Listening to Boss Boss Radio depends on a number of technical variables, and you may wonder why you experience what you experience whilst listening. We’ve tried to answer all the questions we could think of in the Streaming FAQs below. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, feel free to click the feedback tab and ask us directly.
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Commercials on Mobile Devices
Q: Why do commercials sometimes play in the middle of a song when I’m listening on a mobile device?
A: All of our players, mobile or desktop, feature a “pre-roll” audio commercial when you first start the stream. This covers a “buffer” period in which the player stores a certain amount of audio to aid with less interference, especially as your mobile device moves from one signal to the next. Sometimes when the connection is broken with our stream host momentarily, it is possible for another ad (or set of ads) to pre-roll when it reconnects. It requires a total loss of connection to do this, a buffering period of silence should not require a re-connection, and therefore should join the music stream without the need for a pre-roll.
Q: Why do I hear the start of one commercial and another one cuts into it?
A: This is almost always at the start of a commercial break. The various ad insertion programs that “cover” our feed during commercial breaks can sometimes be late to start, which is why you will often times (not always) hear a commercial start and then a new one cut into the first. For now, this is standard on all internet radio stations with ad insertion. The ad insertion servers read a title on our system that triggers the break on their server and overtakes our stream. Conversely, if their break ends sooner than our allotted time, they will return to us, sometimes in mid-commercial. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do on our end to fix this and hope that over time the ad insertion companies will work to shore up this global problem.
Q: Do I hear different program feeds than other locations?
A: Yes. The adverts, for example, are fed to you based on your geo-targeted area. Listeners in Asia will hear different adverts than you, and folks even in a different territory than where you are can be fed different adverts as well. While our main studio programming is fed to all our servers, some will overlay their local adverts in an agreement we have with them for carrying our stream.
Q: Why can I be listening on more than one device in my office or home simultaneously, yet both sources are not synced up and playing at the same time?
A: Internet radio is different than a regular radio transmission. Think of the audio that arrives at your player as an email attachment, it’s not much more than that. You tune in, and your player locks into a “packet” of digital information. And every connection uses a different packet, so the digital file that is our “on air” programming is fed singularly to each listener, so no two players are likely to be synced at the same time. You may have also noticed that our different streams (48K, 64K and 128K) can be off by as much as one minute from the other. That is because they are all served from different servers, using different packets.
Q: What is the best “sized” stream to listen to?
A: It depends on your listening environment at the time. We feature three different stream sizes to accommodate the best possible audio quality for your situation. You cannot always manually adjust the stream size (with a couple of exceptions) because we already target the correct sized stream for the player you are using. But in the case of TuneIn Radio, you can choose any of our three streams to accommodate your listening. Larger stream bitrates (sizes) are perfect for listening on a stationery player in your home or office (if your business allows streaming media over its network) and provide the highest audio quality. Medium sized streams are pretty useful for mobile applications, as most mobile networks feature LTE connect ability, and our midsize stream is optimized to give you the absolute best quality sound at that bitrate. The same is true of our lowest bitrate. It’s optimized to deliver the best possible quality for a small bitrate, but is limited. By default, when you use TuneIn Radio on a mobile device, our mid-sized stream starts up. If a stream is not available, TuneIn players will try to start one of our other streams automatically.
Q: Why does Boss Boss Radio use a third-party player such as TuneIn Radio?
A: We try to be available to everyone globally, and we are listed on dozens of the internet’s radio directories including Streema, Internet Radio, radio.io, radio.net, and a myriad of others (TuneIn Radio is the largest). It became apparent after a few years on the internet that TuneIn Radio was the defacto leader in internet radio and has become the only universal App to be used in all mobile applications for internet radio. It was also the biggest “discovery” option available. Now, Boss Boss Radio is the most listened to station on TuneIn in the 60s genre category, and more than half of our audience listens to us on TuneIn.
Q: Why does Boss Boss Radio host its own private label App when you use TuneIn Radio?
A: The technical side of internet radio is a little “wonky” at times because we cannot control your listening environment, network, or player. So we offer as many ways for you to listen as we can possibly think of. When the opportunity arose for us to build our own App, we decided to do so as another part of our toolbox of listening options. During this time, we discovered that the adoption of TuneIn Radio for listening to Boss was too large to neglect, so we promote both options. There are plenty of others as well.
Q: I like to listen to iTunes Internet Radio, are you listed there?
A: Yes, we also feed our station to iTunes Internet Radio, which is an option for desktops only. The Internet Radio player in the iTunes interface is different from their Apple Radio subscription program. You can find us under “Golden Oldies” then look for Boss Boss Radio (Boss is in there twice).
Q: Sometimes my player doesn’t show the artist and title, how can I find out what song I am listening to?
A: By law, all the players that relay our stream MUST display the artist and song title information. However, many are not as technically advanced as others, and negate displaying the information for various reasons. Boss Boss Radio is compliant in that we deliver this information (known as metadata) with every stream. It is the responsibility of the relayer to display this information. Unfortunately, we are not able to do more than complain to the relayer that our metadata isn’t displaying properly. But we offer a number of options to find the song playing now, including the landing page of our web site at www.BossBossRadio.com which displays the song playing currently. If you missed the metadata and still want to know the name of the song, you can click the feedback tab and ask for the name by providing us with the time you are listening (it helps if you can give us the time using a US time zone, it’s all math, which we’re not that great at) and any distinguishing information, such as male, female singers, a line from the song, etc.
Q: Why do I need to use an app to listen to your station on a mobile device?
A: For the same reason that you need different software programs if you own an Apple or a PC, you’ll find that the proper app for your smartphone or tablet platform will work best. In some instances, you MAY be able to listen via the main player on our website using your smartphone, but your device may not be able to read the player itself, or your phone won’t be able to latch onto the high quality stream we offer from that player. That player is really built for desktop devices.
Q: My mobile plan has limited data and I’m afraid listening over the mobile network might affect my data usage. What can I do to reduce the usage?
A: There are a couple of options for using less data on a restricted plan, and it’s pretty easy to do. The first thing (and this is true of any data you use, not just streaming data) you should do is use the wifi mode on your device. Most mobile devices will remember the wifi login and will automatically switch to a known network when it is in range. Typically, wifi data usage isn’t clocked against your mobile LTE or 3G network usage, and because it switches automatically, it can really reduce the amount of data that is clocked from your plan. The other option is to use lower bitrates (when available) to listen to a stream. Boss Boss Radio offers three sizes of streams on the TuneIn Radio player, and we suggest choosing a lower bitrate stream to reduce your data usage on your mobile plan.
Q: When using my smartphone to listen, why does Boss Boss Radio sometimes start playing programming from an earlier date?
A: This happens frequently when listening using the TuneIn Radio app on your smartphone. Your phone and the TuneIn Radio app buffers (stores) several minutes of programming in advance of you listening in order to play uninterrupted when your phone passes from one cell tower to another or during other short interruptions. This technology is nothing new, if you remember portable CD players had an “oversampling” option which stored song information ahead of you listening to play smoothly over bumps to the device that might cause it to skip. The issue with TuneIn is that your phone will not delete the buffer unless you totally close out of the TuneIn app when you are finished listening (not merely disconnecting the headphones or turning off your car). Your phone may have multiple sessions stored and it may take 2 or 3 songs until it “goes live” again. You can hurry the process by forwarding the program indicator to the absolute right, or by simply stopping and restarting the stream using the player controls. Yes, it will trigger a pre-roll of adverts every time the buffer is exhausted and tries to reconnect to the live stream.
Q: Why do you have pre-roll and in stream adverts? Isn’t internet radio supposed to be free?
A: Boss Boss Radio is a for-profit business, and as such, intends to make a profit in exchange for the information and entertainment we provide our listeners. Instead of using a listener subscription model where you pay us to listen, we provide the programming free to you and anyone listening around the world. We are forced to sell adverts to offset costs and to hopefully one day profit for our efforts. We can sell as many adverts as we want, but we know that the interruption is tiresome for listeners, so we only break a couple times an hour and restrict the number of ads and length to a much shorter time frame than regular FM stations. By keeping the adverts to a minimum, we can cover our costs and artist royalties and still provide you with a quality listening experience.