BBC is making a big deal about ‘tapeless’ radio production. Here in Canada, the CBC has been doing this for years, using a different system.
But the real story isn’t about being tapeless. It’s about networking and synchronization – something the CBC has never figured out. CBC still sends most of its digital files from place to place in real time. They actually play them out from a computer, but transfer the audio in a linear ‘feed’, only to be recorded digitally at the other end (and don’t get me started on their continued use of MiniDiscs for field recording). And there’s no meta data associated with the content – not that it would matter because it isn’t stored long-term in the data base anyway.
And that’s where the BBC is spot on with it’s new system.
The unique benefit of this networked production and playout solution lies in its intelligent handling, not only of projects and large files containing broadcast items, but also of the production and programme-related metadata. Furthermore, it seamlessly integrates the tools already used by the production teams. The solution’s core component is a shared production database that facilitates project management and creates a fully networked working environment, not only in the production studios but also at the desktop.