review

Station Playlist

Price: $218 (Studio $109.00 + Creator $109.00)

The key to a successful online radio station is to automate its tracks and functions so that it can broadcast 24 hours per day, seven days per week, without constant monitoring and intervention from an otherwise-busy administrator or broadcasting professional. A great way to do this is by ensiling the help of Station Playlist software, which comes in both Creator and Studio varieties to fully automate the operation of an online broadcast. Extensive playlist management and other controls are featured as part of the software, allowing streaming professionals to fine-tune the sound of their station. Combined with its relative ease of use, Station Playlist is a pretty strong option for most people in the industry.

Installation

Station Playlist has developed a pretty intuitive installation procedure for both of its major online broadcasting applications. They each install pretty quickly and with minimal input, though the user can set some options and settings for the application before the installer exits. That makes the installation process a bit more advanced, but still pretty manageable. Once the user has determined some application settings, as well as where they’d like to store the application files and where they’d like to place the application in the Start menu itself, the process will complete and the software can be automatically launched from within the installation software. Anyone who has ever installed a program to a Windows machine will find this to be quite painless.

User Interface

station playlist user interface Several broadcast automation software suites on the market have tried to play with fire and use interfaces which bypass the native Windows look. That might be fine, but it can cause some problems for more advanced users who want basic, hands-on access to product features. Station Playlist recognizes this and has created a native Windows interface which features a top bar of settings and controls (open or save files, edit tracks and song pacing, and other features), combined with a two-pane interface below those buttons which summarizes the current actions. In this interface, users can view things like tracks, categories, and other options. The Station Playlist Studio interface is relatively similar, but leaves behind the top menu bar of buttons and replaces it with a grid that allows the user to play, stop, or automate media, as well as insert new tracks or physical media into the broadcast stream itself. It couldn’t get easier than this, and that suits both the novice and advanced broadcast users quite well.

Ease of Use

As mentioned above, the company behind Station Playlist Creator and Studio has worked to make the interface of these applications exceedingly basic and straightforward. That contributes to an overall great user experience which will lend itself toward feature discovery and more advanced uses of the software over time. Using a tabbed, single-window interface in many instances allows the company to robustly present and explain even advanced fears like song beat-pacing controls and other automation features which more novice users might not initially understand or even use. Combined with the extremely basic and usable interface presented by the Station Playlist software, users will feel right at home from the moment they launch the application during the last screen of the installation procedure.

Documentation

Refreshingly, users of the software won’t have to go online to learn about its features if they don’t really want to. Unlike many competitors, Station Playlist installs its full series of help tools and documentation while the software itself is being placed onto the computer. This type of attention to detail, and acknowledgement that documentation and product support should always be natively included during the installation process, simply goes to show users that Station Playlist is a company that “gets it” in terms of usability and understanding

Advantages

The software comes with a basic interface that can adapt to both novice and advanced user needs, and it comes with innovative features like beat-pacing which can ensure that no two ballads or electronic songs follow each other in rapid succession. Its behind-the-scenes technology ensure that a radio station serves up a wide variety of tracks to listeners when the station’s operators can’t be around to make such decisions, and the media management and song file controls within the application lend themselves to a broad and diverse library of interesting tracks.

Disadvantages

There really aren’t very many cons associated with Station Playlist Creator and Studio at all.  If there is any con, it might be that the most advanced users will be let down by the simpler interface, but that’s highly unlikely in all but the most rare cases.  Although there are bundles the fact that you can’t just buy Station Playlist Studio and Station Playlist Creator as together without paying extra for support or extras makes the purchase unnecessarily complicated.

Summary

StudioPlaylist Studio is one of the best products currently on the market for online broadcast automation. It packs an easy-to-use interface, a straightforward installation process, and robust customer documentation, that simply cannot be surpassed by lesser competitors. Whether they’re new to the industry or advanced in their skill set, entertainers will appreciate what StudioPlaylist brings to the table.

Rating

A basic interface and the need for a double purchase aside, a solid automation software suite


 
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