Category Archives: Radio Insider Syndicated Radio Reports

The Impact of Downloading on Radio

One key element of the Fourth Wave of Radio, or if you will, how the Internet is going to impact the broadcast media, is the download phenomena which is sweeping the world. Notice that it’s not the downloading of music, but rather the overall act of downloading which is re-defining music, video and software.  Life in today’s radio stations is very hectic, meaning a lot of broadcasters don’t have time to really sit back and have and consider what this is really means to our industry, and may have assumed that it’s just a matter of downloading music to augment some people’s libraries. This is not the case. What’s happened is, the internet community has taken the time to compile collections of their favorite music and make those collections available on the Internet. For example, if you take something as simple as downloading and a song, as you possibly may have done through iTunes or from some other recognized source like your own radio station website, you will find that today’s net savvy users are operating at a whole new level. In the spectrum of peer to peer downloading, users are grabbing entire discographies, libraries which contain not only every album released by any specific band, but also additional material like un-released concerts and bootleg albums. . For example, I saw a Rolling Stones collection which not only had every album that the band had ever released, but it also had a about twenty concerts, all in a new super high quality format, well beyond what radio stations are able to deliver today. The net outcome, if you are listener looking for Rolling Stones music, you can have a better collection than any radio station on the planet in under 1-hour at no cost. Another collection I saw contained Elton John music.  Again, an interesting twist, in that it had every album, every concert, every bootleg, and everything was available in three different versions. The first version was taken from vinyl, appealing to those who p[refer the sound of records from the 70s;  there was a rip from a CD, as well as a new high-end audio rip, so that whatever level of music  you are looking for, It was available in the download. When you consider today’s  internet connectivity, and then look at the way storage platforms have expanded over the last three or four years, with the proliferation of small thumb drives which are now capable of supporting upwards of 64 GB of music, or if you will, about four times the size of an average radio station’s library, you would have to recognize that massive personal library are a reality today.
The outcome is that we are seeing empowered users who have no need to go anywhere, but to the local computer store to pick up a cheap memory stick and then copy their files onto it. To give you an idea of costs, an eight gigabyte thumb drive can support something in the area of 150 albums at a cost of about five dollars, and based in what we’re seeing in the download speeds on the Internet, the cost of the music would be zero. The one component that is still lacking at this point to develop this segment is a lack of music playlists, leaving a gap for broadcast radio to retain portions of the music listening audience, but everyday that gap is closing with car manufacturers leading the way with dramatically flexile, high quality music playback installed in even entry level cars and trucks.
Remember, if you have any comments or thoughts about our article on the fourth wave of radio are about this particular video, please drop me a line to Bob@radioinsider.net Thank you very much.

Text to Speech Applications in Broadcast Radio

I wanted to share with you some of the researching we found for the article on the fourth wave of radio. One of the most striking advancements we found was the growth of avatars. Avatars would be computer generated animations that deliver text to voice, and are approaching a quality that can be used for various functions in a radio station. Clearly, no station wants to have an announcer who sounds like a computer, but in certain areas, where the break is short and the voice is clean, you can replace the announcer with many advantages including dramatically expanding the number of voices available on-air, and also additional cost reduction as a junior production person can generate voice tracks on their own. I can just hear the wheels turning now as managers question the quality of the voice and the best applications to apply it to. Let me show you how easy it is to locate and use an avatar.
Demo
I don’t think that avatars are quite ready for as they say Prime Time, but they certainly are approaching a level that in some stations should guarantee them a place in the on-air sound. If you consider one of the key styles of air brakes in radio, that being a break of more than four seconds, but less than seven seconds, which in verbal communications terms would be a break long enough for the listener to process the information being delivered, and short enough that the next element, probably a song, is being played before the listener could make the decision to stay with you or sample another station or audio source. This becomes a key factor I n listener retention and building hours tuned. Seven seconds is enough time for an announcer to deliver a branding break with station ID or deliver surveillance information, like time or temperature with branding. Let me show you, using an avatar with royalty free music our library.
Demo
Given a bit more time for software to evolve, computers to become more powerful, and what you will find is that these voice to text applications will take over increasing amounts of a station’s voice work and dramatically expand the voices available to production. Even with the current level of software, avatars are well positioned for things like automated time and temperature breaks which would require an announcer to read upwards of a thousand voice tracks.
If you have any questions about this video, where the article or any of the other areas we would looking into. Feel free to drop me all of an email to Bob@Radio Insider. net. Thank you very much.