Almost all radio stations today use some form of broadcast automation. Although some only use small scripts in audio players, a more robust solution is using a full Radio Automation Suite. There are many commercial and free radio automation packages available.
Radio software history
Radio software allows AM & FM broadcasting to reproduce music and voices from the computer’s hard disk instead of using CD, tape recorders or the old cartridge tape (see Fidelipac). Usually the radio stations stores all advertising campaigns and most of the music in hard disk. Then, instant replay of all the recorded material is done from a keyboard or with a click of the mouse. Now the PC is part of every AM & FM broadcasting, webcasting or podcasting system around the world.
Radio software not only reproduces audio. It is possible to create a “playlist” that can reproduce automatically, without a board operator, a complete radio program, including meteorological announces, advertising campaigns, music tunes, satellite network connection, etc. Then, 24 hours radio stations are possible, also in small towns that can not afford to have operators and speakers all around the clock. Standard PCs are connected in a LAN network to be used on the Master Control Room, Production, News, Administration, etc.
This technology is claimed to be invented in Buenos Aires by Oscar Bonello in 1989. The first radio software for automation, using lossy compressed digital audio codecs, was named Audicom and was internationally introduced at the 1990 National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Atlanta, USA. The world's first radio station to use it was one in San Francisco, California. The basis of the Audicom was the first application, targeted at radio automation, of the audio bit compression technology used to reduce the amount of data. Bonello delivered the first radio automation working technology using the masking curves published by Richard Ehmer.
Nowadays with invention of the MP3 bit compression technology and standard audio cards there are a lot of automation software providers at the market. Some systems includes Administration facilities for the traffic department, Disc Jockey schedule, Live Assist windows and even Artificial Intelligence automation control.
- The Audicom History La historia del Audicom
- PC-Controlled Psychoacoustic Audio Processor by Bonello, Oscar Juan
- “Masking by Tones vs Noise Bands”, Richard Ehmer, Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, September 1959