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Music has long been the primary means of entertainment, and continues to be so. Of course, our means of listening to music has changed drastically over the years, including the transition from older tape recorders, to iPods, to smartphones.
But of course, this doesn’t change the ways we discover new music. The most common way of doing so, is by word of mouth, aka
friends, TV, and social networks. Personally I find that there is a much better way, the radio. I’m not talking about the old hardware devices, but online radio.
Surely you must have heard of Spotify, Pandora, etc. They all have one thing in common, care to guess what it is? They are all internet based radios. This way, you may find lots of new and good songs to listen to.
But what if you wanted to be on the other side? Yes, you as the broadcaster. Is it even possible? Absolutely, and you don’t need to set up a high end radio station, with expensive equipment or a word class studio. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection, a source for audio, and one beautiful piece of software called SAM Broadcaster PRO.
This is a product from the developers at Spacial, and has been very popular amongst the broadcasting afficianados for well over a decade.
Let’s take a look at its features.
Before using SAM Broadcaster PRO, you must first install a database. This is essential, and is the heart of your music library, the one you intend to stream to your listeners. Available options include FireBird, MySQL, PostgreSQL and MS SQL (from Microsoft). Of the lot, only the FireBird database is readily available with the installer of SAM Broadcaster PRO, the rest have to be downloaded and installed.
The GUI of SAM Broadcaster PRO is simple, yet very rich, and is actually highly customizable. It may look like a complex UI, but it is actually the opposite, in that it is quite user friendly. You can change the layout of the program from the toolbar, by selecting the Layout option. This will allow you to set a resolution for the application, i.e., a display size of the GUI which will fit your computer’s screen. There are several pre-set options, but you can use a custom one.
There are a plethora of tools available, as seen in the screenshot above. You can close any of those options, and re-add them from the menu > Window option.
There are three main sections in SAM Broadcaster PRO: Desktop A, Desktop B and Desktop C.
Desktop A is the primary window, and allows you to add your content, to the Stream. This involves adding soundtracks, playlists, choosing what track is in the queue, and whether to add any effect to the sound or not.
A good DJ needs to change tracks of his broadcast once in a while, especially at the end of a song. This is where the clock is handy. You can also use the clock which is available in the toolbar, that however is a permanent one. But merely glancing at the time won’t change things. Instead you should use the Playlist configuration from the Config menu, to choose how the program handles your list of songs. This ensures you don’t end up repeating your playlists.
To setup your streaming radio station, you must use your user credentials, and the web-address of your stream’s server. Do so, and add the information to the program which you are using as an Encoder. Then save your stream info to your PC. Use this within SAM Broadcaster PRO to stream your station. There are many formats of encoding available (MP3, AACm WMA) to name a few, and depending on the one which you use, you may have to save your stream info.
SAM Broadcaster PRO is capable of encoding MP3, mp3PRO, OGG, WMA, and aacPlusv2 formats natively too. This is of a great advantage, and the Equalizer, Stereo expander, Bass EQ, 5-band processor and more. And the best part is that you don’t have to spend much for hosting streams, you can simply use SpacialNet.com, or any one which you like.
The program has web widgets to add to your station’s website. This includes the now playing info about a song (tag, album, track info) and also lets your listeners, view the media library, request songs and more. Speaking of listeners, you can view the count of your audience, at the top right corner of the application.
Desktop B is for setting up statistic relays for SHOUTcast, IceCast and other streaming services.You can also use SAM Broadcaster PRO to host an FM Radio Station. This is the part which requires a bit of resources, i.e, a good FM card which can transmit the broadcast through radio waves, it still uses your internet connection to do so.
Think of the possibilities. You can host your own Podcast show, or even popularize your music, maybe even a simple teaching session, and also earn money.
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