Host Your Own Radio Station using Icecast, DarkIce, Murmur and Mumble

UPDATE 2022-04-26: Changed Bash aliases for PipeWire.

UPDATE 2022-04-22: Found some possible alternative solutions in this awesome list’s Radio Production category. I’m sticking to this setup for now because it seems more lightweight. The live auto DJ features in AzuraCast looks really cool though.

Here’s the problem. My music files are stored somewhere. I need an easy way to listen to these music LIVE from any networked device. I also need greater control over the sound with crossfades, gapless playback or maybe even some live-mixing. The solution preferably is platform-independent so I can hear the music from a TV, a home sound system, etc. The best idea I could come up with to solve this is an audio streaming server that will serve up a livestream accessible by any network-capable media player. Basically, a radio station.

It’s unbelievable to me that I wasn’t able to find a single out-of-the-box solution to this problem. Or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough. In particular, I don’t know if OBS Studio can do all this too. If it can, well I think a big app like OBS might be overkill for this. This makeshift solution I have been using for months now is mostly thanks to two quite old articles I luckily found.

This setup is for Linux only and not Windows. All the tools used are free and open-source. I wrote this guide as an easier reference that is also updated for 2022.

The 7 Steps (to becoming a DJ!)

Step #1 - Setup: icecast, darkice, murmur, mumble

Custom Keyboard Shortcuts and wmctrl on Linux

Whether it’s the universal Copy-Paste combos or the often-used yet seldom consciously appreciated Undo command, we all use keyboard shortcuts regularly. Anyone who has to spend most of their time on the desk with this oldest computing input device has found the benefit of using such shortcuts. This is sadly(?) yet another reason why I abandoned the Microsoft Windows way of computing.

Increasingly, as of late, Windows has began to prefer telling users how things should be done. Not a good sign and so I left. Now I’m on Linux world. Here I can actually tell a computer how I want things done. All according to my own personal preferences. And that’s the beauty of it. Humans use computers and not the other way around.

(For more on this, watch movies about A.I. The animation genre has been particularly good at it in the past with the likes of WALL-E and Big Hero 6. And there are more recent good ones too like The Mitchells vs. The Machines and Ron’s Gone Wrong.)

Back on topic. I use keyboard shortcuts generously. I make time to learn how to make better use of my fingers. I’m on an Xfce desktop environment in Manjaro which allows me to create custom application shortcuts.


How to Get Facebook Page updates through a Telegram Channel

This is my first post here since the pandemic began or since WHO officially announced it. I hope this post finds you well and safe.

Facebook is ubiquitous here in the Philippines. It would seem that the many security and privacy issues being raised about it abroad hardly affect Filipinos. Only the more tech-savvy folks apparently care enough about its adverse effects. Every business and organization has flocked to it to set up pages and groups for communities. To keep abreast of any new updates, followers would “Like” pages and monitor their feeds daily. But there’s really no need to be sucked in to the blackhole of distractions that is the Facebook news feed. You don’t even need to have a Facebook account to see the posts of public pages!

Granted this solution might be too much for the average Facebook user, I’m still sharing it here for reference. Also, this solution only uses free and open-source software. (Well, maybe with the exception of Telegram but it’s free.)

In the past, Facebook offered RSS feeds for their pages. For the same reason Google killed Google Reader, Facebook has removed RSS altogether from the site. But RSS is what we need. Luckily, we have solutions like RSS-Bridge which allows us to create an RSS feed out of most popular websites. You can actually adapt this tutorial to get Telegram notifications for virtually any website where you can procure an RSS feed even with the help of RSS-Bridge. The possibilities are endless!


Manage your energy, not time. Also, sleep.

Blinkist is one of those services that I’ve always wanted to use more often but keep on neglecting. People are divided by the idea of book summaries like this but I say it has its place in this modern age of reading. I’ve read quite a few of their summaries before but this would be the first time I’ll be actively taking notes for one.

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz has the following proposition:

Managing Energy, Not Time, is the key to High Performance and Personal Renewal

I even had those first four words written down on a whiteboard a few days ago because I read about it on an article. It must have been referencing this book.


Let's all use RSS again

Remember Google Reader? There are lots of dead projects in the Google Cemetery. But in my opinion, Google Reader is the one Google product that was killed not for being useless and unpopular but for evil corporate empire reasons. Basically, it was bad for the advertisers.

Most people do not know what RSS is even though almost everyone uses the technology in some way. It has had many meanings but my preferred one is Really Simple Syndication. It’s simply a way to get updates from any website (usually blogs) through a simple address often called a feed URL.