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Encoder StandAlone v's Built in


djgary72
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When it comes to Automation software on the market at the moment do you prefer a product that has encoding built in or do you prefer to use a standalone piece of encoding software such as BUTT/Altacast/Radiocaster?

 

I've tested several pices of standalone encoding software and most of them have performed OK. Wasn't over keen on BUTT or MBRecaster (free version). Couldn't test radiocaster properly due to the "Stream Encoded by Radiocaster" message over the stream every 15 minutes in the demo.

 

I know myself I now prefer to use a standalone encoder software such as Altacast as it just leaves RadioDJ to concentrate on working the rotations & music etc etc.

 

I find the standalone encoding products generally work better than the built in encoders on other pieces of automation software I've used.

 

I find them less CPU intensive and it saves a lot of hassle and they seem to hold up a lot longer than the built in ones.

 

Which do you prefer? Built in or Standalone?

 

(P.S: I don't want this turning into an argument)

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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My preference is to have it all built into 1 piece of software for the sake of "simplicity of operation". I feel that adding additional pieces of software and hardware just complicates something that doesn't need to be complicated it also make its more time consuming to diagnose a sound or connection issue.
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the ones I have tried which is a fair few! I prefer built in but at the end of the day 9 times out of 10 the encoder part is the part I have least problems with being able to program jingles and adverts accurately and bring in DJ's easily and also other networks.

Also isn't the encoder part mainly the same, the software coded as part of a package or software not coded as part of a package but run as a separate add on.

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Gary, I wanna split your question by making 2 answers

 

- If a streaming software is used (whatever type / name ...) than I prefer a build in encoder

- If an encoder is needed to stream content from a live studio by using the line in of the pc (so mixer out to pc line in - with USB or 3,5mm plug) than I should prefere a stand alone encoder

*** There excists a hardware tool made by Behringer to convert an analog signal (mixer) to a digital signal who is inserted by using an USB. That content is recognized by the encoder as line in

Visit and listen @ BW !

http://i.imgur.com/Ggmw4ub.gif

 

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I have never had a problem with my "built-in" encoders. I have yet to see one fail in any testing I have done, and they are no more CPU intensive than any standalone encoder to my knowledge. I simply provide a GUI to standard command-line encoders. Perhaps the ones you have tried worked different though.

 

As has already been mentioned, there are advantages to both. If your are already using software for playing your music, it only makes sense to me to have the encoders accessible from the same software. No need for additional windows to be open. But, if you are primarily using external equipment, a stand-alone solution may make more sense.

 

From a programmers perspective, including the encoder interface allows me to provide more options for what is and is not sent to the encoders in a manner similar to how an external mixer can control the volume levels of its various inputs. This also allows me to eliminate any other audio from the PC (such as beeps and blips from windows, messengers, email, etc.) being sent to the encoder.

 

That's my 2 cents on the topic. ;)

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The main reason i run a standalone encoder is the fact I need it to pick up the sound coming in from the mixer via the line in socket.

 

It picks the sound from my microphone up without the need for a microphone input button in the software. I always had bad latency issues with built in microphone buttons in software.

 

I also find it sounds a lot better with a standalone enocder..... Everyone does it their way & it's a case of whatever works for you I guess.

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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Everyone does it their way & it's a case of whatever works for you I guess.

Absolutely!

 

A lot of it also depends on the software in question and how it is configured. Having an auxiliary deck for example, allows the DJ to use external mixers. So, I can use an external mixer with one line coming from the PC, one from a microphone, and one from a telephone for example. The software can then be used to play the music out to the mixer, the mixer does its thing with mixing in the mic etc. and everything would run back into the line-in of the sound card which the Aux deck would be configured to pick up. It is then just a matter of setting the software to stream only the Aux decks to the encoder.

 

The latency issues have nothing to do with the built-in encoders themselves. That has more to do with the fact that the software uses the sound cards input for mic processing separate from the rest of the audio. It's the processing involved that causes this latency. There are lower latency processing options, such as using ASIO (or WASAPI) that promise to provide very low latency in Windows. That is something I will be testing soon in my software.

 

In the end though, this entire discussion is more about the type of mixing you are using (software vs. hardware) and less about the actual encoders since 99% of them (be it built-in or stand-alone) use the exact same encoding process if not the same exact encoder (see lame etc.). You are probably right in that using an external mixer may still be the best options for overall audio quality at this time. But, the options in software mixing is always improving and I, for one, am always looking for ways to improve mine. I don't think the difference is that big right now though.

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