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BoomBox Updated to 2.3.21

In this update we re-worked the server and auto-dj configuration pages, added monitoring and auto-restart capabilities and performed an overall code cleanup to speed browser loading and UI response.

Details:

  • Rebuilt, minified and moved to CDN the UI scripts for the server and auto-dj configuration pages to facilitate better browser performance.
  • Added monitor feature which allows user to enable or disable the periodic checking of services and restarting them in the event of crash or server restart. This addresses the issue some customers were having with disabling the auto start of the auto-dj and the issue some were having restarting their auto-dj due to the inability to access the BoomBox frontend.
  • Added Auto-Restart feature which enables users to auto restart services on configuration changes. Currently only applied to the services configuration page. DJ and Playlist configure pages pending the next release. This addresses the issue of users forgetting to restart services after a configuration change and the frustration that occurs.
  • Revised the paging listing in the User Music Library (UML) and Global Music Library (GML) has been 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500

Important All customers should login to BoomBox and make requisite changes to their configuration.

Up to this point it was impossible for us to infer which customer was using the auto-dj feature or not, so monitoring of the auto-dj service has been enabled for all customers in the system. The monitoring system will automatically check and start the service if it is offline. If this is not the desired affect, login to BoomBox and disable the Monitor option in the Auto-DJ section of the services page.

Human hand drawing partnership puzzle on the whiteboard

SoniXCast Grows through Acquisitions and Partnerships

(Montreal: January 10th, 2017) Today SoniXCast announced expansion of their retail hosting operations through acquisition of four Canadian stream hosting providers expanding their reach to include additional data center’s in the cities of Toronto, Dartmouth, Quebec and Vancouver making SoniXCast the largest retail stream hosting provider in Canada. The names of the companies involved in the acquisitions remain undisclosed by request of the outgoing proprietor’s pending a formal announcement that will be made once all legal formalities have been resolved.

The acquisitions involve customers on the popular CentovaCast platform which is a competitor of SoniXCast’s BoomBox software and the management team at SoniXCast has indicated that all customers will be converted over to BoomBox by the end of the year.

“BoomBox has reached a stage in which it can mirror many of the features found on many popular platforms including CentovaCast and customer demand is now pushing development to look beyond the legacy stream server platform.” SoniXCast founder and BoomBox lead developer Brian Walton stated today.

Today’s announcement comes right after bellmedia’s disclosure that they will be partnering with Clear Channel and SoniXCast to provide iHeartRadio media services in Canada on the AnyCastIP platform. Since partnering with Clear Channel last year, SoniXCast has expanded listenership 10 fold on it’s radio platform and expanded to 4 countries in the North American region.

As reported by the AP (www.ap.org)

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BoomBox Latest Patches and Updates

Source Client Interruptions: Customers on cabhs33 and cabhs34 were experiencing issues with the server component dropping source clients at random times of the day. This was due to the fact that the newer systems had updated operating system kernels that included process prioritization which was incompatible with the shoutcast server executable which caused it to restart internally. We repaired the issue by excluding the shoutcast executable from the process prioritization queue and setting the process priority to maximum value. This issue did not occur on other servers in the SoniXCast cluster as they have an older version of the operating system installed without process prioritization support. However future system updates will include such support, so patches have been rolled out to all servers within the cluster in order to avoid future outages.

Event Scheduling Issues: Related to the previous issue, the transcoders (Auto-DJ) were not properly reloading, meaning that that setting changes and events were also not being reloaded. We’ve repaired this issue as well on all servers.

Development Updates: We’ve replaced the timer which polls services and makes the frontend more responsive for users with an updated timer that uses less resources and resolves the issue of high memory use in the browser.

uptimerobot

SoniXCast has partnered with UptimeRobot.com to provide real-time monitoring solution for all SoniXCast services. Useful for diagnosing connection problems, consumers can view the current status of all SoniXCast services including the BoomBox control panel, Api, CDN, Nameservers, Servers, AnyCastIP and corporate websites.

We are offering customers two status pages where they can check on SoniXCast Web Services:

https://www.sonixcast.com/uptime: Is our own homegrown solution which is built into BoomBox and all other Web Services and Sites and display’s verbose uptime graphs and status’ for each SoniXCast Web Service.

http://status.sonixcast.com/: Provided by UptimeRobot has been setup in case of the unlikely event that the SoniXCast CDN (provided by Amazon S3) goes down. Users will need to enter “SoniXCastStatus16” in order to login and view current status.

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We are proud to announce the release of our Global Music Library (GML) for BoomBox 2.2. With it producers can choose from over 100,000 registered titles to add to their playlists. No more uploading, organizing or tagging tracks. Just search for the tracks you like or add all from a particular genre build your station in minutes instead of days.

 

 

GML Left Side ViewHundreds of Thousands of Titles updated Daily

We draw new titles from multiple worldwide sources, process ’em, tag ’em and put them up for use by SoniXCast Radio Station producers on a daily basis. Besides the usual sources (record company mustering), we also tap into the indie and creative commons libraries. Even language specific titles like from Germany, France and Asia!

 

 

gml-genres-openExclusively built for BoomBox and SoniXCast Radio Stations

Integrated directly into BoomBox (Our own homegrown Radio Automation and Control Panel), SoniXCast Radio Station Producers can quickly and easily search and assign tracks to playlists eliminating the need to tag, encode and then upload hundreds of tracks. Playlists are setup in minutes taking the drudgery out of building your Radio Station.

 

 

gml-full-rightPowerful and Intuitive Filtering and Search functions

We’ve indexed over 30 possible search parameters for each title so that finding a title is as simple as entering a search term, hitting enter and choosing from the provided results. You can even limit your search by music genre. And it’s fast! We built specialized system designed specifically for managing large amounts of search queries. You’ll never wait long to find what you’re looking for.

 

 

binaryPre-encoded and Tagged to work with all SoniXCast Radio Stations

Every track we receive from our worldwide partners is encoded for maximum performance and listening pleasure. Metatags are provided by iTunes and Echonest/Shazam! with no hidden messages or comments. So that your Station statistics are always clean and accurate compatible with all 3rd party players and statistics tools.

 

 

gml-title-previewListen and Track information previews powered by iTunes

You can even preview a title or view track information before adding it to your playlist. View anything you need to know about a title from the Artist biography to broadcasting Bitrate, even the price to buy nearly instantaneously thanks to Apple’s iTunes powerful search API!

 

 

oppertunityUnique Opportunities for Indie Artists and Syndicated Content Providers

SoniXCast is the fastest growing Radio Station Provider in the industry. Have a song that you want to popularize or do you want to syndicate your Daily or Weekly broadcast? Simply contact our support department and we’ll not only get you setup in our rotation, but we’ll announce your content to over 1400 SoniXCast Radio Stations. More marketing and popularization features, so get on board early to take advantage of them while they’re still free.

 

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update

We just released a Playlist Manager Update for BoomBox 2.2. The rewrite of the UML (User Music Library) introduced issues with assigning tracks to playlists and corrupted a small amount of data for some customers. Users will notice no new features or interface changes. Just that assigning tracks to playlists will be more responsive.

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Note: This release has important patches for station operators

  1. fixed playlist sequencing addressing the issue with some playlist being de-registered and thus not playing. Important: produces must save and restart the transcoder (auto-dj) for changes to take affect.
  2. fixed authorization hash management for public stations wishing to be listed at shoutcast.com. Important: producers copy their existing authhash from the admin interface ( icon next to server status), paste into the “Auth-Hash” field, then save and restart their server in order for changes to take affect.
  3. fixed track associations being inadvertently deleted during re-indexing operation.
  4. added scrolling option for users, playlist and music library listing that overflowed the sidebar.
  5. added embedded facebook timeline and messaging widget to the dashboard.
  6. added the ability to associate all tracks from a source library folder to playlist in a single operation. How-To: select a folder from the dropdown and the associate all button will be enabled. Click to associate all tracks, wait a few seconds for the Target view to reload.
  7. added the ability to remove all track associations from a playlist  ( icon in “Target” section).
  8. added sidebar collapse option ( icon – upper left screen) to show/hide the sidebar menu
track_file_manager

Broadcast licensing is a big feature of SoniXCast products and making sure that music tracks are properly licensed is a big part of making sure that Stations stay legal. Tagging of music tracks is as diverse as the individual who manages them which presents great challenges for the BoomBox licensing system. Add to that; Indexing one’s Music Library is an abstract concept for many. Especially after uploading loads of music via FTP. This can cause huge problems while building playlists leading to problems like a playlist not playing correctly to crashing of the transcoder (auto-dj) service.

To answer this issue, we’ve developed a feature that watches for changes in each customers music folders in real-time and automatically indexes music tracks if a change (delete, overwrite, upload) is detected. This ensures that database stays in sync for proper playlist generation and that tracks are properly licensed for broadcast.

The process runs completely in the background and requires no user intervention. Which means: customers simply upload files and usually by the time they are ready to build their playlists, their files have been processed and are ready for broadcast. Of course, those with large music libraries will have to wait a few minutes until all files have been process, but for most indexing takes only a couple of minutes.

Happy Broadcasting!

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BoomBox 2.2 Released

We are proud to announce the full release of BoomBox 2.2. This release includes all components requested by customers in previous versions and more. This release also addresses many of the issues found in the bug database.

  • Full ShoutCast Transcoder (Auto-DJ) Support
  • Dynamic Playlists
  • Advanced Event Management
  • Drag & Drop, Multiple Track Uploading
  • Track Management

A few components are still pending release for this coming week (August 22th through 28th) and will be announced separately. Below are the pending releases along with a short reason why they missed this release.

  • Global Music Library (pending upload of music tracks)
  • Download component (not completed complete at the time of release)
  • Playlist Redirectors (pending release of download component)
  • Demo Account and Playlist setup (pending upload of music tracks)
  • Listener Reporting (not completed at the time of release)
  • SoniXFM Player Builder (not completed at the time of release)
  • Music track tagging (pending iTunes API key generation)

What’s New?

For those who had an account on or before the incident on 07/20/2016, everything but your uploaded files has been restored to original settings. We recommend that you check each user (DJ) and playlist to adjust for use with the new event management system. Important: If you uploaded files via ftp then you MUST run the reload routine in the track manager in order to assigned them to a playlist.

The first thing to take notice of is the version change (lower right hand corner of every page). BB-RA is short for “BoomBox Radio Automation” which is the proper classification of the software as future versions will enable live broadcasting from any browser via WebRTC, extended by the actual version number. This is useful going forward as we will maintain multiple versions to allow customers the option to upgrade (which usually requires a service restart) at their own convenience.

We eliminated the top menu from BoomBox 2.2. Now everything is done from the collapsible and automatically resized (according to screen resolution) sidebar via intuitive icons. Read the documentation for detailed information on the functions associated with each icon, but most beginners who have ever used a smartphone or tablet before should immediately recognize what to do.

Realtime Statistics

Everybody will recognize the server and local clocks used for calculating time offsets for events, but now the clocks are syncronized using the global ntp pool and are guaranteed accurate to the second. Also new is the radio station player which shows realtime playback and listener statistics. Click on the Play Button to listen yourself or use the context sensitive icons to view more information on the currently playing track at iTunes or the average listener tune-in times.

Service Management

Services (Server/Transcoder (Auto-DJ) are now managed directly on the dashboard. This allows customers quick and easy access to make password and feature changes without navigating a bunch of screens. Our new service monitoring feature notifies the customer whenever a service cannot be started or goes down for any reason. In the sidebar services can be stopped or started using the convenient “on/off” switch and service up-time is shown in real-time. Click on the wrench to view the server admin interface.

User (DJ) and Playlist Management

Users and Playlists are also primarily managed from the sidebar via intuitive icons. Simply click on the item itself to open the management screen where you can assign tracks, set passwords and more importantly schedule when tracks will be played or users can broadcast AND jingles will be injected. Our new advanced event management system mimics many of the features found in other professional radio automation tools and allows the customer to build complex radio programming schedules.

Music Libraries

Upload, move or tag your own music tracks using iTunes (see above for release status) or combine with our global music library (see above for release status) for ready-for-broadcast tracks to build your playlists quickly and easily.

Change Log

BoomBox 2.2 change log for Sunday, 08/21/16 (11:00 MST):

  • If you were having issues earlier with BoomBox, please take not of patches to BoomBox 2.2 that were released today:
  • added backwards compatibility to server control for users migrated from the camonxx platform
  • added backwards compatibility to transcoder control for users migrated from the camonxx platform
  • repaired bitrate not saving for AAC type encoders
  • repaired upgrade errors on server and transcoder components
  • repaired unable to disable issue with the event manager in playlists and users
  • added more verbose titles to the playlist and playlist track assignment pages

BoomBox 2.2 change log for Tuesday, 08/23/16 (09:00 MST):

  • fixed problem with some scheduled events not writing to config
  • fixed delete user (trash) button
  • fixed timed scheduled events in playlists
  • daemonized services so that they would not be affected by the web server
  • daemonized indexing so that it would not affect the web server
  • enabled service monitoring and notifications
  • added notifications for service start/stop
  • updated session handling to timeout after browser has been closed
  • added bootstrap patches for IE, Edge and Opera browsers
  • updated jquery to 2.1.4 to address issues in the interface for all browsers

BoomBox 2.2 change log for Sunday, 08/28/16 (05:00 MST):

  • repaired transcoder writer to fix problem with scheduled playlists
  • fixed services javascript to be more efficient and responsive
  • fixed playlists javascript to be more efficient and responsive
  • de-coupled auto-restart of services from write routines (server and transcoder no longer restart automatically)
  • added service restart notification button to top menu to inform users that a restart is necessary
  • added backup service to all accounts
  • uploaded and processed 43K tracks into the global music library (assign to playlist function pending) another 32K are pending
  • rewrote itunes parser to accept api key (api key issuance still pending from apple)
  • added scheduled task to overwrite configuration files on a regular basis (to stop malicious activities)
  • added scheduled task to request station statistics periodically to bolster reports

Important Notice: BoomBox is self healing. Meaning many issues are fixed whenever you save your transcoder (auto-dj) settings from the dashboard. Quite often we issue micro-patches which are only applied when service settings are saved. This is preferable by most than showing an upgrade message each time we issue a patch. If you are experiencing an issue, try saving your transcoder and try again before contacting support.

We will announce any new patch or changes as they are release. We encourage everybody to contact support with any issues or post your issues and feature request into the bug database at blog.sonixcast.com

fathers_day

Happy Fathers Day!

We are proud to announce a load of updates for BoomBox this Father’s Day June 19th, 2016! Here’s is list of updates and fixes we put in:

  • Streamlined the AJAX backend so BoomBox will run even faster
  • Moved BoomBox into the local cluster (also to make things faster)
  • Cleaned up the Dashboard
  • Repaired Statistics
  • Repaired Server not starting issue in some browsers
  • Repaired Transcoder (Auto-DJ) not starting issue in some browsers
  • Rebuilt Side Panel
  • Complete User (DJ) manager rebuild
  • Complete Playlist Manager rebuild
  • Player Wizard repaired

Enjoy the updates and fixes and enjoy your Father’s Day!

Your SoniXCast Team

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