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Introduced in 1992, The DigiCenter from International Tapetronics was a computer-based audio storage and playback system. Capable of live assist and full automation, the network configurations allowed up to 255 workstations to be connected and managed. The system handled satellite automation and automated switching of audio sources, as well as unattended recording and delayed playback.

Using a custom operating system that was a variation of Unix, the system had a four-channel capacity. Audio was stored as linear PCM files at 44.1kHz or 48kHz at 16 bits. In 1992, disc storage was expensive, but the system used SCSI drives to achieve very large storage capacities.

Thanks to John Schaab of On Air Digital USA for providing the system's information.

That was then

On May 3, 1971, National Public Radio began broadcasting its network programming. At the time, the network had 90 non-commercial stations affiliates in 36 states. This photo appeared on the July 1971 cover of Broadcast Engineering. The program All Things Considered was one of the first programs distributed through the network.

At the time, NPR also began a network special with live coverage of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the termination of the Vietnam War. NPR was the only network to cover the proceedings in their entirety.

The studio shown here was equipped with the latest audio equipment, including Scully reel-to-reel tape machines, Broadcast Electronics cart machines and Russco turntables.

Do you have information and pictures of a station from radio's earlydays?

Tell us about it for an upcoming installment.

Sample and Hold

A look at the technology shaping radio

Total XM and Sirius satellite radio receiver sales projections.

Source: Carmel Consulting; U.S. Digital Satellite Radio Forecast, Nov 26, 2001

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