Liquidsoap 0.9.2 : External encoders

Introduction

You can use any external program that accepts wav or raw PCM data to encode audio data and use the resulting compressed stream as an output, either to a file, a pipe, or even icecast.

When using an external encoding process, uncompressed PCM data will be sent to the process through its standard input (stdin), and encoded data will be read through its standard output (stdout). When using a process that does only file input or output, /dev/stdin and /dev/stdout can be used, though this may generate issues if the encoding process expects to be able to go backward/forward in the file.

Main operators

The main operators are:

The available options are the same as the usual output.file and output.icecast operators, with the following additions:

The restart mechanism strongly relies on the good behaviour of the encoding process. The restart operation will close the standard input of the encoding process. The encoding process is then expected to finish its own operations and close its standard output. If it does not close its standard output, the encoding task will not finish.

If your encoding process has this issue, you should turn the restart_on_crash option to true and kill the encoding process yourself.

Some specific options are available for output.icecast.external:

Wrappers

On top of the basic operators, wrappers have been written for using the lame encoder and the flac encoder to output data to an icecast server, or output to local sound card using aplay. The code is present, as usual, in utils.liq and is as follows.

output.aplay

# Output the stream using aplay.
# Using this turns "root.sync" to false
# since aplay will do the synchronisation
# @category Source / Output
# @param ~id Output's ID
# @param ~device Alsa pcm device name
# @param ~restart_on_crash Restart external process on crash. If false, liquidsoap will stop.
# @param s Source to play
def output.aplay(~id="output.aplay",
                 ~device="default",
                 ~restart_on_crash=false,
                 s)
  def aplay_p(m) = 
    "aplay -D #{device}"
  end
  log(label=id,level=3,"Setting root.sync \
                         to false")
  set("root.sync",false)
  output.pipe.external(
    id=id,
    restart_on_crash=restart_on_crash,
    restart_on_new_track=false,
    process=aplay_p,s)
end
Grab the code!

output.icecast.lame

When preparing this wrapper, we noticed an inconsistency when using the “-x” parameter in lame, which forces audio samples swaping. Depending on the endianess of your architecture, this parameter should or should not be set.

On intel architectures, when using lame 3.97, the parameter “-x” should be present, while when using 3.98, it should not be. The parameter is added when the swap parameter of the wrapper is equal to true.

If you experience issues with garbaged audio data coming out when encoding with lame, you should try to modify this parameter.

# Output to icecast using the lame command line encoder.
# @category Source / Output
# @param ~id Output's ID
# @param ~start Start output threads on operator initialization.
# @param ~restart Restart output after a failure. By default, liquidsoap will stop if the output failed.
# @param ~restart_delay Delay, in seconds, before attempting new connection, if restart is enabled.
# @param ~restart_on_crash Restart external process on crash. If false, liquidsoap will stop.
# @param ~restart_on_new_track Restart encoder upon new track.
# @param ~restart_encoder_delay Restart the encoder after this delay, in seconds.
# @param ~user User for shout source connection. Useful only in special cases, like with per-mountpoint users.
# @param ~lame The lame binary
# @param ~bitrate Encoder bitrate
# @param ~swap Swap audio samples. Depends on local machine's endianess and lame's version. Test this parameter if you experience garbaged mp3 audio data. On intel 32 and 64 architectures, the parameter should be "true" for lame prior 3.98.
# @param ~dumpfile Dump stream to file, for debugging purpose. Disabled if empty.
# @param ~protocol Protocol of the streaming server: 'http' for Icecast, 'icy' for Shoutcast.
# @param s The source to output
def output.icecast.lame(
  ~id="output.icecast.lame",~start=true,
  ~restart=true,~restart_delay=3,
  ~host="localhost",~port=8000,
  ~user="source",~password="hackme",
  ~genre="Misc",~url="http://savonet.sf.net/",
  ~description="OCaml Radio!",~public=true,
  ~dumpfile="",~mount="Use [name]",
  ~name="Use [mount]",~protocol="http",
  ~lame="lame",~bitrate=128,~swap=false,
  ~restart_on_crash=false,~restart_on_new_track=false,
  ~restart_encoder_delay=3600,~headers=[],s)
  samplerate = get(default=44100,"frame.samplerate")
  samplerate = float_of_int(samplerate) / 1000.
  channels = get(default=2,"frame.channels")
  swap = if swap then "-x" else "" end
  mode = 
    if channels == 2 then
      "j" # Encoding in joint stereo..
    else
      "m"
    end
  # Metadata update is set by ICY with icecast
  def lame_p(m)
    "#{lame} -b #{bitrate} -r --bitwidth 16 -s #{samplerate} \
       --signed -m #{mode} --nores #{swap} -t - -"
  end
  output.icecast.external(id=id,
    process=lame_p,bitrate=bitrate,start=start,
    restart=restart,restart_delay=restart_delay,
    host=host,port=port,user=user,password=password,
    genre=genre,url=url,description=description,
    public=public,dumpfile=dumpfile,restart_encoder_delay=restart_encoder_delay,
    name=name,mount=mount,protocol=protocol,
    header=false,restart_on_crash=restart_on_crash,
    restart_on_new_track=restart_on_new_track,headers=headers,
    s)
end
Grab the code!

A wrapper for shoutcast, output.shoutcast.lame and, similarly, output.icecast.aacplusenc and output.shoutcast.aacplusenc are also defined on the same line.

output.icecast.flac

Contrary to mpeg-based encoder, this encoder, which uses the ogg container, is restarted every new song. Indeed, the ogg specifications makes this mandatory in order to be able to create a new ogg track with new metadata.

# Output to icecast using the flac command line encoder.
# @category Source / Output
# @param ~id Output's ID
# @param ~start Start output threads on operator initialization.
# @param ~restart Restart output after a failure. By default, liquidsoap will stop if the output failed.
# @param ~restart_delay Delay, in seconds, before attempting new connection, if restart is enabled.
# @param ~restart_on_crash Restart external process on crash. If false, liquidsoap will stop.
# @param ~restart_on_new_track Restart encoder upon new track. If false, the resulting stream will have a single track.
# @param ~restart_encoder_delay Restart the encoder after this delay, in seconds.
# @param ~user User for shout source connection. Useful only in special cases, like with per-mountpoint users.
# @param ~flac The flac binary
# @param ~quality Encoder quality (0..8)
# @param ~dumpfile Dump stream to file, for debugging purpose. Disabled if empty.
# @param ~protocol Protocol of the streaming server: 'http' for Icecast, 'icy' for Shoutcast.
# @param s The source to output
def output.icecast.flac(
  ~id="output.icecast.flac",~start=true,
  ~restart=true,~restart_delay=3,
  ~host="localhost",~port=8000,
  ~user="source",~password="hackme",
  ~genre="Misc",~url="http://savonet.sf.net/",
  ~description="OCaml Radio!",~public=true,
  ~dumpfile="",~mount="Use [name]",
  ~name="Use [mount]",~protocol="http",
  ~flac="flac",~quality=6,
  ~restart_on_crash=false,
  ~restart_on_new_track=true,
  ~restart_encoder_delay=(-1),s)
  # We will use raw format, to 
  # bypass input length value in WAV
  # header (input length is not known)
  channels = get(default=2,"frame.channels")
  samplerate = get(default=44100,"frame.samplerate")
  def flac_p(m)=
    def option(x) = 
      "-T #{quote(fst(x))}=#{quote(snd(x))}"
    end
    m = list.map(option,m)
    m = string.concat(separator=" ",m) 
    "#{flac} --force-raw-format --endian=little --channels=#{channels} \
      --bps=16 --sample-rate=#{samplerate} --sign=signed #{m} \
      -#{quality} --ogg -c -"
  end
  output.icecast.external(id=id,
    process=flac_p,bitrate=(-1),start=start,
    restart=restart,restart_delay=restart_delay,
    host=host,port=port,user=user,password=password,
    genre=genre,url=url,description=description,
    public=public,dumpfile=dumpfile,
    name=name,mount=mount,protocol=protocol,
    restart_on_new_track=restart_on_new_track,
    format="ogg",header=false,icy_metadata=false,
    restart_on_crash=restart_on_crash,
    restart_encoder_delay=restart_encoder_delay,
    s)
end
Grab the code!