Text to Speech?

A user over on the RadioDJ forums put a feature request in for a text to speech plugin so he could have the computer do the announcements.

What’s so wrong about that I hear you say? I really don’t think it’s something a radio automation package needs.

Most stations tend to have their presenters voice track their shows. Which usually means that it’s all automated with nobody actually being there. No live presenters etc.

Several users on the RadioDJ forums have already pointed out it just wouldn’t sound very professional.

What most people want when listening to radio is a real live human being being at the controls. Not some half baked computer generated voice telling you what the AutoDJ is playing.

It’s another reason I hated a program called Nextkast as that had a computer generated TTS voice and it sounded awful.

I cannot see why anyone would want a feature such as this in RadioDJ.

If you feel you really need a computer generated voice to announce things. You can’t be a very good DJ IMHO!

PlayIt Live Radio Automation.

PlayIt Live Radio Automation.

This program had been on my radar for quite a while I hadn’t had the chance to test it.

The results weren’t great I’m afraid.

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I downloaded, installed and registered the program online. Then I started importing tracks into it via the built in tracks manager feature.

Unfortunately that’s where it all started going downhill.

It started scanning a folder of just over 1000 tracks then completely chose to ignore about 200 of them.

Those 200 mp3 files are loaded into RadioDJ with no issues.

After it had imported 800 of the tracks. I switched it to auto dj mode and clicked play on one of the decks and NOTHING happened.

The selected track wasn’t showing as playing in the deck and the countdown timer wasn’t even moving.

Although it would appear the songs were actually playing I just couldn’t see them playing.

Here’s what another user had to say about the software.

Play It live opinion

Seems he pretty much thought the same as me about play it live.

Score: 5/10 It’s a good effort but with the above mentioned issues I certainly can’t use it.

I will give it another test when they have sorted all the bugs out.

The whole program needs a lot more work on it to get it ready for a DJ to use live on air.

The Secret is: Don’t use Go-Daddy!

Just seen a post on the Spacial forums where a user wants to set his request function up. His website is hosted by Go Daddy.

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The secret is that he will never get SAM Broadcaster requests working as Godaddy don’t have the SQL port 3306 or the other port 1221 open. I’m sure someone will point this out to him eventually.

That’s just one reason to avoid Godaddy!

Another is the fact the owner thinks it’s good fun to go around and kill defenseless wild animals!

Shop around for a webhost that allows you to have ports open so you can have a working website would be my advice. Go Daddy suck big time.

Update 30/01/2014: GoDaddy owns up to role in epic Twitter account hijacking. Read about that here

Update 16/04/2014: Yet again GoDaddy are doing stuff you wouldn’t believe if it wasn’t so outrageous. They’ve given someone’s identifiable information to a spammer troll who has then used it against the person.

You can read all about that Here

The Secret is: Do NOT use Go Daddy!!

XP End Of Life 2014

So that’s it then XP is no longer being supported by Microsoft! Time to get that wallet out and upgrade your OS!

I cannot guarantee I’m likely to be able to help with problems on XP from now on either!

Hacker’s Delight: Support For Windows XP Ends

First question: Are you still using Windows XP as your computers operating system?

If you answer Yes to that question then I guess there’s no hope for you.

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As of the 8th of April 2014 Microsoft are ending the support for this operating system.

What this means is there will be no more security updates or patches for XP.

This could leave your PC totally vulnerable to attack. We would advise anyone running XP to look at upgrading their PC.

Windows 7 is quite stable unlike Vista. It’s great for running audio stuff on. RadioDJ evens runs like a charm.

XP is now 11 years old as an OS and it’s had a good run but now the time has come to say goodbye!

XP taught me most of what I now know about a computer….

Cloud hosting Is it worth it?

I’ve recently noticed a rise in companies like Spacial Audio, RadioJar and Radionomy offering packages that enable you to run a radio station in the cloud. The question is are they are actually worth paying out for?

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I personally think not. Most of the packages I see advertised by the representatives of these companies are very poor value for money. You can rent your own VPS with far more storage space for a fraction of the price they charge.

I know I like to be in full control when I’m streaming my music on a radio station. I want the program at my fingertips, Not away from my PC on a virtual cloud server.

It’s just what the world of Radio does NOT need. Another load of automated stations streaming from a cloud server with no on air talent. You have enough of them already listed on Shoutcast/Icecast.

The Men In Suits Strike Again!

The “Men in suits” have struck again, by men in suits I mean the guys who run radio stations at boardroom level. The main radio company that has this problem seems to be Global who own brands such as Heart, XFM, Smooth and Gold.

You may ask well what have they done wrong?

What they have done wrong is make a complete and utter mess of the radio.

My case in point being Gold. It was perfectly good station to listen to but as from 24th March 2014 I doubt it will be worth listening to.

Several DJ’s have been laid off and it’s just going to be automated most of the time.

That’s not what people want from radio. Most people want to hear a friendly presenter on air not repetitive automated music.

I just wish those “Men In Suits” would stop messing around with the stations they own and just leave the production up those who know best i.e: The on air DJ’s.

I wonder just how much this will impact on their RAJAR figures after the changes as I would imagine a lot of listeners are going to turn elsewhere for music radio.

SAM Broadcaster Request Server Security Flaw!

SAM Broadcaster Request Server Security Flaw! Yes you read the title properly folks. It seems the built in webserver that handles listener requests in SAM broadcaster has a security flaw in it.

SAM broadcaster is already a dodgy enough program without adding stuff like this on top! I saw this post on the SAM broadcaster forums last night….

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Yes you are reading that post correctly. “I will need to check on that in SAM, that probably could present a security issue.”

No probably about it about it. When there’s a security hole it leaves a users system open to all sorts of vulnerabilities.

Then just this morning he came back with this.

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“Right, but what I am starting to realize is that there is a problem in the way we determine who gets access and the end user’s perspective of how it should work. I am not looking to make this process more difficult. IP Whitelisting is really an insecure way to go about this if we are trusting the local DNS because that could be compromised or misconfigured. I mean it certainly is better than trusting all connections but that is like saying having a door on your house is enough to keep burglars out.

This problem has more than likely been in the program for years. I knew there was something that wasn’t quite right about the way the requests were handled in SAM Broadcaster (Far too complicated to set up for starters) I just knew that it wasn’t as secure as it should have been.

So yet again it just appears the problems are racking up for SAM broadcaster. Think about your server and computers security when choosing software that handles requests and don’t buy SAM broadcaster from Spacial Audio.

It could leave your computer open to attack. Which would be the last thing you would need when running an Internet radio station.

Quick update on this post: 25/07/2014 There have also now been some security issues found within the samPHPweb templates themselves.You can read about that here.

Keep Calm and use RadioDJ

Keep Calm and use RadioDJ

Spacial audio have a picture on their facebook page.

They are asking their users to “Keep calm and use SAM”

I can assure you “Calm” was the last thing I was when I was using SAM Broadcaster.

I used to swear frequently at the computer because it would never work right.

Since I made the switch to Radio DJ Free radio automation software.

I’m no where near as frustrated as RadioDJ seems to work flawlessly.

So I think it’s only right that RadioDJ has it’s own poster!

Remember “Keep Calm and use RadioDJ”

(Feel FREE to use this poster on your website)

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You’ll feel all warm and squishy inside when you do!

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