Just over two years ago I was looking for a new, versatile and easy-to-use audio logger for our radio stations. I wanted to extract audio files in MP3 format that could be edited by our producers and announcers, and I needed a skimmer that allowed audio downloads from the logger, selectable to the second. I also needed to note alarm conditions, periods of silence and any logger failures. In our case, Canadian broadcast rules require all stations to keep 90 days of program logs.
At a broadcast engineering conference I approached KLZ Innovations with the concept of the logger I was looking for. Three months later the company released an audio logger called Audiofile. It was bullet proof. Even in the beta issue I was originally sent I could not break it or make it fail. I have been using the final release version for more than two years now and have never had any issues.
Performance at a glance
|Audio and GPI delay system
MP3 streamer and extractor
I installed the software at my radio stations in eastern Ontario, Canada. The system is available in 4-, 6- and 8-channel configurations. It provides skimming, which the PDs and announcers use extensively to download audio cuts from their shows. It has a built-in streaming server to monitor the audio over the network and Internet. There is a very good Audiofile player used to listen to and download audio cuts. The silence detection and alarms are built into the software to monitor off-air conditions.
One of the best features of the logger is that the software runs on a computer in my rack room, and the sever runs as a service, which make it difficult to be accidentally disabled or shut down.
I can also record audio on separate channels at different sample rates and store the audio for different lengths of time. For example, my air feeds are sampled at 128kb/s low sample rate and the audio is logged for 90 days. This fulfills my CRTC requirement. My main program feed is logged at a high sample rate of 320kb/s, but I only keep this for 30 days. This higher-quality archive is used by the production department to extract elements for promos and other station needs. When an audio element is downloaded to the desktop for use by producers and announcers for editing, it does not affect the original recorded material. The original is kept safe.
The control interface shows a file directory tree and the recorder control panels for the various feeds.
When we installed the software, followed the step-by-step documentation that outlines the process, including all the setup information. I installed the client software on the users' computers and then demonstrated how to locate, play and download audio cuts. Most users understood the operation and were using the system right away.
The client software looks like a traditional computer audio player. The player can be set up with or without a password. There is a green bar across the top of the player that represents the recorded audio. The bar represents a scalable timeline of recorded audio. Users can click on the bar to find specific times within the audio file.
We pay KLZ an annual fee for support. The telephone support is superb, and KLZ can troubleshoot my server remotely. Documentation for users is contained in a manual, that explains in depth how to use the player to download/listen to audio from the logger. The developers are always there to support any issues and answer any questions I have ever had.
Overall, I'm pleased with the reliability and ease-of-use of the KLZ Audiofile. It's not only fulfilled our legal obligation, but provided a useful tool that has benefited engineering, programming and production.
Kelly is chief engineer of CHUM Radio Kingston Brockville and Peterborough.
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