Summer is half over already, where did the time go! On the upside, our new website and radio server seems very stable, now in its third month. I've spent a fair amount of time lately focusing on stability and improving the back-end of the site to ensure everything runs smoothly, and I'm confident that we're in good shape now. We also have some room to grow on this new box, with increased storage and bandwidth capacity.
New shiny servers of course mean an increase the upkeep costs of running the site, so I've decided to start a small site fundraiser to see if anyone would like to chip in a few dollars towards bandwidth and server fees. This is of course not required, and I will continue to maintain the site no matter if we get any contributions or not. So fear not, the RPGamers Network will live on forever! (mwhahaha...) Still, if you'd like to chip in, simply click the red piggy bank symbol over on the top right menu, or visit our donations page to find out more information.
Enough with that, on to the good stuff. Here are the top 25 most requested songs for July! Some familiar faces on the list, yet again...
1. Portal - Still Alive
2. Alan Wake - The Poet and the Muse
3. Bastion - Build That Wall
4. Legend of Dragoon - If You Still Believe
5. Portal 2 - Want You Gone
6. Final Fantasy XIII - Blinded By Light
7. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Snake Eater
8. Bastion - Setting Sail, Coming Home
9. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
10. Xenoblade Chronicles - Those Who Bear Their Name
11. Katamari Damacy - Katamari on the Rock (Main Theme)
12. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - Stickerbrush Symphony
13. Halo 2 - Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix
14. The Curse of Monkey Island - A Pirate I Was Meant To Be
15. Final Fantasy XIII - Saber's Edge
16. Final Fantasy VII - One Winged Angel
17. Final Fantasy VIII - Waltz for the Moon
18. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gerudo Valley
19. Cave Story - Cave Story Theme
20. Grandia - Town of Palm
21. Shenmue - Shenhua ~ Sedge Flower
22. Mega Man 2 - Dr. Wily's Castle
23. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest - Bloody Tears
24. 007 Tomorrow Never Dies - James Bond Theme
25. Mario Kart 64 - Rainbow Road
We are happily settled on our new server after a few days of moving everything over. This allows us to house the streaming radio and website all in one place, removing the past issues of connectivity and the stream being out of sync. Our new home also allows us to handle a higher traffic load and gives the site some room to breathe.
The trend continues, as again June was our busiest month yet. The boost in traffic was thanks to a special mention by Rooster Teeth over in their podcast, as well as a post on reddit and a few popular gaming feeds. The increase in traffic caused our old server some stress and showed us the need to adapt everything to a new home. We managed to get things stable fairly quickly though, and have made significant improvements to the website and server load, which will make handling sudden traffic spikes easier in the future. I was thrilled to see so many new visitors and radio suggestions coming in via the forums, email and chatroom! We have a huge to-do list to tackle for our music collection.
The site poll for June was in regards to some upcoming changes with the radio request system. I think the wording of the poll had some people slightly confused, but the overall results match what I had intended to do. Right now the system restricts requesting the last 50 songs that have been played. This usually averages to about one and half hours. Rather then making this a set number of songs, it will be time based. I'm going to start with a value of 4 hours, meaning that you will not hear the same song twice within a 4 hour period, allowing for more variety and less repeats. This does not mean you can only make one request every 4 hours, it simply means you can't request a song that was played within that time. I know many of you have favourites you like to request, but I think for the overall enjoyment of everyone we want to keep the music fresh and avoid songs repeating too often.
Finally, here are the top 25 most requested songs for the month of June. Some new contenders have appeared!
1. Bastion - Build That Wall
2. Portal - Still Alive
3. Sonic Adventure 2 - Escape From The City
4. Bastion - Setting Sail, Coming Home
5. Portal 2 - Want You Gone
6. Halo 2 - Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix
7. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
8. Halo - Halo
9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Snake Eater
10. Alan Wake - The Poet and the Muse
11. Final Fantasy VII - One Winged Angel
12. 007 Tomorrow Never Dies - James Bond Theme
13. Mega Man 2 - Dr. Wily's Castle
14. Sonic Adventure 2 - Live & Learn
15. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gerudo Valley
16. Final Fantasy X - Sprouting
17. Assassin's Creed II - Ezio's Family
18. Legend of Dragoon - If You Still Believe
19. Final Fantasy X - At Zanarkand
20. Kingdom Hearts - Hikari (Kingdom Orchestra Instrumental Version)
21. Cave Story - Cave Story Theme
22. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest - Bloody Tears
23. Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Dragon Roost Island
24. Banjo-Kazooie - Click Clock Wood
25. Kingdom Hearts II - The Other Promise
I wanted to warn our users in advance that our website and radio streams will be unavailable for a period of time on Saturday as we will be finalizing the move to our new webserver. The new server offers us more power and flexibility for expanding services as well as allowing us to host all of the radio services in one place. Most of the downtime will just be waiting for the DNS records to resolve to their new location, as the new server is already up and operational.
This move should resolve many of the sync issues the radio streams have had in the past, as the streaming software will now be on the same box as the website and databases. We've also given the site a fresh coat of paint on the new server, removing some clutter from our layout and cleaning up the website scripts.
Although we don't anticipate a long period of downtime, depending on your Internet service provider it may take some time for your DNS records to resolve to our new location. I will be around all weekend to ensure the site move is as smooth as possible. Let's hope all goes well!
As per my previous two posts, the radio audience continues to expand. Thanks to everyone who helped us recently smash past 2 million streams! We have been getting a ton of new song requests from listeners via our chatroom, forums and email and are working on sorting through your requests. Please bear with us as this can be a lengthy process.
My main focus lately has been website optimization, as our new found visitors almost brought the server to its knees, with record numbers of visitors flowing in. I have made many changes in the background in the past week or so optimizing scripts and such to keep the site running smoothly. We will be making some changes to how the request system works in coming days, details will be released once it is finalized.
We have been compiling the top 25 most popular song requests as voted by you, the listeners! Keep requesting your favourite songs, and help them make our top charts in June! Here's the list of our most popular songs in May:
1. Portal - Still Alive
2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
3. Portal 2 - Want You Gone
4. Bastion - Build That Wall
5. Sonic Adventure 2 - Escape From The City
6. Halo 2 - Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix
7. 007 Tomorrow Never Dies - James Bond Theme
8. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Gerudo Valley
9. Final Fantasy X - At Zanarkand
10. F-Zero - Big Blue
11. Halo - Halo
12. Sonic Adventure 2 - Live & Learn
13. Mario Kart 64 - Rainbow Road
14. Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Icarus (Main Theme)
15. Assassin's Creed II - Ezio's Family
16. Doom - At Doom's Gate
17. Mass Effect 3 - Leaving Earth
18. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest - Bloody Tears
19. Donkey Kong Country - Gang-Plank Galleon
20. Pokémon Red & Blue - Pokemon Gym
21. Mega Man 2 - Dr. Wily's Castle
22. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Zelda's Lullaby
23. Mass Effect 2 - Suicide Mission
24. Xenogears - Small Two of Pieces
25. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - Stickerbrush Symphony
Just thought I'd post a quick update explaining some of the changes that just went live over on our radio page. First off, the music player (flash) has had some minor tweaks and upgrades. We've slimmed it down and made it more efficient. Also, a popular feature request has been completed. The player will now remember your volume preference for future sessions. The default volume now starts at 75% and if you adjust it, it should start at the previous volume next time. Special thanks goes out to shockelite for helping implement this feature.
Also, the radio page and CSS skins have undergone some minor upgrades. The most noticeable change is the addition of the chat functions on the radio page. You can now visit our chatroom while listening and come say hello! The music will not be interrupted while chatting, and you can still do all the normal stuff too (requests, song history, etc.) without losing connection to the chat. I've also fixed some broken code around the site, removed unnecessary junk and just generally dusted things off.
For those of you who choose to listen via the TuneIn app over iPhone or Android, you should now be able to see proper song details on the now playing page. We have started piping the song data over via the TuneIn API system, and it seems to be working well.
If you encounter any problems with any of the changes, please let us know by leaving a comment or post on the forums so we can work out the bugs and get it all fixed up.
I'm so glad that we've managed to find a solid use for our website. It has been hibernating for too long, and the fact that the radio continues to grow in popularity even with the slower updates encourages me to think of new ideas and plans for our future of the site. I have many feature ideas and ways we can make the radio page more interactive, but figuring out the best way to deploy it in our current layout has been a challenge. I've also considered a possible re-branding, if we are going to focus on the radio side of things our name leaves something to be desired. RPGN has been around for over 15 years now under the same banner, its hard to consider change.
We would love to hear from our listeners with suggestions and input on the website, feature and song requests, anything that might be on your mind! You can reach us either via the forums, chatroom or even just by commenting on this post! We would love to hear your input.
Now here are the most popular song requests for April 2014:
1. Portal 2 - Want You Gone
2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
3. Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Hell March
4. Portal - Still Alive
5. Bastion - Build That Wall
6. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals - The Final Battle
7. Final Fantasy X - At Zanarkand
8. The Curse of Monkey Island - A Pirate I Was Meant To Be
9. 007 Tomorrow Never Dies - James Bond Theme
10. Final Fantasy VIII - Force Your Way
Do you love any of the tunes listed above? Think a different song deserves a spot on the top 10? Make your vote count by requesting to hear that song on the radio page! Song requests are tallied and the most popular songs make the list. Going to make a habit of posting these monthly just for fun!
We are happy to see our VGM radio station continues to gain in popularity even as the rest of the site kind of sleeps inactively. In March alone, we served up over 200,000 songs to our listeners and filled over 1,100 song requests. Our 10 most popular requests for March, 2014:
1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn
2. Katamari Damacy - Katamari on the Rock (Main Theme)
3. Bastion - Build That Wall
4. Chrono Cross - The Scars of Time
5. StarCraft - Terran Three
6. Final Fantasy VII - One Winged Angel
7. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - Stickerbrush Symphony
8. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Caprice
9. Mega Man X - Spark Mandrill
10. Duck Tales - The Moon
I am glad to see the site getting some use, and thank you to any of you who have shared the radio with your friends, we welcome the new listeners. We have toned down on some of the site, and removed some of the more inactive sections from the menu as we prepare to make some changes and clean off the dust under the hood. The radio will continue to be our focus as we re-focus the site. The videos and reviews sections have been retired, as YouTube is a great source for anything we offered here, and our reviews section hasn't had an update in years.
I hope to continue to expand and improve on our radio system in the months to come. I would like to make some minor improvements to our web version of the radio player, add some new skins (with some cool new functions) and of course expand our music library. Remember, if you have any suggestions for songs you'd like added to our stream, the best way to express those suggestions is to visit our chatroom (via the chat link in the menu). Both myself and Kilu can help you with such requests.
I just wanted to make a quick note that we are aware of the ongoing technical issues our streaming server has been encountering lately. There have been some problems keeping our two server synchronized for the radio, and this has caused our audio error message or repeated songs to play on the stream. This is only occurring about once a day, for a short period of time, and then the radio automatically corrects itself and resumes. We are looking into these problems, and are trying to work out a permanent solution. Please be patient with us if you encounter this on our streaming radio station.
This problem does not affect listeners using our flash player via the website, only those using the streaming server, so if this happens, you can always switch over to our web player until the stream is corrected.
Just a small note that we have just finishing migrating all of our network services to a new server, which should be faster and more stable. (Even though the last one was good too!) The radio did encounter some errors last night during the changeover but everything automatically recovered and is back on track. If you encounter any errors or things do not seem to be working, please make a comment on this post and let us know!1 Comment
Some users had requested other means to listen to our game music radio station, as some devices can't run our flash player, and configuring streams can be confusing for some users so RPGN Radio is now also available via Tune-In!
You can now listen all day long via your iphone, android phone, or other device using the Tune-In app available from the Apple Store and Google Play. You can also listen via the tune-in website. We hope with both our new streaming options and TuneIn, you are able to listen no matter what device you choose to listen with.
This is the same stream you would hear through our website, so our request system still works and is in sync with this option as well! We are working on providing a player-less version of our radio page, so you can easily make requests and view the list of recently played songs when using shoutcast or TuneIn without the flash player. These changes should be in place soon.
Our TuneIn station link is: http://tunein.com/radio/RPGN-Game-Music-Radio-s209618/