Archive for the ‘Mobile Streaming’ Category

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Combine Google Earth with Streaming Radio and magic happens

One of the pesky questions is whether in a streaming world people care where a station is located.

Weather Garden uses your location as a starting point – it didn’t ask for permission for my location, so it probably guessed based on the IP address’s likely location.

How complete is it?

Looking 25 miles out from WBT-AM as a starting point, my database has
22 AM stations that stream
32 FM stations that stream (including HD 2/3/4 channels)
2 Low Power FM stations that stream
23 FM translators that stream. offered me:

WZFG-AM – The Flag, located across the river from South Dakota
WFAE HD2 (Jazz) – local NPR affiliate
Translator for WNCW – a Community College located in Spindale NC
Radio Alante Alante, an internet only Spanish language “radio station” with a copyright date of 2011 and no obvious connection to Charlotte – it appears to be based in the Dominican Republic.

How well does it work for you?

Copyrights and streaming royalties are such a pesky concept.

Amazon launches unlimited on-demand music service

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Amazon Music Unlimited is an “on demand” music service. This is different than Sirius XM which has music channels and pandora which guesses what songs you want to hear. Spotify is the closest competitor where you can ask for specific songs and they are played. In none of these services do you “own” anything, other than the right to listen to music via streaming during the period of your subscription. The cost of data is your responsibility


The service is $9.95 a month or $7.95 for Amazon Prime customers. If you own the Siri-like Echo )$179.99) device, it is $3.95 a month.

“Echo, play me a melody, mr piano man!”

So what is the purpose of radio again?

Securenet systems comes around

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Better late than never…

Their v5 player now launches on mobile devices without needing to download one app per station. It just plays. The player is used by close to 1000 radio stations. It breaks the business model of selling custom apps that are nothing but a skin, and keeping P1 listeners as captives, but on the Internet, you can’t keep people from leaving town to hear what they want

Apple’s iPhone 7 problem

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

“Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded” Yogi Berra

Bloomberg is declaring the demise of Apple because they are selling too many iPhones.

Apple Stores are dying

A number of money managers bailed on Apple reassuring each other that Apple has nowhere to go but down. The iPhone7 and the Plus version have some improvements, the most important being a quad processor with gaming quality graphics, and improved cameras.

Bloomberg has stats of the number of people waiting in line on Day One of availability as their evidence that the Apple Store is dying. I’ve never been in an Apple Store that isn’t drowning in people buying stuff.

Apple is drowning in Apple 7 prereorders. The “plus” model with the dual camera and the version with the new black finish are virtually unobtainable. People who are sane and want the new phones preorder the phone for delivery, either directly from Apple or through their cell phone company. Sleeping on the sidewalk for a week to be the first person in line was fun the first time – now it is just silly.

I’ve joined the dark side

Friday, August 12th, 2016

After spending 20 minutes to get a web page to load, I’ve given up.


Radio Uber

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

So when people ride using Uber, what happens with the “radio”? What are the rules?

For about the past 3 years, I don’t even turn on the radio in my own car, so when riding Uber, asking the driver to do anything with the “radio” is unlikely, although I did think about the subject.

Drivers are rated by the passenger, and a high rating is necessary to remain as an active driver. Fighting over the “radio” is a potential hornet’s nest. I remember reading a post about a guy thumbs downing his driver because the rider wanted to listen to Spotify and the driver was not a subscriber.

Pandora just announced a deal with Uber to allow the rider to control the radio using the app. Pandora creates playlists that are specific to you, so the app will play “your” music through the car stereo.

If I were a driver, I’m pretty sure I would not like this. I can imagine picking up a fare who turns on gangsta rap and hearing “I’m gonna fuck you up, bitch” blaring at me. Your cell phone is just fine šŸ˜‰ Drivers also rate riders, although I haven’t sought that out.

Uber rides tend to be relatively short – I doubt many people use uber to commute, other than maybe in San Francisco.

So if you ran uber, what woukd the rules be?

Streaming’s top 20

Friday, May 27th, 2016

So after the shakeout in the streaming business, who is left?


The graphic is a little confusing – for Linux friendly and mobile friendly, the left side is the current state (penguin or happy face) – the link next to it reverses the current state

I’ve bumped into a couple Securenet instances that have a native player that works on mobile devices. Prestream video ads are broken as a business model. When people are paying for mobile data, a 20 MB video ad is extremely unwelcome. Some desktop websites (not radio related) are becoming totally unusable from preloading and automatically playing video ads. Ad bocking software will only escalate.

HTML5 – what you need to know

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Streaming used to be painful. There were 100 different types of players – some needed special applications or plugins, some only worked on some types of computers, some required special decoders that required breaking patent rights.

In 2016, 2/3rds of streaming is now on mobile devices – laptops, tablets, smart phones and the like. The incompatibilities were a major problem.

The solution is HTML5, which is now built into all current browsers. The technical details of how a stream starts is handled by a negotiation between the browser and the streaming service.

There is only one of the big streaming providers that does not have an HTML5 implementation – Securenet Systems. I told them about a year ago that I could no longer recommend them to a radio station owner because of the lack of an Html5 solution. They provide mobile support (only if the station pays for it) by creating custom made apps with one station per app. That’s unworkable. People are not going to load 30 radio apps on their smartphone.

Iheart is an exception – while it requires downloading an app, that one app has over 1,000 US based radio stations, not just those owned by iHeartmedia.

Shortly, I will start removing support for non-HTML5 compatible streams. I had already made that the semi official position.

2:20 PM on Wednesday

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

If you want to catch the United States off guard, that would be the time to do something.

You may remember earlier in the Obama years, FEMA and the FCC conducted a mandatory test of the national Emergency Alert System. While the National EAS system is based on the same system that gives you warnings of tornadoes and such things, the National Alert is different in several important ways:

Carrying national alerts is mandatory, immediate and automatic. No matter what is going on, the President has immediate and complete control – not only radio and TV, but SiriusXM, DishTV, DirecTV, your local Cable TV system, and now your mobile phone. Once the Internet of Things is built, It is logical to think that the light bulbs in your home will start flashing in special colors to get your attention.

The non national EAS alerts are generally coordinated by state broadcast associations and state agencies who designate certain stations that can be reliable hubs. The activate signal “beep scratch scratch… Had this been an actual emergency” is relayed from big stations to small stations. While stations at the end points must log local tests, they don’t have to break into live programming to air the test nor are they required to carry actual warnings live or at all.

So Wednesday is a partial national test. The real national EAS message will go out, but only to 22 selected states. The one and only real national test went poorly. Message distribution works differently for the entire country since it is more complicated.

A few regional broadcasters have a special responsibility called being a Primary Entry Point. Upon receiving the header for a national alert, the PEP connects to a central communications bridge controlled by the White House and broadcasts the alert outward until (hopefully) every broadcast outlet in the country is standing by to hear the White House announce something really really important. This capability was not used on 9/11, but the pretense that EAS is useful carries on. Realistically, there is no national event that would be less severe by warning the public. If Russian ICBMs are incoming, 8 million people trying to flee New York City will just kill a lot of panicked people and prevent actual emergency responders from doing useful things.

Sit back and enjoy. Remember – bright flash, duck and cover.

2% of streaming is done using Internet Exploder

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

December’s results are in. The trend to stream using mobile devices rolls on.

Triton Digital Report

Triton Digital is the biggest platform for radio streaming and has “instrumentation” for other streaming services. It isn’t measuring everything, but most of the big domestic streamers.

Streaming companies that still don’t offer native HTML5 streaming are going to fall out of the marketplace. Flash and Silverlight are dead, and rightly so.