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Streaming (webcasting) with Linux

Linux for WebCastAcademy Interns
by   Minhaaj ur Rehman

Hi, My name is Minhaaj and I am a new webcastacademy intern. My primary OS is Ubuntu, linux and this is what I use to participate in this fabulous community. When I joined the community, I found that no one used linux (to my knowledge) linux for participation and I was the first one who had to figure out things mostly by myself. I would like to appreciate help of Jeff, Doug, Sheila and rest of the webcastacademy guys who helped me out in figuring the configurations for linux.

I am writing this tutorial in response to popular community request for a how-to tutorial for using webcastacademy on linux. If you are intern your first assignment would be to introduce yourself. You can use variety of tools for that, e.g. audacity. What I used on linux was a program called sound recorder. It has a plain and sleek interface with a very basic function ‘to record the sound’ :) That’s what it does and it is designed to do. No less and no more. Although a format conversion would have been nice. Good news is that you can record sound in different formats, wav, ogg, mp3, FLAC etc. So its kind of a relief to know that.

Thats how program's interface looks. You see that Red record button? All you have to do is to select the required output format and hit that button and start your Skype call or whatever medium you are using for conversation. As far as input method is concerned, I didn't have to figure that out, because by default mine is set to Digital. If you can't it to work you probably need to fix your sound settings. I believe there are numerous tutorial online on Linux forums and other places and I really can't recommend one because it depends on what problems you are having specifically. Make sure your sound is working normally and your OS has recognized your Microphone.

Next steps are pretty straight forward since they are same on all operating systems. You have to log into webcastacademy's interns account. If you are an intern you probably know the login and password that Jeff and Doug have told you. If not, I suggest you should sign up for internship and join this fabulous community asap :) This is how Ustream.tv screen would look once you have the username and password and you are ready to broadcast. Remember you don't need Ustream for recording your first assignment thats introduction and even your second one thats, recording a two-way Skype call. You can use it but I guess offline tools are better for first two, but again, feel free to try. My problem had been file conversion.

You need Ustream primarily for broadcasting and thats the third assignment, so until then get used to your computer softwares. :)

Make sure you are already in call and click the orange 'BROADCAST NOW' button on top, before the search box. Once you have clicked the button another screen would pop up that would start loading the broadcasting screen. Let it load until it stops. Notice that during the loading process, a popup would appear that would request you to allow audio and video control of your computer. You should allow that by clicking the green button with 'allow' written on it. This is how your new screen would look like.


Press Allow and screen would change into this one:


Now you have to make sure you are in the call. There are two green buttons. One says 'Start Broadcasting' and other says 'Start Recording'. If you are using sound recorder for recording you probably don't need that and you can ignore 'Start Recording'. I would highly recommend that you use 'Start Recording' so that if anything goes wrong, community can help you with that. I had a problem with format conversion and Sheila came to rescue me.

And, ofcourse you have to press 'Start Broadcasting'. No Brainer. Once you are done with that, you are good to go. You should mute the streaming audio/video on webcastacademy or Edtechtalk page where ever you are to make sure that you don't hear your own voice. Keep switching windows to make sure you are using text chat too, because you might get consumed by Skype chat, which one often does that you forget that you are doing the show for people :)

Use forums for any problem that you encounter.  You can ask Jeff, Doug and ofcourse Me anytime you find me around. My Skype name is Minhaaj.Rehman.


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