In preparation for its NAB show premiere, startup software specialist Summit Technology Group will unveil its first product, SideCAR, for radio broadcasters seeking a network-based solution to record and log multiple live audio channels and events.
The company will demonstrate SideCAR in the ENCO booth (N3824) at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 9-12 as a simpler, cleaner and lower cost means of proving on-air compliance.
SideCAR is a real-time multichannel logging system that can record content from any soundcard, USB interface or Audio over IP network. It offers an immediate and impactful response to listener complaints of an on-air event, or the advertiser’s question of “Did my commercial air at this time?”
SideCAR’s scalable architecture allows the product to be used in single independent stations as well as large networks and clusters, and transitions the traditionally hardware-driven function of audio logging into the broadcaster’s IT infrastructure without requiring an internet connection or subscription. SideCAR software can be installed and hosted locally; or installed at a remote facility with accessibility over a virtual private network (VPN) for centralized control.
Once installed, users can quickly create virtual machines within the database, and assign tasks to each machine. Tasks are executed in the background according to the schedule. The resulting log supports text-based and time-based searching, network-based control, file management and non-compliance alerting. Each SideCAR-enabled virtual machine can control multiple tasks across multiple other products and systems at local or distant facilities.
SideCAR also ingests program metadata from automation systems in the workflow, and includes a software player to cleanly display, playback and/or export all logging information for quick compilation and reporting. At NAB, Summit Technology Group founder Paul Stewart – formerly an ENCO product manager and applications engineer – will demonstrate interoperability between SideCAR and ENCO’s DAD radio automation platform for compliance monitoring/logging and metadata capture, and exhibit SideCAR’s intuitive dashboard for at-a-glance management.
“SideCAR solves the problem of relying on as-run reports after the fact, and instead offers a real-time data capture approach that allows for faster response to compliance issues and concerns,” said Stewart. “It is a highly granular system that can capture and report data meaningful to very specific departments, such as confirmation of advertisement and PSA airings for traffic and billing; and the status of studio equipment during the broadcast for the engineering team. SideCAR’s in-depth search, playback and export capabilities offer a rich and flexible toolset to get the right data for a group of assets into the right hands on short notice.”
Stewart’s long-term vision for SideCAR includes interoperability with almost every component of the air chain, including audio consoles, EAS systems and transmitters. He adds that there is value in SideCAR to any region or country that requires logging, and serves as a powerful analytics tool for stations that want to improve their programming through comparative analysis of competing stations.
“All of these components can offer data that is meaningful to someone in the organization, and help give the broadcaster an advantage for proof-of-compliance as well as potential business decisions,” said Stewart. “In the example of an audio console, users will be able to run full reports on all the times a certain fader was active. This would be helpful to access and export audio from a telephone hybrid to review audio from live callers, for example. Elsewhere, broadcasters could read data tied to EAS activations. There are very few limits to the reach of SideCAR across the studio and out to the transmitter.”