Tag: Bug Fixes

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Radio Station Update: Version 2.4.0 with Streaming Audio Player

We’re thrilled to announce the shiny NEW Streaming Audio Player has finally arrived in Radio Station!

I think you’ll agree, once you’ve read about the details and given it a go, we’ve done a great job with it. We really wanted our new streaming audio player to stick out head and shoulder above other available audio players. To get it right, we’ve combined some pretty high-level technical requirements with “mastering the basics” of an audio player interface, taking our time with it to make it awesome.

Setting up the Streaming Audio Player

The new Radio Station Streaming Audiio Player is available in our recent 2.4.0 release as both a widget or a shortcode. After updating your plugin to the latest version in your WordPress admin dashboard, head to your Radio Station => Settings page to get started.

If you haven’t set your streaming URL, take a moment to do so, along with your stream’s audio format. You can also set your Station Title and Logo while there, which can both be displayed in the Streaming Audio Player.

You’ll see the new Streaming Audio Player tab on the Settings page. Click on that and you’ll find where to set all the new Streaming Player defaults. These settings will be used by Streaming Audio Player widgets or shortcodes if they aren’t overridden by those. Finally, you can go to your Appearance -> Widgets page to add the Radio Player widget to a sidebar widget area. Alternatively, you can use the [radio-player] shortcode in a page or post, or echo do_shortcode('[radio-player]'); in a template.

Now navigate to your frontend page and click PLAY! Upgrade complete – stream activated – level up! Groovy beyond words.

High-Level Requirements

Maybe you’re still wondering what we meant by “high-level technical requirements”… it’s just a standard web streaming audio player, right? Well, internet browsers are a little more complex these days and we also want to lay the groundwork to be able to add some additional awesomeness later on. With all that in mind, here are the main requirements we’ve sought to fulfill in this initial version:

  • Support multiple audio scripts for widest data format support.
  • Auto-detect data format and match to the appropriate script.
  • Fallback to an alternative audio script on playback failure.
  • Support multiple instances of the player on the same page.
  • Prevent more than one player from playing on the same page.
  • Enable auto-resuming of playback when returning to a site.
  • Have a stylish and completely stylable player control interface.

As you might imagine, the technical challenges involved in each of these individual pieces and bringing them all together are quite immense. A lot of work has gone into getting all the audio scripts to work in a similar way while maintaining the possibility of multiple player instances throughout development. Fortunately, all of these challenges were able to be resolved over many development hours!

Mastering the Basics

When it comes to a streaming audio player, the basics are having a stylish and working user interface that can be customized to your needs. Many players have taken the approach of providing specifically designed skins to choose from, but this tends to provide a rather limited choice that might not work with your chosen style and branding. Instead, we’ve made available some simple options to match up with your theme. Light or dark? Circular, rounded, or square buttons? Vertical or horizontal layout? We thought of almost everything!

This approach gets you a working streaming audio player instantly that looks good from the very outset.  You can tweak it with more styles as you need to, to really make it reflective of your station’s brand style guide. Of course, if you want to develop it further, under the hood there are filters for every aspect of the player, so you can change whatever you need to without ever losing your work after a plugin update.

What this player isn’t…

To reduce confusion with what it is, we’d like to mention what this player isn’t

It’s not a “jukebox” for a list of audio files. There really are plenty of those around already if you need them – but not many players specifically for live streaming. Of course, we may add more features in the future for better handling of files and playlists, but it’s certainly not our starting focus – live streaming is, as that’s what many stations really need.

It’s not a 3rd party embed. While some of these can work pretty well, since your streaming source tends to be off-site anyway, a self-hosted player script works just as well. Actually, given the latest cross-domain javascript security policies, it’s a better option anyway – giving you more direct control and integration possibilities.

Streaming Evolution

While all this is a great beginning for our new Radio Station Stream Player, we know it is still a beginning! There is more work to be done, more options to be added, more features to develop, more innovations to explore, and more services to integrate with… We’d like to thank all our users for being part of this new beginning! For the now, we hope you enjoy the new Player and stay tuned for the next installment of the Radio Station story!

Until next time,
Tony Hayes, Lead Developer

Radio Station PRO – Just Around The Corner!

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of Radio Station PRO next week!!! Jam-packed with new features to “level up” your Station’s online presence. During the launch, we are offering a 30% discount to Radio Station users for your first yearsubscription! Click on the huge red button below to sign up to the exclusive Launch List to receive your discount code by email when we go LIVE.

Yes, I’m in! I want the 30% discount off of PRO