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So over christmas holidays I spent about 5 days to perfect my raspberry pi based internet radio player.Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.05.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.06.13 AM

You’ll need the following hardware:

  1. Raspberry Pi model B
  2. USB Wifi dongle (something that works with Raspbian would be nice). I got this one (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1030) from Adafruit.
  3. SD card (I’m using a 16GB card, but I think 8GB should be good to start with)
  4. Bluetooth 4.0 dongle. I’m using this one from ASUS (http://www.asus.com/ca-en/Networking/USBBT400/) that seems to work fine in Linux/Raspbian
  5. PiTFT resistive touch screen assembled from Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1601)
  6. Pack of 20 tactile buttons from Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1489) for the above screen (You need to solder these in…..very simple)
  7. Appropriate power USB power supply. Again I’m using the one from Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com/products/501)
  8. Standard A to micro-B USB cable (http://www.adafruit.com/products/592)
  9. (optional) PiTFT Enclosure from Adafruit (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1892). Highly recommended as it looks really nice and clean.

 

The screen (PiTFT) comes pre-assembled so all you need to do is solder the 4 buttons on the bottom. This literally takes 5 minutes (8 solder points if you’re keeping track). Once that’s done plugin the screen onto the Pi.

Now grab a copy of the custom Raspbian image off Adafruits website (I’ve grabbed the 9/18/2014 image from http://adafruit-download.s3.amazonaws.com/PiTFT28R_raspbian140909_2014_09_18.zip). There might be a newer one out by the time you read this. Note that this image is only for TFT resistive touch screen NOT the capacitive screen. Unzip the above file (you’ll get a .img file) and burn it onto a SD card (mine is 16GB) following the instructions at http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup.

I’m plugging in the USB wifi and USB Bluetooth devices into the PI. Also plugin a wired ethernet connection (hopefully you have DHCP on it).

Let’s ssh to the Pi to get it setup (IP is on the PiTFT). I’m logging in as user pi (password raspberry……make sure you change it) and immediately switching to root.

At this point (as root) do the following tasks by running “raspy-config” and using the screenshots as reference:

  1. Expand the file system and reboot.
    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.27.59 AM
  2. Change the “pi” user passwordScreen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.47.36 PM
  3. (Optional) Change the internationalization options.Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.47.43 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.47.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.51.52 PMNOTE: On the following screen I leave en_GB.UTF-8 as default, although I live in Canada. But I do select _CA and _US as well.Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.52.32 PMBack to main screen and we go back to Internationalization options to change the timezone.Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.54.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.56.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 7.55.01 PM
  4. At this point you can also change the Hostname (Under advanced). Once you’ve done that, reboot for good measure and login using “pi” and sudo -i to get to root. Next we want to configure the WIFI USB device.

Now that we have the basics configured, before we install the wifi config tool, it’s a great time to take a break and do a “apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade” cycle. Next we want to make sure that both our USB dongles are detected (WIFI, Bluetooth) by doing “lsusb”.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 8.21.25 PM

We now install wicd-curses using “apt-get install wicd-curses”. Then we run it and not touch anything, you need to press the right keys here. First right off the back press P(references). Note that It’s CAPITAL P.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 8.22.10 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 8.29.52 PM

Once things are setup like the above picture, press F10 key to save it. You might lose connection, just wait until ssh times out and re-ssh back in and sudo -i as well. Now we need to get back into wicd-curses (if the connection dropped) and find the SSID for our WIFI. Once there DO NOT press ENTER. Highlight the entry by using the cursor keys (up,down) and press the RIGHT cursor key (—>) to open the prefs for that SSID. NOTE: the WPA ½ entry has been changed as well.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 8.39.10 PM

Press F10 to save. You might get disconnected (you’ll see the WIFI LEDS flashing). If you got timed out, relogin and sudo -i to get root. reboot NOW. Now we need to disconnect the wired connection. This will force the system to turn on WIFI. Once the machine is booted (it might take a bit longer, since we have to wait for wired DHCP to time out), you’ll find the WIFI IP on the TFT.

SSH to the IP and get root shell. We now need to configure bluetooth. Follow along with the pics below. First though we need to install a bunch of stuff with “apt-get install bluetooth bluez bluez-utils bluez-alsa” command. Remove unnecessary services that got installed (scanner, printer, avahi) and disable their autostart.

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.11.44 PM
Add the following Disable/Enable block (2 lines) to the [General] section of /etc/bluetooth/audio.conf file.
Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.14.21 PM
Okay we need to reboot now and once back in continue as root. First we make sure our BT device is initialized.
Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.22.32 PM
Then we turn on the BT speaker (BeatsPill) and put it in discover mode (hold the b button until the bluetooth LED on the back starts flashing…..might have to push the b button once before). Then we go on to discover the device.
Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.23.18 PM
Note it’s address. We will need to copy and paste it into the next few commands. Put the following in /etc/asound.conf paying attention to replace the MAC address of the BD device with the correct one you copied in the last step.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.36.55 AMScreen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.25.46 PM
Once we get the output 1 from the last command it means that the device is trusted now and Linux will try to auto connect to it if the BT speaker is on when the machine is rebooted. You’ll also hear a beep when the bluetooth-agent command successfully connects. In the last step I’m just trying to establish an audio connection by restarting the bluetooth daemon (make it forget the connection) and using bluez-test-audio to connect back to the speaker. Again you’ll hear a beep when the Pi connects.
Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 9.28.25 PM
Now we need to install mpd, mpc and the curses based ncmpcpp by using “apt-get install mpd mpc ncmpcpp”.
Once that’s done copy /etc/mpd.conf to /etc/mpd.conf.old and create /etc/mpd.conf with the following content:
# An example configuration file for MPD
# See the mpd.conf man page for a more detailed description of each parameter.
# Files and directories #######################################################
#
# This setting controls the top directory which MPD will search to discover the
# available audio files and add them to the daemon's online database. This 
# setting defaults to the XDG directory, otherwise the music directory will be
# be disabled and audio files will only be accepted over ipc socket (using
# file:// protocol) or streaming files over an accepted protocol.
#
music_directory	"/var/lib/mpd/music"
#
# This setting sets the MPD internal playlist directory. The purpose of this
# directory is storage for playlists created by MPD. The server will use 
# playlist files not created by the server but only if they are in the MPD
# format. This setting defaults to playlist saving being disabled.
#
playlist_directory	"/var/lib/mpd/playlists"
#
# This setting sets the location of the MPD database. This file is used to
# load the database at server start up and store the database while the 
# server is not up. This setting defaults to disabled which will allow
# MPD to accept files over ipc socket (using file:// protocol) or streaming
# files over an accepted protocol.
#
db_file	"/var/lib/mpd/tag_cache"
# 
# These settings are the locations for the daemon log files for the daemon.
# These logs are great for troubleshooting, depending on your log_level
# settings.
#
# The special value "syslog" makes MPD use the local syslog daemon. This
# setting defaults to logging to syslog, otherwise logging is disabled.
#
log_file	"/var/log/mpd/mpd.log"
#
# This setting sets the location of the file which stores the process ID
# for use of mpd --kill and some init scripts. This setting is disabled by
# default and the pid file will not be stored.
#
pid_file	"/var/run/mpd/pid"
#
# This setting sets the location of the file which contains information about
# most variables to get MPD back into the same general shape it was in before
# it was brought down. This setting is disabled by default and the server 
# state will be reset on server start up.
#
state_file	"/var/lib/mpd/state"
#
# The location of the sticker database.  This is a database which
# manages dynamic information attached to songs.
#
sticker_file                   "/var/lib/mpd/sticker.sql"
#
###############################################################################
# General music daemon options ################################################
#
# This setting specifies the user that MPD will run as. MPD should never run as
# root and you may use this setting to make MPD change its user ID after
# initialization. This setting is disabled by default and MPD is run as the
# current user.
#
user	"mpd"
#
# This setting specifies the group that MPD will run as. If not specified
# primary group of user specified with "user" setting will be used (if set).
# This is useful if MPD needs to be a member of group such as "audio" to
# have permission to use sound card.
#
#group                          "nogroup"
#
# This setting sets the address for the daemon to listen on. Careful attention
# should be paid if this is assigned to anything other then the default, any.
# This setting can deny access to control of the daemon. Choose any if you want
# to have mpd listen on every address
#
# For network
#bind_to_address	"any"
bind_to_address	“127.0.0.1"
#
# And for Unix Socket
#bind_to_address	"/var/run/mpd/socket"
#
# This setting is the TCP port that is desired for the daemon to get assigned
# to.
#
port	"6600"
#
# This setting controls the type of information which is logged. Available 
# setting arguments are "default", "secure" or "verbose". The "verbose" setting
# argument is recommended for troubleshooting, though can quickly stretch
# available resources on limited hardware storage.
#
#log_level	"default"
#
# If you have a problem with your MP3s ending abruptly it is recommended that 
# you set this argument to "no" to attempt to fix the problem. If this solves
# the problem, it is highly recommended to fix the MP3 files with vbrfix
# (available as vbrfix in the debian archive), at which
# point gapless MP3 playback can be enabled.
#
gapless_mp3_playback	"yes"
#
# This setting enables MPD to create playlists in a format usable by other
# music players.
#
#save_absolute_paths_in_playlists	"no"
#
# This setting defines a list of tag types that will be extracted during the 
# audio file discovery process. Optionally, 'comment' can be added to this
# list.
#
#metadata_to_use	"artist,album,title,track,name,genre,date,composer,performer,disc"
#
# This setting enables automatic update of MPD's database when files in 
# music_directory are changed.
#
auto_update    "yes"
#
# Limit the depth of the directories being watched, 0 means only watch
# the music directory itself.  There is no limit by default.
#
#auto_update_depth "3"
#
###############################################################################
# Symbolic link behavior ######################################################
#
# If this setting is set to "yes", MPD will discover audio files by following 
# symbolic links outside of the configured music_directory.
#
follow_outside_symlinks	"yes"
#
# If this setting is set to "yes", MPD will discover audio files by following
# symbolic links inside of the configured music_directory.
#
follow_inside_symlinks	"yes"
#
###############################################################################
# Zeroconf / Avahi Service Discovery ##########################################
#
# If this setting is set to "yes", service information will be published with
# Zeroconf / Avahi.
#
zeroconf_enabled	"yes"
#
# The argument to this setting will be the Zeroconf / Avahi unique name for
# this MPD server on the network.
#
zeroconf_name	"iradio"
#
###############################################################################
# Permissions #################################################################
#
# If this setting is set, MPD will require password authorization. The password
# can setting can be specified multiple times for different password profiles.
#
#password                        "[email protected],add,control,admin"
#
# This setting specifies the permissions a user has who has not yet logged in. 
#
#default_permissions             "read,add,control,admin"
#
###############################################################################
# Input #######################################################################
#
input {
        plugin "curl"
#       proxy "proxy.isp.com:8080"
#       proxy_user "user"
#       proxy_password "password"
}
#
###############################################################################
# Audio Output ################################################################

# MPD supports various audio output types, as well as playing through multiple 
# audio outputs at the same time, through multiple audio_output settings 
# blocks. Setting this block is optional, though the server will only attempt
# autodetection for one sound card.
#
# See <http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Configuration#Audio_Outputs> for examples of 
# other audio outputs.
#
# An example of an ALSA output THIS IS THE DEFAULT:
#
audio_output {
type	"alsa"
name	"My ALSA Device"
device	"hw:0,0"	# optional
format	"44100:16:2"	# optional
mixer_device	"default"	# optional
mixer_control	"PCM"	# optional
mixer_index	"0"	# optional
}
#
# Example for Bluetooth A2DP
#
audio_output {
type            "alsa"
name            "ALSA"
format          "44100:16:2"    # optional
#options         "dev=dmixer"
device          "bluetooth"
}
#
# Enable FIFO Pipe for ncmpcpp Visualizer
#
audio_output {
    type                    "fifo"
    name                    "iradio"
    path                    "/tmp/mpd.fifo"
    format                  "44100:16:1"
}
#
# Example for USB class complaint Audio Card
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"alsa"
#	name	"Output"
#	device	"hw:0,0"	# optional
#	dsd_usb	"no"
#}
#
# An example of an OSS output:
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"oss"
#	name	"My OSS Device"
#	device	"/dev/dsp"	# optional
#	format	"44100:16:2"	# optional
#	mixer_device	"/dev/mixer"	# optional
#	mixer_control	"PCM"	# optional
#}
#
# An example of a shout output (for streaming to Icecast):
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"shout"
#	encoding	"ogg"	# optional
#	name	"My Shout Stream"
#	host	"localhost"
#	port	"8000"
#	mount	"/mpd.ogg"
#	password	"hackme"
#	quality	"5.0"
#	bitrate	"128"
#	format	"44100:16:1"
#	protocol	"icecast2"	# optional
#	user	"source"	# optional
#	description	"My Stream Description"	# optional
#	genre	"jazz"	# optional
#	public	"no"	# optional
#	timeout	"2"	# optional
#}
#
# An example of a recorder output:
#
#audio_output {
#       type            "recorder"
#       name            "My recorder"
#       encoder         "vorbis"                # optional, vorbis or lame
#       path            "/var/lib/mpd/recorder/mpd.ogg"
##      quality         "5.0"                   # do not define if bitrate is defined
#       bitrate         "128"                   # do not define if quality is defined
#       format          "44100:16:1"
#}
#
# An example of a httpd output (built-in HTTP streaming server):
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"httpd"
#	name	"My HTTP Stream"
#	encoder	"vorbis"	# optional, vorbis or lame
#	port	"8000"
#	quality	"5.0"	# do not define if bitrate is defined
#	bitrate	"128"	# do not define if quality is defined
#	format	"44100:16:1"
#}
#
# An example of a pulseaudio output (streaming to a remote pulseaudio server)
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"pulse"
#	name	"My Pulse Output"
#	server	"remote_server"	# optional
#	sink	"remote_server_sink"	# optional
#}
#
## Example "pipe" output:
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"pipe"
#	name	"my pipe"
#	command	"aplay -f cd 2>/dev/null"
## Or if you're want to use AudioCompress
#	command	"AudioCompress -m | aplay -f cd 2>/dev/null"
## Or to send raw PCM stream through PCM:
#	command	"nc example.org 8765"
#	format	"44100:16:2"
#}
#
## An example of a null output (for no audio output):
#
#audio_output {
#	type	"null"
#	name	"My Null Output"
#}
#
# This setting will change all decoded audio to be converted to the specified
# format before being passed to the audio outputs. By default, this setting is
# disabled.
#
#audio_output_format	"44100:16:2"
#
# If MPD has been compiled with libsamplerate support, this setting specifies 
# the sample rate converter to use.  Possible values can be found in the 
# mpd.conf man page or the libsamplerate documentation. By default, this is
# setting is disabled.
#
#samplerate_converter	"Fastest Sinc Interpolator"
#
###############################################################################
# Volume control mixer ########################################################
#
# These are the global volume control settings. By default, this setting will
# be detected to the available audio output device, with preference going to 
# hardware mixing. Hardware and software mixers for individual audio_output
# sections cannot yet be mixed.
#
# An example for controlling an ALSA, OSS or Pulseaudio mixer; If this
# setting is used other sound applications will be affected by the volume
# being controlled by MPD.
#
#mixer_type	"hardware"
#
# An example for controlling all mixers through software. This will control
# all controls, even if the mixer is not supported by the device and will not
# affect any other sound producing applications.
#
#mixer_type	"software"
#
# This example will not allow MPD to touch the mixer at all and will disable
# all volume controls.
#
#mixer_type	"disabled"
#mixer_type	"none"
#
###############################################################################
# Normalization automatic volume adjustments ##################################
#
# This setting specifies the type of ReplayGain to use. This setting can have
# the argument "album" or "track". See <http://www.replaygain.org> for more
# details. This setting is disabled by default.
#
#replaygain	"album"
#
# This setting sets the pre-amp used for files that have ReplayGain tags. By
# default this setting is disabled.
#
#replaygain_preamp	"0"
#
# This setting enables on-the-fly normalization volume adjustment. This will
# result in the volume of all playing audio to be adjusted so the output has 
# equal "loudness". This setting is disabled by default.
#
volume_normalization	"no"
#
###############################################################################
# MPD Internal Buffering ######################################################
#
# This setting adjusts the size of internal decoded audio buffering. Changing
# this may have undesired effects. Don't change this if you don't know what you
# are doing.
#
audio_buffer_size	"2048"
#
# This setting controls the percentage of the buffer which is filled before 
# beginning to play. Increasing this reduces the chance of audio file skipping, 
# at the cost of increased time prior to audio playback.
#
buffer_before_play	"20%"
#
###############################################################################
# Resource Limitations ########################################################
#
# These settings are various limitations to prevent MPD from using too many
# resources. Generally, these settings should be minimized to prevent security
# risks, depending on the operating resources.
#
#connection_timeout	"60"
#max_connections	"10"
#max_playlist_length	"16384"
#max_command_list_size	"2048"
#max_output_buffer_size	"8192"
#
###############################################################################
# Character Encoding ##########################################################
#
# If file or directory names do not display correctly for your locale then you 
# may need to modify this setting. After modification of this setting mpd 
# --create-db must be run to change the database.
#
filesystem_charset	"UTF-8"
#
# This setting controls the encoding that ID3v1 tags should be converted from.
#
id3v1_encoding	"UTF-8"
#
###############################################################################
# SIDPlay decoder #############################################################
#
# songlength_database:
#  Location of your songlengths file, as distributed with the HVSC.
#  The sidplay plugin checks this for matching MD5 fingerprints.
#  See http://www.c64.org/HVSC/DOCUMENTS/Songlengths.faq
#
# default_songlength:
#  This is the default playing time in seconds for songs not in the
#  songlength database, or in case you're not using a database.
#  A value of 0 means play indefinitely.
#
# filter:
#  Turns the SID filter emulation on or off.
#
#decoder {
#       plugin                  "sidplay"
#       songlength_database     "/media/C64Music/DOCUMENTS/Songlengths.txt"
#       default_songlength      "120"
#       filter "true"
#}
#
###############################################################################

There are 3 audio_output sections for the internal headphone jack, bluetooth audio and a third one for ncmpcpp’s spectrum analyzer (although I don’t use it in this project).

Next we need a playlist file in m3u format. You’ll find a good one below (contains di.fm, sky.fm, CBC and somafm AAC links). Copy this into /var/lib/mpd/playlist/something.m3u (remember the filename since we will then use mpc to load it):


http://pub6.di.fm/di_00sclubhits_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_ambient_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_bassnjackinhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_bassline_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_bigbeat_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_bigroomhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_breaks_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_chillhop_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_chilloutdreams_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_chillout_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_chillstep_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_chiptunes_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_classiceurodance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_classiceurodisco_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_classictrance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_classicvocaltrance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_clubdubstep_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_club_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_cosmicdowntempo_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_darkdnb_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_darkpsytrance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_deephouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_deepnudisco_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_deeptech_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_discohouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_djmixes_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_downtempolounge_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_drumandbass_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_drumstep_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_dub_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_dubstep_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_ebm_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_eclectronica_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_electro_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_electronicpioneers_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_electronics_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_electropop_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_electroswing_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_epictrance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_eurodance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_funkyhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_futuregarage_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_futuresynthpop_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_gabber_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_glitchhop_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_goapsy_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_handsup_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_hardcore_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_harddance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_hardstyle_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_hardtechno_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_house_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_jungle_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_latinhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_liquiddnb_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_liquiddubstep_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_lounge_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_mainstage_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_minimal_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_moombahton_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_nightcore_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_nudisco_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_oldschoolacid_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_oldschoolhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_oldschoolrave_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_classictechno_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_progressive_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_progressivepsy_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_psybient_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_psychill_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_russianclubhits_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_scousehouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_soulfulhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_spacemusic_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_techhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_techno_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_trance_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_trap_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_tribalhouse_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_ukgarage_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_umfradio_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_undergroundtechno_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_vocalchillout_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_vocallounge_aac
http://pub6.di.fm/di_vocaltrance_aac
http://pub7.radiotunes.com/radiotunes_00srnb_aac
http://pub7.radiotunes.com/radiotunes_60srock_aac
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http://pub7.radiotunes.com/radiotunes_classical_aac
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http://6733.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_SNF_H_SC
http://2963.live.streamtheworld.com:3690/CBC_R1_SNF_H_SC
http://5463.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_SSK_H_SC
http://5463.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_SUD_H_SC
http://6093.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_SYD_H_SC
http://6693.live.streamtheworld.com:3690/CBC_R1_SYD_H_SC
http://1671.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_TBA_H_SC
http://6693.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_TOR_H_SC
http://1451.live.streamtheworld.com:3690/CBC_R1_TOR_H_SC
http://3903.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_VCR_H_SC
http://6093.live.streamtheworld.com:3690/CBC_R1_VCR_H_SC
http://1651.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_VIC_H_SC
http://2093.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_WDR_H_SC
http://1671.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_WHS_H_SC
http://1661.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_WPG_H_SC
http://2953.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R1_YKN_H_SC
http://1651.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2CLAS_H_SC
http://9433.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_EDM_H_SC
http://3143.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_HFX_H_SC
http://8653.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_IET_H_SC
http://5523.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_IPT_H_SC
http://2073.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_TOR_H_SC
http://2793.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_VCR_H_SC
http://3023.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_R2_WPG_H_SC
http://1942.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_RBSOUL_H_SC
http://2973.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_ROCK01_H_SC
http://2093.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_ROCKCL_H_SC
http://1952.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_SINSON_H_SC
http://2773.live.streamtheworld.com:80/CBC_WORLDM_H_SC
http://ice.somafm.com/bagel-64.aac
http://ice.somafm.com/beatblender-64.aac
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http://ice.somafm.com/xmasrocks-64.aac

One last file we need to get setup is /etc/default/bluetooth and then we reboot (and make sure your BT speaker is in BT mode…..on the pill you need to press the big b button so the bluetooth LED turns on in the back).

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 10.09.06 PM

If you’ve made it this far, during the Pi boot cycle the Beatspill should have beeped signifying a bluetooth connection. Hopefully :-). If it doesn’t take the next step with the mpc commands. If it still doesn’t work after the mpc commands (to get mpd playing some streams) then something has gone wrong. You need to troubleshoot.
Now login and get to root shell and follow along for a quick audio test using mpc command.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.45.47 AM
Hopefully you got everything working with BT and you’re hearing music now. If not, stop and do some googling. For sake of completeness I’ve put the commands I usually use to troubleshoot. Basically find the Beatspill MAC address, try connecting to it (mine barfs in the picture below since it’s already connected), disconnect and reconnect. Kick mpd since it can loose it’s mind if you take the audio interface away. Once mpd has restarted, get mpc to kick off the tunes by tuning into item 99 from the playlist (yeah I like the 80’s).
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.52.25 AM
Next we need to install python-pip (to get the “pip” command). Use “apt-get install python-pip” to install it (don’t worry about version 2.6 install of python, python 2.7 will still be the default).
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.04.15 PM
Okay, this next bit is a bit hairy. You need to follow it right until I finish editing /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf and only then do you reboot……If you reboot like the picture shows below, you’ll end up with a white screen on the PiTFT. The Pi is still working, so worst case, put up with the white PiTFT screen, ssh, and make the three changes to the three files in /etc and give it another reboot…..and viola, PiTFT should be back and good to go. So lets update everything by doing the 3 commands in the below picture. REMEMBER DO NOT REBOOT…..KEEP GOING AND EDIT THE NEXT 3 FILES, THEN REBOOT.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 2.51.49 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 11.39.14 PM
Add ipv6, stmpe_device, gpio_backlight_device, gpio_keys, gpio_keys_device and btusb to /etc/modules to make the kernel load them. We need these for later when we play around with the buttons using triggerhappy service. You don’t strictly need ipv6, but heck it might be useful later.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.29.30 AM
Next we set the options for the modules we’re loading. If your took the reboot too soon and you screen went white the problem is this file. Note that I’ve commented the first line and put in the second line (I believe adafruit had their TFT named in their kernel module, but after the kernel update — above — the new module has pitft instead. There are some comments in there as well to explain the GPIO button assignment and it’s interface with triggerhappy (later).
Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 4.09.58 PM
This file just needs a single comment. You’ll see later why we need this.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 11.33.21 AM
Okay….still with me…..good. Now we need to configure the triggerhappy service so it can respond to the four PiTFT buttons.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 12.44.21 PM
I’ve configured the buttons as (from left to right):
  1. shutdown -h now
  2. mpc play and start the pygame graphical UI (does not come up at boot. Only when you press this button). More on this later, below.
  3. mpc play and mpc prev. This button starts playing and then goes to the previous playlist item (previous radio station). The mpc play is not crucial. I just have it there to force start mpd if it’s not already playing something.
  4. mpc play and mpc next. This button starts playing and then goes to the next playlist item (next radio station). The mpc play is not crucial. I just have it there to force start mpd if it’s not already playing something.

If you want to configure your own commands you need the appropriate KEY_XXXX kernel strings and the key numbers are at this website (https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/include/uapi/linux/input.h). The numbers are options in /etc/modprobe.d/adafruit.conf file and the corresponding KEY_XXXX entries end up in /etc/triggerhappy/triggers.d/mpc.conf. More info on gpio_keys_device module is here (https://github.com/notro/fbtft_tools/wiki/gpio_keys_device). A good reference for triggerhappy and other PiTFT stuff is here (https://github.com/notro/fbtft/wiki/FBTFT-shield-image), under triggerhappy (thd) heading. Also check out the man pages for thd.

We also need to modify the system startup script for triggerhappy so that it starts as user root (by default it starts as nobody). If we don’t do this we will not be able to run our nice ui python file later on from the buttons. Make the changes to DAEMON_ARGS variable (I’ve commented the original in the pic below), change “nobody” to “root”.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.29.49 PM
In the next step we’ll reconfigure the init process to bypass login on console 1 (on PiTFT) and disable all the other consoles (we’re not using them and they waste memory). Once login has been bypassed we can freely run ncmpcpp on the PiTFT during boot. For this we need to create two files in /root. First /root/.ncmpcpp/config and then a shell script (don’t forget to chmod 700 it so you can execute it) called ncmpcpp.sh which we’ll call from /etc/inittab later.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.02.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.06.32 PM
Note: MAKE SURE YOU “chmod 700 /root/ncmpcpp.sh”, otherwise you could end up with a infinite boot loop which is not fun.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 1.13.58 PM
The contents of my /etc/inittab are here (be extremely careful when changing things in here).

# /etc/inittab: init(8) configuration.
# $Id: inittab,v 1.91 2002/01/25 13:35:21 miquels Exp $
# The default runlevel.
id:2:initdefault:
# Boot-time system configuration/initialization script.
# This is run first except when booting in emergency (-b) mode.
si::sysinit:/etc/init.d/rcS
# What to do in single-user mode.
~~:S:wait:/sbin/sulogin
# /etc/init.d executes the S and K scripts upon change
# of runlevel.
#
# Runlevel 0 is halt.
# Runlevel 1 is single-user.
# Runlevels 2-5 are multi-user.
# Runlevel 6 is reboot.
l0:0:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 0
l1:1:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 1
l2:2:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 2
l3:3:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 3
l4:4:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 4
l5:5:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 5
l6:6:wait:/etc/init.d/rc 6
# Normally not reached, but fallthrough in case of emergency.
z6:6:respawn:/sbin/sulogin
# What to do when CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed.
ca:12345:ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t1 -a -r now
# Action on special keypress (ALT-UpArrow).
#kb::kbrequest:/bin/echo "Keyboard Request--edit /etc/inittab to let this work."
# What to do when the power fails/returns.
pf::powerwait:/etc/init.d/powerfail start
pn::powerfailnow:/etc/init.d/powerfail now
po::powerokwait:/etc/init.d/powerfail stop
# /sbin/getty invocations for the runlevels.
#
# The "id" field MUST be the same as the last
# characters of the device (after "tty").
#
# Format:
#  :::
#
# Note that on most Debian systems tty7 is used by the X Window System,
# so if you want to add more getty's go ahead but skip tty7 if you run X.
#
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty  --skip-login --login-program /root/ncmpcpp.sh 38400 tty1 
#1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --autologin pi --noclear 38400 tty1 
#1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1 
#2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
#3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6
# Example how to put a getty on a serial line (for a terminal)
#
#T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 9600 vt100
#T1:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS1 9600 vt100
# Example how to put a getty on a modem line.
#
#T3:23:respawn:/sbin/mgetty -x0 -s 57600 ttyS3
#Spawn a getty on Raspberry Pi serial line
#T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

Now, once more, before we reboot and screw it all up make sure you can run /root/ncmpcpp from command line ssh. You should see a clock. Press “q” to exit. Good…..now reboot and hopefully if you didn’t screwup you should see a nice console screen with the clock on you PiTFT.

IMG_1467

 

I’m playing something here. You will need to give Wifi a chance to get settled before pressing the previous/next buttons (3rd and 4th buttons from the left).

Now lets move onto getting the second button to work (i.e. the nice pygame gui). The original source for this came from https://github.com/ISO-B/pmb-pitft. I’ve done a bunch of changes, since I use the Pi for radio only and radio stations do not adhere to the Artist – Title standard. You can use the original code, but since the program is not getting the right info the last.fm pics and the info are wrong. The other change I’ve done is show the artist picture from last.fm if the album information is missing — which is the case when you’re playing internet radio. Almost all radio stations I’ve come across show Artist – Song Title, not Album Name.
You can download my version (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3665206/pmb-pitft.tgz) as a tar file and open it up in /home/pi/ folder using “tar -zxvf ./pmb-pitft.tgz” (assuming the file is in /home/pi to start the tar extraction).
You’ll also need the pylast library to get lastfm information, so lets install it using “apt-get install python-pylast”. Once that’s done edit the ui.py file (in /home/pi/pmb-pitft/pmb-pitft folder) and change the API_KEY, API_SECRET, username and password to your accounts credentials (API_KEY and API_SECRET are at http://www.last.fm/api/account once you login to your account).
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.16.25 PM
Now let’s make sure the extraction went okay. Assuming you’ve followed my instructions if you issue “/usr/bin/python /home/pi/pmb-pitft/pmb-pitft/ui.py” from /home/pi folder, you should see a nice gui on pitft like below.
IMG_1469
Make sure this command works, since our 2nd button on pitft is hardwired to run this command when you press it.
Okay assuming you’re still with me. One more thing we need to do is to change the console fonts to make the ncmpcpp “clock” screen a bit better looking. This is the standard procedure that’s explained in other places as well (adafruit). You need to run the command “dpkg-reconfigure console-setup” and follow the screens.
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.48.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.48.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.49.10 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.49.19 PM
Once this process finishes, you’ll end up with a clock startup screen like this.
IMG_1470
And again from left to right the buttons will do “Shutdown -h now”, pygame ui, Previous Song, Next Song. As I type this I’m getting bad sectors on the Pi (cheap SD card I guess), so I’m off to backup everything. You should do the same RIGHT NOW :-).
At this point you can go off exploring (You did create a backup right?). I would check out adafruits page on pitft resistive (https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-pitft-28-inch-resistive-touchscreen-display-raspberry-pi?view=all) and start paying attention about halfway down the page around “sudo reboot and look at the console output” paragraph (Just search for it on the page), where it starts talking about calibrating the screen for X and stuff. Frankly I found the default calibration pretty good.
For a really good web interface that literally takes 2 minutes to setup check out ympd (http://www.ympd.org/). It’s so simple (specially if you grab the precompiled executable), no configuration, no rocket science……oh and did I say it looks great :-).
ympd_playlist

NAB2014 Report

datePosted on 15:11, April 18th, 2014 by Many Ayromlou

DEKTEC: DekTec introduced the DTA-2180 low profile PCIe H.264 encoder. The DTA-2180 is a low latency — 150 to 600 ms — H.264 hardware encoder based on the Magnum chipset. It supports MPEG-2 and H.264 and up to 16 channels of audio. Audio can be encoded as AC-3, AAC or MPEG-1 Layer 2. The DTA-2180 offers a 10 bit 4:2:2 option for contribution encoding.The DTA-2180 has a 3G –SDI and HDMI input and an ASI output. The compressed stream output — TS encapsulated H.264 or mpeg-2 — is also available on the PCIe for real time streaming, processing and recording.1

NIMBUS: The WiMi6400T and WiMi6400R provides high quality Full HD encoding/decoding function with low latency of 40ms for encoding and decoding, each. It supports wide range of encoding rate from 1Mbps ~ 30Mbps for the high quality video for video broadcasting. WiMi6400T provides RTSP streaming server functionality. WiMi6400T also can be used as an real-time MPEG-2 TS/UDP streaming server with linear PCM audio for IPTV network. It supports one-to-many multicasting function over Ethernet LAN or IP network. So, there is no restriction on the numbers of receiver in Ethernet LAN or IP networks.2

VIOLIN MEMORY: Violin Memory’s 6000 Series flash Memory Arrays are all-silicon shared storage systems built from the ground up, harnessing the power of flash memory and delivering industry-leading performance and ultra-low data access latencies. A single 3U array delivers more than 1 million IOPS with consistent, spike-free latencies in microseconds. Violin Memory is uniquely positioned to deliver flash memory systems that can compete with performance disk from a cost for raw capacity perspective, even before taking into account the potential benefits of features like deduplication. This is possible because 6000 Series flash Memory Arrays are purpose built with flash components sourced through Violin Memory’s unique and strategic alliance with industry leader Toshiba. The core of the 6000 is the Flash Memory Fabric. The Flash Memory Fabric is a resilient, highly available deep mesh of thousands of flash dies that work in concert to continuously optimize performance, latency, and longevity. All of the active components of the Flash Memory Fabric are hot-swappable for enterprise grade reliability and serviceability. 6000 Series flash Memory Arrays connect natively to existing 8Gb/s Fibre Channel, 10GE iSCSI, and 40Gb/s Infiniband network infrastructures.3

TOSHIBA: ExaEdge™ by Toshiba is a next generation SSD-based edge streaming server with extra low power consumption. It allows you to stream large numbers of concurrent high quality video streaming sessions with low host CPU and memory resource utilization. ExaEdge™ adopts Toshiba’s NPEngine™, the world’s first direct SSD-to-IP embedded hardware technology. ExaEdge™ ExaEdge offers direct storage access from SSD as an embedded hardware solution, in 2RU compact-size server. The resulting performance is capable of sending up to 64,000 simultaneous sessions with the total host CPU usage at less than 12%. Modern video distribution over IP, like OTT streaming, leverage the existing HTTP-based caching functionalities. Unlike the traditional IPTV network which is basically adopting specialized network architectures, in adaptive bitrate scenarios HTTP chunks can be cached by traditional cache server at the edge to be then redistributed with lower latency.4 5

NHK: NHK was at NAB this week, quietly showing off footage shot with a Super Hi-Vision 8K camera, affectionately known as the Cube. The Cube camera is surprisingly compact  at 2 kg, since, it records to one of the only 8K HEVC real-time encoders in the world. It’s essentially a housing where the mammoth sensor and lens mount live, along with necessary connections. But even though it’s a simple design, it delivers an amazing resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels. 8K is a great format that could rival IMAX and be excellent for big events that can be beamed around the world and give spectators who can’t make an event the opportunity to experience it in a way that all other formats before it could only dream to do. And NHK is planning on broadcasting the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in 8K.6 7

4EVER: 4Ever showed demos at NAB 2014 of MPEG DASH. The DASH demo featured a way to deliver content that’s adaptive, bit-rate streaming. It has four different HEVC encodes of original 4K content that it encoded at several bit rates, including a 14.5 and 11.5 Mbps for 4K content, 5.8 and 3.7 Mbps for a 1080 version, and a 720 version of that, which can stream at 2.9 or 1.8 megabits per second. The monitor runs a Chrome browser with HTML5 support which can only show a 4K/30 frame image. To show adaptive streaming, they randomly switched from one bit stream to the other, showing this data on the monitor.  The changes were seamless, but you do see a change in picture quality.8

VISION 3 IMAGING: Vision III Imaging demonstrated 4K 60p parallax scanned imagery and its Real Shot™ parallax induction technology. Parallax scanning is a technique for capturing three-dimensional depth information over time using one  camera and one lens. V3 imagery can be displayed on a standard display without 3D glasses or special screens. Real Shot is a parallax induction technique that also embeds three-dimensional parallax information into Internet or mobile digital advertising. Parallax scanning is accomplished using a digital parallax scanner (DPS). The DPS is a moving iris mechanism that is inserted into the optical path of a lens. When the iris is moved off the center of the lens, it records a different point of view at the plane of focus. The DPS iris scans in a circle around the center of the lens, making it possible to capture 360° of parallax information using a single lens.

RENEWED VISION: With its new Multiple Screen functionality, ProVideoPlayer 2 ($999) makes it easier than ever to create multi-screen presentations from a single computer with support for multiple graphics cards and easy mapping within each card and across multiple cards. Users can also add external graphics processors to each one of these graphics card outputs for even more screens, as well as add outputs that are not yet connected to a physical output, allowing shows to be pre-built off-site prior to the event. PVP 2 supports Multiple Layers, which afford the flexibility to create unique looks and allow the user to take full advantage of multiple screens. A layer is merely a video channel, so multiple layers are also great for a single screen environment where layering, textures, or PIPs are desired.10

THUNDERBOLT 2 Mobile 4K Workflow: HP showing 4K real-time streaming off a BMDC and 4K real-time playback from thunderbolt 2 little big disk all run through HP’s new Z series Laptops on a 21:9 screen.11

SILICON POWER: Silicon Power Thunder T11 is not only the lightest but also the smallest Thunderbolt™ SSD on the market. Featuring extremely small and featherweight design, Thunder T11 is half the size of ordinary storage devices and only weights 65g. Silicon Power’s Thunder T11, which enhances storage solution with Thunderbolt™ SuperSpeed I/O technology, is three times the speed of USB 3.0 HDD and delivers transfer rates up to Read/Write 380MB/340MB/sec.12

360HEROS: 360 degree shooting Hexacopter using 3-D printed Go-Pro3 mounts.13

ERICSSON: Showing 100 Mb/s (4x25Mb/s) live UHDTV broadcast using DVB-S2 extensions to broadcast true 4Kp60 over the air.35

LACIE: The LaCie 8Big Rack is the company’s first Thunderbolt 2 rackmount storage solution, featuring up to eight 6TB 7200RPM hard drives and delivering speeds of up to 1330 MB/s. The 8big Rack also features easy access to components and tool-free maintenance of the included power supplies units, fans, and disks, all while offering a cooling system with three fans that conducts heat away from vital components. The 8big Rack will be offered in 4-disk (12TB) or 8-disk (24TB and 48TB) configurations.16

SKYPE: Skype has been an essential tool in the production of podcasts and newscasts for years, and today Microsoft has announced a professional-grade version of the app designed specifically for the media industry. It’s called Skype TX and is intended to be used in studio environments; you won’t be using this to record a podcast in your bedroom. Skype TX is described as an “easy-to-use hardware and software combination that allows Skype video calls from anywhere in the world to be seamlessly integrated into any production.” It plays nice with industry standards by outputting calls in full-frame HD-SDI formats.

LIVESTREAM: Livestream announced a pair of production switchers: the HD510 and HD1710. The HD510 is a portable version with an integrated touch display, yet it’s still full featured with 5 SDI inputs. The rack mounted HD1710 is at the other end of the spectrum. It features up to 17 inputs and can drive 4 displays. They also announced Livestream Studio Control Surface a modular control surface with 5 assignable tracks, T-Bar and audio mixer and USB connection to Livestream Studio.19

AJA: CION™ is the new 4K/UHD and 2K/HD production camera from AJA. Record directly to Apple ProRes 422 and 444 at up to 4K 60fps or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps.20

DIGITAL BOLEX: Digital Bolexs’ new monochrome 16mm camera, dubbed the D16M, has the same form factor as the original D16, but there’s a significant change under the hood. D16M sports a native black and white sensor for highest quality monochromatic capture without the need to debayer, retaining a higher sensativity to light and preserving the full dynamic range of the sensor.

Here are the technical specs:

  • Kodak native monochrome sensor
  • Same resolution options as D16: Super 16mm (2K), 16mm (HD), and Super 8 (720p)
  • No OPLF filter to further maximize fine details
  • ISO 100, 200, 400, 800
  • 500GB Hard Drive21 22

 

 

BLACKMAGIC: The new Blackmagic 4K URSA camera is weird, featuring a 4K Super 35mm global shutter sensor, real camera form factor, a built-in 10.1″ 1920 x 1200 fold out display, and two 5” 800 x 480 displays. Not only that, but it has both interchangeable lenses and sensors, meaning you’ll be able to upgrade to a better sensor at home removing a few screws when a better one is available. Here are the specs: 

  • 21.12mm x 11.88mm — Super 35mm Global Shutter 4K CMOS Sensor (Probably the same as current Blackmagic Production Camera 4K)
  • Interchangeable Lens Block
  • 3840 x 2160 — 24/25/60fps
  • 1920 x 1080 — 24/25/30/50/60fps
  • ProRes HQ and Lossless Compressed RAW
  • 12 Stops Dynamic Range
  • EF/PL/B4/ or No Mount
  • Two CFast 2.0 Slots for Media Recording
  • 1 x 10.1” 1920 x 1200 Fold Out Non-Touch Screen
  • 2 x 5” 800 x 480 Touch Screens
  • SDI Video Output: 1 x 12G-SDI 10-bit 4:2:2. 1 x 3G-SDI down converted for external monitoring
  • SDI Video Input: 1 x 12G-SDI
  • Ref Input: 1 x Reference Input
  • Timecode In/Out
  • 2 XLR Inputs
  • 2 SDI Audio Out
  • Headphone Jack
  • 1 x 2.5mm LANC for Rec Start/Stop, Iris Control and Focus.
  • Power: 12V 4-pin XLR In/Out (Can take battery plates for Gold Mount and V Mount)
  • Availability: July?
  • Price: $6,000 for EF, $6,500 for PL23 24

Blackmagic also seeks entry into the broadcast-camera market with its newly announced Studio Camera, available in Full HD and 4K (Ultra HD) models. Designed for live broadcast applications, the Blackmagic Studio Camera sports a unique design with a massive 10″ LCD screen, built-in 4 hour battery, and a set of features you’d expect to see in large studio cameras, such as built-in talkback and tally indicators. Intended to meet the needs of a variety of live broadcast applications, the Blackmagic Studio Camera provides the connections required to fit into those environments. Connections include SDI (3G on the HD version and 12G on the 4K version) and optical fiber video inputs/outputs, XLR audio connections, reference, LANC remote control, and a 4-pin XLR power input. The camera features an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount that is compatible with a wide range of lenses via third-party adapters, opening the door for the use of common DSLR lenses to PL-mount cinema lenses, and even B4 ENG lenses.25

SOLOSHOT: The surprisingly affordable soloshot 2 ($399) will follow a tracker that someone can wear or you can slap on something so you don’t have to do a thing. Put on the tracker, set up your camera with SOLOSHOT 2, and catch a wave with the perfect video. It features vertical tracking, automatic zoom, and the kit even includes a tripod for you to get started. It’s got a range up to 2,000 feet and 360 degree horizontal tracking.26

 

BRUSHLESSGIMBALS: Gimbi is a lightweight, easy to carry, simple to use, power-and-go, 2 axis handheld brushless gimbal for the GoPro. With Gimbi™, you can shoot videos and photos as smooth as the pros.
Key Features
– Adjustable cellphone stand permits use of cellphone as monitor
– Super-smooth tilt control with thumb pad (Controllable pitch 90 degrees)
– Increased auto leveling accuracy and battery efficiency due to built-in brushless motor encoders.
– 2 hour use time on one charge
– Includes four rechargeable batteries and battery charger27

 

JIGABOT: Jigabot’s AIMe is a pill-shaped tripod mount that automatically follows your subject—keeping it in frame—in case you’re shooting video by yourself. It uses infrared markers and swivels and tilts using complex algorithms powered by a quad-core ARM processor.28

 

CEREVO: Crevos’ LiveWedge ($999) provides easy control via smartphone/tablet app. The rotary control unique to the app enables slow transition, which is more difficult with a physical T-Bar. LiveWedge supports PiP and chroma key as well as all the basic transitions such as wipe, fade, cut and etc. Livewedge has a SD card slot and users can record 1080/30p (H.264) Full HD Video on it while switching! You can also use videos and images from the SD card as the video source. Streaming is built into LiveWedge. 720/30p HD Live streaming and 1080p HD video switching are available in one device! Supported streaming platforms include Ustream, Youtube Live and your own servers are all supported.29

 

PESA: PESA showed their brand new Xstream Live Streaming mobile solution, co-developed by Ryerson students. They also received the NewBay Media Best of Show Award at NAB.

36

COMREX: Comrex LiveShot™ delivers live video over a range of IP networks. LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high quality, low latency (200ms) video from anywhere Internet access is available. LiveShot is especially optimized to perform well on challenging IP networks like 3G, 4G and satellite links. For optimal video quality, LiveShot encodes with H.264 HIGH profile. In addition to standard AAC audio coding, LiveShot utilizes HE-AAC and AAC-ELD audio coding, both reducing network bandwidth and lowering delay. LiveShot can encode and decode an audio/video stream with less than 200mS delay. LiveShot delivers full-duplex video and stereo audio between the field portable and studio rackmount systems. In addition, a full-duplex cue channel is available between the portable and studio units. On the portable, the return audio/video channel is delivered via output connectors. The cue channel is accessible on the portable via wired headset or Bluetooth audio to a wireless headset30

 

PANASONIC: The Lumix GH4 camera body and its 16MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor will cost $1700, while the optional YAGH pro audio/video interface unit is available for an extra $2,000. The GH4 can shoot 4K at 30/25/24fps at 100Mbps using ALL-Intra compression. At 1080p that rises way beyond broadcast standard to 200Mbps. There are two 4K formats available too: the standard 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30/25/24p, or the cinema widescreen 4096 x 2160 resolution available at 24p only. When writing to SD card the camera captures 4K video with 8-bit colour and the data rate is limited to 100Mbps. Use an optional accessory – the Panasonic DMW-YAGH, which is about as big as the GH4 body – and its four SDI ports that can be used in tandem to extract uncompressed 4K at 10-bit colour. Power input, independent volume adjustment and twin XLR sockets ensure everything a broadcast pro is here – but only via the DMW-YAGH.31

The HX-A500 shoots a resolution of 3840×2160; so ultra HD. Sub 4K resolutions include 1080 up to 50p, and 720 up to 100p. Un surprisingly it shoots to an MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec in an .mp4 wrapper.

The camera has a perhaps slightly disappointing variable bit rate, half that of the GoPro Hero 3+. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 3840×2160/25p (Max. 72Mbps / VBR)
  • 1920×1080/50p (Max. 28Mbps / VBR)
  • 1920×1080/25p (Average 15Mbps / VBR)
  • 1280×720/50p (Average 15Mbps / VBR)
  • 1280×720/25p (Average 9Mbps / VBR)

The camera has a fixed focal, fixed f/2.8 aperture lens. It has a few different white balance presets including Auto / Indoor1 / Indoor2 / Sunny / Cloudy / White set. The shutter is listed as variable, from 1/25th-1/12000. The HX-A500 has an in-built image stabilizer, with an angle of view currently listed as only 160°.32

 

JVC: JVC has now also entered the large sensor market. And that this intriguing little camera covers super35mm on an MFT mount. In terms of specs the JVC GY-LSX2 has some really intriguing figures to offer. Not only is it very small and looks very ergonomic to handle, but it offers 4K with frame rates up to 30p as well as a slow motion feature at 2K resolution that will go up to 240fps. The footage is being recorded internally with an h.264 kind of codec. The JVC GY-LSX2 is announced with a price point “under $6000″ and to come at the end of 2014.33

 

The bigger brother, called GY-LSX1 will feature a higher framerate (60p) at 4K resolution, offer a shoulder-mount form factor and seems to come in at around twice the price of the small one.34

 

That’s it for now……This years buzz words: 4K, UHDTV, HEVC, H.265, OTT (Over The Top)….see you all next year :-)

Stream your Windows desktop using ffmpeg

datePosted on 10:26, November 3rd, 2011 by Many Ayromlou

I’ve already covered how to do this with vlc a while back in parts 1 followed by part 2. I just found out that something very similar in results can be done with ffmpeg. ffmpeg has recently added support for directshow filters which now allows one to capture the screen and stream and/or save it. Here is how you can do this:

1.) Grab a copy of the Screen Capture DirectShow source filter from Unreal Streaming Technologies. It’s about half way down that page. They have both the UScreenCapture X86 Edition and the X64 Edition (depending on your OS installation). I used the 64 bit filter on a Windows 7 64 bit installation.

2.) Install the filter and make sure you make the following changes to your windows registry using regedit. The default frame rate for UScreenCapture filter is 10 f/s and we need to boost this to 30 frames/sec. You need to find the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\UNREAL\Live\UScreenCapture and insert a DWORD value of 30 for FrameRate (You have to create FrameRate, it does not exist by default). Once you’ve done the registry tweak, reboot.

3.) Install the latest greatest version of ffmpeg for your windows version from Zeranoe. I grabbed the 64 bit Static build since I didn’t want to deal with libraries and such. Extract it and stick it somewhere on your hard drive. Remember the path to this folder since we will need it later.

4.) Open a command line window and cd to the directory where you extracted ffmpeg into, find the bin directory and cd into it. This is were the ffmpeg executable resides. In my case (I extracted the ffmpeg files into “Program Files” directory) it is C:\Program Files\ffmpeg-git-059707e-win64-static\bin.

5.) If you’ve made it this far, hand in there, we’re almost home. Now you need to issue the command that gets the screen streaming going. But first we need to find out the name of the Screen filter device. So issue the following command:

ffmpeg -list_devices true -f dshow -i dummy

In the output look for a device called “UScreenCapture“. Hopefully if everything is working with the directshow filter you have a entry in the list. That’s the name of our device that we need to pass onto ffmpeg. While you’re there also look for your audio device entry as well. Mine was the truncated word “Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini” (Yes mine was missing the end of that line). Jot that down somewhere as well. I will show you how to get audio going as well.

6.) So first step is to get video going. Assuming you have a “UScreenCapture” device (You could use another directshow filter if you like, this will work with most of them. I just used the Unreal filter for the heck of it), here is the command to start encoding and sending video:

ffmpeg -f dshow  -i video="UScreenCapture"  -r 30 -vcodec mpeg4 -q 12 -f mpegts udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input.
  • -i video=”UScreenCapture” is the name of the input directshow device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -r 30 is the frame rate.
  • -vcodec mpeg4 is our video codec of choice.
  • -q 12 is a quality measure for the encoding process (1 is the best and 30 the worst). We’re doing VBR encoding so this measures the compression ratio vs. picture quality.
  • -f mpegts is our output filetype. In this case mpeg-2 transport stream. Yes, we’re encapsulating mpeg4 video inside a mpeg-2 transport stream…..why?….google it.
  • udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535 this last bit specifies the address and port number of the recipient machine (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd is the ip address of that machine and 6666 is my arbitrary port number). We’re also instructing ffmpeg to create smaller 188 byte size udp packets (which is the size of the transport stream packets) to decrease latency and our buffer size is 64kb.

7.) On the receiving machine you should be able to use vlc, ffmpeg or mplayer to catch the stream. In vlc simply open the Network stream rtp://@:6666 , in ffmpeg you can use the command ffplay -i udp://:6666 or using mplayer you can issue the command mplayer -framedrop -double udp://:6666 .

8.) Now to optionally add sound to the whole thing we can use this command on the encoding machine (instead of step 6). You need to know the device name for your sound card and you probably want to turn the volume down (at least initially) on the decoding machine.

ffmpeg -f dshow  -i video="UScreenCapture" -f dshow -i audio="Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini" -r 30 -vcodec mpeg4 -q 20 -acodec libmp3lame -ab 128k -f mpegts udp://141.117.224.74:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input (VIDEO).
  • -i video=”UScreenCapture” is the name of the input directshow video device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -f dshow specifies that you’re going to be using a directshow device as your input (AUDIO).
  • -i audio=”Stereo Mix (Realtek High Defini” is the name of the input directshow audio device which we picked up in step 5.
  • -r 30 is the frame rate.
  • -vcodec mpeg4 is our video codec of choice.
  • -q 20 is a quality measure for the encoding process (1 is the best and 30 the worst). We’re doing VBR encoding so this measures the compression ratio vs. picture quality. I went with 20 instead of 12 from step 6 since the audio encoding slows the machine down a bit.
  • -acodec libmp3lame is our video codec of choice
  • -f mpegts is our output filetype. In this case mpeg-2 transport stream. Yes, we’re encapsulating mpeg4 video inside a mpeg-2 transport stream…..why?….google it.
  • udp://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:6666?pkt_size=188?buffer_size=65535 this last bit specifies the address and port number of the recipient machine (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd is the ip address of that machine and 6666 is my arbitrary port number). We’re also instructing ffmpeg to create smaller 188 byte size udp packets (which is the size of the transport stream packets) to decrease latency and our buffer size is 64kb.

Quick Media Converter brings Windows GUI sanity to ffmpeg…..

datePosted on 14:28, August 25th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

For those of you who’ve hated the opensource ffmpeg command line media conversion tool, here is Quick Media Converter. It’s a nice looking front-end for ffmpeg that hides the command line complexity of this swiss army like media converter. So What can you do with Quick Media Converter?

-Converting Video files from one format to another.
-Converting Audio files from one format to another.
-Extracting and converting Audio files from video or audio media.
-Extracting and converting Video without sound.
-Preview and/or listen to video and audio files with FFPLAY Multi format player (Fabrice Bellard).
– A myriad of formats is recognized by FFmpeg, those not recognized yet, are worked on by many people around the open source community and may most of the time, become available sooner or later.
-Many files to convert? No worry, batch files processing is also supported by QMC.
-You are lazy by nature and do not wish to start selecting files? That’s okay just drag and drop the files in the active worksheet.
-You have more specific needs and want to experiment with video and audio conversion, you can do so by using our Expert mode section.
-You want to capture a movie or picture directly from your webcam or DV Cam, just click on the webcam button and start capturing in raw flux or avi divx , after this is done the software will offer you to convert your file to other formats.
-You want to make a tutorial or capture your latest performance in your favorite video game? just click on Camstudio (open source) start recording and add comments on your avi divx movie output.

-Access our support forum directly from our application to get help, we usually respond to your questions within one day or two. We do not support expert mode in general as by essence if you use it you are considered an expert user.

It’s a Windows only utility and is free to download.

CineForm Direct-to-Disk Recorder

datePosted on 12:10, December 10th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou


I have to admit CineForm is one of my favourite companies out there. I’ve visited them once and they are the nicest bunch of engineers you’ll find on that side of the rockies :-). Aside from their famed CineForm Codec (which btw is awesome), they have just released the specs and conceptual drawings for what will probably be the coolest gadget at next years NAB ;-).

They anticipate developing multiple members in the recorder product family – each targeting different recording needs. This first device targets HDV camcorder users and offers the ability to bypass the highly-compressed MPEG format. The features specification is below. They also imagine a sister device that would support single-link and dual-link HD-SDI recording.