[icecast] building a multi-user-jukebox with icecast..need some advice

Andreas Gunzenhauser andrew at baselbiet.ch
Mon Jun 11 14:30:57 UTC 2001


I'm trying to build a prototype for something I've had in mind
for quite some years and finally is approaching to become reality.
But let me explain the circumstances:

I have a collection of albums (5000+) ripped to HQ VBR MP3's and
use my own web-interface to operate my jukebox (written in php,
does all I need, playlist manipulations, add whole albums, search
my whole collection and add results etc.). Currently the webinterface is
on a Linux Box and controls a Winamp on the playing machine (NT) via
httpq-plugin in winamp,
works pretty neat, my goal was to be able to listen to one song
that comes to my mind in < 5 secs, music at the speed of brainwaves,

I've also configured an icecast server and now I
am able to connect to the played stream from anywhere and can control via
web interface my playlist...so can listen to any song from my collection
from virtually anywhere.

Ok now lets get to the point, which is: I want to enable my friends
to be able to do the same, they have provided me with their CD's
to build this, now I'd like them to be able to use the service
the same way and listen to their music at home using Winamp.

I have the whole interface for this, but I don't want to have
for every user a single winamp and a single icecast server.

Therefore I am looking for some help on how to achieve this...

I think basic questions are:

- As all mp3's are high quality I'll need to run an on-the-fly encoder
  to the desired, lower bitrate for streaming - how much CPU time will it
  use and how many of them can run on a single Linux box ? Appearantly,
  I'll need one encoder for every user and one slot in the Icecast Server
  for every user (concurrent user). So if 5 friends are online, each
  of them listening to different songs and manipulating his playlist,
  will it work or will it kill the machine because of the re-encoding of the
files ?

- I could run a separate server with the Icecast on and a separate machine
  with the encoders running on.

- Is it at all possible or do I need to convert all my HQ MP3's to Low
  to use direct output without encoding on demand ?

- Most important: Basically, what tools would I need for it ? I'd need
something controlable
  as a player/encoder because I want them to be able to skip a song in
  using the web interface..so I thought about FreeAmp command line version,
  but I was not sure if it's the right choice and I think to really make
  good, one needs to select the right tools at first, otherwise a lot of
  is lost.

Tnx for reading my story so far - if you have questions, don't hesitate
to let me know..and hopefully some of you have some experience with such
a multiuser-jukebox-dream.

Thanks !


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