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PostPosted: April 20th, 2017, 4:13 pm 
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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:
  1. Additional graphic format support added for album art and station logos (*.png)
  2. FLAC playback support!
  3. URL redirection support added.
  4. Allow DJ/Username in Icecast2 and SHOUTcast2 encoder configs
  5. AAC decoding support.
  6. M4A support added.
  7. Mac Edition
  8. Dual screen support.
  9. 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.

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We're offering custom PAL / PHP code and general SAM assistance at palscripts.com

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PostPosted: April 20th, 2017, 10:44 pm 
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Hi Masta !
From my side - there is nothing to add.
Except: If there was a voting "agree or disagree" i would vote AGREE with bold letters ! ! !

Btw - thank you for all your tirelessly great help here at the forum all the time...

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PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 4:29 am 
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Hi Benedikt,

I can confirm that SAM Broadcaster Pro remains in active development.

There are a couple of reasons it appears the focus is on SAM Broadcaster Cloud. Firstly, given all versions of SAM Broadcaster software have high levels of commonality, it would make sense to include SAM Cloud related features in SAM Broadcaster Pro and all other versions. Secondly, a large number of Pro customers now also have Cloud services and if we did not include these features in Pro, we would be doing these customers a disservice. You also have to accept that a feature provided for SAM Pro will almost certainly be also added to the other versions so it works both ways.

I know a number of customers have asked for a third deck but apart from this feature request, what other features would you like to see? We are happy to consider any feature requests and actively encourage this feedback. Our internal feature request log contains requests from customers and staff alike for all Spacial products. There are currently 106 feature requests for SAM Broadcaster Cloud, some of which are features for SAM Broadcaster Live-DJ which would then also be included with SAM Broadcaster Pro. In contrast, there are only 24 feature requests specifically for SAM Broadcaster Pro (remember these are requests from Spacial staff and customers). A couple of years back we asked customers in a poll on our social media, what new features they wanted. We implemented the top response. I don't believe anyone could submit 106 feature requests for SAM Broadcaster Pro as the software has been around for a long time and most of the features requested have already been incorporated.

If you have a list of features you would like considered then please let us have this. You can post this list here or send it as a support request to support@spacial.com. There are 25 pages of feature requests for SAM Broadcaster Pro in these forums since the beginning but only 6 requests so far this year. I like to think this means SAM Broadcaster Pro has almost every viable feature requested, already incorporated but this is just my personal opinion.

I would hope the following would also qualify as being useful for the stand-alone version:

-v2014.1 (16 April 2014) Upgraded Lame encoder to latest version
-v2014.1 (16 April 2014) Added Air Light Indicator Window
-v2014.3 (18 June 2014) Additional Screen layouts added for more modern resolutions
-v2017.1 (19 January 2017) Fixed Amazon Album Cover search (whilst this is a fix, it was necessary because of a change Amazon made)

I will happily give the first person to submit a feature request list containing 10 new and viable features (excluding the third deck which we are aware of and not including features already on the feature request board in this forum) a Spacial USB drive.

The Mac edition was a large (and expensive) project and unfortunately, shortly after release, Apple released their next operating system and we found SAM Broadcaster for Mac was not compatible with this latest OS. We could have restarted the development on a further Mac version but you might be surprised to learn that we had very few customers make use of this version and we could not justify the redevelopment of this, especially if Apple's further OS releases also required a complete new solution.

There is a $69 upgrade option available which will just provide you with 12-month's SAM Pro updates and does not include the Cloud service. As mentioned, there is cross-over within the development so I cannot say this money only goes in to further Pro development, just as I cannot say the revenue from the Cloud service is only paying for Cloud development.

I hope this addresses some of the points raised and if you have any specific points you would like addressed please let me know.


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PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 5:09 am 
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Scuba wrote:
Hi Masta !
From my side - there is nothing to add.
Except: If there was a voting "agree or disagree" i would vote AGREE with bold letters ! ! !

Btw - thank you for all your tirelessly great help here at the forum all the time...

As intriguing as it sounds to add a poll with agree and disagree options, I'd much rather prefer solid arguments (even if it's on just a small section).

justmathew wrote:
I hope this addresses some of the points raised and if you have any specific points you would like addressed please let me know.

Just skimmed through that post due to timely restrictions and lack of multitasking capability (I can't really eat lunch and think of long arguments at the same time).
I can accept the argument that SAM Pro and Cloud development profit from each other, never said the opposite.

justmathew wrote:
There are 25 pages of feature requests for SAM Broadcaster Pro in these forums since the beginning but only 6 requests so far this year.

How could that happen? - Oh, I know. Because noone finds the forums anymore :P
OK, you find the forums when looking for a SAM problem on Google/Bing/Yandex/Baidu, but the spacial.com website doesn't have a single link to these forums. I guess there could be some hidden ones from old blog posts or from within certain knowledge base articles, but if you go to the Spacial website and are looking for community support, you're lost. That's no problem for long-time users, but new people might not even know this forum even exists.
I guess that's why we see overall decline in posts: 1 post / week now as opposed to 3-4 posts/day back in the early 2010s.

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We're offering custom PAL / PHP code and general SAM assistance at palscripts.com

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Send "Now Playing" from SAM to Twitter and/or Facebook | Sourcecode


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PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 9:56 am 
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Mastacheata wrote:
OK, you find the forums when looking for a SAM problem on Google/Bing/Yandex/Baidu, but the spacial.com website doesn't have a single link to these forums.
That is absolutely not true.

Scroll down to the bottom of the Spacial website and a link to the Forum is under HELP CENTER.

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PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 4:47 pm 
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Oh, that footer still exists? After scrolling down 5-6 pages you can actually find it.
Yeah, I gotta admit this is my fault :(
It's not placed prominently, but it's still there and I just overlooked it. Sorry.

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We're offering custom PAL / PHP code and general SAM assistance at palscripts.com

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Send "Now Playing" from SAM to Twitter and/or Facebook | Sourcecode


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 12:38 am 
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Could it just be that SAM Broadcaster Pro already contains every feature required to stream an online radio station?

As mentioned, we have a small number of feature requests which we hope will add further value but out of these 24 feature requests, only 1 is from a customer, 21 are mine and the other two from a colleague. Some of the requests require major development time and some are less involved but I hope would still be found useful.

Is my offer of a Spacial USB drive for the first person to provide a list of 10 new and viable features a little harder than you might have thought? I can make this more interesting if you prefer, what about a free, 12-month Basic Subscription (you must already have an existing SAM Broadcaster Pro license), for the first person to provide a list of 10 new and viable features they would like to see incorporated into SAM Broadcaster Pro...


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 9:22 am 
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I have Sam Broadcaster Pro and Cloud.

In Sam Cloud you can make more then one Separation rule.

Some nice features.

1. To have more Separation Rules in Sam Broadcaster Pro, now is only one for all
2. Automatic restart Sam Broadcaster Pro when crash.


Best regard

Ron


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 10:02 am 
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justmathew wrote:
Is my offer of a Spacial USB drive for the first person to provide a list of 10 new and viable features a little harder than you might have thought?

It's not so much about coming up with 10 things, but about finding the time for coming up with the proper words and writing a post here.
Writing a post with 50-60 lines takes me about 1 hr until I'm happy with all the wordings. (20 minutes if I gotta do it in German)

Not sure if I can come up with 10. I'm not that involved with running whole stations anymore. As I'm a software developer, my ideas are mostly revolving around PAL.
  1. More sandboxing for PAL so it can't crash the main application (This is a well-known problem, but I can't remember anyone explicitly requesting it)
  2. Trigger external commands from PAL (Not sure if that
  3. Voice Tracking (Combine that with the next option if you want, just listing this seperately because you mentioned it yourself in the help file)
  4. Pre-Roll/Post-Roll files for specific songs (This is easy to handle in PAL, if you keep at least 1 track in queue, but if you don't you can't build a preroll unless you build it right into the actual track)
  5. (Voice-)Overlays (This is doable in PAL, but it's really hard and involves ~100 LoC)
  6. Bring back Streamads or something similar for smaller broadcasters (Apparently the Triton stuff is for terrestrial or huge stations mostly and works by inserting stuff into the stream at the server level whereas streamads did that one level earlier in SAM. Small broadcasters already have a hard time paying the royalties and you have that big player in the ad market on your back but don't make anything from it so it seems)
  7. UI-Translations (I think this was requested already, but I often get contacted by other German station "managers" on Facebook about explaining stuff. English is taught on all mandatory advanced schools here, but there are quite a whole bunch of people uncomfortable with english. This is probably even worse in France [SCNR, they're just reknown to ignore anything non-french], South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa)
  8. Planning in advance and exporting the "plan" for reuse at a later time without having to do the show and epxort the resulting audio into a single file
  9. Allow recording of a single show / timeframe. (You could do that by changing the encoder settings currently, but I'm not sure does that cause the encoder to restart or can you do that change "on the fly"?)
  10. HTTP Basic authentication support all over the place (i.e. in PAL WebTo[String|File] methods, encoders, etc)
  11. Fix the HTML templates config file to grab the correct (external) IP by default. (i.e. Make SAM do a web request to a spacial.com website that should reply with the extenral IP address of the caller as the website sees it)
  12. "Relay" external streams, but include the title. If you add an HTTP Stream (Shoutcast,Icecast,Windows Media, whatever) as a track it will report the title and artist as set in the library/database entry instead of the ever-changing title info from the "upstream" resource. I know this isn't easy as you can't exactly map the single "stream title" to whatever template variables the SAM user configured in their encoder, but this is really a PITA for years.
  13. Accessibility options (i.e. most notably scaling of text, you did a great job on that issue with the SAM Vibe platform)
  14. Up-to-date and thorough Documentation included with SAM (There is a User manual which can be found in the knowlegde base if you don't go there from SAM, but it only covers half of the topics the 2006 help file has. - http://supportdocs.spacial.com/SAM+Broa ... +Guide.pdf)
  15. At least repair the help website (https://spacial.com/help-center/?filter=sam-broadcaster is what opens when I click help in SAM Broadcaster 2017.3, but none of the buttons work and the sidebar is linking to dead sites only) or add a redirect to the "new" Help Center (the redirect doesn't work with the filter parameter as specified in SAM, if you remove that - http://spacial.com/help-center/ is redirected properly to http://support.spacial.com/hc/en-us/).
  16. Display Dedications from the PHPweb inside SAM (Haven't tried the cloud requests at all yet, does that have a dedication option as well)
  17. Allow Dedications via the Audiorealm Request proxy (Just like the songrequester.com project by Festerhead did)
  18. Change DJ mode via PAL
  19. Make SAM subwindows dockable / attachable to each other
  20. Add an option to "align windows to the grid" (Sorry, this is a free translation of the Windows option to align icons on your desktop. In German it's called "Symbole am Raster ausrichten")
  21. PAL: Breakpoints in the IDE
  22. PAL: Watch/inline evaluate variables
  23. On a side note: Improve the loading speed of the forums (seriously, it takes 9 seconds to load, there are 4 CSS and 3 JS files not found, some icon images take as long as 1.5 seconds to load for 500B, the cloudfront resources in the header take 400ms for 400KB alltogether)

I can probably come up with more if I revisit this thing in a week or so, but that's what I got within the last hour.

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We're offering custom PAL / PHP code and general SAM assistance at palscripts.com

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Send "Now Playing" from SAM to Twitter and/or Facebook | Sourcecode


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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 12:27 am 
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Many thanks for the list. We will discuss internally and add the feasible options to the roadmap. Your SAM Broadcaster Pro license is now valid for the latest version.


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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 3:24 pm 
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Thanks, would've done it without any reward as well, though.
Just couldn't get to it any earlier.

One thing I gotta ask though: Are these the real working hours at Spacial? 7am on Sunday morning in Germany must be around midnight in the US, right?
Either that or you must really like that job to work in your free time as well.

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We're offering custom PAL / PHP code and general SAM assistance at palscripts.com

My Project:
Send "Now Playing" from SAM to Twitter and/or Facebook | Sourcecode


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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 9:39 pm 
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Our normal working hours would equate to 1pm until 1am Monday through Friday in Germany but I do love my job...


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PostPosted: May 8th, 2017, 4:57 pm 
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Just curious to ask, if a third deck has been requested by users so often for an extensive period of time, just wondering the reluctance to add one? Would adding a third deck be a complete rewrite of the SAM BC code? A deck C would make mixing shorter items so much easier. :)

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PostPosted: May 8th, 2017, 10:24 pm 
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We believe this could be achieved with an Aux deck. We already have PAL scripts which play tracks, commercials, station IDs etc. through the Aux decks and one of the Aux decks could be used in place of a third deck.


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PostPosted: May 9th, 2017, 7:46 pm 
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1. If you manually add a song to the queue, a popup warning displays if the song violates the rules that you have applied to your station would be so handy. I asked about this a few years back, and I think it would be a game changer.

2. A window to display recent requests by day or week to have at the ready to collect data.

3. A way to have have album ids for various artist albums (soundtracks) to have the same number. I would prefer click on Metallica's albums that you can request from, click on the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack, and be able to see all songs listed on that album, not just theirs.

4. Have all of the windows lock into place. Kinda OCD-ish, but it would be nice.

5. Have windows automatically enlarge when you hover over them.

6. Add Sort By Ratings to the Sort By List

7. Add folders of songs rated 1-1.99, 2-2.99 and so forth.

8. Add pop up notifications when you open sam to see what activity has happened today (ratings, comments, etc.)

9. An automatic restart in case of crashes, complete with options to always have volume on our end off.

10. Instead of requested at the end of songs requested in the queue, have the song requested another color. Some of the songs are too long to tell if they are requested.


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