An unprecedented display for all RFO's sites

"For more than five years, RFO has taken the path to digital techno-logy. The strategy of this development based itself on the evolution of the technical structure, the material display and the training in this new tool networked around the world. This has been done only thanks to a very effective partnership between our two firms, RFO and NETIA."

RFO"2002 will remain a decisive year in this evolution as all centres should work on the same Radio-Assist 7 system by the end of the year. This strategic choice leads RFO to a global system of archiving and of document exchange between all RFO sites."

C. AUGEREAU, RFO's Technical Director.

The same Radio-Assist 7 system displayed on each site

From Tahiti to Pointe-à-Pitre, each French overseas department and territory now owns the same digital-audio tools within the same architecture. The new Radio-Assist 7 version which is faster and more reliable covers the whole radio working process. From production to broadcast, each activity is represented: acquisition, editing of sound documents, planning, broadcasting, administration. Completely developed under Windows NT, one of Radio-Assist 7's main trump card is to offer a simultaneous access to several products : from a single application the user records, edits or prepares a playlist.

The whole process of modelling, grid editing and playlist manufactu-ring is borne by a single software: Feder-All. All the radio actors communicate with each other from production to broadcast. Several users can simultaneously access the playlist manufacturing from production stations. "Music-All's" latest version, Radio-Assist's music planning tool, brings a series of new and extremely flexible functions to schedulers. This integration which is synchronous with the Air-DDO broadcaster brings immediate efficiency and makes organisation and use in studios much easier.

In addition to new functions, Radio-Assist 7 uses new technologies to meet security, managing and automation needs within radios. The aim of this new Radio-Assist 7 range is mainly to combine the evolutions of the radiobroadcasting branch with the latest technical advances (integration of a SQL engine, integration of DSP functions, development of a personalized database, development of transfer automata, access management to databases...).

Evolution towards a system of archiving and exchange

The project of archiving and exchange of audio documents between all RFO's centres shows Radio-Assist 7's ability to anticipate the future.

The archiving principle requires two skills: the automatic conversion of audio documents (mpeg 2 into mpeg 3 for instance) and the automatic management of transfers. These two automata, Media Management and Dispatcher, already exist in the Radio-Assist 7 range. Dispatcher is a very powerful multi-format export automaton which can convert and export audio files directly from one base to any destination.

Thanks to specific functionality, the technician can define different profiles and choose the conversion format, the frequency, the coding, the destination? In the same way, a sound is automatically reintegrated by a production station as soon as a user chooses an archived sound. Media Management handles the whole data traffic within a system. Its role is to carry out automatically the monitoring and the transfer of files from one field to another. For instance, when an element is given the RTA label (Ready To Archive), the file is automatically pasted on the archive server. The running of Media Management is totally transparent. It guarantees the user access to the required documents wherever they are located in the system.

The Media Management automaton facilitates the creation of various fields specialised according to the activity (production, broadcasting, archiving). Each field has its own structure: servers, database...This activity separation generates several independent subsystems and thus ensures a better reliability to the whole.

Training for a successful installation

Parallel to the installation of these new tools, numerous training events took place. The aim is to become familiar with Radio-Assist 7's new environment. A lot of time is dedicated to practice, to reference exercises and also to radio specific editing. NETIA's training service offers several training programmes adapted to each user category : journalists, deejays, technicians, schedulers, administrators and main-tenance.

In groups of three or four, every user benefits from a global presentation of the system, then from a detailed training on the software that he will be using. Thanks to these training courses and to the easy use of the stations, users become quickly efficient and creative. The administrator and maintenance trainings are very convenient for radios and allow each RFO centre to master its digital-audio system.

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