Hi! Thank you for doing this interview with us, and taking time out of your busy schedule.
How are you?
I’m excited! I’m about to give the first interview for “Meet the Team!”
First, can you introduce yourself and let us know what you do at Spreaker?
I’m the co-founder and CTO: I spend my days (and sometimes nights) developing, debugging, and monitoring Spreaker’s infrastructure. In my spare time I like to relax on the couch with a mug of tea, and am also a bit of a photographer. In the past I was also a juggler ;).
How did you start your job at Spreaker?
“It was a cold winter night…” On the night of my birthday, three years ago, I received a phone call from @thebask who said: “we have an idea and need you to help us out.” A few months later I left my job and started developing a Spreaker prototype. I’d actually like to give a special thanks to my wife and @roccozanni who, in their own ways, have helped and come along this adventure with me since the first day.
Which Spreaker feature do you like the most?
I love the DJ console. Even though it was developed over two years ago, I still consider it a gem of an application. We’re also working on revolutionizing broadcasting once again for 2012: stay tuned!
Can you give us a few reasons why it’s great working at Spreaker?
I love working at Spreaker because it’s like a big family, united by a love for technology and the desire to create a unique service. It’s fun, too. Each day at lunch we challenge each other at darts, the boss won’t fire me if I listen to music during working hours, and our office is just a few steps away from the beach!
Do you have any fun memories that you would like to share?
Absolutely! The first one that comes to mind is something that happened last month. I was at a conference, with different media partners, and had to broadcast some speeches on Spreaker. I recorded a test-run beforehand, just to check out the network quality. During the recording a friend came in, and we started chatting and joking around, forgetting that everything we were saying was being broadcasted on Spreaker. A half hour later I received this email: “I can hear all your antics, live, as well as everything you’re saying about me.”
Really funny! What are your favorite podcasts on Spreaker?
I listen to Spreaker mainly in my car and at the office. There are two podcasts I never miss, “Roba da rocker” and “Pretty Uncle Channel”. Actually, did you know that with an iPhone and Bluetooth you can listen to Spreaker on your car radio?
Can you talk about scalability? How do you deal internally? Which are the tools you use? Which are the most important lessons learnt?
Ahhh..scalability. It’s a big topic, and since you’re interested we can go further into it. In short, we worked a lot on scalability. In my opinion, scalability is 90% design, 10% technical issues. Your application will grow if it has been designed for scalability.Here are a few important points: decoupling (we use a lot of queues), auto-scaling (which helps you keep costs low and adapt your capacity on traffic load), load balancing (we have load balancers in the front of our site and API, while all other services are balanced by API), responsibility (ex. what applications can access the db), and a lot more…
OMG true nerd topics :). Here’s another question from the Community: Can we get a better and more productive ‘chat box’? And, can we also get a better way to have people ‘call in’ to the shows? (i.e. blog Talk radio switchboard, etc.)
This is something I would really need to look into more, especially on what you mean by a more productive chat box (What exactly would you want the chatbox to have?). In regards to having people “call in”, a new feature is on the way, even though we haven’t started developing it yet. Like I said, in the next few months there are going to be lots of new features, including a new way to “call in”.
Is there any way you could make it possible to play music/jingles on live broadcasts using the Android or iPhone Spreaker apps?
Of course. The next few steps in developing the mobile app foresees a richer recording console (whereas now you can only record voice), and the possibility to manage your podcasts directly from the app.
Where do you see Spreaker in 5 years?
Five years is a really long time. Last weekend I prepared a presentation that summed up all the new features introduced for Spreaker in 2011: only then did I realize how far we’ve come in just one year. To answer your question, I expect that Spreaker will become the go-to platform for creating audio content on the internet.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time playing with Legos. I would build anything and everything, and wanted to be an inventor when I grew up. In a way, I’ve become a 21st century inventor. I’ve been really lucky.
What is your favorite quote?
Programming is a wonderful mix of art and science; source code is both a poem and a math problem.
Where can we find you on the internet?
The best way to keep in touch with me is following me on Twitter: after Spreaker, it’s the social network I use the most. Almost forgot: follow me at @pracucci. (Hey Chris, I read your question – contact me via Twitter!)
Thank you so much Marco, see you soon on Skype 😉