Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Audio over Ethernet

Broadcasters are beginning to see the value of building Ethernet networks into their physical plant. In the past these networks were used for file based audio playout and automation, but now more streaming audio is being delivered over the network. Appliances such as the Axia Livewire system and Audioscience Cobranet do this in hardware. I have found that for quick setup of audio streaming across a local network, VLC is a useful, free program that fits a variety of situations. The executable acts as both a server and a client. It allows you to do traditional http streaming, but also offers more advanced options using Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) or UDP streaming. It even offers multicast streaming. I believe it could even capture audio streams off of NPR's Content Depot network. I hope to get to try it soon that way. UDP streaming is also very useful for one-way Ethernet connections from Studio to Transmitter.

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