Field Report: AudioSonix
Nov 1, 2001 12:00 PM, Lee Shephard
Of all the magic that I've seen over the years, the ability to send broadcast quality audio anywhere in the world via the Web is way up there on my top ten list. Being with a company that delivers corporate news and information to radio stations, this development has given us options that we had no idea would be here so soon. I think radio stations were surprised too, but now that more and more commercials are arriving over the Internet, it's gotten their attention too. As advertising agencies realize that their deadlines can be extended by shipping MP3 commercial spots via the Web, this method will soon become the standard delivery system.
File transfers At News Broadcast Network we began bouncing MP3 files between our three studios almost two years ago and quickly realized that it had its downside. First, despite the data compression, MP3 files are a bit heavy. Most of our 60-second productions are close to 1MB, which is not a problem for most e-mail boxes, but modem connections can take five minutes or longer to transfer one spot. DSL would solve this problem, but DSL is not available everywhere.
AudioSonix came to my rescue. Frankly, I didn't fully realize I had been released from MP3 e-mail jail until I had been using the program for a few days. No longer did I have to fear opening my e-mail and having a 3- or 4MB download begin. With AudioSonix, MP3 files are held until it is convenient for me to download them. There is even an automatic download feature that can be set to download at any designated time.
Also, I no longer have to worry about limiting the number of audio files I send at any given time for fear of overloading someone else's system. Recipients can download the files as they need them, when they need them. The audio files sit on the AudioSonix server until they are retrieved. The only point of caution is to not put too many files in one package. When a package is downloaded, all the files in that particular package are loaded onto the recipient's computer. You can also easily send text files along with audio files. I usually include only one or two MP3 files plus some text in each package. With the group-management options built into the AudioSonix software, the same package can be sent to an unlimited number of locations with a single click.
No PC? No problem Non-PC users can send and receive files via the AudioSonix website. From the site, you can login, create packages, send packages, receive packages, track deliveries and check the status of your account. The packages you send can be received in the AudioSonix software or from the Media Management Web interface.
The smallest package holds up to 1.5MB, or about 90 seconds of audio, and costs $5. My only disappointment with AudioSonix is not with the company itself, but with the fact that I wish more stations were signed up with accounts waiting for my spots. Instead, I find myself spending time trying to convince them to download the software (1.5MB). The receiving software is free. The charge is only for sending files. The stations and networks that receive our files via the system have nothing but praise for its efficiency.
Thanks to AudioSonix, I think my 56K modem and I are going to be roommates for a long time to come.
Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive BE Radio feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company. These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.
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