BoomBox 3.0

We are Happy to announce the release of BoomBox 3.0

BoomBox 3.0 is here and better than ever. Over 6 months in the making, BoomBox 3.0 is full featured, battle tested and sports a new faster and more robust infrastructure and interface.

As some of you may know, there have been challenges keeping up with growth and occasional service interruption due to high loads. Whitelabel partners have experienced higher than usual response times using the search API and all around system and network management has become untenable for the support team.

Migration

Over the next 3 months (September through November 2017) all accounts will be migrated over to BoomBox 3.0 (current version is 2.4). However, clients will be presented with the option to migrate at their own pace at a time and date of their choosing. Clients will be presented with the option to migrate whenever they log into BoomBox and an easy to use Wizard will step them through the process.

Migration means the hostnames will change, so it is imperative that customers make use of the relay and redirect settings on the BoomBox dashboard to ensure that listeners can find their station after the migration has completed.

Value Added Services and Features

Invariably the question will arise “What about Liquidsoap or the Global Music Library?” Both, along with other projects have been extricated from BoomBox and will be offered separately as value added services or features. This means there will be some service plan and price restructuring over the next months. We are still evaluating development costs and will announce each feature/service release and price separately.

Classic Licensing/Hosting Plans

Current (Classic) plans will retain current pricing, and will be limited to basic Shoutcast server and SoniXCast Transcoder services. These plans are geared towards hobbyists requiring minimal licensing and basic Auto-DJ features.

Professional Licensing/Hosting Plans

Professional plans, priced differently than classic plans, will bundle value added services (like APM or CML as described below) to provide more complex event scheduling and programming management features for stations desiring such operations.

Advanced Program Management (a.k.a. Liquidsoap)

The development of the APM feature required a separate development team and different operating system and as such, stations that desire APM must be provisioned differently.

Cloud Music Library (previously known as the Global Music Library)

Because of it’s dependence on the APM project, the CML will be offered in conjunction with professional plans or as an add-on feature for classic plans.

SoniXFM.Com (Radio Aggregation Services)

Recent interest from current and requirements from new joint venture partners has spurred development of the sonixfm.com website. All development resources not currently allocated to support have been re-assigned to this project slated for release in December 2017.

For the Techies

More technical savvy customers like to interrogate our methods and reasoning from time to time which sometimes leads useful revelations and we welcome the discussion (although we could all do without the breast thumping and the non-conducive ranting). Therefore, we present this high level overview of the changes to the systems and network:

Current BoomBox infrastructure relies on the use of classic dedicated servers using hardware methods to failover the IP-address to a different backup server upon failure. Despite assurances from the provider, this method has proven to be severely lacking. Particularly under heavy listener tune-in and search API loads. Often switches would fail or become bogged down (and thus crash) trying to switch from one server to another leading to service outage.

The new infrastructure makes use of virtual server instances which are redundant across 3 geographically diverse datacenters and are switched by a dedicated and self managed load balancer. On August 16th 2017 we tested the failover infrastructure by funneling 4 million requests per second while simultaneously shutting down 2 of the 3 instances without losing a single ping request. We also performed a load test sending a burst of 40 million requests (3 times our current load) and achieved a maximum average load of 77% across all instances.

For Customers

So what the heck does this mean for me?

Sometime between now and December 2017, when you log into BoomBox, you will be presented with a popup informing you that your account is eligible for upgrade. That means our support team has done the work of replicating and testing your station on the new infrastructure and only the final options must be set and the station switched over.

YOUR RELAY AND REDIRECT LINKS WILL REMAIN THE SAME AFTER MIGRATION.

New customers will be eventually provisioned on the new platform, but, for now, will also have to endure migration at a later date.

Customers have the option click “click away” the popup and plan when to migrate, but will be “annoyed” every time they log in and will be forcefully migrated if ignored for too long. That is a call our support team will make depending on time and resources.

Why All The Fuss?

We are growing too gosh darned quick for the current infrastructure to keep up. In August alone we had over 8 million hits (12 million in July) and that with 5 (we have a total of 30) server clusters disconnected from the search API.

Network hardware is coughing and sputtering under the load and our support team is spending more time arguing with marginally responsive and exceedingly difficult datacenter support technicians than helping customers.

The new infrastructure is ours alone to manage and maintain. We own it (like google owns theirs) and there is no more dorking around with some egocentric 3rd level support lacky.

Network Hardware Issues (Resolved)

SoniXCast Whitelabel partners, producers and customers,

Yesterday, August 7th, 2017 at around 19:00 hours we were noticing higher than usual packet loss on the network hardware servicing CABHS32, CABHS33, CABHS36 and CABHS37 clusters. At or around 03:00 this morning (August 8th, 2017) the aforementioned hardware failed catastrophically and an emergency replacement was performed. Unfortunately that also required restarting the cluster which meant services were offline for a few minutes and those services where monitoring was disabled were not restarted automatically.

In the coming days we will replace the current network hardware with something much more robust that can handle the influx of listeners from sonixfm.com and the global public relay network. In the meantime, we have temporarily disabled search queries for whitelabel partners pending the hardware upgrade. The global public relay was not affected and remains as before available.

The cause for the outage was determined to be a material defect in the networking hardware and although the replacement hardware is expected to function correctly, we predict much higher loads as RDNS propagates and more and more listeners are routed through our network. We are therefore erring on the side of caution and will upgrade the entire SoniXCast AnyCastIP network with better quality hardware.

Whitelabel partners, producers and customers need not be concerned about the hardware upgrade as the systems are clustered and “hot-pluggable” meaning no further disruption of service is expected.

Buffering issues within the global public network should now have been eliminated, however as we replace networking hardware, we expect any buffering issues that may remain to be eradicated.

BoomBox users are encouraged to login to the control panel and check that their services are running correctly. Please, do not hesitate to contact support with any issues.

Your SoniXCast Network Team

Global Public Relay Phase 1 (Canada)

We are happy to announce the final release of the Global Public Relay (GPR) Phase 1 (Canada). This release replaces the old relay and addresses issues some customers were having with buffering during certain times of the day when load was exceptionally high.

As of immediately producers may publish the following to their webpage, tune-in et al…

http://listen.sonixfm.com/[My Station ID]
http://tunein.sonixfm.com:[My Station ID]

BoomBox has been updated to reflect changes and both links can be used alternately as redirect link using the port or as relay using the mount point. For example:

Say that your station id is 8000, your station now has the redirect link http://tunein.sonixfm.com:8000 (or http://listen.sonixfm.com:8000 if you so choose) and a relay link of http://listen.sonixfm.com/8000 (or http://tunein.sonixfm.com/8000 if you so choose).

Please refer to the BoomBox Dashboard page to retrieve your exact links.

Producers do not have to make any immediately changes to their current links. The old relay and redirect links (relay.sonixcast.com, stream.sonixcast.com) are still active and work exactly as the new links do.

Producers will experience more listeners tuning in

The purpose of the global public relay is to take advantage of sonixfm.com’s listenership. SoniXFM receives roughly 750K listener hits a day through partnerships with Apple, Microsoft, Sony and so on… These listeners will now have SoniXCast Stations at the top of their search results when, for example, searching for a radio station by Genre.

More reliable, faster listening and almost no buffering

The global public relay project was designed to be highly available at all times of the day or night. Essentially a cluster of separate nodes on average 5 per geo-location, if one falls out for any reason, the next will step right in a take the load. Listeners experience almost immediate listening pleasure from the moment they hit the play button and buffering is all but eliminated by balancing the load across multiple nodes.

More to come…

This is just phase 1 of the global rollout and only concerns North America. Other global locations are in the works/negotiations with Europe and Asia next in pipeline.

Producer News for August 2017

Howdy, SoniXCast Producers! As we go into our 12th year, some new and exciting developments have occurred that I’m dying to share with you all. Check out the new roadmap for the remainder of 2017 and beyond:

SoniXFM.com

The streaming service aggregation services unit which provides yellow pages services (kind of like shoutcast.com or xiph.org does) to Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and Apple et al., will have its own dedicated team of software engineers starting immediately. I developed the initial prototype back in 2013 to entice commercial consumers and really haven’t done much on it since. Through cooperatives and partnerships, I envision SoniXFM.com will become the central platform for advertising and popularization of radio stations bringing together disparate services Producers are forced to maintain into one comprehensive platform.

Simply Stated: I hope SoniXFM.com will become the website listeners will go to listen to Internet Radio. And instead of maintaining a Nobex App, Homepage, Tune-In/Shoutcast page, keeping up relationships with advertisers and so on…, Producers will be able to do everything from their BoomBox control panel.

Global Public Relay (GPR)

The global public relay initiative was started back in 2016 to address the hike in listenership coming from SoniXFM.com (currently at an average of 746,000 listener hits a day) and the influx of refugees coming from other stream hosting providers or through acquisition (currently at an average of 8,095 listener hits a day). The GPR is essentially a bunch of custom-built on-demand Icecast servers distributed globally that allow listeners to tune into any SoniXCast Station locally with minimal delay and buffering. The rollout is in full swing and Producers should note the following changes.

  1. More geographically located ip-addresses will show up in the shoutcast server connection log which cannot be helped due to the way the GPR works. We have a dedicated staff of network security specialists working to keep the nasty’s away, so there is no need for Producers to intervene and start blocking ip-addresses.
  2. The current tune-in links (stream.sonixcast.com and relay.sonixcast.com) will be retired in favor of shorter, easier to remember and more appropriate sonixfm.com tune-in links. Don’t panic! stream.sonixcast.com and relay.sonixcast.com will remain active forever! We will just recommend using the sonixfm.com tune-in links going forward.
  3. More listeners from more locations. I made adjustments to the search API to favor SoniXCast radio stations meaning, for example, that if an iTunes listener searches for a radio station by genre, a SoniXCast Station will more than likely be at the top of the list of results. SoniXCast producers will soon get a chunk of that 746K listeners a day coming in from sonixfm.com.

BoomBox 3.0

I’ve stopped development on BoomBox 2.5 (beta and release candidate) and will just be putting out patches and fixes for the remainder of August/September. Instead we’re going to focus on the release of BoomBox 3.0 and here’s why:

  1. We now have a team of developers and instead of forcing them figure out of my code, it will be faster to allow them to read through it at their own pace using the tools they are accustomed to on a project that doesn’t have to be maintained daily.
  2. Liquidsoap (replacement transcoder for the current Auto-DJ) requires a certain operating system (Ubuntu or Centos 7) which is different from the one we currently use (Centos 6.9). Over the next 6 weeks we will be setting up test instances and a focus group to evaluate BoomBox 3.0 for a period of time before going into widespread implementation. Volunteers are welcome and we will put out a call-for-action once preparations have been made.
  3. Shoutcast.com changed the way public radio stations are registered which is “hard-coded” into the server itself leaving us no choice but to continue using the shoutcast server until such time as Radionomy decides (if ever) to make the API available for 3rd party use. This really is of no consequence to producers as the SoniXCast Media Server already wraps the current services and acts as the main access point for listeners.
  4. We have too many stations per node. Over the past year we’ve acquired a bunch of stream hosting providers, lived through the third or fourth wave of Radionomy refugees, picked up a load of refugees from the SteamLicensing.com fiasco and now are in talks with Live365. In essence, we’ve gone from 300 shoutcast server instances at the beginning of the year to well over 2000 now and some of the older server clusters are at 60% capacity. Way too close to the top for this cowboy.
  5. We have to move your Radio Station anyways and not only because of capacity as mentioned above. BoomBox 3.0 will be on a totally different operating system running on a separate server cluster. That will mean radio stations will receive a new hostname and possibly a new port. Which highlights the reason why Producers should never publish the direct server link and use the clustered tune-in links (stream.sonixcast.com, relay.sonixcast.com or, preferably, the sonixfm.com links) instead.
  6. The Global Public Library has been a pain in my rear ever since I had to take it down for licensing reasons a few months back and now after spending all that time and money to get it compliant, along comes a partner that will not only provide the same licensed content and more, but offers syndicated news content and a full-fledged advertising network as well. Since I’m spread thinly enough as it is, I decided to work the partnership into BoomBox 3.0 and sonixfm.com instead. Stayed tuned for more on that.

Don’t Panic!

None of the planned changes will happen unannounced or tomorrow and migration will occur in a very structured manner. There is no need to make any immediate changes to your station. Once the rollout of the GPR is complete, we will begin a campaign to notify Producers to update their current tune-in links to the new sonixfm.com ones. Which will make migration easier for everybody. After BoomBox 3.0 is released (sometime in September), all new customers will be setup on it going forward and those who need or want the extended radio automation features migrated on request. Finally at the end of November, beginning December, when listenership is at its lowest, we will make the final push to migrate the remaining stations incrementally.

Torontocast.com

After having a long conversation with one of the owner’s (ex SoniXCast support tech and customer) and after running financial background checks, I’ve decided not to pursue the lawsuit against torontocast.com and have rescinded the cease and desist order. I do this for a few reasons:

  1. The entire action was driven by our attorneys who are rightfully watching out for the company’s interests. However, after talking to SOCAN, we were ensured that torontocast.com is not receiving the same conditions as we are and although they replicated our business model, they have to pay much more for licensing.
  2. You can’t get blood from stone. The owner’s are just hobbyists who decided to start their own operation on a penny budget. I can’t morally justify putting someone in the poorhouse or disrupting business for just being entrepreneurial.
  3. More importantly, the entire action didn’t fit well with my vision of transparency, cooperation and partnership in the industry. Retail stream hosting, although growing, makes up less than 5% of SoniXCast’s total business and we can surely afford to share.
  4. They were frustrated. They wanted certain features now or wanted to get their fingers into our systems. I couldn’t deliver those features at pace that was acceptable to them and nobody touches our systems without a non-disclosure agreement. Arguably, it was a dick move to spy on our setup and replicate it somewhere else, but I, myself, am genuinely flattered. The judgement into their character is just something you’ll have to make for yourself.

 

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!

BoomBox 2.4 Mobile (Sneak Preview)

The developer gnomes have been busy and have released a beta preview version of BoomBox 2.4 which sports an easier-to-use mobile and smart device interface.

BoomBox 2.4 is a complete rewrite of the user interface which will include a simple yet feature rich calendar based event scheduling tool, pre-defined event templates for spots, jingles and ads and a slimmed down interface for faster loading over slow connections.

BoomBox 2.4 will also re-introduce the Global Music Library with even more music titles than ever before. We currently have over 400,000 titles indexed and expect to reach double that amount by the time 2.4 is released.

BoomBox 2.4 will also be completely cloud-based, decoupled from the streaming server altogether in order to decrease response times, be more globally responsive from the browser and to increase scalability.

Another new feature will be the release of port 80 stream proxying which will eventually replace the redirect (permanent) urls as the primary stream access point for listeners.

A mobile device app is in the works, as well as tighter integration with sonixfm.com and social media.

Currently customers can only manage their individual services (server, auto-dj), but new features are added daily and we encourage all to comment about bugs and feature requests.

To view on any mobile device, simply goto: https://bb.sonixcast.com

To view in any browser, just goto: https://bb.sonixcast.com/?mobile=1

We expect the final release date for 2.4 to be around the end of March 2017.

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May Highlights

With the recent influx of Radionomy customers, we find ourselves in expansion mode. The features that many like are our License model and lack of playback restrictions, however we know we need to grow in order to meet demand. Here’s what we got going for the rest of May…

New Servers

We’ll be adding 4 new stream servers to handle the load of new sign-ups. All our servers are running at near capacity and that’s cutting it a little too close to ensure 100% up-time. The new servers will be dedicated for streaming ShoutCast and IceCast radios and each will have a dedicated AnyCastIP node for distribution. We will also be adding 4 new AnyCastIP nodes in Europe to handle the additional network load.

BoomBox Control Panel

We’ve taken in many requests from customers about adding Radionomy styled features to BoomBox and I can assure you all that they’re all on the development plan. But we need to prioritize some items in order to get the masses going, so we’re going to concentrate on getting the global music library, new html5 player and extended playlist manager done. That way new customers will be able to do 90% of what they could do at Radionomy.

SoniXFM.com

There have been some synchronization issues with SoniXFM. That along with player design requests means we will de-couple the web player from SoniXFM and use a customer programmed player in BoomBox until we get the synchronization problems figured out with the SoniXFM system. This change will be transparent for all users. Once you implement the custom player, we will move it to SoniXFM and you won’t have to change a thing.

Support Team

We will be expanding our support team to include regional directors that will specialize in sales and minimal technical support. I will be training these specialists personally to answer the most common questions and technical issues customers may have. They are your primary point of contact for everything SoniXCast and if they don’t know it, they will. I promise.

Thank You!

I want to thank you all personally for considering SoniXCast as your hosting partner and for your patience as we grow. I hope that you will continue to give us feedback, because only that way we can become that what you expect from a streaming and licensing provider.

Brian Walton – Owner – SoniXCast

SoniXCast Licensing FAQ

Here at SoniXCast we try to take the headache out of broadcasting. Many who come on board have questions and concerns that we will try to answer here. However, if you need further clarification or have a special request, we beg you to contact our friendly support department and they will gladly help you any way they can.

Let’s start by going over what we do for you…

On paper, SoniXCast LLC is the legal owner of all internet radio stations hosted within our network in Canada which falls under the jurisdiction of the collection society SOCAN. We submit all the reports to SOCAN and make sure that they stay warm and fuzzy. This saves you the headache of dealing with the ever changing legal climate and ensures your station is properly registered and licensed at all times. In other words: You worry about broadcasting and we help keep you legal.

But there are some limitations and restrictions…

Our umbrella license with SOCAN, like any other license, is limited to the music streamed from our network only. It doesn’t protect you if you use a third party streaming service or share songs with others. Each country has its own laws when it comes to file sharing and they apply to wherever you currently prop your feet. The same applies to what you say during your broadcast. Local liability laws apply, meaning you could find yourself in front of an angry mob if you go off on a rant or play music that is not allowed or is offensive.

Remember that your radio station is hosted in Canada and is legally Canadian. You should state this in any public venue (on your website, in blogs, on social media, at concerts) otherwise your local royalty collection society might feel neglected and cause a legal mess for you. We don’t require that you say your radio is Canadian, but it would be a safe bet if anyone asks. Besides: Canada is a cool multi-lingual country where you can broadcast in any language you like (Wookies are Welcome!)

Play what you want…

If you can find it on iTunes, then you can play it! We, through our partnerships, have affiliate agreements with almost every collection society worldwide which covers the royalty collection of just about every song ever recorded. Creative Commons/Open Source licensing is also supported and we have a waiver system in place for unregistered titles. We also have automatic Creative Commons licensing in place for all speech content which goes into effect each time you re-broadcast. This is useful for syndication of your show, but additional licensing may be required for any music you include. We can help you with that too.

Is SoniXCast legal everywhere?

Yup! Since SoniXCast owns the radio station and it is located in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the collection agency SOCAN which has affiliate agreements with collection agencies in every country. There are no Canadian laws to restrict in which country our broadcast can be heard and we know of no country currently blocking our broadcasts, so SoniXCast can be heard everywhere! SOCAN is pretty good with their record keeping and they put out regular annual reports. Want to see if the collection society in your country is a partner? Check it out here: http://www.socanannualreport.ca/overview/

Can I advertise my radio any way I like?

Yup! Pretty much. The only recommendations are that you make it understood that your radio is hosted in Canada. It wouldn’t hurt to put the SOCAN logo on your website, just to let everyone know you are properly licensed and it would make us super happy if you would put our logo on your site :-). You might also want to check into our affiliate program.

Are there any song restrictions?

Nope. Some countries have music blacklists (Germany for example). Titles that are not allowed over the local airwaves. That doesn’t apply to us. We generally don’t care what you play as long as you understand that if you anger the local citizens, they might come after you with pitchforks. There are no song repetition restrictions either. If you want to setup a stream repeating the word “Duh” all day long, you can do that. Perfect for Musicians who want to showcase their music non-stop.

Can I make money with my radio?

Yup! Knock yourself out. We are only concerned with the music you play. But keep in mind that some local collection societies may require you pay additional fees or that you register if you make radio your business. And you have to pay your local taxes on any income that you make. Best is to contact our legal department before you go hog wild.

What is AnyCastIP?

AnyCastIP is our patented network which sits on top of the Internet and ensures that your broadcast is heard with the same audio/video quality regardless of where the listener is located on this earth (or in space). Developed together with Sony in 2006, AnyCastIP uses variable bitrate (vbr), compression and existing media routing technologies to convert media streams for optimized delivery to cell phones, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles…essentially anything that connects to the internet and can playback media streams. In 2011 Samsung, Microsoft, General Motors (Bose), Roku and Rock-Ola began using white label implementations of AnyCastIP, so if you listen to the radio in your car, on your Xbox or Playstation, chances are you’re listening through AnyCastIP.

Do I need a Dial-up Stream?

No. AnyCastIP compresses and distributes the output of your stream server to 24 globally located network nodes simultaneously at variable bitrates (vbr). Listeners connect to the nearest node and receive audio data optimized for their connection. Variable, read ahead buffering ensures that the stream starts with little or no delay and media optimized routing ensures quick ping backs to your stream queue. Way to technical? Essentially AnyCastIP ensures your stream sounds the same regardless of where you are on the world and regardless of connection speed. So, no Dial-up stream needed.

What is SoniXFM.com?

SoniXFM is a radio directory service developed by request from partners Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. It sports a modern browser interface and has many built-in features for radio broadcasters including seamless social networking integration, integration with 3rd party aggregators like iTunes, Tunein or Dirble, Radio Station profile webpages much like facebook with vanity domain support. And the list goes on… Currently in alpha, a working proof of concept was released in 2014 and we hope to have a beta version completed by August 2016.

What is ShoutBox/BoomBox?

These are our homegrown stream server control panels. ShoutBox, obviously, for managing ShoutCast servers only, BoomBox replaces ShoutBox with additional support for IceCast, Flash Media Servers like Wowza and Windows Media Servers. Both support stream Server and Transcoder (Auto-DJ) management, User (DJ) management and scheduling, full featured music library management, playlist management and scheduling and, of course, AnyCastIP. BoomBox is currently in beta and you can follow development at: http://boombox.sonixcast.com/

How is SoniXCast better than other Stream Hosters?

Well I wouldn’t say we’re better, just better informed. We, like every other Hoster, are limited by the Software (ShoutCast, IceCast WMS, Wowza), Hardware and Network we use. We’ve been in business since 2006 and have watched the legal climate change quite a bit, so we made it our job to understand the legalities of broadcasting.

We are a family business. Not some vulture capital funded corporation geared towards over marketing a mediocre product. Which has its advantages and disadvantages. What we have most is experience. We’ve seen pink elephants dance and pigs grow wings and fly. There is hardly a technical or legal problem we haven’t banged our heads on the table about. More importantly, we understand that each customer is individual and each radio different. We encourage feedback and that you talk to us. It will help keep you from shooting yourself in head in the ever changing legal climate of broadcasting.

Click here to read the full list of affiliate partnership agreements we have with other nations and collection societies: SOCAN Affiliattion Agreements List

Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows

Radionomy is currently suffering extreme network issues according to their facebook page.

Ever wonder why Sonixcast customers never experience such problems? In a word AnyCastIP. Never heard of it huh. Well AnyCastIP is Sonixcast’s patented digital content distribution network which serves as a backbone for all Sonixcast services and works diligently behind the scenes ensuring that broadcasts have the same high quality regardless of where in the world one listens in from. Continue reading “Radionomy Flounders, Sonixcast Grows”