Review

Radio Boss

Price: $199.95

While online broadcasting has quickly become one of the largest niches in the entertainment industry, it’s important to remember that terrestrial broadcasters remain an integral part of the broadcast entertainment mix. All too often, software solutions cater almost exclusively to the online broadcaster’s streaming audio desires, completely ignoring more traditional uses. That is simply not the case with RadioBOSS, an easy-to-use software application which provides a well-rounded mix of both online and offline broadcasting features and settings to users. The software is relatively easy to use, comes with a straightforward interface, and promotes an easy installation routine. It’s the best way for broadcasters of all experience levels to improve the quality and flexibility of their feeds.

Installation

Luckily, the process of actually installing an application within Windows has only gotten easier as Microsoft has released new versions of the world’s most popular operating system. That is certainly true with RadioBOSS, which promotes an easy and straightforward installation routine that saves users from making hard decisions regarding settings, preferences, or overall operation of the application.  Instead, they’ll simply click through a few screens asking for file locations and Start menu preferences; after that, the software will automatically install and promote a link to automatically launch RadioBOSS for the first time. This is the Windows standard, and it’s nice to see a piece of software so effectively meeting that standard.

Interface

radioboss interface Broadcasting software solutions are, at times, notoriously complex. The one thing which truly unites the industry is that there is no real interface standard when it comes to developing a solution which can blend and crossfade streams, promote the mixing of audio feeds, and reach out to new subscribers.  RadioBOSS does a pretty good job of employing what the company believes is an easy-to-use interface.  The elements within the program are Windows-native, meaning no surprise interface elements will have to be learned by the end user. Functionality buttons lie at the top of the software, with a multi-pane interface below that adapts to the user’s current task.

Ease Of Use

Between the functionality buttons and the more informative file and document panes, RadioBOSS includes status monitors which show the current status of a broadcast, online feed, or any current crossfading or audio mixing going on. This setup is the perfect way to keep the user informed as to the software’s operation while they make adjustments to better meet their audience’s needs. Given the large number of features, including the ability to mix traditional MP3 files with pre-existing online streams, this is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Documentation

Extensive software documentation is included with RadioBOSS when it is downloaded and installed. Additional support manuals tutorials can be found on the company’s website, as can a live chat solution for customers who need to speak with a representative. The company also maintains ICQ and email-based support channels; a discussion forum is hosted for user-to-user interaction. Overall, RadioBOSS seems rather dedicated to customer service and support, and that’s a great thing.

Advantages

Radio Boss features are indeed quite advanced and robust. Those broadcasters who select RadioBOSS as their application of choice will enjoy compatibility with both ShoutCast v1 and ShoutCast v2, as well as IceCast compatibility. The software can be used to broadcast online, create a traditional terrestrial broadcast, or create in-store audio solutions for retail outlets. It can mix physical audio files with online streams, and it can employ an advanced scheduling feature to keep a stream online at all hours of the day or night. The RadioBOSS software is also compatible with FTP submission of song information and meta data, making it possible to not only broadcast to users but also to inform of them of the exact artist, song, and album, which is currently playing over their stereo or earbuds. Finally, a major benefit to choosing the RadioBOSS software is that the company behind it has been developing for the broadcasting world for the past seven years consecutively. Their experience lends itself to the quick embrace of new trends and technologies among broadcasters.

Disdvantages

That said, while the software’s settings and preference panes are relatively modern-looking and updated, users will find that the main interface actually looks pretty old-fashioned. It’s certainly easy to use, but it could be made just a bit more intuitive by invoking the display routines and interface guides set forth in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Failure to do this makes the software appear archaic, even if some of its features meet and surpass the broadcasting industry’s standards.

Summary

RadioBOSS is one of the few solutions which can mix traditional broadcasting with digital streaming formats. That puts it far ahead of many of its competitors, and it makes the software a common-sense solution for the community at large. Combined with its embrace of meta data, online stream mixing, and advanced scheduling features, the RadioBOSS software should be considered a strong contender for anyone looking to broadcast their message to the world.

Rating

Overall, a robust solution for diverse broadcasting needs

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