So you want to broadcast, but don't know where to begin or what's needed? This topic comes up a LOT when people want to join in the fun, so I'm going to park my thoughts here so I have a place to link beginner broadcasters to moving forward.

TLDR; I strongly recommend that you not overspend or overcomplicate your setup when you first get started.

  • Once you're more established and sure that you want to continue, then it might be worth the time and mental anguish to upgrade your setup like some of the pros, but it's almost never worth the energy involved to start that way.

  • To begin, all you need is a dedicated mic and dialing software. That's it. If you want to do calls with friends that's possible too. So let's dive in:

  • Don't bother with spoofing. Just get a throwaway via Google Voice or Skype. Spoofing isn't foolproof regardless, so not worth it.

  • Use Skype for group calls. Don't bother with using a dedicated app like Discord or Mumble to do group calls because then you'll have to figure out how to route audio to those apps and back to the dialer… which is complex. Skype is great because it handles that for you. You can do a group call with some buddies and your prank call roycipient without needing to fiddle with voicemeeter or other complicated audio routing software. Every other scenario requires complicated audio setting tweaking that will make your eyes water as a beginner.

  • You can even use Skype for playing background music You can either drag in music files, or connect it to Spotify.

  • Get a wireless lapel / lavalier mic. They are cheap and you can then move around freely on your calls without worrying too much about being inconsistent with the distance from your mic. Plus they will be pretty good about ignoring background noise. Here's an example one for $25:

  • Throw down a rug. If the room you are making calls in has a bare floor (eg. no carpet) throw a rug, towel or blanket on it before doing calls to dampen echoes. This small step makes a noticeable difference in your voice quality.

  • Verify your output sounds great in real time Your roycipient and your voice should have roughly the same volume. Broadcast your calls live to your Prankcast account (with notifications disabled) using our web broadcaster and have someone listen to the live stream to give you feedback on sound volumes. If you need to make microphone tweaks that's waaaay more efficient than recording, stopping, listening, tweaking, recording, stopping, listening, tweaking,…etc. Prankcast admins are happy to help if you ever need to test your audio.

That's it! You're all set.

Obviously there's a LOT we can do to improve this setup, including adding soundboards and routing channels so for example your roycipient can't hear music in between calls, but your listeners can.

We'll cover that and more advanced setups soon.

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Incremental release:


  • User numbers are now displayed on the homepage.
  • Stats during broadcast have received an overall design update and a number of new tracked metrics were added, including peak listeners and chatters, total listening time and more.
  • Stats, including live listener and chatter numbers have been added as output to the API. (Thanks @bassbot)
  • Stats are accessible in the left sidebar of chat, during live broadcasts.


  • Broadcasters who use third party apps to stream here: if you have not yet updated your broadcast credentials since my 12/23/2023 announcement, please do so immediately. We'll be retiring the old server shortly.
  • A simplified Broadcast setup wizard has been added to the Broadcast settings, to make it as easy as possible for new broadcasters to get set up.
  • Your position in the wizard will be saved, so you will no longer need to restart it every time you open it up.
  • Guides for 3 new IceCast and RTMP compatible iPhone apps have been added.
    Broadcast setup wizard


  • A low bandwidth mode has been added for better listening experience for people on bad internet connections.
  • Currently 2 modes are offered, low (64kHz) and medium (128kHz - the current default).
  • High bandwidth mode (256kHz) is coming soon - contributor only.
  • This update only impacts listeners. Broadcasters can continue streaming any size to us.
  • Update your listening preferences here:



  • You can now update the background color in the drawing tool.
  • You can reset the canvas in the drawing tool.
  • Video embeds will now open in a floating window.
  • Mobile transcript view was added.
  • Lots of misc fixes and general polishing.
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Small follow on to yesterday's update:

  • Posts will now open in a modal instead of expanding on the page.
  • Comments will now be immediately visible.
  • The title and close button will anchor to the top of the page when scrolled down.
  • The list of posts on the homepage and user profiles will now be an infinite scroll (instead of having to manually click a "load more" button, to make finding content easier.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing some edit forms from closing.
  • Changed the emoji to no longer be 1 per user per post, similar to how chat works.
  • Ignored users will no longer show up in your posts, post comments or post opens for you


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Hey all, this is a massive update. Possibly the biggest overhaul I've worked on to date. Hope you don't mind my Christmas release coming a few days late!

Before we begin, I first want to say a huge thanks to Prankcast support admins @criefaux, @despicabledogs and @icecat who have been helping behind the scenes, with user audio issues, testing new builds, creating amazing content and dedicating their free time to help keep the platform a wonderful place for the community. If you're having any audio issues, please don't hesitate to reach out to them in Discord.

And of course, thanks to all the Patreons!!!

Now onto the geeky tech stuff:

Clipping (BETA)

  • Saving the best for first!
  • You (and mods you assign) can now clip any audio file you streamed or uploaded to Prankcast, including files that you have clipped.
  • Any timestamps saved on the file will show up, acting as guides to help you clip more easily.
  • You can enter clip times manually, or with a slider.
  • After creating the clip, you'll be prompted to enter information about it so you can save it as a new post.
  • All clips will retain links to the parent post they came from.
  • The tool is very beta, so may have some usability quirks. eg. Not all files will be able to display waveforms yet.
  • To clip a file, just click the 3 dots menu button in the top right corner of your post and choose Create a Clip from the drop down.

Third Party Broadcasting Settings

  • Moved our broadcasting over to use a load balancer so we can scale to unlimited servers, as needed.
  • [ACTION NEEDED] There's new credentials to use if you use a third party app like Rocket Broadcaster, BUTT, etc…. You can find them in your Broadcast settings.
  • Please update your credentials immediately but definitely before Jan 31, 2024. Support admins are available to help you if needed.
  • Added a guide and dedicated settings for Audio Hijack 4 (mac app)
  • Added support for RMTP broadcasting in OBS and other apps that support it.

Web Broadcaster

  • You can now disable outbound notifications directly within the web broadcaster via a toggle.
  • Cleaned up the underlying code to the broadcaster to add additional stability.
  • Test mode has been removed, since it's no longer needed.
  • You may need to reallow your browser to have Microphone permissions to broadcast, (if you haven't already used the broadcaster in the last 30 days when this change was pushed live).

Embeddable Player

  • The script for the embeddable player has been changed to a new version.
  • [ACTION NEEDED] If you currently are embedding the player on your website, please replace it the old script with the new script.
  • The Embeddable Player will now conform to whichever size container you place it in (eg. it can go full screen)
  • You can also specify colors if you're trying to match it to your website.
  • Embeddable players will now track the active listeners count.
  • The iframe script is now accessible from any user's Profile page, in the RSS links list.

Update to Posts

  • New types of posts have been added: Video URLs and Clips (previously mentioned)
  • Video URLs can be added via the Create button in the header and supports YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, SoundCloud, Streamable, Vimeo, Wistia, Mixcloud, DailyMotion and Kaltura.) (thanks @NaansenseBaits)
  • Added a meta tab - ugly for now, but functional - will show some additional file detail (eg. timestamps) (thanks @Matthew4)
  • When a post is deleted it will now show a clear message when a user visits that URL
  • You'll no longer see a "loading button" at the bottom of post lists when you reach the end of the list. (thanks @synthead)
  • Fixed ghost responses displaying in posts (thanks @inky)

Live Show Notifications

  • Live shows will now post automatically to Reddit at
  • Fixed DiscordBot so it sends private dm's properly
  • Made a change to the architecture so user accounts can have multiple shows with independent followers in the future

Backend infrastructure update

  • Prankcast is now one of many potential communities on a shared codebase (codename: "Dialtribe")
  • It was built in a way where the Prankcast community (and other) can exist in a private walled garden, where the content is completely separate from any other communities, so we can retain the tight community focus on prank comedy, even if the broader platform it's built on expands to other topics.
  • There's still some additional work to do here, but moving this over was a massive undertaking.

Audio infrastructure

  • Files are now saved with constant bit rate encoding to sync properly with timestamps, clipping, and server actions
  • The system has been updated to support optional video streams. UI so we can actually watch them will be in a future release

Misc fixes

  • fixed tip jar display bug so it no longer shows up when there's no tip jar URL added (thanks @synthead)
  • fixed a bug in the giphy image search that created a blue outline (thanks @criefaux)
  • Shows doing testing will no longer show as live in the API results (thanks @synthead)
  • Fixed some minor RSS formatting issues in Podcast RSS (thanks @synthead)
  • Fixed some email validation issues
  • and omg, so much more!


  • Scheduling posts
  • Scheduling pre-recorded shows
  • Emailing notifications of posts
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Minor release - but lays down the groundwork for Clips!

Chat Tweaks

  • You can now swipe on mobile to open or close chat menus. This only works when no text is typed in the chat form.
  • Tip Jar will now always be visible on mobile, even when the user menu is closed.
  • User ignore lists are fixed.
  • User flair lists are fixed.
  • User block lists are fixed.
  • User block, flair and ignore lists in settings will now add users via a modal, instead of an additional row.
  • Follow button added to Welcome screen in chats, when a broadcaster isn't followed yet.


  • Fixed 1.75X playback speed so it works properly.
  • Show clips UI scaffolding added (future facing functionality only)
  • Some bot text fixes
  • Split the codebase so clones of prankcast can disable contribution gating of features.
  • Ignore lists now applies to Posts as well.
  • The Create button in the top right has been changed to be more subtle, so it doesn't compete with the Tip Jar button for attention.
  • Removed an extra "broadcast" option from the user menu.
  • Lots of other under the hood fixes to stabilize / speed up the code further.
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Hi folks, anyone with Yahoo associated email addresses may not receive a notification from Prankcast. Yahoo is currently limiting email notifications from Prankcast as spam. I don't have an ETA on when this will change, but according to Yahoo it's temporary.

If this impacts you and you do use Yahoo and want to receive notifications, I suggest updating your email in your notifications preferences, or using an alternative method (discord or SMS) until it is resolved.

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Some more fun updates that make the listening, editing and participation experience more enjoyable for broadcasters and users a like…

I can't tell you how many times I'm listening to an old clip and hear myself answering a question in chat, but I forgot to say the question out loud, so I have no clue what question I'm answering. Well, wonder no longer:

Introducing Chat Replays!

Now you can play chat back in real time as you listen to showreels.

chat replay animation

  • Every chat message is shown alongside a timestamp, so you can get the right context from the broadcast.

  • There's a slider, so you can speed scrub through the chat and broadcast.

  • To try it out, just scroll down to the Chat Replay tab on the Post page and click the Start / Open button:

Chat Replay

  • This only applies to broadcasts that have saved the audio to Prankcast. Hosts can view it even if your content is in draft form and not published.

  • Privacy control over chat replay:

  • As a host: You can disable individual replay on certain chats, if you want. You can also disable this globally for your account in your Settings > Content > Post Settings, if you never want your chats to be replayable along with your broadcast.

  • As a user: If you don't want your name appearing in past chats that are replayed, you can hide your username and avatar. This setting is available in the Settings > Personal > Advanced menu.

Playback Speed Control was added to the Showreel and Uploads player.

  • This is super useful if you're doing editing and trying to find a particular call.

playback speed

Timestamp Updates

I added the ability to add tags to timestamp for ease of filtering in the future.

tagging timestamps

Easy Mode:
Click the Save Timestamps button in the chat menu and use the GUI. There's a dropdown menu that lets you choose one preexisting tag or specify your own.

Advanced Mode:
To tag a word via chat message, just add - in front of an alpha_numeric word of your choosing (no spaces). You can use an _ (underscore) to hyphenate two words into a single tag. You can add multiple tags per timestamp in this mode.

Example usage: /t 00:15:32 -offensive Recipient uses racist language.

The output would be:

timestamp: 00:15:32
tags: offensive
notes: Recipient uses racist language.

Example usage: /t 01:25:31 -credit -doglettuce Towing the wrong car.

The output would be:

timestamp: 01:25:31
tags: credit, doglettuce
notes: Towing the wrong car.

You can see the updated full list of chat timestamp commands in the previous post:

Misc Fixes

  • The homepage will no longer auto-play a broadcast when you are the current active host and click on your own name to get to chat.
  • Usernames can now only be changed every 14 days. Your old username url will automatically redirect to your new name.
  • The tabs on individual post pages now fit on mobile screens.
  • The chat box on mobile screens should now stay visible when typing in it on mobile screens.
  • Show titles are now linked to the originating posts in the player when an upload or showreel plays.
  • Flair in chat should now be more readable on Firefox.
  • Upload thumbnails are restored
  • And more!
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Thanks to @icecat for this awesome idea! You can now preserve timestamps, along with a note as you listen to a live broadcast.

Use Cases

  • Marking a funny moment or soundbyte for clipping later
  • Noting when someone has shared a private number or business name you want to remove during editing.
  • Annotating guest names as they do individual calls (useful if you have an open mic segment).

There are 2 ways to save a timestamp and anyone allowed in your chatroom can do it:

1. Typing in Chat:

Here's the full list of methods to create a timestamp via chat:

  • /t = preserve a timestamp at the current time with no notes)
  • /t HH:MM:SS = preserve an optional timestamp at the specified broadcast timer moment (customize HH:MM:SS appropriately).
  • /t -optional_tag = Uses the current time, and lets you add an optional tag.
  • /t Optional notes = Uses the current time, and lets you add optional notes.
  • /t -optional_tag Optional notes = lets you specify the tag and notes at the current time.
  • /t HH:MM:SS -optional_tag = lets you specify the time, and tag to add to the timestamp.
  • /t HH:MM:SS Optional notes = lets you specify the time, and notes to add to the timestamp.
  • /t HH:MM:SS -optional_tag Optional notes = lets you specify the time, tag and notes to add to the timestamp.

Typed text to trigger a timestamp

2. Simple Button

Click the Save timestamp button that appears in the bottom left of the chatroom, when the chat options menu is expanded and a broadcast is active. It will then give you a simple modal where you can edit the timestamp, and add an optional note.

Save timestamp button

Modal with timestamp fields

Accessing timestamps

You can find your saved timestamps listed under the individual post associated with that broadcast after it ends. Clicking the individual timestamp will immediately start playing the audio. If you have transcripts turned on, you can switch to that tab after to see associated text at that timestamp.
Accessing timestamps


  • Adding these for audio posts and saved showreels as well
  • Adding ways to delete and edit these later, or set them to be approved only (similar to post comments).
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  • Following up on the introduction of automated transcripts earlier this week, you can now add timestamps to your audio post / showreel description directly!

  • Use clock formatting to get it to work: Just format them exactly like a HH:MM:SS clock: 00:00:00 with leading zeros for it to work. For example: 01:02:43 will work. 1:02:43 will not. Note that this will only work in audio posts.

  • Current timestamps for files are also now linkable. When listening to audio you can now share the current timestamp you are listening to by clicking the 3 dots menu and choosing "Current timestamp" from the list.

  • Known bug: This will only work on published posts, not drafts. Unfortunately it's a bit of work to address this, so I may not do so.

  • Alternatively you can append ?t=XXX to the URL, where XXX is the number of seconds into the audio. For example:

  • Kindly let me know if you run into any issues! Next up is letting users preserve timestamps during chat. I wanted to include that in this release but ran out of time.

Broadcast Stats

  • Stats batch catch up. I'm currently running a batch process that is calculating past listens. It will probably be complete tomorrow, so until then some older shows may show 0 listens.

  • Pagination Individual broadcast stats are now paginated, so you can go back in time to past broadcasts.

  • And lots of additional tweaks to make things better, including some bug fixes for user blocks. Good times!

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Now you can get all broadcasts and audio uploads transcribed, so they are easily searchable. This is also automatically integrated with the search box on the homepage, so you can find that exact call your looking for right from the home page. To see an example visit:

  • Transcriptions have clickable time stamps - you can jump right to the correct call.
  • As your call plays, you will see the active sentence highlight against the audio.
  • To access transcripts, go to the transcription tab on the individual post page (when applicable). You can also find it in the 3 dots menu by each post (if applicable).

Transcript Caveats

  • Only active contributors' files are eligible for transcription.
  • Only public files will be transcribed.
  • Transcriptions are currently manually triggered, to make sure everything scales correctly. But once we have processed the full backlog, transcriptions will be automatic.
  • After being transcribed, your file will immediately show up in search.
  • I'm in the process of batch transcribing older public files which will take a while, so your stuff may not be in here just yet.
  • Todo: Have the search results show the relevant part of the transcript to make it easier to jump to the right moment in the audio.

Misc Fixes

  • I've streamlined down responses (likes and comments) on posts into a single list. One less list to click through.
  • I've also swapped out the temporary hearts for the custom chat emojis now that there's less visual noise for new users to figure out.

Next up: simple audio clipping and better timestamp control.

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In your content settings you can now see a barebones stats visualization of your listener performance over time. I'll add some additional stats to this as well. Thank you to @mrbiggs for the suggestion.

To access it please visit the Content Tab in your settings:

then open the Broadcast Stats section

It is limited to the the most recent broadcasts for now, but I'll add pagination in the next incremental update to let you go further back in time.

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