Cloud Services Update 3.0.237

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox update 3.0.237.

  1. With the introduction of the new Clustered NAS (which maintains customer files), the maintenance of Cloud Services has been moved to the system. Customers are no longer required to maintain Cloud Services from the dashboard.
  2. The Cloud Services App has been renamed to Finder (File Manager) in the customer (BoomBox) interface.
  3. A new feature has been introduced: If one creates a folder (has not been tested with subfolders) or uploads an entire folder of music via FTP into the Playlists folder, a playlist is automatically generated in the Playlist manager. However, the playlist remains disabled until reviewed by the station producer.
  4. Permissions management in the Finder app has been revised and should now perform as expected.
  5. A more aggressive service monitoring solution has been introduced which will improve service uptime and availability.
  6. A restart threshold has been set on the auto-dj service and if unable to start after 10 attempts it will be automatically disabled. This addresses the issues reported by producers who use a 3rd party auto-dj services and have not yet discovered that the auto-dj service in BoomBox can be disabled.

Transcoder Patch 3.0.2.233

Please be advised that a patch has been released which repairs issues reported by customers concerning playlist playback. All transcoders are currently being updated by script and users are encouraged to check their individual playlist settings as soon as possible. No other user action is required.

Reported Issue

Periodic and Sequential Playlists would not playback at the subscribed times or not at all

Cause

libxml2 compatibility issue.

Synopsis

After system update, the updated libxml2 library mangled the output from the event prioritizer feeding the transcoder with partial event information. Thusly all playlists were mis-prioritized and fallback went to the first playlist in the queue.

Resolution

The transcoder was re-compiled in order to support extended xml features and pushed out to all servers. Each account with an active autodj is being re-configured and restarted by script.

Important Information

The transcoder update script was started on 01/19/2018 at 19:00 UTC and is expected to take two hours to complete on all systems. The script will automatically re-generate configuration files with their current settings, so users are encourage to verify playlist settings, but to take no other action until after 21:00 UTC or once the autodj (transcoder) has been restarted by the system or otherwise notified (i.e. facebook post) by the support team.

Release: BB v3.0.2

This is a maintenance release which addresses customer reported issues and system management requirements in both the frontend (web interface) and backend server systems. With this release the BoomBox software release schedule enters the production (stable) stage.

Customer Issues Addressed:

  1. Random shoutcast server restarts
  2. User (DJ) connection
  3. Periodic playlist playback
  4. Inability to apply Auto-DJ (Transcoder) changes
  5. Inability to delete playlists and users (DJ’s)
  6. Inaccurate Listener Trends

Customer Impact

Customers will be presented with a modal dialog informing them that an update is available and restart of their services is required is order to apply changes. Customers may choose to apply immediately or at a later time, but if they choose to defer, will be notified at each login that an update is pending and that some features will remain disabled until the update is performed.

Dialog Text

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox 3.0.2 which resolves customer reported issues reported in the previous release. Customers must restart their services in order to finalize the update. This update will cause connection issues for your listeners until service operation has been re-established.

Important: The Auto-DJ (Transcoder) service MAY NOT restart if there are some unapplied changes from the previous version of BoomBox. Producers are encourage to check playlist, dj and auto-dj settings before applying the update and should plan at least an hour downtime in order to resolve any issues that may arise.

Release Specifics

Radionomy (shoutcast.com) released an updated version of the shoutcast server which patches an exploit in the source client management routines which would enable source clients to restart the server. This feature has been disabled and the server service must be restarted in order for the updated version to be applied.

We’ve introduced more aggressive process management routines which force the application of the Auto-DJ (Transcoder) setting changes. Minor changes to playlists and DJ settings (i.e. Schedule adjustment) will (as before) only reload the process and customers will have the option to fully restart the service if settings do not immediately take effect.

A repair in the calculation of listener trends (which presented cumulative instead of average statistics) has been applied globally and does not require application of this release.

Finder v.3.0.1 Update

Finder Feature Highlights

An update to Finder has been released. The following issues have been addressed

  • Drag and Drop uploading of music files from local computer or from the GML has been repaired.
  • Access control rules have been adjusted to restrict downloading or copying of certain content.
  • Playlist folders can no longer be removed or added from the Finder application. Playlist folders are managed in the playlist manager and should not be manipulated by users however this process can still be performed via FTP. Users are advised not to manipulate playlist folders for any reason.
  • GML has been cleaned up with more work yet to be performed.

How-To Assign tracks to playlists

Setting up a playlist for playback is performed in two steps.

  1. Create a new playlist in the playlist manager by clicking the “plus” icon. Name the playlist and configure the desired playback scheduling. Once saved, return to the playlist manager and enable the playlist (green power button). A playlist folder will automatically be generated for you.
  2. Using the Finder application (‘cloud’ icon in BoomBox), navigate to the appropriate “Music” (for your uploaded files) or “GML” (for global content) folder, select the desired files and drop onto the desired playlist folder. Once complete, click on the “Reload Playlists” button to activate changes in the AutoDJ.

BoomBox v3.0.1 Release

BoomBox Version 3.0.1 is a maintenance release which repairs issues introduced in previous releases. This release also concludes the migration of playlist track management and integration into Cloud Services.

Important Information

In order to finalize migration to cloud services, all customers must log into BoomBox, navigate to the AutoDJ settings page and press the Save (floppy) button. Customers who do not perform this operation may experience data loss.

Change Log

  • Upgrade to ShoutCast Server v.2.5.5.733 which repairs runaway playlist issues introduced in v.2.5.5.700 as reported by Radionomy support. Playlist and DJ scheduling now works again as normal. This update also repairs Statistics collection.
  • Status and Statistics Collection repaired and timing adjusted to be more responsive.
  • DJ and Playlist creation issues repaired.
  • Introduction of Cloud File Service with Global Music Library Integration.
  • Introduction of Dynamic Playlist Generation for better accuracy during shuffle routines.
  • Introduced the ability to completely disable the AutoDJ.
  • Introduction of the Playlist Reload feature in order to repair playlists starting over after minor changes to the system.

Playlist Reload Feature

A ‘Reload Playlists’ button has been introduced which eliminates the need to restart the AutoDJ after making changes to a Playlist or DJ.

Cloud Services

Finder Feature Highlights
Major feature highlights of the new Cloud Services Finder App

The Cloud Service introduces three new components to BoomBox and integrates playlist track management into one interface greatly enhancing track management and allround ease of use. Although intuitive for most users, Finder has context sensitive help (tooltips) for each operation the will help until full documentation has been completed.

Cloud Watcher Service: watches the local file system for changes and notifies the autodj component if new files are added to a playlist regardless if uploaded through the finder interface or FTP.

Finder (a.k.a. File Manager): Is the integrated user interface which mimics file management much the same way the File Manager (Windows Systems) or Finder (MacOS systems) does. Music Tracks can be dragged and dropped directly from the local computer or the integrated Global Music Library into playlist folders for immediate playback (uploading multiple files will require playlist reload). Music Tracks can be also listened to (previewed) directly in Finder interface.

Global Music Library: The global music library consists of 60.000+ fully licensed for playlick music files sorted by Genre made available to customers at absolutely no extra cost in order to avoid any legal complications that may arise by uploading one’s own music files. Updated weekly, the total multi-lingual compilation of the Global Music Library is expected to reach 250.000 by the end of the calendar year. Customers who wish to provide music (such as Indie Artist) should contact support for more information.

Folder Structure: The Finder organizes your music library as follows: The main folder Playlists contains subfolders (appropriately named for each playlist) in which the music files reside designated for playback by the AutoDJ. The main folder Music is where all your previously uploaded music files reside. The main folder GML contains music files that you can copy to your playlists (in the main Playlists folder) for immediate playback by the AutoDJ.

Runaway Playlists Synopsis

The last version of the ShoutCast Server eliminated a crucial callback interface which (among other things) helped notify the autodj that data was received thus causing the autodj to ‘race’ through playlists and loop. The issue came to light after Radionomy support responded to our ticket request and advised immediate update of the server. Which was perform yesterday, prior to today’s release.

Music Files

All customers are encouraged to pre-process their music library before uploading. Please ensure that all music files are properly encoded, tagged and named in order to facilitate painless playback in the system. We no longer ‘clean’ music files for you as it slows the system down. Improperly named files may not be recognized by the AutoDJ, so it imperative for all customers to refer to the naming conventions below or by example the Global Music Library.

Shuffled Filename Example (Shuffle enabled in Playlist Settings):
Artist_Name_-_Track_Name.mp3

Sequential Filename Example (Shuffle disabled in Playlist Settings):
001_Artist_Name_-_Track_Name.mp3

 

Coming Soon! New Playlist Manager for BoomBox!

We have immediately begun migrating all customer accounts over to the new BoomBox Playlist Manager v3.0.1 which will allow users much more flexibility creating and managing playlists as well as introducing seamless integration of private and public music libraries. Migration is happening in the background and no service interruption is expected. Migration is expected to be completed for all customers by January 10th, 2018.

Issues Addressed:

  • Playlist and Track Rotation
  • Sequential and Shuffled Playback
  • Track to Playlist Assignment
  • Frequent AutoDJ Restarts

Features Introduced:

  • Full Drag and Drop Support for Track to Playlist assignment, File uploading and downloading, Copying between Libraries and more…
  • Upload directly to Playlist (no need to upload to music library first unless so desired)
  • Copy/Move between Personal Music Library and Playlist or even Playlist to Playlist
  • Global Music Library integration (60,000+ fully licensed, international titles)

Limitations:

Only properly tagged, file name normalized music tracks are guaranteed to playback in the autodj. Files with mangled filenames (i.e. spaces, special characters) could be skipped. Use the file naming format demonstrated in the global music library as example.

Sequential playback is alphanumerical (priority numbers then letters). If you wish a certain sequence during playback, you must edit the filenames of all files in the playlist, adding a number at the beginning of the filename representing the order in which it should be played. You must also disable the shuffle playlist setting in BoomBox otherwise sequential playback will be ignored.

Shuffled Filename Example:
Artist_Name_-_Track_Name.mp3

Sequential Filename Example:
001_Artist_Name_-_Track_Name.mp3

Licensing regulations have changed. As of January 1st, 2018, customers could be held personally liable for any music uploaded to our servers by the performance rights organization responsible for region in which said customer resides. It is therefore important that customers retain the appropriate proof of purchase or waiver from the copyright owner for any and all music uploaded to our systems.

Important Information:

This is an emergency release of release candidate software to address issues with the current production version of BoomBox. All aspects have been fully tested in a development environment and certain features (i.e. cloud drive mounts) disabled in order to afford ultimate stability. However, it is to be understood by all customers that in a production environment, some issues may occur and support should be duly notified by submitting a ticket into our support system at www.sonixcast.com. Multiple tickets concerning the same issue will be merged and tickets regarding issues with the previous playlist system closed as they are addressed by this release. Customers are encouraged to be as factual and detailed as possible when submitting tickets.

BoomBox is in “incremental release” mode meaning that stable (fully tested) patches to the software are released on a regular basis (usually daily) addressing customer and other developmental issues. We time responses to customer feature requests and tickets with said releases.