CentovaCast ‘Server Offline’ Issues

Shoutcast Server Port Woes

Recently some customers have reported their shoutcast v2 servers being offline in the CentovaCast control panel, however the stream server itself is online and they are able to broadcast. This is a known issue reported upon by other users many times in the CentovaCast Forum.

Quick Resolution: change the port setting in the configuration section of your CentovaCast control panel to a higher port (i.e. 8000 -> 9000). Save then restart your server service.

CentovaCast is a closed source project maintained by Centova Technologies Inc (https://centova.com) and as such our tech team has only limited insight into the workings of the control panel. The best we can ascertain based upon tracing operating system calls and reading the CentovaCast support forum is that the control panel is for some reason unable to kill the server process and notify the control panel as to its current state. This ‘confuses’ the control panel into believing the service is offline when it is in fact still running. Unfortunately, manually killing the process and restarting the server in the control panel also does not resolve the issue.

We’re limited in what we can do.

We offer CentovaCast only as a concession to those customers ‘hard set’ in using legacy streaming concepts or who are not interested in the features offered in BoomBox. Principally, CentovaCast is a competing product and unlike SoniXCast, Centova requires payment for support which is not worth the cost for the handful of customers using it.

The Resolution

The control panel must properly function in order to maintain DJ’s and playlists and the only reliable way we’ve found to fix the issue is to change the server port, save and restart the service which also synchronizes the configuration of the autodj. This is achieved by logging into CentovaCast, navigating to Configuration -> Settings and manually changing the port value. Afterwards click on Server -> Start to restart services. We recommend using a port value between 9000 and 10000.

The ‘auto’ port function does not function correctly in CentovaCast and it will always recommend the same old port.

Customers may have to try multiple ports before finding one that is free. CentovaCast does not seem to have any port checking built in, so there is a chance that a chosen port will conflict with that of another customer. Just keep changing the port and trying to start the server until a port is found that works.

Move to BoomBox

BoomBox is geared towards professional broadcasters who have little interest in the technical details of configuring a streaming service. The dynamic nature of BoomBox ip and port management often frustrates those wanting to use dedicated ip-addresses or change ports. Most Hobbyists find the playlist and DJ editors too tedious to use as they are geared towards how professional radio stations work. And BoomBox offers little to no access to the raw configuration files. However, our dev team is constantly working on BoomBox to make it better for all users and can react immediately to any issues that may arise.

Database Connectivity Issue Resolved

On 8/22/18 we experienced an issue with the main database server which caused a few hours of downtime for all applications (SoniXCast, GML, GPP, CentovaCast…) which has now been permanently resolved.

The legacy system which maintained the main database server was experiencing intermittent network interface dropouts and we were in the process of moving all databases into the AWS (Amazon.com) cloud when the server just gave up completely.

It was all hands on deck to get the databases moved into the cloud and get all the applications working again. However now all databases are hosted on a high availability, multi-point redundant platform that will ensure that future issues with database connectivity can never occur.

No data was lost or compromised during the operation and we apologize to all for the inconvenience.

Updates to BoomBox, SoniXFM and CentovaCast

We are happy to announce the release of updates to BoomBox, SoniXFM and CentovaCast which address issues reported by customers and consumers. See the changelog below for detailed information:

BoomBox™ Radio Automation (RA)

  • Upgraded from 3.1 to 3.2
  • Complete rewrite of the core subsystem
  • Expanded monitoring to auto restart account services unless otherwise disabled
  • Introduction of enhanced media management and auditing
  • Re-introduction of the global music library (GML)
  • GeoTrend fixes and enhancements (Phase 1 of 3)
  • Listener Session fixes and enhancements (Phase 1 of 3)
  • Server and transcoder fixes and enhancements (Phase 2 of 4)
  • Nomenclature adjustments (Phase 3 of 6)
  • Numerous UI enhancements and fixes

SoniXFM™ Global Relay Network (GRN)

  • Added 14 additional nodes in South America, Asia and Oceana
  • NIST/GPS synchronization enhancements
  • European RDS integration released (Phase 1 of 2)
  • Embedded device (Roku, SmartTV…) fixes and enhancements
  • 44 additional AM/FM Channels added to the terrestrial radio program
  • Digital Satellite Radio (SirusXM, DirectTV, Hughes…) fixes and enhancements
  • DAB and DAB+ (Europe) fixes and enhancements

SoniXCast™ Global Popularization Platform (GPP)

  • Added Pandora, Slacker and Spotify platform support
  • ClearChannel (iHeartRadio) platform fixes and enhancements
  • iTunes, TuneIn, Nobex fixes and enhancements
  • Amazon, Live365 fixes and enhancements
  • Discontinued ShoutCast.com integration
  • Extended Xiph.org integration
  • Added Hindi, Basque and Farsi language support

CentovaCast

  • Installed ftp service on all slave systems (cc2x.sonixcast.com)
  • Upgraded the max file upload size to 500MiB
  • Amazon.com album lookup integration
  • Expanded DNS support for widgets and players
  • Numerous UI enhancements and fixes

Additional Information

Customers are encouraged to login to their respective control panels and verify that the patches applied resolve any reported issues.

The ShoutCast.com integration into the GPP has been discontinued as Radionomy has not granted SoniXCast API access despite repeated requests (No response from the support team). Customers must maintain their ShoutCast.com profile manually from now on.

SoniXFM™ Global Relay Network (GRN) and SoniXCast™ Global Popularization Platform (GPP) remain exclusively available to BoomBox Producers only.

Although initially planned, CentovaCast integration into the GPP and GRN has been put on hold indefinitely. CentovaCast has announced that a major update to their platform is in the works and it makes more sense to wait until it has been released and our systems have been upgraded before considering integration.

The majority of User Interface (UI) fixes and enhancements revolve around supporting individual browser idiosyncrasies and final integration of the Bootstrap 4 platform with full worldwide CDN integration.

The majority of stream and broadcast fixes and enhancements revolve around music metadata support for the individual platforms as the standards for such is not well-defined nor normalized.

The BoomBox Liquidsoap integration is ongoing and is, as before, slated for final release in version 3.5. However, updates have been made to the legacy transcoder which mirrors much of the basic functionality found in Liquidsoap, so that producers may become familiar with the system beforehand.

New Pricing

We are happy to announce new CentovaCast Pricing!

With the recent release of the SoniXCast/CentovaCast hybrid architecture, we were able to sink costs immensely and are passing the savings on to you! New sign-ups can save up to 20% over competitors and existing customers could save up to 30%!

What Happened?

As stated in our initial release announcement for CentovaCast, our dedicated development team has been customizing CentovaCast to work with the SoniXCast/AnyCastIP™ architecture and were able to complete the new CentovaCast Cluster ahead of schedule.

What are the benefits?

The new CentovaCast Cluster not only takes advantage of our failover virtual machine architecture guaranteeing uptimes of better than 99.9%, but ip-failover feature ensures that the ip-address follows the virtual machine as it is spun up on different hardware and our new 8.6 petabyte direct access storage (DAS) ensures rock-solid data protection, security and near limitless storage for music and videos.

Since the architecture applied to the CentovaCast Cluster is the same we provide to our Professional customers, Hobbyists and Webcasters now benefit from the cutting edge technology and (more importantly) the huge cost savings.

What about Pricing?

We offer two, globally licensed, programs designed (and appropriately named) to fit the needs of Hobbyists and Webcasters…

Hobbyist Program

Small businesses that wish to provide custom content, station operators who are just starting out or Musicians who wish to showcase their music, do not need the AutoDJ or concurrent listener features offered with other programs. Available with the ShoutCast or Icecast server option, the Hobbyist programs is optimized for price, stability and ease of use. Pricing starts at: $3.95/month (icecast/ices, 96Kbps), $4.95/month (shoutcast/shoutcast, 96Kbps) for maximum 100 listeners and 2 mount points.

Webcaster Program

Geared towards semi-professional station operators or those who wish to broadcast video, the Webcaster program is optimized for for medium to large listener bases. Like the Hobbyist program, both ShoutCast and Icecast streaming server options are available and pricing starts at: $5.95/month (icecast/liquidsoap, 96Kbps), $6.95/month (shoutcast/liquidsoap, 96Kbps) for unlimited (999) listeners and unlimited mount points.

CentovaCast Features

  • Easy web-based stream configuration
  • AutoDJ support with powerful playlist scheduler
  • Drag-and-drop AJAX media library – demo
  • Comprehensive statistics and royalty reports – demo
  • Automatic stream monitoring/restarting
  • Feature-rich, automatic station home pages – demo
  • Much, much more — take the tour!

ShoutCast versus Icecast

As far as listening quality and performance are concerned, there isn’t much difference between the two. All modern html5 and flash players support each equally and both offer the mount point feature. However, ShoutCast offers more specialized features like ShoutCast CDN, integrated popularization tools and station management on the popular shoutcast.com website. Whereas Icecast is more compatible and stable with more seamless handover between Live and AutoDJ source clients.

Upgrade/Downgrade Options

Current customers cannot upgrade to the new CentovaCast Cluster, however our support team will work with you in upgrading your current package. Simply contact support from the customer area.

It is possible to upgrade or downgrade Hobbyist and Webcaster packages within minutes. Simply login to the customer area, navigate to your service and select the Upgrade/Downgrade option.

Whats Next?

The development continues… Next will be integration of the CentovaCast Cluster in our Global Relay Network which will add to broadcast quality and worldwide saturation and then there will be the integration into the SoniXFM.com popularization platform which will make stations available on (among others) the Smart-TV’s, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon and much more. Watch for the announcements.

SoniXCast & CentovaCast Partner Up

We are happy to announce that SoniXCast is now offering Globally Licensed CentovaCast stream hosting packages!

Click here for ShoutCast Packages and Pricing

Click here for Icecast Packages and Pricing

Why CentovaCast?

CentovaCast is the preferred radio automation control panel by Hobbyists and Webcasters worldwide. It’s mature, stable and well known by Web Radio Producers. And, more importantly, it was requested over and over by our customers. CentovaCast offers features that are not yet available on the BoomBox platform and integrates seamlessly with SoniXCast’s Global Relay Network and SoniXFM™ Aggregation Service. Read more about CentovaCast here. Check out the Demo here. Take the guided Tour here.

What about BoomBox?

Freed of trying to provide legacy support, BoomBox will continue to be developed more towards Professional and Terrestrial Radio Stations which makes up the majority of our customer base and who demand more cutting edge technologies. This change in direction takes BoomBox out of direct competition with CentovaCast as they now address two fundamentally different vertical markets.

Can I switch from BoomBox to CentovaCast?

Unfortunately No. The BoomBox and CentovaCast systems are incompatible and pricing is structured differently. The only way to ‘change over‘ is to cancel your BoomBox service and setup a new CentovaCast service.

What about Licensing?

Like BoomBox, all streaming services are licensed for worldwide broadcast with same restrictions, guidelines and recommendations with the difference that CentovaCast streaming packages do not receive an official Station ID (CSNX-XXXX) and are instead licensed under our umbrella license agreement with SOCAN. Read more about SoniXCast Global Licensing here.

Hosting Infrastructure

CentovaCast services are maintained in our AnyCastIP™ global network with over 50 geographically dispersed relay nodes and hosted on our cutting edge failover virtual server infrastructure technology which offers unmatched uptime and availability.

What about Resellers?

Unlike BoomBox, SoniXCast offers multi-tiered reseller and affiliate programs for CentovaCast services. At the time of writing, price structuring was still being developed, but those interested are encouraged to contact support@sonixcast.com and ask about the program. The release of the Reseller program will be announced separately.

What about Bundling?

Yes. SoniXCast will offer CentovaCast and CPanel Web Hosting bundled packages. At the time of writing, the team was still working on price structures and once finished, the release of bundled packages will be announced separately.

SoniXCast Grows through Acquisitions and Partnerships

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)