Chris “Doc” Tarr, Director of Engineering for Entercom in Milwaukee and Madison, WI, wrote an article for RBR today about using Macs in radio stations.
As a business technology consultant for radio stations, I strongly endorse Chris's statement.
The Mac is a terrific computer for a radio station. It is simple for even the most technophobic account exec to use and because it comes pre-installed with a ton of useful software, there's a lot you can do with it out of the box.
For example, with the extremely powerful (and included as part of the OS!) iMovie video editing software, even a neophyte can produce compelling video presentations for your sales department or your website. GarageBand, the Mac's audio editing system, provides many of the features of a much more sophisticated package like ProTools. Thousands of bands have produced professional recordings using GarageBand, right on the Mac. It even has features for creating podcasts - including building the RSS feeds and so on. Very powerful stuff.
For an extra $79, you can get Apple's iWork, a suite of three applications that include a word processor (Pages), spreadsheet (Numbers) and presentation program (Keynote). In many ways, these applications are even more powerful than MS Office - and they are certainly easier to use. There's no doubt that Keynote blows away Powerpoint as a presentation tool. Plus - you can create your presentation in Keynote and then export a perfectly compatible Powerpoint version for your less capable colleagues.
Plus, with the free OpenOffice package for OSX, you can have the complete functionality of Microsoft Office on the Mac without the cost!
I have run a virtual machine on my Mac with copies of Tapscan, Maximi$er, PD Advantage, AudioVAULT and various music scheduling packages - and they worked without a hitch. Of course, the vendors get a little "hinky" when you run on unapproved hardware, but with the right relationship with these folks, you can get them to understand.
Imagine being able to create a Tapscan report and then use it seamlessly in a powerful Mac-based presentation package to create a compelling story for a prospect. Of course, as these applications go more to the web (as Max and Tapscan are starting to now), you will be using the web browser and not a built-in application; but the principle still applies. Even more so, because the Mac will let you dress up those dull-looking web reports with some truly persuasive graphic elements - in a snap.
Back in the day, before Maximi$er, I used a Mac to suck in AID runs (remember those?) and automagically transpose them into compelling graphical presentations for my sales team. Even 20 years ago, it was a very useful tool in a radio station.
Another advantage to using a Mac on the business side of a radio station is, quite frankly, the "cool factor." Many radio station clients are Mac users themselves - ad agencies in particular have been one of the strongest vertical markets for Macintosh for decades. If you walk into a presentation to a group including a creative director, media director and account manager and you plug in your Mac for a Keynote presentation, you will gain immediate "inside" cred. It might be that extra edge that gets you the deal.
Today, the Mac will give you an edge over the competition.
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