Woooooo!

After nearly two years of work, I’m happy to announce the release of LiveSupport 1.o. My team, which stretches from Belgrade to Budapest to Berlin to New York to Guatemala City, has done a really fine job. I think that today, there’ll be a lot of people enjoying a beer with a plugin (as the team calls an additional shot of Becherovka).

And this is only the beginning; tomorrow I get on a train to Berlin, from where I’ll fly to South Africa to officially demo the software at the Highway Africa conference next week. LiveSupport truly kicks ass, and I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on it.

Here’s the press release I just finished:

Media Development Loan Fund announces LiveSupport 1.0, a free and open source radio automation/playout system

The Media Development Loan Fund, through its Center for Advanced Media – Prague (CAMP) is proud to announce the release of LiveSupport 1.0 “Adam,” its free and open source automation and playout system for radio stations. The software is available for free download at http://www.campware.org.

“LiveSupport opens up a whole world of possibilities for radio stations, especially in the developing world where we are active,” said CAMP Managing Director Sava Tatić. “LiveSupport is flexible, powerful, and user-friendly,” he explained, adding that he sees great potential for the software’s use among community radio stations.

LiveSupport enables radio stations to work in two ways, in “Live Mode,” where a station employee in the studio chooses sound files and playlists for broadcast, or in “Schedule Mode,” where a preselected playlist is automatically played at a scheduled date and time.

In addition, broadcasts can be managed in two ways, either in the studio, using the LiveSupport Studio software, or remotely; LiveSupport enables radio station personnel to manage broadcasts remotely using any modern web browser. “Our goal is to allow anyone with an FM transmitter and a cheap Linux-powered PC to have the same functionality that wealthy radio stations have” Project Manager Micz Flor said.

The LiveSupport project also includes a demo “Live CD” that allows users to try a sample version without installing the software – and its underlying Knoppix Linux operating system distribution – to their hard disks until they choose to.

In addition to having a unique and user-friendly appearance designed by students and professors at the Parsons School of Design’s Design and Technology department, LiveSupport 1.0 is powerful and flexible on the back end, and includes:

  • An extensive API accessible via XML-RPC which will enable other developers to extend its functionality
  • A multimedia storage server written in PHP combining file storage with metadata from ID3 tags and Dublin Core
  • A scheduler daemon written in C++ that adds audio SMIL support to the popular open source Gstreamer multimedia player

    The next release of LiveSupport later this year will include a network exchange and portal component, in addition to a number of new features suggested by radio professionals worldwide. “The list of features we want to have is long, but a port of LiveSupport Studio to Windows and Macintosh is something we’re getting a lot of requests for,” Tatić said.

    Funding for the LiveSupport project has been provided by a grant from the Open Society Institute’s “Open Source Toolsets” initiative.

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