Spacial Internet Radio Broadcasting Review
The advantage of having internet access anywhere has given smartphone users the ability to be productive, connect with their near and dear ones, watch videos and listen to music. One of the sources of music, which is very popular these days, is internet radio. You could start your own radio station with Spacial Sam Broadcasting software.
There are several products available, all of which are easy to use, and empowers you with the ability to manage your radio station, from your PC. That’s all you are going to need, apart from the music library which you will be using to broadcast of course.
The interface of all Spacial SAM Broadcaster, CAST and DJ software are almost similar. You have a windowed GUI, which has many smaller windows called decks. Each of these are customizable, so you can close and hide them, or add them back whenever you want to. You can also re-arrange the decks, to your liking. You can use up to 3 different desktops (the interface) with your selection of decks.
SAM Broadcaster PRO
This is the ideal software if you want to start a radio station which will function using your own distribution system. The key difference between the PRO and Cloud versions, is that the former is a broadcasting tool, while the latter can do the same and also allows you to stream media. You can also use SAM Broadcaster PRO to broadcast over the air through the old fashioned terrestrial radio, using AM and FM.
That doesn’t mean it is an offline radio, you can use your own servers on SHOUTcast or Icecast to broadcast to your listeners. Supported formats include AAC, aacPlus, AAC-HE, MP3, mp3PRO, Ogg and Windows Media and external relay formats like SHOUTcast v1 & v2, Icecast v2 and Live365. SAM Broadcaster PRO is also useful for existing radio stations or to those who have the resources to create and maintain an infrastructure. This mostly involves some hardware tools, especially storage drives and servers for the media, and broadcasting it to your station.
SAM Broadcaster PRO has advanced features to give offer your radio station’s listeners a real professional experience. Features like volume normalization, cross-fade detection, gap killer, help ensure that the song switching process doesn’t affect the quality of the broadcast. You can get the listener statistics from the program to know how popular your radio station is. The SAM Reporter can be used for advanced reporting too.
There is a Dual Deck in Sam Broadcaster Pro which you can use to queue up the next song, while a different one is playing. You can even add cross-fading to add a cool effect when the song switch happens. Besides manually allowing you to add the effect, the application has an option which does this automatically. You can use the application, to build and organize your music library and categorize tracks in to specific categories. The program can use the tag information and retrieve more details about the song from Amazon’s website. There are ready to use templates available, which are based on HTML and PHP, which you can use to add the radio to your website.
Radio Stations can be free, but you can still earn money. In fact you can do so in many ways. You can add a donation option which visitors to your website can use to contribute to the station. Or you can use advertising or merchandising to earn money. You can also link to music sales websites, and earn some commission when your website’s visitors follow your links to buy the music. All of these can help sustain a successful radio station and a website.
SAM Broadcaster Cloud
As the name suggests, this is a cloud powered software. Yes, you can manage your online radio from any web browser of your choice. This eliminates OS restrictions completely. There is another distinct feature in this version. Let’s say you are using the traditional broadcast method from your station to the listeners, and something goes wrong, and the feed is offline. This never happens with SAM Broadcaster Cloud, because the Cloud will take over when the feed is unreachable, so your listeners will still get to enjoy the music, while you can fix the issue. An always online radio station, that is exactly what this is.
And since this is a cloud based radio, you can schedule your shows by uploading the content, and setting up the tasks. So, even when your computer is offline, your radio station will work fine, with no servers to maintain or staff to manage the station. There are many players and widgets which you can add to your website, for free. These allow listeners to tune in to your radio on the web. They can even request songs directly from these online widgets.
You also get the SAM Live-DJ application for free, which you can use on your Windows computer, for live streaming music to your radio station. The only thing which SAM Broadcaster Cloud cannot do is support Ogg or Windows Media streaming, which is something only the PRO version can work with. The rest of the features are identical, apart from the ones we mentioned.
SAM Cast PRO and SAM Cast Studio
You can guess what this does, can’t you? Broadcast music. Close, but this is actually a live streaming software, which you can use to host live radio shows. Yes. you can host your own talk show using a microphone, or even capture the audio output from your sound card, and stream it in real-time to your listeners. Or you can broadcast music too from your computer.
The application comes with an 5-band processor, a 2-band processor and clipper, an Equalizer, a Stereo expander, a Bass EQ and a Gated AGC for advanced control over the quality of the audio stream. The VU meter in the program can be used to check the audio levels in real-time. The log records every action, so you can pin-point when a song was changed and a new one began.
SAM Cast has built-in encoders which allow you to stream the audio using SpacialNet, CheapestStream.com, aacPlusv2, MP3, mp3PRO, Ogg or Windows Media. You can list your radio station for free on AudioRealm to advertise it, and increase your listener base. And just like the other applications, SAM Cast allows you to view your audience count in real-time. A SAM Cast Studio version is available too
If you are not going to be speaking to the audience, i.e., you only want to stream music to your listeners, you should go for SAM DJ. The name obviously suggests that too, you will be the Disc Jockey. But you can actually do the same with the other Spacial products. What makes SAM DJ special, is that it allows you to mix music like a real DJ would. SAM DJ can be used with very large media library. We are talking about tens of thousands of songs, even if you have 50,000 songs, the program can handle it with ease.
This program supports multiple DJs, so if you are a team you assign an account to each DJ. You can queue tracks in advance, so you don’t have to manually change a track when it is about to end. This saves you a lot of time, and you can concentrate on other tasks, or manage other aspects of the software. There are decks in the interface of SAM DJ too which offers a ton of control over the audio stream. All of these can be moved around, or hidden to your convenience. You can add your tracks to the playlist queue easily, and in many ways. You can use the built in file browser, and import the songs to the queue, Or you can drag and drop the tracks on to the interface.
SAM DJ automatically generates categories for the tracks that you add, and sorts them intelligently. But you can also create and manage your own groups. Beat matching and mixing isa crucial part of DJ-ing, and you can do this in style with SAM DJ’s decks. The gap-killer feature is also available in the Broadcaster applications, is also available in SAM DJ. This eliminates any possibility of dead air, i.e., the silence between a tracks end and the next one’s beginning. It all comes down to your choice, you are in control. The cross-fade and auto cross-fade are also available in the DJ application.
The Auto DJ option is another option, which can queue tracks automatically, which is an easy way to let your radio station play the songs. If you want to add some announcements between the tracks, you can record them prior to the show, and mix it with the queue, and SAM DJ will use the voice tracking option, and play the recorded audio at the correct time.
Spacial is probably the only company which offers so many products to enable users to host and manage their online radio stations, with no studio equipment necessary.