The Streema Blog

Posted on by Streema Team


For a change, this month’s post is from our IT team! We wanted to give you a little sneak peek of the technology that Streema runs on as well as pay due respects to some really well known open source initiatives that make our service possible.

So, we use a ton of open source software*, and while each one has its special role in the Streema universe, there’s a couple we wanted to mention in today’s post. Many of our readers might not be aware of it, but most of our software is built with the Python Programming Language and our web application with the Django Framework. In our experience, they both have proven to be great choices for many reasons, among which we can include a great community, a large amount of available open source libraries and modules, and an elegant and pragmatic design.

Going into more detail, we recently upgraded to Django 1.3 and Python 2.7 as part of an ongoing effort of modernizing our stack and automatizing our processes. When you have a site that’s visited by an interesting amount of users each day (thank you everyone, do keep coming back!), such a change can’t be taken lightly. Thorough testing must be done to correct errors that might spring from the migration. All in all, the migration went pretty smoothly - in big part thanks to how well thought out Python and Django are, but also thanks to a good suite of automated tests we’ve built over time. Though our users might not see any noticeable changes, this upgrade will help us continue making our service better, faster, and stronger than ever.

Thanks again to the vibrant Python and Django communities (and the communities of the rest of the many open source softwares we use).

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

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* The list is definitely not exhaustive: Apache, Nginx, Munin, MySQL, Redis, Eventlet, Fabric, MongoDB, SQLite, MooTools, Mplayer and of course, WordPress.org for this blog. =)

Powered by Django.

Python Programming Language

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


Posted on by Streema Team


It has been a few weeks with a lot of buzz around copyrights and the Internet. Many of us have read about SOPA and/or PIPA, and as many people asked us about our opinion, we wanted to share it.

We believe in copyrights, and the right anyone has to receive royalties for work they've done: sound, video, literature or any kind of expression of art or science, among others. We also truly believe in freedom, the total absence of coercion, as the ultimate expression of human development, and how it is non-negotiable. And we also believe in balance, and when we say balance, we mean a solution that can suit the different parts that affect a system - in this case, creators and consumers.

The truth is technology is moving fast, and even though it doesn't solve all of the world's problems, it does generally provide better chances to learn and live. The Internet is part of this technological trend, and as with every technology in the past, it's changing the economic and social model that we live by. At the end of the day, the truth is that we all have to adapt to this new reality - creators, consumers, media companies, and any other related entities.

As it stands now, SOPA and/or PIPA may not pass, but it's important to still be aware of this for the future. More than ever, we need to have an appropriate legislation that will give us protection as well as the freedom to choose, learn and understand.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: If you feel you want to know more about the implications of SOPA and PIPA, check out the following video, it's one of the best explanations we've found recently:

In addition, here are two interesting blog posts from well respected personalities in the technology industry:

An Open Letter to Pearson about SOPA/PIPA by Martin Fowler

It’s time to stop PROTECT IP by Matt Cutts

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


Posted on by Streema Team


Hi! It's getting close to the end of 2011 and we can't believe how quickly the last 12 months have gone by! This year has been a busy and rocking one for us, with improvements to our site Streema.com, our first steps in mobile, a growing community of users, and a growing team of awesome people.

Before the year is over though, we wanted to thank all of you that have been there with us - family, friends, colleagues, and of course, you, our community of radio listeners. Thanks for the support.

We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a great start in 2012 - see you in the new year!

Yours truly,
The Streema Team

PS: A small present from a man who knows to rock!

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Community, News, Uncategorized | Tagged ,


Posted on by Streema Team


Over the past year we've noticed a very important increase in mobile browser users, specifically on the Android platform.  We thought, how could we cater to these users?  While obviously an Android app would probably do the trick, the truth is that given how mobile has evolved - and is evolving - then it might be simpler for us and for users to be able to interact with a mobile-friendly version of our site.

So, we started experimenting.

One interesting fact is that many of our mobile users tune in via the radio station profiles, so we decided to start there and adapt these pages for the Android browser.  Additionally, we included a mobile search box as well as a list of "Featured Radios", since not all the stations can be played through the Android browser.  Unfortunately, only stations with MP3 stream can be played for now, but we're hoping that will change in the future.

As for the technical details, if you're interested, the whole front-end was developed using JQuery Mobile. This is a powerful framework that will make it easy to export the User Interface to other platforms such as iOS, Blackberry, Nokia... you can see the complete list here.

Hope you enjoy our first very small step in mobile and do expect new announcements soon!

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


Posted on by Streema Team


Today we want to send out a quick update about three user experience improvements we've released:

Search

We've improved our radio directory search using Indextank, an outsourced search service for web applications. This should provide faster and better results when you search by radio, city, country, etc. on Streema. We'll soon be releasing other features, such as: Faceting and Autocomplete. Consider this is a recent implementation and might need some fixes, it'll keep getting better. 🙂

Radio Streams

As part of the process we started a couple months - which we mentioned in a previous post - the streams of thousands of radio stations in our directory have been fixed. This should definitely result in a better user experience, because there's nothing worse than trying to tune in a radio and not being able to listen to it. We want to continue working on this area, so please, help us by letting us know when a station doesn't work.

Radios without Stream

You'll find our directory has many stations without streams, this is either because the station doesn't stream online, it doesn't work, or we don't have it stored in our database. For those stations, we thought it would be great to provide our users with similar options to listen, so in case you click on the "play button" of any of those radios, a message offering other streaming stations will appear. We want to specially thank Emiliano Castaño who has given his good advice on building this part of the user interface.
Disclaimer: this is a feature we are currently testing, so you'll probably won't see it every time you visit Streema.

That's all for now, we hope you enjoy these improvements. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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


Posted on by Streema Team


We want to start this post by saying: THANK YOU! Thanks to every one of the +1000 followers we have on Twitter.

So far, we haven’t been publishing much on Twitter - actually, we’ve been only posting links to our blog posts and, every once in a while, retweeted something interesting. We’ve been in that mode, mostly because we don't want to be like those accounts that post with too much frequency and clutter your Twitter timeline. You know how it is... it’s great to hear from someone, but only when that someone has something interesting to say!  However, we also think we could publish more news about radio, international news, music, sports... anything else?

Let us know what you think and soon you might start hearing more from us on Twitter.
🙂

Of course, if you still don’t follow us, just click:


Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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


Posted on by Streema Team


Ever since we started Streema, we knew we would need to develop a very large database with a lot of information about radio stations - and today we want to tell you a little bit more about how we build it. Essentially, we get our information from three main sources: our Community, an Automatic Aggregation System, and Outsourced Services.

Community

These are our users who every day request a radio station, report a wrong description or give us any feedback, for example. These users are, in many cases, the best source of quality information, because for example, there's no one better than a radio owner to inform us which is the correct stream or the correct description of their radio station. They also take the time to let us know about a new genre, a radio acquisition or any missing information. We are really thankful to all of our users but specially want to thank Steve who has reported and helped us improve the information for hundreds of radio stations from Canada and the USA.

Automatic Aggregation System

Over the past decade, the web has evolved in a lot of ways, and one of the biggest ways is how information is delivered. At the beginning one of the most popular formats was RSS but recently Twitter and Facebook have replaced it in many ways. We're working hard to integrate Twitter, Facebook, and other sources of information so that our users can have access to all of that via our radio profiles.

Outsourced Services

Not everything is so easy and fun, because sometimes neither our users nor any automatic aggregation can find the information we need for thousands of radio stations, so in those cases, we have to use other services and get help from other people. To do that, we use services such as Mechanical Turk and oDesk, where people willing to help us can find the information we need quickly, such as slogans, descriptions, telephone numbers, twitter accounts, or anything else we request. We want to thank all the people who have worked with us via these services, specially Teresa and others who are doing a great job at, for example, finding radio show information.

At Streema, we're working hard today to build the most complete and comprehensive online radio platform, which mostly includes radio stations for now, but in the future will also have radio shows, hosts and more. We hope you help us to make it better and enjoy the journey too. 😀

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Community, Radios, Streema.com, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,


Posted on by Streema Team


We're back and we wanted to introduce you to our friend "Dr. Streema". 🙂

Dr. Streema is the gentleman you'll find every time Streema is either on "Maintainance Mode" or an Error 500 appears - the latter means when our server is aware of encountering an error or is otherwise incapable of performing a request.

The design was made by our friend Agustin Di Luciano. In case there are any artists out there that are interested, Agustin used a regular pencil over white paper (90g) first, followed by India ink. He then "handpainted" on an iPhone with ArtStudio's app and retouched it on Photoshop - yes, you heard right, it was painted on an iPhone! You can check out more of Agustin's collection.

That's all for now, say "Hi" to Dr. Streema - and "Goodbye", because we hope you never need to meet him!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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


Posted on by Streema Team


At Streema we are building a place where people can listen to their favorite stations. In addition, we want to create a platform where people can connect with other people who listen to radio.

Lately we've been thinking hard about this. What does radio listening on a social platform really mean? "Social" is something that has always been talked about, and specially recently with Google+, but social applied to radio not so much. Changing that is one of the reasons Streema exists.

Now, it's easy to say all of this, but very hard to do it. So, how do we make this a more social platform? How should we connect people? We'd love to hear what you think. For example, today you can see what your friends listen to, you can see what users listen to which stations, you can write wall comments on station profiles, even write reviews... but what else would you like to do on our site?

Two of our elite code monkeys in a resting session (we let them listen to radio) - check the complete photo collection.

With this blog post we want to hear from you... and ANY idea is welcome, the crazier the better. If we just get to implement even one idea that can make Streema a better social platform, then we'll be happy!

One thing that differentiates us from the rest of the radio websites is that we want to connect people that listen to radio and would love to take that to a level that no one has done before. Thanks once again for your help. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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


Posted on by Streema Team


As we did last year with Haiti's earthquake, this time we want to call out to the Streema community to help Japan.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

About two months and a half ago an earthquake hit Japan and it was the fifth largest in history. Shortly after, a tsunami struck the eastern coast of the country, causing a whole lot of destruction.  There was a lot of buzz in the media about it and many governments, organizations, and individuals were inspired to help.  However, now that the media is giving the Japan disaster less attention, we still wanted to let everyone know that it's always a good time to lend a hand, so we've summarized a few options below!

Donating

Given Japan's geographical location, donating funds is one of the most effective ways we can help as individuals.  You can find a very complete list of organizations in this NYT article, but we highlight three where you can donate in a few steps:

Japanese Red Cross Society

MercyCorps

WorldVision

Informing

When these disasters affect such a large area, it's difficult to find and connect people.  If you are searching for someone or know any information about anyone who is missing, you can use a tool that Google has developed to search or submit information about missing people.

Volunteering

From the research we've done, unfortunately there is no simple way to contribute as a volunteer in an organization or on "the field". However, you can spread the word about what people CAN do - the way we are doing right now - and we invite you to do it too!  🙂

As we did before with Haiti last year, we want to bring this to your attention because it's still never too late to help Japan.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: By the way, here are some maps and sattelite images that are really worth checking out.

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Streema.com, Uncategorized