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the Wortwelle experiment, Berlin, June to August 2006.

The Format

Wortwelle was a cultural station broadcasting locally on FM. Wortwelle began broadcasting as Radio 1:1, but had to change it's name due to a trademark conflict with an established radio station.

In project manager Pit Schulz own words: "radio 1:1 is proposing a new kind of "dokuradioformat" consisting in live productions of local cultural producers, recordings of cultural events, and an international program of podcasts, streams and downloads. It is dedicated to the focus of an international intellectual discourse, as well as new styles in music, radio art, free-form radio and pirate radio. radio 1:1 is naming itself a "free" cultural radio because it is open for access from various cultural niches and (audible) for everyone." [Schulz, 2006]

Personally I think the project was specially interesting for it's niche crossing character. University lectures and poetry readings were broadcast without editing along DJ sets and live shows, thus offering a unique mix reflecting the true plurality of cultural production in Berlin.

This was a project by Klubradio, Bootlab e.V. , supported by Tesla and funded by Hauptstadt Kulturfonds. The studio was located at podewil'scher Palais in Berlin.

For more information on Wortwelle / Radio1:1's editorial concept, radio-political statement or the Berlin free radio scene, see http://radioeinszueins.de

The wiring

The studio was situated at Tesla, centre for media arts, in Berlin. It was used for daily live shows, lasting 2 to 4 hours. The encoder and file server were also located at the studio. The studio mixer was digitally connected to the stream encoder.
The encoder hardware was 2.4 GHz CPU, 256 MB RAM (this was back in 2004). The audio hardware and operating system are discussed below. The encoder was at the studio, since it was physically connected to the studio mixer.
Files server
The file server was also located at the studio. This is not strictly necessary, but saves a lot of bandwidth. A file server located at the same location as the web server would probably be more secure.
Web server
The web server was a normal web server, used for relaying the streams to the web. Bandwidth is discussed in detail below.
FM antenna
The antenna was set up on a high building, several kilometres from the studio. The antenna system had a computer that played out a 256 kbps stream continuously. The stream was relayed alternatively from the web server or directly from the encoder. It also had various fall-back and monitoring software.
On-site recording
Additionally, not shown here, the Radio1:1 system included several custom computers built into 19 inch audio racks, that were directly hooked to the PA at several venues, and remote controlled through the internet. These computers provided audio data in the form of MP3 podcasts, that were stored on the file server.
Reporters and audio editing
Several reporters equipped with hard disc recorders produced a lot of live material. Two computers dedicated to audio editing were available at the studio.

The software

An explicit goal for the Wortwelle project was to produce it's own software and to publish it under an open source licence. The software consist of a scheduler, a website and a play-out system. This software is now online at the following URLs:


Unfortunately, this software never reached a level of maturity that would make it practicable for other projects to easily use it without tweaks.

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