BMW implements RadioDNS

Nick Piggott,

We’re really pleased to say that BMW are now implementing RadioDNS in their vehicles.

Since July 2019, BMW vehicles have been using our SPI Standard (TS 102 818) to find and update radio station logos for FM radio stations across Europe and North America. That means station logos are being sourced directly from radio stations to show in the dashboard. If you want to update your station logo, just update it on your system, and it will update across all the cars.

RadioDNS is integrated into production vehicles from Audi, VW, Porsche and now BMW. We’re the only hybrid radio system in production vehicles across Europe and North America.

If you’d like to find out more, have a look here. If you’re a broadcaster, a manufacturer, or a technology provider wanting to do more with hybrid radio, we’re here to help you implement our open standards. Email us, or come and visit us at the NAB Radio Show (Booth #151) or TU Automotive (Munich) and we can explain in person.

(If you’re wondering about updating station logos for DAB stations in Europe – BMW use TS 102 818 but updates should be delivered over DAB EPG, rather than IP. That’s their existing update system, but they will keep dual DAB/IP updating under review).

Work with us to develop our new testing platform

Nick Piggott,

We’re here to make sure that hybrid radio works brilliantly using open technology standards. As well as defining the standards, we want to provide the right tools to help people implement them really well.

We already offer our members a testing platform for systems which pull in and use metadata using our standards. If a device / platform passes the testing, it can call itself RadioDNS compliant, which is really important when it comes to selling the service or product.

We’re going to do the same now, but for the systems that produce and distribute metadata from radio stations using our standards. It will help everyone have confidence that their systems are working correctly, or help them debug them if there are problems.

Our testing resources can save hours of tedious debugging, and they’re one of the benefits we offer exclusively to our members. (If you’d like to join, then have a look here).

We’re publishing a specification for what we want the testing platform to do, and we’re inviting pitches from software developers to build it with us. Here’s the briefing document, which explains how to ask questions or send in your pitch. The closing date is Monday 2nd September 2019.

Update on the Standard Terms for Metadata Use

Nick Piggott,

We’re committed to making hybrid radio easy and cost-effective for everyone, and we do that by looking for ways to standardise activities.

Our technical standards define how to discover and transfer metadata from broadcaster to a radio, but they don’t say anything about how that metadata may or may not be used.

To address that gap, we’re also working on a standard template agreement for how metadata may be used. It’s a document that any broadcaster can refer to, and because it’s standardised, a manufacturer only needs to review it legally once.

We need that agreement to describe what the majority of stakeholders would describe as “fair use” or “fair play”.

Additional Consultation

We had a consultation on our initial version, and used that create a new version. You can see that new version, and the changes from the original version.

We didn’t get a clear view from the initial consultation on the issue of liability and warranties, so we’ve issued an additional consultation document (DOCX version) just on those two issues. The consultation closes on Monday 9th September 2019.

Please take the time to read the document and tell us what you think. It could affect how you use metadata for hybrid radio.

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.