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AUDIO Mobility drives more powerful automation solutions by Philippe Fort T he emergence of new distribution platforms presents challenges to radio broadcasters, which must establish the tools and flexibility to offer constantly renewed content on an increasing number of distribution channels. Those broadcasters that find a cost-effective way to meet this demand and effectively deliver cross- platform content will be the companies that survive and prosper in a rapidly evolving media landscape. With fewer resources available to support ongoing — and even expanding — production and broadcast operations, radio stations need powerful tools that enable them to optimize their workfl ows for content creation and playout on one or more platforms. How are radio broadcasters handling this challenge? In the past, limited resources and technical capabilities often prevented broadcasters from providing full coverage of the latest news and events. Journalists working in the fi eld were highly dependent upon updates from studio staff, but they had no convenient means of getting the latest information on the status of the live broadcast or about how their own stories would fi t into the larger newscast. Cut off from in-studio resources including not only scripts and recorded content, but also the tools with which to edit that content, the fi eld reporter was unable to edit audio for inclusion in news stories or to review and read scripts for upcoming segments. These constraints had a signifi cant impact on the content produced by radio broadcasters, which were limited in the degree to which they could enhance the live broadcast product, as well as the content they offered on mobile and Web-based platforms. Today, radio automation solutions equipped to provide mobile access 72 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 89 MAY 2014 to both content and production tools are enabling the more collaborative and effi cient workfl ows critical to successful delivery of rich, relevant news and entertainment content. No matter how large or small the broadcast operation, streamlined end-to-end multimedia production, broadcast, and publication workfl ows that seamlessly link internal and external resources are proving essential in optimizing the production and delivery of content, a key strategic challenge facing media and entertainment companies. With more than 30 percent of its budget dedicated to the R&D, NETIA is continually enhancing its Radio Assist radio automation solution to meet such challenges. The solution has evolved with the latest technology developments, and it remains a high- performing solution that meets the needs of individual broadcasters and the market as a whole. NETIA’s Radio-Assist software suite addresses each part of the production and broadcast workfl ow, allowing users to record, edit, or prepare a playlist. In addition to providing browse and publishing tools for full multimedia functionality, the software features tools for acquisition, archiving, audio editing, commercial and music production, newsroom systems, scheduling, broadcasting, and administration. A new upgrade to the solution makes the editing tools available within Radio-Assist available for iOS devices including the iPhone® and iPad®. Sharing the same look and ergonomic principles as the Radio-Assist desktop interface, the new iSnippet tool for portable devices makes it convenient for fi eld reporters and other remote users to take advantage of familiar Radio-Assist audio editing capabilities. NETIA also has enhanced Radio- Assist with a new mobile teleprompter function, which adds further value by enabling journalists to jump into the studio news broadcast, reading their news pieces directly from tablets and other mobile devices on Windows 8 operating system. NETIA also has adapted its media asset management software and made it available on any mobile platform. This solution enables journalists to access, search, browse, retrieve, and play any content from anywhere. The user- friendly Web interface, developed on HTML5, provides intuitive controls for displaying video segments and performing simple edits. By giving staff across radio broadcast operations convenient multiplatform access to the robust array of tools within its software suite, as well as to media management features, on portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, NETIA brings powerful functionality to users’ fi ngertips anytime and anywhere.