Saturday, April 4, 2009

Updated Public Safety Radio Scanner Features

Last week we gave the Southern Maryland Public Safety Radio Scanners page a facelift and added some new features.

First, we added a built-in player for each channel. If you are using a Mozilla-based browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) -- such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari -- you may have to install the Windows Media Plug-in in order to use the on-page players. If it is not already installed on your PC, you will be prompted to perform the install. You do not need to use the on-page players. You can still click on one of the small icons to launch an external media player.

We also dropped the PAXRVR NAS feed and changed Scanner FOUR to be a feed for St. Mary's County using Windows Media Server technology instead of the MP3 stream used for the other three channels. This allows us to stream using lower bandwidth (11Kbps vs 24Kbps) and reduce the time lag between what you hear and real world broadcasts. Using the new feed we have noted lags of 15 seconds compared to 90 seconds or more using the MP3 stream. Channel THREE is still supporting the MP3 stream for St. Mary's County. We plan to drop one of the two channels in the future depending upon which one proves more successful with users.