Backup Streams

The Radio Mast Streaming Network allows you to designate a Backup Stream which will be fed to listeners if a stream's audio encoder disconnects. Using a Backup Stream on a redundant ingest server in a different region can help improve the reliability of your stream.

To designate a backup, look for the Backup Stream section in the Configuration tab of your stream.

Redundant Ingest

Backup Streams can be used with multiple ingest servers to provide redundant ingest. To use this configuration, create two streams on your Radio Mast account and configure your streaming audio encoder to broadcast to both streams, but using two different ingest servers. The list of ingest server hostnames is available in the Stream Connection Details shown in the Overview tab of any stream. Note that the listener capacity of the second stream can be minimal as it is not used. Lastly, in the Configuration tab of each stream, designate the other stream as the backup.

We recommend using ingest servers in two different regions, to help route around regional ISP issues. For example, when configuring an encoder in Europe, you can configure one stream to connect to ingest-ams.radiomast.io (Amsterdam) and the other on ingest-fra.radiomast.io (Frankfurt).

Redundant Ingest Configuration Overview

  • Main Stream
  • Encoder Configuration:
    • Codec: MP3 or AAC
    • Bitrate: Any
  • Radio Mast Stream Configuration:
    • Backup Stream: Alternate Stream
    • Streaming Plan: Any
  • Alternate Stream ("Backup")
  • Encoder Configuration:
    • Codec: Same as Main Stream
    • Bitrate: Same as Main Stream
  • Radio Mast Stream Configuration:
    • Backup Stream: Main Stream
    • Streaming Plan: Any (the listener capacity of the primary is used, so a low capacity plan is recommended for the backup)

Failover

Failover is triggered when encoder connectivity is lost, causing listeners to be switched to the backup stream. If connectivity is reestablished, only new listeners will be directed back to the primary stream, to minimize potential disruption.

When failover is triggered, listeners on AAC streams will typically hear the audio skip backwards or forwards slightly in time. Listeners on MP3 streams may hear a short slight "blurp" sound, followed by a skip in the audio.

When to Use a Backup Stream

Backup Streams are most useful in routing around network issues that your own ISP might have. With certain types of ISP outages, some parts of the internet remain reachable. Having your encoder configured to send a Backup Stream to an ingest server in a region different from your main stream can improve your odds of staying on air during an ISP outage.

Note that Radio Mast already provides redundant ingest servers within each region, to minimize the impact of individual server downtime. The high availability architecture of the Streaming Network benefits all broadcasters and no additional configuration is required to take advantage of this.

Limitations

  • Backup Streams must be hosted on the Radio Mast Streaming Network.
  • We recommend that the codec and bitrate of a Backup Stream match that of the primary stream.
  • Failover will only occur if an encoder disconnects, not if the stream is silent.