Is online radio the future of broadcasting?
Few sections of radio broadcasting are growing as fast and are as important to the future as internet radio. Besides the ubiquitousness of receivers —effectively every device capable of streaming from the internet— web radio allows for features which are simply technologically impossible with other modes of getting radio audio to the listeners. These unique advantages include allowing listeners to rewind the audio (HLS and DASH), enabling automatic adaption of played songs or advertisement to specific listeners, or turning a live program into on-demand content immediately after the end of the show.
But because there are so many different receivers, listeners tune into the radio program in especially varied contexts and each one comes with its own special set of requirements. A radio station that wants to deliver the best possible experience for the largest number of listeners needs to make its programs available in many different encoder formats, bitrates, and communication protocols. Encoding multiple programs in various formats, each format supporting two or more bitrates; and delivering them via Icecast, HLS/DASH and maybe RTMP to one or more CDNs can quickly scale up the required processing power significantly. A larger broadcaster can easily require hundreds of simultaneous encodings and transports. Some radio stations are forced to use cobbled-together amateur solutions in order to offer any web radio at all, but this is hardly appropriate for this increasingly important section of radio.
How does a radio station keep up without unreasonable demands to budget or space?
Ferncast has a lot of experience with OTT streaming and now you can enjoy the advantages of that experience in a powerful but affordable package. In the past, users had to acquire common server hardware for their web radio encoding in order to run aixtream. Now Ferncast offers the Audio Codec Server REDUNDANT powered by aixtream software as the perfect all-in-one solution for handling your web radio encoding and streaming. All the mentioned features are included and the REDUNDANT has the power necessary to handle hundreds of streams. In many cases, a single REDUNDANT will be powerful enough to handle your load all on its own. Having a single system handle so many important operations may make some technicians nervous, which is why the REDUNDANT comes with redundant PSU and optionally with other redundant hardware, like additional audio interfaces. If that is not enough, Ferncast extends its customary discount for backup systems to the REDUNDANT.
The REDUNDANT is the premium flag ship of the Audio Codec Server range and is built in an appropriately robust 19” 2 RU form factor with a redundant power supply. It is the most powerful hardware in the ACS lineup, supporting up to 100 mono, stereo and multichannel programs and multiple extension cards for audio and other I/O, such as 16 ch AES, 3 x MADI, ASI, DAB and more. When that is not enough, other I/O can be connected via third-party USB audio interfaces.
Learn more about the ACS OTT Redundant here