You too can be a BoomBox Beta Tester

As we get closer to the next release of BoomBox (v2.4), anybody who is already a SonixCast customer (even Trial customers) can watch development in real-time simply by going to https://bb.sonixcast.com and logging in with your BoomBox username and password.

All customers are encouraged to make suggestions and give feedback in the BoomBox Development Forum here and in some cases may actually see their suggestions become part of the final release.

We don’t have an official release date as of yet, however we are talking weeks instead of months and everything that is currently available is fully functional and you can work with it just like a fully released version. We have also discontinued development on BoomBox 2.3 to concentrate on releasing 2.4 as quickly as possible.

March News

Global Relay Network

With the release of global relay network, some customers have inadvertently banned the relay not understanding that the ip-address connecting to their stream was the global relay. That’s our fault for not notifying customers before hand. So from now on we will announce the ip-address of each relay as each region is rolled out. For now all customers should allow the ip-address 192.99.89.153 (located in Montreal Canada).

BoomBox Media Server

Customers can get a sneak preview of the BoomBox Media Server version 2.4 based upon the open source icecast project at http://relay.sonixcast.com or http://relay.sonixfm.com. Check out this story for more details.

DMCA Takedown Notices

SoundExchange (Sony) is again sending out DMCA takedown notices to US aggregators like Tune-In and Dirble and although they are not specifically targeting SoniXCast Radios, some customers have had their Tune-In pages taken down. To be clear: This doesn’t mean customers are broadcasting illegally. In fact it’s the other way around. SoundExchange and the DMCA have no legal jurisdiction in Canada. Tune-In is playing it safe however and honoring Sony DMCA takedown notices for foreign radios even though they don’t legally apply. We live in strange times.

New Web Hosting Product Line

With the acquisition of Montreal Hosting Ltd. a few months ago, we picked up a high availability, modern web cluster which enables us to offer high quality cPanel Web Hosting at highly competitive prices ($9.96/month for the Unlimited Package). In light of the recent Sony activity, now is as important as ever to move your web hosting to Canada. Performance Rights Organizations in many countries (i.e. US, Germany and Italy) base their claims of jurisdiction quite often on the ip-address of the website and customers are barraged with claims of copyright violations. It has never been more important to eliminate any doubts that you are broadcasting from Canada. It’ll save you a lot of headaches.

BoomBox 2.4

Many have taken a look at the BoomBox Mobile 2.4 and resonance has been awesome to say the least. Development continues and hinges on the release of the global relay network, BoomBox Media Server and expansion of the AnyCastIP network. With the adoption of the WebRTC protocol, broadcasters will be able to broadcast directly through BoomBox and stream Flash media, but probably the most exciting development on the horizon is the seamless integration with SoniXFM.com.

SoniXFM is our radio aggregation service much like Dirble and Tune-In, but on steroids. Through partnerships with Clear Channel, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Sony (believe it or not), the sonixfm.com platform can already be found on mobile devices everywhere and we’re injecting social media features into it as well. Making sonixfm.com a one stop popularization platform for ALL broadcasters.

BoomBox 2.4 will also see the release of our own directory service yp.sonixcast.com and yp.sonixfm.com as well an API for developers. We are also rebuilding our WebWidgets website embeddable widgets platform, rebuilding our player to use the global relay network (so you can be heard behind firewalls as well) and a mobile app for Google, Apple and Microsoft devices is in the works.

New Global Relay Network Released

Now available at relay.sonixcast.com or relay.sonixfm.com!

As part of our continued commitment to provide the best global broadcasting solutions, our development gnomes have released the SoniXCast global relay network.

What it does…

The global relay network (GRN), once completed, will consist of 7 nodes (one for each major continent) that will relay SoniXCast stream services via a super fast dedicated fiber optic backbone to each location resulting in better performance and lower buffer rates.

This is especially important for mobile devices as the transfer rate of each stream service then equals that of the capacity of most 4G wireless networks. Resulting in smoother player startup and more reliable network connections.

What does this mean for Broadcasters?

Besides raising the quality of your listeners experience, the global relay network broadcasts through port 80 eliminating the problem of listening to your radio behind a firewall.

Like the current permanent url feature, each mount point receives a unique number related to the radio’s call-sign which never changes as long as you host with SoniXCast. Even if you temporarily suspend your service and re-open at a later date. In fact, the permanent url’s will forward to the actual relay mount point once network build up is complete.

Do you use a 3rd party tool or aggregator to present or collect listener statistics? Well now gathering that data will be faster and more reliable as it is presented in near real-time. That will speed up your website and thoroughly eliminates issues with 3rd party aggregators like Tune-In, and Dirble or tools like RadioToolbox. And because you can query over port 80, there is no need to open up firewall ports on your computer.

In addition to having your Radio listed on ShoutCAST.com, it will also be listed in the dir.xiph.org (Icecast) radio directory. Vanity mount points (i.e. relay.sonixcast.com/MyRadio or relay.sonixfm.com/MyRadio) will be a value added service expected to be provided in BoomBox 2.4.

What about my listeners?

Well besides the obvious faster connection and better performance, broadcasters can stream at a higher bitrate providing a higher quality listener experience without worrying about dial-up or limited network connections. Each listener tune’s into the node closest to their listening device or computer which compresses and serves the stream in an extremely efficient fashion. Making it possible to listen to a 320Kbps stream on a cell phone in the backwoods of Australia while minimally affecting data usage.

Your radio will be easier to find as Icecast’s directory service is second only to ShoutCAST’s in popularity. Also you will benefit from our partnerships with other radio services like iHeartRadio, Microsoft’s Groove, Samsung’s ANT and Rock-O-La Jukeboxes.

Other cool features…

The global relay network is a sneak preview of the BoomBox streaming media server based upon the open source Icecast streaming media server source code and customized to integrate seamlessly with our AnyCastIP network.

Additional features include:

  • Multiple yellow page support (YP) support (shoutcast.com, dir.xiph.org and pending yp.sonixfm.com)
  • RTMP protocol support (Flash audio and video)
  • WebRTC protocol support (for broadcasting from the web browser and mobile devices)
  • Integrated source client (for auto-dj features like playlist and dj management and scheduling)

Stay tuned for more features!