Published in News
Google intros radio automation functions
by David Stellmack on15 April 2008
New automation tool built from scratch
Google plans to unveil a new system to automate tasks for radio broadcasters known as Google Radio Automation. Google Radio Automation will debut next week in Las Vegas at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Conference.
The new system is said to be built from scratch and is the next generation of Google’s existing Maestro and SS32, which broadcasters currently use to automate a number of radio functions, including audio recording, advertising and automating song slots. Google Radio Automation reportedly combines the Maestro and SS32 functions and offers enhancements such as an open software platform and a three-tier computing architecture.
The previous generation SS32 and Maestro do not have an open Application Programming Interface (API) and run solely on Windows, while Google Radio Automation supports Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Google Radio Automation is not hosted software; instead it ships inside a server known as MK-14. MK-14 has as many as three removable SATA hard drives, hot-swappable power supplies and an Intel chipset that supports Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors.
Radio automation is one of Google’s three areas of the radio business. The other two areas are Google Audio Ads and AdSense for Audio. Google entered the radio advertising market over two years ago when it bought dMarc and currently has 1,600 radio stations in its distribution network. Its radio efforts have not been popular, particularly after dMarc’s former co-founders, the Steelberg brothers, abruptly left Google on unfriendly terms in 2007.
Google has not disclosed the revenue its radio business generates, but Google remains committed to pushing ahead and improving the way radio advertising works currently.
The Google booth at the NAB conference will showcase Google Radio Automation, with its three-tier architecture: SQL database, user interface and service layer, where the "brain" of the software lies. With an open (API), Google Radio Automation can exchange data with other systems by connecting them to the playlist engine, inventory engine and notification engine.