Updates to our Standards

Nick Piggott,

Part of our role in the hybrid radio ecosystem is to identify where common standards would accelerate and/or lower the costs of implementation.

Our technology standards exist to harmonise the way data is distributed, and we update them to include new functionality requested by our members, through our Technology Groups and our Steering Board.

Alongside the technical standards, we’re also producing a standardised set of terms to harmonise how data should be used.

Changes to Technical Standards

We’ve recently published updates to two of our most used standards. It’s important you work with the latest version of the standards.

Here’s what’s changed in each standard.

Service and Programme Information (TS 102 818 v3.2.1)

We’ve heard from broadcasters (“Content Providers”) that they have some data they only want to share with trusted partners, which requires authentication and secure transfer. To enable that, we’ve added new functionality to the SPI standard:

  • Client ID – the Content Provider can issue unique Client IDs to trusted partners, in order for the partner to authenticate themselves to the Content Provider when requesting data.
  • Authentication negotiation – HTTP response 401 (“Unauthorized”) is added to the client/server conversation, to indicate that a Client ID can be presented.
  • HTTPS – a new SRV record of _radiospi._tcp is added to the standard, which indicates the connection should be made using HTTPS. Client ID and Authentication negotiation is only supported over HTTPS connections.

Content Providers should offer the following:

  • Public data anonymously over HTTP (SRV record of _radioepg._tcp)
  • Public data to any client that does not present a Client ID
  • Private data (which may be tailored to the client) to a client that presents a valid Client ID
  • Either public data OR an error to a client that presents an invalid Client ID

We haven’t specified how Client IDs are allocated – we’re leaving that up to individual Content Providers to agree directly with their partners.

There’s also an addition to make referencing of HD Radio multicast stations (e.g. HD-2, HD-3) correct, and some minor editorial errors corrected.

Download the latest version TS 102 818 v3.2.1.

Hybrid Radio Lookup (TS 103 270 v1.3.1)

The Hybrid Radio Lookup has been updated to specify lookups for HD Radio multicast stations more accurately, and some minor editorial errors corrected.

Download the latest version of TS 103 270 v1.3.1.

Update on Standard Terms of Use for Broadcaster Metadata and Content

The consultation on our new Standard Terms of Use closed in April, and we’ve been reviewing the responses we received. We’re expecting to publish the first version in a few months, and we’ll be encouraging broadcasters and manufacturers to use it.

The Standard Terms Of Use are optional for Content Providers to use, but we hope that if Content Providers want to create their own terms, which add additional requirements for manufacturers, they’ll keep compatible with the Standard Terms.

For Manufacturers, if a Content Provider stipulates that their metadata/content is licensed, you must follow the licence terms. As our Standard Terms will be on a fixed URL, you’ll be able to automatically check if you comply with the terms of use, or if you’ll need to do a manual check.

The SPI Specification (TS 102 818) already has a an attribute called “terms”, which is where the Content Provider will stipulate which licence they’re using. Manufacturers should start checking for that attribute.

Our Members

Our members are able to contribute to and shape the development of our standards and policies. Find out more about membership of RadioDNS.

Consultation on Standard Terms of Use for Broadcaster Metadata

Nick Piggott,

We’re consulting on a standard agreement for radio stations and automotive manufacturers and we’d really like your input.  Here’s all the info, including the link to review and feedback to us:

RadioDNS Hybrid Radio enables more metadata and content to flow from radio stations to cars. Now we’re consulting with radio stations and automotive manufacturers globally to create a common agreement on how radio stations’ content should be presented in the dashboard. The consultation closes on 12th April 2019.

The Standard Terms of Use is a template agreement for radio stations and automotive manufacturers which avoids the need to explicitly sign contractual agreements. The proposed terms were drawn up after discussions with our broadcaster and manufacturer members, and informed by the success of the Creative Commons licensing model, which allows content creators to distribute their content widely, but still retain control on how it’s used and shown.

The ambition is for the majority of radio stations and automotive manufacturers to agree to the standard terms, making it easier to create a large network of content without significant legal and paperwork costs. Automotive manufacturers are keen to use the content that radio stations can provide, but want to understand clearly what radio stations consider acceptable use. The standard terms aim to provide that clarity for both sides, and for radio stations to retain control of how content is used.

Nick Piggott, Project Director of RadioDNS said: “We want radio stations to use the consultation period to tell us if they could offer their content to automotive manufacturers under these proposed terms, and if not, why not. We’ll use that feedback to modify the proposed terms so that as many radio stations as possible can adopt them.”

The consultation document can be found here and responses must be received by 12th April 2019. We will publish an update after reviewing the responses