future CUNYcasters.  A link from the CUNYCast group page on the Academic Commons will lead people to an external site where content will be streamed. CUNYcast is a live online radio stream that anyone can take over and populate with their own DH audio radio broadcast. Cunycast is a non-archivable broadcast that will be accessible on the web. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH guerrilla broadcast community.

Our team’s goal this week was to test an audio upload to Ds106 Radio, and begin to build out our WordPress site, while documenting and reporting on our process and our progress. *Note: although documentation appears here, it has not been verified between team members. Please do not attempt or post until we have completed final edits on the manual. Thanks!

Process Report 2/25/15:

Joy edited in-class audio from DH Praxis 2014-15, added music, and recorded an introduction.  James’s task was to upload that content in order to better understand how Ds106 radio works.

  1. Using edited audio recordings of our in-class conversations James converted ab .m4a, (advanced audio coding (AAC) file format) to an mp3 file.
  2. Using online converter media.io took about three minutes to convert, reducing its size from 28MB to 19MB.

Note: James chose 128kb/s as the quality, remembering that Ds106 radio has a 128kb/s stream. Next, we needed to figure out what would come first, the ds106radio how-to, Airtime, or Icecast? Airtime has a giant button on their landing page that says START NOW, so that seemed like a good place to begin. 30 day free trial, otherwise it’s 9.95 a month.

Question: If we do work with Ds106 we’ll have to get them to “grant a login, we think? Though it also possible that when we are preparing our radio station, it might cost us $10 monthly to maintain it via Airitme?

  1. Ds106radio is located in the interwebs, and how to access it via Icecast, it links to here: http://networkeffects.ca/?p=1478
  2. Download Icecast here: http://icecast.org/download/
  3. Start Icecast. It launches a console.
  4. Follow instructions by typing the address into Chrome.

Note: If I we were hosting Icecast via our local machine, this is how it would be controlled.

  1. Go to the Icecast installation directory and find a .xml doc.
  2. Open with my text

Note: This seems like it will be very important later, but we’re not sure that it will help complete the goal now. The next thing we attempt to try is looking at “Broadcasting Software” in the ds106radio how-to. We come across this document. We go for Mixxx; another broadcasting tool.

  1. Download Mixxx. Mixxx is 85MB: It does audio editing, mixing, broadcasting, recording.
  2. Enable Live Broadcasting

Note: It began importing James’s whole audio library. He loaded a song and just played with some dials. He encourages everyone to do this.

  1. Open up our cmd (command prompt and type in some commands for installing the codec:

Photo:James_Broadcast

Note: Watch for compatibility issues. We had a 64-bit version of Mixxx that was accidentally installing the 32-bit encoder. Some folders are inaccurately named. For Macs, this process seems smoother.

  1. Load up the audio for broadcast on ds106radio into Mixxx, by dragging and dropping. take
  2. Take the server info from ds106radio and put it into Mixxx:

Name: ds106rad.io / Server: ds106rad.io / Port: 8010 / Mountpoint: live / Username: source / Password: ds106 / Codec: mp3 / Bitrate: 128 (or less) / Protocol: Icecast2 / Stereo: Y/N

  1. Success = playing live audio from our class on Ds106

Process Report 2/28/15:

  1. This week Julia went to a workshop on “Bootstrap”http://getbootstrap.com/
    It is a model for a responsive website.
    2. This is our template:http://getbootstrap.com/examples/carousel/#
    Note: We have had some concerns with the constraints of wordpress. This will aford us more freedom although it may require a bit more now to update and change the site = More freedom less of a fancy wordpress back end.file structure
  2. Download Bootstrap; accessed here:http://getbootstrap.com/
  3. Use textwrangler (a bare bones html building editor) she saved the document as a .html file like (index.html).
  4. Place the file in the same folder on the desk top that held the Bootstrap.

Note: We are assuming that this series of files will be able to be uploaded to a server so they may become live. There may be a few steps missing that we’re unaware of since we’re not directly familiar with server setups.

5. Using Textwrengler to build the site; start with a blank text editor. Go to the template mentioned above (http://getbootstrap.com/examples/carousel/#) and open the site. It is a browser and look at the view page source option.

6. Copy and paste the page source from that page and place it into a plain text document.

Note: CSS of this document was all whacked out at first. The file connections to the rest of the folders would be different if they were sitting on the desktop.

  1. Go through the preliminary documentation to fix the <!DOCTYPE html> heading issues in the .html file.
  2. Screen shot of the website displayed in a browser on her computer. It is bare bones but it does display.CUNYcast_Web_SampleNote: Julia will next play with the style of CUNYcast site to reflect the new direction of the project. Barbara Kruger is a visual inspiration since we’re going guerrilla.

Please join us at our new twitter account @CUNYcast #CUNYcast
Also, we’ll be making our group page public on the commons this week.

CUNYCast PROJECT MAP

ABSTRACT:

CUNYCast is an online experimental podcast in the Digital Humanities.  Project organizers will record content, make it available online, document the process, and create a “how to” manual for future podcasters, eventually encouraging others to contribute to a network of podcasts. CUNYCast is free, open sourced, collaborative, interdisciplinary, and shared. It is more than a single project; it is an initiative that offers students and faculty the tools and knowledge they need to share their work through audio. It can be used in classes, workshops, clubs, or as a stand-alone project to enrich not only the community at the Graduate Center but also the community across all CUNY schools. A link from the CUNYCast group page on the Academic Commons will lead people to an external site where content will be hosted. Links will also connect participants to resources that encourage information sharing, and cooperative production through CUNYCast. The CUNYCast site will be hosted via WordPress, which supports audio, video, and a number of other easy to use plugins. It will also implement source code from ds106 radio, and be powered using Icecas; a streaming media server. CUNYCast can enrich the long commute to the city, whether it is by train or car, or can be enjoyed from the comfort of home, when one is sick and unable to get to class. It is a low cost project capable of producing content and knowledge for individual classes in the future while encouraging community connection. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH community on demand; one that anyone can participate in.

USER STORIES:

Digital Humanities student:

In the new world of multimedia scholarship students are looking for new modes of production. They may ask themselves, “How can I reach a larger audience with my academic work and discoveries?” Publishing in academic journals is an integral part of academia but in an increasingly open source world how do graduate students reach out to wider communities to create digital content? A digital humanities student can tap into the CUNYCast web presence to learn how to make a high quality audio/digital repository. The student will learn different ways they can host their work, including requesting a block on the CUNYCast site. The student can also browse other CUNYCast programs (or more directly, ds106 programs) to see the open and conversational ways Digital Humanities scholarship shows a process-documented approach to scholarship. The WordPress production and code will be shared and easily accessible for student learning.

CUNY Faculty member:

The CUNY faculty member is interested in opening up digital publication opportunities for their students. Instead of a traditional end-of-class paper, the professor may want students to produce something that will exist online so that students can share their scholarship in a wider community and create their online academic persona. This faculty member would use CUNYCast to show students how to produce and post their podcast final project. The CUNYCast would also include documentation about the pedagogical practices being formed around digital media production in the classroom.

Outside Non-Affiliate interested in Podcasting:

Academic publishing and information has historically been a closed system where information seeking community members and independent scholars have to jump through hoops to get access to the most current and revolutionary scholarly work. This non-affiliate could look toward CUNYCast, and learn how to create his or her own online digital podcast publication. Here, they would be able to see how investigative and scholarly podcasting practices have their techniques outlined.

Technical Specs:

  • We are building an open online course in Digital Humanities. Documentation and technical explanations will be available to GC users via the Academic Commons.
  • Web hosting
  • Icecas Account
  • WordPress A/V Plugins, including Soundcloud
  • RSS
  • Airtime
  • ds106 Radio
  • Recording Equipment
  • Audacity (open source audio editing software)

Cunycast