If you haven’t been following the SOF Radio journey, you may have missed the fact that we launched in April 2022 then went offline in May 2022. The reason for this was the platform we were using, Live365, was great in many ways but ended up becoming quite expensive yet still didn’t do exactly what we wanted so we decided to pull the plug on that solution and in May, the site changed to load a random show from the SOF Radio archive every time you visited the site instead.
Since then, we have began looking again at options but this time without using any type of platform and instead opting for a custom built solution and are pleased to say we are making some progress and are quite far on with it.
If you check the home page of the site you are currently looking on (Click here) you will see the top banner has now changed and has a ‘Now Playing’ section where it specifies the show name and genre underneath (at the time of writing we are enjoying some great trance music with the ‘In a Trance’ show) Previously there was also a player fixed to the bottom of every page, that is now gone in favour of engaging users to go to the ‘Listen’ page that you can get to by hitting ‘Listen Now’ in that top banner or clicking the red link in the top menu on every page.
The main reason for opening the ‘Listen Now’ page in another tab was following on from user feedback where users were reporting that when they clicked the player to tune in and browsed through the site pages, as soon as a new page was loaded the player would of course stop playing (obvious really, just an oversight on our part) Opening it in a new tab means it will remain open and playing in the background.
The way the player works is similar to before as in, it is fully automated and still loads from a random selection of shows but it now sticks to a schedule so you’ll see the Schedule page is now back here with an updated, more simplified schedule. Over time this may change but for now, I am keeping things as simple as possible whilst we are in development. In order to create a continuous flow of music we opted to refresh the page automatically on the hour every hour. The one downside to this is that there will be quite an abrupt end to a track when the page refreshes but as the player will automatically then kick in with another track, this cushions the blow. Besides, there is unfortunately no way around this given the source is Mixcloud.
Listening on a mobile
When tuning in via a mobile you will notice the music will not start playing automatically like it does when listening on a laptop or desktop machine. This is a browser restriction more than anything else and no browser will autoplay a music player, it’s just the way of the world unfortunately and there are no clever coding hacks to get around this so you’ll just have to hit the ‘Play’ icon.
The SOF App
We are still testing the hourly auto refresh on the app itself, if you are using the app and find that the page doesn’t refresh on the hour, like it does in a normal browser, for now please just hit refresh manually. You don’t need to do this on the hour but as each show in the cycle is around 2 hours long, if you listen to a complete show you will be met with silence once it’s finished as there is no way for us to automatically start another show, this is why we use the refresh hack and by doing it on the hour it ensures a non-stop 24 hour cycle of tunes.
We definitely think the best way to tune into SOF Radio is via the app, you can find out more information on the app, and how to install it, here When you see the prompt to allow notifications make sure you hit ‘Yes’ or ‘OK’ so that we can keep you updated with SOF Radio updates and new features.
So as you can see, things are up and running again so tune in and enjoy. There’ll be more updates as and when they happen.