Website: Nerve Radio player

For the past few months, people have been tuning into Nerve Radio via Livestream. Now, I’ve nothing against Livestream, but it’s really designed for TV not for Radio. An MP3 stream is, in my opinion, much more reliable for the job, less bandwidth-intensive (both for us as the broadcaster, and for you as the listener), and as SUBU were paying for us to have one, a much more worthwhile alternative. It also allows us to be listed within the iTunes radio directory (which we are, but it’s not working at the moment as it shows our old stream) and on Tunein, which lets you listen to us on your phone or whatever. The webcam interface can also be improved slightly, allowing us multiple webcams on display (although we have only got one working one at the moment!), albeit with static images refreshed periodically rather than a live video stream (though as I said before, this is Radio, not TV!).

So, over the past few days, I’ve been developing the brand new Nerve Radio Player to go onto the site. Using the same basic layout as the stations on RadioPlayer and the BBC iPlayer, it is your brand new way of listening to Nerve Radio. I will assume that by you being here on the Nerve Radio website that you’ve tried the new player at least once – it’s been live (though frequently updated) since late last night. I’d be really keen to know what you think of it.

There are a couple of little extras that will be coming along with it, such as showing what the next show is going to be, and we’re going to get some SUBU adverts put in in that big space at the bottom (to let you know about stuff, not to sell you stuff!). I’ve also noticed a few little bugs with it – the webcam doesn’t always load for instance, but I think I know what the problem is with this and how to fix it. But overall, it’s not too bad.

For the technical side of things, the MP3 stream is an Icecast stream, and uses a Flash player for playback from here (sorry any iOS users! I’m trying to get a HTML5 stream working!). The programme information is stored and retrieved via PHP – the code for that was already here, but I’ve tweaked it slightly. Some JavaScript and some more PHP gets the information out there and changing automatically when a programme changes… of course, that does assume that the presenters will be in the studio on time!

Update: A little bit of an update for you – the ‘next show’ information is now working (I thought it would be much more complicated than it actually was) and the schedule file has been optimised. Next steps include trying to get the auto-updated ‘On Now’ to the box at the top of this page, and although a schedule listing is available, it needs ‘beautification’ and integration with the WordPress template here. Still, I’m getting there!