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How To Help Affiliates Download Long File Audio

The entire reason to make your programs available on the Internet is so your affiliates can easily download your programs and get them on the air fast and with ease.

A huge percentage of radio stations use broadcast automation systems. Many program suppliers have no clue as to what a broadcast automation systems even is. Well, it's a computer system at the radio station that either automatically plays or plays with the help of a radio personality all of the music, jingles, liners, commercials and your programs. Many radio stations have no staffs to sit at a computer and download your hard to get programming. In that case, you might have affiliates dropping your service. They want it automatic.

The problem occurs when the program supplier makes it extremely tough to get the programs downloaded. You protect your audio files behind a PHP page that is not a direct link to the filename or you protect the files behind a non-standard login page.

The easiest way to protect your files is with an FTP site that requires a username and password. The second easiest way it to just place the files on an HTML page protected by an .htpasswd file. Both of those methods provide you with the protection of the files not being grabbed by unauthorized stations and it makes the files extremely easy to get in an automated way.

Five years ago, we developed a program called the Radio Spider and to this day, over 1000 stations use this software to automatically download their programming. We are able to download most programs out there except for the programs that are totally impossible to download this way.

Here is a hint for the program suppliers:

·     Make it easy for affiliates to download your programs and you will have more affiliates.

·     Name your programs with predictable file names. AT40-Hr1-Seg1.mp3

·     Spell the file names exactly the same each day or week.

·     Make sure the file names are the same upper and lower case as last week.

·     Set up an FTP site for affiliates with automation systems so they can download automatically.

We have created versions of the Radio Spider for several Radio Networks like United Stations, WayFM, Impact Radio Network, Texas Farm Bureau, Georgia Farm Radio Network, Hoosier Ag Today and the Radio Oklahoma Network. These companies offer the Radio Spider for FREE to their affiliates and therefore they can stop sending out CD's and move their programming off of satellites.

The second toughest problem for radio stations is the non-compatibility of the stations automation systems with being able to simply drop into the audio file folder a new version of an audio file. Did you know that you can spend $25k on an automation system and that system won't even play an MP3? It's true. It seems that the more money you spend on an automation system, the tougher they make everything for you. Our Digital Juke Box automation system will play anything. Just drop the newly downloaded file into the audio folder and the new file will play every time. Stations that have one of these extremely expensive systems need to insist that they start playing MP3 files because that's what your program supplier sends you and you want their automation system to start acting automatic. Once the automation makers start to feel that they aren't selling automation systems because they really aren't automatic, then they will change their systems. These are very easy changes.

by Jim Barcus

Jim Barcus is the Owner of The Digital Juke Box Software based in Steubenville, OH and can be reached at 740-314-5403 or on the web at www.DigitalJukeBox.com or email at Jim@DigitalJukeBox.com.

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