[Chicago] OT: starting a radio station (hackers needed)

Kumar McMillan kumar.mcmillan at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 19:50:11 CET 2009

Hey Pythonistas!  I probably mentioned this before but here it is
again.  I'm part of this really amazing volunteer group in Chicago
called CHIRP and we're starting an honest to god real community radio
station in Chicago.  Here's an earlier pic of our broadcast studio
before it was finished:
We are launching the Web only stream on January 15th at
http://chirpradio.org/ (woo!)  In the meantime you can find out more
about the station at http://www.chicagoindependentradioproject.org/
We should have an Low Power FM station within the next year or two
since the bill to allow urban LPFM is actually making some headway in
congress after 9 years of bouncing around.  It passed the House vote
this month.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because even though we have a ton of
people volunteering (nearly 65 *active* volunteers, 100+ total) there
are only two programmers, d'oh! myself and Jon Trowbridge from Google.
 We're pretty psyched about the software we are building.  There are a
couple apps and they run in Django on the Google App Engine.
Everything is open source and you can check out the code, run the
tests, run the dev server or whatever from here:
http://code.google.com/p/chirpradio/  It's not really meant to be an
open source tool for *other* stations to use but with a little extra
effort and documentation it could be.

We could desperately use some help though because Jan 15th is rapidly
approaching.  It's a really fun group to be a part of and I think
Chicago isn't even prepared for how much COOLER it will be when this
radio station starts broadcasting 24 hours a day.

Are you interested in becoming part of the magic?  We're looking for
someone who might be psyched to hack on some Python / Django code with
us, most likely on the weekend or in the evenings while drinking beer
with us.

More specifically, we could really use someone who might be able to
take on ownership of the Traffic Log application, here:
This app is used to rotate the PSAs that DJs will need to read while on the air.

Here is a run down of the other apps we have been working on:

DJ Database -- this allows DJs to browse the digital mp3 library
(currently 2TB) that the station will use for daily operation.  The
Music Director also needs to manage heavy rotation and light rotation
and DJs need to mark tracks for profanity and write short reviews of
the good stuff to help other DJs.

Playlist Tracker -- this is what DJs use while on the air in the
studio to enter in what they play, complete with some Ajax goodnesss
to autocomplete against the digital library and keep data entry quick
and painless.

All of this still needs work!!

If you want to be a DJ on the station then helping out with the code
is a great way to get started on your volunteer hours.  Each DJ needs
to put in about 20 hours per quarter of volunteer time (something like
that).  I will warn you that people have been working really hard on
this for several years so it might take a while to get a DJ slot.  You
will need to go through an audition and may also need to undergo
training (but that's provided).


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