Backbone Talk™ – Powerful Talk Radio Phone System, on Your Mac

A different kind of Talk Radio phone system — one without phone lines or hardware. Backbone Talk integrates smoothly to elevate production values in sports, news and talk shows in both studio and remote broadcasts.

Everything you need to take calls, screen them and put them on the air is here in an easy to use, professional phone system. You concentrate on the creative and business aspects, and we provide the products to help your station prosper…on all levels. Combined with Backbone Radio the result is a complete talk radio station that can produce professional shows locally, remotely and with callers around the globe.

Backbone Talk is a multi-line, call-in phone system in the cloud enabling 24/7 talk radio stations to engage their listening audience from anywhere in the world, using only a Macintosh computer, without any additional hardware. With its local/remote call screener capability, talent can focus on the conversation, while the call screener uses his Macintosh to answer, conference, block, and/or record calls. Features include inbound text from the same phone line; and a digitally integrated caller feedback line for listeners to record voice messages into Backbone Radio for later air play.

Jeff Bundy

Backbone’s service gave us the means to take calls and put them on the air. We now have the ability to take our sports talk show on the road, phone system and all, and that has really helped us get out in the community to broadcast.

Jeff Bundy The Omaha World-Herald March 13, 2015

Backbone Talk Button

 Backbone Talk

Backbone Talk Datasheet

Listener Interactivity – The life-blood of talk radio is the listener who calls into your show.  Give your audience riveting conversation by talking with them, not at them. Allow callers to provide feedback — on the air.

No Extra Equipment  – Everything is right on your Mac and in the cloud.  No bulky studio phone switches, no expensive multi-line handsets and no phone lines to run. Just plug in a headset, and you’re on the air talking to callers.

Familiar Controls – Feel comfortable with on-screen controls you recognize, including Dial, Ring, Connect, Hold, Conference, Busy All and Drop.  Configurable number of callers, up to 10 simultaneous.

Call Screener – The separate Call Screener module is available for use on another Mac.  It allows Producers and Talent to manage callers while maintaining constant communications with each other on their Macs.

Remote Screener – Leave your call screener at home and save on travel.  Share your screener among shows from different cities.  The phone system in the cloud permits screener and talent to function a world apart.

Backbone Talk

System Requirements

  • Intel based Macintosh capable of running
  • OS X 10.8+
  • Apple Java 6 and
  • Oracle supplied java 7.x

Network Requirements

A high quality internet connection that is capable of supporting Voice over IP. This is an internet connection with the following characteristics:

  • Upstream bandwidth 1MB/s
  • Packet loss < 1% (0.5% preferred)
  • Round Trip packet transmit time < 200ms
  • Jitter < 30 ms
  • UDP and TCP traffic allowed out
  • ftp allowed out

To test the capability of your internet connection run the 8×8 VoIP test. This test requires a 64-bit browser that supports Java such as Safari. The Chrome browser does not currently support this test.

Network ports out for control and telephony need to be opened.  If you can’t connect to the phone system, these ports will likely need to be opened on your network by your IT department. Opening all ports will enable operation. If you would like to know which specific ports to open please contact Backbone Support at support@backbone.com.

Mix-Minus – For your DJ phone computer — set up a mix minus with your mixing board auxiliary output.

BACKBONE TALK

Internet Radio Phone System Documentation

Backbone’s Internet Talk Radio Phone system is the most versatile, powerful telephone system for radio talk shows and stations that want to engage listeners. No need for expensive handsets or cumbersome rack frames, this scalable, online phone system operates right on your computer screen(s) and into your board. No capital expense, no equipment maintenance, no need for phone lines, and no limit on your number of callers.

Developed specifically for professional Talk, News and Sports Radio stations produced digitally “in the cloud” using our Backbone Radio platform, this software-based phone suite gives your station the freedom to broadcast live from virtually anywhere and stay connected with your listeners in the middle of the action.

System Requirements: OS X 10.7+ with Apple Java 6 and Oracle supplied java 7.x

Network Requirements: A high quality internet connection that is capable of supporting Voice over IP. This is an internet connection with the following characteristics:

Upstream bandwidth 1MB/s

Packet loss < 1% (0.5% preferred)
Round Trip packet transmit time < 200ms
Jitter < 30 ms

UDP and TCP traffic allowed out
ftp allowed out

To test the capability of your internet connection run the 8×8 VoIP test. This test requires a 64-bit browser that supports Java such as Safari. The Chrome browser does not currently support this test.

Network ports out for control and telephony need to be opened.  If you can’t connect to the phone system, these ports will likely need to be opened on your network by your IT department. Opening all ports will enable operation. If you would like to know which specific ports to open please contact Backbone Support at support@backbone.com.

Mix-Minus – For your DJ phone computer — set up a mix minus with your mixing board auxiliary output, and input channel on your board similar to:

Phone System Installation, note that this will need to be done for both the screener and the talent Macintoshes:

  • Start phone client — if OS X asks you to install Java, do so.
  • Then download and install the Oracle Java SE Dev kit 
  • Set your mac audio inputs to be your mix minus audio device (both input and output)

DJ and Screener programs are zero config. Copy the DJ program to DJ/Talk host computer, Screener to screener computer and run them.

If they connect to the hosted cloud phone PBX, you’ll hear a single ring sound and see the interface.

Phone Number: The DJ and Screener programs have your call in phone number with area code in the title.

How to use the Phone System: Either of the two programs DJ and SCREENER can be used independently, or together to allow for call screening. DJ and Screener can be at different locations, anywhere they need to be in the world, as long as there is an internet connection.

As callers dial in to your call in number, they will hear an intro message, and appear in the call list. Here’s how to screen and talk to multiple callers for your talk radio show.

On an individual line:

  • Click ANSWER to talk to/screen a caller.
  • Incoming calls show RING in interface. Screener will speak ‘CALL‘ through default audio interface
  • On SCREENER interface, notes dialog will appear (info entered here will be shown on the DJ interface).
  • Screener notes will be saved for individual caller IDs. ‘Blacklist’ callers to id them later if they call back.
  • SCREENER: Click HOLD to hold call. ANSWER to talk again.
  • DJ: Click AIR to mark call as on air, Click HOLD to hold, ANSWER to talk again.
  • Conference multiple callers together with CONF button.
  • DROP to disconnect caller
  • Click BUSY ALL to disallow all new calls (and hangup existing)
  • Click HANGUP ALL to drop all existing calls
  • DIAL pops up a number pad, and allows calls out to be made on individual line (calls can be made anywhere in USA, international available on request, extra charges may apply.)

For communication between DJ and SCREENER, chat in CHAT box to the right of status light in lower lefthand corner.

Configuration parameters, accessed via ‘configuration’ button should not be changed.

Network tester indicator below Hangup All button indicates quality of network– NET OK in green good, Yellow NET WARN or RED Net Fail indicates substandard network message.

Initial caller message can be changed to a recording of your choice.

Submit bug reports to: phone@backbone.com

Backbone Talk Pricing

$150 per month for 1500 minutes and texts (one text equals one minute). $0.10 per minute and text overages. Backbone will provision a local phone number. Toll-free numbers are available for an additional $25 per month.

Contact us at info@backbone.com if you would like a quote on multiple phone systems and minutes over 3,000 per month.