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Emmis Music Stations Implement ‘TagStation’

Interface enables people using Apple devices to tag songs heard on FM and HD Radio tagging-capable receivers

Emmis Communications says its FM and HD Radio music stations have implemented an interface that lets listeners using certain Apple devices to tag songs heard on FM and HD Radio tagging-capable receivers.

Emmis Interactive and Broadcast Electronics developed the interface, called TagStation, and demoed it at the fall Radio Show convention. TagStation is available to non-Emmis stations. Broadcasters can contact BE or Emmis Interactive for pricing information, Brenner said.

Emmis CTO Paul Brenner said listeners using iPod, iTouch, iPhone or automobiles with iTunes benefit by getting accurate artist and title on the radio display along with iTunes tagging capability. TagStation interfaces with the station’s on-air playout system for source data and RDS or HD Radio gear for transmission systems, according to Brenner.

The developers say TagStation provides an interface for correcting and inserting consistent artist and title information for FM and HD Radio text displays. Programming departments can upload a playlist or leave the system to learn songs automatically as they play. TagStation is able to auto-match most of songs with a database and then e-mail accuracy report to programmers, who have the option to adjust song matching discrepancies through a self-service online portal.

There are two components to the system, Brenner told Radio World. “TagStation is the lookup, matching and management of artist/title and song tagging information. This all happens in the cloud at the Emmis Interactive portal.” Broadcast Electronics provides Radio Experience “translation” software that links the station air system, TagStation and transmission system.

Radio World asked Brenner what a listener would need to take advantage of the service. “Any RDS or HD device that is enabled with song tagging will either display an on-screen price tag (touch to tag like a newer iPod Gen 6 or Gigaware HD Radio for iPhone) or a menu item to ‘Tag this Song’ for older iPods with FM radio built in,” he replied. “Automobiles display a tag button or shopping cart (like the new Ford HD Radio) that stores the data in the connected Apple device. Non-Apple devices like Microsoft Zune typically have a tag button or menu item for ‘Tag This Song.’”

Song tagging is on iPods of Gen 5 and later, and Gigaware HD Receiver for iPhone/iTouch. Other Apple accessories support tagging as well.

Emmis said it plans to build on TagStation to support advanced features like Artist Experience, which syncs audio with images on HD Radio receivers.

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