Streaming Log File Guidelines
In order to generate SoundExchange compliant reports, NPR Digital Services (NPR/DS) needs logs of all the requests for your streams during the reporting period. These raw streaming access logs are usually generated automatically by the software used to serve stream requests. They would be generated on the server from which the streams are served.
NPR DS must have access to the actual raw logs files – not aggregate statistics or counts – in order to properly calculate the statistics required to be reported to SoundExchange under the agreement worked out with the CPB.
We need these data in a space or tab-delimited text file for processing. We cannot accept written logs, Word documents, PDF files or files that do not present the data in this format for processing.
Common streaming software packages include SHOUTcast, Icecast, Windows Media Player and QuickTime. In addition, if your streams are hosted by a third party vendor (e.g. Akamai, StreamGuys, Live365, etc.) they may generate their own streaming log file formats.
It’s possible that your software may need to be explicitly configured – or your vendor may require an explicit request – to generate these logs. Check with your host or vendor to ensure these logs are getting generated, at least during the reporting period you choose during each calendar quarter.
Also, some vendors may only keep these logs for a short period of time before deleting them. In this case NPR/DS can work with you and your vendor to obtain and archive the logs before they are deleted. Again, check with your host or vendor about this.
Required Data Fields Per Stream Request
No matter what format or host you use, Public Interactive needs raw streaming access logs that capture the following information:
- IP Address of requester (for filtering our requests from outside the United States)
- URL requested
- Status of request
- Start date and time of session
- End date and time or duration of session
When providing us with streaming log files please be sure to indicate what time zone the dates and times in the file are in. NPR/DS needs to be able to match up stream access times with the dates and times that recordings are played as indicated in your playlist logs in order to generate SoundExchange-compliant reports.
Streaming Access Log File Format
Unlike playlist log files, most stations won’t have control over the format of the streaming access log files. However, when there is some control, we request files in the following format:
- Space or tab-delimited text file (no Word, PDF or XLS files)
- One file per content stream, if possible
- Include header row with field identifiers
- One row per stream request, ordered chronologically
- Within each row, consistent ordering of fields
In some cases, requests for multiple streams may be logged in the same file(s). NPR/DS can work with these files but we must have an unambiguous way to identify which content stream is being requested. This is usually done using the URL being requested. NPR/DS looks to the stations to tell us how to make this determination.
Finally, please be sure to indicate what time zone the dates and times in the file are in!!! Preferrably, this would be in the header of the file, or indicated in each time itself.
Sample Streaming Access Log Files
Here are snippets of common log file formats. IP addresses have been redacted for security reasons.