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PostPosted: May 29th, 2020, 7:46 pm 
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Oh well, I open this forum, and what do you know, seven posts down, another request for this feature.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=23090

but anyway, my reasons for coming here today is pretty much to set the record on this deck request feature once and for all, SPACIAL ARE NOT GOING TO ADD ANYMORE DECKS, Shifting heaven and earth ain't gonna move 'em, spacial are as hard as a truck sized boulder.

I've seen this feature request often on this board, but haven't seen any conclusive evidence of somebody actually taking it up with spacial. Not saying that in a bad way, I know talking to these companies can be impersonal and downright infuriating, well that's how I found my experience with Spacial last week.

I'm not going to embellish, colourise, or twist anything around, I'm putting it down exactly from the horses mouth. I'm even sure posting an email exchange can be viewed in pour taste on any forum, but this exchange with Spacial was so pathetic, that from me anyway, they have lost all forms of respect.

I'll be using my copy of Sam Broadcaster for the time being, but when I can get either Native Instruments Traktor or Gary's RADIO DJ working (seems to have database connection issues at my end), I'll be happily jumping the Sam Broadcaster wagon. The best way to describe SAM is poison candy, it's soooo good, but getting to the heart of it reveals a rather nasty toxin, the lack of a third and fourth deck.

So anyway, here it is, the complete support ticket, warts and all.



Opening message of ticket to Spacial support:

Hi,

This is Chris here from Xxxxxxxxx Australia, I purchased Sam Broadcaster Pro 2016.4 several years ago, and it has enabled me to upgrade to 2017.10 free of charge. I believe the free upgrade cycle ends 12 months after purchase.

My main issue of writing today, and I would not by far to be the only person with such a gripe is your companies reluctance for upgrading the software in the capacity of having "FOUR" play out decks (and this is still after 10 plus years of users asking). Unbelievably it still only has two decks (A and B), which often is a problem with short promos and IDs when operating the software in auto DJ mode.

My second gripe is also the softwares inability to have a "DARK MODE", studio conditions are often dark with low lighting, and the bright white background of the Sam Broadcaster interface is very tiring on the eyes.

So in the end, with no "Deck C and Deck D", and the lack of a dark mode, I find it incredibly difficult to find the motivation to upgrade. Without any progress on these issues, I find myself looking at other applications such as Native Instruments Traktor and RADIO DJ. Both softwares seem to be more functional then SAM Broadcaster, however at the expense of interfaces that are ruther cluttered and complicated. I guess when the frustration of not having the deck C and D becomes so much, the necessity will over-ride to take the learning curve to switch.

I hope these issues can be addressed in the immediate term.

Thanks

Chris



==============================================================


Hi Chris

Thank you for contacting Spacial Technical and Sales Support services.

I have escalated your request to the Customer Service Manager who will contact you shortly.

Regards,

Jasrah
Support Specialist

==============================================================

Hi Chris

Your ticket has been escalated for my attention.

About 4-years back we held a poll on social media asking customers what feature they would most like to see implemented out of a list of popular suggestions. The most requested item was FLAC support which was implemented whilst an additional deck was included in the options, it was not selected by our customers. We do not understand why anyone would want any additional decks, we have Deck A, Deck B and 3-auxillary decks which can be used for the short promos and IDs you refer to, this gives 5-working decks, one more than the four you refer to. We also have PAL scripts which facilitate this type of feature:

https://support.spacial.com/hc/en-us/ar ... h-Aux-Deck
https://support.spacial.com/hc/en-us/ar ... -Aux1-Deck

It is not possible to skin SAM Broadcaster however version 2018.8 saw the introduction of the option to change the background color or even replace this with an image. Whilst this is not a perfect solution to tired eyes, it does enable the customer to use a dark background which will reduce some of the glare, especially when you make use of the dual screen mode to spread the individual components over two monitors.

The changelog is available here:

http://download.spacial.com/changelog/s ... gelog.html

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager


=================================================================

Hi mathew, thankx for your repsponse, but I have to strongly disagree;

You nnote that you don't understand why any user would want five decks; I think the clarity of what I'm and others were asking for has been lost here.

Sam currently has TWO active decks (A and B), and whatever other decks are inside the software; AUX1 and AUX2 are manual decks, and are operable only by manual engagement, and do not work in an auto DJ environment.

This is unless, as you've pointed out, the user programs in a series of scripts, which I do have a basic knowledge of, however as noted on the pages you've linked to, they are several variables. This is good on one hand, as it lets the end user custom control how they want the item to be played, but yet conversely, the complex nature of compiling such scripts makes the performance of a simple task (in my case, inserting an ID rather unnecessarily difficult.

If per your servey which you noted that no one wanted the extra decks, I'm extremely surprised, as on the Spacial support forum which I often contributed to under the username "xottery), the request was made by several users.

As to what I can interpret by your reply, I do believe what I'm asking for can be done, but with much difficulty with trial and error, but I would have expected for software that costs the amount that it does, that at least they would have been an easier option available, as in deck c and d.

Reluctantly I would (without offence) have to admit that my confidence of getting such a feature is not very good, which will lead me down to exploring these scripts. I think with some help from the spacial forum, I may find what I'm looking for.

However as noted, in light of how things stand, I'm still finding no real motivation to upgrade unless the two features I've noted above are fully implemented.

Chris

===============================================================

Hi Mathew,

Through further searching, I've found this thread on the spacial board, it clearly shows the complete disconnect of those who oppose or don't know what a Deck C and D would achieve, and the needs of those who want the extra decks. This coupled with the response I've received this morning is not all that encouraging, and it's only further reasoning why I don't feel any need to upgrade, or more the necessity for looking into other applications. I don't know why the strong reluctance / defiant stand as such a feature can only improve your product.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=31560


=============================================================

Hi Chris

Would it be fair to say, you would like a third deck to play overlays during the fade between tracks?

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager


==============================================================


Hi Mathew, looking further into this, the common issue I see in the spacial
thread, which matches my issue which goes in this order.

DECK A - is fading out a track.

DECK B - is triggered with the next item, in this case an ID

DECK A - is still occupied with fading the previous track, and is still not
available for loading the next track.

Wile this is happening, there is a long silence until the track in DECK A has
finished, and then when Deck A finally becomes available, the next track loads
and starts playing.

With a deck C, the sequence of events would happen like this:

Deck A - is fading out a track.

Deck B - is triggered with the next item, in this case an ID.

Though Deck A is still occupied with the previous fading song, Sam Broadcaster
no longer has to wait for Deck A to become available, as now it has the use of
Deck C.

So then the final outcome is when the promo on Deck B has finished playing, the
item on Deck C starts immediately.

I think the thing we are getting lost here is that you are talking about
overlaying a promo OVER a song, wile the rest of us on the forum are talking
about SEQUENCING the items as in song, ID, song, song, ID, song, and etc.



===============================================================


Hi Chris

I can assure you I understand the issue however, I do not understand how a short track could cause this issue if it is not being played as an overlay. If the cue points are set for each track then this should negate the issue of the deck not being available. If you are manually DJing then you could easily use either of the three Aux decks to achieve the required output. If you are using your auto-DJ options then a short PAL script to determine whether the next track in the queue is of a specific category or of a certain length would enable the script to play the track through one of the aux decks. You refer to a long silence but the gap killer and correctly set cue points would prevent any silence.

The following PAL script will check the queue and if the next track is a Station ID, it will play it in Aux Deck 1. I appreciate that without additional code to check for the end of the currently playing track, this script will instantly play the station ID but this is I believe, a good starting point to develop the full script from. The rest of the code required can be found in various demonstration scripts from the PAL Scripting section within our Help Center.
var Player3 : TPlayer = aux1;var NextSong : TSongInfo;PAL.Loop := True;NextSong := Queue.NextInQueue;if (NextSong=nil) then WriteLn('Queue is empty') else begin if NextSong['songtype'] = 'I' then Player3.QueueSong(NextSong); Player3.Play;end;NextSong.Free;PAL.WaitForPlayCount(1);With 6 decks (if you include the track info player), we currently have no plans to add further decks and I am sorry if this is not the result you hoped for.

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager


==============================================================

Sorry Mathew, I'm truly not trying to be difficult, but I still think there is quite a disconnect in what we are discussing here, the first of which is we're talking about Auto DJ, not live.

I can understand the concept of your script, but the nature of IDs and Promos
are of all different timings, meaning that different scripts (with different
timing parameters) have to be made for each set of promos.

The second (with respect), can we please "get the overlay" things out of the
equation at the moment, because it's completely irrelavent. You are talking about overlaying something over something else, which is NOT the point, and which is leading to the confusion and disconnect in what we are discussing here.

To clarify, what others on the board want (including I) is Sam Broadcaster being able to play item 1 (whether that be a song / an ID / a humour trip / a pre-recorded announcement / whatever), as item 1 fades, item 2 seamlessly kicks in over the fade of item 1. Then when item 2 is fading, item 3 seamlessly begins over the fade of item 2. When Item 3 fades, item 4 begins seamlessly over the end of item 3.

All this would happen, because with four "active", emphasis on "active" decks available "not" Aux, Sam's workflow for allocating decks would be so much smoother and coherent. So it's important to say that Sam does not have five decks, it's got two active decks and three aux decks. Changing two of those AUX decks in to active C and D decks would resolve these issues.

As noted several times in that thread, AUX decks are not the same as the A and
B decks, this is why there is so much frustration.

Lack of deck C and D



============================================================


Hi Chris

With respect, you state you are not referring to an overlay but your words say otherwise although perhaps not in a traditional sense. You state "DECK A - is still occupied with fading the previous track, and is still not available for loading the next track." This would indicate the following track was played over the end of the playing track which is by its very definition, an overlay, especially when you also state "DECK A - is still occupied with fading the previous track, and is still not
available for loading the next track." The short track has overlayed the tail of the out-going track and your examples appear to indicate that Deck A is still fading the current track even after the subsequent short track has played. In this scenario, the next track would automatically play in Deck B.

Unfortunately, this was not the most popular choice in the poll we ran and we have no plans to add a further deck.

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager


============================================================


Hi Crhis

We have not had any update or contact from you regarding your support ticket, therefore, I am closing the call however, if you believe there is still a problem, please respond to this email and your ticket will be reopened.

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager

==============================================================


Hi Mathew,

Within the last post I was referring to a mix over between tracks, rather then
a voice over, over the intro of a song, which is what you were referring to.
Somehow this seems to have got convoluted, I think I know how, but I'll move on....

Anyway, I'm feeling a very strong, if not formidable push back, which more than disappointing, is for me at least has become very infuriating and unpleasant. What's so unfortunate about this situation is that SAM Broadcaster is a fantastic piece of software, however the push back you guys put up for any suggestions, for us customers is very exhausting and negative to deal with.

Within this case, I feel that I've crossed into some kind of forbidden zone , particularly when I get responses like: "we have no plans to add a further deck", it comes across as such a defiant stance and stubborn.

Your company took some rather "obscure" social pole that had a rather
insignificant amount of people involved, and the way you're communicating this seems to be the be all and end alls to your customer engagement. Repetitively referring to such an outdated survey during the course of a client interaction is just straight up annoying.

I've have just come back from an eye checkup from Sydney's eye hospital, and am facing the diagnoses that with my glaucoma, I could loose my site within the next six months, Coming back to this was perhaps not the best way of ending my day. So I'm moving on, I don't have the strength anymore to push this heavy boulder.



=============================================================



Hi Chris

We sent out details about the poll in a newsletter which goes out to 285,000 recipients. I can assure you this was not an obscure poll.

Regards,

Mathew Coomber
Customer Service Manager


============================================================



You can close the ticket, feel like I'm preaching to the converted.

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PostPosted: May 30th, 2020, 8:32 pm 
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At first he's definitely misunderstanding you.
Later, though, he points out a valid misconception: Technically there's no difference between a voiceOver and crossfading 2 tracks. In the end there's 2 tracks playing at the very same time. It's just that both require different solutions. (i.e.: the aux deck is not a solution to your problem, but would work well for an intro/outro voiceover)

If you turn off crossfading, everything will work smoothly. If the crossfade time is longer than the following tracks total time, you run into problems.

It seems like mathew even acknowledges the problem, but doesn't want to fix it.

The issue about the poll is that it was held on the forums: The forum requires you to sign up for an account, though. Basically only people that were already active on the forums participated in the poll.

The request for this feature was voiced by maybe a dozen people over the course of 15 years. I have sincere doubts that many of them were active at the same time and when the poll was held.
I guess if all of the people who requested the feature would've voted for it, it could've easily made first place.
That didn't happen and the other features on the list were much easier to understand and would appeal to a wider audience.

If Spacial ever does another poll, I would strongly suggest using some polling software that doesn't require signing up for a forum first. The conversion rate from newsletters is incredibly bad and if you put a registration step in front of the poll, you'll lose almost all of the remaining people.

To sum it up: The feature would be useful to people that have very short liners/IDs or very long X-Fade times. That's an edge case when considering the whole user base of SAM.
And then there's the typical Spacial stance on useful core features: They don't build those anymore. Instead they focus on minor UI improvements. They don't even keep their lesser used software parts up to date. (See PHP7.4 incompatibility of the PHP templates, MySQL problems with the backup feature, SAMReporter using very outdated embedded versions of PHP5.0 or 4.x, ...)

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PostPosted: May 31st, 2020, 3:19 am 
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Mastacheata, what was so pathetic about his communication was taking a firm stance, and not engaging at all with not so much me, but with a client. I suppose I could take some blame too for this, maybe I could have communicated a bit better, but if the guy was more open about the strong hesitation on implementing the decks (rewriting the program language, or maybe there is too much clutter of other features) maybe then as partners (that's how a business representative and a client should engage), then a solution may have been sorted.

For example, if the guy elaborated on that it would have been more work in rewriting portions of the Sam Broadcaster programming language, than I would have been open for paying an extra $100 for a "gold" version or enterprise version of sam. Even $200. Maybe if they were too many features cluttering the program, then maybe just swapping something over may have also been a solution. I kind of hinted at that with the AUX decks, in suggesting to swap out the AUX decks for actual active decks, but he just completely refused.

On spacial's behalf, this was a major FAIL in client communications, it might hopefully cause spacial to reflect on this experience, though honestly I HIGHLY doubt it. In the end, the guy gave absolutely NO GROUND, not a millimetre, and that's what made me so angry. If Spacial want to keep pissing off their clients, then go ahead and keep up that defiant obnoxious attitude stance, but hoping some higher up the corporate totem pole will see this and make some changes to the culture that's currently driving Spacial.

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PostPosted: June 2nd, 2020, 5:26 pm 
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xottery wrote:
On spacial's behalf, this was a major FAIL in client communications, it might hopefully cause spacial to reflect on this experience, though honestly I HIGHLY doubt it.

AFAIK inside the Spacial company, mathew is as high as it gets. Next level is the management of Ando Media (Spacial's parent company), but it seems like they have no real interest in Spacial or any of it's products. (I mean they're one of the biggest players in radio advertising software and all they did in terms of radio advertising was kill all Spacial products that had anything to do with that)

Quote:
On spacial's behalf, this was a major FAIL in client communications, it might hopefully cause spacial to reflect on this experience, though honestly I HIGHLY doubt it. In the end, the guy gave absolutely NO GROUND, not a millimetre, and that's what made me so angry.

That's what I get from their communications all the time. They're not even looking for a compromise. Anything that's not on their roadmap is of no interest and that's it.

In this case I can understand why he struggled understanding the problem at first, but I'm completely on your side when it comes to how he delivered that and the absence of any compromise.

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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2020, 1:39 am 
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Mastacheata wrote:
In this case I can understand why he struggled understanding the problem at first, but I'm completely on your side when it comes to how he delivered that and the absence of any compromise.


Thanx for the thumbs up, that's truly appreciated. I know the exchange got somewhat mixed up, but I thought at first it may have been all part and parcel of people clarifying their positions. But toward the end, when my earlier suspitions of him not giving anything became more obvious, that's when I thought I'd be frank and be done with it. Again sad it had to end this way. Again my final thoughts on SAM Broadcaster, pretty much a glorified windows media player for the amount of money paid. Well, at least I got about four years use out of this last version, and about seven out of the previous 422.

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PostPosted: August 31st, 2020, 4:05 pm 
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Quote:
Hi Mark,

You asked, and we listened! We are pleased to announce the long-awaited arrival of geo-blocking


i nearly fell off my chair this morning when getting this email ;P

You guys are an absolute joke sending me this rubbish. I asked and you got as stroppy as hell, so do me a favour and go and jump in the lake.

PS - To the contributors on here, I'm not talking about you guys who have been helpful, I'm talking to the absolute clueless clowns who run spacial.

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PostPosted: September 1st, 2020, 3:12 am 
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Please be aware that nothing in that newsletter referred to the Desktop/Installable SAM Broadcaster.

The Deck C feature was very strictly declined by a Spacial employee. More complaining about it won't help. They'll not add that feature and don't understand it in the first place.

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PostPosted: September 1st, 2020, 6:13 am 
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I know, I know, just got this 6:45 this morning first thing after breakfast, and just wanted to vent.

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2020, 7:54 am 
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Gotcha. I was flabbergasted by WHAT they actually announced as well.
I know that in theory you need to perform geoblocking to comply with at least the regulations of US Broadcast royalties, but they worded it as if this was a good thing everyone would really like, when actually it's just a horrible way to get around paying shitloads of money ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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