Computing Podcast Stats with Elasticsearch

KPCC Podcast Stats Flow Eric Richardson / KPCC

Since rejoining KPCC last fall, I've spent a good bit of time on the topics of metrics and analytics. There's a very healthy ecosystem of options for monitoring the traffic to your website or the health of your servers, but as a radio station we end up with a lot of questions around how our audio is getting consumed that don't always fit in those same tools.

Podcasts are the hot topic in the audio world right now, but they present a big challenge for those of us trying to make sense out of the numbers. Some of that challenge is intractable right now—podcast clients simply don't give us any information about when a downloaded file is played—but some of it is just about putting a better wrapper around old-school download stats.

At KPCC we're using two free tools—Logstash and Elasticsearch—to make it much quicker and easier to keep track of podcast downloads. — Continue Reading...

Back to Work: Looking Beyond the Play Button

I've been back at KPCC for about four months now, and it's been a trip to drop back into code and ideas that I had left behind in 2012 when we headed east to Atlanta. There have definitely been times where I've wished code that I wrote back then wasn't still around to greet me, but on the whole it's been great to get to pick up the process of thinking about how radio works in the digital age.

Today some of that thinking actually gets into the hands of users. We just pushed a completely-rewritten version of KPCC's iPhone app that lets you rewind to the start of the currently-live program regardless of when you start listening. — Continue Reading...

New Chapters

Bobby and Me Eric Richardson

September was an eventful month.

On the 20th, Kathy and I became the very proud parents of a very little boy who shares the name Robert with one grandfather, two great grandfathers and a great-great grandfather.

And then yesterday I ended the month with my last day at Emcien, where I've been working for the last two-and-a-half years since moving to Atlanta. On Monday I (virtually) head back to my last job with KPCC, where I'll get to dive back into a lot of cool ideas about the future of radio.

During the time since I left, we've continued to slowly push forward on StreamMachine, the streaming audio server that I had written for the station. I'm very excited to get to ramp that work up and dive back into all the other cool things that we can do to deliver great content to listeners in this ever-more-connected world.

Making Recipes

Chef Cookbook for Eric Richardson

I brought this site out of mothballs last month by bemoaning how easy it was to fall behind on the things that we do for a living. I'm proud to say that I took my admonition to heart, and today this site is running on a newly spun-up virtual machine that is 100% built via automation.

I'm using Chef for configuration management, since that's what I use day-to-day at Emcien. My little one-server deployment gave me an excuse to try out their hosted product, as compared to the open-source server we're running. — Continue Reading...

Ten Days in Europe

Nearly two months ago, Kathy and I returned from a whirlwind ten days in Europe. The purpose of the trip was to revisit a few of Kathy's favorite places from her semester in France, and along the way we discovered a new favorite in the Swiss Riviera.

Technical difficulties (see my post about falling behind) kept me from posting these favorite photos here earlier, but I think it is only right to eventually give them a public viewing.