Robot radio

Robot Radio!

Robot radio is your personal robotic DJ. It is a couple applescripts I wrote that take advantage of iTunes and Apples Text to Speech tools. With it you can set up your own simple radio station to broadcast music around your neighborhood, or just play on your computer so you know what’s playing and don’t feel so alone.
*Apple removed the iTunes DJ feature in version 11, but fear not! All still works fine just make sure to add a playlist named “iTunes DJ” and add all your music to that, and shuffle it!

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Features or What is this all about?!!

  • It will read the current Track title and Artist in a fun quirky way. It comes with 4 or 5 cycling versions. You can add more or change them however you like in the applescript.
  • Can read the current time.
  • Includes an RSS News feed reading script that will read the five most recent news items from NetNewsReader at the “top of the hour”.
  • I am including an mac mail script template I made that a mac mail filter can call. It can add songs emailed in as requests, ether by title or artist. It will also read a dedication.
  • Works with ether your own Playlist, or even better Apple’s “DJ Playlist”. If you use the DJ playlist that is included with iTunes 8 and higher, you can do lots of cool stuff with the “iTunes remote” iTouch and iPhone app. Things like request songs, rate them and much more.

Please contact me with any bugs, feature ideas, cool code you added, or comments in general.


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Set up Help and Tips:

Find a free radio frequency. This is an important step! The way the laws work, so long as you are not interfering with other radio stations and stay below a certain power level, you are legally able to broadcast.(That is way simplifying things, read the laws! Don’t just take my word for it, I can not be held responsible for you breaking the laws.)
This site is a good start:
Make sure you check what they claim is free  in your area, it may not be.

Get a radio transmitter. There are a number out their, ebay has a lot ready to go. I like Ramsey electronics. They sell kits for reasonable prices. The kits are well made and come with good directions, but if you don’t want to have to solder, you can get one prebuilt on ebay. I currently am using the FM25b form Ramsey, I wish I would have spent a bit more for the extra features the FM100 has though…

Build a good antenna. This is the best way to get your radio to go further for less. Most kits come with a cheap one, but with some creativity you can make a much better di-pole for almost nothing. There are lots of plans out there.

Have original content! I can not stress this enough!! Don’t play the same top 40 crap you can hear on every other radio station out there, why would anyone want to tune into yours if its the same as everyone else’s? Also don’t open yourself up to legal issues, the latest Brittany album will likely draw more corporate negative attention then a local independent underground artist. I mean think about it, your probably doing this to spread awareness of good music out there, not perpetuate the same crap. Oh and if your an artist, as tempting as it may be for you to make a radio station playing nothing but your music, don’t. Unless your the Beatles, few really good artist have enough devise music to listen to for more then a couple hours strait. All you will do is make people annoyed and sick of your music after a while. Try mixing you music in with other great music and they will learn to love and look forward to yours if its good.

Be dependable. If you want to get an audience it will take time, but be consistent. Have it up and running at the same times every day, or all the time, if you can.

Have fun! But don’t break the laws, or harass others. Don’t pick the same station as a major station, then block them out, its not only rude, it could get you in some serious legal trouble.

Useful interesting Links:


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I am releasing all the code and scripts as loose GNU and TeaWare. Also I want to thank all those whose great examples out there I used to make this little guy. I tried to give credit to the people that wrote the specific parts of the code.

  1. Completely free to use and modify all that you like.
  2. If you come up with anything new, improvements, fixes, or additional features, please share back with me and the rest of the community.
  3. If you really like what I did, and you want to say thanks, send me some tea.
  4. Yeah it’s basically just open source, with the addition of tea.
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|_-_-_|               |_-_-_|  LGB 

Copyright 2009 Andy T. Evans

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