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Radio stations and broadcasters can use our free Cirrus® Console that includes our DCS (Data Capture Software), encoder, and Mixxx playlist program that all work together under one shell. You can choose to just use our Cirrus® Console without Mixxx if you already have your own automation software or playlist program. You simply install, insert your call letters and authorization token we provide you, and everything is automatically configured instantly. No fooling around with entering information... it's all done for you within a few seconds.
Once you're streaming, you have a status window that is displayed in real-time showing you live statistics for DCS, encoder, FTP, and listeners.
An awesome feature that is available when you are using our Cirrus® Console is the auto recording feature that allows you to schedule times to record your live stream and save it to your desktop and automatically upload it to your player's on-demand section.
The Mixxx playlist program acts just like any playlist program for DJs, allowing you to mix music using your computer. You insert your playlist and start mixing your music, just like on physical turntables. Mixxx communicates directly with the Cirrus® Console to send your audio stream to us. With a customizable skin, you can choose a style that best suits your station.
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Facebook is a great tool to get listeners on your player. You can use your station's Facebook page to prompt and direct listeners to go to your desktop player or download your mobile streaming apps. You can also incorporate a social media contest linking to your player, driving more user interaction. Embed your Facebook feed to show right on your Cirrus ® Player; users can keep up with your updates and click on the player's feed to open your Facebook page in a new browser window.
Embed your Twitter feed right on your Cirrus ® Player. Listeners can access your full Twitter page by clicking on your Cirrus ® Player's embedded Twitter feed. Promote your player and apps on your Twitter page and incorporate player and mobile app promos into your daily feed and pages.
Use this powerful tool to connect your now playing information to your Twitter account. Each time your player refreshes to a new song or segment, it provides a short link to your player along with the song or segment name - allowing anyone to pop the player open right from Twitter.
Our system automatically adds popular hashtags: #nowplaying & #listenlive. This means for every song update, your Now Playing information will be automatically added to the 'Now Playing' & 'Listen Live' tag feed on Twitter. This is a great way to improve your Twitter presence and fan base.
Prefer to display your own custom hashtags, such as your station slogan or name? This is especially useful in branding your station. Any custom hashtags will be added to the end of each song update tweet. Log into your control panel and select the SONG & MEDIA OPTIONS tab. Scroll down to the Twitter Updates section and make sure the "Post Playlist Updates" to Twitter option is checked. Enter your choice of hashtags, separated by a space in the hashtag field.
Have a YouTube channel? Share your uploaded YouTube videos from your Cirrus ® Player. Upload your station videos of special guest interviews, station personalities, specialty shows, station promos, news, weather, events, sporting games - the possibilities are endless.
Use Your Top Menu Buttons to Link to Your Social Media Sites
You can use a total of up to five menu buttons on the top of your Cirrus ® Player. Link to your social media pages, mobile apps in the Google Play & iTunes Store, link to sponsor websites, on-air personality web pages, contest pages - wherever you like!
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Don't focus on the wrong chip!
Voice-over-IP (VoIP) is nothing new, of course, but so far it's been regarded merely as an add-on to America's regular, analog-based copper and cellular voice networks -- networks that are currently maintained as a matter of legal requirement. The FCC isn't necessarily such a stickler for tradition, however, as it is now encouraging phone networks to explore what would happen if VoIP replaced everything else. In other words, how would the system cope if the only phone numbers were Internet Protocol addresses; if even emergency calls were transmitted over the web; and if remote rural communities became dependent on VoIP, with no other type of network as a backup? Companies that want to participate in the experiment have until late February to submit their ideas, with approvals expected to be granted as early as March -- but don't fear, the tests will only be permitted in "discrete geographic areas or situations," which is the FCC's way of politely reminding telecom providers not to get ahead of themselves.
US data usage to jump eight-fold by 2018
The volume of data crossing U.S. mobile networks is set to increase almost eight-fold by 2018, it has been revealed.
According to a report by Cisco Systems, demand for Internet-connected devices will also skyrocket and US consumers will download and upload more data on their smartphones in 2018 than they did on their laptops in 2013.
By 2018, Cisco predicts that U.S. mobile data traffic will reach 2.7 exabytes a month - equal to the amount of data stored on some 675 million DVDs. In 2013, less than half an exabyte of data crossed U.S. networks on average per month.
Speaking to reporters yesterday Robert Pepper, Cisco's vice president for global technology policy said: "It's more people, more connections, faster speeds on the networks and then more rich content, which in this case is video, video, video."
Cisco, one of the leading makers of networking equipment, studies the use and speed of devices, connections and data for an annual forecast of mobile data traffic trends.
Internet-linked devices will keep spreading at a fast clip, with some 271 million connections between gadgets and the Internet forecast for 2018 - an eight-fold jump from 35 million in 2013 that is driven by the predicted boom in wearable devices like activity-tracking wristband Fitbit, Pepper said.
(Source: Mobile Magazine)
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Take Advantage of Your Player's Deals and Coupons Feature
Properly optimize and take advantage of your deals and coupons section within your Cirrus™ Player. This is a powerful tool to promote your sponsors' & station's special offers. Change coupons and deals daily, weekly, or monthly.
Upload a large-sized coupon image or PDF, then create a link to open it in a new browser window. Your listeners can then print the coupon.
Similar to digital coupons, place an image or text describing special offers, sales or events - link it to the merchant's website to open in a new browser window.
DIGITAL COUPONS & COUPON CODES
Enter the text of the coupon code along with its offer, and optionally link it to open a new browser window if you'd like.
QR CODES FOR MOBILE DEVICES
Route your listeners to a coupon or site by uploading a QR Code image. Listeners can scan with their mobile device and be auto directed to the target site or page.
Any text, images, flyers or banners describing special offers, contests, and giveaways can be uploaded in the text editor. Be creative, the possibilities are endless!
Give your listeners a reason to come back to your player by offering value-incentive coupons and deals right on your Cirrus™ Player. Provide loyalty to your listeners by sharing coupons and special deals that may only be available via your player. This feature is especially useful if you have a big sponsor that is only offering a certain deal to just your listeners. You can promote these deals or coupons on-air or on your website, then tell listeners they can find the deals by going to your player.
Creating effective coupons and deals
Almost every website accepts online coupon codes or offers special deals. Offering these specials on your player is just another way to get listeners on your player and stay there. There are many ways to create effective coupons and deals. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Hook up with some local merchants or current sponsors and see what kind of coupons and deals they can offer exclusively for your listeners.
- Have an advertiser provide a deal or coupon code that you can charge a premium for.
- If you're a reseller for a merchant, create custom banners and link to the merchant's website along with your reseller link, allowing you to generate some extra cash.
- Promote a special contest you're running at the station and have listeners check this section to keep up with a contest.
Once you've got some deals and coupons displayed on your player, you can promote them.
- Post them all on social networking sites with the link to your player.
- Mention exclusive coupons and deals on-air so listeners have to visit the player to retrieve them.
- Put links on your website about specials and link to your player.
- If you send out email newsletters or blasts, mention these coupons and deals.
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New Weather Player App
We have updated the weather app on the Cirrus™ Player. It is simple, done in 'flat' design style, uses geo-coordinates to display weather area, and shows weather in Celsius as appropriate, depending on where the listener is from. Listeners are able to click to open full weather details in a new browser window.
Sharing Player URL on Automatic Twitter Updates
You are now able to choose whether or not your player URL is displayed at the end of your automatic Twitter updates. This feature allows you to have more control if you have a custom player, embed your player on a webpage, or have your player URL masked. You are still able to use the Twitter feed feature now without linking directly to the player.
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iTunes Connect will be closed for the Holidays
As part of Apple's yearly holiday ritual, they will be closing iTunes Connect starting Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27. This means that we will be unable to submit any iOS apps or updates to apps during this time. Here is the official notice from Apple:
iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013.
During that time, iTunes Connect will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit any apps or In-App Purchases. Processing of any Newsstand Atom feeds will be delayed until after December 27. Sales and Trends reports via the Autoingestion tool will be available but may also be delayed.
Also, you should not schedule any pricing changes or apps to go live between those dates. Pricing changes scheduled to take effect in that date range will cause the app to become unavailable for purchase until after December 27. Similarly, apps scheduled to go live during that range will not be released until after December 27.
If you have any additional questions, use the Contact Us module on iTunes Connect.
The App Store team
New Feature Alert! RSS feed URL for last 20 songs played
We have added an RSS feed URL in your Radio Control Panel that you can use to display your station's last 20 songs. You can use this on your website or it can be published in WordPress. We still have the embeddable song playlist widget that displays the last 20 songs in a scrolling fashion with album art, but this RSS feed URL can be used to create a customized playlist display with any RSS reader widget.
You can grab this URL in your Radio Control Panel, under the yellow "Linking & Embedding" tab.
New Feature Alert! Start apps from top menu buttons
You can now target any of your Cirrus™ Player top menu buttons to open the in-player apps. When the listener clicks, the player will automatically launch the player app you've chosen. If you want to feature a particular player app, like on-demand or deals, you can do so with this feature. Have on-demand content you want promoted? Have a certain deal from a local merchant you want promoted? This feature can help.
You can customize the top menu buttons in your Radio Control Panel, under the green "Desktop Player" tab.
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Start running your own mobile ads or mix with our Ad Delivery Network!
Great news! You can now run your own mobile ads on the iOS and Android apps. If your apps are version 5.8 and up, you can choose to run your own advertising or a mixture of both your ads and ads from our Ad Delivery Network.
You can easily create campaigns for preroll banners, audio preroll with or without companion banners, audio ad replacement, and banner ads along the top of the app. It's as simple as creating a campaign in your Radio Control Panel.
Here are the steps to get started:
- Make sure you are on Android and iOS apps 5.8 and up.
- If you're not on 5.8 and up, simply submit an update to your apps.
- Once you're on the latest version go to your Radio Control Panel and click the orange 'Advertising & Payouts' button.
- You will need to change the player advertising mode to run your own campaigns or run a mix on a schedule. Please note: this change affects your desktop player as well.
- Once you've chosen which mode you'd like, you can start creating campaigns for mobile!
Upload preroll banners
This is a banner that displays in the app before the stream starts. It functions the same as the desktop preroll banner.
Upload audio ads
You can run preroll audio ads with or without a companion banner that will play in the app before the stream starts. You can also run audio ad replacement in the mobile apps. Both of these function the same as the desktop preroll audio and ad replacement.
Upload banner ads
Upload your own banner ads that appear at the top of the app.
If you have an advertiser that wants to run ads only a couple hours a day, you can create a campaign to fulfill this, then fill the rest of the time with ads from our Ad Delivery Network. You can do this with the scheduler.
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Did you know...
Our Cirrus™ Player comes fully-loaded with features that you can turn on or off anytime in your Radio Control Panel. Which feature is your favorite? Here are four of our widely used features. Are you using any of these?
Top Menu Buttons and Content
You can create up to 5 buttons that run along the top of your player that you can use to link to an external site or use as a page within your player. You can either upload your own image to use as the button or choose a background color and insert your own text. Then enter an external URL or use the editor to create a 'webpage' in your player. You can use these buttons to link to your free streaming apps, sister stations, or use them as content pages for contest info or anything you want your listeners to know about. The great thing about these is that they can be changed anytime!
Menu button opening as a content page.
You can customize these in your Radio Control Panel, under the green button "Desktop Player."
Custom Album Art Placeholder
Upload your own custom album art placeholder whenever the player doesn't have album art to show. We automatically display a default placeholder, but you can upload your own for further player customization.
Custom album art when there is no album art to display.
You can upload a custom placeholder in your Radio Control Panel, under the yellow button "Song and Media Options."
If your live feed is unable to stream (due to encoder or connectivity issues), automatically start streaming your on-demand playlist. You don't want dead air, so if you ever have streaming issues, listeners can still hear something. Just simply upload some on-demand files then turn on stream backup. Once the on-demand playlist completes, the player will automatically attempt to resume the live feed; if it's still unable to play it will start playing the on-demand playlist from the beginning.
You can turn stream backup on in your Radio Control Panel, under the green button "Desktop Player." On-demand files can be uploaded here too.
Menu Auto Open
Have your menu open automatically as soon as any pre-rolls are finished. Some listeners may not click on the button to open the menu, so do it for them. Let them know what player apps you have available for them. Each time the player is loaded it will always open the menu and stay open for 60 seconds or when the listener clicks to close it.
Menu opens as soon as pre-rolls are finished.
You can turn menu auto open on in your Radio Control Panel, under the green button "Desktop Player."
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With the end of the year just around the corner, advertisers are blasting the advertising world with end of the year and holiday specials. "The Unharnessed Revenue in Online Streaming" is our 11-page guide that summarizes the growth of online ad spending and how you should be utilizing your Cirrus™ player's ad space to maximize revenue potential. It also lays out all of the ad properties available on your player, with screenshots and examples, which you can use to show sponsors and advertisers that may be interested in advertising on your player.
If you aren't making good use of your player's ad space, you're leaving money on the table. Read through our guide and see all of the available possibilities.
Download "The Unharnessed Revenue in Online Streaming" by going to your Radio Control Panel under the "Tips & tutorials" section on the main page. There are also other helpful documents and tutorials available in your control panel that pertain to your player and your streaming.
It might be a good idea to start thinking about how you want to fill your ad space for 2014. Our Ad Delivery Network allows you to earn additional revenue by turning over your inventory to us to display audio/video pre-rolls, audio/video in-stream ads, and banners. Once you give us your inventory, we automatically fill all spots with high-paying ads from national and international advertisers (depending on where your listeners are located). We split the revenue with you 50/50 and you get a check every month.
If you have a few advertisers lined up to run ads on your player, you can schedule when those ads will run and fill the rest of your inventory with ads from our Ad Delivery Network. This gives you the best of both worlds.