Airtime: Open Source Radio Software for Scheduling, Automation and Remote Station Management
Airtime, developed by Sourcefabric, is a free, open-source radio broadcasting software for scheduling and remote station management. The radio software runs on Linux platform, and features easy management and automation. The Airtime server software runs on Ubuntu Linux, Debian, and Red hat and multiple users can use the software to schedule radio shows remotely through any web browser. After installed, the user can control it from anywhere using a modern web browser.
Recently, Sourcefabric has released Airtime 1.8.2 with 58 improvements and bug fixes. It now provides the users ability to download audio, cancel a show that’s being recorded, and watch the recording status of a show on the “Now Playing” screen. The latest version has also improved the installation and upgrade process. A new command-line program called “
airtime-check-system” now verifies the environment in which the radio software is being installed and helps troubleshoot problems.
Airtime provides a one-stop solution for a range of broadcast projects: from community to public and commercial stations. It can play the commonly used MP3 format and the open Ogg Vorbis format.
The Liquidsoap stream generator is the heart of the software. Liquidsoap generates streams from files present in the Airtime media archive, indexed in a PostgreSQL database. Live shows are automatically recorded with Ecasound, using the soundcard line input. Editors and station controllers can use Airtime to build playlists and manage files (upload, add metadata, manage advertisements) inside the station or via the Internet, using a standard web browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Combining Airtime, the Liquidsoap stream generator, the PostgreSQL database and file storage, you can supply a broadcast station with all the functionality needed for automation.
How to Automate Your Own Radio Broadcasting Station?
- After installing, login to the Dashboard.
- Add your files to the library using the “Add Media” button or drag and drop files to it.
- Create a playlist in the Playlist Builder menu using your audio files.
- Create a show by going to “Calendar” in the menu bar, and then clicking the “+ Show” icon. This can be either a one-time or repeating show. Only admins can add shows.
- Add the playlist to the show by going to your show in the Schedule calendar, left-clicking on it and selecting “Add Content.”
- Select your playlist and drag and drop it to the “Items in this show” area.
Example System Diagram
In the diagram below, the media files are stored on a separate machine which also includes a PostgreSQL database, accessible through the local network. Liquidsoap outputs streams to both the transmitter and a streaming media server. The machine running Airtime is behind a firewall because it is connected both to the local network, and to the Internet for remote access. This enables Airtime to offer password-protected access to the media database and scheduling from both inside and outside the studio building.
Sourcefabric is a Czech non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting quality journalism through open source software and tools.