Radioplayer, the collaborative radio platform available in eight countries, is launching a new ‘smart radio’ feed for connected cars, with the Audi/VW group the first manufacturer to sign up. The partnership will see ‘hybrid’ radios in new Audi models using the Radioplayer technology to display station logos, and switch automatically between DAB, FM, and streaming.
The new Worldwide Radioplayer API* (WRAPI) builds on the innovative ‘Radioplayer Car’ project**, launched earlier this year. As well as enabling ‘hybrid’ switching between broadcast and streaming as reception varies, the new data feed can power next-generation features, like personalised radio recommendations, search results, and catch-up content.
“We’ve talked to dozens of car companies over the past few years.” says Michael Hill, Radioplayer’s MD, “They’re all interested in improving their car radio interfaces, but the question they ask most often is – where can we get a reliable feed of the radio industry’s data? This project starts to answer that question…to help keep radio simple, sexy, and central to the dashboard”.
The WRAPI feed is designed to complement existing international standards for ‘hybrid’ radio data, co-ordinated by the RadioDNS organisation. The new Radioplayer API enables high-end radios to play streams at different bitrates, access the unique Radioplayer recommendation engine, play tens of thousands of items of catch-up radio and podcasts, display information about what’s on, and even to query search engines across all 8 Radioplayer countries.
It’s a by-product of the two-year project to build the revolutionary ‘hybrid’ radio platform, ‘Radioplayer Car’. “That project required us to solve all sorts of challenges around hybrid radio data, so we decided to get even more value out of that work for the radio industry”, explains Leo Andrews, Radioplayer’s Chief Technology Officer. “We’re going to keep enhancing the data, with better logos and phonetic station names coming next, to help voice-controlled car interfaces find our stations”.
Radioplayer has worked closely with technologists at the Audi/VW group to develop this feed, and Audi are one of the official launch partners, along with DTS/XPERI, who build technology to power multiplatform car radios around the world.
Christian Winter from Audi’s Research and Development team says: “It’s great to see the radio industry working together to help us improve car radios. We’ll be launching our cutting-edge new hybrid radio interface in the all-new Audi A8 this year, and Radioplayer data is powering that.”
“As a radio technology provider with a global connected radio solution (DTS Connected Radio), we’ve been developing the required partnerships to ensure broadcast radio has a strong future in connected vehicles,”says Joe D’Angelo, Senior Vice President, Broadcast Radio, Xperi Inc. (parent company of DTS). “The Worldwide Radioplayer API is a valuable extension of the Radioplayer technology platform, and delivers a tremendous service to us, their broadcast partners and radio listeners. Their geographic coverage and depth of content will undoubtedly help us deliver a world class in-car radio experience.”
Radioplayer is now offering the WRAPI feed to other car companies which are interested in developing better ‘hybrid’ radio interfaces. Firms are encouraged to get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how they can benefit from a collaborative approach to designing new dashboard radio experiences.