According to Shiow-Jiau Yung, who works on Chicago Public Radio’s national initiatives, the station began working with StreamGuys after a well-known content delivery network (CDN) was unable to help Chicago Public Radio transition its web audio services from RealAudio to mp3.
“Our previous CDN had set up our services in a way that was not very helpful to us or our audience,” said Yung. “Instead of helping us improve and diversify our services, they told us that what we wanted to do wasn’t possible — despite widespread evidence to the contrary. The equation just didn’t balance. It was extremely frustrating, especially for an organization like Chicago Public Radio, where we need to use our resources wisely.”
StreamGuys initially set up a Windows server to house two new live streams and on-demand mp3s as well as archival RealAudio. Due to the popularity of the program, on-demand streaming for This American Life soon required a dedicated server, and StreamGuys worked with Chicago Public Radio to perform the migration. Additional traffic from the TAL podcast necessitated further expansion, and TAL web audio is now delivered by a cluster of load-balanced, Linux servers.
Now the two are in a full-fledged partnership with plans in the works for implementation of Flash streaming and the development of ad insertion technology in addition to the podcasts and websites that have already been developed by this dynamic duo.
Yung waxes enthusiastic as he talks about the alliance. The web media expertise The Stream Guys bring to the equation is like having a dedicated team of specialists in house, and when there is a problem he gets to speak with a human as opposed to the legendary voice mail queues of most tech support lines.
A wide variety of content CPR generates is now seeing its reach extended across the Internet, including the national program Sound Opinions and an array of local content. It seems as thought this is the month for great strides as broadcast and new media move closer to symbiosis.