Introduction

As this generation gets more comfortable with Spotify and other streaming services taking the place of the FM dial, is anything missing? What is the cost?

First things first: I'm a radio geek. I love the sound, I love to program, I love to produce. I realize I'm some what in the minority, but I know I'm obviously not the only one. I love Apple Music, just as much as the next streaming service, but I hate the gaps between tracks, difference in volumes between tracks and being on the go and using data. Spotify, has a crossfading option, but the fade/transitions are by exact time. If an operator/DJ used this method in radio... He/She wouldn't be in radio. Spotify also has a volume normalization option, but in my opinion, to a trained ear, it's not worth mentioning.

I Heart Media had plans for their iOS app to roll out intelligent transition/volume normalization  options to artist radios and playlists within the last quarter, but I believe it quietly got pushed under the rug/never fully rolled out.

and possible Newsflash, :) todays AM/FM/XM radio is powered by software/AI, an operator/DJ records/Voice tracks in required airshifts and more than not, we aren't listening to live radio, even though it sounds better than live, perfect. :)

Shhhhhhh! A Secret!

I've been running my own LAN only radio station for the last couple of years, because, I'm a geek, and I still love radio, even though I don't live radio professionally...

This started out as a training ground to learn my own way of programming my station, allowed me to write/voice/image, and hey I love all the music right? I only hear what I want, and I hear a song, once, within 3 days, and an artist, once, within 2 hours. If I want to make a request/hear a song, I can do it from my phone from my couch. When I started the project, I honestly didn't know how much I'd listen, as it turns out, I listen to my station a lot. I don't know now how I'd live without it,  just like I don't know how I'd live without the internet or other things I've become used to enjoying.

How does it work?

Station Playlist

Powers my station, from scheduling, to playing music, spots and Voice tracks, to allowing me to make requests. SPL is legit!!!!

)Stationplaylist T-shirt anyone?)

The software comes in a variety of flavors to fit ones budget, and you can purchase modules separately as you build out you're rig.

(For processing check out Audioproc)

as SPL accepts Winamp DSP plugins and yes, you can stack/chain them to get you're sound right!

Drawbacks?

Again, the station is LAN only, so if I'm not home, I can't jam my station, well... Until a few weeks ago!

Here's where things get cool!

the mobile generation!

I'm busy, are you busy?

Hell... We're all busy!

Because I'm out of the house more than I'm in, what are my options?

#1: Stream my station over the internet...

Vastly possible, but to make things right I would need stream licensing, A Shoutcast or Icecast server, and mobile data, and, (I don't want to start :) another hobbyist internet radio station, cause then I'd have to play what you want to hear, I'm selfish... I like what I want to hear). :)

#2: A mobile computer to run my station from wherever I'm at, cutting off the need for a broadband internet connection, Shoutcast Icecast server and stream licensing. I like that idea, but I don't want a bulky laptop with 3-5 hours of battery that fills up my backpack, runs hot and is intrusive into mine,  and others lives.

i'm pretty geeky, remember... So, of course I found a solution.

Before I continue, I'd like to say that when I purchased an IPod touch in 2010, I wanted a proper crossfading player solution I could fit in my pocket. Unfortunately back in 2010, their wasn't "an app for that".

In 2019? Theirs still, not, "an app for that".

I've written a lot of devs.

I don't know how to code.

But I digress.

10" Windows 10 Fusion5 Ultra Slim Windows Tablet PC

10" Windows 10 Fusion5 Ultra Slim Windows Tablet PC- (4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, FWIN232+ Model, Full Size USB 3.0, Intel Quad-core, 5MP and 2MP

No, I hadn't read it would work.

Yes, I purchased this tablet for radio only, in hopes that it would work.

IT WORKS!

This little guy, (linked to directly above) is my dream come true, as it allows me to take my radio, wherever I go!

It doesn't come with blodeware!

I have Stationplaylist Creator, Studio and processing installed! and have tested VT server, it plays and otherwise runs flawlessly.

On a single charge playing my station over a Bluetooth audio connection, I get between 7-10 hours of battery life.

The machine doesn't run hot!

I can hold it in the palm of my hand!

Tablet Specs

From Belarc Advisor:

Operating System
Windows 10 Home (x64) Version 1803 (build 17134.523)
Install Language: English (United Kingdom)
System Locale: English (United Kingdom)
Installed: 11/12/2018 12:44:22 PM
Servicing Branch: Current Branch (CB)
Boot Mode: UEFI with Secure Boot disabled
System Model
Fusion5 FWIN232_PLUS Default string
System Serial Number: Default string
Asset Tag: Default string
Chassis Serial Number: Default string
Enclosure Type: Notebook
Processor a
1.45 gigahertz Intel Atom x5-Z8350
224 kilobyte primary memory cache
2048 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded
Main Circuit Board b
Board: Default string Default string Default string
Serial Number: ABCDEF0123456789
Bus Clock: 80 megahertz
Drives
61.12 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
31.34 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

Generic GD4QT SD Card [Hard drive] (128.04 GB) -- drive 1, s/n 3c625f36
Generic SLD64G [Hard drive] (61.86 GB) -- drive 0, s/n 97333136
Memory Modules c,d
4026 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'A1_DIMM0' has 4096 MB
Slot 'A1_DIMM1' is Empty

(Note) I have purchased and installed a 128 GB Micro SD card)

This Tablet PC also has

a full USB 3.0 port,

HDMI Port,

Headphones output 8th inch jack.

(Note you will need to purchase

YCS Basics 3.5mm Smartphone TRRS Headset To TRS Headphones Adapter (Removes the microphone channel)

if you are planning on listening through ear buds with an integrated microphone with this tablet).

Also, the phones output jack, though fairly flat/clean, doesn't give a lot of volume, and that's through ear buds not bigger cans.

Accessibility

This tablet is just a tablet, if you are a blind/VI like myself, think of an IPad mini, a bit bigger, in the shell of an otter box. That's how it feels.

On the top edge from right to left:

Headphones

Power

USB 3

HDMI

MicroSD: Note Micro SD you have to open flap with fingernail.

Down the right side:

Power

Volume rocker

Left Side:

I think are pin slots to attach to a keyboard case.

On the touch screen:

No buttons or physical controls.

On the back side:

top left: rear camera

Navigating the touchscreen:

So I have used iOS, and Amazon touch screen devices. Windows, though similar is pretty different with JAWS, matter of fact, I dislike JAWS touch support, and use Narrator, if I must use the touch screen, because the similarities to using iOS, I don't seam to get lost on screen as much.

I have Studio set to launch on startup, create playlists and auto play, and Studio is in the background so it's not in focus and speech doesn't read on every track/element change.

Shutting down the tablet, with Narrator is fairly straight forward, start bottom bottom left, then swipe through the start menu items to power, double tap shutdown.

As I only use the tablet for my radio, I love that I can just turn it on and it plays and I can shut it off without a keyboard. Of course when doing any sort of maintenance I use either a QWERTY or Braille display via Bluetooth with JAWS.

Start/boot times

Boot with playlist creation to auto play
2 minutes 8.5 seconds
Boot after playlist creation to auto play
1 minute 41.5 seconds.

These times were calculated with JAWS at startup vs. Narrator.

Use case scenarios: who's this for?

I don't just want to sound like an advertisement and say everyone, but honestly?

Do you want to hear more than 20 songs a day over and over again? Looking for Multi-format/genre's? (FM Radio)

Do you drive for Lyft? Uber?

Going on a road trip? don't want to have to switch/find a new station?

Do you have a desk Job and want you're music?

Okay... Everyone!

Audio examples

The speakers built-in are enough for JAWS, normal tablet sounding speakers.

Examples below are to give you sound of wired, VS Bluetooth wireless.

Output ran from Tablet Stereo phones jack, or the Logitech Bluetooth adapter into a Zoom H4N pro.

Gives you a  feel for how you're radio could sound, including imaging, track, VT, final track.

Music written/played/produced by Drew Weber no copyright infringement issues.

Example#1: Wired: Processed

Example#2: Wired: Unprocessed

Example#3: Over Bluetooth: Processed

Exxample#4: Over Bluetooth: Unprocessed

Note, when I recorded these, I had Wifi enabled. later, I disabled Wifi, and listening over Bluetooth the audio had less artifacts.

In Closing

Thank you for reading through this article/review.

This Tablet is really nice! I've had no issues! got it right after Christmas with some Giftcards, (Thanks Mom and Sister Barb!)

This Tablet seriously had changed my life!

It's awesome to see the future now!

LIVE YOU'RE RADIO!