Discord Stage Event #2 & Upcoming Core System Updates

This week, we held our second Discord Stage event titled “Meet the Gensokyo Radio Staff” where we learned more about the folks behind the station along with our audience. We had each of our staff members prepare a question or two to ask the others, and we also fielded a few questions from our listeners. Overall, it was a great opportunity to talk about something different and do something we likely wouldn’t have done on one of our Live shows. If you missed out or want to listen to the event again, the recording will become publicly available this weekend, or if you’re a supporter, it will be available to you later today.

Regarding the station’s core upgrades, we conducted extensive testing on several different backend configurations for our new source implementation. Generally, testing involved setting up various hardware configurations in both dev and data center environments including off-site block storage, followed by measuring performance and latency metrics to determine the long-term viability of our new setup. We determined that our usual VPS solutions are not sufficient for our proposed production stack due to the low-latency requirements that real-time audio encoding demands, so we’ll be moving to a more capable (and more expensive) solution in the near future.

The result of this setup will be a clear, consistent stream hosted on a much more powerful machine capable of producing an excellent stream experience. This will incorporate the new scheduling system we talked about (and previewed) during our most recent Live show.

We’ll be implementing this system in two main phases. Phase one will occur this week and will involve integration of an entirely new software stack. This is a huge change and will completely eliminate our dependency on Shoutcast-based software which we’ve been using since our station’s inception in 2011. Phase two will implement our finalized source system which should vastly improve network reliability and stability on the most powerful server machine we’ve ever run our station on.

The hardware we’ll be hosting on is a significant investment which will ultimately save us money in the long-run, but the up-front costs are roughly equivalent to two years worth of running costs for the station. With that said, we also have a couple new shirt designs which are in the final stages of production, and we’ll be announcing a pre-order for them in the near future. We continue to improve the service we provide, and it is thanks to our listeners and supporters that we are able to invest in improvements like these and to continue supporting the craft of the artists we play on our station.

Thank you for your support, and thanks for listening!

[Knowledge #20]