Thursday, February 24, 2005

Micro-Info Radio: Traffic Info (and music downloads?)

Catching up with myself again, as the notion of micro-information services as short self-describing, auto-discovery and/or standards based short messaging protocols develops, here's a bit of background information on RDS Radio Data System.

(If you've never really got you head round the PTY and TA buttons on your car radio, the BBC produce this useful RDS cribsheet).

Digital radio also supports digital radio text services, of course, which can similarly provide information about current tracks, or artist information.

Of course, in my integrated radio/mobile phone/iPod in-car entertainment system, I'd have a single button that made use of the artist info and track identifier to pop a download of the song currently playing onto my iPod, and all for the price of a premium rate data call....

Traffic and travel information has traditionally been one of the drivers, though, of RDS uptake, and this area of information provision is only likely to become more widespread as location awareness becomes cheaper to support. This quitew elderly article on the provision of traffic and travel information services rehearses some of the arguments that have presumably informed the development of current TTI services.

It may (or may not....) be worth noting that TTI services seem to be quite an active area of international standards development (TC204 Intelligent transport systems).

I guess while I'm on the subject of traffic information, it's probably worth putting in a pointer to Transport Protocol Experts Group (TPEG), a protocol that has been developed to enable the broadcast of Traffic and Travel information by DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radio broadcast. A slightly more accessible overview of the standard is available here, but you'd still have to be really keen to look through it!


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