Mathias Coinchon, Senior Project Manager at EBU Technology & Development, and Secretary of RadioDNS, explains the concept behind open-sourcing the EBU’s Content Manager for visual radio.
The Content Manager is a visual radio production tool running on Microsoft Windows which is able to generate on the fly visualization for RadioVIS and DAB slideshow.
It was created by the EBU first for demo purposes and has evolved to become a production tool for visual radio slideshows for sport events and other radio shows. It has been used for sport events covered by Eurovision to generate live sport slides for radio and distributed to broadcasters using RadioDNS Hybrid Radio, digital radio networks and on broadcaster’s websites.
The version that has just been published is the third generation. The rendering of slides is made out of HTML5 templates and it can ingest data from various origins to be integrated in the slides. It outputs slides by FTP and can connect to a RadioVIS server using STOMP protocol. The Content Manager can run automatically based on templates and carousel of slides or can be operated manually for insertion of content for live or special events. This is a tool designed to run in the studio or remote locations.
The source code of the software has been opened with a LGPL license. Like other open source software in general, it is provided as such without support or warranty but can be reused, distributed by any integrator or adapted by programmers or integrated in other platforms.
Mathias says, “The EBU’s role is to develop and promote technology. So we decided to open source this software with the objective of offering a tool that can help broadcasters to adopt visual radio and allow the broadcasting community to benefit from developments made within EBU. We hope it can be useful and maybe developed further. It has already been reused by some broadcasters for generating slideshow for their stations.”
The EBU platform can be used by any broadcaster, whether public service or private/commercial, or you can download the software, for free, and run it yourself. In order to provide dynamic RadioVIS slideshow using the Content Manager, the broadcaster needs to have a web server to push the images to, a RadioVIS server (or use the EBU RadioDNS manager platform) and a host PC to run the Content Manager itself. The latest version published includes a pre-compiled archive with a demo configuration.