ARCATA, Calif.--(Business Wire)-- April 7, 2008 StreamGuys, Inc., a streaming media and content delivery provider, is partnering with Chicago Public Radio to provide enterprise-level web audio services for Chicago Public Radio productions, from local content to national programs such as This American Life and Sound Opinions. StreamGuys works alongside Chicago Public Radio to offer live and on-demand services -- defining, troubleshooting, and scaling as necessary and advising on emerging technologies.
Chicago Public Radio is nationally recognized as home to some of radio's most innovative programming. Its syndicated programs include This American Life, a groundbreaking show that has won nearly every major broadcasting honor -- including the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and Edward R. Murrow Awards. TAL debuted locally in 1995 and is now heard by more than 1.7 million listeners a week on more than 500 public radio stations. Its free podcast, hosted by StreamGuys, is among the most popular in America.
According to Shiow-Jiau Yung, who works on Chicago Public Radio's national initiatives, the station began working with StreamGuys after a well-known content delivery network (CDN) was unable to help Chicago Public Radio transition its web audio services from RealAudio to mp3.
"Our previous CDN had set up our services in a way that was not very helpful to us or our audience," said Yung. "Instead of helping us improve and diversify our services, they told us that what we wanted to do wasn't possible -- despite widespread evidence to the contrary. The equation just didn't balance. It was extremely frustrating, especially for an organization like Chicago Public Radio, where we need to use our resources wisely."
StreamGuys initially set up a Windows server to house two new live streams and on-demand mp3s as well as archival RealAudio. Due to the popularity of the program, on-demand streaming for This American Life soon required a dedicated server, and StreamGuys worked with Chicago Public Radio to perform the migration. Additional traffic from the TAL podcast necessitated further expansion, and TAL web audio is now delivered by a cluster of load-balanced, Linux servers.
Concurrent with these developments, StreamGuys supported other Chicago Public Radio productions -- from local content to the national program Sound Opinions, from launching other podcasts to hosting entire websites. Moving forward, priorities include the implementation of Flash streaming and ad insertion technology, and the partnership continues to flourish.
"When we're trying to understand or resolve a technical issue, I love being able to pick up the phone and talk with a real, live person -- whether one of their technical services crew or the CTO of the company," said Yung. "And we're not billed separately for tech support, so working with StreamGuys is like having a team of web media experts in house."
For more information about This American Life or Chicago Public Radio, please visit www.thisamericanlife.org or www.chicagopublicradio.org.