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Hi Ray,

When I was broadcasting FM I used Zara free for four years 24/7 and found it very reliable and stable. It still is a very good program.

On today's standard it lacks playlist creator, voice tracker, audio processing and streaming all rolled into one. These all can be worked around for free. I used Tobasco's Amazing Clockwheel which is still pretty amazing, but makes up playlists on a random basis. For voice tracks use a free voice recorder and insert the voice tracks into the playlist. You can use Sonos4 and Virtual Audio Cable for audio processing. Streaming with song title is also possible but I don't know how to do it. Some set Zara free up with music in separate folders based on genre, decade, or however, then Zara will play through folder by folder playing on forever or until Windows conks out. Zara free is still a great piece of software, runs on very low resources even Windows 98. It's simple, no complicated database, it needs Windows Media Player. I have heard of Zara free running on Linux under wine. It's about the only software where you can use a .seq file. Sort of a compressed M3U file which I found very handy. It may now lack the eye candy of newer software, but still has a place.

 

I'm at the moment trialing newer software, as I hope to return to air, so have several trials running on separate computers

Rivendell is free doing just about everything. It runs on Linux. I have it on Xubuntu 12.04. It's great! Only reason I probably wont use it is because it wont play mp3 files. I have over 64,000 mp3s, most at 320, to convert them to .wav will be a huge job.

RadioDJ is popular but I found it tricky to set up and get going. The database gave problems. I needed four installs to get it going.

Airtime is free as well.

 

There are several cheaper paid software I'm testing. They are all running on separate computers.

RadioBOSS I found easy to adjust to as it is similar to Zara but has many more features than Zara free. Easy to set up and follow. I like RadioBoss

SAM is running away as well, was easy to get setup and get running. I tried it a few years ago but hated the PAL scripting aspect. I've become to like SAM more this trial and am finding the PAL scripting not so difficult this time. It makes the program very flexible. I like SAM as well.

StationPlaylist was running but has stopped again. I tried it a few years ago. Still the same problem of the trial being too crippled. I wrote to the developer several years ago but he said it wasn't too crippled. For me. Far too crippled to test properly. Plus last time after uninstalling the trial complete with registry clean, a year later it was still trying to access the internet.

 

My choice now is Rivendell at the top but wont use it because of the mp3 problem. RadioBOSS or SAM. Then, I may just go back to Zara free. The only drawback with Zara I see is the random playlists and times can't be set to the part second. I like to keep a tight ship.

 

Cheers,

Owen.

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Hi Ray,

 

No I haven't tried the paid version of Zara, I don't think you can. As I understand it you have to trial the free version, then take their word for it it's worth paying extra for ZaraStudio. I seem to think the paid radio software seems to be limiting. When I was on air with free Zara I had two computers set up identically. I'd prepare the next days program on the spare computer then transfer the files to the computer feeding the transmitter. In the event of the on air computer ever failing the standby was always identical so I could just switch over to keep broadcasting. It often seemed a windows problem that stopped it as the on air was online 24/7 to download news.

 

As much as I'm finding RadioBoss and SAM pretty good the paid for software limits the software to only one computer. Think I'll have to tinker about with RadioDJ a bit more as it is free.

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I have been using the free version of ZaraRadio for over 7 years. It has never crashed in all that time. I dont bother with the built in agc as I use hardware processing. I use a program called IMS (which is not around any more) and Winamp to build my playlists. Zara's not the best to look at compared with other software, but it does the job with no fuss and no need to worry about SQL database's.

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Sorry! I stand corrected in respect of limitations placed on RadioBOSS in respect to the number of computers that can be run on the one license. I do like your software by the way. I have plenty of time on my hands at present, have salvaged several old and not so old computers from the dump, got them running and have trials of several softwares running. RadioBOSS is performing very well.
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Hi Ray,

Rivendell is free doing just about everything. It runs on Linux. I have it on Xubuntu 12.04. It's great! Only reason I probably wont use it is because it wont play mp3 files. I have over 64,000 mp3s, most at 320, to convert them to .wav will be a huge job.

 

have you tried rivendell 2.8 it has mpg 2 support, wav is the best and hard drive space is cheap, and if your an FM station running 64k licensed mp3s i hazard to guess you dont have a very large audience, our marketing consultant has us limited to 25k and we are a mixx station"

 

check rivendell out again, you will be glad you did!

Returning After 8 Years On Hiatus - 55 Minutes Commercial Free Every Hour

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Yes I think RadioBoss is pretty good as well. It's easy to install. I ended up putting the trial on three different computers. It seems to be light on resources, runs on just about everything, no complicated data base to install and configure. Just great I say.
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no complicated data base to install and configure

 

Databases aren't that complicated once you learn how run one. I find having a database gives me much more flexibility on what I do with radio software. It also helps when you get software where the DB doesn't constantly crash like some software offerings on the market.

 

Not having a database just makes RB nothing more than a glorified music player!

My Blog https://djgarybaldy.blogspot.com

User of RadioDJ FREE radio playout software since 2010.

How to Install RadioDJ: https://djgarybaldy.blogspot.com/2020/08/how-to-install-radiodj-free-radio.html

RadioDJ is my most FAVOURITE piece of software EVER

 

 

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RadioBOSS architecture doesn't require an SQL database. It has its own integrated XML-style database engine and that's enough for operation

 

Having used tons of automation software I highly recommend RadioBoss if you want something thats very functional, has a nice interface, can easily set up complexed programming and is pretty easy to learn. I also highly rate Station Playlist, it has some functionality I prefer a little but the interface is a little "yesteryear" and its more tricky to get to grips with. For most people Radioboss does pretty much all you will need and does go on and on and on without issues!

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did i mention rivendell!

 

Lolyou can now install it fairly "easily" well its not winblows lol but you get the idea

 

its uptime record has never been beaten by ANY windows AUTOMATION program, ever!

Returning After 8 Years On Hiatus - 55 Minutes Commercial Free Every Hour

http://www.4321fun.com/parking/klnk/rsz_3slide01.jpg

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What the uptime record was?

 

@rsw - thanks!

 

hi there i dont have the "official" time, but i was told 5 years, without a crash, the reason they shut it down was to replace memory and a sound board that had failed, the machine was still going strong with the on air system at time of shutdown

Returning After 8 Years On Hiatus - 55 Minutes Commercial Free Every Hour

http://www.4321fun.com/parking/klnk/rsz_3slide01.jpg

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Here's what Johnny C says.

I have been using the free version of ZaraRadio for over 7 years. It has never crashed in all that time.

 

I used it for four years. It was only windows that bought Zara Free down.

 

I tried Rivendell on Xubuntu 12.04. It worked well, I liked it. I really don't want to have to import and convert my music most of which is mp3 at 320. I know wave are lossless and all that jazz. However! It's about at least fifty years since people grouped around a radio with it's HiFi speaker and actually listened to the radio. Today radio is a background noise in the home, shops, workplaces etc and ol' Charlie Horse out there listens to ipods and such through bud earphones and couldn't tell the difference between wave and a mp3. This mp3 hangup Rivendell seems to have is it's biggest drawback.

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Today radio is a background noise in the home, shops, workplaces etc and ol' Charlie Horse out there listens to ipods and such through bud earphones and couldn't tell the difference between wave and a mp3. This mp3 hangup Rivendell seems to have is it's biggest drawback.

 

Totally Agree, thats why our off air AUX feed to the web will only be 128K , anymore is UNNECESSARY, as for rivendell you do know it has a mpeg-2 function right, there is rumour in the rivendell groups someone made a version that was able to handle mp3, i never saw it though

 

RIvendell is now on version 2.8.2 and is mature

 

We use xubuntu 14.02

Returning After 8 Years On Hiatus - 55 Minutes Commercial Free Every Hour

http://www.4321fun.com/parking/klnk/rsz_3slide01.jpg

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