The Public Radio Satellite System is prepping for a California disaster simulation this month, one that will implement the technology behind its MetaPub service.
A grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will make it possible for PRSS to allow six California public radio stations to deliver metadata-enhanced emergency messages during the Great California ShakeOut on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The Great California ShakeOut is an annual drill that simulates the occurrence of a major earthquake.
The MetaPub platform is intended to enhance radio broadcaster content by providing images, text, promotional materials and links. PRSS says its metadata is intended to bridge a gap between content producers and the software that populates radio displays and streaming audio apps.
PRSS officials tell Radio World that MetaPub will enable the presentation of emergency alerts on mobile devices and other digital platforms. California’s test information will be heard and seen on mobile phones using the NextRadio mobile app, HD Radio receivers and RDS displays. In addition, at least one of the radio stations will use its web streaming capabilities to communicate alert messages with listeners.
The CPB grant will allow PRSS to provide the radio stations with the hardware and software capabilities to connect with the MetaPub system and broadcast emergency messages the day of the California ShakeOut.
Six in-state public radio stations will participate in the earthquake drill: KPBS(FM) in San Diego, KCRW(FM) in Santa Monica, KPCC(FM) in Pasadena, KQED(FM) in San Francisco, KCBX(FM) in San Luis Obispo and KXJZ(FM) Capital Public Radio in Sacramento. The total grant value is $66,765. The stations will keep the hardware and software after the event, to encourage them to incorporate metadata into their operations for emergency communications or program information in general.
Michael Beach, vice president of NPR Distribution, which manages the PRSS, said the project is an example of how PRSS “leverages its technology, relationships and world class professional expertise” to help develop and improve methods of delivering emergency broadcast communications and how it seeks to work collaboratively with interconnected stations, CPB and other members of the public radio community.