Tuesday, January 12, 2010
WTFis this Grotbox thing, anyway?
[Edited @ 10:37pm]
I've noticed that some of our listeners, staff, arms dealers, mammal smugglers and prawn smelters are unsure of what the Grotbox does. Initially, I was going to make a really horrible chart in MS paint to explain it visually, but I had an attack of laziness. (..and then an attack of industry, and stellar MSpaintage!) Instead, I took the most improbable image from a GIS of the term"Grotbox." Search it on Google if you don't believe me. I'll wait.
See? Crazy, no? Ok, so the Grotbox is just like any machine that connects to a Shoutcast server, except that it is built out of trash, and designed to run with a minimum of human intervention. It sends a single 128kbit/sec stream of audio to our shoutcast server, in beautiful Dallas, Texas, which relays it out to up to 100 listeners.
I hope you're all thinking the same thing, and I hope it's "But why don't you serve audio to everybody from that one machine, and avoid paying $15 a month to pipe it down south before listening to it?" (If you're not thinking of this, I'll wait until you are. You might wanna bookmark the page. Again, I'll wait.)
I'm not wearing underwear, so minds out of the gutter.
We rent a seperate physical stream, in a far-off datacenter, as they have massive amounts of cheap upstream bandwidth that I do not. Is that grammatical? I can't tell! Anyhow, we simply can't host 6.4mbit of upload from a home connection. Yes, we have fiber running to within a mile of us, but they don't give us a pipe that big.
So we do the next best thing, and rent huge pipes in Dallas.
To sum it all up, the Grotbox is a sad cyborg disc jockey, sending a teeny stream to Texas, where all the bandwidth is. Our Dallas-based streaming server slings the data to you when you press play.