This is a blog post that I've been wanting to write for a very long time, and due to several recent emails and posts in our User Support Forum about web hosting, I thought now would (finally) be a good time to write up a blog post on why quality web hosting is so important when running Jamroom - and why the quality of your hosting provider can have a larger impact on Jamroom then other PHP scripts.
First off you'll need to bear with me while I back up a bit and talk about something that I've seen a lot of in the almost 6 years that Jamroom has been online - the desire by many users to get the cheapest hosting possible. This is a completely understandable position to take - you're trying to minimize any recurring costs that might be involved with running your site, and in the beginning (when you may not be making money), you want to have the least amount of money flowing out of your pocket on a monthly basis. Again, this is understandable - but really only to a point. An analogy I would use is that you've just plucked down big money for a new 50 inch LCD TV, and now are determined to drive all over town trying to find the cheapest pair of "rabbit ears" you can to put on your new TV. Is this going to give you a high quality picture? Of course not - most people who plunk down their hard earned cash for a monster TV end up getting some sort of "bronze" or "platinum" digital TV package through their cable/satellite/fiber provider, because after all - what's the point of having HD support if you can't use it? The same can be said for hosting providers. Going for the "all you can eat for $5.00 per month" type of hosting provider is going to get you the same type of "service" you would get with your bunny ears - it might work, but when you want to start doing new things with your Jamroom (like grow), you'll find that having 2,000 (or more) other websites on the same
When Jamroom was first released 5 and a half years ago, the idea of streaming video on the internet was still in its infancy - many users in 2003 were still "dialing up" the internet using a modem, and you were the envy of your onlnie friends if you could get 1 - 3 mbps (megabytes per second) cable modem service. Much of the attention to "online media" at that time was focused on streaming audio - the MP3 file was really catching on with the popularity of sites like mp3.com growing all the time (Jamroom actually got its start being an alternative to mp3.com that the artist could control), and online video was still seen as a niche idea due to the file sizes and bandwidth required to stream video.
Over the last 3 years or so, we've seen a real "shift" in the online media space towards video, and video sharing in general. With the explosion in popularity of sites like YouTube and Google Video, all of a sudden everyone became their own director, and uploading videos to YouTube became something many people quickly wanted to do (which in turn actually spawned a whole sub-industry of cameras that feature "one button" uploading to YouTube and other video sharing sites).
It was on June 25th, 2005 when the first release of the "Jamroom Power Pack" went online, enabling Jamroom to support uploaded videos in the same manner as audio - this allowed artists to begin sharing videos of their shows, or music videos, with their fans. In the last 3.5 years, the Power Pack has grown to encompass many other "add ons" and features, and is a really "powerful" add on for your Jamroom. With the release of the Jamroom Conversion Server (part of the Jamroom Cluster Server), Jamroom also added the ability for uploaded videos to be automatically "converted" to FLV videos - this allows the videos to always be streamed
Now that Jamroom 4 has been released, and many sites are beginning to upgrade to the new release, I thought I would take a moment to point out one of the really nifty new features of the Jamroom 4 Cluster and Conversion Server - the ability for the system to automatically "detect" copyrighted music as it is being uploaded, and flag the audio file as requiring admin approval. If you run a busy Jamroom site, and are worried about users uploading copyrighted audio files, this will really go a long way to letting you sleep easier at night.
The core feature that enables this detection is called "MusicDNS", and it is a service that is provided by a 3rd party (the MusicIP Corporation), and is free to use for non-commercial sites (they do offer commercial contracts for those that need a high volume account). The description of MusicDNS (in their own words):
MusicDNS provides a simple, easy to use method for acoustically identifying digital music and acquiring the correct metadata. Leveraging patented acoustic recognition technology, MusicDNS consistently identifies the same digital music recording, regardless language or audio file format.
This is a really cool service, since it gives the Jamroom Conversion Server the ability to "identify" a music file by uploading a snippet of it to the MusicDNS database for acoustic fingerprint identification. In our tests during integration, the MusicDNS service was able to identify copyrighted audio files we uploaded (regardless of file format) 100% of the time.
If you are a licensed Cluster and Conversion Server user, and would like to enable the MusicDNS support in your Jamroom, simply follow these steps:
Sign up for a MusicDNS account at the following URL:
I have just finished updating the Jamroom Downloads page with the latest release of Jamroom - version 3.3.6. This is a very important release, in that it contains a fix for a security issue that is present in all Jamroom 3.3.x releases. If you are running any version of Jamroom 3.3.x, and you are on a server that is running PHP with the "register_globals" setting turned on, it is important that you update immediately to this new release. For more details, make sure and check out the Jamroom Tracker entry. There are also some other small fixes and changes in Jamroom 3.3.6 as well.
I have just finished updating the Jamroom Core Downloads page with the latest release of Jamroom + Addons - version 3.3.5. This new release fixes some bugs, adds some small features, and also includes a fix for a security issue in the way Jamroom displays template files - please see the Tracker entry for more details. This new release also includes the first version of the new WorldPay payment plugin for the Vault System.
For a full list of changes in Jamroom 3.3.5, check out the Jamroom Tracker, and make sure and stop by the Jamroom Forums and join in the discussion.
I have just finished updating the Jamroom Core Downloads page with the latest release of Jamroom + Add Ons - version 3.3.3. This new release addresses issues that have come up since the Jamroom 3.3.2 release, which includes a fix for a very serious bug where Video statistics were not being saved correctly. If you are running any version of Jamroom 3.3, please update to this new version to ensure your Video Stats are being stored correctly.
Make sure and join us in the Jamroom User Support forum for the latest discussions on what is happening in the world of Jamroom ;)