No matter how stable your network connection is, sometimes you will experience gremlins with your live broadcasts. Below we've documented the most common issues we receive, as well as troubleshooting steps you can take to help alleviate/resolve the problem.
Live DJ disconnecting; Radio.co broadcasting automation
This is one of the most common issues we face with live broadcasts.
Why this happens?
When you're broadcasting live, your broadcaster is sending a constant stream of audio (known as data packets) to your Radio.co server, which is hosted in the cloud. Radio.co waits to receive these data packets, at which point this data is sent via the listen link to your listeners.
Sometimes, due to network issues Radio.co may not receive the data packets your broadcaster has sent. In this case, to prevent silence on your station, Radio.co will fall back to automation (your backup tracks within Radio.co) whilst waiting for the connection to be re-established.
How to fix this?
The first recommended approach is to ensure you have a hard-wired (Ethernet) connection between your broadcasting PC and the router.
WiFi, as brilliant is it is for the flexibility it gives you, it's susceptible to interference from other electromagnetic devices (i.e. your mobile phone), as well as encountering obstacles in your property (think thick walls). This can cause data packets to be dropped (lost) on their way from your broadcasting PC to the router.
If you've already set up an Ethernet connection but continue to have issues, we recommend reducing the stream bitrate in both your broadcaster and Radio.co.
The lower the stream bitrate, the less data which needs to be transferred over the network. This can help alleviate issues with less stable connections.
To change this in Radio.co, head to Settings > Broadcast > Stream Bitrate. In BUTT, you can set this in Settings > Audio > Streaming > Bitrate. You need to ensure the bitrate on the broadcaster and Radio.co matches. If you're using an alternative broadcaster to BUTT, please review the developer's support page for further guidance.
If you continue to have issues after completing the above steps, we finally recommend restarting your router. Any further troubleshooting would need to be handled between you and your internet service provider.
Long delay between the live broadcast and the stream audio
If you notice a substantial period of time between you broadcasting live and that audio being heard via the listen link, this is completely normal. We normally advise anything under 30 seconds to be acceptable, anything longer and it indicates network issues.
Why this happens?
When you're broadcasting live, there's a lot going on behind the scenes for the audio to reach your listener. The stream has to reach your station server, which is then distributed to a streaming server, which is then distributed to your listeners. It's this traversing of the network which causes the delay, otherwise known as latency. This isn't solely an issue affecting Radio.co, this affects all streaming services on the internet.
How to fix this?
Since this is mostly out of your control, there isn't too much you can do. However, following the same steps provided earlier can help reduce the latency as much as possible. A reminder:
Ensure you're operating an Ethernet connection, as opposed to WiFi.
Reduce the stream bitrate (be careful however, reducing the bitrate by too much can cause an audible decrease in quality).
Restart your router.
It's important to note however that unlike Live DJ disconnections, latency is not going to have an adverse effect for the listener. It's not something to be overly concerned about, however it's important to understand how it works.
We hope the above troubleshooting steps have helped. If we've not covered your issue above, or you just want to discuss further with a member of the support team, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.