bb-dashboard

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

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

hacker

Quick Summary

As many of you may have noticed, your streaming services went offline at or around 01:00 hours on Saturday, July 30th, 2016 MST. Our network operations department immediately notified me (kicking me out of bed) to investigate the issue.

After a quick preliminary investigation I found that the hard disks for the production farm (cabhs3x) had been emptied of all customer and application data. In essence the hard disks were erased. However our main customer and service database (which sits in an FBI protected location in the United States) remained intact and preliminary investigation shows that all customer and service data was protected from the attack. Simply stated: The attackers DID NOT get your personal or payment information.

So…When can I get back to business?

We were hacked in 2013 and the lessons learned are making it possible to get your services back online quickly so that you can at least broadcast using your source software by this evening at the latest. The most of the time will be brought in re-installing services and BoomBox on each server node.

Details of the Attack

Our information on the attack is still developing however this much we know thus far: On or about 20:00 hours on Friday, July 29th, 2016 UTC we began receiving system notifications that brute force attacks were being made on the server farm. Our network operations team immediately blocked the ip-addresses: 93.115.95.201 (lh28409.voxility.net), 77.247.181.162 (chomsky.torservers.net), 195.154.165.246 (torrelay4.tomhek.net) and performed a security audit on the servers. Once I was sure no more attacks were occurring, I went to bed, but the network operations folks remained vigilant.

Roughly 3 hours later I was contacted by network operations that services had gone down and began to investigate. I found that on all production servers and hot swaps the hard disks were deleted of all customer and application data and the operating systems could no longer function normally.

I immediately contacted the FBI protected operations center in the US to verify that customer and application information was safe. They are still checking, but thus far have found no indication that any attacks were made. I have been promised a comprehensive report by the end of next week.

So, what did the hackers get?

As far as we can tell thus far, nothing. The production server farm (where your streaming services are located) is by nature unsafe and functions as “dummy” slave to the server farm located in the US. Meaning that NO CUSTOMER DATA (not even your email address) was stored any where on those systems.

Okay. So why is it taking so long to get things working again?

Whenever a server is hacked, you have to assume that the entire system is compromised and the only way to ensure it isn’t, is to completely re-install the system. In this case the hackers deleted application data leaving the operating system in an non-functional state. So, we have no choice but to re-install the systems. That takes some time (roughly 3-5 hours per server) plus testing and security lock down.

The hacker(s) also took advantage of an exploit in the hot swap servers which allowed them to power up the nodes and delete data on them as well. Hot swap servers are mirrored versions of the production server we can bring online in an emergency. Server nodes in the hot swap platform must be cognizant of each other in order to achieve failover and we believe that by hacking one server node, the hackers we able to access other server nodes as well.

Also as you know BoomBox is under heavy development and we need to collate and test the latest changes to make sure they show up on the servers once everything has been installed. Thankfully most of these processes happen simultaneously minimizing downtime.

Why are the production servers inherently unsafe?

Customers need to have write access to certain areas in order to upload files, manage configurations and start services and even though we filter and scan what is uploaded, most customers are laymen (and therefore not as security minded as we are) and could, inadvertently, upload something that would allow hackers to get in or give their passwords to someone they thought they could trust.

For that reason we keep the entire service configuration in a database located somewhere else so hackers can’t get to it and BoomBox is designed in such a way, so that restoring a service configuration only takes seconds. That is of course unless all the servers are hacked simultaneously and we have to re-install them as was here the case.

Okay. So, what was lost?

Just your uploaded music files and before you groan, the reason we do not backup music files is that they change (in some cases) on a minute to minute basis and the cost of backing up everybody’s music files all the time would cause prices to skyrocket. Besides the time it would take to restore all those files would add hours to the time needed to get your services back online.

I’m just as angry as you are, because now I have to re-upload the entire global music library.

So, how are you going to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

I’m not sure we or anybody can. Hackers only have to be right once. We have to be right all the time and there is more of them then there are of us. I don’t know for sure yet if it was a brute force attack or an Trojan uploaded, again inadvertently, by a customer. The server nodes are locked down according to FBI standards and we perform regular security audits, but Hackers are persistent and if you punch somebody in the face long enough, eventually they’ll go down.

We do have our enemies. In 2013, the last time we were hacked, the FBI found, what they deemed, a high confidence of evidence that the German Udo Poschen and the German performance rights organization GEMA were somehow involved, but apparently there was not enough evidence to be actionable. I do know they were contacted by the German government, because I still have the nasty emails they sent me afterward. I tried to explain that we had nothing to do with the investigation and that we are the victims here, but you know how people are.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the most recent attack. I don’t believe we are big or important enough for anybody to make any such announcement. I think some random hackers found us through our website or through shoutcast.com and, as I said before, the FBI is investigating. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found out that it is some competitor however, because it was one in 2013.

On more thing. This downtime is considered an “Act of God” in our terms and services agreement. I always have customers who scream for refunds when we’re down for even a couple of seconds, so NO there won’t be any refunds or compensation. The hackers could have just as easily hacked your personal computer and you would have an equal amount of recourse had that happened.

Not to cause anybody alarm, but it is theoretically possible that the hackers got your ip-address and may have already made attempts on your computer or those of your listeners. It might be a good idea to scan your computer to see if it’s been compromised. I did.

I hope I was able to cover the most relevant topics for you. Remember, we’re going to be busy working to get things back up, so support might be a bit slow for a few days.

One final thing. Most people consider those who have been hacked as being incompetent, lazy and unreliable. Let me remind you that governments and corporations who have much more money to invest in security than we do are hacked on a daily basis. And more often than not the hackers get customers personal and credit card information. I’m proud of the fact that no such thing happened to us and I will continue to keep it that way. I hope you keep that in mind when you render your service cancellation.

I will attach new information as I have it to this blog post.

Status

7/31/2016: All accounts have been restored and servers setup and started. Broadcast credentials were sent to individual users via email. The broadcast credentials, hostname, port and any other settings remained as before.

The reason this took longer than expected was because routines were need to restore accounts from the database settings instead of simply creating new accounts which would have overwritten configuration settings.

8/1/2016: The BoomBox Radio Automation Control Panel is back online with limited functionality. Customers may now start or stop their servers. Other features and components (auto-dj, playlist/user management…) will be released throughout the day as they complete testing. Customers who cannot login, start or stop their servers are to contact support immediately.

Implemented multi factor authentication on the hot swap servers. As stated above, part of the reason this attack was so devastating, was that the hackers were also able to access the hot swap backup servers through the production servers. Now human intervention is required for changes in the operating system. This will ensure the integrity of the system and immediate fail over in case a production server is hacked again.

8/2/2016 (07:43 MST): Released statistics and server management components.

8/6/2016 (04:35 MST): Released basic transcoder management.

Thank you all again for your patience.

We’ve been obviously slammed with support requests and development issues while getting BoomBox back up and running. If you haven’t logged in recently, we’ve made quite a bit of progress and hope to have more done by the end of business today.

The hold-up was centered around finding a version of the shoutcast transcoder that would work with the current version of the shoutcast server. In case you didn’t know, nullsoft (and those who bought them later) stopped development of the shoutcast transcoder in 2011 and it never got out of beta which means there are a lot of undocumented “features”. We were challenged to find a version that had most “features” working and still performed basic operations properly.

Historically we were committed to using the shoutcast transcoder because of the 3rd party software we migrated off of. We were looking into working in other transcoders (like liquidsoap) just before we were hacked which threw development off course.

I understand that some customers have been frustrated, but unlike Radionomy and like providers, we are committed to communicating the issues as bandwidth permits. Service cancellations have been thus far almost non-existent and we like believe that has to do with said communication policies and each day means more progress which we demonstrate by releasing incremental updates to the BoomBox platform.

There is still a bit of work to do, but we are now on the fast track to success thanks to recent developments. We ask that you remain patient while we slog through the issues. Your patience and loyalty will be rewarded.

8/6/2016 (07:45 MST): Manual server upgrade routine released.

Each customer is required to perform the manual server upgrade in order to guarantee that their radio stream is functioning properly. This is the first step in releasing the transcoder components (user, playlists…).

The reason for the upgrade: What we discovered is that the shoutcast server and transcoder versions compiled for 64bit operating systems are fundamentally different than those compiled for 32bit (The BoomBox platform is 64bit). This caused major issues with extensive memory leaks which lead to buffering, the reading of music tracks tags, buffer overrun (speeding up of track playback) and mini server (admin.cgi) crashes. It also adversely affected the way the authhash was sent to yp.shoutcast.com.

What we’ve done is wrap the 32bit stable versions of the shoutcast server and transcoder in a type of “virtual” machine code which executes base functions in 32bit while interfacing with BoomBox in 64bit. This is a gross simplification of the process, but easiest to understand. The result is a much more stable and buffer free service.

Because the server must be restarted, customers are required to login to BoomBox and perform the upgrade manually. The process only takes a few seconds, but we recommend that customers notify their listeners before performing the upgrade.

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

file_manager_2.2

We are proud to announce the release of the BoomBox File Manager and Upload Manager 2.2. This is a complete code rewrite that contains added features and fixes for known issues found in previous versions.

Change Log

Upload Manager

  • Complete rewrite of back-end to support cloud server synchronization
  • Automated backup of music folders
  • Added support for Opera and Chrome Browsers

File Manager

  • Complete rewrite of back-end to support cloud server synchronization
  • Ajaxified all server callbacks (better browser response)
  • Automated backup of music files
  • Added support for Opera and Chrome Browsers
  • Complete rewrite of folder management (Add, Delete, Filter)
  • Repaired file move function
  • Repaired file delete function
  • Repaired reload function
  • Help now points to file manager documentation

Pending

Development of the file tag editor is a separate project and will be released and announced separately.

fm_home

 

The BoomBox File Manager module beta 2.1 has been released for all using the BoomBox (not ShoutBox) platform. This is the first step in enabling more features like the Global Music Library and “Clocks” like Playlist Management. Although a couple of days late, all will find it was well worth the wait.

File Manager Features

Besides the usual file management features, the BoomBox File Manager module includes a faster reload (read files from FTP upload) functions and the ability to select multiple files to add to playlists. Here’s some of the highlights…

 

 

fm_moveMove Files

Part of the reason it took longer than expected to get the File Manager rolled out to all users was because previously music files were tightly coupled to a playlist. Delete a playlist and you would delete all associated files. We rewrote the back-end to make playlists “virtual” and the files assigned to them could be located anywhere on the file system. That’s really important for adding files from the Global Music Library. Now users can move files around their local file system as easily as on any computer system.

 

 

Delete Files

Sometimes uploads break or certain files can’t be read or licensed and it’s better just to delete them.

 

fm_reloadpopupReload Files

Many users like to use their favorite FTP client to upload files and until we release the new file upload manager, that’s the only way right now to upload music files to BoomBox. Previously known as “Repair”, the “Reload” function reads in files uploaded via FTP, but it also re-indexes files and checks if they are “licensable” for playback. We streamlined the back end so that the reloading happens much quicker, but if you have a large music library, it can still take a few minutes to complete.

 

 

 

fm_addtoplaylistAdd To Playlist

This is by far the most requested feature for BoomBox. The ability to select individual or multiple files and assigned them to a playlist. In future releases we make it so that users can assign entire folders, but right now users will have to page through the results and select the songs they want to add.

 

 

Future releases

I know some of you are not seeing the features you requested, but this is an important first step in getting those features and needed functions done. Modules like the Global Music Library, File Upload Manager and the enhanced Playlist Manager will all build upon the File Manager module and you’ll see much faster release times on requested features.

frustrated-computer-user

 

One of the most common support tickets we have are those concerning connecting to our servers. Especially when we setup new ones. Well there is an easy explanation for that and here are some self help things you can do…

Understand first that the Internet is made up of hardware numbering in the millions.  They all run different types of software at differing versions. Needless to say communication (as in real life) is not always perfect and there can be times when you can’t get to a website or your favorite cute kitten video. Everybody has experienced it and it can be frustrating. Well, the same can happen to us. We try to stay cutting edge, but that doesn’t help if a downstream server or router is from 1980 and just doesn’t understand what we’re trying to say. So, sometimes these things happen.

Understanding Web Addresses (URL’s)

Without getting too technical: each stream server has a street address called in industry jargon a hostname. That equates to your home mailing address. Lesser known is the ip-address which you could equate to the postal or zip code assigned by your local postal service. Most web browsers accept both and will go somewhere with them, however in our industry we have one more qualifying part and that is called the port. That you could equate to your house number in your mailing address.

Hostname’s rely on a registry service call DNS (domain name system) which couples a human readable hostname with an ip-address. Simply stated: When your computer connects to the Internet, it automatically connects to a local DNS server to get the latest “street” addresses of places you can visit with your web browser. There are millions of DNS servers out there with different versions and now you understand where the breakdown can occur.

One last thing to confuse you with. Web browsers use what’s called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) which is fancy for the web address you enter into your web browser. It’s made up of parts like your street address that have to be accurately written out in order for you browser to work correctly. So for example to get to a typical stream server you would write: (http://cabhs30.sonixcast.com:9000). Broken down into their constituent pieces, that would equate as follows:

http:// <- protocol: (can be either http:// or https://) we always use http:// for our stream servers
cabhs30.sonixcast.com <- hostname: human readable alias for 192.99.62.212
9000 <- port: separated from the hostname by a semicolon

Boring! I still can’t get to my Stuff:

webpagetest-cabhs30Well the first thing you should do is see if your server is available for everybody else. Many computer users have a local firewall which may block access to certain ports or as explained aboveor maybe DNS has not replicated to your system. We recommend the use of webpagetest.org to test because they use actual browsers to look up websites and they have loads of locations you can test from. The base URL for our servers is always just the hostname, so you would enter “cabhs30.sonixcast.com” into the webpagetest.org page and after a few seconds you should get something like the picture here:

The only relevant statistic is the “First Byte Time” which equates to how fast the web server responds. It should be rated between A and C and should never go beyond C. Now try the url to your stream server which includes the main port as assigned in boombox (http://cabhs30.sonixcast.com:9000). It can also be found in the customer area at https://www.sonixcast.com. If the “First Byte Time” is classified A through D than your server is online and available for everyone. Just not for you if you can’t get to it meaning one of two things: A) the port is being blocked by you local firewall or B) DNS has not been replicated to your computer.

Diagnosing my access

The quickest way is to start backwards. Open a browser and copy “http://cabhs30.sonixcast.com” (without the parenthesis of course) into the web address field. If you get a timeout or error connection message, this usually means a DNS problem. The easiest way to fix this is to shutdown your computer, unplug your router (if you have one), plug your router back in, start your computer and then try “http://cabhs30.sonixcast.com” again. If it works try your stream server by adding a semicolon and your main port to the web address and hit enter (i.e.: http://cabhs30.sonixcast.com:9000). If you see your stream server page, everything is fixed and you can broadcast. If not try the ip-address (i.e.: http://192.99.62.212:9000) and if that works, the DNS at your provider is not updating and you either have to contact them or consider using a public DNS on your computer. We recommend using Google Public DNS as they are the fastest and easiest to setup. Here a how-to: Google Public DNS.

For techies: Windows users can save the PC restart by type “ipconfig /flushdns” in the process above, however you should restart your router first.

If the above doesn’t work for you, see if you have a firewall installed on your computer and turn it off or suspend it. Try the address again and if it works, then you need to allow outgoing port access or setup unlimited outgoing access for your browser. I’m sorry this section is not very verbose, but there are so many firewall types out there that I would be writing how-to’s until next year.

If all else Fails

Our firewall generally does not block you willy-nilly, however it will block you if you do something malicious (like try to hack in) or if you enter your ftp or control panel password incorrectly three (3) times in a row. In the later instance it only blocks you for 30 minutes and then you can try again. But if you just can’t figure it out visit this website http://whatsmyip.net/, copy the entire number after “Your IP Address is” and paste it into a support ticket along with your main port number and send it off. Our team will then help you figure it out.

 

sweating-busy

With the recent influx of Radionomy customers, we find ourselves in expansion mode. The features that many like are our License model and lack of playback restrictions, however we know we need to grow in order to meet demand. Here’s what we got going for the rest of May…

New Servers

We’ll be adding 4 new stream servers to handle the load of new sign-ups. All our servers are running at near capacity and that’s cutting it a little too close to ensure 100% up-time. The new servers will be dedicated for streaming ShoutCast and IceCast radios and each will have a dedicated AnyCastIP node for distribution. We will also be adding 4 new AnyCastIP nodes in Europe to handle the additional network load.

BoomBox Control Panel

We’ve taken in many requests from customers about adding Radionomy styled features to BoomBox and I can assure you all that they’re all on the development plan. But we need to prioritize some items in order to get the masses going, so we’re going to concentrate on getting the global music library, new html5 player and extended playlist manager done. That way new customers will be able to do 90% of what they could do at Radionomy.

SoniXFM.com

There have been some synchronization issues with SoniXFM. That along with player design requests means we will de-couple the web player from SoniXFM and use a customer programmed player in BoomBox until we get the synchronization problems figured out with the SoniXFM system. This change will be transparent for all users. Once you implement the custom player, we will move it to SoniXFM and you won’t have to change a thing.

Support Team

We will be expanding our support team to include regional directors that will specialize in sales and minimal technical support. I will be training these specialists personally to answer the most common questions and technical issues customers may have. They are your primary point of contact for everything SoniXCast and if they don’t know it, they will. I promise.

Thank You!

I want to thank you all personally for considering SoniXCast as your hosting partner and for your patience as we grow. I hope that you will continue to give us feedback, because only that way we can become that what you expect from a streaming and licensing provider.

Brian Walton – Owner – SoniXCast

bbPress-vs-BuddyPress

In an effort to move the discussions off of social networking sites into a more central database for information concerning SoniXCast, we’ve installed bbpress forums and buddypress social networking plug-ins onto our WordPress installation at https://blog.sonixcast.com.

The public is encouraged to sign-up, partake and contribute.

About buddypress: BuddyPress is a powerful community plugin for WordPress that takes your site beyond the blog. It includes all of the features you’ve come to expect from any online community, like user profiles, groups, activity streams, notifications, and more.

About bbpress: bbPress is forum software, made the WordPress way. Have you ever been frustrated with forum or bulletin board software that was slow, bloated, and always got your server hacked? bbPress is focused on ease of integration, ease of use, web standards, and speed. We’re keeping things as small and light as possible while still allowing for great add-on features through WordPress’s extensive plugin system. What does all that mean? bbPress is lean, mean, and ready to take on any job you throw at it.

copyright-music-internet-laws

Here at SoniXCast we try to take the headache out of broadcasting. Many who come on board have questions and concerns that we will try to answer here. However, if you need further clarification or have a special request, we beg you to contact our friendly support department and they will gladly help you any way they can.

Let’s start by going over what we do for you…

On paper, SoniXCast LLC is the legal owner of all internet radio stations hosted within our network in Canada which falls under the jurisdiction of the collection society SOCAN. We submit all the reports to SOCAN and make sure that they stay warm and fuzzy. This saves you the headache of dealing with the ever changing legal climate and ensures your station is properly registered and licensed at all times. In other words: You worry about broadcasting and we help keep you legal.

But there are some limitations and restrictions…

Our umbrella license with SOCAN, like any other license, is limited to the music streamed from our network only. It doesn’t protect you if you use a third party streaming service or share songs with others. Each country has its own laws when it comes to file sharing and they apply to wherever you currently prop your feet. The same applies to what you say during your broadcast. Local liability laws apply, meaning you could find yourself in front of an angry mob if you go off on a rant or play music that is not allowed or is offensive.

Remember that your radio station is hosted in Canada and is legally Canadian. You should state this in any public venue (on your website, in blogs, on social media, at concerts) otherwise your local royalty collection society might feel neglected and cause a legal mess for you. We don’t require that you say your radio is Canadian, but it would be a safe bet if anyone asks. Besides: Canada is a cool multi-lingual country where you can broadcast in any language you like (Wookies are Welcome!)

Play what you want…

If you can find it on iTunes, then you can play it! We, through our partnerships, have affiliate agreements with almost every collection society worldwide which covers the royalty collection of just about every song ever recorded. Creative Commons/Open Source licensing is also supported and we have a waiver system in place for unregistered titles. We also have automatic Creative Commons licensing in place for all speech content which goes into effect each time you re-broadcast. This is useful for syndication of your show, but additional licensing may be required for any music you include. We can help you with that too.

Is SoniXCast legal everywhere?

Yup! Since SoniXCast owns the radio station and it is located in Canada, it falls under the jurisdiction of the collection agency SOCAN which has affiliate agreements with collection agencies in every country. There are no Canadian laws to restrict in which country our broadcast can be heard and we know of no country currently blocking our broadcasts, so SoniXCast can be heard everywhere! SOCAN is pretty good with their record keeping and they put out regular annual reports. Want to see if the collection society in your country is a partner? Check it out here: http://www.socanannualreport.ca/overview/

Can I advertise my radio any way I like?

Yup! Pretty much. The only recommendations are that you make it understood that your radio is hosted in Canada. It wouldn’t hurt to put the SOCAN logo on your website, just to let everyone know you are properly licensed and it would make us super happy if you would put our logo on your site :-). You might also want to check into our affiliate program.

Are there any song restrictions?

Nope. Some countries have music blacklists (Germany for example). Titles that are not allowed over the local airwaves. That doesn’t apply to us. We generally don’t care what you play as long as you understand that if you anger the local citizens, they might come after you with pitchforks. There are no song repetition restrictions either. If you want to setup a stream repeating the word “Duh” all day long, you can do that. Perfect for Musicians who want to showcase their music non-stop.

Can I make money with my radio?

Yup! Knock yourself out. We are only concerned with the music you play. But keep in mind that some local collection societies may require you pay additional fees or that you register if you make radio your business. And you have to pay your local taxes on any income that you make. Best is to contact our legal department before you go hog wild.

What is AnyCastIP?

AnyCastIP is our patented network which sits on top of the Internet and ensures that your broadcast is heard with the same audio/video quality regardless of where the listener is located on this earth (or in space). Developed together with Sony in 2006, AnyCastIP uses variable bitrate (vbr), compression and existing media routing technologies to convert media streams for optimized delivery to cell phones, computers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles…essentially anything that connects to the internet and can playback media streams. In 2011 Samsung, Microsoft, General Motors (Bose), Roku and Rock-Ola began using white label implementations of AnyCastIP, so if you listen to the radio in your car, on your Xbox or Playstation, chances are you’re listening through AnyCastIP.

Do I need a Dial-up Stream?

No. AnyCastIP compresses and distributes the output of your stream server to 24 globally located network nodes simultaneously at variable bitrates (vbr). Listeners connect to the nearest node and receive audio data optimized for their connection. Variable, read ahead buffering ensures that the stream starts with little or no delay and media optimized routing ensures quick ping backs to your stream queue. Way to technical? Essentially AnyCastIP ensures your stream sounds the same regardless of where you are on the world and regardless of connection speed. So, no Dial-up stream needed.

What is SoniXFM.com?

SoniXFM is a radio directory service developed by request from partners Microsoft, Sony and Samsung. It sports a modern browser interface and has many built-in features for radio broadcasters including seamless social networking integration, integration with 3rd party aggregators like iTunes, Tunein or Dirble, Radio Station profile webpages much like facebook with vanity domain support. And the list goes on… Currently in alpha, a working proof of concept was released in 2014 and we hope to have a beta version completed by August 2016.

What is ShoutBox/BoomBox?

These are our homegrown stream server control panels. ShoutBox, obviously, for managing ShoutCast servers only, BoomBox replaces ShoutBox with additional support for IceCast, Flash Media Servers like Wowza and Windows Media Servers. Both support stream Server and Transcoder (Auto-DJ) management, User (DJ) management and scheduling, full featured music library management, playlist management and scheduling and, of course, AnyCastIP. BoomBox is currently in beta and you can follow development at: http://boombox.sonixcast.com/

How is SoniXCast better than other Stream Hosters?

Well I wouldn’t say we’re better, just better informed. We, like every other Hoster, are limited by the Software (ShoutCast, IceCast WMS, Wowza), Hardware and Network we use. We’ve been in business since 2006 and have watched the legal climate change quite a bit, so we made it our job to understand the legalities of broadcasting.

We are a family business. Not some vulture capital funded corporation geared towards over marketing a mediocre product. Which has its advantages and disadvantages. What we have most is experience. We’ve seen pink elephants dance and pigs grow wings and fly. There is hardly a technical or legal problem we haven’t banged our heads on the table about. More importantly, we understand that each customer is individual and each radio different. We encourage feedback and that you talk to us. It will help keep you from shooting yourself in head in the ever changing legal climate of broadcasting.

Click here to read the full list of affiliate partnership agreements we have with other nations and collection societies: SOCAN Affiliattion Agreements List

pirate

Radionomy is currently suffering extreme network issues according to their facebook page.

Ever wonder why Sonixcast customers never experience such problems? In a word AnyCastIP. Never heard of it huh. Well AnyCastIP is Sonixcast’s patented digital content distribution network which serves as a backbone for all Sonixcast services and works diligently behind the scenes ensuring that broadcasts have the same high quality regardless of where in the world one listens in from. (more…)

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