How it Works: Inputs and Outputs



Most radio station automation systems (local, in studio) are unable to communicate directly with TagStation (in the cloud).  What we refer to as datacasting "middleware" is required to facilitate communication between the automation and TagStation.

We refer to the combination of your automation system and your middleware as your "Playout System."



Once connected to your playout system, TagStation receives information about your audio events:

  • Songs (which we call "music events")
  • Spots & Promos (which we call "non-music events")

Upon receiving audio event input (from your playout system), TagStation searches for enhanced content associated with that audio event.

For music events (songs) "enhanced content" refers to the artist name, song title, album title and album art.

For non-music events (spots & promos) "enhanced content" refers to the accompanying descriptive text, artwork and associated "actions" (that can be configured in TagStation).

TagStation then outputs an audio event's associated enhanced content in two ways:

  • It delivers enhanced content to NextRadio and connected cars via the internet
  • It delivers enhanced content back to your middleware, which passes the information on to your RDS and HD equipment, for broadcast



Example 1: A song


In the example above, the song "Fame" by David Bowie fires from your playout system.  TagStation receives the Artist Name, Song Title, Cut ID and duration of the event.  TagStation looks in Gracenote for "enhanced content" that matches the information received.  When a match is found, the enhanced content from Gracenote is matched (linked) to the song.

At this point, any time "Fame" is played TagStation will output the enhanced content associated with it.


Example 2: A spot/promo



In the example above, a spot fires from your playout system. TagStation receives the Cut ID/Spot ID associated with the audio event then looks for a Campaign (created in TagStation) that contains the Spot ID. If a campaign exists, the enhanced content in the Campaign is linked to the spot.

At this point, any time the spot is played TagStation will output the enhanced content associated with it. 



TagStation outputs enhanced content to:

  • NextRadio + The Connected Car, via the internet
  • Your middleware, which in turn hands it off to the boradcast equipement responsible for supporting:
    • RDS
    • HD Radio


Example 1: A song

Artist Name, Song Title, Album Title and Album Art are output to:

  • NextRadio + The Connected Car
  • Your middleware, for broadcast over RDS and HD Radio 


Example 2: A spot

The enhanced content in the Campaign is output to:

  • NextRadio + The Connected Car
  • Your middleware, for broadcast over RDS and HD Radio 


Note: TagStation complies with HD Radio standards, however the feature set of the HD Radio receiver being used will determine which enhanced content elements will display.


Review: TagStation Requirements

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