WXDU 88.7 FM Duke University Radio PLAYLISTS: Current | Past 10 Days LISTEN NOW: MP3 / Other
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WXDU 88.7 FM
PO Box 90689
Duke Station
Durham, NC 27708
919-684-2957
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WXDU's Mission
WXDU, as a member of the Duke University Union, exists to inform, educate, and entertain both the students of Duke University and the surrounding community of Durham through quality progressive alternative radio programming. WXDU seeks to give its staff the freedom to pursue their personal aesthetic within the framework of a cohesive format. WXDU aims to provide the listener with an alternative viewpoint untainted by commercial interests. WXDU resolves to maintain good relations with the music industry without compromising its integrity and nationally recognized commitment to quality programming. WXDU resolves to remain a laboratory where all members are free to make and learn from their mistakes.
NOW PLAYING:

Web Stream Upgrades

We've put some effort into improving our web streams recently, and now that the work is pretty much done, I thought I'd do a quick writeup.

First off, it's worth pointing out that for the past little while, we've actually had four streams for you to choose from. They're all linked from the Internet Streams page, which you can also reach from the "Other" link in the upper-right-corner of every page.

In addition to the 128k MP3 stream that is at the main Listen Now link (and playable via the mini-player on the homepage), we have three other varieties for you to choose from:

  • 192k MP3 -- will hypothetically sound better than the 128k stream. Guaranteed to use 50% more of your bandwidth!
  • 128k OGG -- perhaps you're on a system that supports OGG and doesn't support MP3, or perhaps you're just morally opposed to proprietary codecs. Either way, we've got you covered.
  • 96k AAC -- if you're listening via your cellular data plan, you may be interested in this one.

Behind the scenes, we've made some changes that I'm pretty excited about. The biggest one is the Aphex Compellor that processes both our over-the-air signal and our stream. Without getting too scientific, it helps ride the audio levels on those occasions when our DJs are too busy dancing around the control room. It sounds SO MUCH BETTER than what we were using before.

Once the signal hits the Compellor, it's now 100% digital until it gets to your computer. We're a Linux shop for the most part, and for the longest time it was difficult to find sound cards with digital inputs that sounded decent and had full Linux support. That has all changed lately with the widespread adoption of the Class 2 USB Audio spec. We get audio from the Compellor into the computer via a HiFimeDIY UX1, which is a solid little box that will also double as a portable Digital-to-Audio convertor & headphone amp in a pinch.

Once the stream is in the computer, we use the following open-source software to get it out to you:

If you're still reading at this point, you're probably some kind of computer audio nerd. If so, and you have questions or want to compare notes on your own streaming setup, feel free to drop me a line!