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Likely you've heard or read about the capacity of HD Radio to transmit images; not moving ones, but rather artwork related to music or commercials. Officially called Artist Experience, it is really in its early stages as this is written. Here's iBiquity's official definition:
"Artist Experience is the synchronous transmission, delivery and display of images on the receiver related to a specific audio segment. Cover art images (for example) may also include artist photos, slide shows or other images related to the song or audio being played. Commercial images related to an advertisement segment may also be displayed using this feature."
So how is Artist Experience implemented? For starters, an additional software application manages the image-associated data. As of this date, Broadcast Electronics TRE, Emmis Interactive/Tag Station and Jump2Go have products that format and manage this data. One common component of these solutions is an interface client known as the MSAC (multiport synchronous asynchronous client) that typically runs on a computer that can communicate with the importer via IP. (MSAC could also run on the importer itself.) The MSAC sequencer function supplies synchronization information to the studio automation system, typically including:
> Song PSD content
> Large object transfer ID
> Song play timing In addition, it issues pre-fetch commands to get images from an image server, and it will run a schedule request/response API, which includes:
> Whether the image is a station logo or cover art or other
> Lot ID of the image (optional, generated if not supplied)
> Data file name
> Service name, HD1-AE, HD3-logo
> When the sync event will occur
> Did sync event occur
Artist Experience is a data service configured with a specific bandwidth to deliver the images. Typically the service requires 5-7kb/s to deliver images for HD1, HD2 and HD3.
The MSAC and LOT clients were developed by iBiquity, but they are integrated into a software solutions offered by the three manufacturers mentioned above. In other words, they are sub-components used by the manufacturers to build the Artist Experience software solution. By this method, each manufacturer can build the user interface to give it their own look and feel - but the core elements are the same.
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