Broadcasting on the Mac: Jessica’s Experience and Setup

As someone who considers herself a shy person, I never thought I would be interested in broadcasting or that I would host I weekly radio show. I proved myself wrong! If you love music, and you have a reliable internet connection, you can do it too!

In the last post, Ashley shared her experiences with broadcasting and explained her setup on windows. In this post, I’ll share my experiences broadcasting from Mac OS X, and how to get starting using my particular setup.

My journey into broadcasting began in fall of 2013. Ashley and I were sharing an apartment at the time, and she told me she was going to begin broadcasting on an internet radio station. I was clueless about this internet radio thing. I had no idea what a big deal it was, especially in the blind community. I familiarized myself with internet radio by hanging out with Ashley and other people who did shows, and by listening to shows whenever I had time. People begged me to start my own show, but I didn’t think I could do it. Plus, I used a mac, not windows, so no one had a clue how I should get started.

I think the lack of help is what pushed me to figure out how to make it work. I was going to conquer broadcasting the same way I learned to use the mac – on my own. I did lots of research, but there wasn’t anything available that explained everything and made it simple to follow. The only thing I gathered is that I would need a program called Nicecast to connect to the server. So, I downloaded it and began playing around with it. As it turns out, Mac users have so many options for broadcasting, because all Nicecast does is send audio from whatever source you choose to a server. A source can be a single application, or it could be all system audio. All my music was already in iTunes, so my setup simply includes iTunes and Nicecast.

I did my first show on October 2, 2013. I was extremely nervous, and I broke many things. It helped that I had my friends on the show with me, so I wasn’t alone. In the weeks and months to follow, I continued to improve, and the feedback was great. A couple of stations later, my friends and I started our own station called ElectroShock Radio. After working for so many other people and watching their stations fail, ElectroShock Radio was a breath of fresh air. Finally what I said mattered, and I was able to help keep the station running. Unfortunately, ElectroShock Radio shut down in the summer of 2015. Since then, I don’t broadcast as often, but I still do. We held onto our server, and I stream different things regularly. I still love broadcasting, but I have no interest in broadcasting on someone else’s station. I like stability, and I hate drama, so the server works for me.

Now, let’s talk a bit about getting started broadcasting on the Mac.

The hardware options, like broadcasting on windows, can be as expensive or as cheap as you like. You can go all out and get a bunch of expensive equipment like external mixers, or you can simply get a good microphone. I use the $39.99 GoMic, and everyone says it sounds great. If you prefer to wear your microphone, some USB headsets may also work.

If having more hardware appeals to you, or if you wish to mix tracks like a DJ would do at a party, check out our friend Jonathan Candler’s broadcasting setup.

Either way, the decision is up to you! It’s all about your preferences, and what you can afford.

Now, let’s move on to software.

No matter what application you use to play your music, you will need Nicecast to connect to the server. There is a demo available for free, which is great while you’re figuring things out. However, you’ll need to purchase the full version when you’re ready to share your show with the world.

If you have usable vision, this may be the only piece of software you need to purchase. You can set the source as iTunes or whatever media player you wish to use, and then bring in your mic, other apps, or Skype in the effects panel.

If you are totally blind, you may wish to broadcast using an app that allows you to play music and bring in your mic. Most people use one of the two following options.

DJay

Radiologik DJ

Lastly, if you don’t want to do a live show, you could record a show using an app like Audio Hijack and then send the MP3 to the station managers for playback later.

Thank you for reading this, and please check out Ashley’s post on broadcasting from Windows. I hope you have found this information useful, and we look forward to writing more helpful entries for you in the future.

The Accessible Netflix Project

Netflix is a service that offers a variety of movies and television shows for subscribers to order for delivery by mail, and watch instantly on a computer, cell phone or tablet, smart TV, gaming device, or media streaming device. Many people enjoy Netflix with no problems, but those with disabilities have struggled to access content and services provided by Netflix since its launch, due to inaccessible web and application interfaces. Having used other streaming services, we know that it is possible for Netflix to make their website and applications accessible. The problem is they don’t want to.

The situation with Netflix isn’t all bad; the iOS app and website have become slightly more usable with some screen readers over time, and thanks to the work of advocates for the deaf community, Netflix has agreed to add closed captions to all content by 2014. Unfortunately, Netflix is still unusable by many individuals with disabilities, and there is no audio described content available for blind and visually impaired customers.

The inaccessibility of the Netflix website and applications prompted the American Council of the Blind (ACB) to pass resolution 2011-17, which requests Netflix make their products accessible for blind and low vision customers and add audio described content. The ACB wishes to work with Netflix on this endeavor, but there has been little change regarding these issues since.

In hopes of making Netflix more accessible and raising awareness for the issues we, as people with disabilities, face when attempting to use Netflix, Robert Kingett has created The Accessible Netflix Project. We, the Blinkie Chicks, are supporting this campaign for a more accessible Netflix, and you can, too! Check out the website for information on ways you can help, including how you can make donations, provide feedback regarding your experiences with Netflix, and much more. This project has already caught the attention of some big names in media, but we still need more exposure and support. So, please share the website and/or this blog post with everyone you know, and provide your feedback on the website.

We appreciate your support; thank you for reading!