Has anyone got PlayIt Live setup in a multiple studio environment with studio switching?
I'm trying to work out a low cost way of switching between one computer with our "automation" PC and another with our studio output both running Playout Live. We're currently just on the automation PC with the encoder plugin streaming to Live365 however we're looking to introduce an operational studio (used for prerecording content when it's not on air). The DJ won't have access to control the automation pc as such but we'll need to introduce some way of taking control of it....
So far my only conclusion will be...
Create a button box using a joystick encoder that will be plugged into the automation pc... one button to stop and fade the output of PlayIt Live and one to start the playout again.
Run the encoding to Live365 on another PC... use the "Now Playing" plugin and send both PlayIt Live installs Now Playing data to the same file on a network share.
An audio switching box to switch between the automation output and studio output.
Is there any other ways this can be achieved or a better way of engineering this?
This is a common requirement but not. sadly, something that PlayIt Live is ideally suited to at present.
I can suggest a few approaches depending on how "nice" you need the output to be.
You could have a "presentation" mixer to mix between one a "sustaining" feed generated by PlayIt Live and the live studio.
A common variant of this approach is having a small audio switching box ( for example
http://www.sonifex.co.uk/category/switchers/index.shtml ) and feeding the "sustaining" PC into the studio mixer on a channel. If you correctly match the levels this can be an inaudible switch and you can put the studio "live" then fade out the sustaining programme.
Less "nice" but allowing more control by the schedule, is to feed the studio mixer into an input of the "sustaining" PC. This means that the live programmes have "clock" starts and ends but whether that is good or bad depends on the rest of the material in the schedule.
For a "serious "station, you also need to consider the rest of your output chain and the requirement for processing. This will impact the preferred architecture of your system.
If I were streaming 24x7 I would probably consider a hardware encoder ( for example http://www.sonifex.co.uk/prostreamer/index.shtml ) and some form of processing ( for example http://www.musictribe.com/Categories/Behringer/Signal-Processors/Compressors-Limiters/SPL3220/p/P0ATC ) in the chain.
The Behringer unit is my no means ideal but is probably the most suitable relatively cheap audio loudness control unit. Anything better will cost considerably more.
The "now playing is a tricky aspect. A different encoder (even on the same PC) and the "now playing" plugin works well and your approach will work although there is the danger of the studio PC writing song titles when you are using it "offline".