Managing Audio Assets

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Radio is audio. All the equipment, the sales efforts, the personalities, the office operations and the programming choices combine to create the overall brand and product, but the product itself is audio. While stations and networks take heroic efforts to create this audio, many stations are not fully protecting or managing these assets once they exist.

Most station operations (if not all) are now computer-based. This is an advantage in managing the data we use to create our on-air products. But a final audio product is often composed of many individual elements. For in-house productions, the quantity of ingredients can be significant.

Asset creation

What defines a station's audio assets? Obviously the music being played on the air is an asset (and likely the most extensive). This asset is created when the audio file is imported into the audio playback system.

A station's commercial or underwriting library is an asset. When created in-house, these can be quite extensive works with many individual elements taken from other in-house assets.

Sound effects and theme music libraries are most often purchased, but can also be created in-house. With loop libraries, custom music beds are easy to create even by non-musicians.

Once a program is created or aired, the final version is a new asset. Logging systems have made it easier to capture and save live programs, and many offer the ability to save a very high quality version for a short period to create promos and best-ofs and another version in a compressed format to accommodate long-term storage without requiring extensive amounts of storage capacity.

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