Some fairly hefty price changes at Mixlr.com, the livecasting service we use for Radio Hanna, prompted us to look around for alternatives. The original reason for going with Mixlr was that their software and interface was the friendliest available with the shallowest learning curve for students and teachers. Also, their prices were in line with what the rest of the market was charging.
As of the beginning of November, this is no longer the case. Our Mixlr Pro plan was suddenly renamed Mixlr Pro Legacy overnight, and without any warning. The unlimited peak listener option had disappeared, although we don’t ever expect to go over a couple hundred listening people at the same time. Anyhow, the plan that used to cost $20.00 a month was suddenly over $249.00 a month, USD. That’s a bit beyond our budget! So we did some poking around and discovered MyRadioStream. It’s $5.00/mth USD to do the same thing that Mixlr now wants $100/mth for with 100 peak listeners and MyRadioStream allows 200 peak listeners. While we’re fortunate enough to be grandfathered in at the old pricing, this is usually a sign that the company suddenly frantically hiking prices is in distress.
We’re now experimenting with SHOUTcasting. There are several upside for us. First, the wonderful Altacast plugin for RadioDJ integrates perfectly into our automation software and is less finicky and resource intensive than using Mixlr. That’s a plus. There’s also the fact that we can list our online station with all of the major directories like TuneIn.com, which will get us more exposure — very important when you’re planning to pay some bills through selling advertising. We’ve also found a replacement for the Mixlr broadcasting client on our portable rigs, and it’s workable, if not nearly as slick. There’s only one real problem…
The tool we’re going to wind up using to livecast on location events is rather unfortunately named ‘butt‘. Seriously. That stands for Broadcast Using This Tool. It’s going to take half an hour to get the darn teens at school to stop sniggering before we can get them to work each time someone learns the name of the app for the first time. A software developer with a sense of humour leads to nothing but trouble.
Anyhow, it looks like we’ll be moving directly across to SHOUTcast in the near future, but we’re remaining available on Mixlr for the time being, as that’s what we’ve trained people to use so far. We’re not in a hurry and our system is handling streaming to both platforms without issue. We have added an embedded player for each at the right side of each page if you’d like to experiment with them and see which you prefer. Our live pages for each service can be found below:
If you’re using our MyRadioStream live page, you’ll notice it displays the name of the current track, something that Mixlr doesn’t offer despite their inflated price tag.
Radio Hanna co-founder
(This was republished from www.radiohanna.ca.)