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The "And More" of Automation
RCS' Zetta has a feature known as Billboarding, which allows the user to send data about the song currently playing, along with the ability to include any number of items that are scheduled to play. The output can be as simple as a serial string or as complex as an XML that can be sent via UDP or TCP. According to RCS, there's no limit to the number of destinations to which this information is sent.
BSI's Data Repeater works with Simian and most other automation systems that output song metadata via TCP/UDP, serial, or to a text or XML file to a hard drive. This data can be forwarded to eight TCP/UDP, seven HTTP call, or eight serial destinations. The Data Repeater can also generate three HTML pages using user-created HTML page templates. Once data is received, it can be forwarded in the format received to TCP and/or UDP ports, or reformatted using user-defined templates to any of the available destination types (TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTML, Serial, or command line). Each output profile uses its own template, so each data output profile can have a data format tailored to the specifications of the destination application or hardware device.
The iMediaTouch system relies on third-party software from Artic Palm for its title/artist messaging. Using CSRDS, messages can be sent relating to title/artist, in addition to station promotions, contest info, website information, and sponsorships that are triggered by the cart number, artist, or sponsor that is on-air. Messages are relayed outbound to RDS, HD PSD, websites, and audio streams.
I've covered features that most would consider nuts and bolts elements of a radio station automation system; now let's look at features that specifically address the Web and mobile spaces. After all, it's not just the radio station any more, right?
WideOrbit's WO Mobile is a platform that allows content providers to reach mobile users in several different ways. Via SMS messaging, campaigns can be launched across the major mobile carrier networks. Ads can be inserted inside text messages. Direct engagement with mobile users can be accomplished: product or services can be offered; inquiries can be tracked; and orders can be taken. Text alerts can be issued for events such as weather warnings, school closures, sports and other breaking news events. Via URL embedding, audio, video, branded advertisements, mobile coupons, movie trailers, or sports highlights can be linked. WO Mobile also integrates with WO Traffic for billing, invoicing and reporting.
One feature of Broadcast Electronics TRE is TrafficNow; and if your station subscribes to Navteq or Total Traffic and Weather Network, you can display current traffic information on RDS and HD Radio PSD. TRE also supports Twitter tagging. By tweeting each song, along with an iTunes Store URL, listeners can then favorite that Tweet on any portable device that supports Twitter. Later, they can recall that favorite Tweet on a PC or Mac and purchase the song. The Tagstation cloud application (developed in conjunction with Emmis Broadcasting) uses song data from the automation system to find matches in the the Gracenote music database, which are then used in conjunction with HD Radio Artist Experience and the NextRadio FM tuner application for mobile devices. It has the ability to maintain, modify and customize those matches. Tagstation provides the ability to customize spots and promos with images and text for HD Radio Artist Experience and the NextRadio FM Tuner application; and, TRE software also inserts the necessary tagging information for RDS transmission over FM.
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