If you’ve ever dreamt about being a radio star, then why not make it happen? There are a number of simple tools available that let you broadcast yourself, and setting things up is easy. Our choice is a tool called Spreaker, an audio platform that lets you create, broadcast and share a radio show across the Internet.
You don’t need any special hardware, just an ordinary headset with a built-in microphone will do. To start, visit www.spreaker.com and sign up for a Spreaker account. When you do that, you can also follow the most popular users. Once you’ve signed up, you need to record a short introduction of yourself, and then just click publish to start your station.
Once that’s done, you need to start creating broadcasts. Visit Spreaker’s recording console, or upload a podcast from your computer. You can give a title to your episode and set up sharing options. You can add tags, descriptions and more by clicking the More Options button.
Once that’s done, click next, and then in the settings pop-up, click Allow to permit Adobe Flash to run. You should see the full console, which Spreaker calls the DeeJay Console.
This is the place where all the magic happens. The Broadcast LIVE! option is selected here by default but you can also switch between 24/7 non-stop mode (this mode requires “Station” plan for $119.99, or around Rs.6,515, per month and is not included in premium accounts that start from $39 per year) and the Podcast mode which records your show but is not live.
Starting a broadcast is very easy, just click on the Record button on the broadcast panel and your broadcast will be live online. Once you start a broadcast, you will then see a link at the top of the page which you can copy and share with anyone.
Using this link, anyone can tune in to your broadcast and enjoy your show. If you have already connected your Spreaker account with Facebook, then whenever you start a broadcast, you will be given an option to publish the broadcast on your Facebook page as well. This will notify your friends on Facebook about your new episode and will let them listen to your show.
The console also allows you to control the speech volume and cycle through different quality settings, which is useful in case you’re not on a great connection, and there are two deck panels on the console which let you add music tracks to your broadcast, so you can queue up songs, or add sound effects easily.
The two deck panels have individual volume controls as well, so you have some flexibility in preparing the audio mix.
A personal touch
If you have tracks on your playlist that you might want to play, then simply drag and drop the required track on either of the two deck panels. Once you play a track on any of the decks you will be able to see the song information and elapsed time at the top of the panel.
The console also has a chat feature built into it. Your Spreaker followers can chat with you during the broadcast. If you don’t want to chat with anyone but only make an announcement to your listeners, you can use the lock chat feature to do so.
A Sound FX panel also allows you to add sound effects to the broadcast, and Spreaker gives you a huge list of sounds you can add easily. Premium users can also add commercial breaks to their broadcasts; free users will have to time their breaks to the music!
Each broadcast runs for 30 minutes, but you can start as many 30-minute segments as you like, or you can buy a premium account for more time per segment.
Stopping the broadcast before the 30 minutes are over is simple too; just press the stop button in the console and it automatically saves your work and takes you to a Web page where you can edit details about the podcast, add categories or share the saved podcast. Once that’s done, the site takes you to your dashboard.
Manage your work
The dashboard is where you manage your shows and also where you upload music to the library, to use during the shows. As a free user, you get 10 hours of saved content, while the paid plans start from 100 hours. Since each show is half-an-hour long, this means you can only keep 20 shows at a time as a free user, and will have to delete older shows.
You can manage all your shows, music library and even sound effects through the dashboard, and you can also download older shows to your computer before you delete them to make space on Spreaker.
This is also where you follow other users; as one of the popular platforms of this kind, Spreaker has a huge number of active users who have regular radio shows. It’s easy to search for the kind of show you want, and then follow the person, so that you’ll receive a notification every time there’s a new episode to listen to. The dashboard also shows you a list of shows that are currently on air, so you can find something to listen to right away.
That’s all there is to it, so get started.
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