New Technical Architectures and Deployment Models for Radio Production
Operational flexibility with radioman
RadioMan® is the first virtual browser-based radio production and playout system built completely in the cloud. RadioMan’s web-native technologies and architecture enable flexible deployment models. RadioMan users can move freely in-between different locations, as laptops and tablets are used as a thin clients to access RadioMan virtually through a web browser.
Virtual studio environment
Our goal with RadioMan is first and foremost to give the user a complete control over whether they want to deploy RadioMan in a cloud environment, on physical hardware, or as a hybrid of the two.
RadioMan removes the roadblocks that arise when migrating physical radio studios to virtual ones. Every radio station can benefit from taking out expensive on-site hardware and moving to virtual environments, especially small, pop-up, temporary and web-only radio stations. Instead of having expensive on-site infrastructure throughout many locations, RadioMan allows for the infrastructure to move to one centralized location.
RadioMan allows radio stations to remove aging technology by enabling a modular radio studio and IT infrastructure. RadioMan is deployed on virtual servers using industry agnostic technologies, including the playout servers and back-end infrastructure. In short, every part of the IT infrastructure can be virtualized. Virtual environments also allow for RadioMan users to move freely in-between different locations, since laptops and tablets are used as a thin clients to access RadioMan virtually through a web browser. Less hardware means users can travel between locations and create, edit and broadcast the program on-location without a large amount of equipment.
INTEGRATION OF RADIOMAN AND THE AUDIO INFRASTRUCTURE
RadioMan also allows the user to access the system using any browser on any thin client. With older systems users tries to access one machine which created a bottleneck that slows processes down considerably. However, RadioMan’s built-in load balancer allows the user to redirect HTTP traffic across the load-balanced back-end infrastructure. The back-end itself is run on Apache web servers and the messaging between the front and back-end infrastructure is controlled via web-native ActiveMQ messaging. We have also deployed PostgreSQL database with RadioMan 6 to make it even more affordable and easier to deploy for the user.
So, all of the HTML interface runs inside the RadioMan deployment and there is no need for 3rd party plug-ins. Better yet, RadioMan’s REST API allows for the user to build in the interactivity they need so 3rd party technology – such as MAM, Traffic and Newsroom systems – can be integrated with RadioMan.
The basic principle of RadioMan is that the system has as few central locations as possible. With it, everything can be built into a virtual model and deployed in a cloud environment, or deployed locally if the need arises, as may be the case for local playout servers. This is useful in case of an unreliable internet connection because it synchronizes with the central playout server and the user can still broadcast over a local transmission tower.
RadioMan 6 allows for the system to run in parallel will full redundancy should one of the systems fail. So the user can choose between a local deployment model and virtual cloud model or a hybrid of the two, whichever suits them best. They can also deploy the system through different cloud vendors, such as their own private virtual cloud environment, with another public cloud vendor, or with Amazon Web Services which RadioMan currently uses by default.
Another shift in architecture is finding a way to reduce the hardware and simplify the process of sending an audio signal from a studio to the transmission tower. Shifting the encoding workflow from hardware to software will allow audio signals to be decoded over IP without any on-site hardware requirements.