Someone recently made a search “Why is my SAM Broadcaster crashing?”
We’ve also noticed these search terms pop up on our dashboard.
“SAM Broadcaster 4.9.1 crashes on Windows 10”
“SAM Broadcaster crashing windows 7”
“SAM Broadcaster crashes after one song”
“SAM Broadcaster crashes without warning”
“SAM Broadcaster Pro keeps crashing after a few songs”
“SAM Broadcaster keeps freezing”
We often see people saying things like this about the lack of stability with SAM Broadcaster.
“We’re running SAM Broadcaster Pro on Windows 7, It often crashes and sometimes won’t restart after a computer reboot which means we have to reinstall the program from scratch”
“I have SAM Pro on two laptops neither will work because of constant problems with your software crashing”
The Spacial support department sends users the same old canned replies without actually helping anyone. Even the forums and social media accounts are staffed by people who don’t really care. The biggest complaint we see is from users having activation issues with their software and Spacial support not answering users tickets.
They promised to sort the customer service out in 2013 & as far as we can see it still hasn’t happened.
The support department is supposed to be open 4 am to 4 pm CST (UTC-5), but they seem to work when they feel like it!
Quality and stability of the code
SAM Broadcaster is prone to crashing or freezing for no reason whatsoever
SAM Broadcaster has always had very poor stability and reliability we had nothing but headaches while trying use SAM.
Not a week goes by without us seeing someone somewhere on social media complaining about major issues with SAM.
There have also been reports of people missing their regular radio shows because the program wouldn’t co-operate.
“Things like that should never happen with radio automation software”
Spacial charge $299-$699 for SAM Broadcaster. The program was originally made up from freely available Winamp plugins.
SAM required Winamp as a backend player in version 1.3 & Since version 2 it’s been priced at $299 the latest studio versions of SAM Broadcaster 2015 can cost up to $699
The price hike between Pro and Studio versions just means terrestrial (FM) stations can now use their software, where as before it was restricted to just Internet radio.
Although we guess most terrestrial radio stations probably use software that costs thousands of $$$, NOT some overpriced badly designed college project that’s never worked for it was designed for.
We really can’t see where the “value” is in the program it’s just NOT worth the money Spacial Audio ask for it.
The database structure
SAM Broadcaster seems to have a very badly written database structure which will also crash without warning if you don’t meticulously look after it. A database shouldn’t require more than backing up and a little light housekeeping.
When we first used the software we found we were having to rebuild the database every few days/weeks it became tiresome. Nothing much appears to have changed.
Coding a website for SAM Broadcaster was a nightmare, It needn’t be difficult, It just is!
We’ve yet to see the encoders within SAM Broadcaster stream properly. The encoders are prone to buffering even if you have a reliable connection.
They even buffered with a local shoutcast server on a home network, that’s how poorly coded they are!
“Unable to send data fast enough Encoding paused till buffer clears…”
We have yet to encounter buffering issues like this with other free encoding software.
PAL (Playlist Automation Language) scripts
Besides PAL scripts being difficult to program, PAL scripts are well known for crashing SAM Broadcaster due to the amount of memory leaks they cause (Especially if they’re written incorrectly!)
This a known issue with SAM Broadcaster that speeds up the file that is currently playing. It’s a known bug from at least 13 years ago that has never been addressed.
Windows 10 compatibility
Certain versions of the 4.x.x series of SAM Broadcaster will not work on Windows 10.
Note: Spacial Audio force users to hand over $119 just so they can have a working copy of SAM Broadcaster on Windows 10, That is on top of the $299 the user originally paid for the software.
The fact SAM Broadcaster 4.x.x won’t work on Windows 8/10 is down to a change in the way the program requires activation.
It isn’t just us that think SAM Broadcaster isn’t worth the money Spacial ask for it.
Save yourself the cash and the headaches by using Radio DJ FREE radio automation software.
(Click on the logo to download RadioDJ or right click and “Save Link As” to download it to your PC)
Radio DJ is a FREE radio automation program that works 100 times better than SAM Broadcaster.
We know of someone running 4 radio stations with 4 copies of RadioDJ free radio automation software with NO issues. Another user has had RadioDJ v1.8.2 running 24/7 for over 12 months on a laptop.
We guess that says everything people need to know about RadioDJ free radio automation software!
RadioDJ is really reliable the only time we have to restart the program is when Windows updates require the computer to be restarted.
In the unlikely event that something goes wrong with RadioDJ there is a great support network on the RadioDJ Community forums.
STOP paying Spacial Audio $$$ for their badly programmed overpriced software you will only end up regretting it!
We wish we’d never paid for the software in the first place.
So even though the program is called “Streaming Audio Manager” It’s not actually built for relaying a stream through?
I saw this nugget on a the SAM forums this morning.
“SAM Broadcaster is definitely not made for rebroadcasting a stream.”
Not much of streaming audio manager if it can’t relay an online stream.
I tried relaying a stream through SAM Broadcaster way back in v2.7.9 and had issues with it buffering and breaking up.
Tried testing it again recently on a newer version of SAM Broadcaster and it still made no difference. The stream just wouldn’t play in SAM yet it was working in Winamp.
This is something we have yet to encounter when relaying a stream through RadioDJ
RadioDJ handles streaming rather well & If the stream should drop RadioDJ should automatically move onto the next item in the queue.
Sometimes SAM Broadcaster will just sit there buffering and seems to take forever to move onto the next queue item if the stream drops.
That’s even with the silence remover/detector active.
I have to agree with the reply to the post on the Spacial forums.
“SAM Broadcaster isn’t built for much really given the amount of bugs in the program”?
SAM Broadcaster still has most of the bugs it had over 13 years ago.
Make the switch to RadioDJ you should have no issues relaying a stream.
N.B: Always remember though you are at the mercy of external factors. Such as Traffic congestion/DNS issues & poor upload/download speeds. If you have a really poor broadband connection then you won’t be able to relay a stream successfully anyway.
SAM Broadcaster vs RadioDJ which piece of software wins?
Someone asked me to do a comparison between the 2 pieces of software a while back.
SAM Broadcaster Pro/Studio (Streaming Audio Manager) Price: $299/$699
Requires Online Activation: Yes
Requires Registration Keys: Yes
Supported OS: XP/Vista/7/8/10 (Older 4.x.x versions won’t work on Windows 8/10)
Supported File types: mp3/wma/ogg/flac/m4a/aac/wav
Streaming: Built in encoders which are prone to buffering.
Supported Databases: MySQL/Firebird/PostgreSQL/MS SQL
Stability: Very poor reliability. Users frequently report the program crashes or freezes without warning.
Ease of use: Can be difficult to setup & there are complicated (PAL) scripts to learn.
Support: After you buy the product there is very poor customer service
Restrictions: You can only run 1 radio station per SAM Broadcaster licence with certain versions of SAM you can only stream to one service.
RadioDJ (Free Radio Automation Software) Price: $0.00 FREE/Gratis
Requires Online Activation: No
Requires Registration Keys: No
Supported OS: XP/Vista/7/8/10 (Works great on Windows 10)
Supported File Types: mp3/wma/ogg/flac/m4a/wav/ac3 (other formats can be added by using BASS add-ons from un4seen.com)
Streaming: Shoutcast/Icecast streaming can be done via a plugin or alternatively you can use a stand alone encoding program.
Supported Databases: MySQL (The database in RadioDJ has been kept simple)
Stability: RadioDJ can run for weeks and months without requiring a restart.
Ease of Use: Once setup RadioDJ is easy to use, like most software it can take time to get used to what the program does.
Support: If you run into an issue with RadioDJ you can get great support on the Community Forums
Restrictions: NONE! You can use the software where you want when you want.
So there you have it. We’ve compared the 2 pieces of software just as someone asked us to.
We still come to the same conclusion everytime.
“We feel SAM Broadcaster isn’t worth the $299 Spacial Audio charge for the program. We really can’t see where the ‘Value’ is”
Actually did we need to write a blog post to tell people that?