BoomBox AutoDJ Update

The next phase for the changeover from the old ShoutCast AutoDJ to Liquidsoap has been released. Customers are encouraged to check and/or adjust their DJ and Playlist priority settings.

What’s Changed?

Liquidsoap uses a concept called clocks and in order to achieve a seamless changeover, we needed to adjust some database settings. Primarily the priority setting which works fundamentally different in Liquidsoap. A translator has been built which converts settings, but some DJ and Playlists may not fully translate. Therefore customers are encouraged to chack their priority settings and make adjustments as necessary.

How many more conversion phases are planned?

Currently just 2 more. All but two systems have been converted over to CentOS 7 which is required for Liquidsoap and are planned to be completed within the next two weeks. DJ and Playlist settings are already being saved simultaneously for the old ShoutCast transcoder and Liquidsoap. However, more behind the scenes testing and conversion is required before a final release.

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 2.4 RC is here

We are ecstatic to announce that we will be releasing BoomBox 2.4 RC onto all servers in the cluster.

Over the next 24 hours, we will be releasing BoomBox 2.4RC into the backend (servers only), so customers will not notice any immediate difference in the BoomBox web interface (which is still in beta 2.4) except for faster uploads and file management (due to the integration of the new BoomBox dedicated SAN) and more accurate statistics due to full integration of the SoniXCast Media Server, but here are more reasons why folks should be excited…

Full source code rewrite: Historically, adding patches to any software can lead to performance issues as they are designed not to interfere with release code. By rolling in patches into the release code, the overall system performance and stability is enhanced immensely. Also new in this release is the introduction of the Modular Development Methodology (MDM) which will lead to faster feature and patch development and overall more stable and portable future releases.

SoniXCast Media Server (SXMS) 2.4RC: is a fork of the Icecast 2.4.3 media server with built in extensions for recognizing and re-encoding optimized streams for slower connections, full cluster and network media priority support, full backwards compatibility with other media servers like ShoutCast, SteamCast, Real Audio (Darwin) and Wowza, and full Liquidsoap integration.

Liquidsoap 1.3.1: We’ve made the decision to stop development on the SXMS transcoder and instead have integrated Liquidsoap into the SoniXCast Media Server. Liquidsoap is a more mature product which offers almost unlimited programming management capabilities with features like static or dynamic playlists, time-based selection of the audio sources, live DJ interventions, interactive user requests, fully-customizable transitions, e.g. crossfading, speech-synthesis of track metadata and much more. Read more at: http://savonet.sourceforge.net/.

New BoomBox, GML dedicated SAN’s: As some of you have experienced, through the influx of new customers, our old storage area network (SAN) has been pushed to the limit and some have been unable to upload new files. We’ve remedied the situation in this release by introducing two new and separate SAN’s for customer uploaded tracks and the global music library (GML) with a whopping 2 petabytes of capacity a piece! The new SAN’s are fed by our new 43Tbps fiber optic backbone mirrored at four geographic locations throughout Canada which greatly enhances upload speed, security and stability.

What this all means for customers…

Besides the immediate remedy for upload issues and enhanced performance of an updated infrastructure, the Modular Architecture of BoomBox will allow us to release patches and features more quickly and efficiently without affecting base functionality. Issues with the system or a feature can be resolved in minutes instead of days.

Licensing challenges has pretty much stopped the expansion of the relay network into geographic locations outside of Canada, so to remedy that situation, we’ve enhanced our network to recognize connection types (wireless, wifi, ethernet), optimized routing and data transfer and have integrated everything into SXMS, so that we can deliver the highest quality stream the connection will support. Which will answer the issue some older wireless networks are having with drop outs.

But we’re not there yet… We’ve essentially dropped a Ferrari engine into a VW Bug and we now need to update the BoomBox user interface to support all the neat new features and capabilities. Thankfully, the new Modular Architecture will allow us to throw more bodies at development and we will be able to move at faster than a snail’s pace. So keep an eye out for them updates!