Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A slightly geeky lesson, or..."How does our Audio online get to you?"


A brief lesson in how streaming audio gets to you on the web and on devices. 

WION originates AM stereo at our studios.  (WGLM originates it's stream at theirs.)

That audio is received in Jim Carlyle's Office on a Carver AM stereo tuner.
(At WGLM it's from a processed in-house source)

The audio is fed into the office computer/streamer and sent to two places.

1) Our carrier of the two streams at 48k and 128K in AAC+ format for tune-in radio app and other devices like the Alexa, Google and our own phone and tablet apps.

2) The second destination is a different stream in mp3 format for backup,  and to be used by older  internet devices that don't decode the newer style of stream.

At the sending computer, the data of song title and artist from our studios merge with the audio and are sent for "multiplying" by the streaming company, which actually supplies YOU with the audio you hear.   Meanwhile another company takes the stream and logs the songs we play, how m any listeners are online when, and for how long, and they bill us for the royalties and provide the player that you see online.

There are many links in ANY streaming chain. There's the originating software, (up and running now for nearly 3 months since restart, it's very stable)...there's the STATION's internet connection to the outside world, then there's the "Carrier" or "Server" that multiplies the amount of streams, enough for all our listeners to have one when they want, and of course that means there's THEIR servers that can have troubles even if all the other links in the chain are UP and running.

Today was audio day from HELL for us. Our local outgoing streams are fine, but the company that keeps us legal with royalties has continued issues. THEN, the OTHER company that carries the streams to your devices went down and as of this writing still IS down.

Understand that streaming is an expensive and complicated process. We chose the services we have because "other" services don't allow local commercials to be carried which is of value to our listeners and advertisers. Some don't allow network programming, and some don't allow syndicated programming like we have on weekends. Thus, to have the most services takes involving the most links in the chain.

There will be those times and those days beyond our control. It's frustrating to us even more than you, but know that we monitor ALL parts of the process and work with those people to get things back and running as quickly as possible. And remember, the bottom line is, The Internet is not a guaranteed delivery service. For the MOST reliable entertainment, we're ON THE AIR for you  24/7/365, (minus time for maintenance which keeps our equipment functioning at it's best.)

Thank you for understanding!



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