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9.9. Extensions

This was a big project. But if you're still not yet satisfied, there are several ways you can take it a bit further:

  • Add additional transmitters to allow different family members to listen to their own audio sources simultaneously.

  • You might want additional feedback when rewinding and fast-forwarding. TiVo provides "bing" and "bong" sounds when buttons are pressed; adding similar sounds to Frank would make it much more fun.

  • Use speech synthesis to read news and weather at the press of a button. Check out the Festival Speech Synthesis System at http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ and the Speech::Rsynth Perl module at http://ftp.linux.cz/pub/perl/modules/by-module/Speech/.

  • Use the same system to play back your entire digital audio collection. This is actually much easier than time-shifting live radio. Search around at Sourceforge, and you'll find many projects that can help you do this.

  • Set up your own radio station for everyone at the dorm, office, or apartment complex to listen to.

    FCC rule 15.215(a) says, "Unless otherwise stated, there are no restrictions as to the types of operations permitted under these sections." So you can play your music for your neighbors or coworkers, and you don't have to worry about getting a note from the RIAA.

  • Most people do most of their radio listening in the car. Normally, when you get in your car in the morning, you can pick up your morning radio show at the same point it was at when you walked out the door. Frank might break that, though. If you haven't caught up to live radio by the time you leave for work, you'll miss a few minutes. You can fix this, though. Stick a computer in your car with a wireless network, and have it either start recording before you get in the car, or download the radio show from Frank. You can also grab the current position in the radio show, and pick up where you left off—the Xmms::Perl module knows how to report the current position.

  • Record audio from your digital cable TV system.

  • Automatically download your favorite NPR shows from the Internet.

  • Record audio from XM Radio.

  • Download schedules of radio programs that will be broadcast, and allow scheduling by browsing the schedule.



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