Spinitron is developing a Webcast Archive service provisionally named Spinitron Ark. (We can simply call it Ark here.)
See it in action at https://spinitron.com/WZBC/ navigate to any past playlist and look for the player. Other stations currently testing should feel free to invite you to check out theirs.
Description of the service
The Ark system consists of these parts
- Recorder connects to a stream and makes audio data files
- Storage for two weeks worth of audio data per stream
- Server gives access to the audio data over the internet
- Player runs in the listeners browser (or phone), gets the audio data from the server and converts to audible sound
- offer the recorder, storage and server as a subscription service for a monthly fee (pricing below),
- integrate a web player into public pages on
spinitron.comfor clients that subscribe to both Ark and Spinitron playlist management service,
- provide a web player widget that any Ark subscriber can integrate in their web pages.
Listeners can start the archive player at any point in time within the last two
weeks that the webmaster provides.
Public pages on
spinitron.com will provide a variety of starting points,
see below for details.
Ark subscribers will have access to the following management tools
- Numeric and graphic display of current and historical audience size
- Log of each listener session including the listener connection timestamp, archive start point, listening session duration, and the listener’s IP and approx. geographic location
- SoundExchange formatted reports of use will be available for clients subscribed to both Ark and Spinitron playlist management service
Billing and pricing
For a fixed monthly fee of your choice you receive a nominal monthly data transfer allocation. No down payment. No commitment.
We quote the data transfer allocation in terms of listener hours. When a person connects to your archive and listens for one hour, one listener hour of your allocation is consumed. This is the same kind of thing as Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH) used in the Reports of Use and Statements of Account for your live webcast.
Listener hours for each fee tier depends on stream bit rate. Higher stream bit rate consumes the data transfer allocation faster than lower. The listener hour allocation for a number of different stream bit rates is shown in the table. Higher tiers follow its simple formula.
|Monthly fee||64 kbps||96 kbps||128 kbps|
For example, with a 128 kbps stream, for $40 you get 4,500 listener hours over a month. If 45 people each listen for 100 hours during the month, that would consume the whole allocation. So would 500 people who each listen for 9 hours.
Since you may not have a good idea of your archive’s listenership, we allow you to consume more than your monthly allocation so long as you switch up to a higher tier in subsequent months. We won’t cut off service once your month’s allocation is exhausted, instead we will notify you and ask what you want to do going forwards.
How to choose your tier
If you know anything about prior archive audience size then we can factor that in. Otherwise we’ll basically use trial and error: we’ll agree an initial estimate, choose a tier, monitor usage to see what happens and, if necessary, choose a different tier next month. Our overage policy supports this process.
Your live webcast’s monthly ATH might be useful for the initial estimate. For example, if your monthly webcast ATH is around 10,000 and you have a 128 kbps stream then the $80/mo tier allows nearly as much listening to the archive.
As of Sep 1, we are testing the service with ten Spinitron stations using provisional software.
The recorder, storage, server and player parts of the system (described above) are all working. The management features that allow you to monitor usage and see logs are not ready yet.
The storage and server parts use AWS S3 and appear to be reliable.
Each archive’s recorder uses an instance of FFmpeg on AWS EC2. We’re monitoring and logging the status of each recorder instance to get an idea of reliability. The recorder’s connection to your stream is inherently unreliable and there’s nothing we can do about that but we need the recorder to be robust no matter what your stream does. It’s worked well this week (ending Sep 4) but we need more experience and performance data to gain confidence.
The web player works but is pretty basic right now. We plan to deploy an
upgraded player next week. There’s a widget version
that you’ll be able to use on your web site. The new player allows
set arbitrary start points for archive playback meaning you/we can put
play buttons on web pages that start the player at any dates and times. We will use it to put play buttons on
spinitron.com public pages as described
How to use the service
As of today (Sep 4) we’re not ready to take on more test users. We need a few more weeks to test the player, fine tune the recorder, develop the management tools, and gather feedback from testers.
After that, how to use it depends if you are a Spinitron client already. If so, we
can take care of everything. You just choose a pricing tier (see above) and monitor
usage as you please. The archive player will appear in your
spinitron.com public pages.
We will support integration of archives with your web site. There will be a player widget you can use and some of the current web integrations will work. Other details TBD.
If you’re not a client of Spinitron’s playlist management service then it’s the
same except you don’t get
spinitron.com public pages and need to use the player
widget on your web site.
Copyright, licensing and SoundExchange
We operate the Ark service on the assumption that it is part of your webcast service that you operate under the statutory license. You assume liability for your compliance with law, regulations and procedures with copyright performance royalty organizations.
Archive listening counts just like live webcast listening for purposes of reporting and audience size tracking. The listener hours of your archive count towards your webcast service’s Aggregate Tuning Hours (ATH).
Educational and CRB webcasters must limit their monthly ATH to 159,140 to qualify as Minimum-Fee Webcasters.
Educational webcasters must limit their monthly ATH to 80,000 to qualify for the reporting waiver.
Statements of Account (monthly for CRB, annual for Educational) include statements of your monthly ATH.
You must include the songs Ark users listen to in the Reports of Use you send to SoundExchange (CRB and Educational services without a reporting waiver).
CPB/NFCB webcasters that report to NPR must process the archive server connection logs into NPR format and merge them with the live webcast streaming logs.
Ark users can use the management tools to
- obtain listener hours for their archive for arbitrary date ranges
- obtain listener session logs
Clients of both Ark and Spinitron playlist management can also use Spinitron to
- prepare SoundExchange Reports of Use
- prepare NPR-format streaming log files