Warm fuzzy feeling

when Geroge’s station plays a request you made :smiley:

:smiley: :headbang: to Pearl Jam :smiley: saved me digging around to find the cd :lol:


Damn you DT ;)… I’ve looked and I can’t find my Pearl Jam :frowning:


Yep like George’s station as well.
have a look at this one too
No nice request system but 192Kbs or 320Kbps on the weekends

that was you, my blind melon played a few tracks later :smiley:

radiofreecolorado is an excellent station. He’s one of the big boys in independent streaming. Excellent sound quality. If I had his resources and his dedication, I’d move up to 192 or 320 K too. But it is very expensive!

radiofreecolorado is going through major headaches with hordes of “stream rippers” in recent weeks. He ranted a bit about it on the air the other day, causing quite a stir on his own forum and in some other forums streaming guys hang out. He’s certainly got guts, and he is fighting back hard against the stream rippers that are costing him quite a bit of money. I can elaborate, if anybody wants the details about the stormy relationships between webcaster and streamripper. :slight_smile:

Over on my side of the fence (you knew I’d get to this, eventually)… I added a couple of new features to the station during the last 10 days or so.

  1. For those of you who are opinionated… you can now give a rating (on a scale of 1 to 5) to each song that plays. You have to be listening for 10 minutes before you can start rating the songs.

There is a method to this “song ratings” madness. Er, I hope there is, anyway!

If you care to read the tedious explanation and see the pictures that show how the song ratings work… please visit my song ratings page

  1. On my requests page I posted 2 new links that might make it easier for you to find the songs you are looking for…

It takes a minute or so to load, but you can now get a one-page list of all 20,000 songs on my station. You can leave that page open for a while (or all day) and scroll about on it to make your requests, instead of using the ole A to Z links (although those A to Z links are still available too!).

I set up a page that lists just the xmas songs, since it is that time of year and those songs get requested a lot. The xmas songs are not all traditional xmas thingys. There are some classic rock and punk xmas songs in there too.
That’s about it, for what’s new. I’m trying to enjoy running the station for as long as I can. The USA will fix new royalty rates for 2006-2010 in the upcoming months, and it probably won’t be pretty. Lotsa lil streaming guys like me will have tough decisions to make: To carry on, or throw in the towel. I’m very stubborn. :slight_smile:

Hiya George - wondered where you had gone :smiley: Adding new features :woot:

Just in case you’ve not seen, the Flying Fakirs now have your site bumper stickers holding some panels together :lol:


And the Mojo’s pics have a couple of me in your sites t-shirt as well :smiley:


I’m assuming then stream rippers are basically music pirates? ie they record the webcasts?

DT, those pics are sweet! LOL, I love it! :slight_smile:

drezha, you are correct!

More specifically, a stream ripper is software that records a stream and then separates the rip into individual mp3 files. The ripping software relies upon the changes in the stream’s metadata (the songtitle and artist name text that shows up in your player) to determine when the current song ends and a new song begins.

With stream ripping software… you could set it to record my station unattended for 8 hours while you sleep, and when you wake up you’d have 8 hours of individual mp3 files for each song that I played.

In the USA, stream ripping is illegal (violation of the Digitial Millenium Copyright Act, or DMCA). As far as I know, it is not illegal in most nations. The legal issue is not the reason why webcasters get ticked off about stream rippers, but the webcasters will often cite the legal issue as a point in their favor when debating stream rippers.

Stream ripping is always a hot topic for debate among webcasters. Some webcasters are not bothered by stream rippers in the slightest, but I think it is fair to say that they are a minority.

One side says: “Look dummy, you are a webcaster, you have decided to share your music with the world. What the #$*&# do you care about what those people do with it after you’ve shared it with them? If you really care about it that much, you wouldn’t share your music at all. You’d keep it to yourself. So quit bellyaching about rippers and find something important to spend your time on. A ripper is a listener, be glad you have him.”

The other side says: “Hey stupid, a ripper isn’t a listener. He is a copier. His presence on my server takes up space that a real listener could be using! We all know that anybody can record whatever they hear on their puters. We accept that if someone wants to record us for 8 hours and then go through the pain of manually editing that huge 8 hour file into individual songs… well, OK, he wins. We surrender to someone who is willing to do that. But when software becomes available that automatically separates the recording into individual tracks for them, that’s when I take issue with it. Especially since I am paying for it!”

So why exactly do webcasters, in general, hate stream rippers?

1. They are considered parasites that use us to get somethin’ for nothin’, just because they can.

2. We pay royalties based on monthly listening hours. The more total listening hours we get, the more we pay in royalties. Those stream rippers, who aren’t really listening to our stations but are instead siphoning files from us, count in our listening hour tallies. For accounting purposes, a stream ripper is a listener even though he never really listens (he is just recording unattended in order to get free copies of copyrighted music). And the thanks I get for providing him with a method to do that is… I pay his way.

I don’t mind paying the royalties for the people who are actually listening. But I do mind paying the royalties for someone who isn’t really listening and is ripping instead. My station is small, so the royalties aren’t crippling me. But for a station with a large number of listeners (and rippers), this royalty aspect of ripping is a major headache.

radiofreecolorado recently stated that approx. 18% of his royalty expenses were caused by stream rippers.

3. Webcasters have a finite number of space for simultaneous listeners on our stream hosts. Some stations can handle larger numbers of listeners than other stations can, but every station has a limit.

If all of my available listening slots are currently taken (meaning that my station is full, nobody else can tune in until someone else tunes out to make room): Then I’m in a situation where people who want to listen are being turned away. If some of the current listeners aren’t really listeners (they are rippers), that makes this situation all the more irritating. Real listeners cannot listen, but people who aren’t really listening are tuned in!

If a webcaster does object to stream rippers, what can the webcaster do about them?

1. Do what “real” radio has been doing for years to combat taping of their stations: Long crossfades (new song begins a few seconds before the old song really ends), talk over the beginning and end of tracks, make it almost impossible for someone to hear a complete song in a “clean” manner from start to end.

Effectiveness: Fair, but is defeating stream rippers important enough to make your station sound crappier?

2. Ban their IP addresses from the stream server. Here’s info about 2 people listening to my station right now:



That first one is listening with Windows Media Player version 10. That second one is listening with a stream ripper (I know this because of the “sr-POSIX”.

We have the ability to monitor that info and ban IPs for people who use players that are rippers. We can do this automatically and unattended: Every x seconds, get all the listener’s IPs and “Useragents” and if the useragent is a ripper… kick him off the station, and ban his IP from reentry.

I have used this method in the past, but I am not using it now.

Effectiveness: Limited. Pretty effective against most rippers but almost no affect against savvy rippers. Experienced rippers know how to diguise their useragent name, so it appears on my logs that they are using a legit player when they are not. Also, they can use proxy servers to get around an IP ban.

3. Change the stream’s metadata frequently, instead of changing it only when a song changes.

If you listen to a stream with a common player like Winamp or RealOne, you may notice that your player displays a text message to indicate the artist and song title for the current song. You might see something like this in your player:

U2 - Desire

That information comes from the stream’s “metadata”. When the next song begins, the metadata changes to display the new artist name and new song title.

So when the metadata in the player changes from:
U2 - Desire
Rolling Stones - Angie

The ripper triggers a “stop record” and a save for the U2 song and start a “new record” for the Rolling Stones song. The changing of that metadata is what makes the ripper record individual songs instead of recording one big 8 hour file.

What do you think happens to the stream ripper’s recordings if the webcaster sends “extra” metadata during a song, instead of wating for the song changes?

I send new metadata every 20 seconds. I send data that tells which artists are coming up soon, I send up silly slogans, and at times I actually send the real song data (the actual song title and artist name).

When the U2 song begins, I send the proper data:
U2 - Desire
But before that song ends, I will send new data several times. I send this:
Coming up soon on YOUR INTERNET RADIO…
Then 20 seconds later, I send this:
Skid Row, Great White
Then 20 seconds later, I might send this:
Thank you for listening!

When I change my metadata every 20 seconds, it causes the stream ripper to act every 20 seconds too - to stop recording, save, and begin a new recording. So the stream ripper ends up not with 1 file per song, but with several 20 second files per song.

The idea here is to annoy the stream ripper and convince him to go record someone else’s stream.

If you tune me in with a player that supports the metadata display, you can see this stuff in action. Note how frequently the text changes.

This is metadata trick the only thing that I do right now to discourage rippers.

Effectiveness: Very effective against almost all rippers. Stream ripper forums are full of people complaining about this tactic now. Only the most savvy rippers know of ways to defeat this (and are willing to go through the steps necessary to defeat this), and I am willing to let them slide. If you are that good and that dedicated at ripping , I’ll tip my hat to you. You win.

Some stations use all 3 of those methods.

Have I left anything out? LOL.


I can see that. Mainly because in my theme for winamp a pop up floats in on my right hand side of the screen with the metadata of a MP3 changes (ie my PC moves onto the next track on my system) and so listening to your station it’s gone into overdrive and pop ups every 20 seconds :stuck_out_tongue:

LOL, sorry bout that! :slight_smile:

That illustrates one of the drawbacks to my method: Annoying the listeners with those damn metadata changes! And not just the people who use themes like you do. When someone glances at their player and wants to see the song title or artist name, they see “Thank you for listening!” instead. Doh!