Part II: Home Entertainment
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-for-
warding. TiVo provides “bing” and “bong” sounds when buttons are
pressed; adding similar sounds to Frank would make it much more
• Use speech synthesis to read news and weather at the press of a but-
ton. Check out the Festival Speech Synthesis System at http://www.cstr.
ed.ac.uk/projects/festival/ and the Speech::Rsynth Perl module at http://
• Use the same system to play back your entire digital audio collec-
tion. This is actually much easier than time-shifting live radio. Search
around at Sourceforge, and you’ll find many projects that can help you
• Set up your own radio station for everyone at the dorm, office, or apart-
ment 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 get-
ting 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.
11/24/2004 1:56:07 PM