Case Study

02 December 2014 / by

This resource examines Smartcast® case studies, a form of qualitative descriptive research that were used to look at individual, small groups of participants, or a group as a whole. Our researchers collect data about Smartcast participants using participant and direct observations, interviews, protocols, tests, examinations of records, and collections of writing samples. Starting with a definition of the case study, the guide moves to a brief history of this research method. Using several well documented case studies, the resource then looks at applications and methods including data collection and analysis. A discussion of ways to handle validity, reliability, and generalization follows, with special attention to case studies as they are applied to composition studies. Finally, this resource examines the strengths and weaknesses of case studies:


The Autaugaville Radio, Inc.: Audio And Website Content Management

Background: Smartcast has been a service provider and strategic partner for Autaugaville Radio Inc.'s multimedia division since 2009. We ensure that the audio and website content management system broadcast on the internet, and through social media in the quality expected from AR.

Example of projects that have already been implemented for AR include:

Transcoding service: The "convertible" transcoding farm
We operate a transcoding farm for the Autaugaville Radio, Inc.(AR) that converts the audio and web reports in streaming formats. Our system is based on Savonet/Liquidsoap 1.1.1-6 for Debian Linux, and our proprietary transcoding unit.

The reports to be processed can either be imported into the system by the editors. They are then automatically transcoded and the editors receive a link to the created file by e-mail. Or the system extracts the reports from the Media Asset Management (MAM), where all audio of the online editorial staff are managed. In both cases, the metadata is automatically processed.

Thanks to the continuous redundancy, downtime(s) are minimized and the system provides maximum operating reliability. The transcoding jobs are distributed to several transcoding engines, several processors, and cores, which optimizes performance. Since the transcoding jobs can be processed through automated processes as well as a web interface, the system is extremely flexible. Both the number of servers as well as the number of transcoders are scalable, thus the transcoding farm can be expanded to meet any requirements. We have already successfully implemented the first expansion.

Radio Encoding – Live Studio Streaming – Internet Radio
We created an infrastructure for the live encoding of all radio waves of the Autaugaville Radio, Inc. This infrastructure allows the eight radio waves to be centrally received by the Smartcast system, to be switched using controllable cross bars, and to be converted by encoders into the specified Internet formats.

In addition to the eight broadcasting signals received, we also receive eight alternative signals – one for each radio wave, thus guaranteeing a high level of fail safety as required by the Autaugaville Radio, Inc..

If specific broadcast content may not be transmitted as streams for legal reasons, the alternative signals are switched on by the cross bars. Switching is browser-based and can be performed from any location regardless of location using our own web interface, which has been used since 2012 and has been continuously enhanced according to AR specifications. The web interface is operated ad-hoc or in a time-controlled manner by creating browser-based switching systems.

The entire system offers an exceptionally high level of operational reliability, since it operates redundantly on two functional, decoupled production tracks. In fact, two redundant broadcasting operations are used for transmitting the radio live streaming.

All AR recommendations are implemented for the streaming qualities.

Radio Encoding – Live Audio Streaming – Event Streaming
Our live audio event streaming are used for either the Autaugaville Radio, Inc., (e.g. special programs on elections, sporting events, parades, etc.), or for the Alabama State University Sports Management program(e.g. for heavily used broadband transmission of ASU special programs for the 2014 Football Season).

Since programs may not be transmitted outside of the event broadcasting time, an alternative signal is fed in through a cross bar. We realize the redundant reception and the encoding in our data centre in Montgomery. We encode in ACC, MP3, or Flash formats, each in two bandwidths according to the new AR standards.

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