The technological landscape in the radio broadcasting industry has changed dramatically over the years. Today, there are a number of advanced computer and digital medium systems with the ability to capture, save and replay radio programs via satellite. Long gone are the days when radio stations required redundancy on a 24-hour basis. In fact, more stations are doing away with satellite altogether in favor of downloading programs via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) sites hosted by the program producer.
Despite all the technological advancements, remnants of the old delivery platform remain intact. The improper utilization of space segment from multiple program feeds is still a problem, forcing radio stations to capture audio on the head-end schedule, as opposed to when they want to retrieve the file. Even worse, the audio is still being converted from digital to analog on the receiver’s output rather than retaining a digital format throughout the distribution chain. Over the past several years there has been more and more pressure mounting from various radio stations to obtain their programs via FTP. These demands are increasing for numerous reasons including the following:
- Greater availability
- Cost for broadband access are significantly lower nationwide
- Internet access improves inter-connectivity of automated systems
- Greater flexibility for importing and scheduling files from a variety of sources
More industries are coming to discover that FTP is an effective method for transferring audio and files of all types between locations. The protocol does create challenges when being used as a primary method of distribution for broadcasters. One problem with using FTP to transfer audio over the internet is the great probability of creating a bottleneck. For instance, if a single 30-minute program is about 30 MB in size and 700 radio stations need to broadcast that program every day, the FTP host would have to be equipped with a robust throughput capacity of 21,000 MB each day. Additionally, the site would have to anticipate peak demands that are likely to exceed this amount. Keep in mind that we are only talking about a single program here.
The answer to efficiently transferring radio programs via FTP is an FTP hosting service. A good provider can supply as much disk storage and bandwidth as a radio station requires, delivering a secure platform where audio files are transmitted once and captured by receiver. The technology an FTP hosting provider employs can help eliminate redundancies while improving reliability and maintaining a high level of fidelity by retaining the digital format in audio files.