The author is director of digital for Pattison Media.
At Pattison Media, we operate 48 radio stations across western Canada. Streaming is important to our group
Our programming team actively listens to our streams and promotes the use of smart speakers and mobile apps to our listeners. Our technical teams treat streaming with the same degree of importance as we do with our broadcast signals — if there is a problem, it requires urgent attention. This attention to detail has led to significant growth in our streaming cume and average time spent listening.
For the last 12 months, our radio stations have been using the Modulation Index StreamS encoder to encode our online streams.
We selected the StreamS encoder because of its support for modern audio codecs (HE-AACv2 and xHEAAC), native HTTP Live Streaming support, and metadata injection directly into ID3 tags.
The combination of these features makes it possible to address timing imprecisions that can often plague digital ad insertion. Encoding directly into HLS rather than converting to the format at the server-side has helped us align timing markers by being able to listen to HLS segments as they come out of the encoder and measure metadata offsets to the millisecond level.
The injection of metadata into ID3 tags allows a consistent granularity of 42 milliseconds, which is a big improvement over traditional ICY metadata that can have significant variations in timing.
We have used the StreamS encoder in markets of all sizes, with some running just a single stream and others running up to six separate streams simultaneously. The configuration within StreamS allows for different settings on different streams and gives technicians the ability to customize encoding values for each stream.
We have also been happy to see the product continue to evolve with support for new codecs such as FLAC and new formats such as fragmented MP4. This evolution is important, as we continue to strive to deliver the best listening experience possible.
We’re happy with the StreamS product. Modulation Index helped support a fast rollout across our group and has been responsive to all of our questions. The encoder has been running reliably and continues to deliver quality audio to our listeners each and every day.
Info: Contact John Schaab at StreamIndex at 1-940-206-7702 or www.streamingindex.com.
Radio World User Reports are testimonial articles intended to help readers understand why a colleague chose a particular product to solve a technical situation.