FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team are happy to help with any questions you may have, but here are the answers to some of the most common questions we get asked.

Radio FAQs

Should I use Shoutcast or Icecast?

Both Icecast and Shoutcast will do a great job of broadcasting your radio station to the world and they will both let your station be used in website apps and radio apps like TuneIn. There are a few differences though. Shoutcast has a more popular directory giving you a better chance of having your station found by new listeners.

Shoutcast is a commercial product however and requires a license from Shoutcast if you want to broadcast at over 128kbps MP3. Icecast is open source and free so has no limits on your radio station bitrate.

We’re big fans of open source software here so prefer Icecast but the choice is yours.

What equipment do I need to broadcast?

This depends what you’d like to do. If you want to run an automated radio station you can use our AutoDJ. All you’ll need to do is upload your media to our server, build your playlists and schedules and our server will take care of the rest.

If you’d like to broadcast live you’ll need encoder software that will take the music you’re playing on your computer (or the input to your computer’s soundcard) and send it to our server. Some DJ software includes encoder software. There are some good open source options too such as BUTT and Altacast

Going a step further there are professional hardware encoders such as the Barix Instreamer, which will take an audio input, encode it and send it to our server.

What is AutoDJ?

AutoDJ is your DJ in the cloud. You upload your media to our server and build your playlists in the control panel, seting schedules for when you’d like your shows to play. The AutoDJ takes care of the rest, playing your schedule as you configured it. Want to go live? It’s easy to switch between your AutoDJ and a live source without disconnecting your listeners.

What are "listener slots"?

Listeners slots represent how many listeners can connect to your station at any time. If your station is getting more popular you can upgrade the number of listener slots you have at any time.

What does "bitrate" mean?

The bitrate is the amount of data per second that is being used to broadcast your audio. A higher bitrate means more data is being used to transport the audio and the sound quality will be better. A lower bitrate uses less data to transport the audio but the audio quality decreases. Lower bitrate streams are good if you have listeners who have slower internet connections, or are on metered connections such as mobile phones.

With our transcoder service you can send us a high bitrate stream and we can transcode it to a lower bitrate giving your listeners a choice between a high and low bitrate stream.

Can I upgrade or downgrade my package?

You can upgrade or downgrade your package at any time. Setting up a new station? Start with one of our cheaper packages and upgrade as your station becomes more popular. Got a one off big event planned? Upgrade to a larger package for a month then downgrade back to a smaller package.

Do you provide a web player?

We have an embeddable web player which is included with every package. You can get the code in our control panel. There are also many other web players available online (including many which are included with WordPress templates) which are compatible with our streams.

What is HTTPS / SSL Streaming?

Using SSL encryption on websites is now highly recommended and most web browsers will give a warning if a website does not have a valid SSL certificate. If you embed an audio stream that doesn’t have a valid SSL certificate a web browser may also flag up a warning. SSL encrypted streams are also required if you are using an Amazon Echo skill for your radio station.

Our SSL proxy takes a standard non-encrypted audio stream and passes it through with a valid SSL Certificate. This service is free for streams hosted with Hippynet. Many hosts do not yet offer this service, so we allow customers of these hosts to use our SSL proxy service for a small monthly fee.

What is stream transcoding?

Some broadcasters want to offer their radio stations in multiple formats. They may want a 320kbps stereo MP3 stream for listeners on high bandwidth connections and a 48kbps mono AAC+ stream for listeners using their phones. Our transcoder can take the high bitrate stream and convert it to another bitrate and format and deliver it back to the streaming server for your listeners.

Web Hosting FAQs

Do I need to buy my domain from you?

While we do sell domain with a choice of over 400 Top Level Domains we under stand that people may prefer to buy their domain elsewhere or already own a domain. We do not require you to buy your domain from us.

You can buy a domain from us, transfer your domain to us, set your domain to use our name servers and use our DNS management, or use your registrars DNS management and point your records to our servers.

How many free SSL certificates can I have?

You can have a free SSL certificate for every domain and subdomain you have hosted with us. You don’t have to take any action to request your SSL certificate, once you add a domain or subdomain in CPanel our server will request an SSL certificate from the SSL provider (this is automatic but may take a few hours to process).

SSL certificates are valid to 90 days and will be automatically renewed as they near expiration. If you want a more advanced SSL certificate we can provide upgraded certificates.

Why don't you offer unlimited disk space?

We offer generous quotas for storing your web site. With unlimited disk space plans some customers leave large files in their hosting accounts even when they are no longer needed. This disk space needs to be paid for and it unfortunately drives up prices needlessly. We have disk quotas to avoid this, but if you have a genuine need for more disk space we are happy to help.

Will my site be backed up?

We back up all of our customer’s hosting accounts every night to a backup server in a different data centre. We keep seven daily backups, a weekly backup and a monthly backup. Restores are free subject to fair use.

What version of PHP is available?

We currently run PHP 7.3.

Other questions

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and PayPal. We can accept Direct Debit if it is easier for your organisation.

Do you offer a free trial?

We would be happy to offer you a free trial! Simply email us and we’ll get you set up.

Will I have a long contract?

We offer monthly rates and annual rates. With our monthly rates you can cancel at any time and and will only be billed until the end of that month. With our annual plans run year-to-year but offer a discount over the monthly rates.

Do you offer an affiliate program?

Want to recommend you to your friends? We do operate an affiliate program, and we give you £5 bonus just for signing up. We pay 15% of any sales you generate.

Do you have a white label reseller program?

We do provide reseller facilites and can white label any of our services so that you can sell them to your customers under your own brand. Please speak to our support team for details.

Can you help me move from another host?

Absolutely! For web hosting customers we can help to move your site from your old host’s servers to our servers. For radio customers we can move any media library directly from your old host’s servers to ours and help setting up temporary relays between our server and your old host to minimise disruption to your listeners while you change any links on your website and any other players such as TuneIn.