The ReliaStream team has been very busy with all the changes and restrictions with the new SHOUTcast ver 2.6. We have been helping each and every one of our members understand how this new SHOUTcast software works and the changes they made. We have also seen an increase with an area of Centova Cast that seems to be causing issues for some broadcasters. Lets go over this below...

Centova Cast gives you the ability to upload INTRO FILES and FALLBACK FILES. At first glance this seems like a great idea and if uploaded they do in fact work. There are some issues you may run into when using the intro and fallback files. Since these issues can have an impact on your Centova Cast server, web radio player, and issues with listeners trying to tune in we say DO NOT use them. We feel these files are not worth the issues that could take place.

These files must be the same kbps rate as your station. We have client servers stopping every few minutes due to overstreaming. This means streaming at a higher rate then you are paying for. We had a member who uploaded a 320 kbps intro file. He was streaming at 128 kbps. Every time a listener would tune in they would start hearing the into file (playing at 320 kbps). Now Centova Cast software says this station is streaming at 320 kbps, this shuts down the station, and a warning email is sent out. The client checked everything in their encoder settings and said "I am streaming at 128 kbps" and sent us screen images. We passed this to Centova Cast support and they stated "something is sending out 320 kbps". We later realized their intro file was the issue. Once we removed the intro file problem solved.

Web radio players may have problems with Centova Cast intro and fallback files and this can cause issues for your listeners. Lets say you are not overstreaming and your radio station is 128 kbps. You upload an intro file that is 64 kbps. You are not over your 128 kbps so you should be good right? Wrong! Many web radio players have problems switching kbps rates with in the same stream. This has nothing to do with Centova Cast or your file and everything to do with your web radio player and what it can and can not do. We have seen major buffering after the intro file flips over to your station. We have heard your station play like a Chipmunks radio station (audio very fast). We have heard your audio in super slow mode and we have heard looping. 

So you have to ask yourself.. Are these files really worth it? We say no but again.. Some broadcasters want to use Centova Cast intro and fallback files. That is for you to decide but everything must be perfect for these things to work properly. We have addresses this issue with Centova Cast. We suggested that they add a warning message before uploading. That way you know what needs to be done to get these working properly.

Hope this helps our fellow broadcasters :-)

Friday, January 31, 2020

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