[Icecast] Icecast2 Station with multiple scheduled DJs?

John List johnlist at gulfbridge.net
Sat Sep 25 10:54:34 PDT 2010

At WXBH-LP we had a similar need, and we solved it using mpd (music 
player daemon) to coordinate our feed to icecast.

mpd is a music player (supporting playlists, etc.) originally designed 
for local network streaming, but it has several attributes that make it 
suitable for other things:

    * Items in its playlists can be local audio files or remote streams
      (e.g. DJ streams).
    * It can output a stream directly to icecast.
    * As a daemon it can be controlled by various clients including ones
      accessible from the command line, the web, and telnet/ssh. This
      has allowed us to build a scheduling system around it to cause it
      to play particular playlists at their scheduled times.

Each remote DJ must generate his/her own stream to be picked up by mpd. 
We make this easy by defining multiple "remote" streams for their use on 
our icecast server. This has the advantage of letting them connect to 
the remote stream early so they and we can verify that all is well. At 
the scheduled time, that remote stream is then "played" from a playlist 
on mpd.

We are a low-power FM station in the Louisville, Kentucky, area, and we 
are run collectively, so having a distributed architecture (allowing 
remote DJs) is important to us. Our mpd server, icecast server, and 
transmitter are currently in three separate locations. A computer at the 
the transmitter site subscribes to the icecast stream.

Unfortunately, it looks like we will be scrapping this system in a few 
weeks in favor of a proprietary system (SAM Broadcaster) because it 
offers superior sound level compression (i.e. it plays stuff louder) 
which has a direct effect on the strength of our broadcast signal (which 
is important when you are limited to 100 watts).

Until we switch away from mpd, you can learn more at our website, 
http://wxbh.org/OurStationSoftware.html and you can monitor the system's 
operation from http:// studio.wxbh.org/Console.html .

If anyone is interested in what we've done, I'll be happy to tell more 
and share code.

-John Hicks
(For best results in communicating with me directly, substitute my name 
"johnhicks" in place of "johnlist" in my email address.)

On 05/24/2010 12:10 PM, Patrick Bohnet wrote:
> I have been playing with Icecast only for a couple of days, and I am trying to figure out how to do something.
> I want a listener to have to only deal with one stream, but I want to be able to switch the source of that stream between multiple sources (DJs). The core idea is that the listener only deals with /live.mp3 while in the background I can problematically switch between a series of live sources (DJs) or an "Auto DJ Playlist" source - all based on a schedule for 24/7 content. The total amount of DJs is currently unknown (4+), as this is just the planing stages.
> So far I only have two ideas, neither of which seams optimal
> 1) use the move listener function to constantly shift users around to the correct DJ stream.
> 2) use a third party restream program, such as StreamTranscoder or LiquidSoap
> 3) use 4 dj mount points that fallback to each other and finally to the autoDJ, and make the DJs pick a stream to take over when their show starts. (this untested)
> (Long discussion on how I don't know how to do that, and ways that I have tried)
> So far I have tried the following (this is on a Debian machine running Icecast 2.3.2, all mounts are 128 kbs mp3, i can try a win32 version of icecast2, but I assume there should be no functional difference)
> *******************************************************************
> This was my first setup to familiarize my self with icecast
> mount /EDH.mp3 is hidden  and not public - it has a source of Winamp and edcast playing music from an old windows box I have
> mount /live.mp3 has a fallback to /EDH.mp3 with a fallback override of 1
> If the listener connects(windows media player on a windows box) to /live.mp3.m3u they hear the autoDJ until i connect to /live.mp3 with SAM, afterwhich they hear me, until I disconnect... so far so good
> *******************************************************************
> Next I tried the following, i wanted to try to swap the listener between two live sources
> mount /dj1.mp3 is playing music from Winamp/edcast on my old windows machine (classical music)
> mount /dj2.mp3 is playing music from Winamp/edcast on a second windows machine (Ozzy Osborn)
> mount /live.mp3 is setup with /dj1.mp3 as the fallback with fallback override set to 1
> When a listener connects (using windows media player on a third windows machine), they hear dj1
> I then, via the web interface (http://www.icecast.org/docs/icecast-trunk/icecast2_admn.html i.e. /admin/fallbacks?mount=/live.mp3&fallback=/dj2.mp3 ), change the fallback of /live.mp3 to /dj2.mp3
> the listener still hears dj1 and does not hear dj2.
> if i disconnect the listener and re connect, I still heard dj1 and not dj2 even though when I use /admin/listmounts i see that /dj2.mp3 is listed as the new fallback.
> If i change the /etc/icecast2/icecast.xml to change the fallback there and then run /etc/init.d/icecast2 reload to reload the config, the listener still hears dj1, even on a listener reconnect. 
> I even try a /etc/init.d/icecast2 restart and it does not change. only when I do a stop/start does any new connections to /live.mp3 switch to dj2
> now, I am able to move listeners via the web interface from /live.mp3 to /dj2.mp3 and they hear dj2. But if i try to move them back to /live.mp3 (thinking that it might then trigger the "new" fallback) they again hear dj1
> With some complicated checking, this might be a solution.
> *******************************************************************
> Next i tried using two icecast servers
> Server A
> I remove /live.mp3 from server A, otherwise it is the same server as before
> Server B (second Debian box, same subnet as all the machines, otherwise identical configuration as Server A)
> I add a relay called /live.mp3 which is using /dj1.mp3 from Server A as the source
> If a user connects to /live.mp3 they hear dj1
> if i change the xml (since there does not seam to be a web interface for editing relays) to point it to dj2 and do /etc/init.d/icecast2 reload nothing changes. The listener still hears dj1, even on a listener reconnect. If i do a stop/start only then does the listener hear the dj2, but it forces a reconnect and interrupts the user.
> *******************************************************************
> Finally I tried using a third party program to act as the go between
> Server A
> (still has /dj1.mp3 and /dj2.mp3 with no change)
> Server B
> changed /live.mp3 from a relay to a mount with a fallback to /EDH.mp3
> added /EDH.mp3 to this server and used a third windows box with Winamp and edcast to stream)
> on server B, I am running streamtranscoder from oddcast to stream /dj1.mp3 to /live.mp3
> when a listener connects to server b /live.mp3 they hear dj1
> when i stop the streamsstranscoder and run the one that points to /dj2.mp3 the user hears the autodj for just a second then they hear dj2
> this solution does not actually need two icecast servers, i just had things setup this way and did not want to move them around just for this test
> this solution is re encoding the mp3 stream, which is a loss of quality
> *******************************************************************
> it looks like my best option might be to have the DJs broadcast in 256kbs mount points that are hidden, and use liquidsoap to rebroadcast it to the live stream in 128kbs mp3. I can then control liquidsoap via an external programmatic interface which allows me to switch from DJ to DJ based on a timer, or to manually switch to a different show outside of the timer. I just don't like that it will reencode the audio.
> I was planning on using liquidsoap as the final auto dj (winamp/edcast was just for testing) anyway
> _______________________________________________
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