Overview

Radio is still the most powerful method of disseminating news and educational material to disadvantaged groups and in areas with high poverty, scant technological infrastructure, and/or instability. But while radio is extremely effective, the tools available to most community stations are very limited in function. The Campcaster project addresses this by giving stations a free and open source, end-to-end solution for managing a radio station by using standard personal computers.

Campcaster is the first free and open source radio management software to provide both live studio broadcast capabilities as well as remote automation in one integrated system.

Campcaster has been designed to be modular and scalable. It can be used by both large and small stations in a number of scenarios:

  • Unmanned broadcast units can be controlled remotely through the Internet
  • An unlimited number of Campcaster-powered PCs in a radio station can deliver live broadcasts as well as program automation by accessing a central audio storage system
  • A station's library can be digitized and made centrally accessible from both local studios as well as the web
  • Reporters and show producers can file their reports and shows directly to the central archive fron the field via any web browser

Campcaster is capable of combining local audio files and remote web streams, supporting the widely used MP3 format and its open equivalent Ogg Vorbis.

As with all Campware products, multilinguality is a central feature in Campcaster: virtually everything in the user interface can be translated into any language using Unicode. Multilinguality is implemented on all levels of the user interface as well as for the metadata for audio files in the storage system. Campcaster is currently available in 9 languages, and it is very easy to localize into additional languages.

Campcaster has been designed for a Linux environment, but it was built it on top of standard, cross-platform classes. Such an architecture allows for easy porting of Campcaster to different operating systems in the future.

Campcaster provides:
  • A free and Open Source professional-grade solution for radio broadcast management
  • Support for open standards for audio formats and multi-lingual metadata information (playlists, XML news feeds, file storage)
  • Remote control of radio stations via the Internet
  • Support for combined local broadcasts with centralized news and programs

The Campcaster Team
Campcaster has been developed by an international consortium of developers and designers led by the Media Development Loan Fund, at its Center for Advanced Media Prague (CAMP) as part of its Campware Initiative.

The Campcaster team is made of developers, designers, testers, managers, and users.  Click here to see everyone involved in the creation of Campcaster

Campcaster's user interface was designed by a team from the New York-based Parsons Institute of Design and its Design and Technology Department, led by chair Colleen Macklin and IT Director Kunal Jain, with master of fine arts candidates Catalin Lazia, Turi McKinley, Sangita Shah and Charles Truett.

Initial funding for Campcaster was generously provided by a grant from the Open Society Institute's Information Program, through its ICT Toolsets initiative.

Campcaster would not be where it is today without its development community, among which the place of honor goes to Dutch developer Frans van Berckel. To become part of the community, start by joining our development list here.

Project Architecture and Status


Campcaster comes in two different installation flavors: Station and Studio.

Campcaster Station is the backend of the system. It allows access to Campcaster via a web browser and can be used inside the radio station's LAN as well as through the Internet. In both cases Campcaster Station allows users to add and edit files and playlists and schedule programs.

Campcaster Studio is your choice if you're broadcasting live from the studio. A PC in the studio running Campcaster Studio has the ability of running in "Live Assist" mode, where personnel can play either individual sound files or playlists.

Campcaster is currently in version 1.3. released on 31 October 2007. Work is underway on the 1.4 release (beta3 has been available as of 7 May 2009). Please visit the Campcaster developers' site for more details; the site has Subversion access, bug reporting, documentation (end-user and technical) and use cases for features in upcoming releases.

Copyright

Campcaster is an automation system for radio stations. Copyright (C) 2004-2009 Media Development Loan Fund.

contact: contact@campware.org

Campware encourages further development. Please let us know if you'd like to get involved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.


Volunteer

The Campcaster project has been designed from the beginning not only to provide free and open source code, but to be open to all interested parties. If you’re a developer, radio professional or other interested person and want to get involved, a good place to start is the campcaster-dev mailing list, which is mirrored as a forum on our website here.