The Streema Blog

Posted on by Streema Team


This is just a short update to let you know we've updated our Homepage, you can check it out here.

As we've mentioned recently, we're slowly restyling our entire desktop website, and this was an important milestone - hope you like it. :) Also, the new Radio and TV players are coming soon, so stay tuned!

One more important thing: we would love to feature more images of radio and tv stations, so if you own or work for one, please contact us. Thanks!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Radios, Streema.com, TV, Usability | Tagged , , , ,


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Posted on by Streema Team


In our quest to bring you a better product at Streema, over the past few months we've been spending more and more time talking to our users to learn about their pain points while using our service.

So we emailed our registered users and also used a live chat client called Olark to communicate with our non registered visitors. These were the most recurring answers:

1) "I can't listen to a particular station"
2) "I have issues looking for stations"
3) "I can't access the whole Streema directory on my mobile device"

As for the first issue, not being able to listen to a particular station, this is the most complicated one. It can be caused by several different reasons, and here are some of them:

  • Required plugins are missing which are needed to get our player to work.
  • Codecs that the stations use aren't supported.
  • Streams have changed recently and we don't have the latest one.
  • Stations aren't streaming online anymore or simply aren't broadcasting at all.
  • Geographical restrictions exist, likely due to location-specific licensing issues.
  • Connectivity issues happen while trying to listen to a station.
  • Listener capacity is full.
  • And the list goes on...

So what are we doing about all these issues? Our technical team is currently working on adding new codec capabilities to our player, but it is very difficult to support ALL the codecs that exist, so it might take a while to get your favorite station to work on Streema.

Also, our content team is currently working together with radio station owners to keep our database up-to-date, with as many working streams as possible. And of course, we are constantly upgrading our infrastructure to service our growing user base.

The truth is that there are many issues and since it is almost impossible to solve them all of them immediately we arrived at the conclusion that it is essential to communicate WHY you can't listen to your favorite station and WHAT you need to do in order to listen to it. That is why we'll be working hard on enhancing our player's notifications to the user. And by doing so, we can continue to build Streema as the go-to website for listening to broadcast radio.

As for the second biggest pain point, which is to be able to easily find stations, we have something in the works. As we mentioned on our previous post, we are currently working on a restyle of Streema’s website for desktop users, and as a part of this process we are re-thinking and improving how our users discover radio stations. We will have some news really soon! :)

And finally, regarding our mobile users, we will continue to build a better mobile browser version while we start planning our next move. Who knows, there might be something 'native' in our near future... ;)

Thanks once again for your feedback, and please, be patient, we are working hard to improve our player and we really look forward to have the best listening experience on the web.

That's all for now. Please do let us know what you think!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Customer Support, Help Center


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For a while now, we've been wanting to restyle Streema's website for desktop users. And here we wanted to give you a heads up of what's coming!

First, let's take a step back - one of our priorities was to change our site without confusing our users. There are many things we needed to improve, so we've been working hard on the "facets of the honeycomb" - mostly in the following attributes: useful, usable, findable, accesible, and credible. (thanks Nico!)

To start off, we silently rolled out a new layout for our radio profiles. This is what you'll find now on our site:

Also, as a sneak peak, here's a mockup of what we think our homepage could look like:

... and for those site builders and web enthusiasts out there, here are two possible wireframes for our new radio player page:

Bear in mind that this is a work in progress and that we may implement something completely different, but we still wanted to share this with you. :)

Hope you like what you've seen above and hope you will soon enjoy a new and improved Streema. Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in News, Streema.com, Usability | Tagged , , , , , , ,


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Posted on by Streema Team


For the first time in history, the total number of smartphones and tablets in the world will surpass the total number of PCs - and it will happen this year.

What you've read above is one of the most important points of the report Mobile Trends by KPCB (see slide 26 for more details). As you can see, 2013 will bring an important inflection point for people's interaction with computers. Since mobile is becoming increasingly important in terms of Streema.com's usage, we have been working on a few improvements that we wanted to tell you about.

To start off, when you visit http://streema.com from an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Android device's browser, you'll find we've developed a mobile-friendly homepage with some featured radios that our users can start listening to - sweet and simple.

Also, since not all streams are supported by mobile web browsers, we only show the stations that can actually play in each of those platforms. We know that having only a fraction of the stations available is less than ideal, but the truth is that we want to make your life easier and give you the best experience possible.

Finally, as we've mentioned in our previous post, we've improved our customer support, and that also includes our Mobile Support. It's very important for us to hear your opinions, so please, don't hesitate in giving us your feedback. Do bear in mind that this is a work in progress and that it will be evolving over time. :)

For those registered users out there, we'll soon be working on letting you log in to your account with your mobile phone so you can find and edit your favorites. Additionally, in the not-so-distant future, we'll start showing the "now playing" information, offer the possibility to comment on a station's Wall, as well as add compatibility to more devices and much more for our mobile users, so stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Android, iOS, Mobile | Tagged , , , , , , ,


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As you may already know, last December we announced that we were "Connecting the World of Television Stations to Streema". Today we want to show you some of the most popular TV Stations we have in our directory.

To start off, for News in the United States, we recommend tuning in to WABC-TV from New York, NY (ABC Network).

In case you want to watch Sports, check out Wilamette Valley Television from Salem, OR (America One Network).

And if you're in more of an Entertainment mood, check out CBC Montreal from Canada (CBC Network).

Bear in mind that for now, we only have TV Stations for the United States, Canada and Mexico. We're also only publishing the main channels for each TV Station, but we'll be adding the rest in the future.

Hope you enjoy those stations and discover more of the world of Sound and Vision:

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , ,


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At Streema we want to build a better product - and a big part of that is to listen to your needs, suggestions and feedback. To do so, we recently launched the new Help Center.

The Help Center is at its core a selection of "frequently asked questions" divided in sections plus some other useful information. And if you don't find what you're looking for, you can still contact us directly! Additionally, we're trying out a few different features like offering instant support (i.e. chat window) and allowing users to publish public questions. Let us know what you think of these!

Bonus: for mobile browser users, we've prepared a custom mobile FAQ where you should find most of your answers. ;)

In case you want to know a little bit more about the technical implementation, we used Desk to develop the Help Center and Olark for the instant support.

Anyway, that's all for now. We really hope you can now find better answers to your questions while having an improved experience at Streema.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Help Center | Tagged , , , ,


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Posted on by Streema Team


It's no coincidence that the first music video shown on MTV in 1981 was a song called "Video Killed The Radio Star", that there is a great band called "TV on the Radio", and that many of the major radio stations also belong to the same media groups that own TV stations. There has always been bonding, comparison, even rivalry between the TV and radio and we cannot deny there is a connection between them. The two main broadcast media for the 20th Century are more related than one might think.

From the technical point of view, it's true they transmit in different parts of the radio frequency spectrum (USA example), but on the human side, they share actors, producers and directors, and many of the roles played on TV are also played on radio. TV is about entertainment, news, sports, education, politics, culture... it's not a surprise that radio has those same genres as well. And at the end of the day, TV is about connecting with people and radio is about connecting people. When we look at what we want to do at Streema, it's connecting people.

We already have radio, so why not bring TV to Streema? Well, we thought it was a great idea and we did it! Starting January 1st, 2013, you'll be able to watch TV on Streema. We'll start with a few TV Stations from North America, but over the next few months we'll be adding more from the rest of the world. Hope you enjoy this end-of-the year announcement! We know we will. :)

And given that that 2012 is coming to a close... Happy New Year and see you in 2013!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Here one of the songs we like more of TV on the Radio:

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Streema.com, TV | Tagged


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Posted on by Streema Team


At Streema we like to develop at a fast pace.  One of the things that allows us to do that is to have an automatically tested codebase. We want to always be shipping and having our apps tested gives us some degree of confidence that we won't break it all each time we commit a change.

But running tests takes time. A few months ago our unit tests were taking over 12 minutes to run. Each time someone wanted to run the tests, the situation was pretty much like this:

As you might recall, we use Python/Django. And our problem was the use of fixtures in our unit/functional tests. As @carljm said on his "Testing and Django" talk for PyCon 2012, they are slow to load, hard to maintain and increase test interdependence. We had huge fixtures, 1mb fixtures, which loaded thousands of models and they were used on dozens of tests!  With a little bit of patience we were able to remove them all and replace them by using factory boy.

The result:  we reduced the test run time from over 12 minutes to under a minute.  Yes, a single minute.  =)

Stay tuned for more news and insight on the technical details of Streema. We might have an interesting thing or two to share!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Infrastructure, Streema.com, Technology | Tagged , , , ,


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At the Streema Blog we generally cover major events, so this time we want to bring the 2012 U.S. Presidential Debates.

The Presidential Debates in the U.S. are usually held at large halls (in a university, for example) with citizens in the audience and journalists as moderators. It's important to remark that although the Debates are not constitutionally mandated, they are already part of the election process. The topics are usually the most relevant of the current agenda, and the Presidential Debates this year are particularly more interesting globally since one of the main topics is foreign policy. Before the elections there will be a total of four debates, three of them between presidential candidates and one of them between their respective vice presidential candidates.

So, tomorrow Tuesday 16, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, the 3rd debate is happening and it's between the US President Barack Obama (Democrat Party) and the former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (Republican Party). To listen to it on radio, most of the Public Radios in the US will broadcast the event, but you can particularly try the following ones:

WNBF - AM 1290

WVTF - FM 89.7

Fox News Radio

In case you've missed the previous debates, during the first half of October we already had two of them, the first on Oct 3rd between the presidential candidates and the last on 11th between the Vice Presidents - current Vice President Joe Biden (Democrat) and Wisconsin U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Republican).

So, tomorrow October 16th will be the third and the next (and last) one will be on October 22 (also 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Be sure to listen (or see) to them if you get the chance!

After that, the elections will happen on November 6 and we hope you follow them on radio too. :D

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in News, Worldwide Events | Tagged , , , , ,


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With the latest addition of the Facebook Login Button we've added one more chapter to our relationship with the social networking site - a relationship that has been a long and exciting journey. Here is our story.

Ever since Streema's beginnings, we've wanted our site to be a social network for radio listeners. When Facebook launched its Application Platform back in mid-2007 we looked at that as a natural step in that direction, so we started developing an application in late 2007. We did some really cool stuff with that app, even growing to become one of the biggest radio apps out there and winning a "hockey stick award". As we grew, Facebook Page owners started asking for a way to add stations to their pages, so we went ahead and built an application for Pages.

Unfortunately, Facebook started deprecating certain features for Pages, so we couldn't continue developing that particular application and we closed it in 2010. Then last year, we realized that we couldn't dedicate resources to our original Facebook app for listeners and we stopped developing it as well.

Then, the story took an interesting turn, bringing us to today. Our community of users continued growing and Facebook continued evolving their strategy to create a more social web, launching Open Graph in the past year. So we thought this was a great opportunity to bring Facebook back into our life by adding the "Login with Facebook" button - as a result, now you can use your Facebook account to login to Streema while sharing your Streema activity. We think that's the way to go for now and, although we know there are many things we could do, we believe this is the start of a deeper integration with Facebook.

In a few words, yesterday we had an application (or, rather, two applications) on Facebook; today we have the "Login with Facebook"; and tomorrow, the truth is we don't exactly know, but we have a few ideas. What's certain is that we'll keep working with Facebook and other applications / social networks to create the best social radio experience on the web.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Facebook, News | Tagged , , ,


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