There is >b>now a server at Montevideo to be used for testing. Please use the above link. For the testers at Montevideo, please read this:
What and how to test
The functionality and userability of the system needs to be tested. To do this please just go through the site from start to finish and report both functional bugs (errors) and userability errors (things that don't make sense) and report them through the bug tracker.
For the purpose of the testing its best we dont tell you anything at first about how to use the Frequency Clock. However you might want to imagine that you have an archive of streaming media files of different types and you want to make a continuous program out of these files. Note: the player side of this application is not yet ready for testing, so its just the backend that you need to test.
Anonymous CVS Access
This project's SourceForge CVS repository can be checked out through anonymous (pserver) CVS with the following instruction set. The module you wish to check out must be specified as the modulename. The working module at present for the backend (HTML player and .exe player development has not yet started) is openfcphp (code/openfcphp). When prompted for a password for anonymous, simply press the Enter key.
cvs -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/openfc login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/openfc co code/openfcphp
Updates from within the module's directory do not need the -d parameter.
The Frequency Clock was conceived by r a d i o q u a l i a in 1998 as a mechanism to control FM transmitters over the internet. In essence it was a networked timetabling system, connecting globally dispersed FM transmitters so they could broadcast the same internet audio simultaneously. This system was originally attempted on Linux in Java. Later that year this development was abandoned, and development didn’t start again until 1999 when r a d i o q u a l i a was fortunate to meet Nic Limper during the HelpB92 campaign in Amsterdam.
Nic developed the system as it exists today using VisualBasic and .asp. Although the solution was riddled by propriety technologies, the advantage was that it worked. Together with Nic Limper r a d i o q u a l i a also developed a few other ideas including the qualiaplayer which has since been extended and implemented at http://www.radioqualia.net/freq. This version of the qualiaplayer is intended to be adapted and used for browsing archive sin the new Frequency Clock.
Using the Frequency Clock r a d i o q u a l i a set-up a number of projects including a remote controlled transmitter at De Waag, and on a number of occasions utilised the video capabilities for presenting web content on cable television, satellite TV, giant projections, and video billboards.
In 2001 after long frustration with the slow development of the Frequency Clock, r a d i o q u a l i a decided to push ahead and Adam learnt PHP and converted 90% of the .asp pages to .php4. This process was intended to open the Frequency Clock to other developers, however, despite various verbal commitments no other developers joined.
In 2002 Montevideo offered support to push ahead with the tool as part of their Artist-in-residence project.
The Frequency Clock has until now been a tool that has mainly been used by r a d i o q u a l i a. However there is a lot of interest from other parties including De Waag, Kunstradio, dek.spc, Montevideo, Virtual Platform, Walker Art Centre (USA), ambientTV, Tate Modern (UK) and the London Architects Association.
The potential for this mechanism is well understood by these organisations but unfortunately the system itself is behind its own expectations.
The Montevideo residency is an opportunity to push the mechanism forward into a new conceptual territory.
The Frequency Clock is now envisioned as a completely open system for creating user defined ‘channels’. This mechanism should be entirely web-based, and should include a well conceived HTML player to ensure the mechanism can be used on all platforms.
The working .asp site is located :
The SourceForge open development is located :
Player Software :
A streaming player that can be utilised by internet users for managing all their streaming media consumption. This includes the integration of all major propriety and free streaming codecs including Quicktime, Real, Microsoft, and MPEG codecs as well as Ogg Vorbis and Divx. The player will have standard but unified media player functionality such as play, stop, pause, bookmarks, open location, open file, zoom in, zoom out, etc. In addition the player will have the built-in Frequency Clock functionality allowing users to select public timetables or 'channels' from the player interface. Lastly the player will integrate with the backend for communicating meta data about the content playing or scheduled to be played. Further backend-player communication is also anticipated (for more information about the player functionality please see the technical functional description).
A web-based player replicating the Frequency Clock functionality of the software player will be developed for those users with Mac or Linux systems. This enables the complete cross platform integration of Frequency Clock player functionality. It is suggested that the radical step of replacing the existing Central Station website with this sophisticated tool be seriously considered by the NIM. The result would be a small 'player shaped' web-page that acted like a tradional media player (eg. Realplayer) with embedded Frequency Clock timetable navigation.
The Frequency Clock backend will be extended from the existing PHP4 files to include functionality to improve the efficiency and ease of use of the existing system. This includes the development of recurring timetabling for programmes that need to be scheduled in repetitive time allocations, multiple programme timetabling (play listing), user defined defaults for when content is not available, basic statistical reports of timetables viewed, and a super user system for high level administration.
In addition help-files will be constructed to assist new users with utilising the system, and a web based (templated) 'magazine' will be generated as a content guide for timetables.
Free Encoding System :
The existing code for the Frequency Clock timetabling system can be also used as a booking system for streaming servers. This will allow users to book 'slots' on a streaming server, the length and bandwidth of which is chosen by the administrator. The booking mechanism will be constituted of 2 parts - the online booking system (interfaced with the Open Source Streaming Alliance Quicktime server), and a downloadable software encoder. The encoder will have all server and configuration details hard coded into it hence the user need only activate 'encode' at the allocated time (booked by the web interface) and stream.
The Frequency Clock will comprise of the following pages:
All webpages are ‘back-end’ administration pages. The ‘front-end’ should be conceived as the player. Access to the backend occurs through the player, or directly by the URL. The start page of the ‘back-end’ is the mechanism through which new users create accounts or existing users log-in. There are 2 parts to this page :
2 login fields - username, password. ‘Return’ in the password field starts the log-in check. A failure to create a unique username will return the user to this page with a ‘username already exists’ error. The successful creation of a new account directly logs the user in and displays the Users Administration Page (Step 2 below).
Create New Account :
This new-user account creation will be the focus of the start page, and will include the fields that need to be filled-in and a clear description of how to create an account. The fields include :
Full Name (optional)
When a user has logged in, they are directed to the Users Administration Page. If the user fails to login they are delivered to this page with a ‘incorrect username or password’ message and the fields cleared.
Once a user has logged in, or they have just created a new account they are directed to their administration page. From this page a user can manage their account. The page is a frame, with a persistent navigation frame on the left and a frame (or frames) on the right for targeting information. The left frame will display the users username at the top and display the following options:
Create New Channel
View Channel Statistics
Edit Channel Info (drop down menu)
Goto Timetable (drop down menu)
This is where a user creates a new channel. Users may have unlimited channels. Fields required are:
This page is used for adding programs to the users program list. The fields for the program information include:
Text field. This is the name of the program in plain text.
Text field. The location of the file.
Text Area for describing the content.
Three drop down menus. Hours : Minutes : Seconds:
Checkbox. Should be checked if the program is a livecast.
Drop down list : Real/WindowsMedia/Quicktime/MP3/Other
Drop down list : comes with default fields but can be user defined.
Drop down : audio only / video
URL of Image
This is for audio only files. The image is displayed when the file is displayed.
Share this program
Checkbox. Used if the user wants the program to be shared with all other users of the Frequency Clock (so other users can schedule it on their timetables).
Date and Time of Program
Drop down menus : Hour / Minute Day / Month / Year
Only for live programs.
Add this to my timetable now.
Check Box. For live programs only (automatically adds program to timetable).
The timetable page shows the graphic timetable representation of a users channel. The timetable can be zoomed in / out. This is page is frame-based and also lists the programs available to the user as a list. The list can be sorted by genre and searched by author, program name, or title. The list can also be switched to include shared programs available to the user.
Using this page the user builds the channels timetable.
A frameset. Allows a user to edit a programs details. The left frame is the list of all the programs a user can edit. The right frame is the details of each program, these details appear as each program in the list is ‘clicked’.
Shows statistics for a users channels. Stats include:
Cumulative totals for each individual program watched
Cumulative totals for each time the player was opened
Cumulative totals for each time the chat was opened
Allows the user to define the look and feel of their channel player.
Both of these pages exist as .php pages but the html and .php are intertwined. The php needs to be extracted from these pages and implemented in the form of functions.
Scheduling of programs is a laborious process if done on a continuous basis. Users should be able to shorten this process by the following three methods:
If the same program is to be played at regular intervals, then the user should be able to schedule this as a recurring program. Hence if I need to schedule a program for 6 weeks, on every Tuesday at 1800, I should be able to check several boxes to choose this recurrence, rather than have to schedule each program individually.
A user should be able to choose any length of time to be automatically filled with random content from a user-set or default list. This material should exactly fit the time required and be layed out on the timetable as normal programs.
Users should be able to create content 'blocks'. These are programs that contain many programs within them but can be layed out as a single block.
Week 3 : HTML Player
There will be one player per channel and the player will be fully customisable from the users administration pages. These parameters will include background colour, size, size of content, placement of a gif.