Forthcoming Address Changes at Radio Riel

As you may well be aware, recent secu­ri­ty fea­tures includ­ed by major web brows­er devel­op­ers, notably Chrome (fromv55 onwards) and Safari — but no doubt with oth­ers to fol­low — means that play­ers run­ning in these browsers can no longer be used to lis­ten to Radio Riel, includ­ing the offi­cial Stream Licens­ing play­er that we are required to point at as part of our North Amer­i­can music licens­ing, and Web-based use of the high­ly-regard­ed TuneIn curat­ed direc­to­ry ser­vice. It should be not­ed that stand-alone play­ers like WinAmp, MUS­ES, Tap­in­Ra­dio and VLC and the TuneIn app are not affect­ed, and nei­ther are in-world play­ers, for exam­ple in Sec­ond Life view­ers.

The tech­ni­cal rea­son for this is that these browsers are block­ing web address­es with HTTP 0.9 head­ers and port num­bers that are non-stan­dard (ie not port 80). None of our streams are run­ning on Port 80, and as all our streams run on a sin­gle serv­er, only one of them pos­si­bly could.

The steps tak­en by Chrome and Safari have affect­ed an enor­mous num­ber of inter­net radio sta­tions around the world: we are not alone here. It has in fact caused a great deal of con­ster­na­tion.

The solu­tion to this is a fair­ly fun­da­men­tal one — there is no easy way round it — and it is to change to a dif­fer­ent music serv­er sys­tem. We cur­rent­ly use Shout­Cast Ver­sion 1, which was last updat­ed in 2004. We, like many inter­net broad­cast­ers around the world, have con­tin­ued to use this serv­er because it is pop­u­lar, well-under­stood and well-sup­port­ed, and reli­able. In addi­tion in our case, it was sup­port­ed by Cen­to­va who make our music serv­er front-end that stores detailed records for copy­right licence report­ing.

There are two alter­na­tive options. One is to migrate to Shout­cast v2, which is the cur­rent, and much more sophis­ti­cat­ed suc­ces­sor to Shout­Cast v1. The oth­er option is to go for the open-source Ice­cast 2 serv­er sys­tem. As we are very much in favour of open-source solu­tions, we have cho­sen to go with the lat­ter: specif­i­cal­ly the Ice­cast-KH branch that is spec­i­fied for use with Stream Licens­ing.

At the same time we are mov­ing our stream host­ing. For most of our almost 10 years of oper­a­tion, our streams have been host­ed by the same provider, and Jamie has giv­en us won­der­ful ser­vice for those years: we are most grate­ful to him for his sup­port. He is now assist­ing us in a move to our own ded­i­cat­ed serv­er, which will have the space for our exist­ing six streams plus Fan­ta­sy Faire Radio, pro­vide addi­tion­al library stor­age and lis­ten­er sock­ets, and give us room for future expan­sion.

This inevitably means that there will be changes in the address­es you use to lis­ten to our streams. The most obvi­ous change is that as well as a port num­ber in the address, there is a mount-point name (usu­al­ly “stream”) on the end of each address. How­ev­er the IP address of the streams will change too.

Luck­i­ly, this affects us more than it affects you. We have already set up alias­es for all six of our pri­ma­ry streams — they are acces­si­ble (or copy­able) from the list in red top left of this page. They take the form “http://[name].radioriel.org” — eg “http://music.radioriel.org” for Main, “http://steampunk.radioriel.org” for Steam­punk, and so on. What you can do right now is to check if any of your book­marks, etc use the IP address (eg “http://64.237.34.50:8020” or the server­name (eg “http://music.slserver.com:8020”) and change them to the appro­pri­ate alias (the link des­ti­na­tion for each of the stream names at the top of this page). So, for exam­ple, change “http://music.slserver.com:8020” to “http://music.radioriel.org”. If you have done this, then you will not have any prob­lem access­ing Radio Riel’s streams when we change over servers.

The changeover will hap­pen in ear­ly Feb­ru­ary and we’ll let you know more as the time approach­es.

Thank you for lis­ten­ing!

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