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after the show ends


joshua
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i do just that using a program called zara, it is a freeware radio automation program. When my LOR show closes it fires some DTMF tones to start the radio automation. The program is great and the transition is smooth.

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Rick Gorman's got it. To be a little more explicit:

You can build a musical sequence without any lighting effects.

You could then put a bunch of such sequences into a show - not your "normal" show, but a second show.

You could then schedule that show to start after your normal show stops.

I've also heard of people doing this with zara, as Greg indicates. I don't have any experience with zara, but I haven't heard anybody complain about it.

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  • 6 months later...

bob wrote:

I've also heard of people doing this with zara, as Greg indicates. I don't have any experience with zara, but I haven't heard anybody complain about it.



Yea Bob, I am another Zara user. I've been using it for the last 3 years. Actually, I use it all year long to broadcast traditional music around the house and out to the pool. I also have it set up to report weather, time, and news flashes from internet feeds. It's pretty neat. I've tried demos of other programs that cost as much as $400, but still don't work as well as what ZaraRadio does for free.

My only caution is that you should run ZR on Windows XP or 2000 if you want flawless performance. There is not a version out to support Vista, but a few people have tinkered with ZR to get it to work on Vista. I run my shows and ZR on an XP computer after having trouble getting ZR to run on Vista.

As mentioned above, Windows Media Player or similar tools will work, but they are dinosaurs compared to what ZR can do.
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I also use Zara Studio. I have it set to play music, broadcast the time and temperature, and tell when the next show will start.
Zara Studio version 1.6.2 is great and it is still free.
When you interface it with Singer Creations "Weather Watcher", you can broadcast the current temperature for your area. You would also need to download the time and temperature voice files available on other web sites.

Links:
Zara Studio - http://www.zarastudio.es/index.php?lang=en

Singer Creations "Weather Watcher" - http://www.singerscreations.com/Weather-Watcher.asp

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Denny wrote:

It appears that Zara Radio Version 2 can be run in Vista. This update is not free, though. http://www.zarastudio.es/index.php?section=zararadio&page=pricing.html〈=en


Hey Denny, yup you are right. Thanks for the post. I had not seen this Vista update.
To clarify some things for people unfamiliar with Zara...

It looks like they still have version 1.6.2 for free. That makes sense as the last update was about 3 years ago, yet it still is a fabulous program and has everything that most anyone would need.

The new version appears to have a different name "Zara Studio" instead of the older "Zara Radio". After looking at the specs and features, I am not impressed with the new additions, and I wonder if they will make any money off it. Here are the issues I see...

1. The price is way too high (almost $200 after converting to Euros). Come-on, no one is going to pay that amount after thousands of people have the free version.

2. They are using a USB dongle. This is apparently to protect it from theft. Gee, I thought this approach went out with the dinosaur around 1985 when customers complained about using dongles. Can you imagine how many USB ports you would need with dongles hanging out of them if every software application did this? It also increases the cost of the product. They should have created a software activation method instead.

3. Apparently you can only buy it by having the CD and dongle shipped to you from overseas. These days, people want immediate gratification with software downloads. This is another reason to get rid of a dumb dongle.

4. There aren't enough new features in the new version to warrant this high price. It is little different from the older version. In my opinion. they need to drop the price to the $50 range to get any significant number of buyers.

I suggest you pass up on buying the new version and just use the older free one. They say it supports Vista, but I've seen far too many complaints on their bulletin board about it not working. Clearly there aren't any marketing genisus at work on that product.
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Plus one (or maybe 2) for the happy Zara Radio users. So far I have not set up the DTMF tones to restart the music after the show ends, but I do calculate the latest possible show end time, and just leave dead air from when the show actually ends, until the latest possible time the show is likely to end.

One feature that I do use on Zara Radio that I don't know how I would do otherwise is that for the city show, I schedule a spot to play something like 5 times an hour, plugging the show, and the sponsors of the show. At home, I run fewer spots per hour, and oddly, half of them are for the city show. :shock:


ETA: Last time I checked, we had something like 10 hours (before inserting the spots) of music set to shuffle. So you shouldn't hear repeats very often.

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+1 for Zara. You can integrate LOR, Zara Radio, and betabrite LED signs seemlessly.

Here are a few ways to do before the show audio:
1. Use DTMF to stop Zara when LOR starts
2. Schedule Zara to stop at the time when LOR will start
3. * When current zara radio song ends, stop zara and activate LOR audio feed. *
4. * At a scheduled time, fade out Zara radio and activate LOR audio feed. *
5. Have Zara radio fire a batch file which enables shows.

Here are a few ways to do after the show audio:
1. Use DTMF to start zara the instant the last LOR song finishes
2. Schedule Zara radio to start playing and fire batch file which disables shows.
3. * Have LOR play a few audio only songs at the end of show, and disable LOR feed and activate Zara feed at a scheduled time. *

** Lines with asterisks require two sound cards in your computer. A cheap investment. ;)


My personal favorite is DTMF. I know some people don't like hearing the DTMF tones, but it only happens twice a night. Plus, then you are guaranteed LOR and Zara will always be in sync. (no dead air)

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michael,

I do the later half of what you mentioned about the tones. since zara and LOR use the system clock I give a stop command to zara about 3 seconds before lor is scheduled to start and it runs seemless into the show. Coming out I use the tones to trigger zara to start playing.

greg

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