Discover how to send the now-playing data from your StationPlaylist Studio radio automation software, to all sorts of different third party systems – such as your RDS Encoder, HD Radio, DAB and DAB+, Websites, Streaming Servers, and more.

To achieve this, we’re going to use 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 systems, 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 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.

Sending song now-playing information to other broadcast systems has clear advantages for your listeners and also your station. Now Playing data enhances the listener experience by allowing them to discover new tracks, increases a station’s website traffic, and unlocks additional advertising opportunities.

StationPlaylist Studio is is popular automation software, and has been available since at least 2004. StationPlaylist Studio sends now-playing data as TCP data. We use a custom XML template to send this data in the correct format to MetaRadio.

In these instructions, we assume you are using the latest version of StationPlaylist Studio.

Installing MetaRadio

Before we can connect our StationPlaylist Radio Automation System, we need to download and install MetaRadio.

MetaRadio has a free trial available. You’ll need to tell us your name, email, and number of inputs you want to use. MetaRadio is licensed based on inputs:

  • If you have one automation system with one channel, you only need one license – no matter how many places you want to send that data.
  • If you have two data feeds from your automation system (such as a separate HD2 station), you’ll need two licenses.
  • If you want to take data from an automation system, satellite system, or music fingerprinting system at different times of the day, you’ll also need multiple licenses.

When you sign up for the trial, we’ll email you a license key and an installer. Save these to your computer.

Where to install MetaRadio?

The next step is to work out where you want to install MetaRadio. MetaRadio runs on Windows. If you have a small station, you may want to install MetaRadio on the same PC as your StationPlaylist PC – this is the easiest option.

If you have a larger station, you may want to install MetaRadio on a separate Utility PC in your rack room, or even a Virtual Machine. This option is good if you want to keep MetaRadio away from your announcers, or perhaps if you want to connect multiple systems or multiple studios into the one instance of MetaRadio.

If you install MetaRadio on a different PC, you’ll need to know a little bit about networking, so you can send data between your automation computer and your MetaRadio computer. StationPlaylist sends data via a TCP connection, so simply need to ensure a TCP port is open from your StationPlaylist Studio PC to your MetaRadio PC.

Make sure you pick a computer that’s:

  • Always turned on and always connected to your network, and
  • Has a network connection to your output systems too, such as your FM RDS encoder, HD Radio exciter, DAB or DAB+ headend system, and so on.

Completing the Installation

Once you’ve decided where to install MetaRadio, copy both the installer and license file over to that PC. Log in as an Administrator, and then run the installer.

The first step of the installation wizard is to supply the License File. Once you’ve done this, you can accept all the other default settings, and complete the wizard.

You’ve now installed MetaRadio, and you’re ready to start configuring it!

Running MetaRadio

Open MetaRadio from your desktop shortcut. It will open a black window showing the status, and if this is your first time running MetaRadio, it’ll also open a web browser with the MetaRadio Configuration App. If you don’t see the configuration app, the status window shows you the address you need to go to in your web browser. Any modern web browser, such as Edge, Firefox or Chrome, will work fine.

By default, the MetaRadio configuration app is available by going to

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.

Configuring MetaRadio

Now that we’ve installed MetaRadio, we can connect it to StationPlaylist.

MetaRadio allows you to send data from an Input (such as StationPlaylist), to any number of outputs. We need to configure the inputs first, and then our outputs second.

Select the “inputs” menu item on the left, and click “Add New System”. Scroll down through the list of systems and select “StationPlaylist”.

Enter a name for your station, and then select a TCP port. This TCP Port is where StationPlaylist will send its XML data (which we’ll configure in the next section). In our example, we use the TCP Port 62414.

Click Save, and then click “Apply & Restart” up the top to restart MetaRadio.

Configuring StationPlaylist Now Playing XML Data

Now, we need to jump into StationPlaylist Studio and configure it to talk to MetaRadio.

Go to View > Options > Now Playing.

Under the heading “Output via TCP/UDP”, we have two different outputs available.

In the first available slot, select “TCP”. Enter the IP Address of your MetaRadio PC. If this is the same PC, use the IP “”. In the Port field, enter the port number we configured earlier in MetaRadio (in our example this is 62414). In the Template field, enter this XML template:

<StationPlaylist><artist><![CDATA[%a]]></artist><title><![CDATA[%t]]></title><album><![CDATA[%T]]></album><duration>%S</duration><starttime>%d %h</starttime><filename><![CDATA[%f]]></filename><comment><![CDATA[%C]]></comment><category><![CDATA[%c]]></category></StationPlaylist>

For convenience, this template is also saved on your PC in C:\NowPlaying\stationplaylist.xml.

Once you have entered these details, you may Close this Options window.

Testing Your Now Playing Data

Go back to MetaRadio. If your configuration is successful, the black MetaRadio window will say “Now Playing” with some track details every time a new track plays in StationPlaylist.

This means your configuration is done, and you can now move onto configuring your Outputs. An Output in MetaRadio is any destination system you want to send data to – a RDS Encoder, HD Radio System, Website, Digital Radio, Streaming Server, Mobile App, etc.

In the left menu of MetaRadio, click on “Outputs”. Find your station, and click “Add Output”. Now you can select your output system from the list, and configure its settings. Our website has instructions on configuring all the most popular systems, or contact our support team if you need assistance.

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.


Can I have multiple StationPlaylist Stations connect to one MetaRadio instance?

Yes. You can connect unlimited StationPlaylist stations to the one MetaRadio instance on one PC. You will need one MetaRadio license per StationPlaylist station. You can buy multiple licenses online. If you have purchased licenses separately and need them combined (so they can run one one PC), please email support your purchase receipts and we will make this change for you.

Can I exclude certain asset types from sending now-playing data?

Yes. You can exclude certain asset types (such as spots, sweepers, IDs, voice tracks, etc.) from being sent. You can do this in MetaRadio. In MetaRadio you can use the “Allowed Asset Types” setting to restrict your now-playing data to certain asset types. Or you can use the “Minimum Track Duration (Seconds)” setting to ignore all tracks under a certain length.

Can I disable StationPlaylist Now Playing data during certain times?

Yes. This is a common request for stations that take satellite programming during certain hours, or for stations which use Audio Fingerprinting to detect tracks not played via your automation system. MetaRadio allows you to create a schedule for your automation system input. In your Input Settings, look for the “Input Settings” section. Any day/time entries specified here will disable your StationPlaylist data.

What does “Zero items are currently playing” mean?

When a track is sent from StationPlaylist to MetaRadio, it checks a number of conditions before accepting the data and passing it onto your output systems. These settings include the configurable “Allowed Asset Types” and “Minimum Track Duration” settings. If these conditions are not met, MetaRadio will say “Zero items are currently playing”.

MetaRadio does not see my now-playing data and does not show any errors

The most common reason for this is MetaRadio isn’t receiving any TCP data from StationPlaylist. Double check your port numbers match, and there are no firewall or network configuration issues.

What does “Could not parse XML” mean?

This occurs when your StationPlaylist system does not send correct XML data. Sometimes this is a user error – make sure you have configured your StationPlaylist template correctly.

If you need assistance, please contact out support team.