Digital Radio Could Push Podcasts To You Over Broadcast Band

Podcasts are awesome. But you know what's not so awesome? Having to download them over the net and then copy them over to your device of choice. It'd be much better if things just magically appeared on your radio without sucking up your monthly data allowance. Well, turns out that could be coming to digital radio soon.

Yesterday, the Australian commercial radio broadcasters association announced a memorandum of understanding with Beijing Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting to develop a technology that allows broadcasters to push podcasts to digital radios over the broadcast band.

There's no date on when the technology will launch - the announcement merely states that the two parties will work collaboratively over the next 12 months.

Chinese and Australian Commercial Radio Broadcasters Sign MoU to Develop a New Digital Radio Application

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Ms Joan Warner, and Mr Xuegang Qin, managing director of Beijing Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting Co.,Ltd (affiliated to Radio Beijing Corporation), today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between CRA and Jolon to develop a groundbreaking DAB+ digital radio application that will allow podcasts to be sent via the broadcast band directly to a listener’s radio without the need to connect to the internet.

Named “Push Radio”, the technology, developed by Jolon, will send an audio file directly to a DAB+ digital radio receiver instead of requiring the listener to connect their iPod or mp3 player to the internet to receive programming.

“Commercial Radio Australia is very pleased to announce we will be working collaboratively over the next 12 months with one of the most influential Chinese public broadcasters, Jolon, the market leader in digital broadcasting in China, to further develop and test Push Radio,” said Ms Warner.

Mr Xuegang Qin, managing director of Beijing said Jolon is delighted to be working with Commercial Radio Australia. "Jolon and CRA will harmoniously work together to promote the application of DAB+ Push Radio and explore its many practical applications,” said Mr Qin.

The MoU outlines a framework for a strategic partnership to identify, define and manage all stages of technical co-operation to develop and jointly promote technical specifications of DAB+ Push Radio.

The two organisations will set up a task force to operationally test the current technical standards for DAB+ and DAB+ Push Radio and hope to have a trial of the system in Australia late in 2010.

Podcasts are another example of how the radio industry has adapted new technology to extend its audience. There are more than 4,661,046 podcasts downloaded each month in Australia. (Source = CastMetrix, February 2010)

"To free listeners from the necessity to connect to the internet to receive podcasts and other specific information and targeted programming is a major step forward for DAB+ digital radio," Ms Warner said. "Push Radio will make a podcast even more accessible for all digital radio listeners."

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