Important note about following review: This review is based only for the Webradio interface and streaming feature - nothing else.
Review was performed by Rol Welker in June 2019. Special Thanks to him from BoD.FM !
His Final Rating for RadioKing:
Conclusion: Expensive service, very limited use of program design, low web space, only small number of listeners / listening hours in the basic offer available.
Before registering for the test, I asked for some details by email, a) if the songs uploaded are converted to another format and b) whether sound processing is available on the platform.
The answer was: "... At the moment there is no sound processing, but you can 'normalize' the songs on our platform. Experienced users may use the software 'Audacity' to edit their songs before uploading. " Sorry, but with such an answer, that's a real joke ... Well, as an experienced user, I should so edit thousands of songs with Audacity before uploading to the platform ?!? ... And no statement, if the songs are converted into another format.
The question of the conversion into another format: I have asked because a competitor in the same business area converts all uploaded mp3 to the (more lossy) AAC format, then using the R128 EBU method to sound it quieter, finally sending this complete mud over the stream ... gives bad sound output with minimal dynamics, too quiet as well. Terrible to listen !
==> Important note for the 'normalization feature' on the platform, - [if the option is switched ON!] - because there was following experience: All our uploaded mp3s were leveled to 0 dB (you can also set this on the platform, as well as you can switch off "Normalize"), my setting was "switched ON", this was resulting that my mp3 songs previously set to a certain volume level at 92dB (with mp3gain), were played louder (logically). This is of course fatal for songs which, for reasons of audible clipping / distortion, are set to a lower level than 92dB, (in one case on 85db because of overdrive in the bass range). I determined the volume differences from my original mp3s on my computer compared with the played mp3s from the stream (with Streamgrabber). And so, the song with originally 85db volume was played 5dB higher, including audible distortion. For a total of 10 songs differences in volume levels between 0 and 5db were determined, which of course does not guarantee that there can be even greater differences. => Note: So be careful what you do on the platform !
Other individual sections with my personal rated school grade:
Audio Quality / Streaming: Grade 4:
- no sound processing available
- peak normalization seems to be done => if enabled on the platform - fixed streaming quality: only 128kb possible (at base price 24 € / month) - "unlimited simultaneous audience" at 20,000 hours of listening, max. 1,150 GB encoding data volume - at base price of 24 € / month. [Note: 20,000 listening hours are equal to 9 listeners per day, each with 3 hours of daily listening to the stream! Wow ...] Starting point for my calculation above (only for 128kb stream and 1,150GB data: is 30 days = 720 Monthly hours, calculated as followed => 20,000 listening hours divided by 720 hours (30 days) = 27.7 listening hours a day, (roughly) 28 listening hours divided by 9 listeners are 3.1 hours dwell time per listener on the stream !. What seems to be very important supposedly cheap, so called - "unlimited audience" at 20,000 listening hours - is basically actually NOTHING ... AND: it is NOT even defined what will happen / what you have to pay if those 20,000 listening hours are exceeded or the 1,150 GB data volume is exceeded ...
RadioKing Webplayer: Grade 1:
+ Good looking design
+ Display of the album cover in the player if covers are embedded in mp3
+ Nothing else to complain about
Webspace: Grade 6 (Because of absolute shocking prices):
- only 5GB webspace: Cry: for whopping 24 € per month (According to written information 5GB are enough for 1240 songs of 4 minutes play length in 128kb format. [I've uploaded 18 songs, about 6-8 minutes per song, in 320kb format taking 6.3% webspace, (315 MB) was required for this, ie. 320 titles maximum on 5GB / approx. 640 titles at 4 minutes length... But hey, more than 640 songs are no standard on a web radio on their hard drive ...]
- Additional web space costs (written confirmation): Attention, prices are MONTHLY!
25GB + 7 € per month, on top of the 24 € base price
50GB + 24 € per month, on top of the 24 € base price
100GB + 67 € per month, on top of the 24 € base price
150GB + € 97 monthly, on top of the € 24 base price
250GB + 167 € per month, on top of the 24 € base price
Program design / playlists etc.: Grade 5:
- There is no indication of which playback algorithm is being used
- Only two options available for playlist creation and then still a manual action => outdated technology. Actually people use just software to avoid manual creation ...
- No ability to influence program by genre, date, weighting, rotation selection or other, such as usual for broadcasting software etc.
- No possibility of sorting tracks according to various criteria of the songs in the track manager
- No overview of the last tracks played
- No player available for the current song / next song
Scheduling: Not tested
General Operation: Grade 3:
- Partly illogical assignment of functions, sometimes difficult to find in the operation menu
External program feed / external DJ conection: Grade 2:
- Access data to set up the external DJ only to find extra search
+ Quick set up done after finding the data
+ Coonnecting in the current stream without problems
+ Disconnection of external stream without problems
- Radioking Webplayer shows no metadata of the current song from external program feed.
Our final rating for RadioKing:
Conclusion: These are my findings and observations. They are not carved in stone. You may correct me if any findings were made, which should not coincide with mine / me wrong or unaware / overlooked. I am disappointed with RadioKing. I have been using local broadcaster software for years with many possibilities for creation of a balanced and interesting music program, these possibilities are missing entirely or are primitive at Radioking. In addition my personal actual conditions include two very favorable streaming Providers for the AAC+ (64kb) and mp3 format (320kb) for only 7 € per month in total and tons of hours of listening time. Disk Space is no problem at all, because locally on computers. How to get along with 5GB web space at Radioking is a mystery for me. Also I am not willing to use a primitive, minimal version of a cloud-based broadcasting software to pay in between 130 € and 170 € per month, which finally lets me broadcast to 9 listeners with 3 hours of residence or even 18 listeners with 1.5 hours listening time generated, ... Radioking is not an alternative for us, because too expensive because of web space, too uncomfortable for our current program demands, too little listener capacity without danger of additional costs.
There are plenty of competitors, which are cheaper and more convenient to use.
You just have to google for. And they are existing. I know ...
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