Greetings! I discovered the LibreTime fork late last night after stumbling across a user’s post on Sourcefabric’s user forum. I am still browsing through the many forum posts, but I am so excited that I felt the need to at least say hello and find out how I might be able to contribute to the project.
To give you a brief idea of my background:
I’m a technologist. Experienced in theater tech, performing arts, binaural field recordings, amateur audio engineering, composing and arranging, online and live DJing, limited background in system administration and IT. Long background in graphic design and digital arts, HTML, webmastering, and very limited amounts of coding (but I get the concepts).
I’ve been a proponent of online independent broadcasting since it’s inception. I started with Winamp / SHOUTcast DNAS 1.0 in 1998 and marveled at how quick and easy one could make a “pirate” station. It was revolutionary! I dove into the scene and developed some DJing skills. I volunteered with various homegrown stations over the years. DJed on Second Life for tips. I was around when the DMCA was conjured and the RIAA started demanding handouts. I never had an interest in commercialization. Broadcasting was always a personal hobby. It was just another way of expressing myself in a vibrant online community.
Like most other hobbyists, I was a wee poorfolk, so I worked with pirated versions of SAM Broadcaster and hacked together ways to patch multiple sound cards, and/or Virtual Audio Cables with Skype for live call-ins on a single box. Never had money for a mixer in those days. I configured rotation and scheduling scripts, and was usually the guy people came to to optimize their sound and troubleshoot.
As far as station automation software went, Centova emerged as the dominant player. I’ve always hated it. It’s proprietary, clunky bloatware, limited primarily to ShoutCast.
I stepped away from the scene for several years to concentrate on other things, but when I returned in 2014 I was amazed to see that virtually nothing had changed. Centova unfortunately still dominated the market.
Then I discovered Airtime. But I did not have a Linux box to play with. RL was biting me in the bum, so I stepped away again. I stopped by Sourcefabric a couple years ago only to discover EVERY link to Airtime’s FLOSS option rerouted to their subscription offering. I could not even view their documentation. I emailed them to ask what’s up? And their short reply was “the FLOSS release is on GitHub.” Gee, thanks.
But just recently I had the fortune of landing a hand-me-down server, so I poked at their site again. I discovered all their links had been restored, leaving a very stagnant site in its wake. Inspired, I took to the paintful task of learning how to install and configure Ubuntu Server 18.04.3 LTS. I hoped I could use their “Easy Setup”… then I discovered that their pitiful, horribly outdated documentation, outdated dependencies, and the lack of development just made their software unusable. I came close several times to getting a basic installation going, only to discover it depended on PHP5, which is officially decommissioned. But then I happened to see the mention of LibreTime, so here I am.
I believed Airtime stood the chance to become the Wordpress of the airwaves. Most of the industry has been lured into centralized, tightly-controlled cloud-based commercial solutions, but there is still promise for an open community to flourish. That is why I was delighted to discover this fork.
I’ll continue browsing and start asking questions. I have some thoughts on the whole SaaS thing. I believe there might be some opportunities there without going down the dark path that Airtime took. I attempted unsuccessfully to install LT8 last night. I’ll address those issues in another post.
But yeah, any services I can offer, I’m up for! Testing, designing, writing, marketing, you name it!