Bouncy Radio Center 9 – Admin Modules

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The Bouncy Radio Center admin modules are now complete! and with it some cool new features.

First of all it now has its own error reporting functions meaning if there is a problem with your radio connection it will tell you what the problem is, and suggest how to resolve the problem (see above screenshot).

Now, there are 2 modules, an Overview Module and a Managment Module. Overview is the default and gives you a quick look at various things about your radio such as Scheduled Shows Today, Scheduled Shows This Week, number of resident DJ’s and number of Guest DJ’s. It now also has an upgrade history showing you what versions you installed and when.

Managing DJ’s is now much more simple. You no longer have to search for a member and edit their profile. You can now see all DJ’s from one page, Add new guest or resident dj’s, change a dj’s type or delete a dj (see below image)

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Bouncy Radio Center 9 should now be ready for release very soon! Not much further to go boys and girls!

Stay Tuned!

Bouncy Radio Center 9 – LiveStream Update

Just a quick message really. There is going to be a major overhaul on the livestream player, Basically it is going to be put into its own module / class and there’s now 28 selectable themes for it, including the themes you are already familiar with.

This should allow for better calls to the livestream player in hooks and modules that people may create. Thinking ahead 😉

Anyway, i will post another article soon with a sneaky peak at the skins that will be available.

Listen Info Update – Bouncy Radio Center 9

Right then, well I’ve been a busy bunny since my last article with updating the listener info detection for media players, and, well, there’s now 7 which are recognised successfully (see below image).

  • Winamp
  • iTunes
  • VLC Media Player
  • Real Player
  • Bouncy Radio Center LIVE Stream
  • SHOUTcast App for iPhone / iPod Touch
  • Windows Media Player

If you know of any other popular media players that are used to tune into your radio just let me know the name of the media player, and the user agent information, and I’ll add it to the standard list.

Also to answer questions i often get asked about VLC player. The reason its not added as an option to tune in with is because VLC uses all sorts of file types and supports lots of methods, as such, you can use VLC to tune in using the winamp link or the iTunes link, and so on. Any entry for VLC would be nothing more than a duplicate of another link so not really needed, but it IS supported.

If you want to send me a recommendation for a media player just comment on this article and I’ll respond. If you have Bouncy Radio Center v8 installed you can tune into your radio with the media player you want to submit and grab the User Agent data from the listener info there.

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Bouncy Radio Center 9 – Listener Info

Information is something you can never have to much of (except in Beth’s case where she likes to describe in detail her trip to the toilet). Well the new Radio Center 9 is no different and at this point, I’d like to introduce you to the new listener info pop up box.

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As you can see it has a few new additions since its v8 counterpart such as player icons and under runs. So, first of all the player icons, nothing more than a visual representation of the player that listener is using. In v8 you would have to look at the User Agent box and determine from that. Well with a lot of patients and some regular expressions you can now see a cool little icons for each listener. If however the player is not recognised, an unknown icon will be displayed and you can check out the user agent field for more information.

Now onto under runs. A lot of radio owners are often faced with members of their forums or radio listeners saying that the radio keeps stuttering or buffering, and as a radio owner its hard to determine whether just this 1 listener is having the problem, or if all listeners are having a problem. On a DJ point of view this usual results in the do having to disconnect and reconnect, just to be safe. well no there is no need. You can check to see if all listeners are experiencing under runs or buffering.

For example, listener ID 482 in the above image, lets imagine he has 12 under runs, and the other listeners have 0. We can safely assume that the problem is with that listeners internet connection and act accordingly, asking the listeners to ensure they are not using all their bandwidth downloading or if there using a 3G connection as they are tuned in with an iPhone/iPod Touch, so from these 2 new bits of information (player and under runs) we can assume maybe this listeners signal has dropped or there speed has reduced causing under runs / buffering.

If all listeners are having under run problems then you can assume that the DJ is having bandwidth problems with his upload speed and ask him to reduce the bit rate accordingly, alternatively, if your radio is not hosted with BouncyServers (probably the best host in the world) it could very well be a server lag problem.

As you can see, these new features don’t give you a definitive answer, but they help MUCH more in determining the cause of any lag issues.

And this boys and girls, is just one more reason why the Bouncy Radio Center is the best all round SHOUTcast management solution around.

Let me know what you think, and stick around for more updates very soon!

work, Work, WORK!

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Everybody works in one way or another, we all have jobs to do, and for the last few days, I’ve been dreading getting out of bed for a few reasons. First of all, because I’ve not been eating properly or getting much sleep at all over the last few weeks which is leaving me a bit short in the old energy department, and secondly, because i know I’m going to have to stare at a screen full of code for hours, and that being the reason for the first.. erm.. reason..

Seriously though, I have just spent around 8 hours finishing off the new Radio Center Sidebar Hook, and why, because it’s a long process meeting standards.

Hooks for example come bundled in 1 xml file, this file has to contain language strings, template bits, settings, PHP code, help files, database queries and so on.

Now the radio sidebar hook only contains 1 template bit, 12 settings, 24 language strings, 1 PHP file and 1 help file and its taken me all this time to complete it.

Saying that, the sidebar module uses the RAJAX module and has some JavaScript coding in it also, so I’ve had to add some stuff to the RAJAX module to auto update certain elements of the sidebar. Still, most people will look at the sidebar and think nothing of it, its small, it doesn’t look too complicated, and in reality, its taken hours and hours to complete.

The fun doesn’t end there though, oh no. I’ve still got loads of other bits to complete, the main board panel hook for starters, its almost done, i just cant decide if i like the look of it or not, mainly because of the padding with the default IPB table class, however i did write a class called “RadPad” specifically for the radio, but i haven’t decided if i want to use it or not yet.

Then there’s the global radio bar hook, which i haven’t even started yet.. HA! fun times!

As far as the actual radio center goes lets see, the History page is completed, done, dusted, the schedule page is done on the public side, but I’m not happy with the way scheduled entries are laid out, so that’s probably going to have an overhaul. DJ List, not started, Downloads, not started, Linking, Not done but that’s an easy one, Stats, done, but not finished.

Mentioning the stats, i forgot to post on my blog about them, so i will write an article shortly about the new stats features.

Despite all the work i have done so far, completion still seems a long way away. I’ve literally been getting up, working on the radio center, going to bed, getting up, working on the radio center, going to bed.

Time off today i think, but saying that, I’m to anxious to get it finished i end up going back to it, telling myself I’ll just do a little edit here an there and before i know it am full on writing modules and crap.

Anyways, enough ranting from me, I’m gonna go eat.

Bouncy Radio Center 9 Licensing Options

So while i have been working away for hours and hours every day over the last few weeks working on the new Radio Center, I’ve been thinking about how to give people the best value for money when using the Radio Center.

Now, personally, i would like to give the best deal to loyal BouncyServers customers, and this comes in the form of giving them the new Radio Center absolutely free. On a business point of view this would be crazy and would be a stupid idea, so i was thinking, what’s the best way to give BouncyServers customers a free Radio Center whilst still being able to maintain the costs of the licensing server and keeping the production and updates of the software active.

At this point 2 things came to mind, the first one is building a separate copy of the radio center which has adverts bundled into it, we get some advertising, and the client gets the free software. However, nobody likes adverts, and adverts wont pay the bills. This is when i had the second idea, i could lock the radio center to only function with radios provided by BouncyServers, and there we have it.

Now, this is a great idea, but it has its flaws, first of all clients with standard cheap radios would not cut the running costs for both the radio and the radio center, so we would have to set in some conditions.

These conditions… well, i will be setting up a minimum spend amount on the radio, for example, if you spend £** on a bouncyservers radio, we will give you a free license for the brand spanking new Bouncy Radio Center.

This benefits both us and the clients, we get additional custom as people would start using our radio servers instead of other radio servers, and the clients will get the radio center absolutely free with no additional cost, all they would have to do is get there radio from us.

Of course this is just going to be one of the available options, we will still have the usually options for people who run there own radio servers or do not wish to move allowing them to purchase a radio license the old fashioned way. Were happy, there happy, everybody’s happy!

 

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this please comment and let me know, even throw across your own licensing ideas if you think there is a better option.

Bouncy Radio Center 9 & iPhone / iPod Touch Listeners

2 announcments here, first of all, the new v9 radio center will now list all listeners tuned in on the iPhone or iPod Touch and display a cool little icon next to them in the listener info list and secondly all BouncyServers SHOUTcast customers radio streams are listed with SHOUTcast’s stream directory by default, meaning that they now have the potential to attract more listeners, even if they are not visitors to there websites.

This option can be switched off for people who wish to remain private of course and the same applys for our V-Cast customers with video streams.

That’s about it, just a quick update really but there will be more news coming soon on the new progress of the new radio center.

Bouncy Radio Center 9 RAJAX Module

So I’ve been working a lot on a feature that has been requested for a LONG time, a feature which seen an early implementation in old versions for a brief period. That’s right, AJAX refreshing of radio data “in page”. Basically this is updating details such as the current song playing, DJ, listeners etc. without having to refresh the page.

This is where i would like to introduce to you the brand spanking new RAJAX module for Bouncy Radio Center v9. RAJAX is short for ‘Radio Asynchronous JavaScript and XML’ and comes bundled with the new Radio Center App.

CaptureRAJAX comes with 2 modes, Auto & Manual, quite simple really, Auto Mode will update the radio data every ‘x’ amount of seconds after the page has loaded, while Manual Mode provides buttons to the right of each block of data, which when clicked, will update the relative information, However, Auto Mode also includes the refresh buttons, allowing for you to check the current song for example as you wish.

In addition to this some protection has been put into place for those people who visit the page, fall asleep and forget all about it. This comes in the form of a Decay time. What this basically does is double the wait time if data has not been updated on a certain RAJAX element. Let me show you in detail, lets assume this check is for the name of the current song playing.

Check Time Since Load Starting Decay Did Data Change? Ending Decay Time To Wait Comments
1 00:00 1 N/A 1 30sec Data is deemed changed as there is no prior response to compare to
2 00:30 1 YES 1 30sec song name changed so decay is reset to default which was already 1
3 01:00 1 NO 2 60sec song name not changed, decay and wait time doubled
4 02:00 2 NO 4 120sec still no change, double again
5 04:00 4 NO 8 240sec no change again, double again
6 08:00 8 YES 1 30Sec ahh, data changed, reset the decay and wait times to default

 

So as you can see, if somebody sits on the page, and the radio goes offline for example, rather than there browser making a request every 30 seconds, it will double the wait and decay time if nothing has changed. This means idle users wont hog up resources making un-needed requests.

In regards to how this works if you have a song for example which is 6 minutes long playing on the radio, it should be caught and updated by check 6, if however you have a song which is say 9 minutes long, check 6 would detect no change and would have to wait an additional 8 minutes before the next check picks up the change, this is not a serious problem, as you could just click the refresh button to update that element and the decay and wait time is reset again.

So that’s most of the technical side sorted, well, at least all you need to know for now. Oh yes, RAJAX will also feed any custom radio hooks, apps, modules that users may create letting you take full advantage of it in your own custom modules whether its inside of the forum scripting or not, RAJAX is there to feed you, and your there to be fed.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave me your thoughts and comments.

oh, and before i forget you can test RAJAX live over at our development forums http://dev.bouncyservers.co.uk

Until next time, keep it bouncy! (poor attempt at a sign of line)

Bouncy Radio Center 9 Sidebar Hook

sidebarhook I’ve been a bit quiet lately and that is because i have been hard at work on the new Bouncy Radio Center. each time i complete a new feature I’m hoping to publish an article about it here at anthonykinson.co.uk.

So, I’m happy to announce that the Sidebar Hook for the new radio center is now completed. (see left image)

I’ve kept it nice and simple and it will have its own settings groups so you can totally customize it to how you want it. Also i have created some brand spanking new icons for it, kept the code really clean and fast.

And with that onto speed, The new radio center actually performs over 500 times faster than the previous version 8.2 which is a combinations of a few things. First of all i have cleaned up necessary coding and optimized functions to dramatically reduce load times, and IPB’s great new forum software.

Despite all the cool new features and sleek JavaScript with the new IP.Board, it performs surprisingly faster than its previous 2.3 version.

Anyways, coming up in my next article i will be going through some of the bigger core functions of the new Radio Center, including the all new History and Schedule pages!

Thanks for reading and i look forward to hearing some feedback!

Anthony

Bouncy Radio Center v9.0 Beta Preview

With IP.Board v3 not far away it is finally time to make a move and start writing all the apps for it and where better to start than with the ever popular Bouncy Radio Center.

Bouncy Radio Center v9 Beta Preview

So there is the preview, now for the information on what’s changed so far.

First of all the left column has had a major change, The members avatar is no longer shown and has been replaced with a radio status image and below 2 of IP.Boards new style percentage bars showing current listeners and peak listeners.

Below this we have the tune in links, eventually these will each have there own little icons to the left rather than the temporary on that shows in this preview. Below this you can then see a new feature also. This is the Radio Availability display and gives a visual and textual representation of how many tune in slots are available on the radio. if there’s more than half of total slots available it will show green, if its around half it will show a grey neutral colour, and below half will show red.

Moving further down the left column is the new status layout. Basically there will be 3 types of DJ’s. Resident DJ’s which are DJ’s with permanent, regular or scheduled slots on your radio. Then there is also Guest DJ, which is for DJ’s who do one off shows, or fill in for other DJ’s and have no set schedule or show, and finally, Not A DJ which is pretty much self explanatory.

Things on the main column look pretty much familiar with a few exceptions. There’s a new Radio announcement bar at the very top of the main window, allowing you to quickly post any important radio related messages to people, such as a show cancellation and a slot needing filling, or if your looking for DJ’s like in the preview above.

The main tabbed area will also be changed. I am currently deciding on a new approach for this. In older versions tabs used a custom AJAX query so that no page reloading was required, this however while beneficial displayed a few problems. Firstly the data on the page such as radio status was not updated whilst changing through tabs, and you could not link directly to a tabbed page. Due to this there is a good chance the functions of this are going to be completely re-written meaning you can directly link to tabs.

Finally we have 2 small boxes below the main window. These are information on the current radio show playing, and the current DJ. Current Show Information shows the DJ who’s on air, the show or song they are playing, and the genre of the show. To the right we have the DJ Contact Information, This contains website and messenger fields, both of which are specified in the SHOUTcast plug-in under “yellow pages” when connecting to the radio.

The new Bouncy Radio Center will also support plug-in modules, allowing owners to create there own custom tabs and plug-in’s for the radio center, as well as custom hooks and admin modules. Additional Hooks and Modules will also be available from BouncyServers for licensed customers. In addition to this i will also be providing some variable documentation to assist in the creation of custom modules.

Check back soon for a preview of the front end global bar and board panel preview and i hope your are liking the new Bouncy Radio Center so far. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to leave them on this article.