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Radio Currents Online - May 23 - May 29, 2005
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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FCC Launches E-mail Consumer Information Registry
Washington - May 26, 2005 - The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) is launching the Consumer Information Registry, an expanded e-mail service that will deliver to subscribers customized information about the FCC's actions and related developments in telecommunications and other communications services.
The Registry is an Internet database that can be customized to deliver information on topics the subscriber chooses. To register, go to www.fcc.gov/cgb/contacts.
NRSC Submits IBOC Standard to the FCC
Washington - May 18, 2005 - The NAB and CEA, co-sponsors of the NRSC, filed the NRSC-5 standard with the FCC. NRSC-5 is the group's in-band, on-channel (IBOC) digital radio broadcasting standard. It is a voluntary standard and represents more than a decade of work performed by the NRSC to evaluate and standardize a digital radio broadcasting technology for the United States.
The standard is based on Ibiquity Digital's IBOC digital radio technology. Following the release of the FCC's First Report and Order (Docket 99-325) on Oct. 10, 2002, radio licensees were granted interim authority by the FCC to operate with this technology. As a result, there are now stations in most major and medium markets broadcasting IBOC signals with many more planning to do so in the near future. Additionally, receiver manufacturers Kenwood, Panasonic and JVC now have products available in the marketplace with other manufacturers planning to launch products soon. The NRSC hopes that the NRSC-5 standard will help the Commission craft permanent rules for digital radio broadcasting.
In the Ibiquity system, audio source coding and compression are handled by Ibiquity's HDC codec. NRSC-5 does not include specifications for audio source coding and compression. Ibiquity has committed to license all patents necessary to implement NRSC-5, with or without the HDC codec. It also is possible within the NRSC-5 standard to use audio source coding and compression schemes other than Ibiquity's HDC codec.
The NRSC did not include codec specifications in this standard because Ibiquity, due to a variety of legal restrictions, is unable to divulge the specifications of its codec. Furthermore, because the FCC previously authorized stations--on an interim basis--to broadcast with Ibiquity's system and its inherent HD codec, the NRSC concluded that it would not be necessary to address the codec within the standard. The NRSC expects that to ensure overall compatibility, broadcast equipment manufacturers and receiver manufacturers will use the Ibiquity codec in their products.
Information about NRSC-5 is available on the NRSC Website at www.nrscstandards.org.
Internet Surround Music Project Created
Los Angeles - May 25, 2005 - Several companies involved in audio technologies have banded to form the Internet Surround Music Project. The charter members of the group are Cakewalk, Coding Technologies, recording artist Richard Devine, Jazz Mutant, Minnetonka Software, Nasseri Music Business Solutions, Native Instruments, Steinberg, recording artist Amon Tobin, Tuner2.com and Winamp.
The Internet Surround Music Project has started an Internet forum at www.tuner2.com for artists to publish 5.1 surround music and will run contests to encourage aspiring artists.
Recognizing that radio has traditionally driven demand for new music formats by providing broad exposure, the Internet Surround Music project has a two-fold purpose: to provide a way for artists to get their multichannel music heard by publishing it on the Internet, and to encourage more artists to produce content in surround sound by running contests where artist submissions are judged and awarded prizes based on quality, originality and popularity.
With the specific goal of making artists aware of the opportunity in surround music, the group will outreach to musicians and encourage them to submit their multichannel music to contests hosted at Tuner2.com. Registrants will receive free AAC Plus encoder software to encode their content for electronic submission to Tuner2.com. The Internet Surround Music Project will host that content and run the contests on Tuner2.com, delivering the content on-demand and in aggregated radio streams.
Armstrong Broadcast Plans Continue
Alpine, NJ - May 24, 2005 - On Saturday June 11, WFDU-FM 89.1 in conjunction with CSC Management/Alpine Tower will commemorate the first public demonstration of FM radio with a special broadcast and ceremony. A transmitter broadcasting on an original FM frequency will be switched on at the Alpine Tower in Alpine, NJ, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the first public demonstration of FM radio by its inventor Major Edwin Howard Armstrong.
A special program, hosted by veteran WINS anchorwoman Judy DeAngelis, will originate from the site. The broadcast will begin at noon. It will tell the tale of the difficult birth of FM radio through personal recollections by some of the people who worked with Major Armstrong - including Renville H. McMann Jr., former VP, CBS Technology Center. McMann worked for Armstrong at age 14 while in school.
Tom Lewis, author of Empire Of The Air, is slated to offer his insights into Armstrong's struggles with industry giants of the time as well as the inventor's impact on all forms of present-day communications.
Included in the Saturday broadcast will be excerpts from a recording of a special 1941 test broadcast of the original New England Yankee Network. This was the first such network to use FM radio links instead of telephone lines to connect stations. A radio dramatization of Empire Of The Air, originally produced by David Ossman for American Public Radio, will be broadcast.
The commemorative broadcast day is scheduled to conclude with the 1954 sign off of the Alpine station W2XMN following the death of Major Armstrong. The broadcast will be transmitted on 42.8MHz. It will be simulcast on WFDU-FM on 89.1MHz and online at www.wdfu.fm. The program will be rebroadcast online at 7 p.m. on June 14 and June 16.
The 42MHz replica transmitter was built by Steve Hemphill of Solid Electronics Laboratories. Hemphill and the Sackermann family, the owners of the Alpine Tower located in Alpine, NJ, organized the program. Audio production, engineering and transmission will be provided through WFDU-FM under the direction of Barry Sheffield.
Additional information about the commemorative broadcast and about the Alpine Tower site can be found on the CSC Management website at www.cscmgt.com.
NAB Opens Housing for NAB Radio Show
Philadelphia - May 19, 2005 - Housing for the 2005 NAB Radio Show is now open. The convention will be held in Philadelphia Sept. 21 to 23. The online booking system is accessible through the NAB Radio Show website at www.nab.org/conventions.
Harris to Outfit Entercom Sacramento and New Orleans for HD Radio
Cincinnati - May 26, 2005 - Entercom Communications has selected Harris as the exclusive HD Radio transmission supplier for its Sacramento and New Orleans FM stations. All nine stations (KSEG-FM, KDND-FM, KRXQ-FM, KWOD-FM and KSSJ-FM in Sacramento; WEZB-FM, WLMG-FM, WTKL-FM and WKBU-FM in New Orleans) will go on-air with Harris Z12HDS and Z16HDS solid-state transmitters in late Q2/early Q3 2005.
Each Z12CD and Z16CD transmitter will be outfitted with Harris Dexstar exciters, with an upgrade path to the company's forthcoming Flexstar exciter.
Mediabay, Overdrive Provide Classic Radio Shows to Libraries
Cedar Knolls, NJ - May 25, 2005 - Mediabay and Overdrive have signed a distribution agreement to deliver selections of Mediabay's 50,000-hour library of classic radio programs to libraries across the United States. The collection of radio programs originally aired from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Overdrive's distribution network reaches nearly 1,000 libraries.
ATA Audio to Distribute Audio TX STL-IP
Randolph, NJ, and Birmingham, OK - May 23, 2005 - ATA Audio has been granted the exclusive U.S. distribution rights for the Audio TX STL-IP codec from MDO UK. The Audio TX STL-IP codec delivers audio over IP networks.
A Field Report on the STL-IP appeared in the May 2005 issue of Radio magazine.
Buckley Broadcasting Names Ray as VP
New York - May 26, 2005 - Buckley Broadcasting has promoted Thomas R. Ray III, CPBE, corporate director of engineering, to vice president/corporate director of engineering of Buckley Broadcasting. The announcement comes near the end of a massive project to move the WOR studio and office complex from 1440 Broadway to a new facility in the Wall Street area of Manhattan.
Ray started his career in broadcasting as a board operator at Buckley's WDRC-AM/FM in Hartford, CT, in 1977 as a senior in high school. He eventually worked his way up to chief engineer after college. While his career has taken him to other stations such as WRCH in Hartford and WTIC-AM/FM in Hartford, Ray has always maintained a relationship with the Buckley stations, and he became director of engineering at WOR in 1997. He was named corporate director of engineering for Buckley in 2000.
Ray is certified as a Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE) by the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Ray serves on the Board of Directors of the SBE and is chairman of SBE Chapter 15 in New York City. He served as the chairman of the Broadcast Engineering Conference Committee for NAB2005. He has also served on the Connecticut State Emergency Communications Committee, on the New Jersey Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee, and has worked with the committee on the New York City EAS plan.
Tom Ray received the SBE's 2003 Best Technical Article award for his article Running Interference that appeared in the April 2003 issue of Radio magazine. The article detailed the station's work in determing IBOC interference levels between WOR and WLW, Cincinnati.
Tieline Appoints VP of North, South American Operations
Indianapolis, IN - May 20, 2005 - Tieline Technology has named Jim Godfrey vice president of Tieline's North and South American operations. Godfrey brings more than 20 years of technology management experience to the Tieline team and will be responsible for enhancing Tieline's new G3 platform brand recognition and sales. Godfrey spent nine years as president of Marti and more than seven years at Radio Computing Services and Decision Inc. developing broadcast products and distribution networks.
Godfrey formerly held director positions in the Texas Broadcasting Association, Forth Worth Aviation Advisory Board and Loan Oak State Bank. He holds a Master of Science in Systems Management (California), a Bachelor of Business (Texas) and served in the United States Army.
Prime Image Hires new CEO
San Jose, CA - May 22, 2005 - Prime Image has named Peter J. Jegou as its new CEO. He said his goal is to set the new corporate direction for profitable growth through strategic partnerships while building on existing relationships.
Tascam Releases Gigastudio Upgrade
Montebello, CA - May 25, 2005 - Tascam has released Gigastudio version 3.10, a free upgrade to the sampling software. Gigastudio version 3.10 adds new IMIDI templates and new IMIDI rules and features. Version 3.10 also adds drag and drop creation of Gigapulse presets, user interface enhancements and new keyboard shortcuts. The release will be available for download at www.tascamgiga.com in early June.
Creative Network Design Unveils Pro Tools Plug-in
Barcelona - 118th AES Convention - May 27, 2005 - Creative Network Design (CND) has released Netmix Pro Metaplug, a new audio plug-in for Digidesign Pro Tools. The plug-in enables users to upload audio files securely to any professional media asset management system or FTP site. The cross-platform plug-in embeds metadata to an FTP hot folder or a network volume. Users can upload audio files directly from within Pro Tools.
The metadata output is customizable and can be adjusted to different media asset management systems used in the broadcast industry. The plug-in will be available in the third quarter of 2005.
Tascam's Interfaces Now Compatible with Apple Software
Montebello, CA - May 23, 2005 - Now that Apple's Final Cut Studio production suite includes a Final Cut Pro 5 upgrade, Tascam's line of Firewire audio control surfaces and interfaces are now compatible with it. The upgrade means that Final Cut Pro 5 and Soundtrack Pro are now fully compatible with Mackie Control Protocol devices, so users can use external audio control surfaces--including Tascam's FW-1884 or FW-1082--to edit and manipulate audio.
The FW-1082 features nine motorized faders for adjusting audio levels during mix playback using the revamped software. The FW-1082 also has a MIDI fader mode that can be used in programs like Apple Motion 2 to adjust parameters in real-time during playback. The system has four mic inputs, four line ins and S/PDIF digital in and out--all available at 96kHz. It features 10 inputs, including four balanced XLR mic inputs with phantom power.
the FW-1884 offers 18-channels of inputs (eight analog and eight ADAT digital and two S/PDIF coaxial or optical), eight balanced XLR mic/line inputs with high-quality mic preamps and phantom power, plus nine 100mm motorized touch-sensitive faders.
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