Redbrick Radio Podcasts

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RedBrick Radio does not exist anymore, although it may in future.

Step 1: Create your show.

Well, this is pretty simple to understand, process wise: grab the songs you want to broadcast, stick them all together, and save the result. The devil is in the details, though. You need a program to allow you to stick the files together, and you need to be able to edit the file you create to ensure smooth track transitions (see "Dead Air" ;)

Like a mixtape, you shouldn't just plop song after song - there should be some kind of link between songs. You pick the link: they sound similar, they're about the same subject, whatever, but they should flow. You wouldn't stick Atari Teenage Riot after Iron & Wine, for example, but if you stick a Cornelius track inbetween them, you could get it to work. Possibly. But that's all part of personal preference. Once you've decided on a running order, you need to create the show. To do this, I used a program called Goldwave (www.goldwave.com), but you can use whatever you like. Basically, it needs to have the ability to crossfade and mix tracks together. I won't include instructions on how to do that here, because I'm not the best person to ask. At the end of the process, though, you should have one file. It's probably going to be a WAV file at this point, as most editors decompress to that format for editing. (Yes, this may reduce the quality of the tracks if you're using shitty 128kps mp3s, but we're all using originals here and can take it direct from the CD, right? Right.)

Step 2: Create your mp3

Take the WAV file that is your show from Step 1, and transform it into an mp3. I recommend using Lame for this, and I also recommend using the "--alt-preset standard" switch. This will create a VBR mp3 that's very high quality. If you are using original sources, this is the best way to ensure a good sounding mp3.

Step 2a: Create your album art

At the moment, there's no RBRadio art. Possibly some enterprising soul will do one up (500x500 dimensions, .jpg format), but until then (and even after) you can make your own in your favourite editor. I used Photoshop to merge an Electric Picnic poster with the RB Brick logo, fyi.

Step 3: Tag your mp3

So, having got your mp3 and any album art, make sure and update the ID3 tag info. You can use whatever program you like to do this, but I recommend Tag & Rename (http://www.softpointer.com/tr.htm). This program allows you to embed the album art in the ID3 tag. This will increase the size of the mp3, but given that we're talking about an increase of ~100Kb in a file that's likely to be 40Mb, that's not much of an issue.

For RBRadio, the recommended tags are:

Title: whatever you want

Artist: RedBrick

Album: whatever you want: your username, a show title, both, a partridge...

Year: current year

Genre: whatever's appropriate.

Comment: In this section, include the playlist for the show. I like to use "Artist - Song Title (Album)", but it's up to you.

If you're using Tag & Rename, you'll see an "Art" panel on the right of the tag editor. Click on Add, and link your image.

Step 4: Submit your show

Upload your mp3 to /var/tmp. Then, log in and run the following script:

~rbradio/bin/submit_show <your mp3 file>

This will place your show in the submissions area for RBRadio, and the crew will take it from there. The submission process asks some questions, but answers are optional.

Step 5: Listen to your file.

Oh now come on, you don't expect me to do this, do you? I don't know how to use any players other than Winamp. But basically, wait for your show to be announced on the redbrick.music newsgroup, then head on over to the RBRadio site to access it.

To access the RBRadio site, just head on over to the RBRadio homepage. Then, add the the RSS feed to whatever feed aggregator you want to use. When you visit the feed, you'll be asked to enter your RedBrick username and password. A list of synopses will appear. When you click on the synopsis of the show you want, it should be automatically downloaded or played, depending on your preferences.

On the site, there are instructions for using iTunes with the site. It involves adding the RedBrick SSL certificate to your list of trusted providers.

If that doesn't work, or you don't have a reader, you can always view the raw XML, work out the link and download the file yourself.