Saturday, October 25, 2008

Could This Work?

So I had an idea the other day. Now usually when I get an idea it either is expensive or gets me into trouble (or both). I don't think that this is either.

We are having bandwidth issues at school. Not a secret to any of you who are in the same division as me. One of the culprits is YouTube. YouTube is a wonderful teaching tool - but it is also a great big bandwidth pig. Lots of our students run it in the backgroud so they can listen to music as they work (and many just use that as an excuse to get out of trouble). If it truly is just for music then the video is wasted bandwidth. We should be pushing internet radio stations instead. If I am not mistaken internet radio should use less bandwidth - it only has the audio part of the stream.

Ok - the problem isn't solved yet but wait until I get to phase two of my idea. I remember a conversation I had with a buddy of mine (who used to be a network tech for another division). Their office was in the same building as one of the schools. All of the office staff (about 7-8 people) listened to internet radio stations. During working hours those 7-8 machines running internet radio where enough to slow the entire school down.

Phase two - How do we provide music to the entire school without slowing everyone down? What about streaming music from our server at school? Only one machine would need to be downloading the internet radio and then distribute it out to the workstations. We should be able handle the traffic within our local network. One machine streaming music vs a bunch plugging the pipe? Sounds like a solution that gives the students what they want and helps us get more work done.

A side benefit of us streaming the music in is that we have some control over whether the music is appropriate or not. (There I go thinking like a teacher again!)

There would be a couple of technical details that would need to be worked out but isn't that what we have a Tech Department for?

So could it work or is there a big ole flaw in the plan?

No comments: