CentovaCast

Administrator's Guide


Copyright 2007-2008, Centova Technologies Inc.




Published November, 2008

For Centova Cast v2.2

Note: This is a machine-generated HTML version of an original PDF manual, and may contain minor formatting errors. For the best viewing experience, please download the original PDF manual instead.


1. Installations & Upgrading

Please refer to the separate installation guide for instructions for installing or upgrading Centova Cast.

2. Configuring Settings

Prior to creating your first Centova Cast hosting account, you should review the default Centova Cast settings and customize them as necessary. To access the Centova Cast settings, click the Settings link under the Management heading in the administration area.

2.1. General


Site name

Specifies the name of your web site or company.


Notification E-mail address

Specifies the E-mail address to which any administrative notifications will be sent. You should set this to your real E-mail address to ensure that you receive any important notifications.


Sender E-mail address

Specifies the E-mail address which will be used as the “Sender” or “From” address on notification E-mails sent to clients. You may either use a real address here, or a “no-reply” address of your choosing.


2.2. Transfer Limits


Notify clients via E-mail when... (data transfer)

Specifies when to notify clients as they approach their data transfer limit. Enter a percentage value (from 0 to 100), and Centova Cast will automatically notify the client via E-mail when his stream uses this percentage of his monthly data transfer limit.


When transfer limit is exceeded...

Specifies what action Centova Cast should take when a client reaches his data transfer limit. Options available include:


When an account has been suspended...

Specifies what action Centova Cast should take after an account has been suspended. Options available include:

Total data transfer limit for this server

Specifies the data transfer limit that your own server provider has imposed on your server. This is only used to display a graph of your total Centova Cast-related bandwidth usage in the administrator's control panel; this setting is otherwise unused and is entirely optional.

2.3. Disk Quota


Notify clients via E-mail when... (disk quota)

Specifies when to notify clients as they approach their disk quota. Enter a percentage value (from 0 to 100), and Centova Cast will automatically notify the client via E-mail when his account has used this percentage of its disk quota.


When disk quota is exceeded...

Specifies what action Centova Cast should take when a client exceeds his disk quota. Options available include:


2.4. Defaults


Default IP address for new servers

Specifies the default IP address to be assigned to new streaming server accounts. Note that this is simply the value that will be prepopulated in the “IP address” field; the administrator will still be able to change this value prior to provisioning the account if desired.


Port range for new servers

Specifies the default port range for port numbers assigned to new streaming accounts. When creating new streaming server accounts, Centova Cast will automatically determine which ports are already in use by other streaming servers, and prepopulate the “Port” field with the next available (unused) port within this range. Note that the administrator will still be able to change this value prior to provisioning the account if desired.


Default character encoding for new servers.

Specifies the default character encoding to use for new servers. This is used to interpret metadata from media uploaded for use with the autoDJ.

Enable re-encoding on new servers

Specifies whether or not new streaming servers should be configured to re-encode media to the stream bit rate by default.


Disabling re-encoding will reduce the CPU usage for a stream to practically zero (allowing many more streams to be hosted on a single machine than would normally be possible) however it requires that the client's media be pre-encoded to the correct bit rate and sample rate before it is uploaded. If any of the client's media is encoded at an incorrect bit rate or sample rate, the stream will use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth, and some songs may be broadcast at an incorrect speed (leading to a “chipmunk vocal” effect).


This has no effect when the streaming source is sc_trans, as sc_trans always re-encodes the media is streams.

Default channels for re-encoding

Specifies the default number of channels to be used by the encoder when the Enable re-encoding on new servers feature is enabled.

Default sample rate for re-encoding

Specifies the default sample rate to be used by the encoder when the Enable re-encoding on new servers feature is enabled.

Default crossfade length for re-encoding

Specifies the default crossfade length (in seconds) to be used by the encoder when the Enable re-encoding on new servers feature is enabled.

2.5. Start Page


Import album cover images when available

Centova Cast is able to import album cover images when importing media for the autoDJ, to be shown both in the media library and on the stream start pages. The procedure for providing album covers is explained in the Centova Cast User's Guide. This option configures whether or not Centova Cast will attempt to import cover images, which may slightly increase the time required to import media.


Amazon Web Services Access Key ID

Specifies your Amazon AWS Access Key ID. When specified, the each stream may be configured with an Amazon.com affiliate ID to integrate with Amazon.com's affiliate program. This will cause album covers to be displayed next to each album on the stream's “Recent Tracks” list (on the start page and in the “Recent Tracks” code snippet), and a “Buy this album” link will appear next to each track. Sales generated through the “Buy this album” link will be credited toward the administrator's or client's Amazon.com affiliate account.


Enabling this option will, however, cause the “Update Media Library” feature to import the client's media much more slowly, as Centova Cast will need to contact Amazon.com to obtain the album cover and affiliate code for each and every album in the client's library.

Your AWS Access Key ID needs to be generated at Amazon.com and entered into this field.

Default Amazon affiliate ID

Specifies a default affiliate ID for all streams for which the client has not entered his own affiliate ID, allowing the administrator to collect commissions for Amazon affiliate sales for those streams.

Allow client-specified Amazon affiliate IDs

Configures whether or not client accounts are permitted to specify their own affiliate ID to collect Amazon commissions from Amazon affiliate sales. If set to “No”, only the administrator's affiliate ID will be used.

2.6. Features


Google Maps API key

Specifies the Google Maps API key for the domain name (FQDN) on which Centova Cast is hosted. Specifying a valid API key allows realtime mapping of listeners on a world map according to their geographic locations. Listener maps are shown both on the View Current Listeners page in each client's account, and on the start pages for each stream.

Enable port 80 proxying

Turns on Centova Cast's internal port 80 proxy. Please refer to the section on Port 80 Proxying for more information about this feature, and the potentially adverse effects it may have on your web server.

Allow server log downloads

Determines whether clients are permitted to download their raw ShoutCast/IceCast and autoDJ log files.


2.7. Single Sign-on


Allow this server to be controlled remotely

Specifies whether or not this server should be available for remote control (single sign-on). If you run multiple Centova Cast servers and wish to manage them all from a single interface via a single login, this option must be enabled on all of your Centova Cast servers except the master server. See the Remote Servers section for more information.

Provisioning server for API clustering

Specifies the server on which new accounts should be provisioned via the XML API. This is used if you have a number of Centova Cast servers and would like to be able to provision accounts on them from your billing system such that the accounts are distributed evenly to each server.

See the Remote Servers section for more information.

2.8. E-mail Settings

These settings allow you to configure an SMTP server to be used for all outgoing E-mail generated by Centova Cast. If your clients complain that they are not receiving messages generated by Centova Cast, you will likely need to use this feature.


SMTP server

Specifies the hostname for your SMTP server – usually mail.example.com or smtp.example.com.


If your SMTP server uses SSL, use add ssl:// to the beginning of the hostname (i.e., ssl://mail.example.com).

SMTP port

Specifies the port for your SMTP server – usually 25 for standard SMTP, or 465 if your SMTP server uses SSL.


SMTP username

Specifies the username to use to authenticate with your SMTP server. Leave blank if your SMTP server does not use SMTP authentication.


SMTP password

Specifies the password to use to authenticate with your SMTP server. Leave blank if your SMTP server does not use SMTP authentication.



3. Managing Accounts

Centova Cast includes a comprehensive account editor allowing the administrator individually customize the operation of each client's server. To access the account manager, click Manage Accounts.

3.1. The Account List

3.1.1. Account List

The Centova Cast account list provides an overview of all accounts hosted on the server. The summary includes the following details:

Username

Indicates the username for the account. Click on the username to view or modify the account details.

Title

Indicates the title for the stream. This will be displayed by listeners' media players when they tune into the stream.

Port

Indicates the port number on which this client's streaming server listens. Click on the port number to access the streaming server's built-in interface.

Type

Indicates the type of server (ShoutCast or IceCast) used by the stream.

Clients

Indicates the maximum number of concurrent listeners permitted for this stream. The stream can never have more than this number of listeners tuned-in at the same time.

Bitrate

Indicates the maximum bit rate for this stream. Note that some streaming servers do not enforce this setting. Specifically, ShoutCast does enforce the bit rate, while IceCast does not.

Data Xfer

Indicates the maximum monthly data transfer limit for this stream. Centova Cast automatically keeps track of the amount of data transfer used by each stream each month, and will perform the actions defined in your master settings if a stream exceeds this limit. Note that this is not updated in realtime.

Disk Space

Indicates the disk space limit for this stream. Centova Cast automatically keeps track of the amount of disk space used by each stream, and will perform the actions defined in your master settings if a stream exceeds this limit. Note that this is not updated in realtime.

Next to each account, Centova Cast also displays an “suspend/unsuspend” icon (represented by an orange or green exclamation point) which can be used to enable or disable the account; a “delete” icon (represented by a red dash) which can be clicked to delete the account, a “login” icon (represented by a yellow lightning bolt) which can be used to login to the account, and an “edit” icon (represented by a gray cog) which can be clicked to access the account editor.

3.1.2. Remote Servers

If remote server support is enabled and one or more remote server(s) are configured, the account list for each remote server will appear below the local account list. The format and functionality of each list is identical to that of the list for local accounts, with the exception that any actions performed on remote accounts will take effect on the remote server.

Above the account list for each remote server, a Manage Server link is also provided which allows you to administer the remote server directly as if you had logged in to it normally. This may be useful for configuring settings and so-on on the remote server.

3.2. Creating New Accounts

Creation of new accounts is facilitated through a New account option near the top of the page. The following options must be specified to create the account:

Account Type

Indicates the type of account which should be created:

Server Type

Indicates the type of server to use for the account – currently, ShoutCast and IceCast are supported. Note that Centova Cast will only display server types which have been installed and enabled on your server.

Source Type

Indicates the type of streaming source to use for the account's autoDJ. Note that Centova Cast will only display source types which have been installed and enabled on your server. For ShoutCast and IceCast streams, you should virtually always choose ices-cc unless you have a specific reason for using something else, as ices-cc offers many features which other source types do not.

After setting your account options, click the Create button to proceed to the account editor to create your new account. The account creation interface is identical to the account editor interface described below.

3.3. Account Settings (for User Accounts)

A “User account” could more accurately be described as a “stream account” -- each user account corresponds to precisely one audio stream.

Centova Cast provides access to a wide range of settings for each user account which are broken down into several tabbed sheets. Some settings may differ based on the type of streaming server or streaming source installed on your server, and these differences are noted below.

The following tabs are available:

3.3.1. Stream

The stream tab includes general settings that will be required for virtually all accounts. These include:

Hostname

Specifies the hostname for this server. This is used by the streaming server to generate self-referencing links, and must be specified. If no hostname is configured in DNS for this server, you should enter server's IP address here.

IP address

Specifies the IP address on which the streaming server should listen.

Port

Specifies the port number on which the streaming server should listen.

SHOUTcast note: SHOUTcast requires two ports, and will use the specified port number and the following port number. For example, if you specify port 8000, ShoutCast will use ports 8000 and 8001.

Stream title

Specifies the title for the stream. This will be displayed by listeners' media players when they tune into the stream.

E-mail address

Specifies the client's E-mail address. Centova Cast will automatically send notifications to this address when necessary.

Company/organization

Specifies the company/organization or client to whom this stream belongs.

Website URL

Specifies the URL to the web site associated with this stream (if any).

Source password

Specifies the password required by streaming sources to connect to this stream and begin broadcasting.

Administrator password

Specifies the password required to login to Centova Cast or the streaming server's internal administrative interface.

Time zone

Specifies your time zone. This will affect the display of times in areas such as the Scheduled Playlist editor.

Character encoding

Specifies your preferred character encoding. MP3 audio files do not contain any information about the language or “character set” in which they were encoded, so if you are using a non-Latin character set (Russian, etc.), you will need to set your character encoding appropriately to ensure that all of the letters in the alphabet of your language are interpreted correctly from your media.

3.3.2. Limits Page

The limits page configures the limits and restrictions imposed on the stream. Options include:

Maximum listeners

Specifies the maximum number of concurrent listeners for this stream. The streaming server will never allow more than this number of listeners to be tuned in at the same time.

Maximum bit rate

Specifies the maximum bit rate for this stream, in kilobits per second (kbps). The autoDJ will be configured such that it cannot exceed this bit rate.

To enforce the bit rate on live broadcasts as well, Centova Cast will periodically check each stream and if the live broadcast is exceeding the bit rate limit, it will shut down the server (without suspending it) and send a notification E-mail to the stream owner and administrator.

Transfer limit

Specifies the maximum monthly data transfer limit for this stream, in megabytes (MB). Centova Cast automatically keeps track of the amount of data transfer used by each stream each month, and will perform the actions defined in your master settings if a stream exceeds this limit.

Disk quota

Specifies the maximum amount of disk space that this account may consume. This includes all data for the account, including logs, playlists, and media such as MP3 files for hosts with server-side streaming sources.

Centova Cast automatically keeps track of the disk usage for each stream, and will perform the actions defined in your master settings if a stream exceeds this limit.

Port 80 proxy

Specifies whether the client is allowed to use Centova Cast's internal port 80 proxy. Please refer to the section on Port 80 Proxying for more information about this feature, and the potentially adverse effects it may have on your web server.

3.3.3. AutoDJ

The AutoDJ tab includes options for configuring an autoDJ for the stream. These settings are only required if the client will be permitted to upload media (MP3 files, etc.) to the server. If the client will be providing his own, offsite source (such as SAM Broadcaster) and broadcasting live, then the autoDJ should be disabled. More information is provided in the AutoDJs section below.

Options include:

AutoDJ status

Specifies whether the server-side streaming source should be enabled. Options include:

Rebuild playlist on startup

Specifies whether the playlist should be rebuilt automatically every time the server is started or restarted. If enabled, Centova Cast will re-index the client's media library and build a new playlist every time the server is started or restarted. If disabled, the same playlist will always be used unless the client manually updates it.

Note that if no playlist exists, Centova Cast will always build one regardless of this setting. Also note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e., when using ices-cc), this setting will be ignored or hidden.

Randomize playlist

Specifies whether the playlist should be randomized automatically by the streaming source.

Note that when Centova Cast is operating with realtime track scheduling support (i.e., when using ices-cc), this setting will be ignored or hidden.

Mount point

Note: this option is only available when using the ices streaming source software, and does not appear when using sc_trans.

Specifies the mount point to which the streaming source should connect. If unsure, simply set this to /stream as a default value.

Channels

Specifies the number of channels to use in the audio stream. Use Mono for a mono stream, Stereo for a stereo stream, or Auto to play each track as it was recorded.


If set to any value other than Auto, transcoding will be enabled which will significantly increase the CPU usage of the stream.

Sample Rate
Specifies the sample rate for your stream in hertz. If set to Auto, each track will be played as it was recorded.

If set to any value other than 0, transcoding will be enabled which will significantly increase the CPU usage of the stream.

Crossfade length

Specifies the duration in seconds of cross-fades between tracks, or 0 to disable cross-fading.

If set to any value other than 0, transcoding will be enabled which will significantly increase the CPU usage of the stream.

Mount point

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server and source software being used. This option is used for IceCast servers only.

Specifies the mount point to which the streaming source should connect. If unsure, simply set this to /stream as a default value.

Description

Note: this option may or may not be available depending on the server software being used.

Specifies a description for your stream, which is used when submitting metadata to various directories.

3.3.4. Start Page

The Start Page tab includes options for configuring the stream “start page” provided by Centova Cast for each stream.

Activate start page

Specifies whether or not the start page will be available for this stream.

Enable song request widget

Specifies whether or not the Song Request widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet) for this stream. If enabled, users may use the song request widget to request songs, and the requests will be sent to your E-mail address.

Enable on-demand content widget

Specifies whether or not the On-Demand Content widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet) for this stream. If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a media browser with which the visitor can browse, download, or stream any media that the client has published in his “ondemand” folder.

Enable recent tracks widget

Specifies whether or not the Recent Tracks widget will be enabled (both on the start page, and as a code snippet) for this stream. If enabled, Centova Cast will provide a list of tracks and authors which have played recently on this stream. If the client has an Amazon.com access key ID, this feature can also display album covers for each track.

Number of recent tracks

Specifies the number of tracks which will be shown in the Recent Tracks widget.

Enable Google Maps widget

Specifies whether or not the start page will use Google Maps to plot the geographic locations of the stream's listeners on a world map in realtime. This option requires a Google Maps API key to be configured in the Centova Cast settings.

Amazon access key ID

Specifies the client's Amazon.com access key ID. If specified, Centova Cast will automatically fetch album cover images from Amazon.com to be displayed in the “recent tracks” list. This will also activate a “Buy album” link next to each album, and any sales generated through these links will be credited toward your Amazon.com affiliate account.

Note that this field is only displayed in the client's Start Page editor, not the administrator's view.

3.3.5. Files

The Files tab includes options for uploading various sound files for use by the streaming server. These include:

Introduction file

Specifies the introduction media file for the stream. The introduction file is an MP3 file that is played immediately after each listener connects, before tuning in to the live stream. This may be useful for for station identification or advertisement purposes.

Fallback file

Specifies the fallback media file for the stream. The fallback file is an MP3 file that is played in a loop if the source stream disconnects. Without a fallback file, listeners will either hear silence, or be disconnected entirely if the source stream disconnects.

3.3.6. Server Overrides

Note: this tab is only available when using the SHOUTcast streaming server software, and does not appear when using IceCast.

The Server Overrides tab includes options for forcing certain settings to override values provided by a source application.

Options include:

Stream title format

Specifies the format for the stream title displayed in listeners' media players. Set this to anything you want, and optionally include the symbol “%s” anywhere in the stream to insert the stream title provided by the streaming source.

Stream URL format

Specifies the format for the stream URL displayed in listeners' media players. Set this to anything you want, and optionally include the symbol “%s” anywhere in the stream to insert the stream URL provided by the streaming source.

Public server

Specifies whether or not the stream will appear in public yellow-pages services, such as the main SHOUTcast directory at: http://www.shoutcast.com

3.3.7. Relaying

Note: this tab is only available when using the SHOUTcast streaming server software, and does not appear when using IceCast.

The Relaying tab includes options for setting up relaying to or from another ShoutCast server.

Options include:

To allow OTHER servers to act as a relay for YOUR stream

To act as a relay and receive audio FROM another stream

3.3.8. Master Relaying

Note: this tab is only available when using the IceCast streaming server software, and does not appear when using SHOUTcast.

The Master Relaying tab includes options for setting up a master relay for another IceCast server. Using Master Relay, the remote IceCast server essentially becomes the source for your own server, and all of the mount points from the remote server are made available on your server.

Options include:

Master server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master port

Specifies the port number of the master server whose stream(s) you wish to relay.

Master update interval

Specifies the interval at which the remote stream's configuration is replicated to the local server.

Master username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Master password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

3.3.9. Mountpoint Relaying

Note: this tab is only available when using the IceCast streaming server software, and does not appear when using SHOUTcast.

The Mountpoint Relaying tab includes options for setting up a relay for a single stream on a remote server. Using Mountpoint Relay, the remote stream essentially becomes the source for your own server, and listeners tuning into your server will hear the remote server's stream.

Options include:

Stream server

Specifies the hostname or IP address of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream port

Specifies the port number of the remote server whose stream you wish to relay.

Stream mount point

Specifies the mount point for the desired stream on the remote server. If the remote server is a SHOUTcast server, you should specify /stream here.


Local
mount point

Specifies the mount point for the relayed stream on the local server. If in doubt, you can specify /stream here as a default value.


Stream username

Specifies the username required by the remote server for relaying.

Stream password

Specifies the password required by the remote server for relaying.

Relay on demand

If enabled, your IceCast server will only connect to the remote IceCast server when one or more listeners are connected, and it will disconnect from the remote server when there are no more listeners. If disabled, your IceCast server will remain connected to the remote server and continue receiving the stream even if no listeners are connected.

Enabling this setting may reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage, but may slightly increase the time required to begin streaming when your first listener connects.

Relay metadata

If enabled, the metadata provided by the remote streaming server will be passed through to your own listeners. If disabled, the locally-configured metadata will be used instead.

3.3.10. Advanced

Note: the settings available on this tab will vary depending on which streaming server you are using, and is broken down into two sections below.

The Advanced tab includes options for configuring various advanced settings, and normally does not need to be adjusted.

3.3.11. Advanced: IceCast

When using IceCast as your streaming server, options include the following. Please consult the IceCast documentation for more information about these options.

Directory listings URL

Specifies the URL to your directory listings or “yellow pages” service.

Directory listings port

Specifies the port number of your directory listings or “yellow pages” service.

Suppress metadata

Prevents IceCast from sending song artist/title information to your listeners.

Relay password

Specifies the password required to relay your stream, if any.

Maximum sources

Specifies the maximum number of sources that may be connected to the IceCast server simultaneously.

Thread pool

Specifies the thread pool size for the IceCast server.

Queue size

Specifies the queue size for the IceCast server.

Client timeout

Specifies the client timeout value for the IceCast server.

Header timeout

Specifies the header timeout value for the IceCast server.

Source timeout

Specifies the source timeout value for the IceCast server.


Burst size

Specifies the burst size value for the IceCast server.


Burst on connect

Specifies the whether IceCast's burst-on-connect feature should be enabled. Enabling this may help reduce buffer underruns.

3.4. Account Settings (for Reseller Accounts)

A “Reseller account” is much like a limited administrator account; it is able to create and manage its own set of user accounts subject to limits imposed by the administrator.

Centova Cast provides access to a wide range of settings for each reseller account which are broken down into several tabbed sheets.

The following tabs are available:

3.4.1. Basic Configuration

The basic configuration tab includes general settings that will be required for virtually all reseller accounts. These include:

E-mail address

Specifies the reseller's E-mail address. Centova Cast will automatically send notifications regarding the reseller's user accounts to this address when necessary.

Company/organization

Specifies the reseller's company/organization.

Time zone

Specifies the reseller's time zone.

Character encoding

Specifies the reseller's preferred character encoding.

3.4.2. Limits Page

The limits page configures the limits and restrictions imposed on the reseller. Options include:

Maximum bit rate

Specifies the maximum bit rate that this reseller can assign to each user account he creates. Note that this is a per-client limit, not a combined total.

Maximum accounts

Specifies the maximum number of user accounts (streams) that the reseller can create.

Disk quota

Specifies the total amount of disk space allocated to this reseller. The reseller may assign this disk space to his user accounts as he sees fit, but the combined total of the disk space used by the reseller's user accounts will never be permitted to exceed this limit.

Listener slots (total)

Specifies the total number of listeners this reseller can potentially host. This is a combined total limit for all accounts created by this reseller. For example, if this value is set to 50, then the reseller could create two 25-listener streams, or he could create two 10-listener streams and one 30-listener stream, etc.

Data transfer limit

Specifies the maximum monthly data transfer limit for this reseller, in megabytes (MB). The reseller may assign data transfer limits to his user accounts as he sees fit, but the combined total of the data transfer used by the reseller's user accounts will never be permitted to exceed this limit.

Bandwidth limit

Specifies the total amount of bandwidth (in kbps – NOT data transfer) which this reseller can allocate. This is an alternative to specifying a data transfer limit, and is simply an alternate way of imposing a similar restriction based.

For example, 10 listener slots at 128kbps would use 1280kbps of bandwidth (10 x 128 = 1280). Or, 5 slots at 128kbps and 8 slots at 64kbps would use 1152kbps of bandwidth (5 x 128 + 8 x 64 = 1152).

If you do not fully understand this metric, leave it set to “Unlimited” and assign a more conventional data transfer limit instead.

AutoDJ capabilities

Specifies whether the reseller is permitted to assign autoDJ capabilities to his clients.

Port 80 proxy

Specifies whether the reseller is allowed to use Centova Cast's internal port 80 proxy. Please refer to the section on Port 80 Proxying for more information about this feature, and the potentially adverse effects it may have on your web server.

3.4.3. Reseller Options Page

The limits page configures additional options for the reseller. Options include:

Default character encoding for new servers

Specifies the character encoding to be used by default for all new servers created by this reseller.

Amazon Web Services Access Key ID

Specifies the reseller's Amazon AWS Access Key ID. When specified, the each stream may be configured with an Amazon.com affiliate ID to integrate with Amazon.com's affiliate program. This will cause album covers to be displayed next to each album on the stream's “Recent Tracks” list (on the start page and in the “Recent Tracks” code snippet), and a “Buy this album” link will appear next to each track. Sales generated through the “Buy this album” link will be credited toward the administrator's or client's Amazon.com affiliate account.


Enabling this option will, however, cause the “Update Media Library” feature to import the client's media much more slowly, as Centova Cast will need to contact Amazon.com to obtain the album cover and affiliate code for each and every album in the client's library.

The reseller's AWS Access Key ID needs to be generated at Amazon.com and entered into this field.

Default Amazon affiliate ID

Specifies a default affiliate ID for all streams created by the reseller for which the client has not entered his own affiliate ID, allowing the reseller to collect commissions for Amazon affiliate sales for those streams.

Allow client-specified Amazon affiliate IDs

Configures whether or not client accounts are permitted to specify their own affiliate ID to collect Amazon commissions from Amazon affiliate sales. If set to “No”, only the reseller's affiliate ID will be used.

Google Maps API key

Specifies the Google Maps API key for the domain name (FQDN) on which Centova Cast is hosted. Specifying a valid API key allows realtime mapping of listeners on a world map according to their geographic locations. Listener maps are shown both on the View Current Listeners page in each client's account, and on the start pages for each stream.

Logo image

Specifies a logo image to be displayed when the reseller's clients log into Centova Cast, instead of the default Centova Cast logo.

4. Managing E-mail Messages

Every E-mail message sent to administrators or clients by Centova Cast can be configured via the Edit Messages link in the administration area.

4.1. The Message List

The Centova Cast message list displays all available E-mail messages. Click on the “edit message” icon next to a message to launch the message editor.

4.2. Editing Messages

The message editor provides the following fields:

Subject

Specifies the text to use in the “subject” line of the message.

Message text

Specifies the plain text content for the message. This represents the body of the message, and will be displayed for mail clients which do not support HTML E-mail.

Message HTML

Specifies the HTML content for the message. This represents the body of the message, and will be displayed for the majority of mail clients which support HTML E-mail. If this field is left blank, an HTML version of the message will be constructed automatically based on the text version.

Each message may include “placeholder” values that will be replaced with appropriate text before the message is sent to the client or administrator. These values are enclosed in braces, and typically look something like {$account.username}. The selection of available placeholders will vary per message; it is recommended that you base your custom messages on the default messages and retain any placeholders that already exist in each one.

5. Configuring Server Software

Centova Cast supports a variety of streaming server software applications, each of which can be enabled as needed by clicking the Server Software link in the Centova Cast administrator's control panel.

To enable a particular server software type, simply click the Edit link next to the appropriate software type, then specify the path to the software on your server and set Enabled to Yes.

Once this is done, the server software type will automatically show up next to the New Account option on the account list page.

6. Configuring Source Software

Centova Cast supports a variety of streaming source software applications (for use with the autoDJ), each of which can be enabled as needed by clicking the Source Software link in the Centova Cast administrator's control panel.

To enable a particular source software type, simply click the Edit link next to the appropriate software type, then specify the path to the software on your server and set Enabled to Yes.

Once this is done, the source software type will automatically show up next to the New Account option on the account list page.

7. Account Templates

Account templates allow the administrator to configure groups of settings to be applied to new accounts. At account creation time, you can simply select the desired account template and all of those settings will be applied directly to the newly-created account. For busy administrators this can save hours of time per week in repetitive account configuration.

Account templates can be configured via the Account Templates link in the administration area.

7.1. The Account Templates List

The Centova Cast account templates list displays all of the account templates you have previously created.. Click on the “edit template” icon next to a template to launch the template editor, or create a new account template as described in the following section.

7.2. Creating New Account Templates

Creation of new account templates is facilitated through a New account template option near the top of the page. This process is very similar to that of creating a new account. The following options must be specified to create the account template:

Account Type

Indicates the type of account template which should be created:

Server Type

Indicates the type of server to use for the account template – currently, ShoutCast and IceCast are supported. Note that Centova Cast will only display server types which have been installed and enabled on your server.

Source Type

Indicates the type of streaming source to use for the account template's autoDJ. Note that Centova Cast will only display source types which have been installed and enabled on your server.

After setting your account template options, click the Create button to proceed to the account template editor and customize your account template settings. The account template creation interface is identical to the account template editor interface described below.

7.3. Editing Account Templates

The account template editor is virtually identical to the account editor described in section 3.3 (for user accounts) and section 3.4 (for reseller accounts). This is because when you set up an account template, you are essential “pre-configuring” an account just as you would when you create a new account.

The only significant differences between the template editor and the account editor are the absence of a few fields (such as the username) which cannot be configured until an account is actually created, and the addition of two fields which are specific to the account template editor:

Template name

Indicates the identifying name for the template. This is used internally (and by billing systems if you're using billing integration) and must consist of letters, digits, and underscores only. No spaces or other symbols are permitted.

Template description

Specifies a description for the template. This is displayed in the interface whenever a template selection is required, so you should be as detailed as necessary to help yourself identify the template by its description.

For assistance with all other options provided by the account template editor, please refer to sections 3.3 and 3.4.

8. Statistics

Centova Cast provides the most comprehensive streaming radio statistics system commercially available today. It provides information about listener trends and demographics, data transfer, track performances and popularity, user agents, and much, much more.

To access the master statistics for your server, click the Statistics link in the administration area.

8.1. Recent Activity

The recent activity report provides a high-level overview of your server's aggregate stream statistics, including details of listener trends, average session times, total listening hours, data transfer, track playback, and more.

8.2. Listeners

The listener overview provides information about listeners' usage of your streams.

Both of the Top Listeners reports automatically determine the countries from which the listeners were connected, and the software used by the listener to tune into the streams is noted and identified as a media player or stream ripper to assist in abuse detection.

8.3. User Agents

The user agents report provides an overview of the software programs listeners are using to tune in to your streams.

In both reports, each user agent is also classified as a legitimate media player (such as WinAmp, iTunes, etc.), or a stream ripper (a program used to steal music from your streams) to assist in abuse detection.

8.4. Countries

The country overview provides information about the countries from which the majority of your streams' listeners are tuning in.

In both reports, each country is identified (where possible) and the appropriate flag is displayed to aid in identification at a glance.

8.5. Historical Statistics

Historical statistics provide detailed daily and monthly data transfer and listener statistics, complete with graphs, allowing you to track listener trends and resource usage.

Unlike the other statistics provided by Centova Cast (which are limited to 60 days) historical statistics provide information about your server since it Centova Cast was first installed.

Graphs provided include:

9. Remote Servers

9.1. Introduction

Centova Cast's Remote Servers feature provides a single sign-on system for managing multiple Centova Cast servers from a single interface. If you maintain more than one Centova Cast server, you may find this to be a convenient way to manage all of your servers from a single control panel via a single administrative login.

9.2. Preparing for Single Sign-On

To begin managing your servers from a centralized interface, you must first decide which Centova Cast server will be your “master” server. You will use this server to login and control all of the other servers that you maintain. All of the other servers are referred to as “slave” servers.

Next, you must enable single sign-on functionality on each of your slave servers. To do so, login to Centova Cast on each server, access the Settings page, and set the Allow this server to be controlled remotely option to Yes.

Once remote control has been enabled on each slave server, login to your Centova Cast master server and setup each of your slave servers as described in the following section.

9.3. Configuring Remote Servers

To access the Remote Servers list, click the Remote Servers link under the Management heading in the administration area. The Remote Servers list provides an overview of all of the slave servers that Centova Cast is configured to manage.

To edit or delete an existing server, simply click the corresponding icon next to each server. To add a new server, click the Add remote server link at the upper right-hand side of the page. Refer to the following section for more information about editing or creating a remote server.

9.4. Remote Server Settings

When editing or creating a remote server, the following settings are available:

Server title

Specifies a name for the server. This is simply to help you identify the server in the account list, and can be any unique name of your choosing.

Centova Cast URL

Specifies the URL to the Centova Cast installation on the remote server. For example:
http://www.example.com/centovacast/

Administrator password

Specifies the administrator password for the remote server. This is necessary in order to facilitate automated logins to the remote server.

9.5. Accessing Remote Servers

After your slave servers have been configured per the instructions above, they will automatically appear on the Manage Accounts page when you login to the master server. Simply make use of the standard account editing features to manage the accounts on your remote servers.

9.6. API Clustering

If you have a number of Centova Cast servers and would like to be able to provision accounts on them from your billing system such that the accounts are distributed evenly to each server, you'll need to use Centova Cast's API clustering feature.

To begin, choose one of your Centova Cast servers to act as the "primary" server in your cluster. This will be the server to which your billing system connects to provision accounts across the cluster of servers.

To enable API clustering, you must edit your Centova Cast system configuration file (usually /home/centovacast/system/config.php) on your primary Centova Cast server and add the following line:

define('ENABLE_API_CLUSTERING',true);

Once this line has been added, perform the following steps:

  1. Login to the primary Centova Cast server's administration area.

  2. Click the Remote Servers link (in the left-hand column) to launch the Remote Servers page.

  3. On the Remote Servers page, add each of the servers that you want to use for new accounts. When adding each server, be sure to set the "Include in API cluster" option to "Yes".

  4. Click the "Settings" link (in the left-hand column) to launch the Settings page.

  5. On the settings page, under "Single Sign-on", set the "Provisioning server for API clustering" option to the server on which all new accounts should be provisioned. If you want to evenly distribute the accounts, set it to "The server with the fewest accounts".

Centova Cast is now ready for distributed account provisioning.

Now you must set up Centova Cast in your billing system. Do this as per the instructions in the Centova Cast installation guide. Note that you do not need to set up all of your Centova Cast servers in the billing system; you should only setup the "primary" server (which you chose in step 1 above) in your billing system, and Centova Cast will automatically ensure that the accounts are provisioned on the correct servers.


10. Event Log

The event log provides a record of activity that has recently taken place within Centova Cast. You can access the event log by clicking the Event Log link in the administration area.

The event log is intended for advanced users and Centova Technologies' staff to diagnose stream problems and/or audit users' access of the system. If you are having trouble with one of your streams, you can often find additional diagnostic information in the event log.



11. Port 80 Proxying

11.1. Overview

Centova Cast includes a port-80 proxy that can be enabled on the Settings page of the Centova Cast administration area. This enables listeners to tune in to audio streams using TCP port 80 (the port normally used for serving web pages) which may be useful for listeners who are behind restrictive firewalls that prevent access to the port numbers normally used by streaming servers.

When enabled, a link will be displayed on the stream start page (also available in the client's control panel in the “Tune-in” section in the lower right-hand corner) allowing the listener to optionally tune in through the proxy.

11.2. Technical Considerations

Be advised that there are serious technical considerations when using any port-80 proxy implementation that works through a web server.

Because of the way Apache works, every listener connected to a stream you host will require one dedicated Apache server process for the entire time they are connected and listening to the stream. The exact memory consumption of each Apache process can be determined on a Linux server by running "ps aux" and checking the "RSS" column for an httpd process. Typical memory consumption is somewhere between 10MB - 25MB per process, as a fairly conservative estimate.

The result of this limitation is that every listener connected to a stream hosted on your server will use 10-25MB of your server's memory, in addition to the memory used by ShoutCast. Even if the server is not very busy, this will result in a significant allocation of memory – with 20 simultaneous listeners, for example, the server would use 200 - 500MB of memory just for proxying. With 100 simultaneous listeners, that figure would rise to 1GB - 2.5GB, which would cause many servers to run out of memory.

While this issue is not advertised by most companies, this limitation is not specific to Centova Cast, and is true of all web-based ShoutCast/IceCast proxy scripts. Proxying through Apache is supported by Centova Cast only because of significant client demand, and Centova Technologies does not recommend their use.

12. AutoDJs

Streaming hosting providers often require that end-users provide their own streaming sources; for example, clients may use SAM Broadcaster, or WinAmp with the Oddcast plugin, to transmit a live stream to the streaming server. This provides great flexibility for the client, however it requires that the client keep his personal computer running 24 hours a day. If the client's computer or Internet connection goes offline for any reason, his stream will also become unavailable.

In addition to remote (client-provided) sources, Centova Cast also supports the use of server-side sources, known as an “autoDJ”. When using an autoDJ, clients upload their media library (eg: MP3 files) to the hosting server's hard drive, and the media is locally delivered directly to the stream. This allows the stream to remain entirely self-contained on the hosting server, and completely independent of the client's computer.

Centova Cast includes modules for integration with Pure-FTPd and ProFTPd FTP servers, which will allow your users to login via FTP with their Centova Cast usernames to upload their media. Instructions for installing these modules are included in the Centova Cast Installation Guide, available from the Centova Cast web site at: http://www.centova.com

In most cases, FTP integration is configured automatically during installation and requires no further effort on the administrator's part.

If you prefer to provide media for the clients' streams through other means, you will need to arrange for the client's media to be stored in the following directory:

centovaroot/vhosts/username/var/spool/media/

In the above example, centovaroot represents the path to Centova Cast (usually/home/centovacast), and username represents the client's username within Centova Cast. This directory must be readable both by the Centova Cast UNIX user account (usually centovacast) as well as the user account under which your web server runs (usually nobody or www-data).

13. Support

If you require technical support or assistance with Centova Cast, please visit the Centova Cast web site at http://www.centova.com. Our web site provides answers to various frequently asked questions regarding issues you may be experiencing with Centova Cast.

If you still require further support, please login with your billing username and password to open a support ticket with Centova Support.

14. Credits

Centova Cast

Copyright 2007-2008, Centova Technologies Inc

http://www.centova.com