Automate 24/7 Stream for a scheduled Playlist

bcoyle

Member
I am looking forward to this solution also.
I'm the only one that I know of, that is working on anything close to this. I would love to hear from anyone else doing this with obs. I always ask, what are you using now and what do you like it about it or not. Sometimes, I use the these answers to make my app better and more flexible.
 
Wondering if someone could help me.

I have a 24/7 stream, and simply want to divide it into 1 minute slots synced to UTC time. So the first .mp4 plays at 00:00 UTC, second at 00:01 UTC, etc. But a mix of video and static JPGs.

Thought the image slideshow feature would work perfectly until I realized it doesn't support video. If it did I could just sync it to 00:00 UTC manually and let it run.

The VLC playlist would only work if every video was exactly 1 minute, and I would also have to convert all the static images to 1 minute videos as well which is annoying.

Seems like my needs are super simple but can't be done without using expensive automation software, which would be overkill anyways. Anyone know of there's a decent solution?
 

bcoyle

Member
Wondering if someone could help me.

I have a 24/7 stream, and simply want to divide it into 1 minute slots synced to UTC time. So the first .mp4 plays at 00:00 UTC, second at 00:01 UTC, etc. But a mix of video and static JPGs.

Thought the image slideshow feature would work perfectly until I realized it doesn't support video. If it did I could just sync it to 00:00 UTC manually and let it run.

The VLC playlist would only work if every video was exactly 1 minute, and I would also have to convert all the static images to 1 minute videos as well which is annoying.

Seems like my needs are super simple but can't be done without using expensive automation software, which would be overkill anyways. Anyone know of there's a decent solution?
Can I ask "Why 1 minute intervals" ?
 

bcoyle

Member
The stream is essentially a clock. So photos and videos need to be equal time and synced to UTC.
Hard to get videos and slideshow to come out at exactly one minute. jpegs are a little easlier than movies. If its a clock, do you have to start it "EXACTLY" on the minute tick, or on the minute mark +- some amount of seconds????
 
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TVEngineer

New Member
Having been in the broadcast and TV production world for many years I know that there already exists free software to do this task and it is quite complicated. If you are considering taking on the task of creating code you may want to take a look at one of the most popular existing freeware tools used for radio and TV. https://openbroadcaster.com Programming for TV is done to the nearest second with blackout points for commercials. When content is submitted to the network it is accompanied with a timecode list for commercial insertion points. Each network may specify different requirements for content length. Typically, 30 min show is about 22 mins and 1hr show is about 44 mins.
 

bcoyle

Member
Having been in the broadcast and TV production world for many years I know that there already exists free software to do this task and it is quite complicated. If you are considering taking on the task of creating code you may want to take a look at one of the most popular existing freeware tools used for radio and TV. https://openbroadcaster.com Programming for TV is done to the nearest second with blackout points for commercials. When content is submitted to the network it is accompanied with a time code list for commercial insertion points. Each network may specify different requirements for content length. Typically, 30 min show is about 22 mins and 1 hr show is about 44 mins.
Thank you for your reply. I started my project during covid because I needed to fill in my time. I'm a ex- test engineer/programmer with a lot of experience. I did underestimate the time required, the curse of the programmer. What I'm trying to do is a little different than a typical playlist and am not trying to duplicate big professional software, no single person has the time to do that. Also as you said, there is plenty of free stuff out there. Without repeating myself, you might want to go back thru the thread to see what I am doing. You might find it interesting.

Think "automated" public access station. ( I was a volunteer at our local station before it got de-funded).

My app already does commercial insertion, but currently it breaks in without knowing insertion points, just a start offset programmed in the template. I have thought about how to use a time code type of list, but down on my priority list. It can do time of day commercial programming whee you put your commercials in folders labeled with TOD info in the folder name from which it selects it's random commercials, or by a folder with a sponsors files

Another item on my list is electronic program guide. My app can insert next program coming up type of segments already, it is self-editing (self compositing). Think of small organizations like libraries,churches, public access over iptv, small scale, 1 man operations.

By the way, when I speak of templates, I mean "GENERIC" templates where a single template can describe many types of programs and when used on 100 different files will generate a hundred different scheduled programs or recordings.
 
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bcoyle

Member
You know , the little things get you. One of the annoying things about scheduling videos is that unless the videos have a good fade in and out, you get very sharp - unpleasant transitions when you just turn them on. I've added a smooth dynamic fade-in and out of each video. It's harder than you think. There is a new MOVE filter that is pretty cool. It lets you ramp a value in another filter. So it's possible to ramp from visible to black. I did it a little differently and am sending commands directly from my app to a color correction filter to control opacity. I have to work on the same thing with audio fade-in-out.
 
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dmemphis

Member
Can someone describe what featureset they are looking for in such an addition? What are the different things you want to be able to do?
Minimal play list automation lets you create the playlist of files, showing the start times and
duration for each entry in the list. There would be the ability to set a specific play time for a
entry and the idea is you can have your files play at specific times. The time of day might
also include day of week too, so that a week of day specific material can be prepared.
You have to be able to modify the play list on the fly without impacting the currently running
material. One thing I have not seen done well anywhere is if you have to restart the player,
it actually jumps into the middle of the scheduled program at a reasonably close point it
should be at- at the time. Systems I've looked at fall apart here and just start the scheduled
program at its beginning and it gets cut off at the end with the next scheduled event.
If you pm me, I can send you links of some playout programs to look at.
 

bcoyle

Member
Minimal play list automation lets you create the playlist of files, showing the start times and
duration for each entry in the list. There would be the ability to set a specific play time for a
entry and the idea is you can have your files play at specific times. The time of day might
also include day of week too, so that a week of day specific material can be prepared.
You have to be able to modify the play list on the fly without impacting the currently running
material. One thing I have not seen done well anywhere is if you have to restart the player,
it actually jumps into the middle of the scheduled program at a reasonably close point it
should be at- at the time. Systems I've looked at fall apart here and just start the scheduled
program at its beginning and it gets cut off at the end with the next scheduled event.
If you pm me, I can send you links of some playout programs to look at.
Hello - Thank you for your comments. I've been working on a automated broadcast program for more than a year. I've had a some negative comments, the gist being : "why bother, there are plenty of cheap supported commercial playlist programs out there, why dup the effort to just get a free one?". I actually agree. The difficulty is that it takes a lot of time to develop so complex a program, I know. So the effort, if desired, is to develop something different, that actually does things, other programs can't and that can add value to the obs community. This is what, I'm trying to do. I was a volunteer at a public access station that got defunded. I inherited all the historical programs and want ed to not lose the local history. Being an ex programmer, decided that I would write a public access type of program. This program uses the compositing capabilities of OBS to create (and of course schedule) flexible programs using templates of how a program should be designed, sort of a automated video editor. It is designed to handle a tv like scheduled programs, ie 1/2 hour, 1 hour etc, but can handle random time videos as a playlist. Without repeating myself, you might want to read my messages in this stream. The following is 2 examples of template driven videos, one is a music video, the labels used in the song come from meta data captured from the actual file name and matched up with text labels in the obs scene (automatically). The other is a SD program with bio info and a slide show in addition. The scheduler not only plays video blocks but also programs overlays in each block as well. Also does autofill to flesh out to a standard length. It can schedule as far ahead as you want, ie years.
[ Please tell me about what you are doing.
 

bcoyle

Member
One thing that hit me in developing a timed automation app or even a playlist version is that it is hard to make it scheduled and come out to the correct times. ie. if a video is played at 9:00am and is 3 minutes long, there is overhead in getting everything started. It's really apparent when scrubbing to a inpoint. You expect the video to be outpoint - inpoint, but if it takes the cpu 3 seconds to scrub, you are already 3 seconds late in your schedule. AND the delay might be longer for slower cpus and also slower for longer scrubs. It's no problem in a playlist where you run one after another, because you don't care about slip, unless you want a tv guide to tell people when to expect the video. If the next video is scheduled for 9:03:00, it might actually start at 9:03:03 and slip for every additional scheduled video. If you have 15 - 3 minutes videos in a hour with inpoint, you might slip 3*15 seconds every hour, i.e 45 seconds per hour and 24*45 seconds in a day. Any ideas?
 

bcoyle

Member
QUESTIONS:
How many of you out there, want to have a 24/7 broadcast?
How many already do it?
If you are already live, what are you using?
What kind of 24/7 streams would people bother with watching and what you might consider important?
What purpose would it serve for you? What would you broadcast?
Why not just upload a bunch of videos to youtube and let the users pick what they want, instead of doing
the TV thing (24/7 stream)?
Would a hybrid approach work, half live and half pre-recorded (maybe fill) between live casts?
Is it important to have "scheduled" time slots?

I can see "local sports channels", "Church Broadcasts", "Cable regional today shows/advertising" - like "tahoe today","local school student broadcast and training", "social issues", "country centric injustice", "Local talent open mic/ demos/showcasing new talent', compositing videos for later replay. What would you do to make it worth while for you to do the task of scheduling, picking out what to play and when to play it?

Would you do this for free or is this a business model, i.e. advertising?

Would you want a tv guide for your schedule? How would you get this info into a users hands. Promos during the broadcast, web sites, email?

Are you already using OBS?

If you are already broadcasting, how much work do you put in every week for each channel? More than 1?

How much work is it to get material? (Takes a lot for 24/7 without repeating too much). Where do you get it?

I'm asking these questions for a number of reasons. Mostly because there is a small group of people using OBS/ streaming and I want to know who is interested and what they want. I was thinking of starting a new discussion for people that want to share their problems in this arena, maybe tips/tricks, maybe discord? This takes bandwidth, so wanted to know if any of this is worthwhile?

I know a lot of this discussion thread is about what sort of features people want in a app, but it's just as important to know what they will use it for. OBS and any automation is just a tool: a carpenter can use a hammer(tool) but a architect builds/designs a house.

Thanks for listening.
 
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