Want to send Now Playing Song Data to the your iBiquity/Xperi HD Radio Importer, from your Radio Automation System? MetaRadio makes this possible. This article explains the setup of MetaRadio and HD Radio, allowing the current song title and artist to be displayed on HD Radio receivers.
Sending song now-playing information to your HD Radio system has clear advantages for your listeners and also your station. Now Playing data enhances the listener experience by allowing them to discover new tracks, and unlocks additional advertising opportunities by displaying promotional messages on your screen.
HD Radio is the Digital Radio system used predominantly throughout the United States of America. It works by transmitting additional digital data in the sidebands of your existing AM or FM stations. Stations can use this to transmit additional HD stations – often referred to as ‘HD2’, ‘HD3’, etc.
HD Radio systems comprise of transmission equipment from manufacturers such as Nautel or GatesAir. Some encoding and transmission systems are an all-in-one box, while other systems have a separate Importer and Exporter. In the world of HD Radio, these terms mean:
- HD Radio Importers code the digital services. This includes your HD2, HD3, etc. audio as well as your now-playing data (and other data services)
- HD Radio Exporters combine your HD1 audio stream with the digital data from your Importer
Your Now Playing Song Data typically needs to be sent to your HD Radio Importer.
What is MetaRadio?
MetaRadio is software which acts as a connector for your radio station’s metadata. It enables you to send your now playing data to dozens of different types of systems (including HD Radio), and also unlocks new opportunities for revenue and promotions by inserting commercial and non-commercial messages between your song data. While many automation systems can send data directly to some of these third party broadcast systems, MetaRadio aims to connect all your systems together and provide advanced features.
MetaRadio takes all the hard work out of connecting your metadata. There’s no need for custom scripting – MetaRadio does everything you need out of the box.
Getting Song Data From your Radio Automation System
Before you can send your song metadata to your HD Radio system, you must first install MetaRadio and connect it to your radio automation system.
MetaRadio has over 30 different input system – including all the major Radio Automation System vendors.
There is a free trial available so you can test the entire system before committing to purchase.
Preparing your HD Radio Importer
You also need to prepare to send data to your HD Radio system. The process for doing this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
You must enable PSD data inputs into your system. This is typically done through your transmitter’s configuration app.
The IP Address and port depends on your specific configuration. The default ports are:
- HD1 Stations: Send to UDP Port 11000 on your Exporter or Importer
- HD2 Stations: Send to UDP Port 10010 on your Importer
- HD3 Stations: Send to UDP Port 10011 on your Importer
These ports must be accessible from your PC running MetaRadio, so ensure you have a firewall or VPN configured appropriately between your PC and HD Radio system.
Sending Now Playing Data to your HD Radio System
Now we have successfully configured MetaRadio, our Automation System, and our HD Radio system – we are ready to connect all these systems together.
All configuration in this step is done in the MetaRadio Configuration App. By default, the MetaRadio configuration app is available by going to http://127.0.0.1:9606/
MetaRadio’s configuration interface lets you control all settings within MetaRadio.
- The left contains the menu with various options – including the Input and Output settings.
- The centre of the screen contains information about your system, including license details, and a summary of the inputs and outputs you have setup.
The options you see available will vary depending on the version you have installed, and the license options you have installed.
In the left menu of MetaRadio, click on “Outputs”. Find your station, and click “Add Output”. Now you can select HD Radio from the list, and configure its settings.
Click “Add Output System” under the HD Radio Heading. You can now configure your HD Radio data.
Enter the IP Address of your HD Radio Importer or Exporter.
Enter the UDP Port Number which corresponds to your HD channel (e.g. HD1 stations are 10000, HD2 stations are 10010).
You can then configure the messages that rotate. The “Now Playing Text Format” messages rotate whenever a song is playing. The “Default/Fallback Text” messages rotate whenever a song is not playing. The Message Interval determines how long a message displays on the screen.
Click Save, and then click “Apply & Restart” up the top to restart MetaRadio.
The black MetaRadio window will now display a status update whenever a new messages is sent to your HD Radio.
If data is not displaying on your radio receiver, check the following:
- Check the black MetaRadio status windows for errors
- Check your network allows connections from your MetaRadio PC to your HD Radio Importer or Exporter
- Check your Importer or Exporter is configured correctly.
Support & Next Steps
Thanks for choosing MetaRadio to manage your now playing song data needs. Make sure you explore all the features, such as station scheduling, message scheduling, and all of our advanced output options. Please get in touch with us if you ever need assistance!
If you have any trouble with this process or it’s not working, please send the MetaRadio log files through to our support team. We’re here to help! You’ll find the support bundle file in MetaRadio’s dashboard.