Any interest in LibreTime available as a SaaS with hosting and support?

There is already a SaaS version that is similar enough for most people willing to pay considering we forked from Airtime.pro code and they’re still offering that service(last I checked). They had full-time developers and a well-funded enough organization and they still struggled to make enough funds to cover their developer costs. At the same time it could be done but I think that putting together something like this through part-time labor and fully remotely coordinated would be challenging and not necessarily result in the intended outcome as presented in this proposal. We have been at something of an impasse recently and I personally am figuring out the next steps but even as I type my attention is being pulled away to go help my wife with our daughter so without my schedule allowing me to concentrate more fully on the project then I don’t think I can make any promises.

There is already a SaaS version that is similar enough for most people willing to pay considering we forked from Airtime.pro code and they’re still offering that service(last I checked).

Is it LibreTime or a seperate fork of Airtime.pro code?

At the same time it could be done but I think that putting together something like this through part-time labor and fully remotely coordinated would be challenging and not necessarily result in the intended outcome as presented in this proposal.

What I posted here several months ago was more of an idea inspired by an unrelated OSS project https://www.mydropwizard.com/blog/free-migration-to-drupal-8-for-nonprofits

Without going into too much detail, I think this type of model (customers fund early access to their beta - hosting is done via a partner - support is done via a partner) could be one way to keep a team focused on LibreTime Development Priorities.

No the SaaS version I was referring to was Airtime.pro itself. It is still there for anyone who has money and is interested in the functionality and basic level of technical support. The only major difference between the two products is we have an automatic playlist scheduler and they have an Auto-DJ functionality. I don’t think they’ve added a lot of new functionality aside from revamping the radio front page and adding geo-blocking. The biggest critiques I’ve heard of their service is the price and amount of storage they offer are rather limited. But like I said it would take a serious endeavor to launch a SaaS and I personally am not interested in that at this point, at least not in the typical sense of how most SaaS products are marketed.

Circling back to this as there’s a good bit of overlap with this just launched initiative - https://www.cpb.org/pressroom/nfcb-receives-cpb-grant-strengthen-service-rural-areas

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded a grant of $314,106 to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) to work with 10 public radio stations serving rural communities as part of NFCB’s “Community Counts” initiative.

The “Community Counts” initiative is designed to help community-based stations enhance original content creation, increase audience engagement, grow revenue and expand services. With CPB’s support, NFCB will provide training, mentorship and technical assistance to help strengthen these ten stations’ organizational capacities as well as diversify their revenue streams. NFCB will also create toolkits and share best practices to help other small community broadcasters achieve long-term sustainability.

Combined with recent twitter discussions with folks from NFCB and interest from newcomers to LibreTime, there’s enough validation in this model to solidify the details (determining hosting partner, branding, pricing, process for directing resources to LibreTime) and move forward.

We’ll keep this discussion (and all code of course) in the open, so don’t hesitate to chime in if you’re interested in participating or contributing.

One of the stations interested in participating in a beta is one I’m part of. We’ve been looking at https://worldwidefm.net/ as a model. While there’s some information about tools they’re using, it wasn’t clear what they were using for scheduling and automation…until this just came across my Facebook feed. pro%20-%20Home%202018-12-13%2000-44-48

Based on that, I’d like to work with @ned-kelly and whoever else is interested in providing the hosted setup we need. This could be essentially the pilot project for a beta that could eventually evolve into a service. The station and provider are already set up on OpenCollective to collect/distribute funds for hosting, development, and other costs. Ideally we’ll be able to allocate a % of funds to LibreTime if we ever get around to setting up a collective.

Think this would be a good one to pilot?

Aware this post is morphing into a catch-all for what’s most likely multiple product and service offerings.

Here are a couple more examples of radio/podcast services that are extended by their own site builder and/or integration -

Both I believe are built on top of WordPress… which has me wondering if there’s any potential overlap with what @djtonyz is working on Question about User API, uploading from WordPress, and Podcast function

Current thinking is LibreTime and the website product(s) would be separate. Funds for any overlapping functionality could flow through Open Collective. Services could be provided by partners who can also use Open Collective to send a % back to fund the OSS projects.

With regards to finding enough stations and podcasters to pay TBD $$ to enroll in such a beta. The #communitymedia channel in the Open Collective community is one of several with collaborators and potential partners converging.

With LibreTime on Open Collective https://opencollective.com/libretime, we can now move this forward. Still need to sort out the details, but I think any sort of service offering would be seperate from LibreTime.

In terms of features/functionality we’d want to provide LibreTime users a similar or better experience than they’d get with AirTime Pro.

Is there a milestone that would get us there? https://github.com/LibreTime/libretime/milestones

Whatever it is (maybe it’s a milestone) + some additional features… we’d want this type of beta to help fund development.

We’re coming in a little bit late to this conversation, but I’d like to add my $.02.

We’ve been evaluating Airtime for about a year for our own use, but also to provide as a member benefit to news organization members of the Fourth Estate.

Like many others we’ve been incredibly frustrated being continually driven the the Airtime.pro service and we want something that can be very closely branded and managed by our team. I am pretty sure that LibreTime will fit that need.

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@gusaus Thanks for the mention about my needs with LibreTime and WordPress.

What I’ve discovered is that if I use a custom post type of Podcast in WordPress, I can use PowerPress to create the Taxonomy feed URL based on a FILTER added to the Podcast and then pass that taxonomy feed into LibreTime Smart Blocks. I don’t necessarily have to create a DJ in LibreTime then, I can create a new role of DJ in WordPress using the Members plugin to manage the role and give the role rights to publish a Podcast and have the show files update the Smart Block.

Now, I wanted to announce that I just took over a WordPress plugin, Radio Station, in the WordPress plugin repo. It’s an open source plugin to publish Show pages and create and display a master show calendar. I would love to find a way to pass LibreTime events and meta data into Radio Station. The plugin is on Github at https://github.com/netmix/radio-station. It’s plugin page is https://wordpress.org/plugins/radio-station. I’m using my Netmix brand I’ve held onto since the early 90s as the managing entity.

Our goal is to build a sticky footer player into the plugin, so that a radio station can use our plugin instead of an Online Radio Box or something like that. Radio Stations need persistent header or footer players, not widgets. The stream is interrupted when the user changes pages, so there needs to be a WordPress solution that encompasses the Show Shedule and provides a player experience combined.

I’m hoping to get some feedback and direction here, if at all possible, on how LibreTime might be able to integrate with Radio Station, so that there is a Libre Time to WordPress easily available solution that helps radio stations choose LibreTime as their option and can then use it immediately with WordPress, since Radio Station will give them that functionality.

So, the goal would be if someone were to set up their shows and DJs in LibreTime, they could be passed over to WordPress through Radio Station and resulting Show pages, stream, and playlists could be added automatically.

@FourthEstate As it looks like you’ve added more than $.02 (thank you!), I think the LibreTime team would like to hear about your particular goals/needs and see what they can do to accommodate.

While most of the discussion in this thread has been preliminary, it seems there might be overlap with potential collaborations in the community media space. For instance, we’ve been talking to https://nfcb.org/ about providing LibreTime and other open-source tools to their members.

Possibly members of both orgs might be interested in participating in the beta we’ve been discussing here?

Thanks. As a co-operative entity, using and supporting FOSS is baked into the DNA of Fourth Estate. We use it and we actively contribute whenever we can.

I’d like to see the LibreTime community focus on building and shipping code. Period. Moving into SaaS offerings is something that will likely be competitive to many of the users and backers - Fourth Estate included - that could push rapid development.

We would likely not be interested in that beta. In large part because we plan on using LibreTime in a similar manner for our SMB community news members and our coming College News Network.

One takeaway from this discussion is any sort of customer-facing service offering (including a beta) should be decoupled from LibreTime development. Using Open Collective as a conduit, developers could build and maintain custom features and specific integrations (i.e. Drupal, WordPress), provide security updates, mentor and train users members via a partner or organizations collective.

For example, if Fourth Estate had a collective, it could create a campaign for each custom instance of LibreTime. Developers could invoice against the collective and/or a % of funds could be transferred to the LibreTime collective as a way to fund ongoing development.

A service provider/partner could use Open Collective to help sustain the OSS project(s) and contributors in a similar fashion.

The LibreTime team is still sorting out a process for using Open Collective and other tools to sustain the project. Accommodating the needs of partners and supporters in this discussion should certainly help.

Just putting this out there. What if Fourth Estate took it over under our organizational umbrella?

It’s up to the core contributors of the collective, but I’d imagine @robbt & @paddatrapper would want to continue to leverage the services, features, community, and independence that Open Collective’s 501c6 org (https://opencollective.com/opensource) provides to LibreTime and thousands of other OSS projects.

That said, I think Fourth Estate could become a fiscal host (https://docs.opencollective.com/help/hosts) to support your custom branded LibreTime and related projects/integrations for SMB community news members and your upcoming College News Network.

This discussion touches on some related projects and ways we can leverage Open Collective.

Finally chiming in. I think there are two things at play here:

  1. SaaS
  2. Plugins for interaction between LT and other platforms

As for SaaS, I think it should be decoupled from the current LT team. A company offering LT SaaS would be welcome to contribute back upstream like normal, but the requirements of developing and maintaining a SaaS system often are in conflict with host it yourself requirements (e.g. tie-in into billing and feature limiting systems). I intend (in the coming year) to investigate LT SaaS as an extension of my Linux hosting company. I don’t know the feasibility at the moment, both in terms of code and business financially. I know we are stripping much of the old SaaS code out of LT, but I doubt it would have been useful anyway. There is lots that require designing and integrating different platforms and LT, but having those integrations are useful for more than just SaaS.

Which brings me to thing 2, plugins. A stable, full API for LT would go a long way to allowing people to develop integrations with LT, such as extending the Radio Station WordPress plugin. I think the next step in this regard is to start fielding a discussion around what would be useful in the API and plan out how to go about re-working the existing (semi-functional) API to achieve this. I have created a thread to start that discussion

@paddatrapper

Regarding SaaS, as far as I understand it there are already some managed service providers based on legacy upstream that have started trialing updating to LibreTime for select customers. What I’ve seen so far really looks like managed services which IMHO lack some of the automation usually associated with actual SaaS. Preferably such solution providers would also be involved with the community, so please speak up if you are one of them and lurking :wink:

I’m fully on board about the API, it’s one of the main issues that has been holding off me implementing a proper Wordpress plugin. While workable, live-info-v2.json simply doesn’t cut what would be needed for a full integration. I’m sure lots of other (even SaaS builders) will profit from a proper API that could also be useable as a control plane and to extract billing data.

BTW, the FreeIPA integration I did some time ago could also be a good fit for anyone wanting to build out a SaaS while having their users in a System like Azure Active Directory. At RaBe we’ve only used it with our FreeIPA/SSO environment but there is no reason it shouldn’t work with any generic IPA system. All in all it is rather enterprisey and I would probably focus on something OpenID Connect based nowadays if revisiting the auth thing (if anyone wants to work on OpenID Connect: ping me I have some ZF1 specific snippets that I can either point you to or publish and then point you to).

It would be good to come out of this discussion with a clear idea of what would be in scope for the LibreTime team - from what I can gather, any sort of hosted service offering would probably need the following -

Not a product manager or developer myself, I’m probably missing a lot. What else could be considered in-scope for the LibreTime team? Could/should we create a campaign on the LibreTime collective to help contributors deliver whatever is required?

I think the ideal would be to provide a solid base for partner service providers to extend. We also want to make it easy and obvious for them to support and help sustain a stable, actively maintained and updated LibreTime.

Would it be possible/practical/beneficial for the team to make LibreTime available on sites like https://marketplace.digitalocean.com and https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/ ?

It is still very much just a thought in my head - when I get a chance to start ironing things out (probably closer to beginning to middle of next year) I will certainly start talking about it here

A proper API would be very helpful for many aspects of LT and LT integration

Our friends at AzuraCast just made their app available. The installation and updates is fairly straightforward. Think this would be good exposure for the project.