The team behind DRS 2006 has packaged their software into a self-installing executable file. This means that, upon extracting the downloaded ZIP file from the company’s website, an installation application will automatically launch and provide configuration preferences. Essentially, users have the ability customize the user directory and change how the software is placed into the Windows “Start” menu; beyond that, any customizations must be made in the application itself. This is pretty standard, and its nice to see an application which saves the configurations for when the new program is actually launched. Unfortunately, the app can’t be launched from within the installer. Users will need to navigate to the Start menu in order to take their first peek at DRS 2006.
For those streaming broadcasters who are familiar with legacy versions of the WinAmp software, DRS 2006 will look a bit familiar. The company has taken the same approach as that media player institution, bypassing the traditional Windows application interface and instead employing a custom skin to the entire piece of software. it works reasonably well, as the matte black interface is relatively simple. Upon first launch, broadcasters will be presented with a panel which will lead them to each group of the DRS 2006 settings and streaming configuration options, as well as mixers and other audio adjustments.
Ease of Use
Each of the individual panels within DRS 2006 is pretty intuitive and easy to use. In fact, this might be one of the more usable broadcasting solutions available to Windows consumers. The software offers a great mixer, which it calls the Broadcast Processor, and bundles extensive playlist and stream quality management controls that can all be accessed with a signal click.
DRS 2006 packs some basic instruction manuals as part of its installation process, and they’re integrated into the built-in Windows Help and Support application that comes with every installation of the operating system. Beyond the installed documentation, users of the software can find product manuals and video-recorded demonstrations of the software’s features on the company’s website. That website also plays host to a so-called “Radio Forum” full of enterprising broadcasters who discuss the industry’s latest trends and the software’s specific features and deployments. This user-to-user support solution is invaluable, especially for the hands-on, do-it-yourself style of learning which is encouraged by such a discussion forum.
Undoubtedly, the biggest asset that DRS 2006 has for those who choose to download and buy the software is its unique interface and straightforward operation. The all-black options panel is a unique approach, and it’s one which compartmentalizes controls and makes them easier to learn in a systematic, click-by-click way. The sticker shock of having to learn a new application is certainly reduced by using this approach.
On the other hand, the company sometimes seems to compromise the robustness of its features in the name of usability. Sure, there are plenty of ways to manage an audio stream within the application, and its playlist management features are on par with any of its competitors, but things do feel a bit too “dumbed down” for more advanced streaming customers. They might prefer a more professional, advanced solution, instead of the more novice-targeted DRS 2006.
Those internet broadcasters who are new to the field and haven’t used a software application to further their success will find that DRS 2006 is everything they’re looking for. It’s easy to use, it has a unique and intuitive interface, and it installs quite easily. The support resources available to users of the software are invaluable and robust, another sign that the company is sensitive to the concerns of novice broadcasters.
Internet broadcasters with a bit more experience in the art of entertaining listeners will probably find that the software is a bit too refined and restrained, and they might not enjoy the compartmentalized set of features that DRS 2006 ships with. For those customers, a more traditional and advanced solution is probably the best way to maintain a successful online audio stream.
Overall, a great solution for novice broadcasters