Brilliant and unique use of ZaraRadio
Posted on January 25, 2014
This has got to be the coolest Part 15 related thing I’ve stumbled across since discovering Carls Low Power Hour!..
This guy has a Part 15 station: “The Ocho! operates on the north end of town and can be heard along parts of Old 37 and Walnut Street.” .. I didn’t see any mention of what city or state ‘Old 37 and Walnut street’ might be in, nor if the station is currently is still in operation or not. But it apparently was from 2006 to 20011.
I just ran a search on Part15.us a few moments ago and see that he is a member and has posted here a few times, but it doesn’t look as though anyone ever gave a response.. I think it might be because no one understood what the hell he was talking about.
Anyway, I fell across his website and discovered a really brilliant thing he created to use with ZaraRadio (at least I think it’s brilliant, it’s new to me). He came up with a way of using Zara Radio to control 3rd party scripts for additional automation.
He has Zara running on his windows pc and.. well, here it is in his own words..
“..We’ve been able to run a 100% automated radio station using a second linux box to generate text-to-speech updates for weather, news, and the hourly gas price report for our town. So far we’ve been using a “pull” methodoligy were the Zara playout host downloads updated dynamic content (text-to-speech) from the linux box using batch files and wget for Windows. This works very well for content that only needs to be updated hourly like the gas and weather. The linux box updates the text-to-speech report a few minutes ahead of the playout time, then the Zara host downloads it just before the scheduled playout beings..”
He has some example mp3s there of the text to speech outputs, like: ap news, current events, gas reports, slashdot_headlines, and weather.
The computer voice sounds like a NOAA report, which would be fine (to me) for the weather and gas reports, but not the news and events. But there are better virtual voices availble I know. I can see something like this being very useful.
He goes on to say:
“..I’ve wanted to have the system annunciate the names of the songs played for a while but only recently figured out a way to do this. ZaraRadio needs a method to call scripts or otherwise initiate the regeneration of a text-to-speech reports except it does not directly support this. However there’s no reason the playout log can’t also be used to trigger events, if a script can watch the log it can pick up commands from it too. How do you inject commands though? Simple: add fake song names to your playlist. The song names contain metadata which your script knows how to read…”
He go on describing detailed but simple scripts, and also provides a download of the “Automated DJ” program he wrote. And he tried to tell us about it here, but no one seemed to listen!
I think this is so cool! Doesn’t anybody else?
Check it out: http://ibmgeek.shacknet.nu/ocho/index.shtml