New Blog & Social Network Footprint

In the past our blog (sonixcast.com/blog) functioned as the central communication portal, however with the recent advent of integrated group collaboration tools, we’ve decided to shut down the SoniXCast community and move everything to Facebook and Google. The blog will now function (as it should) just as the central announcements, information and documentation portal for everything SoniXCast.

We are introducing two new focus groups where Producers, Customers and Consumers can collaborate:

Producers Forum

Membership only group where you can connect with other SoniXCast producers, exchange info and experiences, take part in discussions and help direct the future of Webcasting.

  • On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SXProducers/
  • On Google: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/sxproducers

Premier Support

Our membership only premier support groups are manned 24/7 by our support team. Important: Whenever posting a new technical issue please supply the hostname and main port of your service in order to expedite your request.

  • On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SXSupport/
  • On Google: https://groups.google.com/d/forum/sxsupport

 

SoniXCast & CentovaCast Partner Up

We are happy to announce that SoniXCast is now offering Globally Licensed CentovaCast stream hosting packages!

Click here for ShoutCast Packages and Pricing

Click here for Icecast Packages and Pricing

Why CentovaCast?

CentovaCast is the preferred radio automation control panel by Hobbyists and Webcasters worldwide. It’s mature, stable and well known by Web Radio Producers. And, more importantly, it was requested over and over by our customers. CentovaCast offers features that are not yet available on the BoomBox platform and integrates seamlessly with SoniXCast’s Global Relay Network and SoniXFM™ Aggregation Service. Read more about CentovaCast here. Check out the Demo here. Take the guided Tour here.

What about BoomBox?

Freed of trying to provide legacy support, BoomBox will continue to be developed more towards Professional and Terrestrial Radio Stations which makes up the majority of our customer base and who demand more cutting edge technologies. This change in direction takes BoomBox out of direct competition with CentovaCast as they now address two fundamentally different vertical markets.

Can I switch from BoomBox to CentovaCast?

Unfortunately No. The BoomBox and CentovaCast systems are incompatible and pricing is structured differently. The only way to ‘change over‘ is to cancel your BoomBox service and setup a new CentovaCast service.

What about Licensing?

Like BoomBox, all streaming services are licensed for worldwide broadcast with same restrictions, guidelines and recommendations with the difference that CentovaCast streaming packages do not receive an official Station ID (CSNX-XXXX) and are instead licensed under our umbrella license agreement with SOCAN. Read more about SoniXCast Global Licensing here.

Hosting Infrastructure

CentovaCast services are maintained in our AnyCastIP™ global network with over 50 geographically dispersed relay nodes and hosted on our cutting edge failover virtual server infrastructure technology which offers unmatched uptime and availability.

What about Resellers?

Unlike BoomBox, SoniXCast offers multi-tiered reseller and affiliate programs for CentovaCast services. At the time of writing, price structuring was still being developed, but those interested are encouraged to contact support@sonixcast.com and ask about the program. The release of the Reseller program will be announced separately.

What about Bundling?

Yes. SoniXCast will offer CentovaCast and CPanel Web Hosting bundled packages. At the time of writing, the team was still working on price structures and once finished, the release of bundled packages will be announced separately.

New Panic Button Feature in BoomBox

We are happy to announce the new Panic Button Feature in BoomBox 3.1!

The panic button (heartbeat icon, upper right menu of the boombox control panel) feature executes repair routines that will fix issues most commonly reported by producers. Here is a list of repair routines:

  • Repairs directory permissions
  • Synchronizes Passwords (Services, FTP and Account)
  • Rotates Service Logs
  • Cleans Temporary Directories
  • Re-Writes Service Configuration Files
  • Restarts Services (Server, AutoDJ)

Important: While the panic button feature will not repair all issues, it does allow producers to help themselves quickly without having to wait on the support team and is recommended to try first before submitting a support request.

Read the BoomBox Documentation for more information.

Interim Update Playlist & DJ Manager

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We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox Playlist & DJ Manager version 3.1sc. This interim release addresses customer reported issues and finalizes the user interface conversion for the upcoming release of BoomBox Liquidsoap.

Patches in this version

  • The inability for some browsers to save playlist settings or apply folder changes.
  • Upgraded UI components (which partially caused playlist saving issues)
  • Changes made to Playlists or DJ’s would not immediately be affected in the AutoDJ service.
  • AutoDJ service would randomly crash for no reason.

What’s New?

  • Complete rewrite of the user interface replacing deprecated components (dropdowns, checkboxes…) with Bootstrap 4 standardized components.
  • More management functionality added to the Playlist and DJ Manager overview tables.
  • Elimination of browser specific code bettering Mobile Device compatibility.
  • Added more Recurrence scenarios for added programming flexibility.
  • Larger Icons for better readability.
  • Updated documentation and usage examples.

Overview Pages

The Playlist & DJ Manager Overview pages have been completely rewritten now using Bootstrap 4 standardized components and larger icons for better readability and mobile device compatibility. Producers will appreciate the added management capabilities like being able to adjust Priority, Recurrence, Shuffle and Repeat settings directly from the overview page.

Editor Pages

Like the Overview pages, The Editor pages have been completely rewritten for speed, and compatibility. Not much was changed in the layout, however new Date and Time Pickers were implemented to facilitate ease of use as well as larger buttons and icons to aid readability.

BoomBox Finder Updated to 2.28

We are happy to announce the update of BoomBox 3.1 Finder File Manager Application to version 2.28. This release resolves customer reported issues and general security concerns:

  • Hardening of underlying security system which jails users to their home directory.
  • Separation of log and backup folders.
  • Expanded the max upload limit to 2 gigabytes.
  • Repaired the archive extraction routines.
  • Implementation of the Flysystem file system to facilitate the use of dynamic FTP ports and 3rd party cloud service providers like Google Drive and AWS (coming soon).
  • Repaired global music library (GML) access for all users.
  • Expanded browser support to include Contana (IE) and Opera.
  • Expanded support for mobile devices.

Re-Introduction of FTP

FTP was globally disabled a few months ago as some producer data was deleted by the malicious acts of hackers. Before re-enabling FTP we had to come up with a concept to protect users. We built a security layer into our firewall which detects and reports malicious FTP activity (like trying to delete too many files at once). Those who wish to use FTP clients may do so again and will find access information on the BoomBox Dashboard page.

Note: Another feature we developed for FTP (as it is not natively supported) is dynamic port allocation. SoniXCast FTP does not listen on the standard ports for security reasons, but will also change the listening ports at random intervals as an added security feature against hackers. It is therefore important that those who use 3rd party FTP clients check the BoomBox Dashboard for the current FTP port before trying to connect.

Implementation of Flysystem

Flysystem is a PHP agnostic file system library which enables the transparent management of diverse file systems across the network. Besides simplifying the use of the Finder application and internal volume management, Flysystem also supports the integration of third party cloud service providers like Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3. BoomBox is currently being expanded to support this feature.

BoomBox 3.1 Patch for Chrome

We are happy to announce the release of the Chrome Browser Cache patch for BoomBox 3.1.

The Issue:

Chrome Browser (like Mozilla [Firefox]) uses proprietary caching to cache web pages for faster viewing. With the update to Bootstrap 4 in BoomBox 3.1, Chrome specifically ignored the standard directive to empty said cache when using forms resulting in some features not working correctly. For example: Server, AutoDJ, individual DJ and Playlist pages would not display all settings. Other Browsers like Opera, IE and Firefox were not reported as having the same issue, however the patch will affect them as well.

The Fix:

We added code that would force Chrome and other browsers (IE, Firefox) to NOT cache pages containing forms, force loading the current values from the database.

For Customers:

Customers who experienced issues changing individual settings for the Server, AutoDJ, or individual DJ’s and Playlist’s are encouraged to login to BoomBox and try again. Please report any issues to support@sonixcast.com.

AutoDJ Patch 3.1.1.08

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox AutoDJ patch version 3.1.1.08 which resolves the following reported customer issues:

  • Unable to save existing DJ and Playlist settings
  • Unable to create Playlist
  • Invalid folder configuration
  • Track Folder not created

Customers who were having issues with the AutoDJ are encouraged to login and try again and to report any continuing or new issues to support@sonixcast.com.

AutoDJ Patch

We are happy to announce that we have released a patch that resolves reported issues with the AutoDJ.

BoomBox Patch 3.1.1 includes the following fixes:

  • Incorrect display of form values on some browsers
  • Saving of AutoDJ settings on some browsers
  • Adding and Deleting DJ’s
  • Adding and Deleting Playlists

The primary reason why some customers were having issues saving AutoDJ settings was due to undocumented changes in the JQuery library which would send only partial form data to the API. This forced BoomBox to fallback to default configuration settings resulting in some values not being recognized by the system.

Customers who had difficulties with the AutoDJ are encouraged login to BoomBox and try again. And please report any further issues immediately to the support@sonixcast.com team.

Upgrade CABHS35

As part of ongoing development we will immediately begin upgrading CABHS35.sonixcast.com to the latest version of BoomBox 3.1. Customers who have services on CABHS35 are encouraged empty their browser cache before using the control panel. In addition an email will be sent to each customer affected informing them of possible pitfalls and temporary workarounds as the ip-address will be changing. The migration will occur on ALL BoomBox servers as an operating system change is required in order to support the Liquidsoap* implementation.

Features Released in BoomBox 3.1:

  • Upgrade to Bootstrap 4.1 with a simpler more mobile and handicap friendly interface.
  • More accurate statistics and statistics collection.
  • More speed through decentralized object loading.
  • CDN enhancement with more than 20 geographic locations.
  • Global Music Library for everyone.
  • First implementation of the Liquidsoap* transcoder (Auto-DJ).
  • Integrated help and examples.

*Liquidsoap Implementation

In this initial release, Liquidsoap merely duplicates the functionality of the previous SoniXCast transcoder and new features will be announced in steps. The purpose is to allow customers time to familiarize themselves with the new system before being exposed to additional features and to allow the development team time to document fully.

Expected Issues and Pitfalls

As with any major server migration, worldwide DNS (host name to ip-address translation) replication can always be an issue. The Liquidsoap* Implementation requires a different operating system than the one we are currently using which means a new server (with a new ip-addresses) must be configured and setup for use. In addition we are migrating to virtual private servers (VPS) and floating ip-addresses in order to have more control over the hardware making for a more robust and distributed system thereby eliminating potential outages.

Customers experiencing issues using the hostname cabhs35.sonixcast.com are encouraged to use the following ip-address <sent via email> in order to broadcast live or in rare cases access the BoomBox control Panel for the next 24 hours only and then must change back to the hostname as the ip-address may change again at anytime for security purposes.

BoomBox 3.1 is a complete rewrite of the 3.0.8 system which was necessary for the Liquidsoap* Implementation and operating system change. Although thoroughly tested, in rare cases there might be bugs and users are encouraged to contact support@sonixcast.com immediately with any problems they observe.

BoomBox 3.0.8 Release

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox 3.0.8.

Primarily a maintenance release, we are introducing a few new features specifically in the Finder Cloud File Manager that will make maintaining BoomBox even easier for Producers.

New Features

We’ve rebuilt the Finder File Manager to be even more secure and stable, but now producers can view and download Server and AutoDJ logs directly in the browser (My Home/log folder) as well as download weekly backups (My Home/backup) of their Station configuration and data. Music (My Home/music) uploading has been made even faster and more reliable through multipoint access control (uploading partial files to multiple servers at once and pushing to the main instance). But there’s more…

What’s New?

  • Faster page loading and more responsive Service Control through Decentralized Data Clustering (multiple databases serving multiple instances from multiple geographic locations)
  • Better service monitoring and control (monitoring web page and api coming soon)
  • Better and faster statistics and status data collection
  • Decentralized Media File Management, Multipoint Cloud Support and Sony Network Prioritization (for Movie Producers and Professional Radio Operators)
  • Faster overall response times with the addition of 14 more nodes dispersed geographically
  • Fixes and patches too numerous to mention here