Berlin - Sep 7, 2009 - The Internet Media Device Alliance (IMDA) has released the baseline certification standard for standalone Internet radio devices. Called IMDA Profile 1, the standard aims to protect consumers by aligning competing technologies and future-proofing Internet radio product design. It is estimated that certified radios will today receive around 90 percent of the world's radio stations currently broadcasting over the Internet.
For manufacturers of Internet radios, the certification standard aims to reduce time to market and marketing risk by removing the prospect of rival technology wars. At the same time, online broadcasters adhering to IMDA Profile 1 will be able to reach target audiences using fewer audio codecs, cutting associated costs.
Mark Hopgood, an IMDA steering committee member and Frontier Silicon's director of marketing, commented, "Audio data streaming over the Internet is faced with a unique set of challenges, from codec design through to playlist format, countless choices need to be made. If a universal standard isn't specified now when the market for Internet radios is in its relative infancy, manufacturers risk entering a technology war, like the Betamax/VHS war of the '80s. If this happens, many early adopters will end up with obsolete products."
IMDA Profile 1 sets out to harmonize the technologies currently used by Internet radio manufacturers and broadcasters. Specifically, the baseline standard stipulates devices must decode both WMA and MP3 codecs; use HTTP streaming with 301 and 302 redirection; accept playlist formats M3U, ASX, PLS with new line separation for URLs in plain text; and receive stereo streams via two channels or by downloading a mix of both.
Future IMDA Profiles will set standards for different types of Internet connected media devices, for example video players.