Technology News: Audio Stream of Council Meetings

Earlier in the summer Council approved an idea by the Information Technology staff to broadcast all of our Monday night meetings through live internet audio streaming. This realizes a shared vision by council and staff to further promote transparency in our Town Hall.

Through experimentation with our audio system, a $50 mixing board from ebay ,  inexpensive audio streaming software and a reconditioned PC we have been able to capture, and save,  the audio stream from Monday’s meeting.  In our tests we have also been able to stream the broadcast live via various web browsers. There are a few tweaks to be made but overall the quality is amazing, given that the budget was less than $250. The link below takes you to the audio from the September 19th meeting.  There are still a few processes to be worked out before going live with this project.  Any comments you have will help us understand the user’s needs and assist with the development.

Audio Stream (95 Mb .wav file)

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kelly Davis
Manager of Information Technology

14 thoughts on “Technology News: Audio Stream of Council Meetings

  1. Jason Edge

    Good news and great idea. Lets get this thing going so we can all hear what happens at council on Mondays. Is this just going to be alive stream or are you going to archive the audio on line?

    1. Kelly Davis - Moderator Post author

      Hi Jason, good question. The intent at this time is to stream the audio live and keep an archive on-line. We are trying to pull the resources together to facilitate the potentially large audio file archive and deliver it in a user friendly manner.

  2. Marcus Antaya

    I’m really looking forward to hearing this weeks council session. I hear it was quite a performance.

    I’m glad the town it’s taking positive steps forward to cut down on the rumors and mis information that can be floated around when people get things second hand.great work Kelly and the town IT dept

    1. Kelly Davis - Moderator Post author

      Hi Marcus, thanks for the comments and thanks for popping in and volunteering to help us with the recordings. I’ll try to drop you a line next week and show you the setup. Any feedback on ways to improve the audio is welcome.

  3. Marcus Antaya

    Just out of curiousity, will these be available for download, ie podcast? I really don’t have hours to sit in front of my computer, but would love to listen to it in the car.

    Just a thought…

    1. Kelly Davis - Moderator Post author

      hi Mike, at this time the archived audio streams from council meetings can be found on the Agendas & Minutes page on the Towns web site (click here). We haven’t started broadcasting live yet. I anticipate we’ll start doing that within the next couple councils. There are a couple issues we’re trying to work out before pushing out live to the public.
      Kelly Davis

  4. Linda Anderson

    Hi Kelly,
    I have been told by a few people that they are able to listen to a live stream of council, and yet, no matter how many times I try to find it I can’t seem too. Is there a link somewhere on the town site to click?

    1. Kelly Davis - Moderator Post author

      Hi Linda, no there is no live link yet. During our testing there was a constant “hum” in the recording. I didn’t want to go live with the broadcast until we figured this out what was causing this problem. A couple local audio guys stepped up to the plate and volunteered to help us eliminate the issue. As of this morning (following last night’s meeting) the hum is gone. We are considering going live for this Mondays meeting (Dec 5). I’ll put something out via our facebook, twitter and this blog announcing how you can tune in.

  5. Mike Cloutier

    In case you are interested, I was able to export your recent council meeting .wav audio that weighs in at 124 MB (about a meg a minute) down to 13.56 MB with very little degradation using QuickTime and the QualcommPureVoice algorhithm and a low bps rate (13.89 kbps compared to your 128 kbps). I cut the bit rate almost in half with a little degradation and got the file down to 6.7 MB. I also exported it to MP4 to 7.5 MB with acceptable results with 8 kbs bit rate.

    These export settings are right out of the box QT Pro. It might be worth the $30.

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