RadioDNS provides the link between what you’re broadcasting over FM, DAB, HD Radio (or other broadcast platforms), and what you can also provide over an Internet connection. This lets you combine the power of broadcasting to reach many people, in many places very cost effectively, and the power of the internet to deliver enhanced or personalised content. Put simply, it makes better radio.
It’s not new technology. It uses existing DNS – the robust, scalable technology that makes the internet work – alongside the information already being broadcast on FM, DAB, HD and other radio platforms. Since it doesn’t need any changes to the transmission chain and uses existing internet technology, it’s simple and cheap to implement. The RadioDNS Project has published the core specification for how broadcast links to IP, and maintains this linking information to a published Trust Model.
What kind of extra services could RadioDNS enable?
In theory, anything you can deliver over IP. However, a service is only valuable if it can be received on a large number of receivers, so it makes sense to standardise some common requirements.
As RadioDNS only provides the linking information, three sub-projects currently exist within the RadioDNS Project to create RadioDNS enabled applications for three common requirements.
RadioVIS specifies how to add visual information (text and graphics) to radio. For instance, you could enhance an FM broadcast with text and images with playing now information, news, travel and commercials delivered over an IP connection to the radio. This is currently in use on the PURE Sensia, the Revo Axis, and some mobile phone applications.
RadioEPG allows broadcasters to publish information on the various ways that the radio station can be received, and more information about the station and its programme schedules. This allows service-following, where a radio could use information in RadioEPG to switch automatically between streaming and FM radio (and back again); and a “universal preset” which could find your station anywhere; as well as logos and more information about your station.
RadioTAG provides a very simple framework for capturing interaction and relaying back to the broadcaster. For instance, capturing a button push during a song or commercial to allow the listener to find out more. TAG does not require the transmission of any meta-data over the air, which allows it to be personalised for each listener.
A radio receiver can instantly discover whether these applications – or others – are supported by each broadcast it tunes in to.
RadioDNS provides a trusted link in the chain between a radio receiver and the broadcaster, so it’s important that the information it provides is accurate and verified, and that any legitimate broadcaster can populate the DNS with their station entries (whilst protecting the service from miscreants).
There will be a small fee charged per entry in the DNS lookup table for broadcasters, which covers the operating costs of the organisation. This fee is likely to be the same as a normal domain name, but is currently waived.
It’s entirely free to use RadioDNS services if you’re a receiver manufacturer or software provider.
The RadioDNS Project operates on a not-for-profit basis.