Not sure if anyone from Spacial is actually still reading the forums regularly (as in check out every thread posted here).
Occasionally (once every other year for a day or two) you see someone from Spacial turn up here and go on a reply spree, but then it gets silent again.
I'm really wondering wether SAM Broadcaster (PRO/Studio) is still a first-class citizen in the Spacial Product portfolio or if it's just something they would like to drop at the soonest possible moment.
To me it looks like they're just living off the past fame of SAM Broadcaster and try to squeeze out the last dollar from that software before finally sending it to the eternal fires.
To back up my feelings of no change at all happening anymore to the standalone SAMBC versions, I went through the changelogs as of version 2013.0 (That's when they promised the subscription model would be good for everyone because it meant more features could be implemented when there's a steady flow of income)
Surprisingly enough, I found 9 changes related to new stuff useful for the standalone SAMBC version:
- Additional graphic format support added for album art and station logos (*.png)
- FLAC playback support!
- URL redirection support added.
- Allow DJ/Username in Icecast2 and SHOUTcast2 encoder configs
- AAC decoding support.
- M4A support added.
- Mac Edition
- Dual screen support.
- New Jingles & Drops window.
At first glance that's more than I expected or remembered, but on a second and third look I ask myself what of these changes really mattered.
New Audio and Image formats are great and welcome, so is supporting new features of the most-widely used Streaming servers. Noting M4A support as a feature and not a bugfix to the AAC support from a few versions earlier is also strange.
Then there's the Mac edition. Does anyone know if that made it through 2015? The Spacial website doesn't mention it with a single word (anymore).
But now let's compare this number of 9 features or 2 features / year to the full changelist of 180 changes in 4 years.
We already got the 9 features for standalone SAM, fixing bugs is the other big thing to do in active support and that made up for 66 changes.
The next biggest part is the maintenance changes like updating the copyright notice or activation systems and improving background stuff. (Some of that might actually be useful to standalone users)
That's all not too bad (ok, 66 bugs in 4 years found in parts of the software that haven't changed since the early 2000s is bad, but at least they fix it one at a time).
But having a stunning 44 changes related to SAM Vibe/Cloud that's actually meant to be used on it's own shows where the focus goes.
I'm fine with the two coexisting and paying 300$ for SAM Pro seems worth it to me. The 100$ upgrade fee is what nags me most, because apparently that money doesn't flow into SAM Pro development but rather into the SAM Vibe SaaS platform. Paying for a Vibe station gives me a free SAM Broadcaster version to use with that station exclusively, but paying for SAM Pro upgrades doesn't really yield any benefits when NOT running on SAM Vibe.
What I also always wondered about: Neither SAM Pro nor SAM Vibe has any form of ad insertion mechanisms (anymore), despite the company being owned by one of the big players in that business. That seemed like an obvious move back in the day, but there doesn't seem to be any form of knowledge transfert between the parent company and Spacial.
Feel free to bundle your own experiences and comments on the "state of the union" here as well.
I'll send this rant to Spacial helpdesk as well and maybe we'll get some light on the future of SAM Pro or at least some perspective from the company.
I'm also wondering if this going down of SAM Pro is connected to Louis and Jay having left the company last year.