I am currently technical engineer for RaptureFM Internet Radio Station (www.rapturefm.com) based in Cambridge,
We Currently Have a Package with Hop Data Solutions (www.hopdatasolutions.com) which consists of the following
2x Shoutcast 192K 200 Slot Stream Services
2x Windows Media Audio Audio/Video 100 slot Stream Services
2x Website Hosting Packages with CPanel WHM
1x Dedicated Server Package
We have been with Hop Data Solutions for 3 years now and although we have had a few technical glitches along the way we are very happy with the 100% uptime of the services we are provided with,
and the Support Team are on any problems that are faced immediately and fixed within the hour at the most, brilliant 24hr support and friendly staff.
Currently HopData Solutions is offering a special 15% off all published prices
to take advantage of this deal just visit their website (www.hopdatasolutions.com) and use coupon code 'CREDITCRUNCH'
If they do not have the package you are looking for advertised on their website then contact them they are happy to make any package to suit your needs.
Seriously peeps, they are Tops in our books.
RaptureFM Technical/Website Engineer
RaptureFM - 1st Place in 2008-2009 Internet Radio Awards
At RaptureFM We like to Provide our Listeners, Members and Visitors a Service that is Available 24/7 and HopData Solutions do just that
we have had many providers in the past and none of them can possibly compete with such a great service and 100% uptime
our previous provider were always having outages and servers were never stable and when we contacted their support the reply was always "We Are Busy - we will look at it later" "Our Engineers are Updating Servers it will be looked at in the next few hours"
Never have we had such a great service Friendly Staff and Fantastic On The Spot Support Team as of that at HopData Solutions
We at RaptureFM feel that HopData Solutions deserves credit where its due and we want everyone to benefit from their services as much as we have
The thing that puzzles me is why you would pay 123 pounds (140 euro) for 200 slots of 192kbps which goes at about 39mbps when you can get a dedicated server with 100mbps unmetered from a company like Leaseweb for 199 Euro.
Castcontrol is relatively cheap at 180$ for one time fee (and it's not even really needed), Shoutcast is free and while that 100mbps from Leaseweb may not be "premium", ultra high quality, whatever, it would still be able to go at over 80mbps for long periods of time so you'd get 400 slots for 40-50% more cash ... since you're located in UK, you'd also have low latency so customers would not be affected.
I've checked the stream and it seems to be running from Denmark, so if you're from Cambridge UK streaming from DK or NL would be the same, you'd save some cash.
Oh and by the way, streams seem to be at 128kbps, not 192, so something doesn't add up. Why pay for 192kbps slots when you stream only 128kbps?
Anyways, I realize that sometimes if you find a good partner it's worth staying with him even if it costs more.
We have been with Hop Data Solutions for 3 years now
You've been with them for 3 years? They registered their domain in 12/2006.
Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
Record last updated on 09-Dec-2008.
Record expires on 09-Dec-2010.
Record created on 09-Dec-2006.
If you'd joined them the very day they opened, the most is just over 2 years.
In Reply to mariushm:
I understand your point but we got to a stage where we had nothing but problems with our previous providers as they were being taken over by another provider
who was trying to charge us 3 times as much as we were originally paying and the service we were getting was poor and we therefore were forced to look elsewhere
we then came across HopData Solutions we saw they could offer everything we were looking for and so we got in contact with them and told them roughly what we wanted
they came back to us with a package deal and a price and we agreed to it
we were happy with the price quoted altho it was more expensive than what we were paying for our previous provider we were getting 10 times as much for our money and it also meant we could provide more for our members, listeners and visitors
the reason for running our streams at 128 instead of at 192 is for the following reasons:
1) The package we were offered included the streams at 192kbps and although we are not currently using them at this rate we could do in the future
2) RaptureFM runs live shows most evenings from the homes of the Resident DJs of the station
alot of the DJs are restricted to having a limited internet connection (possibly due to location or what they can afford) or are using older computer systems
for each show the Resident DJ has to stream from his/her home to 3 servers at the same time and this uses alot of their upload bandwidth on their internet connection
As well as streaming there then is also the recording factor
each show is recorded in 2 formats
1) WMA Audio and Video
Audio Recording for our WMA Streams
2) MP3 Audio
The MP3 recording is for future streaming to the shoutcast streams
The shows are recorded to be played back during the week when there is no live show on the air
The second of the shoutcast streams is used purely for people listening in with dialup connections or listening to our station through their mobile phone amd that is the reason for such the low stream rate on this stream
The servers we use are based in london, that we know for sure, because we have asked our provider on a couple of occasions to attend our dedicated box and he has rang us when he has been there on-site at our request within 2 hours of our ticket.
The reason for the denmark ip range is because they use mutiple providers all over the world and as you know internet traffic is as such that it is load ballanced and sometimes truncated through a less busy part of the net, this does not effect our services in anyway. And like we have stated before no downtime in 3 years, thats worth it dont you think? Can you say this of your provider?
Hope This Answers All Your Questions
In Reply to sirius:
HopData Solutions originally started as Hop Hosting
it then changed to HopData Solutions in 2006 to be able to Provide a wider range of services including gaming servers and various other day to day services that people require
RaptureFM joined with HopData Solutions when they were known as Hop Hosting
Hope This Helps
You're right, the server is in UK. It's my fault because I did a traceroute and assumed the server is in DK because some hosts in the traceroute before your server had .dk in the name.
I wasn't saying your choice was bad, it's just that I'm always looking for the best deal and the price you are charged seemed a bit much to me.
Three years ago, the price may have been very good but nowadays bandwidth prices have dropped a lot.
I've mentioned Leaseweb because they're a very large company and have a large datacenter, they have something like over 500gbps of connectivity and their datacenter is connected to major peering centers.
For example, the traffic from a person in UK would go from that person to London Internet Exchange and from there straight to Leaseweb on a 10gbps link. This means very low latency and you are assured you'll top the bandwidth of the server if you want.
So if you'd get a 100mbps unmetered server from them (which start at 199+vat) in my opinion you'll get at least 80mbps constantly. This is pretty much both your 200 slot servers and more.
Myself, I would be interested in paying less, so I'd probably investigate this and get at 100mbps server for a month and test it as a backup server and ask the djs to test their connection to it.
Shoutcast is very easy and straight forward to install and Castcontrol is also available in various license methods.
Here's my traceroute from Leaseweb server to your server in UK, you can see it's fast:
2 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms adm-b1-link.telia.net [188.8.131.52]
3 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms adm-bb1-link.telia.net [184.108.40.206]
4 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms adm-b3-link.telia.net [220.127.116.11]
5 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms ge3-46.1000M.asd9nxc7.ip.tele.dk [18.104.22.168]
6 7 ms 6 ms 7 ms cpe.ge3-10.0xc3d76d8a.ldn2nxc7.customer.tele.dk [22.214.171.124]
7 7 ms 7 ms 7 ms no-rdns-yet.ohtele.com [126.96.36.199]
8 21 ms 22 ms 21 ms 188.8.131.52
9 21 ms 22 ms 21 ms 184.108.40.206
PS. You might also want to try AAC+ streams, a 64-80kbps+ AAC stream may be just as quality as a 128-192kbps MP3 file. See Somafm.com's 48kbps streams for example, they're very good quality in my opinion. It would also help dj's lower their upload bandwidth.