We are happy to announce the completion of the BoomBox v3.4 infrastructure rollout. As with any major infrastructure release, not everything went as smoothly as we had hoped and we apologize to those who experienced any issues during the changeover.
What was done…
One of the main reasons for the infrastructure rollout was to de-couple SoniXCast’s dependance on a single provider who was becoming increasingly less reliable in recent months. The SonixCast (BoomBox) infrastructure is now hosted by 4 Tier-4 providers located in 40 geographically diverse data centers worldwide.
Another reason for the rollout was to meet new broadcast licensing compliance standards released by the Performance Rights Consortium at the beginning of this year. Conforming to these standards ensures certain customer protections unequaled by any other provider in the industry and also ensures royalty payouts are routed correctly in a timely manner to the over 200 performance rights organizations worldwide. We were required to adopt the PRC standards in order to comply with our partnership agreements with Apple, Microsoft and Google.
We also decentralized the BoomBox control panel to address issues with usage and latency experienced by overseas customers. In time, the BoomBox control panel will be released into our global content delivery network (CDN) managed by Amazon once the software has reached release candidate status.
The final part of the rollout operation was consolidating the relay and redirect networks into two main nodes which represent the northern and southern global hemispheres. The consolidation of the relay network was especially problematic as it is a proprietary technology that required a large learning curve for the global technology team.
Why was the Rollout so Challenging?
Mainly due to team coordination. SoniXCast has grown from a ‘Mom & Pop’ shop to a global corporation through acquisition and technology development. This meant extracting the intellectual property in one head and sharing it with many who share different languages and cultures.
Another issue was the acquisitions. In the last 2 years, SoniXCast has acquired over 80 worldwide stream hosting providers equaling over 90,000 internet radio stations bringing the sum total to over 200,000 worldwide stations. All those providers (and their disparate systems) needed to be integrated and teams put together to manage them.
Finally, the health of SoniXCast Founder Brian Walton (who wrote all the software and designed all the systems) presented some unforeseen and unavoidable delays during the technology transfer with the global team.
What is the future of SoniXCast?
SoniXCast has forged strong alliances with Apple, Microsoft and Google the largest providers of consumer media content. We also have strong relationships with Amazon, iHeartRadio and TouchTunes and are in many cases the primary content provider for said platforms. This B2B side of the corporation will be spun off into a separate entity at sometime in the future, but will remain an integral part of the SoniXCast platform.
SoniXFM.com will be retired in the near future and the technology therein implemented in BoomBox and the SoniXCast Broadcast Network (SBN). SoniXFM was developed as a proof-of-concept and really was not destined for commercial use as most platform providers prefer to develop their own user interfaces and search engines.
The SoniXCast Broadcast Network (also known as the relay network to retail customers) will be further developed for tighter integration with 3rd party aggregators and will eventually be released as an open source project in order to make the platform available to even more integrators. However, the actual physical relay network will remain under SoniXCast proprietary control in order to ensure stability and compliance.
Retail customers of the stream hosting platform will soon experience better communications as we now have a dedicated team of social media and technical support experts whose mission is to consolidate and streamline support operations.
BoomBox development will continue with the addition of popularization and monetization features for producers as well as more support for alternate streaming servers like Icecast, Wowza and Steamcast. We will also move away from the ‘Application’ style interface, which emulates a real-time feel, to a more mobile friendly and web compliant interface better understood by consumers. And development will occur at a more moderate pace meaning more stability and less downtime for users.
Over the next year managers will be put in place to oversee each vertical market and business venture in order help organize and grow SoniXCast in it’s capacity as a technology provider. Founder, Brian Walton, who has been running SoniXCast pretty much as a one-man-show for the last 11 years, will remain the public face of SoniXCast, but in a ever diminishing capacity as he transfers knowledge to the up and coming SoniXCast team.
Finally, core systems and software will be replaced with industry standard management solutions to better facilitate operations and stability. This, together with a less aggressive release schedule and larger development team, will ensure SoniXCast’s place as the premier technology and media content provider for years to come.