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.



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 3.0.8 Release

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox 3.0.8.

Primarily a maintenance release, we are introducing a few new features specifically in the Finder Cloud File Manager that will make maintaining BoomBox even easier for Producers.

New Features

We’ve rebuilt the Finder File Manager to be even more secure and stable, but now producers can view and download Server and AutoDJ logs directly in the browser (My Home/log folder) as well as download weekly backups (My Home/backup) of their Station configuration and data. Music (My Home/music) uploading has been made even faster and more reliable through multipoint access control (uploading partial files to multiple servers at once and pushing to the main instance). But there’s more…

What’s New?

  • Faster page loading and more responsive Service Control through Decentralized Data Clustering (multiple databases serving multiple instances from multiple geographic locations)
  • Better service monitoring and control (monitoring web page and api coming soon)
  • Better and faster statistics and status data collection
  • Decentralized Media File Management, Multipoint Cloud Support and Sony Network Prioritization (for Movie Producers and Professional Radio Operators)
  • Faster overall response times with the addition of 14 more nodes dispersed geographically
  • Fixes and patches too numerous to mention here

Cloud Services Update 3.0.237

We are happy to announce the release of BoomBox update 3.0.237.

  1. With the introduction of the new Clustered NAS (which maintains customer files), the maintenance of Cloud Services has been moved to the system. Customers are no longer required to maintain Cloud Services from the dashboard.
  2. The Cloud Services App has been renamed to Finder (File Manager) in the customer (BoomBox) interface.
  3. A new feature has been introduced: If one creates a folder (has not been tested with subfolders) or uploads an entire folder of music via FTP into the Playlists folder, a playlist is automatically generated in the Playlist manager. However, the playlist remains disabled until reviewed by the station producer.
  4. Permissions management in the Finder app has been revised and should now perform as expected.
  5. A more aggressive service monitoring solution has been introduced which will improve service uptime and availability.
  6. A restart threshold has been set on the auto-dj service and if unable to start after 10 attempts it will be automatically disabled. This addresses the issues reported by producers who use a 3rd party auto-dj services and have not yet discovered that the auto-dj service in BoomBox can be disabled.