Transition to Icecast and New Scheduler in "Phase 1"

This week, we assembled a new “bare metal” server and have deployed it as part of the active station system in what we referred to last week as “Phase 1.” Phase 1 is the first major step in moving away from the proprietary Shoutcast system our station has run on for the past 10+ years.

Within the last 48 hours, the station has transitioned to an Icecast-based system, and while we had done extensive integration testing beforehand, the deployment was not without its speed bumps. Endpoints for our Android app along with others had automatically been appending strings such as “listen.mp3” and “stream.mp3” to the end which created an incompatibility with the new system. This was fixed yesterday. With that ironed out though, our new scheduling system is now in production use, so you’ll hear new hourly trailers and interstitials throughout the station’s 24/7 operation. You’ll also notice a change in transitions between songs throughout.

Within the last 24 hours, we also addressed a temporary issue with users being unable to submit song ratings. At the core of this issue was our new listener logging system. The new system is fundamentally different from the old system in that we now have a webhook-based system internally which pushes new connection info to the server. This step is critical in being able to tell if a user can rate a song or not, since the system is designed so that only active listeners should be able to rate songs. The cherry on top with this new system is that we have also introduced compatibility with listeners who have ipv6-based IP addresses. This standard has become more popular over time, and this will help those listeners who have had issues rating songs in the past.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be testing our new system before moving forward with Phase 2 which will involve deploying the new system to a datacenter to maximize infrastructure reliability.

The changes we highlighted last week and this week are critical changes to the way the station functions behind the scenes. As we previously mentioned, this will open up more opportunities for future development, and should improve listener perception as we continue to implement more material through our new scheduler system.

Oh, and we’ll get to releasing a pre-order of those shirts this week, so stay tuned for more information on that. Thanks for reading this week, we’ll have more for you next week. Till then!

[Knowledge #21]