Nominated in the category
2. Research & Development
LAUT AG / Seitenbau GmbH
Stream live from wherever you are.
laut.fm/live is a hardware and a software project: An audio-cable and an app for your phone. Anyone can plug the cable into their mobile, start up our app and stream live from wherever they are. This may be a DJ from a club, a promoter from an event or just your regular couch-potato with an urge to communicate.
Detailed project description
– Stream live from wherever you are
– Connect our cable from any audio source into the headphone jack of your smartphone, start up our app and you’re live
Do you have DJs among your friends? I am not talking about the likes of Paul van Dyk, I mean the passionate, record-buying lunatics who spend their weekends in small clubs or bars selecting the tracks for the evening? Well, we do. And quite frankly – a lot of them. Some live in our hometown Konstanz, some in Munich, some in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg …
Every weekend, we read their social media announcements: Soul + Funk tonight at 10:00 pm. Come to the club. Well, I’d love to, but here I am in Konstanz and you’re so far away from me. So we thought: What if we ask our DJ friends to live broadcast their sets? It’s 2017, we all have smartphones with data flatrates, so just pop in a cable and stream it somewhere, right? Our very own laut.fm even features the possibility to stream live, so – just do it.
So we tried to buy such a cable, cinch to 3,5mm mini-jack. Note what I said there? Cinch to 3,5mm mini-jack. The direction is important, because we want to go from the DJ mixer to the smartphone. We all have those cables at home, but they were all designed for the opposite direction. Yes, direction matters when sending audio signals! Well, amazon will surely sell one … wait, what? No such product on amazon? We didn’t believe it: No such thing on the entire internet!
That’s where our project started. A friendly electrician from the neighbourhood tinkered a first sample. The trick is to adjust the output down to a level where it meets the mic-in of the smartphone. We tried it out and it worked. Here’s the details: The audio signal is taken from the source, e.g. a DJ mixer. In the cable, there is an attenuator that allows for line-level to mic-level conversion. Finally, the signal is dispensed on the mic-ring of the jack into any given smartphone. We were happy!
That’s when we started to go wild:
Let’s design an app, based on our very own User Generated Radio™ laut.fm. What is laut.fm, you ask? To quote Jello Biafra: “If you don’t like, what’s on corporate radio – make your own!” laut.fm offers an easy-to-use, browser-based interface to make your own legal online radio station. We offer the technical package and handle the licensing, therefore we reserve the right to play up to four audio ads per hour. laut.fm is free for DJs and the listeners. There are thousands of different stations including every musical genre you can imagine. Yes, that one, too.
So, to sum it all up: DJs are now able to plug in our cable into their mobile phone, start up our app and – given they have a free laut.fm account – stream live from wherever they are. That’s what we did.