Author Topic: Hello - hoping for help with some research  (Read 1033 times)

ringomattic

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Hello - hoping for help with some research
« on: 07:10:37 | 14 March, 2017 »
Hi,

I'm writing a report on radio aggregator services. I'm interested to know a bit more about the landscape of the different providers (Reciva, vTuner, Frontier Silicon, Pure, any others I'm missing), what their relative scale looks like, the devices they are present in, etc. If anyone can help me with some information around this, I'd be very grateful.

I've also been trying to find out about the company Reciva; is it still a going concern, and is its directory being updated? It's proving quite difficult to find anything out about the company and its operations. Am I broadly right in understanding Reciva was a fairly dominant provider of Internet radio services to device manufacturers in the past, but that its been overtaken by its rivals? Maybe I'm wide of the mark, who knows.

Anyway, any information or leads anyone can provide would be gratefully received.

Matt

upearly

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #1 on: 07:27:12 | 14 March, 2017 »
My experience with Reciva is limited to that which I've had with my CCrane Wi-Fi radio over the past 4 months.
The interface is clunky, and I can't add a stream or a podcast through the website to save my life.









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Dogmatix

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #2 on: 07:55:26 | 14 March, 2017 »
I've also been trying to find out about the company Reciva; is it still a going concern?
Going, going, gone (more or less). It is an ex-company; it has ceased to be.

Reciva was acquired by CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) in June 2014. CSR, in turn, was acquired by Qualcomm in August 2015. For more about CSR, see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSR_%28company%29. Whilst Reciva is no longer a player in internet radio hardware, the servers are being maintained, and the radio stations database is also being maintained, mainly through volunteers (thanks, chaps!).

Am I broadly right in understanding Reciva was a fairly dominant provider of Internet radio services to device manufacturers in the past, but that its been overtaken by its rivals?
Yes. The main player in internet radio receiver modules nowadays is Frontier Silicon. Their modules power radios from various brands, such as Roberts Radio, Goodmans, Revo, Hama, Technisat, Auna, DNT, Sangean. Many of these previously used Reciva modules.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i, Sangean WFR-29C, Technisat 450 & 520, Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2010, IR110 & DIR3100.
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ringomattic

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #3 on: 09:26:37 | 14 March, 2017 »
Thanks Dogmatix, very helpful. I probably should have headed over here before making a rather fruitless search of Companies House records and trying to find visual clues as to Reciva's existence using Streetview searches of their addresses :)

I have a couple of follow up questions, if you or anyone else wouldn't mind taking the time and know the answers. Not sure if this is the right forum, right here, but I imagine the thread could be moved if needed:

- Do the remaining players in the market tend to have active relationships with the radio broadcasters they link to, and is the process of updating stream information essentially a manual process?
- Is there an industry preferred streaming standard in terms of audio coding format (MP3, AAC+, etc.)?
- Is there a predominance of HTTP Live Streaming or RTMP as a preferred streaming protocol?

Many thanks again,
M

Keenite

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #4 on: 11:52:38 | 14 March, 2017 »
My experience with Reciva is limited to that which I've had with my CCrane Wi-Fi radio over the past 4 months.
The interface is clunky, and I can't add a stream or a podcast through the website to save my life.

I have no problems adding streams, don't know about podcasts though. How do you go about adding a stream?

Paul Webster

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #5 on: 12:37:42 | 14 March, 2017 »

I have a couple of follow up questions, if you or anyone else wouldn't mind taking the time and know the answers. Not sure if this is the right forum, right here, but I imagine the thread could be moved if needed:
- Do the remaining players in the market tend to have active relationships with the radio broadcasters they link to, and is the process of updating stream information essentially a manual process?

I have volunteered on 3 different station database systems. As far as I could see, there is a lot of manual input - but big broadcasters provide either in a simple text format (that can be readily imported but different for each broadcaster) or they use UI/API from the database provider to update things themselves.

- Is there an industry preferred streaming standard in terms of audio coding format (MP3, AAC+, etc.)?

MP3 probably still the largest in terms of number of broadcasters but AAC and AAC+ being used by a lot of the big ones.

- Is there a predominance of HTTP Live Streaming or RTMP as a preferred streaming protocol?
HTTP (ICY not HLS) probably the most widely used.
RTMP (implying Flash) largely gone.
Some use device detection (or App) to provide HLS.


Also - I think that FS was surprised when Reciva arrived with hardware and database to capture large part of market that FS probably bought was theirs.
You have missed what used to be called RadioTime and is now TuneIn - they provide database including programme schedules to a number of different device suppliers - significantly Sonos and (legacy) Logitech (previously Slimdevices).
Reciva-based Logik IR100 and Tangent Quattro MKII plus 4 Logitech (ex-Slimdevices) Squeezebox and 1 old Turtlebeach Audiotron, handful of O2 Jogglers and some Raspberry Pis
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ringomattic

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #6 on: 02:06:07 | 15 March, 2017 »
Thanks for this information, Paul.

Yes, I had missed TuneIn from my list, if I understand correctly they started out in that business before becoming more of a B2B platform? Worth noting also, I guess, they are the default radio skill in Amazon's Alexa as well.

I hadn't thought about it before, as it just works so well, but I guess the database in my Bose Soundtouch devices must be vTuner. Must dig into that a bit more ...

M

Dogmatix

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #7 on: 02:41:01 | 15 March, 2017 »
I guess the database in my Bose Soundtouch devices must be vTuner.

Frontier Silicon also uses the vtuner database, via their own portal. Some brands using Frontier Silicon modules have a branded version of the portal, like Pure and Pioneer.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i, Sangean WFR-29C, Technisat 450 & 520, Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2010, IR110 & DIR3100.
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A. Black

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #8 on: 14:23:35 | 17 March, 2017 »
My experience with Reciva is limited to that which I've had with my CCrane Wi-Fi radio over the past 4 months.
The interface is clunky, and I can't add a stream or a podcast through the website to save my life.

My experience is different. I have had a CC Wifi in each of several rooms for several years and I have no problems with adding streams.  I have also added stations with no problem. (I have never tried podcasts.)  I listen to radio heavily and at this point I don't know how I could be without it.

If you want to listen to the last station you listened to before you last turned it off (which is the most frequent use for me) then you just press the red button to power  it on and it will play that station.  If you want want to listen to one of the stations on presets 1-9 then you just turn it on (i.e. press the red button) and to change stations press the desired preset button.  I find I hardly ever need to do more than that so the issue of setup and configuration is really a non-issue for me.  If you have more than 9 stations then presets 10-99 do involve pressing 4 keystrokes which is a bit of a nuisance but you can alternately put the stations in My Stations using the Reciva web site and that is what I might do for the few times I want to have an additional station.  Note that presets can be set to stations or streams so if you have a stream that you use a lot then you can use one of your presets for that.

For configuration, the interface on the radio is a bit primitive if you are used to a smartphone, say, but I find I hardly ever have to use it and you can do some of the setup right from the Reciva website where it is reasonably easy if you are familiar with using a web browser.

Another thing you can do is to buy a programmable remote.  I bought one for one of my radios and set it up to work with it -- this was not so easy to configure -- my programmable remote is even more primitive than the radio -- but it works.  I have set my programmable remote up so that I can access presets 10-29 with two key presses rather than 4 although as it turns out I hardly ever need this.

Also note that if your radio is connected via Ethernet cable then you won't need to enter a Wifi key so it is particularly easy to set up.

Note that the above refers to the original CC Wifi which uses Reciva. The  CC Wifi 2 model uses Tunein, not Reciva.  I don't have that; however, from the manual it seems that the CC Wifi 2 does not have any way of specifying a URL, i.e. nothing comparable to the Reciva My Streams feature.   I use that feature to play audio from my PC upstairs on the CC Wifi downstairs. This would not be possible with the CC Wifi 2; however, the CC Wifi 2 does support bluetooth so you could play audio from your smartphone (or PC if your PC has bluetooth) which may be an adequate substitute for most -- of course that would require physical proximity.

Prior to the CC Wifi I had a Grace Reciva radio but I decided to move to Ethernet and it only supported Wifi so I had to get rid of it.  That was quite a while ago and I believe that Grace radios now support Ethernet.  Currently I have one radio on Ethernet and the rest on Wifi.

Since I got my radio years ago there have been quite a few developments and there is a good three part review of Internet Radio here:

http://swling.com/blog/2012/03/rethinking-internet-radio-part-one/

castalla

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #9 on: 16:36:18 | 17 March, 2017 »
That review is pretty much outdated.

Recent developments are largely dominated by internet connected speakers - eg. Sonos, etc. The necessary apps to drive these speakers vary immensely in quality

The Amazon Echo range is probably the most interesting development - and it's highly unlikely that Amazon will ever go bust!   

Logitech used to be one of the most versatile internet radio/music systems - with decent hardware (eg. the Radio, etc.). Sadly they stopped producing player hardware.  However, by providing the server software, there's a very versatile ecosystem which can be used with many proprietary devices (eg. Raspberry Pi, UPNP and Airplay speakers).

Interesting times.

 
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Crystalset

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #10 on: 03:41:42 | 18 March, 2017 »

A. Black

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #11 on: 09:02:15 | 19 March, 2017 »
That review is pretty much outdated.

Sorry I had posted a link to an old review on that site.

The new review is here.  It's in three parts.  The first part is at the bottom of the page and the third part is at the top of the  page.  It does include a review of the Amazon Echo.

http://swling.com/blog/tag/wifi-radio-primer/

drgeoff

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #12 on: 12:03:27 | 19 March, 2017 »
Re the third part of that review, the caption below the photo of the Mondo's sockets includes the word "composite". That is incorrect. The phonos output analogue audio. "composite" applied to analogue audio is nonsense. That composite video is frequently connected through RCA phono sockets does not mean that the word can be applied to analogue audio on such sockets.

castalla

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Re: Hello - hoping for help with some research
« Reply #13 on: 15:02:33 | 19 March, 2017 »
That review is pretty much outdated.

Sorry I had posted a link to an old review on that site.

The new review is here.  It's in three parts.  The first part is at the bottom of the page and the third part is at the top of the  page.  It does include a review of the Amazon Echo.

http://swling.com/blog/tag/wifi-radio-primer/

Good review of the Echo
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