Simian 2.0 Lite starts at $499; Simian 2.0 Pro comes in at $1,499.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. Simian 2.0 from Broadcast Software International (BSI) will make your life way easier than it used to be.
The list of features is huge, but first things first is the price. Simian 2.0 Lite starts off at what I feel is a reasonably cheap $499. This will get users on their feet with professional-grade broadcasting software.
One year of tech support and satellite automation programming, among other features, will bump users up to Simian 2.0 Pro, coming in at $1,499.
This program is sweet and has saved me tons of time. It offers great log-building capabilities included with the software. But if you already have third-party log generating software don’t fret. It won’t be an issue because Simian will accept most log creators.
Once a user has made a complete log with no errors, it can be imported and there you will have a broadcast running flawlessly. It is easy to chain program logs together at any point in the day-log to have Simian start the new log. Staff can be home for the holidays and not be off the air. That means making employees happy and sponsors happy. And when your sponsors are happy, you make money.
Event Builder, aka “the event construction kit,” is a powerful instrument that lets you find any file from the Simian database, from macros to your audio files.
If you access the audio tab on the Event Builder, it displays the database that the SoundHound application maintains. This unique tool runs in the background and keeps an eye on the station’s audio files, searching for any changes that might occur. The app then automatically updates Simian to keep your audio files up to date.
Simian also has some great add-ons and apps for no additional cost, including a voice-tracking feature. For stations streaming or looking to get into streaming, Simian can help. With Simian 2.0, users can stream artist and title data to the new and greatest streaming encoders, e.g., WME, icecast, SHOUTcast, SimpleCast.
For an automation suite to perform properly, sufficient and compatible hardware is needed, so let’s go over some of the basic equipment needed.
BSI offers a turnkey system, tower or rackmounted, with a three-year warranty. If your station wants to go the budget-friendly route and build its own, make sure you start with a case with RF shielding and name-brand RAM memory that the motherboard recommends (BSI recommends 512 MB but their systems come with 2 GB).
Make sure to install and use the computer’s hard drive for your audio files, and not a network storage location; file servers are not recommended. At least two hard drives should be used (one at least 80 GB for the Simian operating system and another of at least 250 GB for 5,000 songs). Hard drives should be SATA rather than IDE to limit latency issues.
BSI recommends AudioScience 6xxx series card to enable all of Simian’s features.
Remember that hard drive space and cooling are important. These machines will be running all the time and the last thing a radio station wants is to be off the air.
Reliability is essential and Simian has my vote.
Tony Pollick is a field engineer with Broadcast Technical Engineering.
For information, contact Broadcast Software International in Oregon at (888) 274-8721 or visitwww.bsiusa.com.