Technical Stuff

Let's talk radio! What's happening in your city? Who's got the hot new formats and how do you get YOUR classical music? Program directors will read this and your voice will be heard. Get Radio-Active here.

Moderators: Nicole Marie, ScottB

Technical Stuff

Postby tobyz » Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:03 pm

<A HREF="http://www.beethoven.com" TARGET=_blank>www.beethoven.com</A> has really great music to spend a day on the computer with. (I do find the commercials a bit intrusive, but, hey, you've got to stay on the air somehow.)<P>I listen to the station via a broadband cable connection, using Windows Media Player. I find the connection to <A HREF="http://www.beethoven.com" TARGET=_blank>www.beethoven.com</A> just closes after random periods of time - sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. <P>Does anyone else have a similar problem? Is there any solution? I have to go back to the Home Page to open a new connection window when that happens. :confused:
tobyz
5th Chair
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby tobyz » Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:08 pm

I realize this forum area may not be the best place for a "Technical Stuff" topic. Is there a way to open a new forum area for questions like mine?
tobyz
5th Chair
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby RWR » Mon Dec 10, 2001 3:06 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tobyz:<BR><STRONG><A HREF="http://www.beethoven.com" TARGET=_blank>www.beethoven.com</A> has really great music to spend a day on the computer with. (I do find the commercials a bit intrusive, but, hey, you've got to stay on the air somehow.)<P>I listen to the station via a broadband cable connection, using Windows Media Player. I find the connection to <A HREF="http://www.beethoven.com" TARGET=_blank>www.beethoven.com</A> just closes after random periods of time - sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. <P>Does anyone else have a similar problem? Is there any solution? I have to go back to the Home Page to open a new connection window when that happens. :confused:</STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>The same thing happens to me, and it is quite frustrating. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a broadband connection during the day and must live with the problem. However, since you do have a broadband connection I would suggest you listen to the 64k feed via the SonicBox Tuner available for free from <A HREF="http://www.sonicbox.com." TARGET=_blank>www.sonicbox.com.</A> Sounds great, no irritating CLBN commercials, and rarely, if ever, disconnects. Enjoy!
RWR
Section Player
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Fort Luaderdale, FL

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby treebeau » Mon Dec 10, 2001 4:03 pm

Howdy,<P>I used to be more annoyed at that than I am now. See, I recently found that if I click on the play button once, wait a second or two, then click on it a second time it will start to stream again. Saves me from having to exit the window, go back to the main page and start it up again. Give it a try and see if it works for you too.<P>Regards,<BR>Tim B.
treebeau
2nd Chair
 
Posts: 2133
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2000 12:01 am
Location: Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby tobyz » Mon Dec 10, 2001 5:22 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> I don't have access to a broadband connection during the day and must live with the problem. However, since you do have a broadband connection I would suggest you listen to the 64k feed via the SonicBox Tuner available for free from <A HREF="http://www.sonicbox.com." TARGET=_blank>www.sonicbox.com.</A> Sounds great, no irritating CLBN commercials, and rarely, if ever, disconnects. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>SonicBox is the only software I've ever had such an intense dislike for that I've uninstalled it within a couple of hours of installing.<P>Maybe since you don't have broadband you won't notice the frequent sound dropouts lasting a second or two. Also buffering seems quirky -- two or three times the buffer inserted fragments either from another piece entirely or from earlier in the current piece.<P>I find times when the control buttons are unresponsive, especially Stop, Vol, Mute, Configure.<P>Worst is when I bring SonicBox from background to foreground and all that comes up is a blank white outline. Where do you go from there? The task bar, at that point, does not collapse/reopen the window. All I can do is Crl-Alt-Delete to quit SonicBox entirely.<P>Not everything in SonicBox is bad. The station selection architecture (preprogrammed Bands A-Z, numerous substations in each band, up to 25 Presets with ability to import from anywhere on the Web) is well thought out.<P>It's only the performance that is bad, <B>really</B> bad.<P>P.S., I don't think my computer configuration has anything to do with this problem. I'm running a Dell Dimension 8100 with Pentium IV 1.4 GHz chips, Windows ME O/S, 512 MB RAM. Problems such as inert control buttons persist when SonicBox is the only application open in my computer.<P>[ 12-10-2001: Message edited by: tobyz ]<p>[ 12-10-2001: Message edited by: tobyz ]
tobyz
5th Chair
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby Szereck » Mon Dec 10, 2001 9:02 pm

I myself have had some success listening to the station with Winamp... I rarely have any problems witht the audio stream... I have pretty much the same computer as you do minus 256 MB of RAM... And I also have a DSL connection... Speaking of DSL... Your problem could be witht the architecture of cable broadband... Few broadband companys will tell you that your connection is shared with everyone else in your neighborhood... So if several people are downloading large files it is possible that the audio stream might get mixed up or lost which might result in problems where the pauses accur or you get data from another song in the middle of the current song... Hope you have better luck with Winamp...<P>Szereck :eek:
Szereck
5th Chair
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Tualatin, Oregon

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby tobyz » Mon Dec 10, 2001 10:06 pm

Actually, Szereck, the ONLY problem I ever had with the Beethoven feed to Windows Media Player was the unexpected disconnects. WMP itself always performed admirably.<P>My discontent began with the non-performance of SonicBox which I detailed above. When I got rid of that and returned to WMP, I went back to good performance and the occasional disconnect. My WMP has been perfect for the last 1:27:00 and, thanks to the 'double click' remedy provided here by treebeau, the disconnect is now only a temporary inconvenience.<P>As for the DSL line, it's been 100% reliable for the four months it's been installed. I never notice a slowdown on any streaming audio, video, or real-time stock datafeed, even for all of these together. I'm fully content there.
tobyz
5th Chair
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby Kevin » Tue Dec 11, 2001 1:39 pm

First of all, I must apologize for not having read this message forum earlier. We are so busy keeping the station alive, we sometimes forget to see what you all are saying about us.<P>As for the frequent disconnects with Windows Media, I have personally been trying to get answers to that problem and am still working on it. We are aware of it, and it is a high priority for us, technically.<P>One tip for when you can't do that "double click" method mentioned earlier is to click with your RIGHT mouse button on the left or right of the CLBN logo and select "Refresh." This will reload the frame that holds the player and reload the stream without closing and opening the player again (and without a new connect ad).<P>As for the iM Networks / Shoutcast stream, we are trying to figure out how to better use that option - although we are having particular difficulty finding a way to make it pay off. If we can't make it pay off, we may be financially unable to keep it going (just so you know). I also have been told by them that they are working on a new version of the iM Tuner software which should be a vast improvement over the current one.<P>We'll try to monitor this board a little more often, so I can tell you more when we learn more.<P>Sincerely,<BR>Kevin Shively<BR>Director of Business and Web Development<BR>Beethoven.com
Kevin Shively
Kevin
4th Chair
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 12:01 am
Location: Trumbull, CT

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby tobyz » Tue Dec 11, 2001 2:01 pm

Thanks for your comments, Kevin. They provide considerable insight into some of the workings of beethoven.com.<P>Could you, Kevin, arrange for a 'Technical' folder in the forum? This whole topic, which I started, does not really fit within the forum description of "Radio-Active". With a different folder, perhaps we'd get contributions from others who aren't tempted to open this folder. Thanks.
tobyz
5th Chair
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby barfle » Thu Dec 27, 2001 5:43 pm

I've had the same problem with WMP just shutting off at random times. Turning it off, then back on works sometimes, but I usually just use the real player option.<P>However, that's not perfect, either. Every once in a while, it shuts off and I get a window with the message that I have a bad URL. This is often after its been playing just fine for five or six hours (and just as my favorite passages are playing ;) ... Maybe next year!<P>One other minor beef, when I start to listen (by clicking on "Listen Live") the home page refreshes, and that often takes over a minute. I have a high speed connection, so I know it's not running slow here. I wonder if there's a way to not have the home page refresh everytime the player starts?? :confused:<p>[ 12-27-2001: Message edited by: barfle ]
--I know what I like--
barfle
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Springfield, Vahjinyah, USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby FLZapped » Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:59 am

I've been using the real audio media connection myself. When connected, you can right click in the little connection bar and get another window called "statistics". There you'll see the connection performance. The only time I get disconnected is when the data stream can't get through and the data buffer runs dry and can't refilled after a period of time. Establishing a new connection as many have discovered remidies the situation.<P>Hope this helps.<P>-Bruce
Regards,<P>Bruce
FLZapped
5th Chair
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby EJA » Fri Jan 04, 2002 10:04 pm

In my opinion, nothing is hurting Beethoven.com more right now than the unreliablity of the Windows Media Player connection. I think that from a business perspective Beethoven Radio must either get this problem solved or go the way of WTMI. <P>I am a loyal Beethoven Radio listener, but I'm spending more and more time listening to Choice Radio Classical, not because my Beethoven Radio connection drops frequently and has to be restarted, but because I can't get Beethoven Radio <I>at all</I>. Choice Classical will run all day, tell me exactly what I am listening to and has reasonably tasteful advertisements. Now, the sound quality isn't as good at 100K as Beethoven's is at 28K, and I miss the personal aspect of the Beethoven Radio hosts, but at least I'm hearing <I>something</I>. <P>I've been listening to Beethoven Radio long enough to know that it didn't used to be so. Before CoolLink I experienced one connection drop a day, or less, and could always easily restart the player. In the early days of CoolLink (not the very earliest when there were myriad technical problems) I was able to listen to Beethoven Radio uninterrupted for hours on end. (Sure, the CoolLink ads are far more annoying than were Beethoven Radio's own, but I can endure them; I understand that Beethoven Radio has to make a living.) However, the quality of service has been progressively deteriorating over the past few months. I have to restart the player numerous times per hour. Frequently, I restart and hear nothing, except the clicking of that auto-refresh ad rotator in the player box. Usually I unsuccesfully restart about 4 or 5 times, and then I hear music for about a minute and the connection drops again. Sometimes I can get the connection started again, and sometimes I can't. It has gotten to the point that I would no longer recommend Beethoven Radio to a friend. <P>As a network and web site administrator, who has admittedly never dealt with streaming content, my instinct tells me that the blame doesn't lie with Beethoven Radio per se, but with CoolLink. My guess is that CoolLink, for whatever reason, is being stingy with hardware resources. Either that or their server side programming is deeply flawed and they are not addressing it. If I'm correct, CoolLink is doing Beethoven Radio, and its listeners, a terrible disservice. Their torpescence is having a direct effect on Beethoven Radio's ratings. The sad thing is that history has indubitably demonstrated that this problem is solvable. <P>The use of RealPlayer and IM Tuner have been suggested as "temporary" solutions to this problem. This is the famous "workaround" frequently resorted to in IT. Unfortunately it is not a very good one. RealPlayer as a program has a track record like a raccoon that's been in printer's ink. People that use their computers for work generally can't afford to have it installed because it interferes with other programs and generally locks things up. I won't even get started on IM Tuner. <P>I'm not necessarily suggesting that Beethoven Radio discontinue their affiliation with CoolLink. I'm merely suggesting that Beethoven Radio bring to bear on CoolLink as much pressure as is necessary to get them off the dime and to get the job done. "The Most Listened To Radio Station in the World" should be able to exert sufficient pressure. You guys are too good to be weighed down by a bunch of lazy geeks and effervescent marketers. Enough is enough.<p>[ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: EJA ]
– EJA

Reality: An important truth test
EJA
3rd Chair
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Irene, Washington USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby Kevin » Tue Jan 08, 2002 2:54 pm

Dear EJA,<P>While we appreciate and understand your comments and frustrations, I would like to respond to your post and address some of your assertions.<P>When we chose to partner with CLBN in March of last year, we were streaming more tuning hours than most Internet Radio NETWORKS. In fact, we were in the top five network ratings with only one station while most of the rest had several - some more than 100. The bandwidth costs of that were astronomical and were going to very quickly put us out of business. Using an ad insertion platform, such as that developed by Coollink, was the ONLY way we could survive, plain and simple. Obviously, being such a new technology (we were the first large Internet radio station to deploy such technology), there were, and still are, many bugs to work out. Our choice, however, was to make this move now and develop the technology for the future, or close our doors.<P>Being such a new technology, however, it has been extremely difficult to get advertisers to adapt and consider Internet radio as a viable medium. Add to this the downturn in the economy and the drop in advertising revenue for ALL media, and you have an extremely difficult environment to survive in. This is why so many of our competitors have gone out of business in the last year.<P>So, we have to insert ads (even if they are unpaid ads) to prove to the advertisers that the technology works. In fact, many of the ads that have run (some, we admit, for far too long) are those type of "filler" ads. We would love not to have to fill our programming with ads, but we have to show a certain amount of "available impressions" to attract advertisers. It's kind of a catch-22. We have, however, reduced our ad breaks to as short as possible to make it easier on our listeners. We are very sensitive to this.<P>About our connectivity, while there have been some problems on the part of CLBN in the past, we can't blame them for the connectivity problems we've been having the last few months. We have been having technical problems with one of our T-1 connections for quite some time that have NOT proved easy to solve. With our extremely small staff, it has taken us a long time to finally find the problem and take action to resolve the issue. The good news is that we believe we have FINALLY fixed the problem(as of just today!) and believe this will greatly increase our stream's reliability.<P>I don't mean to tell you all of this just to make excuses. I just wanted to clarify and reassure you and the thousands of others who come to us to hear classical music that we are on top of these issues and take them very seriously. We also GREATLY appreciate everyone who has stuck with us through an extremely difficult year. YOU ALL ARE THE REASON WE HAVE SURVIVED WHEN OTHERS HAVEN'T and this fact is not lost on us.<P>Thank you!<P>Sincerely,<BR>Kevin Shively<BR>Director of Business and Web Development<BR>Beethoven.com
Kevin Shively
Kevin
4th Chair
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 12:01 am
Location: Trumbull, CT

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby EJA » Tue Jan 08, 2002 3:21 pm

Dear Kevin,<P>I appreciate your reply. I hope I was clear that my complaint was not with advertisemnts or CoolLink, but with the connection drops. I'm sure my post was something of a chestnut for you to deal with. I apologize for being so forward, but frankly I thought that this problem has gone on long enough and that it was in Beethoven Radio's best interest to get it solved. I doubted that you all were aware of the scope of the problem for the listeners seeing that you probably do not sit and listen to yourselves all day as we do. I thought that posting here might cause other listeners to speak up so that you would no it's not just me. No one else spoke up, but perhaps that's because my post wasn't on the forum front page for very long. ;) Then again maybe no one else was quite so impolite. <P>In any case, my connection is tremendously improved today. I've been truly amazed. I knew something had changed long before I saw your post. Tremendous improvement. Great work guys!!! Believe me, I know how hard these problems can be to run down, especially when you're one man against a phone company or whatever. <P>Don't worry about the ads. Like I said, we understand that you have to make a living. In fact, I'm amazed at how few ads you really have. Nothing else thate even begins to compare with Beethoven Radio. My only wish is that you could get bigger sponsors seeing you have a world audience — car companies etc. like, er, Choice Radio has. As long as my connection to Beethoven Radio stays up, I won't be listening to those fellows. Their sound is still in kindergarten by comaprison. <P>Once again, congratulations on getting this problem fixed. I expect that you will acquire many more listeners in the near future.
– EJA

Reality: An important truth test
EJA
3rd Chair
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Irene, Washington USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby phatchet » Thu Jan 24, 2002 12:36 am

OK - someone above mentioned that iM tuner was getting an update. Anybody know when? I would like to be given consideration to becoming a beta tester. I think the software (I'm being kind) that I'm using is an alpha copy. Even uncle Bill wouldn't release something this buggy.... But for the sound quality and commercial-free aspect, I'd have long ago uninstalled it.<P>Regarding the dropped streams through CLBN, they still happen in my office daily - multiple times - but at least not hourly at this point. I'm still a HUGE fan, but, listeners, don't believe everything you read (or hear), especially from marketing types (I am one). For the night, Adios My Friends.<P>Parker Hatchett :confused:
phatchet
5th Chair
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Salisbury, NC USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby pmoretti » Fri Jan 25, 2002 2:35 pm

I listen throughout the day via <A HREF="http://www.shoutcast.com." TARGET=_blank>www.shoutcast.com.</A> Comes in clear all day w/o interruption.
pmoretti
Section Player
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2002 1:01 am

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby EJA » Fri Jan 25, 2002 8:44 pm

Phatchett, <P>I would just observe that its very likely that your connection drops are due to Internet conditions, not Beethoven Radio's stream. When somebody decides to move a whole lot of information over one of the routers that is participating in your receipt of data from beethoven.com, the router may not get around to moving your data before its time to live expires. As a result, your computer will miss some data. If that happens, it sends a request back to beethoven.com to resend the data. Most of the time, thanks to the robust "back-hoe-proof" design of the Internet, your request and stream is seamlessly re-routed and you never know what happened. However, sometimes a bottle neck situation occurs and the lots of data the other guy is moving remains in the way of your data, especially if there are several lots-of-data-guys involved. If this goes on long enough, you run out of buffered music, the music stops, and your player goes to the buffering mode. If it goes on even longer your player goes into the waiting mode. If the player continues to not receive data, it gives up and pronounces itself stopped. You can mimick this situation by unplugging your network connection from the wall (be it DSL, Ethernet, or modem). You'll note that the music continues to play for a short time, then the player goes through the aforementioned steps. The closer you get to the fabled "Internet Backbone," the fewer such problems you will have, and vice versa. It's all an issue of bandwidth, you know. . .
– EJA

Reality: An important truth test
EJA
3rd Chair
 
Posts: 923
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 1:01 am
Location: Irene, Washington USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby phatchet » Tue Jan 29, 2002 11:38 pm

EJA:<P>Thanks for taking your time to reply, and for the reminder regarding bandwidth. I truly suspect that you are right on (whoa - an early 70's expression) with this matter, particularly when I'm at work using WinMedia player and e-mail and access and file servers and intranet are hard at work in the background. <P>While at home, as I noted, I like to use the iM tuner, but it seems to take so much processing power it even slows my system clock, and that's even when it's the only thing running (the clock will auto reset when I restart the machine with the start button routine).... I therefore get agitated when it has been running a while, and so I don't listen often. Any idea when a new iM tuner release is due? <P>PH
phatchet
5th Chair
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Salisbury, NC USA

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby RWR » Wed Jan 30, 2002 4:40 pm

You might try the Winamp MP3 player available at <A HREF="http://www.winamp.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.winamp.com</A> . After downloading and installing, head over to <A HREF="http://www.shoutcast.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.shoutcast.com</A> , and then select the classical genre. Listed near the top, probably in the second or third position, is Beethoven.com. Click on the listen button located to the left of the listing, and away you go! No need for IMTuner!<P>Hope this helps!<P>P.S.: It might be that some other application such as MediaPlayer or RealAudio has become the default for the .pls file extention. If so, you will probably have to tell Windows to use Winamp for those file types.
RWR
Section Player
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Fort Luaderdale, FL

Re: Technical Stuff

Postby barfle » Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:17 am

Kevin, I have a suggestion. In the bulletin board area, there are no button choices for "Listen Live" as there are in many of the other pages. My audio connection started breaking up, and now has died while I'm browsing the BB, and the only way I have of restoring it (the window says "Closed," and there are not control buttons available) is to go back to the home page.<P>Just a thought.... :confused:
--I know what I like--
barfle
1st Chair
 
Posts: 6144
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Springfield, Vahjinyah, USA

Next

Return to Radio-Active

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron