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June 27, 2017
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SkimmerPlus

User Review - Tom Woods, Cumulus, Eugene, OR

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Itís been a foregone conclusion that radio has needed a way to effectively archive and air check our broadcasts. Now, it appears immanent the FCC will make 24 by 7 archiving a requirement.

After a few moments of thought the notion of logging becomes daunting. The challenges are evident. Logging large amounts of audio requires a powerful application while efficiently accessing it demands elegance. BSIís new Skimmer Plus meets and exceeds expectations for broadcast audio logging.

I first had the chance to beta test the product a couple of months back. I have to say Skimmer Plus was astounding. Not only was it practically crash proof, but I found it to be amazingly easy to set up. I literally spent less than an hour configuring that system and I was instantly logging six stations broadcastsí in simultaneous (MP3 and Wave) formats and in some cases I was logging all six stations at the same time!

Itís almost unheard of for a software application to be this robust in beta release. There are three main features that stand out in this application. Simultaneous format logging, scalable decks that log from closures or time/date parameters, and web and e-mail based management for all logged material.

Simultaneous format logging enables you to record two copies in two separate formats simultaneously from one deck or two if you choose. You can even specify different save directories for each format by using a second ďvirtualĒ deck. There are no limits to the number of decks and formats you can set up. We use our MP3 copies for review while airing the higher quality wave copies. Our morning shows are promoted throughout the day with recycled material from Skimmer Plus.

Obviously, a wave option is preferable to MP3 for broadcast, but MP3ís are quicker to review on line. You get the best of both worlds and unprecedented flexibility from Skimmer Plus.

A rather unexpected feature of Skimmer Plus is its ability to log from either time and date parameters or dry contact closures or a combination of both. The traditional means of air checking from the studio microphone closures means youíll have those recyclers and air checks, but Skimmer Plus can also capture long form programs for delayed broadcast.

Add Skimmers ability to segment programs from network break closures and you have a logger that behaves more like a Tivo. Weíve used it capture programs for rebroadcast that our automation system was simply to busy to take care of for us. Itís like having two products in one.

Lastly, and probably Skimmer Plusís most powerful feature is its elegant means of delivering all logged material directly to you from a web interface. Of course Skimmer Plus gives you the capability of reviewing material from any computer that has an internet connection, but Skimmer also adds a few other desirable options:

Not only can you listen to Skimmer Plusís audio over your own computer speakers from across the world, but you can also either e-mail actual cuts as e-mail attachments, or e-mail a file link to others for review. While Skimmer Plus is equipped with user account security it will also allow an anonymous user to access an e-mailed link without dealing with security head aches. This enables you to avoid dealing with large e-mail file attachments. Probably, the most amazing part of all this from a purely technical perspective is that Skimmer Plus has its own mail and web server built in.

You donít have to configure third party servers to handle any of Skimmer Plusís features.

Skimmer Plus is an incredible tool for any broadcaster. Itís easy to set up, extremely powerful and very user friendly. I would venture to say there isnít another product on the market that can compete with Skimmer Plus, even in the price category. A single station application will cost less than 399.00. Log four station for less than 699.00 and you can go up to eight for 999.00. Without a doubt BSIís Skimmer Plus would be a welcome addition to any broadcast facility small or large.

Tom Woods Cumulus, Eugene, OR

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