Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Promo Video

Please share and thank you!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Moving Back to Sunday Nights!

My work schedule is being wonky as usual, so I've decided that for the sake of my sanity as well as the continuity of the broadcast we're moving the live show back to Sunday nights starting at 9 pm (eastern).

That is all.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of Year Update and Random Thoughts in Between

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I'd like to take the opportunity this New Years Eve and talk about the past year, and what my thoughts are going into 2016.

It's been an interesting year as far as the live show is concerned. Since the now infamous justcastlive crash and our subsequent move to camup (see previous blog posts for more details) it's been a slow reboot of the show. It's a real shame that justcast had to crash when it did, we were really starting to gain a following over there, one that has been slow to nonexistant on camup.

Keep in mind of course that camup itself is still very new, and by the increasing number of live shows that I'm seeing I have no doubt that it will take off. So far my experience has been very positive, hardly any issues with broadcasting at all.

Looking ahead to 2016....

I plan to continue on with the show, with an eye on when my XSplit license renews in mid February. I use XSplit (and highly recommend it, well worth the $14.95 every three months) to stream the live show. If things are starting to pick up I'll stick with the audio/video format on Camup with the rebroadcast on awdio, but if it's not meant to be then I'll go back to an all audio format on awdio. Of course none of this is set in stone and I could easily change my mind, broadcasters prerogative :)

In any event I wish everyone a happy, and safe New Year!!!!!

- Jack

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holiday Hiatus

Hey everyone, taking the rest of the year off as far as the live broadcast goes, we'll be live again after New Years.

I hope everyone is having a kick ass holiday season and thanks for the continued support.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

So The Short Version Is This

Hey everyone, just a followup. I know I posted a long ass update the other day so here is the readers digest condensed version...

The live show is broadcast on camup every Monday night starting at 9 pm (EST) and here is the link http://www.camup.tv/users/indie-spotlight-live

After the live show and when time permits we REBROADCAST the show (which is recorded during our live broadcast on camup) on our channel on awdio so people who missed the live show can listen to the archive. That link is http://www.awdio.com/indiespotlightlive

I'll change all the links on our FB presence as well as our blogger page so we don't have any more confusion, sorry about that!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November Update and Our New Broadcast Home

This is earlier in the month than usual for my monthly update blog but since it is November and we are about to get into the time of year where people spend less time online as well as what is currently going on with the live broadcast it makes more sense to post this now.

First of all I want to thank the team at justcastlive. You folks have been amazing as far as your support of the show, and I want you all to know how much I appreciate it. It's really unfortunate that the downtime has run this long, up until now my plan was to be "Indie Spotlight broadcast on justcastlive" for however long I decided to keep doing the show however with the site being offline for this long at this point I feel I have no choice but to move on.

Now, for the big announcement;

We've been using our old page on awdio.com as a stand-in until justcastlive came back online. Despite often posted assurances that justcast was coming back online "soon" the folks running justcast have yet to define "soon". I'm not trying to be critical, apparently there were some serious issues that need to be addressed before they could bring the site back. I've been standing by for almost six weeks and while I love justcast I can't stand by forever so I had to make a decision, and break a promise.

When blogtv shut down and sold out at the end of March of 2013 our broadcast started bouncing around like a jackrabbit in heat as far as where and when the live show was broadcast. When we found justcast last year I told you folks "this is it, the last time I will ask you to reset your bookmarks yet again" and this is where the broken promise comes in.

I'm about to ask you folks to reset your bookmarks yet again. Over the history of the show this will be the 9th time I will ask this and I'll explain why.

We need the audio/video/chat platform. While I enjoy the ease of broadcast of just doing the audio format I've been getting messages on Facebook asking me when the live chat was coming back. I did a test show on camup.tv last Monday and it worked really well, from what I could see there didn't seem to be any issues at all. We also simulcasted it to our channel on awdio, and overall it looks like things worked out well. I say it "looks like it worked out well" because I didn't announce the show and didn't have the usual suspects in chat or on skype to tell me otherwise, I can only go by the word of the one camup moderator that popped in to chat and featured the show and told me that it sounded really good. Hopefully regular listeners/viewers will return to the show and confirm this for me.

So here is the big announcement;

We're moving the live broadcast to our channel on camup.tv and will rebroadcast the show on our channel on awdio.com so folks can check out the show on the archive if they miss the live broadcast and the reason I don't plan to simulcast the show is because you have to allocate a segment of time on awdio and if the show runs over that time it's still broadcast live but not archived which obviously defeats the purpose of an archived show. So instead I'll do the live show on camup, and after I see how long the show actually lasted, I'll schedule the rebroadcast on awdio with the appropriate amount of time and rebroadcast it there so people can check out the archived show on demand.

This is a really tough call for me, while I'm not happy with their site being offline for so long I have to say that I really liked justcast, but at the end of the day I have to do what is best for the show. Many of these musicians aren't getting airplay unless we're broadcasting and right now camup seems to be our best option because the site loads easily, is mostly user friendly, and seems to be on a solid server, we had no dropped frames during the two hour test show.

So, the live show going forward will be broadcast at http://www.camup.tv/users/indie-spotlight-live and we will have our "official premier" Monday night starting at 9 pm (EST)

If you miss the live show sometime after the live broadcast it will be rebroadcast for archiving purposes on our page on awdio.com, that link will be http://www.awdio.com/indiespotlightlive

Thank you all for your continued support as we embark on our latest journey. While I'll miss the following that we had started to get on justcast I really have a good feeling that we'll build just as good of a following on camup.

p.s. Anyone notice that I didn't promise that this would be the last time that I would ask you to update your bookmarks? Yep, learned that lesson :)







Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Quick show update, I've decided that I'm going to play around on www.camup.tv this week as well as try to simulcast to our channel on awdio.

Please watch our FB group as well as this blog for dates and times. If it goes well then I will do something like an "Official Launch" the following week.

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Past, Present, and Future of Indie Spotlight

This post will first be a history lesson on Indie Spotlight, my thoughts on our current broadcast situation, and the future of the live broadcast.

First, the history lesson;

Indie Spotlight started in January of 2009 as an offshoot of my previous online broadcast known as NewsTalk which was broadcast on blogtalkradio.com. NewsTalk, which had debuted in Feburary of 2008, was just as the name sounds, it was a news magazine style program that covered the news of the day although the primary focus was on the election of '08. Shortly after the election my friend Deb from the Unsigned Musicians show suggested that we use my platform to talk about some of the things that were going on in the music industry at the time, how independent musicians were effected by the nonsense and interview musicians as well as movers and shakers in the industry. I thought it was a great idea and the initial shows were called NewsTalk, Special Report. 

As music began to be incorporated into the program I decided that Indie Spotlight was a more appropriate name for the show, since most of the guests that we had were independent musicians and I felt that since we were talking about the music industry and the issues that the indie guys had to overcome to even have their music heard I felt that a name change was in order.

During the period between January to May of 2009 our broadcasting site blogtalkradio.com was undergoing a transition of their own. Frequently there were issues either with the live broadcast, the archived shows, or the chat so after much nagging by Deb I made the decision to move to blogtv and go to the hybrid video/music format.

If there is anyone keeping notes this will be the first time we changed our broadcasting home.

Indie Spotlight Live debuted on blogtv.com in May of 2009. Over the course of the next year the show transitioned from a primary talk format with some music played, to mostly a music show. We still had musician interviews but as time grew on they became less frequent since on blogtv the interviews had to be conducted via skype whereas on blogtalkradio they had a handy guest line that they could call in from on any phone, One of the advantages that doing the show on blogtv had was their "co-hosting" feature where I could bring someone on live to be a part of the show and especially in the beginning we had live music featured via the co-hosting feature just about every week and it was a ton of fun. If someone were to ask me what I miss most about our blogtv broadcast my answer would be that I miss being able to do that. I really miss being able to feature live music on the show.

Over time we became a totally music oriented broadcast, and at the time I was using the screen name "riskybusiness04" since it was the name that I usually used online. In November of 2012 I decided that I needed to use a screen name that was more oriented to the show, and created a new profile on blogtv with the Indie Spotlight Live screen name.

While on the same website, those keeping count will count this as move #2.

On March 14, 2013 I found out that blogtv.com was selling itself to younow.com. I took a look at younow's terms of service, didn't like them and decided that I needed to find a new home for the show. We did our last show on blogtv before they shut down on 3/24/13 and I spent the last night that blog was online on 3/27 at the Unsigned Musicians show with Deb, who cut her show short so that we could check out a new musician on his own channel on blogtv. It seemed a fitting way to go out on blogtv.

Over the course of finding a new home for the show, we found one, but it didn't have a chat room. Please keep in mind that this site was very different then than it is now, but yes, this is when we found awdio.com. We premiered our show on there at the end of March of 2013.

If you are still keeping count, this will be move #3.

Our broadcast on awdio at that time wasn't without issues, the first one being that at that time it was still important for me to have a chatroom open so I could interact with people so in order to do that I set one up on a chatroom site with links to where you could listen to the show, and links on the showpage on awdio where you could find the chat. Doing the show this way at that time didn't work well because we had two situations, the first one being people who found the show, but couldn't get into the live chat, and we had people that found the chat, but couldn't listen to the live show. Because I was doing the show in such a format which was "click here to listen, and hang out with us in the live chat here" it was important at that time that my broadcast provider was reliable. Sadly awdio at that time wasn't reliable, I found myself twice in a three month period apologizing in my separate chat as to why we weren't broadcasting live. 

I began researching alternatives, and as far as the live streaming sites that were online at the time it was slim pickings because the terms of service on those sites in regards to licensing but I was able to find code for a live embedded video/audio stream as well as code that could be embedded for a chat, the trick was bringing it all together.

For those who are keeping count, this will be move #4.

I found out that I could embed both a chatroom code, as well as the code for my embedded player on a page that I could build on webs.com so we moved to the site that I built on there in the middle of June of 2013. 

Shortly after I moved the show to our own site I decided that I was really over the apartment that I was living at and decided to move out of there. At the same time (and rather unexpectedly) I was offered a promotion at the job I had at the time. I knew that my work/life balance was about to change, and I was also talking to the folks at ivlog.tv about my concerns about their terms of service, they had answered them in a way that I was satisfied with so in October 2013 I put the show on hiatus  and decided to wait for ivlog to launch. In that time I moved out of the apartment from hell, and started my new position at my job. Talk about a crazy month my head still spins when I think about that period of time in my life. 

Indie Spotlight stayed offline until January of 2014. I resumed the show on the site I created since ivlog at that time wasn't online and I really missed doing the broadcast. I was really frustrated at that time that ivlog wasn't launched and by all accounts it should have been. I posted a blog post (more of a rant really) about it, and if cr3am ever see's this blog post, let me offer my apologies right now, I was frustrated at my broadcasting situation at that time. I'll talk more about how Indie Spotlight did on Ivlog a little bit later in this post.

I was working an insane schedule (and yes most of it self imposed) during this period of time, and the show's were broadcast as long as I had time to do them, I have to be honest they really weren't all that great since I was using old playlists from our previous blogtv show. Between that, and how things were going in my personal life, the infamous work/life balance, and how things were really going at work vs. my expectations  I decided to step down from the promotion that I had previously taken in June of 2014 and resumed the show on our webs.com site.

iVlog.com was up and running by then so I decided that we needed to be a part of a broadcasting community again and moved Indie Spotlight to there.

Yes, this would be move #5.

I found iVlog to be very well put together, the video played nicely with no skips and the sound quality was superb. The problem that I had on iVlog was some of our regulars couldn't load the page, and over the course of the two months I did the show on there I found that there wasn't an audience on iVlog that really, as one chatter who came and went put it, "hung out at radio shows". Our viewer stats showed that we had even less viewership than we did when we were on our own site. To this day I still feel that iVlog is a great site and sometimes I wonder if we should have stuck with it, however my overall feeling is still "right DJ, wrong bar". The folks who run iVlog are outstanding people and I really wish the show had done better on there. Sometime in August of 2014 I resumed broadcasting on our own site. (move #6)

Sometime in the middle of October of that year the audio/video player I was using to stream the show to our site crashed. As usual when these things happen it was right before a show. I had seen posts on Facebook about a broadcast site called Justcast, and took a quick look at their Terms of Service. Finding their TOS very favorable I played around with the site, decided I really liked it and felt very welcome on there since many of the shows that were broadcast on there were music oriented, decided  to close down our page on webs.com and as I said at the time, make one last move and call it home for good no matter how it went at least as far as this particular show was concerned.

This was supposed to be move lucky number seven (7). I had anticipated this being the final broadcast home for Indie Spotlight, if it didn't go well I was really thinking about hanging up my headset and refocusing my energy on some of my other internet projects.

As far as an audience on a new website could go, Indie Spotlight has been a success on justcast (later justcastlive). The show has been featured often on the front page and the support from the folks at justcastlive has been incredible.

Now we move from the history lesson to the present day.......

On 9/28/15 I was about to do the show, I had Xsplit open (which I've been using to broadcast and if you are doing video streaming I highly recommend it), the playlist drawn up, and I even had a Weenie of the Week segment planned. Right before the show was supposed to start I grabbed an ice cold beverage, sat down and............

Yep, you guessed it, the Jack curse struck again, justcastlive crashed, right before a show. I posted to the justcastlive Facebook group inquiring about the status of the site and got confirmation from one of the owners that yes, the site was down and to please stand by so I did. I got on skype with Deb since we hadn't talked in a while, and sat on the playlist I had created since at that time it looked like it was a temporary hiccup and justcastlive would be back online soon.

While standing by I felt that it was important to keep the broadcast online, so after exploring several options I noticed that awdio.com had been improved so I decided that while I was waiting for justcastlive to come back online I would do a show or two on there. (while it was supposed to be temporary I think some might count this as move #8)

Justcastlive has been offline for almost a month now, and some of the posts I see on Facebook really don't give me much encouragement that the site will be back anytime soon, in fact I get the feeling that they are going to be down for a while.

So, this leads me to the future of the show. I know that I've said before that I wasn't going to ask you folks to "change your bookmarks and find us here" again. Especially since by my own count this would be the 9th time that I've had to ask this, however with justcastlive being down for such an extended period I really have been left with no other choice so please post in the comments section below what you might think since this isn't so much a post about the future but a question and then I'll offer my thoughts.

Looking at the big picture we have two options, and I'll offer the pro's and con's of each.

     Option A) Continue to use Awdio.com. Please keep in mind that even if justcastlive comes back online sooner than I might be thinking it might or if we go with option (B) I will still most likely still simulcast to our page on awdio. The main reason is that people can listen to the archived show if they miss the live broadcast. One question I am often asked is if there are podcasts of previous shows that can be listened to if people miss the live show. Awdio provides this option. However awdio is purely an audio streaming site, and while they seem rock solid reliable now the last time we used them there were issues. But since we aren't advertising Indie Spotlight as a live show right now so much as an archived show that you can listen to later I don't see this as the issue it used to be, if the site crashes I can simply do the show on another night since I'm not trying to gather a live audience. Awdio not having a live chat is a double edged sword, I do, and yet I don't miss it. I really enjoy the interaction with a live audience during a broadcast but I don't miss "troll patrol" and there is something to be said for having time to casually check Facebook, Twitter and even start reading a book since all I'm doing during the live broadcast is clicking the mouse.

     Option B) Here is where I tip my hand and mention the video streaming site that I've been looking at, and even if I decided that I'm done waiting for justcastlive to fix their site and switch the show over once again our page on awdio will still play a part since we can simulcast the show so we should still have the archived shows for people who miss the live broadcast. The site is called camup.tv, and I've even started building our page over there. I could easily do the show in the same format that we had on justcastlive since the Terms of Service are pretty much the same, and there is an integrated chat. The problem I see with camup is there doesn't seem to be very many people on there. We will truly be starting over once again.

Now, my thoughts...

I have to be straight up honest with you folks, I don't know if I have it in me to reboot and try to rebuild an audience for the show one more time, we were really starting to build a following on justcastlive but with the site being down for such an extended period I have a feeling that even if we stick with awdio, and resume on justcastlive when they come back online will be the same thing anyway. It would be different if justcastlive was only down a week or two, but we're sitting at the one month mark and as I said before it doesn't look as though they anticipate being back online anytime soon so I need to make a decision as far as where I take the show, yet again.

So now, I turn it over to you folks, thoughts? Leave it in the comments section and again I would like to thank you all for the continued support.