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Thursday, December 14, 2006

CAMP completes work on Campcaster 1.1

Campcaster 1.1 version code-named ‘Freetown’ has been completed and is available for download at the Campware website www.campware.org.

Head, Research and Development at Center for Advanced Media, Prague (CAMP), Mr. Douglas Arellanes, informed that the freeware hitherto known as ‘LiveSupport,’ Campcaster, is free and open source software for managing radio stations' broadcasts, archives and networking.

He said that Campcaster 1.1 includes a number of important improvements and new features, most notably the ability to allow stations to quickly and easily share programme content through the Internet.

“It also has undergone major revisions that give it greatly improved stability, speed and user-friendliness,” Mr. Arellanes said, just as CAMP team would be in Freetown, Sierra Leone to install Campcaster to Cornet, a network of community radio stations.

“We have already gotten confirmation that a number of other stations have begun installing and extending Campcaster, and we will regularly update the Campware site as we hear about new implementations,” he said.

According to him, community radio stations in Sierra Leone and in other emerging democracies will be powered by the latest release of the free and open source Campcaster software.

Campcaster, as said by him, is free and open source software that turns a PC running the free Linux operating system into an essential tool for radio broadcasting. In a user-friendly way, it enables both automated broadcast at preset dates and times, as well as allowing “live” playout from the studio.

At the same time, it also enables the exchange of radio program material both online and off-line, and provides a stable, secure, extensible archive server for storing, searching and retrieving program content.

Campcaster 1.1, code-named “Freetown,” was built with conditions in difficult environments such as Sierra Leone in mind to provide very stable playout, and runs on Linux.

He equally noted that Campcaster's relevance is not limited to the developing world as stations in the developed world are starting to adapt the system to their own needs.

For example, Vienna, Austria's Radio Orange is adapting Campcaster's playout system to work with its existing digital archive, while in Hungary, a network of independent radio stations is integrating Campcaster's storage server into its IKRA project, a generic public website engine for radio stations.

He explained that customised integration was made available because all of the Campcaster software is free and open source, stations are free to adapt it to their individual needs, but are strongly encouraged to share their efforts with others.

Managing Director, Media Development Loan Fund's Center for Advanced Media Prague (CAMP), coordinating the Campware initiative, Sava Tatić, said it provides features that used to be only available in extremely expensive commercial radio systems.

“We believe there is a strong north-south aspect to using and extending Campcaster,” Tatić added. “Every time a station in North America or Europe adapts and extends Campcaster, stations in places like Sierra Leone benefit,” Tatic noted.

Emphasising that an international team of software developers, user interface designers, media activists and radio professionals have worked for more than 12 months on the 1.1 “Freetown” release.

Campware representatives have coordinated their work with the Cornet community radio network on the software, and members of the development team will travel to Freetown, Sierra Leone later this month to provide training to partners implementing and servicing Campcaster locally.
Campcaster 1.1 “Freetown” is the latest release from the Media Development Loan Fund's Campware Initiative, which creates free and open source tools for independent media in emerging democracies.Initial funding for Campcaster has been provided by a grant from the Open Society Institute, stressing that the tools are all free and available for download at the Campware website at www.campware.org. Developers and technically-minded users can visit the developers' page at http://code.campware.org/projects/campcaster.

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