[06] XCHANGE - NET.AUDIO & RADIO NETWORK
1. [lecture]:
a. Pre-history - The Xchange Compilation (Jul-Nov 1997)
b. Xchange On-Air Session (festival in Riga, Nov 1997)
c. Xchange Mailinglist & Network and X-Open channel
d. Xchange at Ars Electronica'98 (Linz, Sep 1998) and other X-activities
2. [net.art]: ('5 min before lunch') Vuk Cosic "Art history for airports"
3. [workshop] Real Media servers and tools

 
1. [lecture] XCHANGE - NET.AUDIO & RADIO NETWORK
http://xchange.re-lab.net
XCHANGE mailinglist and network for creative internet broadcasters project was initiated by E-LAB, Riga. It started in 1997 with "Xchange Compilations" - the online project on linking audio content on the net.

* Pre-history   - "The Xchange Compilation"
It was online audio project on exchanging and linking up the real time audio content on the net, initiated by E-LAB artists Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits. This project was one of those we did based on the idea that 'data can be placed everywhere' (like net.radio OZOne's data were placed on 3 different servers in Riga, Berlin, Amsterdam).

The idea was to make a picture of alternative Internet broadcasters at the present moment, using real audio as a tool for it. The content was built by contributors themselves - their sound material created the content.
'Call for contributions' we annunced in the mailinglists (syndicate, nettime, others) and started to collect links of real audio files. For those sound artists and experimental audio-makers who didn't have access to real audio servers - it was possible to use Radio Internationale Stadt RA-server.
Xchange Compilations had each month update - free flowing concept - free building content - free floating location. 
All together we made 4 monthly editions. Each of those issues was placed on different server in different physical locations and with reference to some on-going new media project (like Remote C at AEF') or event (last edition were made for P2P conference).

All Xchange Issues are available from any of the entrance pages:

Xchange #1 - first edition, July'97 compilation, on line since July 9 - at OZOne in Riga
http://ozone.re-lab.net/Xchange (originaly it was placed on ISP "Parks" server)
Xchange #2 - August'97 'moved' to Berlin, Radio Internationale Stadt
http://www.icf.de/RIS/Xchange
Xchange #3 - Sept'97 was a part of Remote C project at Ars Electronica (Linz) http://remote.aec.at/Xchange
Xchange #4/#5 - last compilation Oct/Nov'97 was presented during the conference 'From Practice to Policy' (Amsterdam and Rotterdam)
http://www.v2.nl/Xchange
 


* Xchange On-Air session
http://xchange.re-lab.net/festival

"Xchange, the mailinglist and net.audio network, emerged from "Xchange on-air session", the 2nd new media festival in Riga "Art + Communication II", which was organised there by the E-Lab artist organisation from November 12 - 14, 1997. The festival featured presentations from artists, musicians, theorists and organisers from such diverse countries as Hungary, Sweden, Germany, Estonia, the United States (of America), the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and of course Latvia itself.

The festival was a very loose and free gathering of notably young people who were exploring the new possibilities of making live audio transmissions via the Internet, usually called net.casting. The program consisted of talks, lectures, discussions, concerts, jam sessions and even screenings. But what was really surprising about it, was that all three days were sent out to a tiny segment of the world, live for the entire duration of the event, reaching a micro-audience via the net, that could be dispersed across the globe.

Thus, even a coffee table conversation was transmitted to the very person the conversation was about... This funny incident gave a new meaning for me to the term 'intimate media', which signifies something outside of, rather than in opposition to, mainstream mass-media. Xchange is 'sovereign media' in the best sense of the word: It is completely useless and has no commercial value. It will never reach a mass-audience, nor does it intend to do so. It is completely international (the network now even extends into Australia, where it has some highly active members), it is non-funded, non-commercial, and has no market-value. It seems to operate on pure enjoyment, and does its very best to escape attempts at a fixed definition, as does this incomplete collection of contributions by some of the most active Xchange participants about the 'hows and whats' of the Xchange network for the Ars Electronica '98 festival catalogue....

In his Xchange on-air session's lecture 'Acoustic Cyberspace', Erik Davis explored the immersive qualities of audio-environments, to find out what audio might mean for our experience of the 'space' of digital networks. His notion of an acoustic (cyber-) space became a guiding idea for the development of the Xchange net.audio network:
http://xchange.re-lab.net/a/msg00277.html (transcript of Erik Davis lecture "Acoustic Cyberspace" in Riga)."

Eric Kluitenberg (text for Ars Electronica'98 catalogoue).

* Xchange mailinglist
http://xchange.re-lab.net/mailinglist

Xchange Mailinglist was established in December 1997 as an outcome of the conference and net.radio workshop "Xchange On-air Session" (Riga, November'97).
It was established as an information & communication channel for creative internet broadcasters and individual audio content providers. 
Xchange mailinglist is used for announcing upcoming net.radio events, live broadcasting programmes and schedules - often with the aim to invite others - remote broadcasters - to join in the chat or participate in an ongoing live session.
Also publications and texts about radio development, as well as discussions about internet radio and streaming softwares are creating the content of Xchange list.
At the moment there are appx. 230 subscribers form all over the world on this list. It is open for subscription (only subscribers can publish the messages) and isn't moderated.

All messages posted on the Xchange Mailinglist are also available in the web-archive at
http://xchange.re-lab.net/a


* X-Open Channel
was created in the beginning of 1998 due to Xchange Mailinglist, initiated by net.radio OZOne and it is still ongoing. It is an open platform for experiments on live streaming audio and collaborative broadcasting on the net. X-Open channel is open every Tuesday night during OZOne live net audio sessions - or any other time when someone announces it.

For meeting and co-ordination of the live co-sessions, there was created the IRC channel on irc.re-lab.net server #xchange (and web-java-browser at http://irc.re-lab.net/xchange)


* Xchange @ Ars Electronica'98
http://xchange.re-lab.net/56h/

Xchange project "Acoustic Space/56h LIVE" at Ars Electronica'98 Festival was first international Xchange meeting in 'real space'. There were around 10 remote and 25 onsite net.broadcasters from all over the world (Zina K.Sydney, b2men/Pararadio/Budepest, Borut Savski/MZX/Ljubljana, Honor Harger/Radioqualia/Adelaide, and many others from Riga, Berlin, Ljubljana, London, Amsterdam, Budapest - participating in this 56h LIVE net.radio broadcasting project.
http://xchange.re-lab.net/56h/schedule.html
http://xchange.re-lab.net/56h/participants.html
The idea of the project was to create a live audio environment during the entire Ars Electronica festival in 1998, using real-time net audio technologies (real audio), including an open broadcasting studio in the 'real' space, as well as the creation of a virtual sound environment in cyberspace, involving both on-site and remote participants.

The project was called "The Acoustic Space" and the aim was to broaden the space within which we communicate - connecting the physical space and virtual spaces, using sound as a tool for it.
Recorded 56h LIVE net session is available at http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/8sep98.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/8sep98a.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/8sep98b.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/9sep98.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/9sep98a.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/9sep98b.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/10sep98.ram
http://ozone.re-lab.net/archive/56h/10sep98a.ram

NOTES FROM THE FINAL GROUP MEETING AT ARS ELECTRONICA:
http://xchange.re-lab.net/a/msg00645.html
[re:] http://xchange.re-lab.net/a/subjects30.html
 



The Xchange project got the 2nd prize "Award of Destinction" in the competition "PRIX Ars Electronica'98" in .net category.

* Other Xchange initiatives:

- Acoustic.Space magazine
bilingual (english+latvian) printed issue on new media culture and internet radio

- net.radio guide "How To Be a Net Caster" (made by irational.org)
http://www.irational.org/radio/radio_guide


- Xchange Calendar  - an interface for live stream scheduler
http://x.re-lab.net/C
 


[net.art] '5 min before lunch' 
screening of most interesting net.art projects:

* Vuk Cosic "Art history for airports" http://www.vuk.org/history/

 


3. [workshop] Real Media servers and tools

download real audio servers and tools:
http://www.real.com

* Basic servers:
- available only G2 at the moment
- free download at http://www.real.com/solutions/basic/
(the location might change, follow the 'find' and 'help' guides)
- allows 25 sessions

* some things about Real Media Basic servers:
- log file
the server creates log file - you can see who, where from, when and which file accessed
- passwords 
passwords is needed to encode live stream and you can configure and make passwords in order to be able to save streaming file directly onto real audio server
- protocol
for G2 there are new protocol rtsp: instead of pnm:
- streaming and running server
you can stream from the same computer you are running real audio server, but then the computer should be connected with high bandwidth internet to make live streams accessible for more then 1 listener.


NETWORK CONNECTION REQUIREMENTS
Depending upon the level of compression, a single stream of RealAudio requires 10-80 kb per second of bandwidth and a single stream of RealVideo requires 10-500 kb per second.
Connection: Stream Capacity (10 kbps/stream)
56 kbps frame relay 4 streams
ISDN BRI Service 5-10 streams
T1 Connection 100 streams
T3 Connection 3,000 - 4,000 streams

MEMORY AND STORAGE REQUIREMENTS

* Server storage: 
The Real Server requires approximately 2 MB of hard disk space. 

* Memory Requirements: 
appx. 3 MB of available RAM plus a max. of 20 KB RAM for each simultaneous RealAudio stream served and a maximum of 60 KB RAM for each simultaneous RealVideo stream served.