BoomBox Periodic Events Update

We’ve recently released a software update to BoomBox which addresses the challenges some customers are having scheduling and executing periodic playlists like spots and news blasts.

The issue, as reported by Support, concerns confusion when prioritizing periodic playlists which complicates triggering at the times expected by the customer.

Currently BoomBox mimics playlist scheduling implemented by the now defunct ShoutCast Transcoder as it was the most well known process by customers at the time of development. With the implementation of the Liquidsoap Transcoder, this process will eventually be replaced by a more intuitive calendar-based approach.

The resolution was to simplify the way BoomBox processes periodic playlists. BoomBox now tries to determine prioritization according to the weight of all playlists scheduled in the queue. Those with ‘heavier’ rotation requirements are now automatically prioritized at a lower rate than periodic playlists in order to ensure expected triggering.

In addition, the duration property is now less deterministic in favor of the higher priority repeat property which ensures that a periodic playlist only plays one track per event instead of playing all tracks to the end. This behaviour also favors better shuffling of multiple track playlists.

Setting up periodic playlist now requires only the ‘Start Time’ (How often an event is triggered in relation to midnight UTC) and ‘Time Offset’ (When the event should be triggered in relation to the Start Time) properties in order to be properly scheduled. Event repetition (Repeat) and Track Shuffling behave as before and will override automated settings.

Examples:

Although customers will not notice any difference in the BoomBox interface, the scheduling of periodic playlists has been immensely simplified in the backend. The following scenarios serve as a start point for quickly understanding periodic event processing and setup.

Scenario: Spot

This scenario assumes that there is heavy rotation playlist (Daily) containing tracks that play all day, every day and a radio spot playlist that will inject itself over the ‘Daily’ playlist every 15 minutes (or roughly every 3 songs) on the hour.

  1. In BoomBox, create a new playlist and name it ‘Radio Spot’
  2. Set Shuffle and Repeat properties to ‘No’ (default for new playlists)
  3. Change Recurrence to ‘Time Periodic (Spots or Jingles)’ (
    default for new playlists)
  4. Set Priority to ‘Average’
  5. Leave Date Range fields empty
  6. Set Start Time to ’00:00:00′ (triggers every hour)
  7. Set Time Offset to ’00:15:00′ (triggers every 15 minutes after the top of the hour)
  8. Leave Duration field empty and save (Floppy Icon top right corner of the form)
  9. Navigate to the File Manager and upload your radio spot file to the auto-generated radio_spot folder.

At this point, no further intervention is required. The playlist is automatically scheduled and activated. However, one should ensure that the heavy rotation playlist (named ‘Daily’ in this scenario) is prioritized as ‘Lower’ and the ‘Radio Spot’ playlist is prioritized as ‘Average’ in the playlist manager.

Scenario: Jingle

This scenario assumes that there is heavy rotation playlist (Daily) containing tracks that play all day, every day and a jingle playlist that will randomly inject a jingle or radio advertisement over the ‘Daily’ playlist every 30 minutes (or roughly every 5 songs) on the hour.

  1. In BoomBox, create a new playlist and name it ‘Jingles’
  2. Set Shuffle and Repeat properties to ‘No’ (default for new playlists)
  3. Change Recurrence to ‘Time Periodic (Spots or Jingles)’ (
    default for new playlists)
  4. Set Priority to ‘Average’
  5. Leave Date Range fields empty
  6. Set Start Time to ’00:00:00′ (triggers every hour)
  7. Set Time Offset to ’00:30:00′ (triggers every 30 minutes after the top of the hour)
  8. Leave Duration field empty and save (Floppy Icon top right corner of the form)
  9. Navigate to the File Manager and upload your jingle tracks to the auto-generated jingles folder.

At this point, no further intervention is required. The playlist is automatically scheduled and activated. However, one should ensure that the heavy rotation playlist (named ‘Daily’ in this scenario) is prioritized as ‘Lower’ and the ‘Jingles’ playlist is prioritized as ‘Average’ in the playlist manager.

Be sure to read the BoomBox Playlist Manager documentation for more detailed understanding of option settings and scenarios.



BB35 Upgrade

Customers on BB35 (BoomBox) have been experiencing higher than usual loads due to a recent addition of the ABC Radio Network to the SoniXFM platform which has introduced SoniXCast Radios to an additional 4 million potential daily listeners.

BB35 is one of the last servers on the legacy hardware platform and is having a hard time keeping up with the additional network traffic which is disturbing smooth operations in Europe and South America.

We are in the process of setting up new hardware and will move BB35 and are adding 4 more AnyCastIP nodes in Europe and South America
over the next 24 hour period in order to handle the higher than usual network traffic.

Customer Impact is expected to be minimal to non-existent as BB35 has long been part of SoniXCast’s portable dynamic IP network, however customers using static IP-Addresses are advised to contact support to request an updated IP or to conform with usage guidelines and begin using the fully qualified hostname (bb35.sonixcast.com).

We apologize for any inconvenience to customers and listeners of the SoniXCast Broadcast Network. Turning up a new broadcast provider the size of the ABC Radio Networks is a complex process in which the full impact is near impossible to predict until listeners start actually tuning in.

It is unfortunate that our wonderful partners in Europe and South America, have been challenged to keep up with the additional loads, however we all are dedicated to addressing such issues with vigor and with an eye on future expansion so that such disturbances remain the exception going forward.

BoomBox Upgraded to ShoutCast Server 2.6

Howdy Folks! We’re happy to announce that BoomBox has been upgraded to ShoutCast Server 2.6 (more info) which resolves issues, with the authorization hash, aacp encoding, targetspot and more…

Customers on the BoomBox platform will have to completely restart their server to take advantage of the new features. The easiest way to do this is to login to your BoomBox control panel and press the beating heart icon (upper right hand corner) which will stop, re-configure and restart your streaming server and auto-dj (if enabled).

Our dev team is in the process of discovering and adding the new features supported by the server to the BoomBox platform, so be sure to follow us on facebook or twitter and watch for updates.

BoomBox Minor Patch Released

Customers having issues restarting their server or that some settings are not being applied on BoomBox will be happy to hear that we just released a patch to BoomBox that resolves these issues and more.

The recently released patch (3.3.3212) resolves an undocumented operating system idiosyncrasy that caused wide ranging issues starting and stopping streaming services which would keep some changes from being applied.

Kudos go out to the Dev Team for fixing this issue quickly and apologies go out to the customers who experienced inconveniences resulting from this issue.

Global Music Library Offline

Yeap. We noticed that the global music library looks like it is corrupt. However the Dev Team wishes to ensure all that it was a programming error and not a hack.

We are in the process of restoring the GML from backup, but that could take a day or two due to the sheer number of tracks. We will notify all customers when the GML is once again available.