Since the early days of SikhNet I have enjoyed live internet broadcasting. When I started SikhNet radio back in 1996 I used to broadcast the music that I was listening to while working on my regular job. This was back when I did SikhNet in my free time. Over the years we did quite a few live audio and video broadcasts. There is something exciting about tuning into things that are happening live somewhere else in the world. Actually…even tuning into our local Gurdwara from home is great.
One of the things that I have always wanted to do was to create a network where you could watch or listen to Kirtan from Gurdwaras all over the world. I feel like we are one step closer in this direction. Live streaming audio/video technology, and internet access has progressed quite a bit since the 90’s. It is now easier than ever for Gurdwaras to broadcast live with a simple computer and internet connection.
For the past few days I have been testing different things related to this project. We have added two new radio channels for SikhNet, "Western / Non Traditional" and "Classical Raag" which is in addition to the existing "channel". We have also added live broadcast streams from six Gurdwaras from India, Canada, and the USA. So any time of day or night you can tune into Kirtan that is happening live somewhere in the world.
I have tried to make the radio streams as easily accessible as possible. You can click on the little web page player buttons…or click on the player links to launch the audio in the player of your choice. This way you won’t have to download any software. For those of you who listen at work (and have firewalls blocking web content) I have setup the radio in a way that if you have internet access you should be able to tune in. When I have time I also plan to provide some HTML code for any of you who have websites and want to add a player button so that your visitors can tune in to any of the radio channels.
The next stage of the plan is to help as many Gurdwaras as possible become part of the SikhNet Radio Network. The first choice would be Gurdwaras that have Kirtan on a regular basis every day of the week. Someone in the community would need to be responsible for getting things setup (dedicated computer, internet access, audio feed to computer). I would then help with info on how to get setup and give SikhNet server info for the broadcast. We could also host for single large events…but to start we plan to build the network of regular Gurdwara broadcasters. If any of you who are reading this want to get your Gurdwara broadcasting live online then let me know. Also let me know if your Gurdwara is already doing a live broadcast.
Ok, so now you have read all this and are probably wanting to check it out right? Well, head on over to SikhNet Radio Network to have a listen. Please keep in mind that everything is still "pre-beta" (if you want to call it that) and a work in progress. You might notice things changing around or get disconnected (when I have to restart the server for a config change). It was only this evening that I finished getting some of radio broadcasts setup and added the audio stream from Harimander Sahib. Enjoy….and let me know what you think. If you have problems that are consistent let me know too.