Backbone Enables World’s First HTTP LIVE Streaming Internet Radio Stations

New streaming protocol promises more robust connections andability to traverse firewalls. IBS Student Radio Network will adoptHTTP Live Streaming in iPhone’s College Radio Tuner application

Two cutting edge college radio stations are making history as the first Internet stations to stream in the new HTTP Live streaming protocol. With the help of Backbone Networks Corporation, Long Island University WLIU-BK and Goucher Student Radio have become the first stations to add HTTP Live streaming to their broadcast offerings. This station upgrade is part of Backbone’s plan to further expand IBS Student Radio Network (IBS-SRN) station listenership by adding both HTTP Live Streaming and Shoutcast protocols to the current RTSP streams currently offered by the network to a variety of additional players on iPhone, iPod touch, computers and other devices.

Backbone LogoHTTP Live Streaming is the HTTP-based protocol which enables the College Radio Tuner App to seamlessly stream through firewalls, routers and proxy servers.

Shoutcast is the popular streaming protocol used by a number ofInternet radio stations, directories and tuners. Adding Shoutcastsupport extends Backbone’s powerful automation to this popular protocolfor all our stations. “IBS’ current iTunes and iPhone capabilities havebeen tremendous in connecting our member stations to the world. AddingShoutcast and HTTP Live Streaming will make our college and high schoolradio stations even easier to find and hear,” said Len Mailloux,Chairman of The Intercollegiate Broadcast System. “These extensionsgive us the chance to reach out to new listeners around the globe andshare the excitement and fun that is college radio.”

The first two HTTP Live stations, WLIU-BK (Long Island University,Brooklyn Campus) and Goucher Student Radio (Goucher College; Towson,MD), are important members of the IBS Student Radio Network. Backbonewill be upgrading all IBS-SRN member stations by the end of 2009.Backbone’s free College Radio Tuner App for iPhone and iPod touch nowsupports HTTP Live Streaming stations. In addition, during thisprocess, Backbone will be adding Shoutcast and Icecast streamingcapability to all stations, enabling them to be listed and found innumerous online streaming directories.


In 2007, Backbone Networks Corporation, in cooperation with theIntercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), launched the first trueInternet radio network, one that specifically aims to enhance thestudent radio experience. The IBS Student Radio Network enables studentoperated stations to syndicate live and produced programming amongmember stations, as well as automatically access a vast amount ofroyalty-free programming from worldwide third-party sources.

About IBS

The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) is a nonprofitassociation of mostly student-staffed radio stations based at schoolsand colleges across the country. Over 1,000 IBS member stations operateall types of facilities including Internet – Webcasting,closed-circuit, AM carrier-current, cable radio, FCC-licensed FM, LPFMand AM stations.

About Backbone

Founded in 1990, Backbone Networks Corporation has its roots indeveloping television and radio software, especially content productionand delivery applications. Its founders are pioneers in developingtechnology for the broadcasting industry. They have supplied softwareand systems for some of the highest profile broadcasters and theirevents.

Free College Radio Tuner launched for the iPhone

Backbone Networks Corporation today announced its College Radio Tuner application for Apple’s iPhone® and iPod Touch® is now available from the iTunes App Store®. This free application showcases the growing IBS Student Radio Network, a collaborative effort between Backbone and the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.

The College Radio Tuner allows a worldwide mobile audience to find and listen to cutting edge, student-run Internet radio stations. It allows the user to scroll easily through a list of stations, find and click to play live internet radio right on the iPhone or iPod touch, whether connected via WiFi, 3G or Edge networks.

The College Radio Tuner automatically searches for and adds new stations as they become available. Initial release of the tuner includes a complement of twenty five participating IBS-SRN stations, with more joining every month. Among these initial participating stations are those affiliated with Oklahoma State University, Goucher College, and Methodist University.

Stations originate their programs in superior quality MPEG-4 AAC format, the same international standard Apple® uses for its iTunes Store® offerings. The College Radio Tuner is the first RTSP/RTP/AAC player for the iPhone and iPod Touch, bringing the open standards supported across the rest of the Apple product line, including QuickTime®, to these devices.

In addition to streaming music and other audio to the iPhone, the College Radio Tuner also displays album or station image art, as well as embedded text listing artist, song title, album name, and other information The tuner also provides clickable links to the station’s web site, to the iTunes Store, where listeners can purchase and download the playing song, or to a call-in phone number that the iPhone automatically dials to facilitate listener interaction and talk radio segments.

Station-controlled automation software is supplied by Backbone, who provides central networked hosting for all IBS-SRN member stations. Stations can broadcast both live and automated radio program material,including remote live coverage of school sporting events and concerts. Backbone CTO George Capalbo added, “The Student Radio Network provides community within and among the schools, and it enhances their ability to communicate with alumni, the student body and their families.”

In contrast to commercial radio, IBS Student Radio Network stations are typically run by students rather than professional staff. Programs are a result of both school curricula and student club activities, and include events that involve their schools, communities and the development of the arts. Last fall, the IBS-SRN held IBS Palooza, the Internet’s first multi-venue music festival where participating schools independently showcased local independent musicians and bands, broadcasting simultaneously over a weekend long concert. Schools shared live feeds among stations on the IBS Student Radio Network. A spring IBS Palooza is scheduled for April 2009, and will be available free on the College Radio Tuner.

For the actual press release please see PRWeb.

Public Comment on CRB record keeping rules

Fred Wilhelm started a discussion about the CRB record keeping rules.  The complete article on the CRB record keeping is in the recent P2Pnet.

Well, I wanted to add my piece to this so I responded to Fred from the perpective of our customers, the web-casters.

Backbone Networks, as an internet radio aggregator, has an additional concern regarding web-casters. This concern would be true if the rumored standard ISP charge for music is implemented. Web-casters would still have to pay a performance royalty for streaming music to listeners with the ISPs that had implemented the charge. This is music for which the listener already has a right to hear. In other words, the streaming royalty would constitute a double payment.

For listeners of web-casters on ISP services that pay the license fee Backbone would like to see the streaming royalty rates waived however the reporting requirement remain. This would eliminate the double payment while at the same time providing the information back to SoundExchange to enable appropriate allocation to the artists.

Webcasters provide a service to their listeners, they program their shows to highlight new music and other programming that keeps their audience engaged. As such they are helping listeners find new music, i.e. some of the 7500 artists you reference. Anyone who has listened to Radio Paradise, Soma FM, BaGEL Radio, AccuRadio, Pandora or one of the IBS-SRN college radio stations know that these web-casters add significant value to their listener communities.

While we believe that the current royalty rates are way too high and are slowing the adoption of internet radio, this solution would at least help lower the cost web-casters bear for streaming to listeners on those ISPs. This may even help the web-casters that provide the added value of progamming interesting playlists for their listeners to continue to operate.

Separately we have a few additional broader concerns for web-casters. These are:

– The worldwide nature of the internet enables a worldwide audience. However, the complexity to report in the US is multiplied dramatically as the stream crosses borders. This friction in the system is a drag to the overall health of the music industry and internet radio.

– The royalty rates are tied to a particular transmission medium yet the listeners do not make such a distinction. We would support “broadcast neutrality” for the rates and ask that the rates be normalized between terrestrial, satellite and internet transmission. What we find most strange about the rates is that they are highest for internet transmission yet those streams are the most valuable because of the information and statistics that are associated with them.

I bring up this point because as an internet aggregator we would only support providing additional reporting to SX in exchange for reduced rates. Further, the more information provided the lower the rate should be. This data is extremely valuable and should not come for free. To me I think that the full requested information associated with each play is about equal to the current royalty rate.

We are all for finding workable solutions that promote artists while enabling web-casters to operate in a profitable manner and not all web-casters agree with our position but we believe that it is directionally correct and fair to the artists and web-casters.