View Full Version : SqueezeCenter as a broadcast system - missing links

2008-06-03, 03:36
I have been using Slimserver/SqueezeCenter for some time as an automated internet radio playout system, for which it is almost ideal. With a few additions, it would be perfect. I wonder if anyone is interested in bringing some or all of these ideas into fruition? Here are some of the "missing links" that would help make Squeezecenter even better in this application than at present. SqueezeCenter is a good potential platform for this application due to its ability to play a vast collection of audio file formats, for example FLAC, which is supported by very few playout systems.

1. Playlist timing information. It would be extremely useful if it was possible to display the total running time/remaining running time of a playlist in the Web interface.

2. Track timing information. It would be useful to have the track length displayed alongside each track in the web interface, whether it's in a playlist or a left-pane display.

3. Radio-style crossfades. I notice that there is - as of recently - a plan to include this in 7.2. Excellent! The requirement is for the new track to start at full level over the fade of the previous track, ideally with a user-defined overlap. An inspiration for developments in this area might be Megaseg (www.megaseg.com) which has several crossfade modes including the above.

4. Ability to play items at specific times/points. This is the major item in this list I think. The idea here is to be able to play station idents, commercials, whatever, at specific points in a programme. You would need to be able to specify a specific track, (or choose the next/random item in a genre, or choose the next/random item in a secondary playlist) and insert that after the current track a) every x minutes; b) at certain absolute times (eg on the hour; at 13:45); c) after y tracks. The item could be inserted temporarily into the playlist (in which case you would need a command to clear the playlist and load another one to "clean" the list, with randomise and other options, at the end of the current); or simply played out without impacting the current playlist (preferred).

5. Outputting metadata. The application writes current artist and title to a file in a place that can be read by a streaming server's source client. This can be done with the NowPlaying plugin currently; however this will not work with all streaming clients. A better solution is:

6. Built-in (or plug-in) streaming server source client. This would talk to a Shoutcast, Icecast or QTSS server and stream the metadata along with the audio. The stream transfer capability would need to be able to stream any source material played on the server at constant bit rate (not something you can do with the mp3 remote streaming capability currently) to the remote server. Perhaps based on Squeezeslave or Softsqueeze?

I actually use an SB3 hooked up to an analogue mixer (so I can add voice input plus another application for live DJing as oposing to automated playlists) coming back into an audio interface and then out to the server via NiceCast (Macintosh).

Comments welcome - anyone interested in implementing any of this?

--Richard E