- January 13, 2022 at 11:45 am #118960ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 563
I was just reading elsewhere that one should not use a radio automation computer for any other purpose.
I agree, but not for the reasons that were stated – potentially being infected with malware.
The risk of being infected with malware for the average Part 15 station is minimal, particularly if you run anti-virus software. That is, unless you really do have an uncle in Nigeria and are waiting for the e-mail that he’s passed away and left you his fortune. Or you regularly visit warez or porn sites. Or routinely download unknown software ‘just to try it’. In other words, if you use common sense.
No, the real reason is the rather poor multitasking abilities of Windows. When you’re playing and/or streaming music, you don’t want any glitches. When your automation software needs cycles, it really needs those cycles. If you’re running other broadcasting-related software (such as audio processing), then the problem is exacerbated.
Simply put, if you then start up a browser or some other software, Windows doesn’t always know to give the cycles to those programs that need them the most. Even if you’re running the latest and greatest computer, you can get glitches. You can mitigate the problem somewhat by running your primary automation software at a slightly higher priority, but that doesn’t always do the trick.
Windows 10 is supposedly better than previous versions, but I still notice huge slow downs starting up a new task when something else CPU intensive is also running – far more than what you’d expect.
Linux and OSX, based on UNIX, should be better, as they’re based on a true multiuser/preemptive multitasking O/S (UNIX). But again, nothing is perfect.
For the serious Part 15’er who goes to huge length to obtain pristine audio, why risk the integrity of the audio before it even gets over the air, or onto the Internet?January 13, 2022 at 1:25 pm #118964MarkModerator
Total posts : 711
I have an separate laptop for the broadcast computer. Never connected to the internet.
And another for the “regular” computer. The HP laptop has been running Play it Live for a couple of years now fine 24/7. A basic small 11.5″ laptop works great as the automation computer with Play it Live. Never on the internet also means no annoying updates which screw up the automated broadcast. Can’t have that!
I keep an extra new computer put away for back up in case the current one starts giving problems. All ready to go. Who knows how long this one can go on.
I guess if other things are running and it slows down the computer is where having a higher end processor comes in.
No I couldn’t use the same computer for the internet and other stuff as the broadcast one.January 13, 2022 at 5:32 pm #118965ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 563
Even a better processor doesn’t always compensate. Generally music skips occur when the cycles you need aren’t there at that moment due to something else running.January 16, 2022 at 5:49 am #118981timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 805
I have been an exclusive Apple MacIntosh user since my first computer decades ago. First one was probably 30 years ago. Most on the internet 24-7, even in the olden days we had a separate phone line at home so we could stay connected. Never have had a virus, etc. Never have had to have one repaired or taken to a shop for any reason. I give in and upgrade occasionally and all the old ones go in the attic because they still work fine and I can’t bring myself to dispose of something that works.
I use an old iMac to run my station. It’s at least 10 years old, probably more like 12 or more. It’s been running the station for 8 years now, with no crashes, no issues, never been off the air, running Mega-Seg software 24-7. I have never updated the computers system, nor the automation software (I don’t usually mess with things that are working perfectly). When first installed I did run a browser on it occasionally simply because I didn’t have another machine nearby and it was never an issue. Mega-Seg is designed to operate giving it preference over other software so playback always remains smooth. it is connected to the internet only because the hourly newscast is downloaded automatically to be played a few minutes later, which is all handled by the software.
I have no issues doing other things, like importing large batches of music, importing fresh commercials, loading pre-recorded programs which are later played back at their scheduled times, etc. When importing a bunch of music, for example, the Mega-Seg screen will “freeze” occasionally, but it hasn’t “crashed” it’s still running and the music continues to play flawlessly.
Presently in the studio I have 4 Macs, the iMac on air automation machine (probably 12 years old or more) an even OLDER iMac used for photo editing (letting me use old Adobe software without having to have their stupid subscription services that are forced upon us now) and also for converting videos (such as DVD;’s, VHS tapes, etc) to digital (the devices I use for this were outlawed in the USA years ago due to copyright laws so newer computers won’t run their software as it’s not updated for newer systems and the interface boxes don’t work with modern machines, a couple year old iMac over on the analog side where the turntables and mixer are where I produce The Oompah Hour among other programs – this one is exclusively used for the internet, and a MacBook Pro used for producing commercials and doing outside voice over work on the other side of the room with it’s own mixer and other studio equipment.
Never an issue with any of these. Down in my office where I am now I have a large iMac, probably 5 years old now, and at work I refuse to use the PC’s they provide, so I buy my own iMac to use in my office at work. It integrates perfectly on the network at work and interacts with everyone’s PC’s just fine.
I’m sure there are plenty of PC people with no viruses or issues too, but based on the constant replacing of computers, monitors, and trips for virus removal and issues with weekly updates that all the PC’s have at work, I sure wouldn’t own one myself on purpose.
TIBJanuary 17, 2022 at 3:18 pm #118991RFCCRadioAudioParticipant
Total posts : 36
My home Part 15 automation chain consists of a Dell Inspiron 530 tower with Windows Vista installed, one of my many all-in-one USB audio mixer/interfaces or a USB audio interface connected to a separate audio mixer, a microphone and headphones. Most of the time all the gear is from the same brand (otherwise just the mic and headphones are the same brand) and my Spitfire AM transmitter.
For my on site Part 15 game broadcasts, I use a Sony digital audio recorder with about a dozen or so songs loaded in the music folder for between games, two sets of Sony microphones and headphones (one for me, the other as a solo backup or for interviews), a Sony mixer for the microphones and my Scosche FMTD10 that receives the audio from the output of the recorder.
For recorded programming, I use a Dell Latitude laptop (of which I have several), a USB audio mixer/interface or USB interface with separate mixer as noted above, microphone and headphones (as noted above, I try to have all audio gear come from the same brand if possible) and I upload finished files to Soundcloud (non-sports) or Mixcloud (only sports).
Long story short, I don’t need the internet for live or automated broadcasts, but I do need the internet to “air” recorded content, which is where most of my audience lies. As far as viruses go, there was one I caught a while back and just switched out the infected laptop that lost all personal data to the virus with another one and cut back on browsing websites that bring up multiple pop-ups. No problems since.
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