(Update 1/17/2014: I've since learned that there is no free alternative to FME for Mac users, no matter the OS level. This really puts egg on JTV's face since we know they love that platform (and no reason they shouldn't). I believe JTV is trying to do improve their interaction with FME for this reaon. Leaving XP users behind is one thing. Leaving current Mac users in the lurch is quite another. We'll see what happens.)
To be honest, I don't fault JTV for this decision. Kush supplied me with the statistic that only about 0.5% of JTV webcasts were originating from a Win XP system. They want to support additional new platforms and the legacy requirements were holding them back. While that messes my situation up right now, I understand their thinking.
Here's my problem with the whole escapade, and it's a story we've heard before. I don't think anyone at JTV knew that this change would impact this group of casters so severely. And that speaks to their expertise: it is lacking when it comes to fully understanding their user base, both viewers and casters. Oh, they know some of it, and they know what works for them with their limitless bandwidth, high-end hardware, and millennial mindset. But outside those confines, it's kind of hit or miss. And We the Users pay every time they roll out some new enhancement. And since they don't fully understand what they're doing, they don't communicate very well what's going to happen from the users' perspective. They simply don't know, and don't know they don't know. OR someone did know and chose to keep it to themselves. That would be worse, and I'm assuming that is not the case.
Bringing it all back to our weekly webcasts, I will continue to cast so long as the situation doesn't deteriorate to the point where the casts simply can't be enjoyed. I know in 2014 I will have to upgrade to Win 7 or Win 8.1 (probably the latter). That means the purchase of a new robust desktop PC, new printer and new scanner (since my current ones don't have the requisite drivers), and a long weekend (minimum) transferring everything over and learning about and configuring the new system. Whoopie. Can't wait to junk perfectly good hardware and spending hours of good time because of planned software obsolescense. The good news is, once all that is over, I should be able to significantly upgrade the casts by being able to take advantage of special effects that I just can't make use of right now. I'd like to be able to play vinyl live. I'd like to be able to put up pictures, videos, and screen caps, and to be able to scroll text and to employ additional webcams. I'll try to keep all that in perspective as I curse at the Metro UI and try to ameliorate all of the new Windows-for-Dummies features Redmond builds into their products these days.